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Monday, May 07, 2007

Lenny Bruce is not afraid

Miss Mishap shared on her blog one of the many things she did this past weekend. Out of all she did, the thing that really struck me was that she did a karaoke rendition of R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World As We Know it (and I Feel Fine)." Why this struck me is that I don't know anyone else who has attempted this song in karaoke. I've attempted it twice and pulled it off (Matt and Chris are at least two of my witnesses). I love to do this song. It's definitely not a regular karaoke song because it's insanely wordy. But I'm up for the challenge.

Doing karaoke requires some fear, but a lot of courage as well. For me, all the times that I've done it, it's been singing to my friends. Sure, there are all these other people in the room, but I'm there with my friends. They're my net. So the songs that I seem to know/am sure will impress my friends are the ultra-wordy songs. Other songs I've tackled are Billy Joel's "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" and Barry Manilow's "Copacabana." Why do I prefer doing these songs instead of say, torch songs? Because I can't sing.

There's plenty of skill involved in saying "Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn - world serves its own needs, regardless of your own needs. Feed it up a knock, speed, grunt no, strength no. Ladder structure clatter with fear of height,down height. Wire in a fire, represent the seven games in a government-for-hire and a combat site" in eight seconds. All those years singing that song in the back of the band bus paid off. The deal is, there's very little "singing" involved with that song. I might as well cover a Dylan tune or a Velvet Underground song. So I'm safe.

This is not to say I haven't attempted torch songs or just fun little songs. I've done "It's Not Unusual" with ease a few times. But I don't think I'll ever forgive myself for utterly destroying the great Elvin Bishop tune, "Fooled Around and Fell In Love." I sang it totally off-key and poorly and I shudder at the memories of it. On top of this, my voice just goes to shreds whenever I do a song like that. So to save others' ears and my speaking voice, I stick with the rapid fire vocals.

Make no mistake, I'll try a torch song again, but alcohol will probably have to be involved. There would probably have to be a vast reduction of the fear factor as well.

2 comments:

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

I've always wanted to try that song in the K. But never got around to it. If you can do it, and apparently you have...mad props. Now you just need to do we didn't start the fire by Billy Joel

Jeff

Zine-O-Phonic said...

ha, that comment was so yesterday...