July 27, 2008

The Cleveland Shuffle...

Okay, personal blog entry here.  I know I don't do many of these.  So much of my life is tied up with Poet's Haven related stuff, that the promo posts pretty much sum up what I've got going on.  But when I have a weekend night that isn't tied up with open-mic stuff or website work (and you'll soon be seeing a promo post about why I can say website work is tying up a chunk of my time right now), I try to go out and have fun.  Whether this is seeing a band play somewhere, going to a movie, or just hanging out in a club with a DJ spinning dance music, I like to go do something.

This past Saturday, I went to a dance-party-slash-boat-ride on the Goodtime III.  (This was after spending Saturday afternoon zipping around Cleveland distributing fliers for the August 23 open-mic.)  The boat has three levels.  The lower level had a band playing.  They were okay, pretty good when they covered blues tunes but not so hot when they covered 70's and 80's disco dance music.  The top level was just for hanging out.  The middle level was a dance club.  The DJ was okay, though I was slightly annoyed when he started repeating songs during a short 2-hour trip.  Okay, Justin Timberlake's "Sexy Back" twice I could see, its still a hot dance song, but playing Rick Springfield's "Jesse's Girl" three times?  Anyways...

Now let me tell you about the Cleveland Shuffle...

About half-way through the trip, the DJ spun the Cleveland Shuffle.  (Or would it be clicked, in this day and age of using a laptop with MP3s instead of vinyl or CDs?)  Every time I'm somewhere, be it club or concert, if the Cleveland Shuffle comes on, there will be a fight.  EVERY TIME!

My new-year's eve, I got to experience mace.  I went to a club with a hard-rock/metal band playing.  After the ball-drop, the band took a break and the club's DJ started spinning tunes from the likes of Snoop Dogg and the aforementioned Timberlake.  Not quite the music that the crowd that was there for the rock band was expecting, but nobody complained.  Hell, there was even a few hot chicks dancing on the bar.  Then the DJ turned on the Cleveland Shuffle.  Two minutes into it, the fight broke out.  Some drunk dude said something stupid to another drunk dude, and fists started flying.  One of the guys got shoved into the bar, knocking one of the hot chicks down, smacking her face as she fell.  These guys were right in front of the entrance.  The club security reacted quickly, spraying them both with mace and kicking them out of the bar, and I imagine into the custody of the police who were sitting in the parking lot most of the night.  Problem was, there was now a cloud of mace filling the bar, and I was trapped on the other side of it.  I finally pulled my shirt up over my face and darted through, out to the smoker's patio for the fresh air (that's funny, coming from a staunch NON-smoker).  That was my new year's.

Couple months go by, then I'm out with some friends at another bar.  There was a DJ playing music for people to dance to, nothing big.  The DJ played the Cleveland Shuffle.  Five minutes after the end of the song, two drunk women start trying to pull each other's hair out.  A bartender and the bouncer at the door quickly separated them and kicked one out, then the other once the first was gone.  Hey, it's drunk people on a Saturday night, nothing unusual, but still, it was right after the Cleveland Shuffle.  This is just a goofy dance song where the lyrics are the steps for the dance.  You think if people were gonna fight, it would be during something with violent lyrics or something fast and heavy.

So there I am Saturday night and the DJ spins/clicks the Cleveland Shuffle.  My eyes go wide, and I have to get as far away from the dance floor as possible.  Nothing happens.  Hey, okay, it's all good, right?

An hour later, the party's over and everyone's getting off the boat.  And that's where the fight was starting.  From what I could see, it looked like two drunk women starting it, and then their boyfriends getting involved too.  Cleveland police were there, and separated the two groups, friends of the people fighting also helped keep them separated, and then a bunch of guys from the boat's staff came out and assisted the police.  Drunk people on a Saturday night, whaddya expect?  One side got driven off by their DD, the other side got put in a cab and sent on their way.

This is the third time I've witnessed a fight start somewhere this year, and all three times it's been somewhere where they played the Cleveland Shuffle.  So here's what I'm calling for:  All clubs and bars in north-east Ohio (or at least the ones I visit) should put a moratorium on playing the Cleveland Shuffle!  Despite the innocent nature of the song, it must have some sort of subliminal messages, if every time I hear it I then get to witness violence.

And now it's Monday, time to start another lousy work week...  Ugh...  G'nite all.


July 13, 2008

What Y'all Missed!

You know, not everything that goes on at a live Poet's Haven open-mic event gets to go in the podcast...

Last night's open-mic included an amazing reading by T.M. Göttl, an amazing performance by Mike and Abe of Split Pea/ce, and amazing readings by La Princesse de L'amour, Elizabeth Hendricks, and Mello (a poet featured in episode four, except I fucked up his name; I'll post about that soon enough).  But that wasn't all.  We were also treated to a surprise concert by John Anderson!  In addition to some of his original songs, he also performed several covers/reinterpretations.  It was a spectacular performance that, sadly, won't all be in the podcast!  You had to have been there!

And you also missed out on me DeeJaying before and after the poetry!  (Well, after was only until the slick DJ VEL arrived and took over.)

A huge THANK YOU to all last night's performers and to Amanda and Ninja Joe for being the street team, handing out fliers at the Lake Anna Arts Festival.

