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On Scene

Margaret Hair

Open mic at Mahogany

— On Monday night, the open mic at Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill had the kind of array of acts that makes that kind of event worth going to.

Some were established as performing musicians (like a set from Holden Young Trio’s Billy Franklin and Eric Rolls), and some were just plain good (a harmonica and guitar duo that did originals and covers).

What sets an open mic apart from a regular show, though, is the chance to see anyone do anything. Whether it’s good or not, every act has the added bonus of knowing it’s OK to put anything out there for the audience. Sometimes that results in unique solo performances – for example, I watched someone perform the same two songs every Sunday for two and a half years back home.

Sometimes it results in a bunch of people jumping on stage at once to jam. All of it’s good. The regulars work their way into your favor, and the spontaneity makes it worth going back each week.

Other Side of Clearview

You have to hand it to them, it is kind of impressive for a band to even think of playing standard jazz and covering Rage Against the Machine in the same night.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you should do it.

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For the most part, Other Side of Clearview’s Oct. 6 set at Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill showed that the band needs to focus its influences a bit – instead of caving to a drummer who maybe really likes Tool, another member with some jazz training and another who leans toward mainstream rock, it’s almost always works better to use what you can of each style and leave the rest behind.