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Best Open-Mike Night Hosts From Hell Phoenix 2000 - Matt Strangewayes and Page the Village Idiot

What's that, you say -- aren't all open mikes equally hellish? Sure, buddy, and all aspirin are alike. The difference is that this one knows it's from hell and has two hosts, Matt Strangewayes (formerly of Windigo) and Page the Village Idiot, on hand to gladly fan the flames.

With his bizarre stage introductions, Strangewayes will try to convince you the young hopeful onstage has some fleeting connection with Starcastle and Foghat. In truth, most of the musicians who perform free of charge are members of heavy bands going light for a few songs, musicians passing through town or rock-rap hybrids of the slim or shady variety.

Sure, there's an occasional "earnest" folkie who makes it through the blockade, but to counteract them there's Page the Village Idiot with his self-penned paeans about Joe Arpaio, crystal meth freaks and people with bad hygiene.

One Tuesday night when things were winding down, we caught members of Big Blue Couch backing up a guy named Russel Walton on a free-form William Shatner tone poem called "Fire the Lasers." Beam us down, Scotty -- way, way down!

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