Recently in rants Category

Why Wasn't My Comment Posted?

Perhaps you've recently posted a comment or two -- or perhaps you've posted many over time -- that have never made it onto the listing page.

The most common reason, lately, is this:

Anonymous comments slamming hosts, open mikes, venues, other performers, etc. will not be published. *

They'll be ignored, perhaps ridiculed.

This is not to say anything at all is allowed if you're signing your name; but if you're going to be criticizing others, you'll at least need to stand by your words.

It's only fair.

And no, this does not apply to the vast majority of the site's users. So please don't worry too much about this notice. If you cared enough to read this in the first place, thanks for your contributions to and interest in

* Actually, comments attacking other performers are unwelcome under any circumstances.

Policy Change


I've gotten more and more submissions in the last year for pay-to-play open mikes. I'm not talking about venues where there's a cover or minimum for everyone — that's an interesting argument to have (see the many listings here where that very argument goes on), but I don't see it as particularly preying on people desperate to perform.

On the other hand: a $20 performer's entrance fee? $5 to sign up? Those need to be deleted, and new ones will not be accepted. exists for the benefit of the performers, first, last and always. And this crap in no way helps musicians, poets or other artists.

I'm not immediately going through all 2,000+ listings — let me know if you see one that's still here, and I'll take it down.

(Comedy open mikes are excepted from this rule, as this would otherwise eliminate a huge chunk of the listings.)

Annoying Open Mike behaviors


Instar Music News: The Best and The Worst of Open Mics

I've shared so many of these annoyances... or perhaps caused them.

Venting re: grammar

Proof-read one too many user comments today. Mind if I vent just a bit?

It's "clique", not "click", when you don't know the other performers as well as they seem to know each other. Also, the world is not high school. Feel free to sit at the popular table if you want.

"Chill" is a verb, or a noun. Speaking of high school, have you seen Mean Girls? Remember when that girl kept describing things as "fetch"? That's how "chill", as an adjective, will sound in about six months.

And please, let's all re-read Bob's Quick Guide to the Apostrophe.

The other side of the sign-up sheet

Marissa "Con Gusto" Meizel's Open Mic Ranting definitely merits a look. I'm definitely all for a "tuning for longer than 30 seconds counts as a song" rule.

12. ACTING LIKE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS NOT THE SAME AS KNOWING WHAT YOU ARE DOING. ... I am talking about getting onstage, throwing a fit about the sound or your mic, or whatnot... and then being out of tune or off-key.

And remembering the last time I hosted a night, if you're one of the "hang out outside, run in for my set, then leave" types, damn right I'd remember you next week and slot you dead last.

Maybe everyone should host an open mike for a few weeks, just to gain some perspective on what the horrible, mean ol' host is dealing with.

Addresses, please

A quick note / plea to submitters -- it really, really helps if you leave a correct email address when submitting. I frequently (read: several times a week) need to ask a follow-up question or two before adding your submission. If I can't get hold of you, and there's not enough info to go on, your night never gets posted.

For example, if the person who submitted Sarah's Cafe in Lancaster, PA happens to see this, drop me a line -- I need to know some specifics about the schedule there.

Which brings up another helpful point -- if the only schedule information you have is "call for dates" or "check the web site", I can't add you to our listings. No dates means you never show up on the calendar, so there's not much point in adding the night (about 90% of our visits are to the calendar).

The old days

When I talk about starting this site partially out of memories of great open mike nights from the past, I'm mostly thinking of John Soler's open mike, long ago, at the Cactus Cantina on South Beach. Just found an archive of an old New Times article about that very thing...

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