Only in the Bay Area would a flier for an open mic ask you to bring your “creativity, songs of struggle and resistance, victory songs, revolutionary chants, rituals, prayers, and other random poems, songs, and thoughts.” Whatever happened to just bringing your notebook and a guitar? Some weeks at Mango Mic, when just ten people show up and sit in a circle, the atmosphere is laid-back. But other weeks, it really does feel like a revolution is taking place when a hundred people converge on Pusod, a Filipino-American arts and ecology space, because the theme for the open mic is “Christopher Columbus to George W. Bush: Five Hundred Years of Invasion and War.” Mango Mic is run by Ching-In Chen, a poet and community organizer, who took over in 2001 and got rid of the ridiculously unimaginative original name; Asian American Open Mic. The monthly event is especially important for East Bay Asian Americans because most Asian-American art events take place in the city. Check out Mango Mic the second Saturday of every month.
Berkeley Slam at the Starry Plough