Chris and I decided to go to an open mike at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River. We'd been once before (although it was a while ago) and were impressed by the quality of music that people were playing there.
There were some glitches tonight -- setting up took longer than expected so the music didn't start until 8 pm when it was supposed to start at 7 pm. The quality of music was still pretty good, although I didn't particularly care for the featured artist, who played third. After the featured artist there was a brief break.
During the break I decided to tune up the guitar, and as I was doing so another guy brought his guitar nearby and started tuning it. Except it sounded like the guitar was completely out of tune, and I couldn't quite tell if he was improving matters or making them worse. After a little while the break was over and he was called up to the stage, introduced as (I belive) Cole [although everyone else had been introduced by their full name].
Cole played these really weird chords -- I think C and G shapes up and down the neck mostly, but everything was so out of tune it was hard to tell -- and sang a combination of lyrics and stream-of-consciousness ramblings. He was clearly really drunk. But his voice was good and his energy level was really high and somehow the out of tune guitar just sounded right. After he finished the first song he said, "That wasn't close to good at all. Not even close." Then he played another song, cussing and hollering and shouting at the soundman. Then the soundman indicated that he was out of time and he did one final short, slow song that was about thirty seconds long. And that was it; he left. I really liked him a lot, although things could have gotten out of control pretty easily and I would not have liked that. Other people in the audience weren't as happy with him, though, and the soundman certainly was frustrated with him.
Chris had been outside getting some fresh air before all this occurred, and he told me that Cole had actually just been kicked out of a neighboring bar, where he had stormed onto the stage and tried to sing into the mike. It looked like things were going to turn ugly but someone involved in the Narrows center intervened and suggested that Cole come next door and do a couple of songs, and this succeeded in diffusing the situation. Cole's buddies were pretty sure that Cole was going to start a fight, so things turned out pretty well.
Next up on the open mike was a duo (acoustic guitar and electric bass). The singer/guitarist introduced their act by saying, "Well, I guess we're going from a sort of heavy metal music to some heavy mental music." Which seems to me like kind of a stereotypical thing for a certain type of folkie to say; I feel like this line could have been used in A Mighty Wind pretty easily. But anyway.
Chris and I calculated that we probably weren't going to get to play until around 11 pm, so we decided to head over to the Trinity Brewhouse to enjoy the band, which tonight consisted of the quite good guitarist/vocalist Thom Enright and the phenomenal bassist Marty Ballou. They were great as expected.