Laptop + Open Mic = ????

Every city has an open mic night, so why shouldn’t today’s electronic musicians take advantage of it?

Every city has an open mic night, so why shouldn’t today’s electronic musicians take advantage of it?

I used to play live music, but I wasn’t exactly the stool-sitting, guitar-strumming type you’d find at an open mic. (I could be wrong, I don’t know what variety you see at an open mic nowadays.) Recently the music I’ve been creating has been on the Mac using GarageBand, Audacity, sound loops, etc… Does that make me any less of a musician? Why shouldn’t I perform for people?

So my idea is this: Show up at an open mic night, plug in the laptop, and start playing my songs. I have no idea what the crowd reaction would be, which is what makes the idea interesting. Sure the “playing” might only consist of clicking a mouse, but still, it’s music, right?

I can see this going in a whole nother direction as well. We all know that sometimes to entertain you must annoy (some would even say torture) the audience. So I suggest this twist, show up, connect the laptop, and just start a drum loop. Let that play for as long as possible (until they throw you off, cut the P.A., etc.) and for good measure, you will need some friends in the audience, who at first are unsure (obviously they should pretend to not know you) but a few minutes into your drum loop solo, they should start to go nuts, screaming “yeah!” and “owww!” and if possible, getting up and dancing.

Anyway, if you guys want to be the crowd, I’ll bring the laptop…

6 replies on “Laptop + Open Mic = ????”

I think it’s worth a shot.

I remember the keynote when garageband was first introduced. John Mayer was onstage playing, basically suggesting you could use drum loops from GB as your backup band… (and if he had this as a teenager he never would’ve left his room — since it’s so much cooler than playing over records).

I’ve seen people bring in CD playings and press play at open mics, and found it kind of lame. A large part of what makes open mics interesting to watch, despite the prevalence of awful music, is the excitement of live performance, in which even the performer isn’t entire sure how it will sound. That’s lost in pre-recorded music.

That said, I have been involved in “songwriter clubs” which are like open mics, but restricted to original compositions, with discussion of the process in addition to listening to the music. I think pre-recorded material works better there, because the emphasis is less on the performance and more on songwriting.

The drum loop thing sounds like a whole different story.

Hmmm, I can see playing a drum background electronically, and then jamming along with a guitar. Although for maximum (comedic) effect I’d just hit a single power chord every 2 minutes.

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