The trick’s on me

I wouldn’t have had much time for karaoke tonight because I’m working on a live blog for I had hoped to sing one quick song before going about my business. Alas, there’s no karaoke tonight — the Madison Bear Garden closed early at 10 p.m. for Halloween. It makes me sad on the inside. Just kidding, I’m really busy right now.



I was browsing around on Comcast’s On Demand service last night. I was surprised to discover they have a karaoke section where people can sing along to the same songs one might find at the local taverns.

So what’s scarier — that Comcast has such a section for its viewers or that I tried to sing along to some of those songs in the darkness of night?

Night in Paradise

Well, part of it at least. Had a good time at Alan and Donna’s party in Magalia and met a lot of interesting people. Donna’s food was extremely good (like six-layer dip — it didn’t need a seventh layer) and creative (the spooky and zombie cheese balls were cool looking and the caramel apples were sweet treats). Stopped briefly at the ol’ Optimo. It was enough time to sing “Sink the Bismark” (which received a decent amount of applause) and watch an entirely pointless and brief fight break out in the seat next to me. Nightcap on foot to Duffy’s to chill with Ari (who was also at Alan’s). Coming in, I saw the aftermath of another fight. There were six police cars on hand to patrol the aftermath. I saw blood on the sidewalk near an abandoned costume consisting of aluminium foil and padding. Oh and all three stops were costume parties. Many of the outfits were creative (like the husband-wife power plug-socket combo I dubbed “Shock and Awe”). Some were classics — like women in school girl outfits. I was woefully underdressed for the occasion, but still had a good time.


‘Sports. Johnson.’

this is an audio post - click to play

After a small intro, I have an even smaller exchange with departing E-R sports editor John Johnson whose last day was Friday. Although Johnson’s traditional greeting is only two seconds long, I think it was worth preserving for a lifetime. And I’m only partly kidding.

I wish I had the chance to chat with him on the phone for a little longer.

Wednesday night at The Maltese

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.

Circling the wagons

Is it bad of me when I consider buying a minifridge for my room? I’m having some problems with some items in the common fridge being “misappropriated” by my roommates, and I’m getting tired of it.

Am I just avoiding the problem? They’re not too cheap, but I think it might save me some headaches in the long-term. It might also encourage me to remain at home more often — I would know that I have stuff to eat and drink in the apartment.

Recent releases

I’m just dying to hear the Cal Aggie Marching Band-uh!‘s take on Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl.” I saw a blurb that a Davis-area station was playing the song occasionally.

I liked the song’s sound featuring low brass and bass drums (totally dug the live band on SNL in April). I think a marching band of the Band-uh!’s caliber could rock that song.

Now I have a big reason to go to Picnic Day next April. I know I sound like a geek, but marching bands can totally rock some songs (like the Leland Stanford Jr. University Marching Band’s take on “Welcome to Paradise”).

In other news, The Digital Bits has reviewed two awesome films that recently underwent “special edition” DVD releases — Office Space and The Big Lebowski. I only need to say “TPS reports” or “The Dude” and many, many people would know what I’m talking about. Just as if I were to say that I was going “to go ‘office space’ on the fax machine.” It’s nice to see them getting new releases, but it’s kind of a bummer that the extras weren’t super according to the review.

Dis ‘n dat

Just some random stuff surfing around the ‘net this weekend —

– Pluming the depths of MySpace, I rediscovered “The Gleib” — aka Ben Gleib (name seems shorter than I remember). Anyway, The Gleib is a comedian and is responsible of dispelling two beliefs that I’ve held for a while — that Screech from “Saved by the Bell” is funny and that dating shows are real. Sadly, Screech (Dustin Diamond) was dreadful live a few years back and “Blind Date” seems capable of pulling fast ones over its audience.

– Saturday Night Live hasn’t been super funny this season. I don’t know why exactly. Interesting seeing Catherine Zeta Jones sing (and wondering how different she looks “live”), but it wasn’t very funny. One positive note is Tina Fey’s return to Weekend Update after becoming a mother. I got some belly laughs over some of the jokes there.

– If you’re looking for some interesting stuff to watch or listen to, there’s ZeD from the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. It’s a combination TV show/Web site featuring a mix of short films, musical performances and trippy stuff.

– While I’ve previously plugged CBC Radio 3’s podcast, I don’t know if I mentioned their magazine. It features lots of music and articles about culture and music in a solid Shockwave presentation. Hours of fun listening and browsing.