Serving Arizona State University Online Since 1995  Current Issue: Thursday, November 10, 2005





Culture Shock: Counter Culture

Open-mic nights kind of make us cringe, but here's one worth checking out

 by Ben Horowitz
 published on Thursday, November 10, 2005


Quality control is a hard thing to achieve at an open-mic night. Still, creative performers are what sets Counter Culture Cafe's Wednesday nights apart from other open-mic nights across the Valley, says owner Money Yuhnke, a 26-year-old Valley native.

Impromptu host of last week's event Jane Joyce, 22, agrees.

"The way the artists here put together so many different elements in their work to express themselves is just inspiring," says Joyce.

Performances alternate between the two open-mic staples -- singer/songwriter style guitar performances and free-form poetry or spoken word. All the performers, playing or reading without a stage, are very relaxed, and even if a visitor doesn't think their material is great, the events are low-key enough to contribute to the relaxing atmosphere of the cafe.

Yuhnke and her husband, Andres, opened the cafe last December after months of renovations. Outside, a patio with tables and chairs is a nice place to sit in the cool desert night.

Inside, the walls are covered with art from local artists, and a basement room features a clothing shop with work from local fashion designers. Each room is furnished with big, comfortable chairs and couches.

The kitchen offers a varied menu of food and drinks, and the cafe offers wireless Internet.

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