I was supposed to be watching a spoken-word artist perform at Mr. Spot's Chai House, but on Wednesday, July 10, that scheduled artist was a no-show. She was probably out having fun in the 85-degree weather, because she certainly wasn't inside Mr. Spot's cool confines entertaining tea drinkers like she was supposed to be. And while I could've seized this opportunity to return to my clumsy skateboarding in an empty parking lot (which I really wanted to do), that wouldn't have left me with much to say here. So I approached the front counter to find out the haps.

The man with the big smile, standing behind the counter, was Victortrey, manager and booker at the Chai House. While he couldn't give a solid reason why our spoken-word friend ditched us, he was able to tell me about Mr. Spot's all-ages music schedule, and spoke with excitement about the venue's future events.

"I try to book all kinds of musicians, mostly stuff that is eclectic and world-groove oriented," said Victortrey. "Nothing too loud or too normal. We have the occasional singer-songwriter, but this venue is for those who want to see a different side of life--not just the slobbering, up-all-night, run-of-the-mill show."

Something that has become a weekly event for Mr. Spot's is an experiment in improvised music that fits Victortrey's requirements perfectly. Spirit Tuck, the Tuesday-night "nu jazz movement," has been drawing an impressive crowd of people--impressive for a cafe, anyway.

"Spirit Tuck's core is a trio of all-star players who pump out the sound of drum 'n' bass-style rhythms, hiphop/raregroove-style electric bass, with the magical sound of classically jazzy Rhodes and synth," said Victortrey.

Doesn't make sense? In laymen's terms, it's John Wicks, Forrest Giberson, and Michael Stegner, and whatever guests they're joined by, all experimenting with new sounds.

And unlike that unnamed spoken-word artist, these guys actually show up. Spirit Tuck happens every Tuesday night, starting at 8 pm. For a schedule of the all-ages music happening on other nights of the week, visit www.chaihouse.com.

megan@thestranger.com

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