Thursday, May 16th, 2013...10:11 pm

Open Mic… where’s the music?

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Open Mic

Just the other day, my friend invited me to her a cappella performance at a Queens College open mic located in the amphitheatre.  I’ve walked through that deserted space a million times, always hoping that I would one day be able to go to a performance there!  I had been told, though, that due to constant airplane noise above, the school – mainly the drama and music departments – neglected the space.  So, what was my response to my friend when she asked for my presence?  Hell yeah!

The event was sponsored by QC Students Without Borders, a chapter of a larger “anti-imperialist and anti-fascist grassroots political organization. [They] are a multi-national united front that works towards promoting dialogue and placing a strong emphasis on collective action for social justice.”  Okay, so far I’m game.  It’s an amazing thing when people of different nations and opinions can come together and share their art, poetry, music, etc.  But, most of what I saw tonight was far from that.

Maybe I’m too close-minded.  Maybe I just can’t see the beauty in rap, spoken word, and art.  All but a few of the performances were fast raps or spoken word poems, criticizing society and “the man.”  I didn’t know that the United States of America was imperialist and/or fascist – what is all this babbling about?  An American flag was displayed upside down as graffiti “artists” painted over its Cousin Violet - Downton Abbeystars.  The constant complaining of things “not being handed to me on a plate” was repetitive, and quite honestly, cliché!  We are a group of students in college: instead of complaining about the means you have come from, make something of yourself now and rise up!  As cousin Violet says on Downton Abbey, “You are a woman [or a man] with a brain and reasonable ability.  Stop whining and find something to do!”  Pent up energy and hatred is a waste, and if it weren’t for the fact that I went to support a friend, I would have left moments after getting there (if not for the tiresome “music,” the cigarette and marijuana smoke).

The group that I did go and support, temporarily named the Treble Alliance, did a fantastic job.  Feeling extremely out of place among rappers and people shouting about the “March for Marijuana,” they really pulled through.  Afterwards, a member of the group, Corina Antonucci, got up and sang a cover of Bon Iver’s Skinny Love (below is a video of her cover).  If only the rest of the event was of this caliber!

Marina B. Nebro

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