Tuesday, September 14, 2004


Things started off a little strange at the Kid last night and just got stranger with a small but dedicated group of careyoke-ers with the highest per capita performances ever!

Dorotha, Mama Harried, and I arrived at the Kid at 8:20pm, only to find *not a single soul* from sociology there. Eventually LL, Jeremy, Rhymes-with-Scrabble, and Jessie J showed.

The Kid was pretty empty at the time. There was only one other table with people: Will and Ann. Journalism grad students, I think.

Mama Harried decided she wanted to pay for some of my songs, so she gave me $5. Later she tried to get Dorotha to give me more money – out of Dorotha’s wallet – for more singing. It was a struggle, but I did not accept it.

So, of course, since careyoke’s my name, I had to start off the singing with one of my promised tunes: “Blue bayou.” The field notes say I hit all the notes. Maybe. I know this one was downloaded by Jeremy in advance. We will have to see if I lived up to my own hype and it makes the next favorites cd.

During the gap while there is actually no one performing – and I was threatening to put another song in and have an all-careyoke night – Jeremy bought Dorotha and Mama Harried drinks. Mama Harried had a pina colada. Yum!

Nina arrived after “Blue bayou” very excited to sing with Mama Harried.

Rhymes-with-Scrabble then sang “Dark lady.” Most of us had no idea what this song was, but Mama Harried sang along. It turns out it was a Cher song about some sort of New Orleans gypsy voodoo stuff. I don’t know. But Rhymes-with-Scrabble and Cher both like gypsy songs. And it was the beginning of a very Cher evening. Turns out that Rhymes-with-Scrabble had all sorts of Cher plans, thanks to the Madison Public Library’s music collection!

Next was Will. He sang “50 ways to leave your lover.” No notes on him, but he was good. More on him to come…

My turn again with “Love is a battlefield.” I did it last careyoke night, but v. few careyoke-ers were left by the time I finally sang it. So I did it again. It was better this time because Dorotha and I re-enacted the video. Sort of. (See Jeremy’s blog for a picture – someday I’ll figure out how to do a link…maybe.) Well, at least she played my brother looking out the window for me and I pretended to be sitting in the back of the bus – I almost fell off the stool attempting to do that though. Dangerous stools! BTW, was that a new stool? I don’t remember it previously having a back to it. And speaking of new stuff: new lights hanging over the bar. Very sophistimicated the Kid is getting! Oh, and Mama Harried reprimanded Dorotha for dancing too vigorously. She did stand on a chair after all. What about your poor mouth?!

Rhymes-with-Scrabble was up again next with “My favorite game.” It is a Cardigans song. She danced fabulously.

Next came Mama Harried and Nina with the promised duet! They sang “Homeward bound.” It was wonderful! We wanted more!

LL and Jessie J then sang “Holiday,” a new Madonna selection for our group. With harmonies. Very nice. Lots of dancing. Lots of dancing in the video too.

It was Will’s turn again. He sang “Bye bye, love.” Jeremy made him incorporate Dorotha’s name into the lyrics. So he sang, “Bye bye, Dorotha.” He was very accommodating to our requests – which, of course, included some roboting. The field notes say, “Will is good.” They are not wrong.

I continued the Cher-a-thon with “If I could turn back time.” I don’t think I did justice to the full potential of the first line, “If I could turn back t-harrrmmm” – a la Just Jack from W&G. Maybe next time. But I did say something about having a tattoo on my butt. Which isn’t true. Get me on stage and I weave of web of lies! But the notes say, “Jeremy wishes that he had a naval outfit.” That would have really added something to the performance.

Now with more about New Orleans (“New Orleans is sinking”) is…you guessed it: Rhymes-with-Scrabble! It is by the Tragically Hip. In case you didn’t know. I didn’t know. I was thinking it was Cher again. Or maybe Reba. What do I know?

Jessie J followed up with a little “Proud Mary.” It was a bold move to take over someone else’s classic, but JJ really made the song her own. The lady’s got some pipes! And by the end of it people were saying, J-Mar? Who’s J-Mar? I kid you not.

Will is up again. (See what I am saying. Small crowd = ridiculous amount of singing per person = I love it!) He sang, “Who can it be now?” Fantastic choice! And yet again, Jeremy demands that he incorporate “Dorotha” into this song too. Will obliges.

Ann was up next. She sang, “You are the sunshine of my life.” It was the sweetest moment of the night. We all sang along. Good job, Ann!

Next a Rhymes-with-Scrabble favorite! “Desert Rose”! And it was about the best I’ve seen in some time. Jeremy told me he far prefers Rhymes-with-Scrabble’s version over Sting’s. He even said that he would *buy* Rhymes-with-Scrabble’s version of it if it were for sale. Very impressive, Rhymes-with-Scrabble!

