This was easily the biggest turnout we’ve had for this mic since Kevin Peterson took over the hosting duties a number of months ago after the brash abandonment of the position by Keith Spencer. We saw a larger volume of musical acts than normal, but this is sometimes to be expected when the mic is “wide open”.
The reason for such a large gathering was to celebrate the birthday of the evening’s first performer; 14 year old Nico, accompanied by his grandfather George on rhythm guitar. They rocked the crowd with covers of “Johnny B. Goode”, “Hotel California”, and “Wonderful Tonight”. And they most certainly were wonderful, setting the bar impossibly high for the normally more laid back and low key Java’s audience.
After a 3 month hiatus from Java’s we saw the return of Mark Hecker, who took to the stage with a couple of folksy covers of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice’, “It’s All Right” and his own interpretation of “Blowin’ in the Wind”. To everyone’s surprise, Mark actually adhered to the 2 song/10 minute rule that is loosely enforced (Kevin cut Nico some slack because it was his birthday and only his second time ever playing in front of a crowd). After Mark was finished, Kevin noted the lack of poet’s on the signup sheet and as such read a poem he found while perusing YouTube during some downtime at work. “This is my Voice” by Shane Koyzcan is a political/motivational poem that was done in Kevin’s performative style, definitely worth a watch if you get the chance and if YouTube isn’t blocked at your job.
Following this poetic interjection were the familiar faces of Nate and Dan, members of the Normanskill Saxons, aka Kung Fu Taco, tonight presenting themselves as DNAANSTE (a combination of the letters in their names) that was affectionately pronounced “D-Nasty”. They got up and improvised a little as Nate tested out his minor harmonica, noting that they were very much “winging it”. Nate followed this up with a profound nature poem about one time when he killed an ant.
The evening’s final performer was a someone we often see, but who rarely takes the stage. Shannon, devout friend to the Saxons and regular Java-goer picked up the guitar and played a couple of songs despite “crippling stage fright” and over a year of not playing in front of a crowd. She played a lovely version of “When You Were Young” by The Killers, a song about a beautiful boy who “fucks like a gentleman”. We are not sure if she was singing about someone in particular from the audience, we are just hoping it wasn’t Nico.
Professor Java’s Wide Open Mic is the 2nd Monday of the Month and it is hosted by Kevin Peterson. You are strongly encouraged to come out to grace us with your musical talents, poetic musings, comedy genius, and/or angry rantings, or to simply just enjoy a delectable cup of coffee while enjoying some free entertainment.