Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Karaoke kindness


It's my turn to sing at karaoke, and given my affinity for breakup songs with no-no words, I'm going with Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know."

The song is directed towards a man, though, which is a problem, what with my heterosexuality and inability to change pronouns on the fly and whatnot.

So I preface my performance with this dedication:

I want to dedicate this song to my ex-girlfriend, who I just found out is dating my best friend. 
(crowd oohs à la Saved by the Bell
So, Amy, this is for you and Claire. 
(crowd cheers à la Saved by the Bell: The New Class)

And I butcher this song in a decidedly unkosher manner -- I'm wildly off-key, I'm smushing lyrics together, and midway through the song, I utter the phrase, "Oh, there's more? Sorry, I'm not sober." (Sadly, I was very sober.)

But afterwards? Applause, high-fives, and assurances that I'm "gonna be fine, buddy."1

It remains my firm belief that karaoke brings out the best in humanity: we all have each other's backs; our flaws are seen as lovely and charming; and complete strangers are willing to donate confidence in the form of semi-intoxicated, good-hearted cheering to anybody who needs it. What's not to love?

I say this in all seriousness, and please consider this a legitimate, legally-binding request2: I want karaoke at my funeral, please. You know as well as I do that that's going to be amazing.


1I did feel kind of bad about sponging off the encouragement of others under false pretenses, but here's my perhaps entirely unsatisfying rationalization: Without the backstory, I'm just another incompetent singer the crowd has to tolerate. With the backstory, my performance becomes a gripping, emotional journey; a musical Bildungsroman written aloud with the words of one of Canada's greatest heroes. When we do karaoke, we're already playing a character; there's no crime in taking it a small step further.

2This sounds like a joke, but I can't emphasize enough how serious I am. I mean, I'm assuming my funeral will be at least a little sad maybe, but how great would it be if somebody picked up the mic and started singing this.

Friday, August 15, 2014

“The crowd will love you for being brave”


Some lyrics from Her Space Holiday's song "The Day In Review":

If life is one big symphony,
Don't play your part too cautiously
Let your fingers make mistakes
The crowd will love you for being brave

I like these lyrics because they're a call to be bold and take chances and make a mess occasionally.

However, I love these lyrics because they're also a call to all of us to recognize when others are being bold and taking chances and to support them even if they make a mess occasionally.

Don't get me wrong: Mistakes that are the product of thoughtlessness or selfishness or dickishness are obviously bullshit. But mistakes that are made while trying to do something creative or interesting, while trying to find meaning and purpose, while trying to make someone feel loved—those are good and honorable and necessary.

If we want a world that's more vibrant, more thoughtful, and more honest, that means making an effort to distinguish honorable mistakes from bullshit ones. And it means making people feel comfortable—or at least, unpunished—for taking meaningful creative, emotional, or professional risks, even if especially if they don't work out.

And if I want the crowd to love me for being brave, I have to remember that I'm a part of the crowd for everybody else, and that their minor acts of bravery deserve just as much encouragement as my own.