Nashville open mics

Nov 10 | Posted by: Fighter #1 | Tags: Griping about places

I've been in Nashville for 4 weeks so far. Guess how many open mics I've played so far?

If you guessed 0, you win! "But Steve," you say despite the poor grammar this represents, "why aren't you playing open mics? You love playing at open mics! Plus, you're in Nashville! There should be open mics every night."

To which, I respond, Yes! You're right on both accounts, but here's the secret: Open mics in Nashville suck! It turns out that "Music City" is more like "Music is Serious Business City." There is an open mic every night somewhere in the city, but there are so many aspiring country singer songwriters that the market is completely flooded. If there are any small, fun open mics, I haven't found them yet.

All that I've been able to find are "Songwriter" nights. Half of them have auditions or signups weeks in advance. Half of them have drink minimums or covers. Most limit you to two or even one songs and won't allow any instrumentation beyond an acoustic-electric guitar and the house piano. I even saw one that said that all performers have to invite 10 friends.

Those aren't open mic nights! Those are a bad Alternative Band Night at a bar that hates its bands.

So, yeah. Since I'm not willing to drive 40 miles to go to a decent open mic, it may be a while before we manage to play live anywhere.

I should really just become a millionaire so I can buy my own venue and play whenever I want. Our open mic will have the rule that if you play a song that sounds like it could have been done by an aspiring country band on Broadway at noon on a Tuesday, you're kicked off the stage, and you don't get a drink ticket. In fact, your drink ticket is given to the classically-trained avant garde guitarst; the teenager trying to cover The Refused on just a bass; the guy playing a cajon solo; or the bearded man playing droll, sarcastic songs on ukulele. I'll hand that guy your drink ticket all the while shaking my head and looking disappointed at you. Just don't tell the cops I gave your drink ticket to a minor. I'd hate to get shut down.

i've been in town a few weeks and have mostly been crashing songwriter nights, it's a tough life. someday in the coming months I hope to start my own open mic to appeal to the non-singersongwriter crowd

You know what, I'm very much inclneid to agree.

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