Fans of Beth Achenbach’s monthly series Ladies on the Mic, often held at Made With Love Café in Jersey City, will be familiar with the irreverent poets and spoken word artists who typically grace the stage with their witty and whimsical wordscapes.
But for those who may want a little music to backdrop their poetry, Ladies on the Mic might not hit the spot. So, this month on Saturday, Sept. 18, Achenbach will present Women That Rock, a concert featuring a line up five live musical acts whose musical stylings draw from the rock, hip-hop, and R&B musical genres.
The show, which will be headlined by the duo Aster Pheonyx, will also include high energy performances by Angela Kariotis, vocalist/guitarist Karen Davis, and the nine year old phenom Katja Larssen.
“There’s going to be some rock, as in rock ‘n’ roll. But some of the women are just people who I think rock,” said Achenbach.
The open mic series has helped several local acts build a fanbase and, said Achenbach, has encouraged artists to break through such personal boundaries.
“The whole point of these events [Ladies on the Mic and Women That Rock],” said Achenbach, “is to showcase these people who might not have too many opportunities to perform in public. There are people who say, ‘Well, I’ve always written stuff, but I’ve never performed it in public.’ So, I’ll invite them to some of our smaller open mic events. And when they hear the response from an audience, afterwards, they're like, ‘I’m so glad I did it.’ ”
A number of acts who first made their stage debut at Ladies on the Mic have since gone on to perform at Groove on Grove, the live concert series held each summer in Grove Plaza, and the annual Artist Studio Tour. And a handful of artists who have met over the Mic have since collaborated for subsequent concerts, noted Achenbach, a professional photographer who produces Ladies on the Mic and now Women That Rock.
In fact, Ladies on the Mic grew out of her own need for collaboration with others artists. In preparation for one of her own photography exhibits at Made With Love, Achenbach organized a poetry reading at the café, she said, “as a way to bring more people in.”
The evening was such a success that she has continued to organize the open mic shows.
“I just like bringing people together.”
Women That Rock, co-hosted by Art House Productions, will be performed from 3 to 5:30 p.m. at 1 McWilliams Place, near Hamilton Park.
E-mail E. Assata Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.