August 12, 2008

Open Mic & Late Night Grub in Greenwood Heights/South Slope

On Wednesday, July 30th, Paul Kellner and I played an open mic in Greenwood Heights, Brooklyn at the Living Room Lounge. Located just off 5th Avenue on 23rd Street in Brooklyn, the bar does an open mic on Wednesdays, Guitar Hero on Thursdays, karaoke and burlesque shows on alternate Fridays, and live bands/DJs on Saturdays. Add in a bunch of comfortable couches, a pool table, semi-decent and relatively cheap bar list, and hilariously out-of-place (re: clean & modern) bathrooms, complete with beautiful glass-bowl sinks and chairs for lounging/hanging out, and this locale would be a great place to haunt any night of the week. I know I’d probably end up there a lot more often if it wasn’t such a hike from my apartment.

We strolled into the bar at 8:00, about 45 minutes before the sign-in and were greeted to 6 or 7 people chilling out and chuckling to Harold & Kumar: Guantanamo Bay which was being projected on a small screen over the stage. One oddly-forward performer aside, no one budged as we entered the joint. I saddled up to the bar to bar, ordered a few drinks and asked the barkeep who I needed to speak to about getting my name on the list. The sign-in sheet comes out at 8:45 and the regulars pounce on the list right away so if you’re looking for a specific slot, get there early and position yourself at the bar. With set lengths of 15 minutes or 3 songs, we were happy to get the 6th slot; an estimated 10:30 appearance gave me plenty of time to rally the neighborhood troops.
Our set started with Full Moon Crazy, a song Paul wrote and played with his band Heathcliff back in Madison, WI. We followed that with a cover of Beck’s Lazy Flies and finished with an instrumental Paul and I worked on together entitled All the News That’s Fit to Print. This last tune seemed to get the best reaction from the crowd, or at least people started clapping enthusiastically during the first (of three) faux-ending. Regardless, the feedback was generally positive.

While the set was certainly fun, the most productive portion of the evening came when the host, Matt Frye, introduced our duo. “Next up, Man and Paul.” Now, I know that my handwriting is anything but stellar (if I remember correctly, I was grounded for a week in the 3rd grade because of my handwriting grade) but I would have thought that by now I could manage to write my own name legibly enough for people to read it. Apparently not. But, in the end, the audience reacted well to our new name and we decided it should stick, at least for our acoustic gigs.

Man & Paul

On the way back home from the gig, MB, Becca and I decided to grab a bite to eat at Sidecar, a great bar with decent grub on 5th Ave that serves food Tues-Sun from 6pm-4am. That’s not a typo. You can get everything on this menu 6 days a week until four in the morning. Yeah. I love my neighborhood.

We grabbed a spot at the bar, made friends with the Phillip, the bartender, and ordered a round; Becca and I grabbed Southampton Double White Ales and MB had a pint of Six Point’s Sweet Action, one of her favorite cup of suds from the Brooklyn brewer. To accompany the beer, she ordered a burger in our usual style – cheese (cheddar), mushrooms, onions and bacon. The only thing she had trouble deciding was how she wanted the thing cooked. I interrupted and told Phillip medium-rare; have you ever gone someplace where they’ve brought you a hamburger and you’ve said, “Damn! That’s too rare!”? As for me, I ordered “The Sidecar” which is basically a souped-up turkey club with sliced granny smith apples, gruyere, red onion, and sun dried tomato mayo on grilled sour dough. Delish!

Sidecar Burger w/Cheddar, Bacon, Mushrooms and Onions


CorrND said...

Goddamn, sounds like a fantastic evening. Do you guys have plans to play again?

Southampton and Sixpoints....those guys both make some awesome beer according to Beer Advocate.

Alan Maginn said...

Yeah, Sixpoint is one of our faves. Their Sweet Action is actually a cream ale. When I was asking the the beer monger at our locale beer & cheese merchant(Bierkraft in BK) about the style, he kept bringing up Genny Cream Ale. Hell yeah! My dad used to carry cases of that stuff down from Rochester when he lived in Florida. In fact, it was the first beer I ever tried - a spoonful provided by my grandfather circa 1988. You do the math.