Local Open Mic Venue Has Something For Everyone

Local Open Mic Venue Has Something For Everyone

The Clarence Center Cafe not only houses great coffee, but a great music and atmosphere.
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On Tuesdays from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., artists and music players alike flock to Clarence Center Café, in the heart of Clarence, to play two or three songs in front of a small crowd, get some coffee or just enjoy the atmosphere.

The open mic sessions were started about 10 years ago at the Clarence Center. They have progressed from a microphone and no stage to a beautiful PA system with a stage and amazing acoustics. Everyone is welcome to come out to see locals perform their music.

Stu Shapiro is the man that puts the entire show together, he is in charge making everyone sound good and also being the Emcee by announcing who is about to go on, to keep the night moving. Shapiro is also a great hype man to make all the performers feel appreciated. But he also loves the perks.

“I like the opportunity to hear original music,” said Shapiro, in an interview after the festivities had died down. “And to encourage people to come out and play stuff, also when they are just beginning, we have all levels of people coming out to play.”

The open mics have an array of music for everyone while I was there on the beautiful Tuesday night of March 29, I heard some country, blues, rock and pop covers, and people just jamming out on their instruments. There is something for everyone.

The maximum amount of performers they have had was a rousing 25, but they average a solid 18 performers per open mic, and they bring a nice crowd of people.

People that come to the Open Mics also enjoy the cafe. The capable baristas are able to make you delicious coffee, cook up some tasty meals, and for the adults, they can enjoy some wine. The cafe is decked out in a wide assortment of different types of coffee beans. It's delicious and also nice to look at.

Besides being able to enjoy some good music and good food, the atmosphere there is out of this world. There are tables that surround the stage and bar stools for the audience members to sit and enjoy the music. And the decorations are a collection of interesting statues, pictures, and lamps of different cultures. In a quick look around, one can find African, Indian, Asian and Irish cultural references. Also, you can find local art displayed on the walls.

Shapiro and all the staff at the Clarence Center Cafe encourage everyone to come out and sing a song or two. It's a good way to perform and practice getting your music and talent out there.

"This is a wonderful venue the acoustics are good, we improved it," Shapiro remarked. "We have stage lights now, we have a stage, we have a very good speaker system and we do our best to make people sound good and that's what it's all about."

Cover Image Credit: Jade King

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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After 'Extremely Wicked' And 'The Stranger Beside Me,' We Now Understand The Criminal Mind Of Ted Bundy

1 hour and 50 minutes, plus 550 pages later.

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Netflix recently released a movie in May called "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile" (2019), based on the life of Ted Bundy from his girlfriend's viewpoint.

In 1980, an author and former Seattle police officer, Ann Rule, published a book about her experience and personal, close friendship with Ted Bundy, called "The Stranger Beside Me."

These two sources together create an explosion of important information we either skim over or ignore about Ted Bundy. Watching this movie and reading this book can really open your eyes to who Ted Bundy really was. Yeah, there are the confession tapes on Netflix, too, but these other things can really tie it all into one big masterpiece of destruction.

I swear, it will blow your mind in different ways you never thought possible.

In the movie, "Extremely Wicked", Zac Efron stars as the infamous Ted Bundy, America's most notorious serial killer. He portrayed the murderer who kidnapped, killed, and raped 30 women or more. Personally, he made a great Ted Bundy, mannerisms and all. Lily Collins stars as Ted's girlfriend who was easily manipulated by Ted and believed that he was innocent for years.

The movie is told in the order that Liz, Ted's girlfriend, remembers.

In the book, "The Stranger Beside Me", Ann Rule writes about Ted Bundy, who used to be her old friend. They met while working at a crisis center in the state of Washington and were close ever since. Like Liz, Ann believed he was innocent and that he was incapable of these horrific crimes.

Ted Bundy had made both Liz and Ann fools. He easily manipulated and lied to both women about many things for years, his murders being "one" of them.

Okay, so we all know that Ted Bundy was absolutely guilty as hell and totally murdered those women. 30 women or more. He literally confessed to that, but researchers and authorities believe that number to be way higher.

But... you must know that the movie and the book tell two different stories that lead to the same ending. That's why it's so intriguing.

At one point, I couldn't stop watching the movie. Then, I bought Ann Rule's book and was completely attached to it. I couldn't put it down.

For me, Ted Bundy is interesting to me. Unlike most young girls today, I don't have a thing for him nor do I think he's cute or hot. I know that he used his charm and looks to lure women into his murderous trap. That's why it's so hard to understand why this movie and book created a new generation of women "falling in love" with Ted Bundy.

GROSS: He sodomized women with objects. He bludgeoned women with objects or his own hands. He was a necrophile. Look those up if you have not a clue of what they mean. That could change your mind about your own feelings for Ted Bundy.

After "Extremely Wicked" and "The Stranger Beside Me", I now understand the criminal mind of Ted Bundy. He was insane, but he was also smart, put together, educated, charming, and lots more. That's why I'm so interested in why his brain was the way it was.

The criminal mind is an interesting topic for me anyway, but for Ted Bundy, it was amazing to learn about.

I highly recommend both the movie and the book I quickly read in two weeks! If you want answers, they are there.

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