NOTE: All time postings on this blog entry will be in MST (Minority Standard Time)
I start the day by seeing the sunrise over the city which is not an altogether unfamiliar sight for me but it usually means that I best get to sleep. I am at work all kinds of early and doing my thing like a proper trooper since I want to leave for Acentos with plenty of time to spare. Todo bien, right? Sure but then one thing leads to another at the jay.oh.bee and I can’t get out when I wanted to. No worries. A lil late is par for the course with me.
It’s about 6:30 MST when I get word that we don’t have a PA system. No worries. In fact, it helps me out cuz Fish comes out to help me with our emergency backup system. Now I’m back on regular time!
7:00 MST finds us at the Bruckner Bar & Grill with our usual low turn out in the early part of the night. Ok, this shit falls dead on my shoulders. I like to try to start the reading with some folks in the crowd and that mean that I will sacrifice punctuality in the name of entertainment. Sue a brother!
7:30 MST Barbara Jane reminds me that it’s Neruda’s birthday and I start plotting from that point. The last Acentos saw me put up a new voice in the lead off spot and with all the music from the competing party and such, I don’t think he got the best end of the deal. Again, I fucked up but as long as people keep visiting us I know that I can make reparations for just about any offense. Back to the ranch, Maria Nieves kindly agrees to kick off the night with a Neruda poem. This is a real blessing as we can pay Pablo tribute, drop some Español on the peeps and let a veteran voice warm up the spot. Aight… let’s do this!
8:15 MST A nice size Open Mic that is chock full of ladies (nice!) and a mix of vets and returning faces but not too many new names (boo! hiss!). Things are running pretty smooth and my hosting is going well except for the fact that I am squeezing every last drop out of every intro and announcement due to the fact that we have no feature as of yet. Yep. Closing in on the end of the open mic and we may just be in reading series hell. At one point, I go off on a rather dumb math tangent to mix it up with the crowd. Note to self: Poets don’t really vibe well with Calculus terms.
Now this isn’t the first time I’ve been in this quandary. A couple of features have strolled in on mega MST so I’m kinda used to it. I mean what else to do? Scour the Bronx for them? Bring in the cops? Call Ghostbusters?
8:30 MST This is when the Open Mic is supposed to always end but rarely does. Irony can be really ironic, y’all. I call for the break and go to chill outside. Rich and Fish are on full—What are we gonna do?! mode. AMBER ALERT! And my reflexive attitude says, We gonna chill and wait. Man, I am walking with a serial killer’s conscious at this point. Acting like there aint a damn thing wrong in the world. Marty wonders why the break is going on for so long. “Feature aint here yet.” But you kept talking about him on the mic like he was here. “Yep.”
8:45 MST This is the official call time for the feature to be at the spot and I am getting really worried at this point so, of course, I start cracking wise. I’m joking that we are very close to having either Mateo Carlos or Rogelio as a feature when Rigoberto strolls by. Another bullet for me to take as he has an email in hand with the old address but mea culpas will have to wait as Rigoberto is ready to read.
9:30 MST Actually, 9:30 real time. Show ends on time with Rigoberto rocking out. Not only did he drop a hot set but it only took him five minutes to feel the whole Acentos vibe, calling for not just minority themed readings but for work that can handle the Anglo brush off.
“It’s a good poem for a Latino. No, it’s a good poem, period.”
For the record, Rigoberto is a man of his word. He was one of the easiest bookings I have ever put together. I approached him humbly (That inside joke is for the songbird) and he was a gentleman throughout. Sure there was one major fuck up but that’s what it made perfect.
So Amber Alert quickly dissipated as the band came back together with a plethora of inside jokes shared over beer and cola.
Tune in next time to see what else can happen…