Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A night of Life at TLR

On a crisp autumnal evening, The Sherman Theater’s Living Room (TLR) in Stroudsburg, PA opened their weekly Open Mic Nite event on Sunday November 9th to a room filled with musicians, poets, and numerous individuals who shared a loving desire to partake of the creativity the evening had to offer. I arrived just prior to the sign in ritual which has become an event in and of itself as those wishing to perform affixed their signatures or mom de plume to the sacred list determining the order of appearances for the evening eagerly endeavor to do so. A number of newcomers to the event were among the signatories which enhanced the anticipatory excitement of those who awaited their gifts to be revealed.

As the 7pm hour approached, the evening’s co hosts, Andrew Paul (aka A. P.) and Jesse Morales, took the stage to share their welcoming sentiments along with the house rule regarding the performance content of which profanity was allowed but a warning that it will be prevalent throughout the set should be given. These remarks were followed by a performance given by Jesse and his guitar with a slow thoughtful song that brought the souls of those who listened to its melodies and lyrics to a place of rest. He was followed by guitarist Sunny Shading who, with Jesse accompanying him, sang a number of songs whose effervescent qualities elicited joyous clapping and uplifted hearts from the audience.

Sunny Shading was followed by poetry rendered in succession by newcomers Drew and Moonbeam whose words moved the dreams shared by gathering of listeners to a new home within their poetic imagery. They were followed with more poetic explorations shared by a favorite among the venue’s denizens known as The Carlton. His powerful words grabbed the thoughts of all who felt the depths their impact as they delve into their own existence revealed through the silent contemplation of what their souls had heard.

The Carlton was followed by another favorite of The Living Room Crowd who were the duet known as Woodrow www.facebook.com/wearewoodrow which consists of Theresa Ratcliff on vocals and Brian Brancamp on vocals and guitar. They began their set with the Beatles classic “Across the Universe” whose spiritually attuned qualities were enhanced by their interpretation of the work from which they moved the audience to become a community of friends who shared their One (Uni) Song (Verse) with one another. Woodrow followed this song with a sing along which created an air of excitement among the gathering as they eagerly partook of the opportunity to participate in their performance.

Woodrow was followed by Ann Matthews who presented a captivating performance piece titled, “You Need Me” which spoke its truth to every experience in which the dichotomy of encouraging support comes into conflict with the need to grow through one’s meeting life’s challenges alone with the potential one would fail an ever present possibility embedded in the endeavor. Ann was followed by Kevin Tails whose lyrical qualities gave  the a cappella renderings of each song the gift of inspiration that led to the rhythmic moving of heads while the emotions embodied in his voice reached further than the words. It was after Kevin’s performance that a break ensued which provided those in attendance an opportunity to share their words of appreciation to the performers who took the stage thus far and to enrich the experience through the conversations which were inspired by their communal experience.

As the break came to its conclusion, a newcomer to the stage known as Momo verbalized her nervousness as she waited for the music that would accompany her to be played upon the venue’s sound system. Her voice moved the room as she sang with a rawness of emotion that transcended the qualities of the music that shared her audio space. She was followed by another newcomer to the venue known as The Beka who, with guitar in hand, sang with a soul that echoed the depths of the compositions she rendered which were written upon the hearts of life’s experiences. She was followed by Brad M who began his set accompanied by co host Andrew Paul (aka A. P.) on vocal percussion as he offered his rendering of the song “Royal” to an appreciative audience. A. P. then left the stage at the song’s conclusion leaving Brad to share a number of pieces whose eclectic nature infused the audience with their overlapping qualities.

As Brad M completed his performance, The Carlton took the stage to introduce a guest host named Julian Chiaro who shared some introductory words about the next performers who were Rich and Angel from the band Buffalo 66. Their hard core renderings pierced the consciousness of all who felt the raspy voice and heavy guitar chords that epitomized the weight of each song. As Rich and Angel completed their performance, Julian Chiaro retook the stage to share her humorous observations of life with the audience. The topics she explored included dating in the Facebook age in which the seriousness of a relationship (which could consist of a slice pizza with an engagement ring inside of it) is determined on whether or not a profile’s relationship status is changed. Her remarks struck a chord with the gathering as evident in the plentiful laughter they shared. Ms. Chiaro was followed by Wilbium whose electronic renderings created dancing dreams among the crowd as demonstrated by the infectious joy eluding from the lively movements emanating from dancers Satilla Rose and Emillie Day.

It was with the conclusion of Wilbium’s musical journeys did the completion of the main list of performances come into being. However, the allotted time given to the event had not yet expired which meant those who placed their names on the waiting list were now able to add their talents to the evening. They included Gabbie whose poetry mesmerized the gathering with their enlightened qualities as they emotions and situations they relayed were revealed, Cee Rock whose acoustic renderings upon his guitar moved the audience through geometric journeys leading the algorithms of imagination to expand itself into the full emptiness of the conscious reckonings the lyrics of his songs demanded, and Andrew Paul (aka A. P. Box) who ended the evening by sprinkling his vocal percussions with humor until he accompanied Cee Rock who returned to the stage to share a hip hop stream of words that flowed like a flooding river of concepts that saturated the mind with their abundance.

As the final ephemeral utterance of A. P. and Cee Rock left the indelible mark upon the human psyche, A. P. ended the evening with some vocal manipulations which were enjoyed by those who were present. It was at their conclusion did he bid the gathering a fare thee well and invited all to return to the next session of the weekly Open Mic Nite event. Those who remained reluctantly gathered their belongings to venture home with reflections of the evening and all it provided their dreams accompanying them through the door. An eagerness followed them as they anticipated the offerings their experiences promised them for the following week bringing a smile to their hearts. You’ll be able to find more photographs taken during the Sunday November 9th Open Mic Nite Session in The Living Room 2014 Gallery Part 4 at www.facebook.com/forwardian.dude/media_set?set=a.10152489839930421.1073741902.636000420&type=3.

The next installment of the Living Room Open Mic Nite Series will take place on Sunday November 16th beginning at 7pm with sign ins beginning at 6:30pm. Musicians, poets, writers, and anyone who would like to share something with a receptive audience are welcomed to do so. You can learn more about The Living Room Open Mic Nite Series by Exploring their Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/OpenMicAtTheLivingRoom.

In addition to the Open Mic Nites presented at The Living Room, the venue also holds a Gallery which presents their current exhibition titled, “Day of the Dead” featuring the work of artists from around the area and will be on display until December 28th. Their next exhibit will take place in January with a theme yet to be announced. Please contact the gallery’s Director and Curators, Keyaira and Drew Ozkenel, at 570-421-2808 for more information.

The Living Room is located on Main Street in Stroudsburg, PA next to The Sherman Theater who owns the building. The Living Room is a non-profit artspace and community hub featuring live music, exhibitions, and other events in an intimate setting at affordable prices. Please Explore The Living Room Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/pages/The-Living-Room for more information on The Living Room, all they have to offer, and how to be a part of it all.

Photography by Paparazzi Paul.

No comments: