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Platonic Mistress

Platonic Mistress

Mr. Troll’s birthday is January 18th, which means this year it was on a Monday and coincided with the Poor David’s Pub open mic, which is hosted by …wait for it … Mr. Troll. As usual Carlos Sanchez was on sound with Samantha Sanders behind the bar. Poor David and the Mrs. even made an appearance. Again – as per usual – Troll took the “dreaded first slot.”

The regular suspects were in attendance and on the list – myself, Baylis Laramore, Darren Rozell, Tin Man Travis, and John Mason. Joe the Bear and David Lavinette played for the first time. Mike Randolph with his Moog Etherwave Theremin, made his second appearance. Scott Thornton was in the Philippines on an Zen retreat and was unable to make it.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Troll!

Happy Birthday, Mr. Troll!

The featured artist was Platonic Mistress out of Ft. Worth. The trio of Fernando Page, guitarist and instigator, Rob Blevins on bass, and Dylan Rocamontes on drums played in-your-face rock and roll. On their Facebook page, they call it power pop or new wave with stinging alternative rock undertones, but, as Billy Joel said, “it’s still rock and roll to me.” Call it what you want, they did it well.

You can find their music on SoundCloud. At one point, Page told the crowd that he realized his finger was bleeding, and he apologized. Apparently a few days before he had played his fingernail to the quick. But why he apologized – and he apologized at least twice – I’ll never know. No one really noticed it before he said something. And after he mentioned it, it was all we could see. F.Y.I. to performers – don’t apologize – most of the audience will never know.

Regardless of the apologies, Platonic Mistress kept up the groove going and rocked the house. The trio has an undeniable chemistry combined with youthful energy. The singer-songwriters on the list provided an interesting counterpoint of age and wisdom. Not to mention the celebration of Troll’s birthday with two candles on a cookie cake (provided by Samantha) and a rousing Happy Birthday song. The evening ended – as open mics often do – with a jam.

Peace be with you.

Dan at Pig 'n' WhistleBefore I went to the ASCAP conference, I wanted to line up a place to play while I was in LA. While I was checking,  I found that it so happened that  the Pig ‘n’ Whistle on Hollywood Blvd., a block from the hotel, had an open mic on Tuesday night.  Not having any kind of following in LA – other than fans on Reverbnation and Facebook – setting up a solo gig would have proved difficult. So an open mic was my best bet.

But it was good fortune that it was an open mic in a historical building. The Pig ‘n’ Whistle was founded in 1927, next to the Egyptian Theatre where the premiers of movies were shown.  You can imagine the movie stars and celebrities that ate there.  The restaurant  has been restored to its original glory. What is called Backstage or the Back Room is down a hall to the back of the restaurant. There was a bar, but it was only used for parties and special events.

Backstage is a funky little room with an even funkier stage. Which is a good thing. Again, you can imagine the private parties held back there over the years. Cameron and I got there before they had everything set up. I was one of the first people on the list. I prefer to go on after a couple of people or acts to get a feel for the crowd. I shouldn’t have been concerned.

When it came time to start, everyone in the room had to pay $3. Which was new for me. If Dan Roark at Pig'n' Whistle 2there is any charge at an open mic in the Dallas area, it is a request for a drink minimum. But it was also Hollywood  Blvd. – you don’t want just anybody wandering in and hanging out.  The McDonald’s has a security guard and police patrols drop around regularly.

The crowd was made up of mostly performers, although there were a few people there to listen. When the show began, the MC asked for the hands of those who wanted to play. I hesitated, to see how  it went. About three people raised their hands. They were the first three to play – with the order corresponding to the raising of hands. The next time around I raised my hand and played in the second batch of performers.

Dan at Pig 'n' Whistle 3It was an eclectic group of people and performers, to say the least. A man who sang cover tunes a capella – in stops and starts at times.  A girl playing her songs on a ukulele, and not too shabbily. A comedian who apparently calls into the Howard Stern show and had jokes that I’m surprised Stern would appreciate. One of those there to listen was a guy made up like Will Farrell in Semi-Pro. He had been out on Hollywood Blvd. near Grauman’s Chinese Theater, posing for pictures for tips.

When I played my songs, I told them I was from Dallas out for the ASCAP conference, and introduced the songs as I always do. I felt like the veteran of the group. I received a good reception from the audience. We listened to a few more performers after I played – including a blues player with an interesting style – before we headed back to the hotel.

It was a great way to end the first day in LA. It’s a more authentic trip when you get to mingle with local people as a traveler and performer. And the journey had just begun.

Peace be with you.

Micaela White, daughter of Danny White, who graduated with my younger brother, Dennis, and granddaughter of Don and Jan White, who attend my church, Christ UMC, Farmers Branch, is fighting leukemia at age 18. Micaela has been at Children’s Hospital since Christmas and is currently in ICU. This Saturday, March 26th, Danny will be cooking barbeque at Rosemeade Market   from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to raise money for Micaela’s medical expenses. Danny has vowed to cook as much barbeque as he can.

There is an invite on Facebook at the wtwhite.org  group page  where you can RSVP. It will help them to have enough barbeque. If you graduated from W. T. White, particularly during the ‘70’s, come to have barbeque, catch up with people from high school, and help Micaela. If you cannot come out but want to help, donations can be made at any Bank of America location. The account number is 488031763938 and the routing number is 111000025.

Micaela also needs blood and blood products donated to Carter Bloodcare  in her name to support an upcoming bone marrow transplant. Her account information is: Micaela White #050332 Children’s Medical Center Building D Dallas, Texas. Prayers are also needed. The picture of Micaela is from a WFAA news story which has more information on her situation.

Peace be with you.

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