Tragedy struck Long Island in the spring of 1999 when Cappuccino Heaven, a coffee shop in Smithtown village, closed its doors. My Wednesday nights may never be the same. Hosted by WUSB radio personality Jim Dexter, open mic nights at "The Cap" were often filled to the brim with a bevy of singer/songwriters, and there was nary a night when the signup sheet wasn't full.
Not long after Cappuccino Heaven closed, the open mic at New York Avenue in Huntington shut down as well. And now, Suffolk county has been dealt yet another open mic casualty with the demise of Moonstruck in Nesconset.
As songwriters, open mics afford us the opportunity to get feedback on our latest works. Like musical mad scientists we yearn to let our creations loose - in this case, upon a sample group of hapless listeners. If a song goes over like a hit, great. If not, we can sneak back to our laboratory and rework a lyric, melody or progression over and over, and then return the following week to perform it again with little or no complaint from the audience.
So what's a songwriter to do when their favorite musical watering hole dries up?
Glad you asked. In the next few weeks I'll be compiling an online directory of as many of Long Island's open mics as I can find. Then, with a minimum of muss and/or fuss, local songwriters can find the nearest open mike on a given night quickly and easily.
Wanna help? If you have a favorite open mic,
let me know
. Send me the name of the venue, the time and day of the open mike, the name of the emcee, the sign up time, and any other helpful info and I'll add it to the list.
I'll also list other events that may be of particular interest to songwriters. But like the open mics, I can only list the things I hear about. If you know of a workshop, industry event, conference or other songwriting-related happening,
drop me a line
and I'll include it.
Eventually, the list will appear as events on longisland.com, but the current "Add an Event" script won't accept recurring (i.e. weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc.) events. I've been told that revisions may be made to the script, but in the meantime you can access the list by