Posted By: Coco Buchanan
I normally would not share such a Dear Diary/Seventeen Magazine-y moment on this blog, but I figured it might give people some holiday cheer to laugh at my retarded-ness. Let the scheudenfraude begin!
Like many legends, this one took place at the newly re-opened Studio B in Williamsburg. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists were the band playing Indie Rock Karaoke, and Andrew WK was the host. I must explain first that karaoke and karaoke-like activities (ie Rock Band) have been a source of pride and joy for me over the past 3 or 4 years. Some crazy overachieving/delusional part inside me told me that I’d pretty much reached the top, and I needed a new and exciting challenge. Something BIG. Something so big, I needed an audience larger and more critical and yet more appreciative of a job well done, than those bridge-and-tunnel chumps that populate Sing Sing. I ask you, what better place to find masses of cooler-than-thou judgmental assholes than Williamsburg?
Ever since I had missed the first Indie Rock Karaoke with Of Montreal & Paul Rudd, I knew I had to, as Stella would say, take back the night. I was convinced that I WOULD sing “Where Eagles Dare.” Seriously, if I wasn’t BORN to sing “Where Eagles Dare,” then I don’t even want to know the meaning of my existence. However, when my roommate & I queried the man with the karaoke list, it was not to be.
“Aquaman has taken that song,” he said. Fucking Aquaman. Some Williamsburglian dude who apparently made himself a legend by dressing up as Aquaman (trident and all) at the Of Montreal Karaoke night. I don’t deny his talent, but I will always rue the day I was denied what I KNEW to be my true destiny. I then, in an unprecedented degree of stupidity, opted to instead sign up to sing Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark.”
Three words I that will forever be burned in my brain are the words I said to my roommate before we got onstage, after he expressed concern that perhaps I didn’t know the lyrics as well as I thought, and that maybe this song wasn’t in my vocal range. I replied by looking at the lyrics sheet, proclaiming “Pfft, I got this!” Who did I think I was? Cock of the walk!? I admittedly got a bit nervous after watching the “Search and Destroy” guy, and yes, even Aquaman’s rendition of my beloved Misfits song. I don’t know if it was the Viking Mojitos or just randomly badly timed delusions of grandeur that made me ridiculously confident that THIS.WAS.MY.MOMENT….but I was so damn excited that I actually leapt onstage before Andrew WK had even finished introducing us. My roommate kinda just hid in the corner, probably praying that it wouldn’t be a shitshow.
My very first thought was: “Wow, it’s really different singing with a band than at karaoke. I totally can’t hear myself. Whatevs!” So, I started singing the first few lines, and in my head, I WAS The Boss. Naturally…I couldn’t hear shit! So what if I kind of forgot how the song goes? I felt the lights shining on me, the audience cheering (or at least, what I perceived at the time to be cheering), I thought to myself: so THIS is what it must feel like to be a rock star! I have reached the pinnacle of my karaoke career!! And don’t you know it, but I grabbed that mike out of that stand with a force I’ve almost never witnessed in myself before…especially in front of that many people. I was running around the stage like I some midget klutzy version of David Lee Roth. I was dancing on the amps and engaging with the audience! I’m unfortunately also certain that I did the “this way to the gun show” flex as I sang that “these guns are for hire.” Some guy even jumped up on stage to reenact the Courtney Cox dance. I couldn’t believe this was all real! So, I glanced back at “my band,” especially focusing on Ted Leo during an instrumental break.
Right there and then, Ted Leo said the following to me (and INTO the mike): “I don’t mean to be a dick, but I’m from New Jersey.” Whoa. What. Just. Happened? Did I single-handedly insult The Boss and the entire state of New Jersey a la Roseanne Barr? I gave Ted Leo some lame “heh, oh well” shoulder shrug and a half-baked smile and saw no other choice but to continue with what I was now aware of as a horrendous performance of this song. My ego flashed before my eyes, and in the all-too real foreshadowing words of Andrew WK as he introduced the show, my ego was basically CRUSHED in front of my eyes.
As I got off the stage, Andrew WK gave me a pat on the back. I was mortified. I asked my roommate’s brother, who was there with us how I did…..he literally could not bring himself to answer me. But, hey, don’t take my word for it. Let’s take a gander at some of the wonderful things written about me in the press, shall we? On Fluxblog, commenter Liz said:
‘Dancing with Myself’ was a wreck – thank god they at least knew the words ‘oh oh oh.’ As for ‘Dancing in the Dark,’ a so-so performance was saved by the guy who jumped on stage a la Courtney Cox at the end. I appreciated that he made a comically well-timed repeat appearance during a girl’s so-so performance of ‘Maps.’
Um, yay for the Courtney Cox guy! The Village Voice was a bit harsher:
The band earned the right to call out that couple who stumbled through ‘Dancing in the Dark’ or the dude who inexplicably massacred Ted’s own ‘Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?’ but–of course–they didn’t
Um, as I have recalled, I totally DID get called out. Also, we’re not a couple. Finally, Sterogum had this to say:
The girl doing the Boss’s ‘Dancing In The Dark’ didn’t deliver the strongest performance, but when she called up a guy to play the night’s Courtney Cox, I felt a little closer to the Reagan years. In a good way.
That was probably the kindest review. In short, I delivered a “so-so,” “not the strongest” performance that was “stumbled” through. So, I wasn’t THE worst (thank god for that “Dancing With Myself” couple!), but I was probably in the bottom 3 (I don’t know why there was no mention anywhere of that Asian girl who inexplicably knew none of the lyrics to Blitzkreig Bop, but whatevs). And yes, I was NOWHERE NEAR what I thought I sounded like in my head. There is actually a 5 second clip on youtube of my butchering (that I will spare you from), and I definitely sound not only like I don’t quite have a grasp of the lyrics, but also, somehow, like a 12-year old boy going through puberty.
So now I know what it’s like to have shit talked about me on a blog! Also, does this mean I MIGHT be almost as cool as the Numa Numa guy ?