Our next open-mic events will be August 23 at the Phoenix Café in South Euclid, OH, and September 6 at Scribbles Café in Kent, OH.  I'm also working on booking an event in Cleveland on September 20, as well as more open-mics in October, November and December.

As for the podcast, I'm taking a couple days to catch up on some house-work.  My randomly scattered work areas are all being collected together into one nice office area.  No more running between three rooms to go between my primary system, audio system, and hardware workbench.  I'll start putting the next episode together Tuesday or Wednesday, and should still have it ready for downloading by the end of next weekend.  (Okay, I may also be slightly delayed by the new Batman movie, and I'd like to maybe go to the regular monthly poetry night at Lake Anna After Dark on Saturday...)

Y'all'll be hearing from me soon!


July 9, 2008

SCENE MAGAZINE!!! (And Please Note Corrections...)

Hey, everybody!!!  (Or at least everybody in north-east Ohio...)

Make sure you pick up this week's issue of Scene Magazine.  The Poet's Haven gets plugged on page 15!!!


The Poet's Haven is not doing monthly open-mics at Lake Anna After Dark.  Our open-mics are traveling all over north-east Ohio.  Lake Anna After Dark DOES have a regular monthly open-mic, produced by a woman named Nadelaine.  July's regular poetry night at After Dark will be July 19.  The Poet's Haven will be back at Lake Anna After Dark for another one of our recorded open-mics in October or November.  I may also be promoting some other events at this club.  Nadelaine can be contacted on MySpace at:

The DRESS CODE for July 12's open-mic is a venue restriction.  No plain t-shirts or hoodies, no ball caps, and no sagging jeans.  The reasons for this dress code are two-fold.  One, the place is a high-class joint.  This is NOT a dive-bar, this is one of the classiest night clubs I've ever visited.  Two, yes, apparently the new way gangs identify themselves is by what color plain t-shirt they are wearing.  While the Lake Anna district of Barberton is definitely not gang territory, nearby Akron has seen a recent resurgence of gang activity.  As a preemptive measure, the venue instituted the dress code.  This is something I have no issues with, as polo golf shirts are easy enough to change into.  It is included on the flier so that everyone can be aware before making the trip to B-town.  (I do not want to hear that poets could not enter the club because they were wearing a plain black tee.)

MATURE THEMES AND ADULT LANGUAGE WILL BE ACCEPTABLE AT THIS EVENT!!!  Anyone who is at all familiar with this website knows I have no problem publishing work that contains words like "fuck," "shit," etc.  Language at our ALL AGES open-mics must be kept within PG-13 boundaries, because the audience is not limited to adults.  Our April 4th open-mic had a 3-year-old in the audience.  The all-ages shows are safe to bring your kids to if you cannot get a babysitter or if they enjoy seeing mom or dad perform on stage.  The July 12 event is 21-AND-OVER.  This is because the event is taking place in a bar, a place that serves alcohol.  Because the audience will be adults-only, there will be no restriction on language or content, within reason.  The content must pass the same guidelines found on this site for text submissions.  Nothing more.  Racism will get you bounced.  Being vulgar just to be vulgar will get your poem cut out of the podcast and might result in you being asked to leave the stage.  Using R-rated words?  Not a problem.

The WEBSITE ADDRESS should have been just www.PoetsHaven.com, but at least I found out about the strange way they listed it soon enough to verify that it would load okay.  So you came right to the forum and not to the home page?  Shouldn't be a problem, the links to navigate the site can be found on the left side of the screen.

Also, the phone number they printed is for the night club.  DO NOT call that number to contact The Poet's Haven.  (My number can be found by clicking Contact Publisher.)


July 12 @ 7:00 PM - Lake Anna After Dark in Barberton, OH  (21+)  Featuring T.M. Göttl and Split Peace
August 23 @ 8:00 PM - Phoenix Coffee Company in South Euclid, OH (east of Cleveland)  (ALL-AGES)
September 6 @ 8:00 PM - Scribbles Coffee Co. in Kent, OH  (ALL-AGES)  Featuring Dakota Kincer and TBA
September 20 - TBA (Cleveland)  (TBA)
Mid-October -  TBA  (ALL-AGES)
October 31 - TBA  (TBA) - Halloween Poetry Bash
November 1 - TBA  (TBA) - Halloween Poetry Bash
Mid-November - TBA  (TBA)
December - TBA  (ALL-AGES)

The Halloween Poetry Bash will be Friday and Saturday nights, one at an ALL-AGES venue, the other at a 21+ venue.  Poets should come in costume, and these open-mics may be released online as a video or videos in addition to the normal audio podcast.

Thank you.


Vertigo Xi'an Xavier
publisher, The Poet's Haven

July 5, 2008

Attention Poets!

Poets!  If you are not able to make it to a live Poet's Haven open-mic event (maybe you live in California or New York, and Ohio's just too far to go at $4 a gallon) you can still read for the Saturday Night With The Poet's Haven podcast.  Just call 1-888-811-0041, introduce yourself, and read your work just like you would at an open-mic.  Its even toll-free (to help with that painful $4 a gallon).