Monday, March 8, 2010

Midnight at the Oasis

posted Thu, 09 Mar 2006

Yesterday was Wednesday, so you know what that meant – karaoke night at Clifford’s. The usual suspects were there, some of whom could sing, most of whom could not. But bless their hearts (this is what you say in the South before you say something not so nice about someone), they got up on stage and sang anyhow.

One of the most interesting, bless his heart, is Dan, a leftover from the 60s who used to have a long white ponytail but has cut it off. Dan cannot carry a tune in a bucket but he does not let that stop him. He is also very interested in exploring the edges of the genre, preferring to try the more untraditional songs, such as “Major Tom,” “Horse With No Name,” and stuff from Pink Floyd, which really doesn’t lend itself to karaoke, but when you have a high, reedy voice and can’t sing, what’s a weird song? And hey, I don’t have the guts to do it, so who am I to judge?

Do you know how much crap I took for liking Neil Diamond when I was in college? I had all his records and I was mocked for it! Well, this guy – who, you must admit, looks like a cool guy – sang not one, but two! Neil Diamond songs! And not the obvious ones, either. He sang “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show” and “Solitary Man.” Tell me it’s not cool to like Neil Diamond. I think it makes you uncool not to like him. So there! I’m not going to name names, but you know who I’m talking to, don’t you?

There was an older guy there – Bill – whom I had not seen before. Serious Honey says he is there a lot. Bill, who looked like he was in his mid-70s, wasn’t wearing a wedding ring, but did have a diamond pinky ring. He didn’t drink much, but did order a meal and ate at the bar. He sang two songs – “Welcome to My World” and “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again.” SH said he always sings old, sad songs. I figured his story was that he was a widower singing the songs – the heartbreaking songs – from his youth.

This kid – looked like a frat boy – sang a horrible song. You may read the lyrics if you want, but if you don’t want to waste your time, I’ll tell you that it’s hateful, vile spewing of filth by a group called “Disturbed” – and rightfully so. The so-called melody is just as bad. This guy could actually sing, so I don’t know why he was wasting his talent on this drivel. When he was through, as he walked past me, I muttered, “Get some help!” Honestly. This is the sort of “music” that if I were a parent, I would not allow my child to listen to or own.

SH sang “My Girl” after some guy had butchered a song I don’t even remember – “Guitar Man?” – and he hadn’t even sung four words when the guy sitting on the other side of SH’s empty seat looked at me, smiled and said happily, “My God!” He’d come in during the bad singer and probably thought the whole night was going to be like that. Four men got up to do the Temptations walk, and most of the bar started to sing along. I do have a thing for musicians, don’t I?

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