Humor Me

It’s been awhile, ladies and gents, but get prepared for a summer of impulsive decisions, Manhattan humidity, and a lot of great music. Sunday was another spectacular night down by the Bowery with our hosts, John Arthur Greene and Ryan Vona. Special guest appearance by The Poet in New York host Nikhil Melnechuk, who slipped a little culture into our well-curated jam sesh. If you’re not familiar, Bowery Poetry Club’s weekly competition is a good excuse to drink on Mondays and listen to some sweet lines backed by a jazz improv trio.

Sunday’s “This is Your Song” was an absolute blast. It is a rare stroke of luck when hosts, audience, and venue manage to build a space like this–a modern-day salon-meets-cabaret, comfortable and stimulating at the same time. This month everyone was the Piano Man–or the Piano Woman, I should say. The winner of this month’s little competition? Ellen Winter, an Ingrid Michaelson-esque bespectacled beltress. She played up the humor in a fresh piece with powerful vocals, soulful piano, and lyrics that made you step back a moment. I’ve never heard the words, “I feel fuckin’ stupid, I feel fuckin’ dumb,” sound so classed-up. Check out her Soundcloud–I promise you won’t be disappointed. Each song will need your full attention to get through the clever lyrics and vocal acrobatics.

Funny was definitely the theme for the night, from a rainy day pick-me-up courtesy of Ryan Vona, to a cheeky boudoir ballad from UK visitor Patrick Black. Black strolled in, Peaky Blinders cap and all, to give us a taste of Birmingham snark, and my Jersey roots found a comic kindred spirit with all the tongue-in-cheek rapid-fire commentary I’d missed from the Old Country.

pat black

Patrick Black, bringing it home. Photo credit to Judy Gu.

Now, Bowery Poetry’s the kind of place where you really have to stick around to find the after party, especially on a Sunday night. But the vagrants trudged on, determined to dissect the ideal length of a comedic tune and the difference between a New York joke and a Philly wisecrack. All in all? Best night I’ve had in quite a while. Friends, fellas, I’ll see you next month.


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