By Lukas Henderson
A pitbull plays with a Jack Russell terrier on the smoking patio in front of Blondies Food and Drink at the start of Thursday night’s open mic event. The venue’s proximity to the laundromat and vast beer selection make this place an ideal hangout spot for college students who enjoy multi-tasking.
“We’re a main stop for college students throughout the week,” longtime employee and Humboldt State Student Jade Reano says while she taps the Emerald Triangle keg. “But on Thursdays, the students don’t just grab a quick beer and sandwich while doing laundry. The whole atmosphere shifts during open mic nights. There is a very special artistic vibe that is very apparent.”
As this was said, the atmosphere did in fact shift dramatically. The people who had been playing up until this point had been mainly bluegrass, folk, and low key background type music. Little did we know we were being visited by a wizard.
“We are Visitor 10 a time traveling apocalyptic wizard who practices alchemy.”
A man in baggy Mad Max-looking apparel took the stage, SSengam Niloc. He had no shortage of gadgets hanging from his pants, and a briefcase that was set on a table. This brief case happened to be a portable sound mixing station. He began talking in and out of lucid speech that left an uneasy and mysterious feeling in the room. When the beat actually hit, the unsure onlookers immediately brightened up. His backing tracks layered with his excellent flow and powerful subject matter. His first song was performed by him and his alter ego, hence the “we” in the introduction of himself. He would swap a skeleton mask for a raggedy hat to signify his transformation between his alter egos.
“I died a long time ago. Happy daily birthday,” was the majority of what he had to say.
Further research revealed the artist to be a very genuine, and normal guy when he was not performing. He says he performs in such an extreme way to, “get the gears running, and make people question reality.”
It is people like this who make open mic night at Blondies such an awakening experience. Another artist encounter occurred on the smoking patio directly outside. Bryant Kellison, former Humboldt State student and local artist, asked for a lighter and offered his opinion on the venue.
“What I like about Blondies, and the people that attend open mic night is that they’re not afraid to stir the paint once in a while,” Kellison said. He went on to express his ideas about the college students that attend the event.
“I’ve seen many freshman looking types walk in here and not know what the f**** was going on,” he said. “I appreciate this, because these people learn to express themselves, and to be openly weird. The vibe here is very much accepting and open, and I think people come into their own here. It’s almost like a grow room for young adults.”
Discover SSengam Niloc on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SSNten