Open Mic Night at Politics & Prose

evan mills

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Politics and Prose is a well-established caffeine and literary landmark in the Chevy Chase neighborhood of Northwest Washington. Every once in a while I step in to browse the books and sip the coffee. But I was surprised one brisk Friday afternoon to stumble upon a gathering of folks not typical to what you expect in the District. Well, at least in the atmospheric heights of upper Northwest; where the urban bustle and eccentricity of the rest of the city seems so painfully far away.

I wasn’t expecting what I found. In fact, I was even a little annoyed as I stepped over the backpacks, travelling sacks and assorted luggage items scattered along the walkway between tables. But as I trapezed along the cluttered aisle, I noticed that there was an unusually large amount of people accompanying these items, and that I was stepping over an unusually plentiful collection of musical equipment.

So at this point I began to realize that I had found what I have been looking for in DC ever since I transferred to American University from New Orleans: an amateur folk and bluegrass open mic night. I know DC has a long and rich musical history and that there are many hole-in-the-wall music venues to be discovered throughout the city; but finding such a chilled out musical gathering can be hard.

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It turns out Politics and Prose holds open mic night every Friday evening in its coffee shop downstairs called Modern Times, and some of the performers I saw were very impressive and entertaining. There were the college cover artists, the slightly older bluegrass jammers, the lonely, soulful song crafters, and even a crazy old guy who played the banjo and managed to sneak his fingerpickin’ into everybody else’s set.

Personally, I love singer-songwriters and acoustic jams. I was really impressed by the talent I saw at Politics and Prose. So next time you don’t feel like travelling all the way to U street NW or H street NE, or dropping $20 to get through the door of your typical Dupont club, check out open mic night at Politics and Prose.

For more information, check out the page on Modern Times Coffeehouse’s website.