Hopvine’s Open Mic Night – First Impressions

Okay, so I’m really spoiled when it comes to open mics.  I know that not every stage is going to be like the dedicated music room at Chicago’s Uncommon Ground with a captive audience and great sound system.  But that’s what I’ve gotten used to, so I just want to fess up to that upfront.

That being said, the open mic at Hopvine – just a few blocks from where I’m staying in Seattle – was a good place to pop my SeattleOpenMic cherry, if you will (and you will).  First off, I really like this bar – I’ve already been here a couple times for drinks and food.  Open mic night was pretty casual and lo-fi, the host was really friendly but kinda aloof.  Overall the talent level was good (I’m not trying to be a snob, I’m just being real that an open mic with really bad musicians is a special kind of hell).  It was a good vibe – seemed like the kind of gig where most of the people there are either regulars or friends of people who work there so it had a nice communal feel… at least abstractly.

Playing was easy.  The hard part came afterward, trying to meet some people and make some friends.  Of course it’s a million times easier when people come up to me and start up a conversation, as Colin & Amy did right after I played.  Thanks for the heads up about Chicago style hot dogs at Shorty’s complete with neon green relish – I foresee that knowledge leading to my salvation some homesick rainy day this fall!  Also big shout-outs to Alex, Shadi, and Zora – talking with them about bizarre Northwest phenomena and cool places to go in Ballard was my favorite part of the night.  Clearly good people.  Hope to see you guys at the Tractor Tavern sometime soon, that place sounds amazing!  But maybe don’t bring your friend Emily – I don’t know if I can handle her TMI moments, if you know what I mean…  😉

Final Verdict:  You’ll see me again next week Hopvine.  I mean, I can WALK there, and the beer list is awesome.  See you next week,




    But really, what’s with Seattle having similar-sounding places as Chicago?? Double Door/Triple Door….. Hopleaf/Hopvine…. Come on now! Who’s copying who?? Next post better be about an exclusively Seattlean (Seattlian? Seattleite?) location!!

    • haha yeah it’s been kinda bizarre… I mean, Chicago came first right? as a city? so I think the answer is clear.

      Heading to a show at The Crocodile tonight, and cannot think of any reptile-themed clubs in Chicago. Damn, just thought of the Cobra Lounge. but that’s a stretch….

  2. I enjoyed the Tractor when I was out there. It’s the venue of choice when my friend Anne comes to Seattle to play.

    • hey thanks for the comment buddy! Yeah I drove past it once and was like “THERE! There is where i need to go!”

  3. – Joy, I’m excited to have found your wtbsiee again! I followed you on xanga and never knew what happened to you after you got married. As always, beautiful work!