Friday Night – The Astoria @
I particularly enjoyed the open mic at Avogadro’s Number last night. We had several really good musicians playing 20-minute sets, including two ladies who will be playing longer sets as part of the 2013 FoCoMX local music festival in a few weeks. The first of these ladies to play was Tara Keith, who performed a few songs for use with her friend Chris. According to the FoCoMX website’s bio and Tara’s own website bio, Tara Keith has been a Canadian Idol finalist and a Berklee School Of Music scholarship candidate, and of course she also won the Emerging Talent Competition that sent her to sing as a headliner for GRAMMY week’s 3rd Annual Social Media Rockstars Summit. I did not get a chance last night to chat with Tara for long, so I can only guess how she wound up here in Fort Collins, but I’d imagine she was at the open mic last night as a chance to run through a few songs in the course of her preparations for her FoCoMX show. I know I’ve heard of Tara before from someone else in the local music scene, though I can’t remember from whom; in any case they were right about her being quite talented. The songs she sang last night were more along the lines of contemporary country, but her voice channels as much Norah Jones and Ella Fitzgerald as Trisha Yearwood and Faith Hill.
Saturday Night – Bizarre Bazaar @
According to the FoCoMX website’s bio, “Elyse Miller is powerfully provocative, mischievous, and irreverent, as she candidly questions society’s norms and challenges her audience to find their own answers.” Elyse is best known in my corner of the local music world as the sound-person for Avogadro’s Number, and thus the gal who sets up the stage every Tuesday for the open mic shows. She doesn’t always play any music herself, of course, at these open mic shows, but every so often we run out of performers before the show officially is scheduled to end, so that there is an open stage, and sometimes even still a few audience members left, and for these lucky few Elyse has occasionally pulled out a guitar and played through a few of her songs. For the rest of Fort Collins, who are generally not hanging out at the tail end of an open mic on those Tuesdays, Elyse will actually be performing a whole show of her own at FoCoMX, with someone else running the sound and lights while she plays her guitar and sings. Her songs seem to feature quirky, edgy and challenging lyrics, delivered in a voice that reminds me of 20’s cabaret singers, though I’d imagine there are quite a few other styles I have yet to hear from Elyse, seeing as I have only heard a few songs so far.