Monday, September 14, 2009

Zing Went the Sing of My Car

Before I begin, I have to say this--I'm a writer, not a counter. So perhaps I screwed this up, as my Blogger dashboard claims this is post 2499, and therefore I only have one more to go and not two after this. My how time flies when you're dropping words like a fiend.

So as the big build up to the big count, if this is anti-climactic, that's just how often life is, isn't it. Perhaps I'm not here to please you but school you. Perhaps there's no pleasing anyone.

But that's fitting for this entry, as it's about pleasing no one but myself. Then again, the flip side is it probably pleases everyone I don't try to sing with others in earshot, at least anyone who values tune, pitch, his or her hearing, beauty, the sweet simplicity of song. For today's entry is about this: what I might karaoke if karaoke was cool and not what it is.

Or, to put it in a way already trivialized, which saddens me, this is caraoke. Of course that leaves me even more conflicted (and what doesn't? what isn't a ball of ugly compromise with all our angels and devils and perhaps worse inertia?) as it means driving in a car alone, which I know isn't a good thing, but somehow it's necessary. Like my cassette deck, still, thank god for older cars. If you're a regular reader of this blog, you might have guessed music is important to me. Even in my feeble way, I like to join in. Just don't want anyone to know.

So with that thrilling build up, here's a list of songs I might karaoke if.... Random order. Go listen to the real ones and tell me you might not want to join in.

Boomtown Rats, "I Don't Like Mondays"
Feeling like totally over-emoting? Join Bob Geldof and let loose. Plus you can also clap hands and do Johnny Fingers' keyboard parts for extra credit.

Elvis Costello, "Other End of the Telescope"
Just a terrific all over the place vocal, very full or emotion, and any song that begins "Can we agree that just this once I'm going to change my life," has to be ok.

Archers of Loaf, "Web in Front"
Most of these are going to be ballad-y, from that spot where enough beer and enough maudlin find their Venn Diagram closeness and hug inconsolably. So here's 2 minutes of peppy rock brilliance. Do I know all the words perfectly? Does it matter? "I've got a magnet in my head...."

Richard Buckner, "Lucky Buzz"
Lots of Buckner could work, as he has that way of nailing a certain lived in the languor vibe, but this one has that great little beat to it, and Dave Schramm's guitar, that makes whatever you sing more, well, heavy, somehow. Plus it's sort of about drinking.

Old 97s, "Jagged"
A jagged little song about feeling jagged--what more could one want to sing? The very idea of emotion so moving it moves you to not just say it but give it a melody--now that's what singing is for. Wanna be happy, just sit in the corner and go "blub blub blub."

Kevin Salem, "Falter"
First line: "Measure me by all I have not got." Chorus: "If I've faltered, I've made my best mistakes." But it's all set to a really rocking tune. So you get your pity and can even air guitar.

Magnetic Fields, "Busby Berkeley Dreams"
Merritt pens plenty of songs to sing(more than 69), and given it's taken awhile for him to tune his own bari-drone, they often invite joining in, but this one is so melodramatic, with a great movie allusion....

Freedy Johnston, "Bad Reputation"
There's a certain yearning cynicism here, to coin a phrase--"You know about the best I'll ever be, I see it in your eyes" is one mighty knowing line and awfully fun to sing. And then Dave Schramm part II. He's one underrated guitarist.

Dave Alvin, "Fourth of July"
Yeah, I know he wrote it for X but the version I like best is the one from King of California. Fun to try to hit the low notes on the drops for "on the stairs I smoke a cigarette alone." That's one lonely alone.

Steve Earle, "I Ain't Ever Satisfied"
Sort of the core rock n roll song, isn't it? Plus you get to shout out to people--who aren't there--to join you on the chorus. Even gets in a line about distance from the divorced dad for fine biographical points.

Replacements, "Can't Hardly Wait"
Gotta have at least one somewhat positive song, for so many, even when the guitars do happy, ringing things, aren't really (see "September Gurls" for a start). But this is about looking forward to something. So that's good, no? Fun to sing with horns. And I like the Justin Townes Earle version, too.

(29 or 30 of 31/or 29 of 30 in the drive to 2500)



Blogger George said...

Two things.

1) About the counting. Turns out that I had already posted next week's dog blog (for a reason you'll learn in a bit)and scheduled it to publish 9/18, but silly Blogger then counts it as a post already. So I did count right, I just didn't know Blogger counts wrong. Future post removed. countdown back to normal.

2) Somehow I completely forgot Son Volt's "Windfall" as a caraoke song. It's even sort of hopeful, while acknowledging mortality, too. So that makes it even more hopeful. If only the wind took our troubles away.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Freealonzo said...

I sing a killer "Love Hurts" on karaoke.

11:17 AM  
Blogger George said...

Do you do the Gram part or the Emmylou part?

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Freealonzo said...


We're talking old school baby: Roy Orbison all. the. way!!!

2:00 PM  
Blogger E-6 said...

And I have that Kevin Salem record...

8:52 PM  
Blogger George said...

E, we might be the only 2 people who do. But "Falter," "Lighthouse Keeper," and "Will" are amazing rock n roll, if you ask me.

9:07 PM  

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