In the kookiest performance on the night, we had LL singing “Goodbye Earl,” with Earl being played by Jeremy. As the notes say, “Goodbye Earl. Now! With dying!” It was scary. Anytime LL said anything about Earl having to die, Jeremy would groan and fall to the floor in a protracted death sequence. He did this at least twice. And the camera crew seemed to have some issues with capturing the moment, but I think they did manage a snap or two. Nonetheless, it was definitely a you-had-to-be-there-moment.

Next came Jessie J with “Dead or alive.” The video was great. So much stunning scenery from the American western landscape – in cartoon-ish form. I was the Richie to her Jon. Not sure I got my harmonies all right. But she didn’t kick me. I told her if I was really bad to kick me and I’d stop. So I wasn’t kick-worthy at least.

Next up: Will with “Spooky.” LL wants to dance. I am too shy. Rhymes-with-Scrabble asks Dorotha, “Is this a song about a goth?” Should be!

Next up: me with a careyoke fave (or at least I think it’ll be on the next cd), “Sweet child o’ mine.” The notes say, “Adored by all. Unanimous. Standing ovation.” The notes don’t lie.

Rhymes-with-Scrabble followed up with a new one: “Keep me hanging on.” Nice choice. Lots of dancing in chairs.

LL also went with a new No Doubt song: “Excuse me, Mr.” I didn’t know that song, but Jeremy was definitely impressed. Another lady with some pipes. The notes say, “strange Hillary Duff-esque video.”

Jessie J and I followed up with “More than words,” the emotional high point of the evening – except for when Jessie J was laughing at me (or was that during Dead or alive?). See Jeremy’s blog for a touching moment.

Next came Jeremy’s poll winning number: “Criminal.” He did have Mama Harried and me on stage with him. And he even tried not to sing, but I gave him a zinger of a look, and he stopped playing such games with me. He and Mama Harried were trying to put the microphones in my face so things got a little smushy on stage. The notes say “They rocked  especially Mama Harried.” They also say “All do the robot” and carey[oke’]s personal space was violated by Professor Freese.” Then they say “’inadvertently’” and “interestingly.” You be the judge.

Will was next with “Peaceful, easy feeling.” Was it you, Jessie J, who jinxed us by saying that nobody has ever done the Eagles?

Ann braved the stage and the sociologists again with “Your cheatin’ heart.”

Mama Harried and Nina followed up with “Downtown.” Because the dj was a little slow in starting the song, Nina adlibbed with “The March Dance from Our Socialist Past.” LL was very excited about having this written down in the fieldnotes. So excited that she spit all over me on the word “pppppast.” There was dancing. It was good.

I did “Me & Bobby McGee” again. I was gonna do Shakira in Spanish (“Estoy aqui”), but then Will asked if I did Janis Joplin. And being the crowd pleaser that I (like to think that I) am, I went with Janis instead of Shaki.

Continuing with the Cher theme, Rhymes-with-Scrabble performed one of the more offensively titled songs of the night, “Half-breed.” But the message was a good one. Poor Cher. So misunderstood. The notes say, “Awesome.” We all sang along. Or, at least we all yelled, “Half-breed” at the appropriate moments. I can imagine that was disturbing for people walking by the Kid last night.

Then “two girls in jackets” (one was Jenny, the birthday girl) sang “Safety dance,” which was actually spelled “Safty dance.” And dance we did.

Then the door guy and nose-ring guy did Devo’s “Whip it.” Nice choice.

Then LL’s big moment: “Cabaret”! Since Dorotha was not feeling so well and Mama Harried was not having it, I filled in for her role as the prostitute…I did my best to be Dorotha-esque. I’m quite sure I didn’t live up to her earlier performance, but I did do kicks. And who doesn’t like kicks?

Will followed with “Minnie the Moocher.” Nice scatting! And great for singing-along.

Jessie J then sang one of her classics: “The Humpty dance.” Jeremy was very excited about that one. There was lots of dancing.

Then we had a little Peter, Paul and Mary (or, rather, Jeremy, Will, and Nina – although Jeremy ran from the stage when Nina went up there. What was that about?) singing “Leaving on a jet plane,” the first song I ever learned to play on the guitar. It got a little crazy up there. Lots of verve! Very nicely done with beautiful harmonies.

Next came Ann, LL, Will, and me singing “Love shack.” I guess LL and I were sort of cheating on our own dept with that one, but what can you do?

Another Cher moment followed with Rhymes-with-Scrabble and me: Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves!!! I Cher-ed it up was much as possible on that one.

