Brad Spurgeon's Blog

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Unexpected Sensory Overload at the Kararocké

April 8, 2012

I was just noting yesterday how open mics that occur only once per month are generally not so successful, often forgotten, and would do better to be every week. I also remarked how happy an evening it turned out to be at the Truskel open mic for me on Friday, that open mic that happens once per month but is now closing for a long, long summer break…. Last night I went to one of my favorite open mics, which, in fact, is a live karaoke, with a live band and a set-list you choose your songs from, the wonderful Kararocké at the Bus Palladium. And guess what? I concluded that some open mics are better off happening only once per month….

I just cannot imagine either the spectators or Nicolas Ullmann, the genial host of the show – and inventor of the concept – going through that every week. It is so high energy, such a blow out of a party of an open mic, and Ullmann puts to much into it – creating elaborate costumes for every show – that I think everyone would wind up having to take the work week to recuperate after each show. It would eventually drag you down and out and a visit to a sanitarium would be called for.

I have loved every visit to the show in recent months. Especially the night I sang “What’s Up!” in early October. For the last two times I have been there, I have somewhat timidly put my name into the bucket with the request to sing “Wicked Game,” and each time I was somehow over-looked and not called up to sing. Probably that had to do with Nicolas’s huge efforts to give new people a chance every week, and not just put up the same people all the time.

But part of me thinks it may have to do with the fact that if I did get a chance to do that song, it would be the most downbeat, slowest, heaviest and most quiet number of the whole evening. And I wondered if maybe Nicolas found that too depressing for the formula.

Having said that, last night I found myself so incredibly swamped by the upbeat madness of the songs sung – not all, but the accumulation of them had that effect – that oddly, for the first time since I started going to this mad show, I started feel withdrawn through sensory overload. Hey, let’s have a few quiet and low numbers to tone things down and bring people to earth a little.

No, this is not just sour-grapes for not being selected. In fact, each month I get scared shitless about going up on that stage to sing, and when the evening passes and I find my name has not been drawn from the bucket, I sigh great relief and say, “Phew!!! I won’t have to face the situation – but I had the courage to try!!!”

Anyway, the evening is so successful that whatever may be my opinion, I’m sure Ullmann knows what’s he is doing. I think at one point last night I felt it was the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen at the Kararocké….

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