The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Online Open Mic

By Julene McCoy in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 21, 2005 3:23PM

Chicagoist doesn’t drive that much (even less since we lost our car keys) so we aren't hip to what’s going on in the world of radio and specifically on NPR. When we heard that Recent Photo had been chosen as a featured song on The All Songs Considered’s Open Mic, we decided to check out what it was.

All Songs Considered began because people kept writing in to find out what music was being played on the program All Things Considered. The online Open Mic exists for independent, unsigned or self-produced musicians to share their songs with NPR’s listeners. Each week hundreds of submissions arrive and six are chosen as features in the Open Mic area. Since listening to music is very subjective, NPR allows listeners to rate the songs so that the musicians can get some feedback.

Recent Photo’s “Too Odd to Be a Star” is up for review this week. Each artist is asked to write a blurb about what their song is about and following is Derek Wu’s take:

“This is an ode to oddballs. A major inspiration was seeing an off-kilter open mic performance by an older fellow doing reenactments of Laurel & Hardy skits and vintage movie scenes – by himself. The tune also salutes open mic nights, like that one, which encourage the would-be Tiny Tims and Devoes of the world to strut their stuff. A friend told me it sounds like an ‘After School Special’ theme, which is appropriate because the song is directed to everyone, even seemingly ‘normal’ people who keep their delightfully eccentric tendencies under wraps. It’s the cheery closing track (arguably a bonus track) on an album that explores evil with a mixture of serious, haunting, frivolous, and cheeky pop songs.”

A song about open mics being featured on NPR’s Open Mic – now that’s meta. Go check out the songs and get your rate on. Especially let Recent Photo know what you think about “Too Odd To Be A Star” before it goes into the archives on Wednesday.