Tonight seemed like duet night at The Maltese. Four of the five songs I sang were with others. It was pretty cool although I probably need to work on singing in harmony with others. At the same time, it sounded all right and I had a good time. That’s what counts, right?
Oh, I want to thank my mom for listening to the love song radio station. I remember constantly being inundated by these duets like “I’ve had the time of my life” while we drove to clarinet lessons on a backroad in Georgia. While it’s not always my cuppa, those were some good times and it really prepared me for singing with others.
Here’s the rundown:
- Picture (with Alice). The fun part is screaming “I was off to drink you away” at the top of my lungs.
- End of the World. OK, that’s the one non-duet, but I’m practically required to sing the song. As always Ronnie sang backup. I thought it was rocking tonight.
- Summer Nights (with Colleen). I still enjoy the end where the duo sings “NIGHTS” in the most off-key way possible.
- Whip It (with Heather). Not really a duet in the strictest sense of the word, but we sang it together. I practiced my “dynamic” dance moves.
- Seven Spanish Angels (with Colleen). Colleen and I helped bring it home with this ballad popularized by Ray Charles and Willie Nelson. She wanted to sing a Disney duet, but I’ve been wanting to sing this song for a long time. It’s cool when people dance with the music.
So that was Wednesday. Maybe I’ll post the 26-song playlist when I dominated the mostly empty stage in Marysville two weeks ago.
OK, I’ve done a lot more singing than my blog would show. The brief highlights include a drunken kiss (while I was singing “Radar Love”) at the Last Call, the horrible wait at the Abbottswood (2 songs in four hours, well three if you count the beatbox version of “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”) and the power blackout at the Optimo last Saturday.
Monday at the Bear was probably one of the better nights at the bar in a while. Tim moved the setup inside after a chilly showing last Monday. People seemed to enjoy the songs I picked with people singing and dancing. That’s a rare occurance for me. Even if I’m the second coming of William Hung, at least we’re all having a good time.
- Danger Zone
- Man of Constant Sorrow
- Cat’s in the Cradle
- Soul Man
- I’m gonna be 500 miles
- Give it Away
- Beast of Burden
Just another Monday at the Bear.
- Hell – Squirrel Nut Zippers
- Speak Softly Love (Theme from The Godfather) – Wow, I so didn’t know that song.
- Beautiful Day – It was U2’s song, I only sang it.
- This Love – From Maroon 5. I thought I didn’t know it, but it came through in the end.
- Just the Way You Are – Much better this time out although I doubt it will ever become a crowd pleaser.
- Good Morning Starshine – Nooby Nobby Low Low.
- Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash sang it right the first time.
- Take Me Home, County Roads – Mountain Momma.
- Wanted – I took the lead after providing back-up for months.
- Rawhide – Another song about a cowboy (but with real horses, not metal ones)
I don’t normally go to Rocklin for karaoke at Rebounds, but I thought of four reasons to travel down there Sunday. A quadruple threat if you will. There was:
- Karaoke. It was pretty fun the last time and the singers were good (there was a contest).
- Trivia. It’s the closest place to play NTN.
- Seeing people. Maybe that girl from Sacramento would be there again.
- Supper. Maybe check out Texas BBQ or Old Spaghetti Factory for a bite. Well, I couldn’t find the BBQ place (again). Maybe next time after I’ve looked up directions. So I ended up just going to Garden Fresh.
The karaoke was servicable. It was a new group starting after the old KJ quit last month to start her own company. The bartender said the crowd has dropped off after she left. I hope it picks up. Ultimately it wasn’t that bad of a night. I sat at the bar, playing trivia and reading the Bee in between songs.
- She Caught the Katy
- It’s the End of the World
- Minnie the Moocher
- Friends in Low Places
While I took the wrong highway (again) to Arden Fair, I did get out of Rocklin in a straightforward fashion, instead of driving in circles.
Like The Grad on Tuesday, there was only a small crowd at The Maltese Wednesday. We think that the low turnout might be due to the Monday holiday. Thankfully, Ari was along to help trade off songs with Ronnie. Joel showed up and seemed to be having a good time (but he didn’t sing).
Eventually, Ronnie declared it was new song night and we all tried our hands at singing different tunes outside our comfort zone. Most of my songs were new to me (aside from two or three “classics”).
- Thanks for the Memory – rough, rough probably better left to the late Bob Hope.
