Hip-Hop soul pulses through the doors to Club Deep, where on Sundays, poetry is “the deal.” The trombone sings through the speakers, the base pounds and the ebony and ivory keys of the piano tickle the audience members’ urge to nod their heads, tap their toes and allow their bodies to mimic each note with the passion of the passionate.
Carefully tailored words sing over the microphone as candles and incense establish the atmosphere for this enchanting exchange of song and poetry.
Last Sunday was the second time that Club Deep opened its doors, and its microphones, to poets.
“This is a chance for people to promote themselves,” said co-promoter Desiree Abrams. “It’s a perfect venue for people to showcase their talents.”
And the talented individuals of Tallahassee can do just that every Sunday beginning at 9 p.m. Afterwards, disk jockey J-Will pumps out the latest hip hop and dance music for an alternative lifestyle-friendly crowd until 2 a.m. The cover charge is $3 for performers and $7 otherwise.
Deep owner Chris Clark said the idea of Surreal Sundays is a perfect way to relax before the beginning of another stress-filled week.
But on this Sunday, many forms of creative expression are performed.
Hosts Larry Love and Carla Griffin free-style into a game of lyrical ping-pong before introducing the next performer.
Some read their words from crumpled napkins, some spit their lyrics from memory and some sing their poetry from behind a guitar. In addition to the brave souls who dare to occupy the microphone, Back Talk Poets from Thursday nights at Mt. Zion’s Calypso Cafe have found a new home and a willing ear for Sundays.
“I try to seek out poetic events,” Love said. “I’m an artist. I’m trying to find an outlet for expression and this is another one.”
Couples inch closer to one another as each song passes through the sound system. Friends gather in the anticipation of hearing that magical grouping of words that establish the foundation to build inspiration. And the buzz is that it’s only going to get better.
Promoter Rolo NashÃ¢ who has organized events at Deep, Club Jade and at Club Upstairs, formally known as the Grove said the increase of audience members from last week’s turnout is noticeable. She said she attributes the larger audience to more promotion and word of mouth from the first Sunday.
“We didn’t want to bring the masses without having people who would get up there and perform,” Rolo said.
She said that she was pleasantly surprised at the level of participation and it made her and Adams work harder to fill the club.
If the love of poetry and live music doesn’t give someone a reason to attend, the atmosphere certainly encourages the temptation to vibe in a club that transforms Tallahassee nightlife into New York’s SoHo district minus the attitudes and overpriced cocktails.
Jessica Sattler is a senior newspaper journalism student from Tampa, Fla and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Surreal Sunday takes place at Club Deep located on N Monroe Street. From 11p.m to 12:30a.m. is poetry and open mic and from 12:30 until is a Hip-Hop and R&