After my last post, I bet you thought I was going to admit to a different escape. For a lunchtime break or after a day of housecleaning, I head there in hopes of finding a great vintage record or some other unique treasure.
I did pretty well the other day and snatched up a couple of 60's vinyl beauties:
Simon & Garfunkle's Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme and Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant.
I must have been a preteen when I first heard Arlo Guthrie's endearingly tinty voice sing that chorus. "You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant." And on and on he sings with the audience joining in.
Side one is 16 minutes of Arlo telling a story in a down-home, folksy, bluesey humorous style about the irony of it being unlawful to litter, (accidentally of course) but OK to shoot people up in war. It's your classic Anti-Vietnam War protest song in the height of the 60's counter-culture peace movement.
Later that week, hubby and I drove up to Northwood to Harold's Coffee Lounge for a 2014 version of an artsy gathering.
'Lyrical Ink' meets once a month for an open mic and a special artist showcase.
The evening wasn't far from 1969 and Arlo's event. Everyone sang along to songs they knew. There was an awesome DJ that followed every act with the perfect song. We heard several Spoken Word offerings about unrequited love, race conflict and faith.
Jeanette, who hosts the show is a natural Master of Ceremonies with an adorable personality.
She is a gifted Spoken Word artist, too, presenting several of her own pieces to celebrate her birthday. Loved her vulnerable Scars. Her scathing lyric about being used as a tool by the object of her affection to help him hook up with her best friend was an acerbic masterpiece.
Then there was this teenage girl, whose hair reminded me of Princess Elsa's in Frozen, who recited her poetry for the first time. She spoke it to her boyfriend in the audience. (Awe!)
I was expecting "you and me, happy as can be," lyrics, but she was a true wordsmith and amazed us all at her premier reading.
There was a flute/keyboard/dejimbe latin-jazz combo doing Besame Mucho and a ringer on his way back to Manhattan who serenaded us in french, fairly taking us up into the hovering clouds, with his Autumn Leaves on exquisitely played guitar.
Lyrical Ink felt a lot like how I imagine Alice's Restaurant may have 40 years ago. It was a lush garden of syllables and meter and song.
We were a bunch of community artists sharing their lives through melody and words.
You should come next month. It happens the third Friday of every month. Share your gift on the open mic, in the open air. Laugh and enjoy the local talent.
One of the presenters may end up with a project and musical legacy as enduring as Guthrie's and Garfunkle's.
You never know.