- Summertime – Why, oh why did I try this one? It was way too slow and I don’t have the gravitas.
- She Blinded Me (With Science)
- Down Under
- Take the Last Train to Clarksville
- It’s the End of the World as We Know it (And I Feel Fine)
- Jump, Jive and Wail
- Mr. Roboto – Another rough song because I only really knew the first verse and the chorus.
- Beth – Ronnie tried to get Ari to sing this one, but I jumped in. I didn’t know it and I can only hope that KISS might have enjoyed it if they were present.
- I Want You to Want Me – Another random song Ronnie picked out.
- Give it Away Now – Again, it was rough for a bit until I remembered more of the song.
- Folsom Prison Blues – Ended the night with some Cash.
Some late posting about my time Tuesday at the Graduate. I was hoping for a good time because of the no-karaoke Monday, but there were only a handful of people. KJ Tim and I traded off songs through the night although newcomer Aaron sang a couple of songs.
The end of the night was marred by an employee coming out from the back and writing an extremely rude message on the request sheet. We were apparently “killing” him and others. I know karaoke isn’t everyone’s cup but sheesh that seemed a little rude.
Here’s the rundown:
- An Old-Fashioned Love Song – Still working on that three-point harmony.
- Ballad of Gillian’s Island – Drat, there’s a mostly unheard second verse.
- Don’t Get Around Much Anymore – Trying another swing song.
- Are You Gonna Go My Way – Experimenting with Kravitz.
- Blue Moon
- Bust A Move – the song that broke the back of the employee. It was rough but I thought it was all right (well, probably not).
- Hey Ya!
- Just the Way You Are – I don’t think I sang it well, but the people cleaning the kitchen recognized it and sang along for a bit.
Had a good night inside the small bar with a lot of heart. Ari was back in the saddle after two weeks away and sang the classic “Wanted” with a little back-up from yours truly. He also sang Snoop Dogg and brought the house down, like always. Karaoke king Sam showed up and rocked some songs (including his standards like “Mack the Knife”). He ruled over Bearnaked Ladies’ “One Week.” Ronnie had me counter with “It’s the End of the World …” It was clear that Sam did a better job.
Still I had a lot of fun, although I missed singing Elton John songs for the two ladies that were there a couple of weeks back (although I could’ve done a better job of it). Tonight, I was trying to get one lady to sing behind the mike (she flatly refused). I hope I didn’t press the issue too much (it seemed like she was taking it in stride).
Here’s the run down of my songs:
- Down on the Corner — I thought it was an OK song to warm up to. I don’t think I’ve got the resonant voice to make it sound like the classic.
- Short Skirt, Long Jacket — I’m still working on singing to match McCrea’s rythym. It’s tough as heck.
- It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) — I stumbled on a couple of lines. I downloaded the song from iTunes and I’ll hopefully get a better sense of the movement in the song.
- Hit the Road Jack — Ray Charles’ classic as interpreted by me (not Ray Charles)
- Don’t Bring Me Down — From Electric Light Orchestra. “Don’t bring me down … Bruce.” Why didn’t I know that song a couple of years ago? [ 😉 to the eight people in the world that might get that joke.]
- Seven Spanish Angels — It’s a duet and I realized tonight that I sound neither like Ray Charles nor Willie Nelson. Ah well, I like the song even if others don’t.
- I helped sing — Wanted, Love Shack, Hotel California and some LL Cool J song (to try and get the lady to sing). She playfully flipped me off. Drat. Maybe next time.
Songs sung Monday at “Bear-e-oke”: 1) You and Me and Bottle Make Three. 2) Danger Zone. That went down extremely well. 3) Quando, Quando, Quando. For some reason, the audience didn’t dig this song. 4) Man of Constant Sorrow. Sang it with “Puff” to end the night.
I know the chances of my winning any karaoke contest are slim to none, but there is one contest that is intriging. The Sacramento CBS affiliate (KOVR-TV 13) is holding a karaoke contest next Thursday where the national top prize is a walk-on role on the sitcom “How I Met Your Mother.”
The winner will go on to Los Angeles to face the winners from contests at 8 other CBS stations across the nation.
It would be fun to try it, but the odds wouldn’t be in my favor. They will be picking out 20 people from the crowd _at random_ to sing in front of the audience. Combine that with the fact the contest is on a Thursday and that the other prizes include Carl’s Jr. burger packs add up to me not going.