Wednesday morning I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend the evening releasing D-Rockets on, or playing the 3rd Street Pub’s open-mic night. Ended up going for the both/and; ran home in the afternoon and made the upload for Matt Wisecarver’s Secret Fantasy, wrote a short email to the list, and called up Nick to ride shotgun into Lee’s Summit.

We cruised in just after nine to a small local pub, half-filled with co-eds still home from school in the last days of summer. And Jody with Jimmie, a couple friendly faces who didn’t know what they were in for. One guy was trying to bartend and set up sound, so it was slow going.

Around 9:30 it seemed like the speakers were coming to life. But up on stage, plugged in, all we had was nasty, amp-fried distortion; after twiddling for a few minutes, I cut the cords and stepped off the stage onto the bar floor. From that point, straining to strum and sing louder than the background noise of the club, I played for a solid 45 minutes: “America Votes 2032,” “I Don’t Even Know How Right This Sounds,” “With A Little Help From My Friends,” “Corrupting The Youth,” and a terrible cut of Goldfinger’s “Superman” – I plain forgot the second verse, crashed, and burned. Only the friendlies heard, though.

Eventually somebody with the 3rd Street brought in a new amp and re-wired the sound. I played a short plugged-in set of “SOS,” “Market Stress,” and the “J. Cougar Mellensong.” A cat named Micah followed up, playing some killer originals and a cover of Chris Cornell’s “Sunshower” – the only other person I’ve known who plays that song.

Last week was my first-ever open mic. I’ll be heading back to the 3rd Street Pub eventually, and maybe others around town; I like the idea of calling out a “guerilla gig” and descending on a place for the night. More time to chat, no sound gear to move, no pressure to be entertaining for two consecutive hours; everybody wins.