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A New Open Mic at the Tennessee Bar in Paris

October 6, 2013

tennessee bar facade

tennessee bar facade

MOKPO, South Korea – (Note: Don’t skip the important update at the end of this post.) The news of Paris open mics coming from Mokpo, South Korea continues to develop and get stranger as it goes! Two days ago I updated my Thumbnail Guide to Paris open mics by re-instating the open mic of the Ptit Bonheur la Chance, which closed down in May and then opened again in September under the new bar name of “La Tireuse.” No sooner had I put that post up on the site than I saw a message on the Facebook page of the open mic at the Tennessee bar in which it seemed to say that the open mic and downstairs bar concept had both closed down. As it was impossible for me in South Korea to find out immediately whether it was just the end of the cellar bar concept or whether the open mic had closed as well, I published my story, stating clearly the reservation that it was not yet clear if the open mic had been discontinued or not.

I then wrote an email to the host of the open mic on Facebook, and he and his girlfriend confirmed to me overnight that the open mic itself had ended. So I updated the post accordingly. Some hours later, I have now received a message from someone within the management of the Tennessee Bar that tells me that the open mic itself has NOT come to an end, and neither has the basement bar it seems…. It is simply the end of James Iansiti’s time hosting the open mic, according to the Tennessee management. The bar will continue to run an open mic, starting with tomorrow night.

However, given that this open mic has always been indivisible in my mind, and in the minds of many of its other musicians, from the presentation and administration of it by James Iansiti, and given that the concept has perhaps changed, I have decided that I will keep the open mic off of my list of Paris open mics until I get to go and try it out myself so that I can write about it in the same way as all of the other open mics on my Paris list: from my own personal experience. I also often like to wait a few weeks before I incorporate a new open mic on my list in order to see if it is really going to stick around!

One thing I can say is that the Tennessee bar has a perfect layout for an open mic, with a great sound system and the ability of the musicians and spectators to listen comfortably in the basement to the music, or to talk on the ground floor. So if the presentation and hosting turns out to be as good as what James did, then I have no doubt this will continue to remain one of the mainstay open mics of Paris.

The one thing this has now clarified for me is that clearly, the managers of the Tennessee have not closed their eyes to the business to the bar that I thought the open mic brought it.

I can’t wait to see how this all develops!

UPDATE at 23:22 in Mokpo on 6 Oct.: As a reaction to this post, I have just learned that the new host of the open mic at the Tennessee Bar on Mondays will be none other than the exceptional Ollie Joe, who also hosts the open mic at La Tireuse on Tuesdays. This is an hilariously ironic point, as this chain of news posts from Mokpo all started by the reinstating of the open mic at La Tireuse! Anyway, this great news can only be celebrated by re-incorporating the Tennessee Bar open mic on my Thumbnail Guide to Paris Open Mics, Jam Sessions and other Live Music instantly.

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