Project I AM
August 18, 2004
Open Mic, Bremen Cafe
Ah, open mics. The first step on the road to Hope. The last undiscovered country of music where the talentless mingle with the criminally undiscovered.
Thursday, August 19,2004 saw an open mic at the Bremen Cafe, located at the coner of E. Clarke and Bremen in Milwaukee, a nice little place with great food and all the Newcastle Brown Ale a dark-beer-drinking singer needs to oil his pipes prior to setting the room either on fire or running for the exits. On this night, there was a purpose afoot, for this was the humble debut of four performers appearing under the banner of Project I AM, a new and exciting venture put forth in the hope of forming a front of support for musicians, artists and the chronically creative in Milwaukee and the surrounding area. Thanks to the quick thinking of project founder, Eric Kulwicki, the four performers started off the open mic in the first four spots on the bill.
First up was Kulwicki, starting off the evening by bringing a post-grunge aesthetic forward with his three strong songs. Kulwicki's voice was revealed as a distinct surprise. It is hoped that his tasks as a leader will not keep him off the stage in a role that seems to come naturally to him.
The second act was some nameless hack who missed several chords on his acoustic guitar and bellowed histrionically with his eyes closed, causing the breakage of several beer glasses, one stained-glass window and - in the unkindest cut of all- an ovary belonging to a poor, unfortunate college girl in the back of the cafe who was innocently surfing the internet at the time. The audience applauded as he quickly exited the stage amidst a hail of sandwich baskets, balled-up paper towels and rotting peppers.
Next up was Craig Stoneman, whose daring chord choices highlighted songs of great humor and keen observation. Instrumentally, Stoneman showed himself to be the strongest of the four acts, easily gliding up and down the bridge with ease. His third song, which lamented the absense of actual music on MTV, deserves to be repeated.
Thankfully, the project saved the best for last. Jennifer (last name still withheld; why is that?) took the stage, Stratocaster in hand, and left the crowd wanting more with her sole performance, an original composition called "Sorrow". Emotion exuded from every note from her mouth. Nervous due to being a piano player first and a guitar player second, Jennifer was both relieved and deservedly pleased as she left the stage.
It is hoped that Project I AM will be blowing through another venue in the very near future for more performances like this one. Stay Tuned..........