Save Our Scene

RCAH Open Mic Night 10/28/09
October 29, 2009, 3:39 am
Filed under: Show Review | Tags: , , ,

Today, I stumbled upon some tunes. I was minding my own business in my dorm when some friends appeared from nowhere rallying troops to come watch a friend of ours play in an Open Mic Night. I had some free time and so I checked it out. To my surprise, there was quite a few people there and a handful of other artists were playing as well.

First, I caught Dan Pechacek of a local band called DSF ( As was the theme for the night, Dan was playing acoustic guitar by himself. He played a few songs, all of which were good indie songs. He had a solid vocal range and used volume changes well to emphasis different parts of his songs. He was easily the best guitar player of the night and his work was very impressive. I talked to him a little after he played and he apparently usually plays electric guitar with an array of pedals. This excites me. I hope to catch him again soon. Apparently he’s playing at Mac’s Bar in a few short weeks.

Next was a fellow named Jack Grendel ( Grendel’s style was really western folky. I quickly realized that I’ve seen him a number of times before playing music over outside shops on Grand River. His voice had all the rasp and roughness to be desired in that style of music. His guitar playing was a little weak and rough, but his whole body was into his music and it was an altogether passionate performance. He added harmonica on a few songs too which was a very nice touch.

My good friend Emily Nott was up next. I’ve heard her play for friends a few times and have become familiar with a few of her songs and her vocal style. Tonight she was on par once again. She has one of the more beautiful voices I’ve heard in a long time and a female voice is a nice touch as well. She played a couple covers as well as a few original songs. Her song writing ability is very impressive and she expresses wisdom beyond her years when she uses Alice in Wonderland as an allegory for her grandfather’s dementia in Alice. The guitar work leaves something to be desired, but she herself doesn’t claim to be exceptionally talented and piano is her first instrument. However, the rhythms are steady and work well to showcase her voice.

And finally was a girl named Ariel whose last name I did not catch. Ariel’s guitar playing was much softer and deeper than anyone of the night. Her songs were dark to match the tone and reminded me a bit of 90s alternative/grunge. Her voice was strong, however her guitar playing was especially weak and she kept making mistakes. Instead of working through it, she would often laugh and start the part over again. I think this was due to nerves more than anything else. For her final song, she requested a guitar in standard tuning. This threw up the flag that perhaps she was just not trained in guitar as well. Her voice on this song was rather impressive and reminded me a bit of Zooey Deschanel. It was a very strong finish to her set. If she works more at the guitar, I see a lot of potential from her.

I was pleasantly surprised by tonight’s Open Mic Night. I had no plans to hear any live music and in a short amount of time heard a handful of good artists. No links for Ariel and Emily, but make sure you check out Dan and Jack’s stuff.