Jessie J followed up with her last and most powerful performance of the evening, a reprise of “You shook me all night long.” The notes say, “Further evidence of JJ’s general karaoke awesomeness,” and “standing ovation.”

Will followed with “You sexy thing.” We danced – someone danced “especially tawdry to this.” Who, me? Never! And “Will rocks.”

Rhymes-with-Scrabble did another one of her hits: “Fancy.” I can’t wait till she does some more Reba!

“Nina gets drinks for her and Lisa?!” I was jealous.

LL and I sang “Billie Jean,” the first Michael Jackson I recall from the sociologists. How could we have not thought of this earlier? The notes say, “Great!!!” – seriously, there are 3 exclamation points.

Then things get a little jumbled in the notes. The notes say “Where did this pen come from? Is it mine?” No, Jeremy, it’s Dorotha’s (I think). The bartender (first time I’ve ever seen her perform!) + nose ring guy singing “Basketcase.” Then Will and Ann sing “Come together” and do the “stoned robot.” We can’t hear Ann at all. Will is a little overzealous. LL thinks the mics are improved. I note that Will is wearing the free bus pass holder in his belt loop. Nice use of accessories. And Rhymes-with-Scrabble has never read my blog before!

Rhymes-with-Scrabble then sings “Like a prayer.” Wow! She actually literally got down on here knees in time with the music whenever the words were “I’m down on my knees.” That’s dedication to one’s karaoke craft.

During her performance I did an insane flip on the pen and Nina said: “Record that.” Done.

Next came some guy singing “Superman.” Yawnfest. So we left. I proceeded to drop the field notes at least 3 times on the way home. But luckily I did not destroy them.

Shout out to Dorotha + helpers for another fine set of field notes (that is, notes one takes in the field).

And I warn you again that next recap may not be so long. It’s just that the sociology careyoke-ers did so many songs that there was so much to say. Hope you enjoyed. Feel free to add your fave moments to the comments.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

LL got the drink from Nina because LL does such a damn good Cabaret. So there, jealous-pants!

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to disappoint you, but "Fancy" is pretty much the only Reba I KNOW. I like songs about prostitutes. Also death. Why aren't there more songs with both?


8:44 PM  
Blogger jeremy said...

I think we should have a poll about which song about prostitutes or death should RWS sing next?

9:07 PM  
Blogger careyoke said...

OMG! Perfect poll idea. And another idea: next time each careyoke regular could do a song about death or prostitutes (or by Belinda Carlisle) in homage to Rhymes-with-Scrabble or, instead, our own interpretation of our fave Rhymes-with-Scrabble song.

10:06 PM  
Blogger Rhymes With Scrabble said...

Well, I won't discourage you from making the evening more about ME... when I was talking to Will and Ann, they remarked that I was the only member of the group wearing a "karaoke shirt." So apparently I already stand out.

Do they have "Dead Man's Curve"? Man, they really need to make their catalogue available online.

12:53 AM  
Blogger nina said...

You are such a cheerful group! Make it a theme night and require prostitute clothes as well -- men included. P.S. It was rumored that Jerry once sang "Leader of the Pack" -- that sort of qualifies, doesn't it? And can we include songs about frivolous sex but not necessarily in exchange for money (there are worst things I could do, than to have a boy or two, even though the neighborhood, thinks I'm trashy and no good)? Otherwise those tied at the hip to music of past decades will have trouble finding good songs.

10:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to clarify, I wasn't laughing at your singing during "More than Words," I was laughing at the comments and faces you were making. We rocked that monster ballad!!

I wonder if they have that song, "I've got ho's in different area codes?" I'm not sure if it specifically refers to prostitutes, but I really like that song!

1:20 PM  
Blogger jeremy said...

Regarding Michael Jackson, I think someone has done "The Way You Make Me Feel" before, which is my favorite MJ song.

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hola Careyoke and the Legion of Indecency!

Will W. here from Journalism just thanking youse for a wonderful bash on Monday. Ann and I enjoyed ourselves immensely at the Group Therapy session, especially with such a welcoming and supremely talented crowd. So many high points... You Shook Me, Cabaret, Earl, Janis, Criminal. Where do I pay my membership dues? You guys put Mass Commers to shame; all they seem capable of doing is drinking and gossip. No karaoke, no guts, no glory.

Please let me know when the Magic Room is in session again: wcworkman@wisc.edu.

-Will, who is practicing his scatting. along with a few new ones for the repertoire: Hungry Like the Wolf, Up on Cripple Creek, Jack and Diane, Cherry Cherry, I Want You to Want Me, et al.

2:44 PM  

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