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Three open mics to check out in Des Moines

Every once in a while I get in this mood where all I want to do is write songs. And then I want to sing them and not just sing them in my bedroom, but to people — to test out these new melodies. One of the best parts about going to an open mic is meeting other singers, songwriters and musicians. Basically, high-five for new friends!

If you get in one of those moods, whether it's singing a new song or polishing up an old one, here are three open mics to check out.

Ritual Cafe

1301 Locust St. Ste. D,

Ritual Cafe is one of my favorite spots for everything — coffee, tea, Italian sodas, sandwiches, etc. And yes, their vegetarian menu could almost make me live without meat and that's saying a lot. Stop by their open mics every second Thursday of the month from 7 to 9 p.m.

Gas Lamp

1501 Grand Ave.

Next up? Gas Lamp. Unlike Ritual, it's a bar. They also offer food and various boozy drinks and beer. This open mic tends to be more than just singing — I've seen a few comedians and they're pretty good. So, if you feel like doing (or watching) a stand-up show, this is the place for you. Every Thursday starting at 9 p.m. the Gas Lamp open mic fun begins.

Java Joe's

620 Cherry St. Suite 100,

Last, but not least, Java Joe's. This open mic is different from the other two because the room you perform in is separate from where you order your drinks. It makes it easier for the audience to focus on your performance without the distraction of other sounds. You can hit this open mic night up every Wednesday at 8 p.m.