I complained in a column in our Cheers magazine several months ago about the decades-long dearth of live entertainment in Old Pasadena. Yes, the British Invasion-inspired young rock band playing Zep covers in the Old Towne Pub was fine — and it was the only game in town that night, along with a sax man at Red, White and Bluezz.
Otherwise it was all canned.
Pasadenan Monica Lee Copeland, pictured above, and cohorts are out to change all that in a new monthly performance series called Indelible Ink at POP, the champagne (and sliders and deviled eggs and dessert) bar at 33 E. Union St.
Tuesday night’s lineup was a revelation. This isn’t just live entertainment — it’s an eclectic melange that, finally, gives going out on a weekday evening in Pasadena a good name. Music, spoken word, dance, the indescribably in-between — what a night. Plus, unlike so many open-mike evenings down at the corner bar, this was ridiculously professional. Not only was there not a lull between acts — they had actually rehearsed it, with one performer seamlessly following another onto the small stage.
Singer Eric Schwartz, below, started out — he’s a funny guy, primarily, and a good guitarist as well — he recently won the top award from a national comic-songwriting competition for his tune about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky with an unprintable title.
Then San Diego rapping poet Gill S.O.T.U, also below, who knows all his verse by heart and gave a strong performance.
Then Monica herself, a former national champeen of the slam poetry style that she helped create.
Then belly dancer-plus Jennifer Tehani Sarreal, also below, beating the pants off as it were your average Middle Eastern feast show.
Monica performed again, as did poets Swil Kanim and Taffy Wallace.
The audience was enthralled throughout, and properly so.
May this beat go on forever. And it will go on for now for sure, last Tuesdays of every month excepting December, beginning around 6:30 p.m. Go to www.indelibleink.net for ticket information.