Kevin had spent quite a while trying to find a place to play in Paris and ended up with a couple websites that listed open mic nights and the venues that hosted them. When we went to check one out the first night, we found that it no longer existed. So, oops. Wouldn't be as easy as anticipated.
On our second-to-last night, we went out looking for another one of them and we were actually successful! Here's what Kevin had to say:
The venue was a basement under a bar called the Tennessee Bar (maybe you should leave that out. It doesn't sound very Parisian). There were about twenty people crammed into the tiny space. It was kindof like a cave and the ceiling was really low.
The first guy played all American covers... that I was ashamed I didn't know. And everyone was singing in English, but when they made side comments or introduced themselves it was in really quick slurs of French. There was a girl who played Ukulele. That was pretty sweet. We heard songs by The Beatles, Alanis Morissette, Tracy Chapman, Amos Lee, Lenny Kravitz, Ben Harper. And there were random people who would come up out of the crowd to the stage and sing harmonies or play the tambourine with the lead musician.
Kevin played a couple songs on guitar, which people were more or less interested in because they couldn't sing along to his originals, but when he hit the piano on the stage, the entire place was completely captivated. Seriously. The guy who ran the open mic -- James, born and raised in California -- asked Kevin to continue, but it was so hot and he had been up for a while, Kevin passed.
Afterward, we went to the sidewalk outside and chatted it up for a bit with some people. They were jealous that we were headed off ot Rome because it was perhaps the only city cooler than Paris. Guess we'd have to wait and see.
The next night (our last in Paris) we hoped to find another open mic, but ran into another dead end. So we went back to the hostel for a sing-along. A bunch of Brits, a couple Americans, a Canadian and an old beatup guitar in a courtyard were waiting for us.
By the time we met up with them that night, they were all "knackered" or "cheese and crackered" as I learned from them that night (it means they had a lot of wine). The highlight was probably trying to sing Heya by Outcast. Oh man, what a mess. After the courtyard closed, a few of us went up to Sacre Couer, but stopped at the wine store on the way and grabbed three more bottles of wine, which the store clerk opened for us to drink on the way up -- which is completely legal in France.