Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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Last Night in NYC: American Trash

August 19, 2011

If my first night in New York City seemed to be launched figuratively by a little taste of American trash, my last night in NYC was literally an American Trash experience. I went to Dan Schteingart’s open mic on the Upper East Side at the American Trash bar. I had been advised to go to an open mic in Brooklyn, but I began to fall heavily into the cold I had contracted after walking through the record rainfall monsoon from Common Ground to the Bitter End a couple of days earlier. And I also thought that since all the open mics I had done so far were in the lower part of Manhattan, I ought to go to the upper part for a taste of something different. Paradoxically, where the Upper East Side is supposed to be a little classier than the Lower East Side, this open mic takes place in a bar that celebrates American trash.

The walls are covered with American trash-like things, paraphernalia, objects – like a racing car (kart) – and each table is adorned with “yellow” mustard. You’ll get the idea from the videos. I went to this open mic two years ago, quite close to the time it began, I believe, and it is still going strong. Dan is a friendly, easy-going host, and while it takes a while to adapt to the spirit of this open mic after the ones on the Lower East Side, it ended up being a very fun, unpretentious evening with a great jam at the end. In fact, the jam just made the whole thing so worthwhile. We played a number of songs together, from “Mad World,” at my suggestion, to “Just Like a Woman,” at someone else’s suggestion, to “Hotel California,” “Like a Rolling Stone,” and many others.

It took me a couple of days to get this blog item up as I had to travel back from New York to Paris, and also recover from the aforementioned cold. I now ready myself for the final foray into the world on the third annual open mic adventure around the world.

P.S., thanks to Kama Linden’s friend Alejandro for doing a video of me in the jam below:

And here is Kama herself:

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