Saturday, January 07, 2006

New Thing #8: I karaoked several songs I barely knew.

Gosh, doing a new thing every day and then blogging about it can be exhausting, or maybe "exhausting" is me being a bit melodramatic, but it's still time consuming, at the very least.

I need to go to sleep. But the day isn't over until I've reported back to the blog. However, this'll be a short post.

My friends Todd and David are karaoke freaks. Big time. They have a computer dedicated entirely to holding millions (I'm not even exaggerating) and millions (okay, maybe I'm exaggerating slightly but it feels like millions) of karaoke songs, and they have a projector that projects the lyrics up onto the wall, and a mic on a microphone stand and the whole shebang, you know, the whole nine yards. (What does that even mean? And am I using the phrase correctly? I know it's a football term. Or at least I think it is. I am so sports-dumb. I think I'm using it correctly, but if someone could explain to me why we say "the whole nine yards," I'd appreciate it. Thanks.)

Anyway, Todd and David are karaoke freaks from way back and they've converted most of their friends into karaoke freaks, as well. They have these great karaoke parties every few months, where everyone who comes to the party is required to sing, and you're required to sing a lot. You might be reading this and saying to yourself, 'no way would I ever get into that,' but the thing is, when everyone is doing it, when everyone is singing like an idiot and really going for it, then you're all idiots together and it's a lot of fun, and you never know when you're going to surprise yourself with the kind of performance that brings the rest of the party to their feet, whooping and hollering--amazed, in awe, ver klempt, blissed out.

My two standards are "Welcome to the Jungle," as sung by Guns 'N Roses, and "She's Like the Wind," as sung by Patrick Swayze.

So, I guess what I'm trying to say is: Karaoke is nothing new to me.

But Todd and David had a karaoke party tonight in honor of our friend Larra's birthday, and there was a twist to the evening--no one picked their own songs, songs were thrust upon you, songs you wouldn't normally sing, songs people wanted to hear you do. So, tonight, instead of sticking to my traditional, well-worn crowd-pleasers, I sung a shitload of songs that I otherwise never would have sung before. So I'm letting that count as my New Thing for today.

The songs I sang tonight were:

Opposites Attract (by Paula Abdul)--I totally bombed this one. I thought I knew it, but didn't, at all, and I had to abandon it. Pathetic.

Hot Blooded (by, um, who sings this song? I'm too tired to google)--I may not know who sings this, but I knew the song, and I think I did okay with it. Not stellar, but okay. I couldn't quite decide which key to sing it in.

People Are Strange (by the Doors)--this song killed. Or, I killed with this song. Whatever, people were so totally metaphorically dead, they loved it that much.

Under Pressure (by Queen and David Bowie)--I sang this as a duet with Jessica and we were pretty damn good. This was definitely the highlight of the evening for me.

I'm a Believer (by the Monkees)--I don't really love this song, and I definitely wouldn't have ever chosen to sing it myself. Which I think you could feel in my performance. I give myself a C+.

Dedicated Follower of Fashion (by the Kinks)--I love this song. Never sung it before (sang it before?) (just like I was too tired to google and find out who sings Hot Blooded, I'm too tired to figure out which tense of the word "sing" is gramatically correct in this context) (forgive me), but it was fun to sing. And I think I sang it (sung it?) it pretty damn well. I would sing it (well, I know that's correct) again.

Aside from singing Under Pressure, the other highlight of the evening was the entire party singing along to a melody of God Bless America/We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions. If you've never sung a melody of God Bless America/We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions with about twenty people, then you haven't really lived. Truly. Inspiring.

The only thing better, of course, would be to sing this kinda medley with an entire stadium full of people. That would rock. But then again, as this previous post explains: I love me a little bit of sing-a-long action.


communicatrix said...'s about you invite me to one of them thar parties as one of your new things?

Erik said...


Anonymous said...

The whole nine yards is an old Irish term coined by an Irish seamstress nicknamed "Granny O'Flannagan" who would use nine yards of material for the train of the wedding dresses she created. She always thought the 9 yards signified "completion of a land mark event in someones life" like getting married.
Check it out on google I Swear!

Here's the web address where i found it.


Erik said...

I totally just assumed it was a football term, but your explanation makes so much more sense! This is what I love about the ask a question, and it gets answered. Thank you Dustin.

soleclaw said...

gawd, the last time I karaoked I think was during 6th grade. I won't go into gorey details, but I sang "That's What Friends Are For" by Stevie Wonder with two of my friends. It was magical.

Erik said...

The first time I ever karaoked was during college. It was the Beatles song "Help!" I remember there was so much adrenaline pumping through me that it turned into almost a punk rendition of the song and by the end of it I was dripping with sweat.

Anonymous said...

Erik -
Apparently there is more mystery surrounding "thehwole nine yeards" then we thought...
1.It is said to have originated among construction workers
The "nine yards" is said to refer to the maximum capacity a cement-mixer truck can carry — nine cubic yards of cement. This is disputed, however. See the article in the Straight Dope.

2. Here’s a fun one: the whole nine yards of bullets - the length of a standard machine gun belt. I like it.

3. And here are all of those theories all over again. (I still think the ammo one makes the most sense...)


Joe Rob said...

Hi Erik- great blog- you are fucking funny to read- I've always heard "The Whole Nine Yards" is supposed to have come from the length of the machine gun bullet belts American fighters planes would carry in World War II in the Pacific- When a pilot had an action-filled flight, they would say they went the whole nine yards. I didn't check it on Google, but I've heard it from some reliable sources. Shit! we could ask Joe!

Erik said...

I'm so excited that my blog is inspiring people to do my googling for me! Lindsay and Joe, I love those other "whole nine yards" theories. I'm not sure which one, of all of them, is my favorite. The only thing about the ammo one is--doesn't that seem like a really long belt, like could a belt of bullets really be that long? It just sounds way too long to me. I don't know why it sounds so unreasonable to me. (And Joe, I will ask Joe!)

Anonymous said...

Erik - Here's the thing: if you are going to shoot a lot of people, you need a REALLY long belt of ammo. WILDLY long. And that's the thing about the phrase -it alludes to having as much as you can get. And just think of all those Rambo movies with the ammo belt slung over his shoulder- way longer then would fit around his petite waist line. Maybe if you don't use the whole nine yards of ammo you can use the remainder to make yourself a suit or a wedding veil (hott) or to hold up a cement truck.

Erik said...

Lindsay, I love that image of a wedding veil made out an ammo belt! And the more I think about it, the more the whole ammo thing makes sense as the original meaning of this phrase.

Erik said...

I'm answering my own question, but: Hot Blooded is a Foreigner song.