BEST OPEN-MIC NIGHT - 2005
The Saturday night after the presidential election, we were in need of a soul-balm. We needed to be with people. Not even people we knew or people just like us, just people. So we had a cookie and a cup of coffee and went to the Southern at midnight and saw a couple of guys do a scary-spare version of U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday"; a state representative read a timely poem about baseball (!); a local newspaper writer do a naked-voiced version of a Leonard Cohen song; and a first-timer do a bit of death-metal karaoke performance art that was easily the highlight of the morning. We left before it was over, but we'll be back, because Leslie Ball's heroic stage is always full of shudders, shivers, and surprises, which is why Balls is our fave open-mic for the second year running.