Wednesday, January 22, 2014

squeezing the sponge

Recent events got my brain working on analyzing myself.

On December 24th, per request I brought my XBox 360 and Rock Band to my mom's house. As it happens when Rock Band is played in my family, I become the one who does funny voices and comments and either alone or with my daughter the weird, crazy songs that I have downloaded for the game.

Last Sunday at Luke's 40th birthday party featured karaoke in a building which reminded me of a strip club private show room as we were in a special room with seats

I was coerced into performing the song The Gambler with Carrie's husband, Josh. His voice mostly drowned out mine and after the line that began, "If you want to play the game, boy," I said to be funny, "Game Boy? up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right..." No reaction. When I did that song at my mom's house while attempting to sing it with my sisters, two people who knew the Konami code chuckled. I then remembered that in my group of friends that I am not the crazy funny one but the "normal" one whose singing is so bad it has become a joke and spent the rest of the time there unable to gather the courage to do another song.

After I explained to Carrie that in my family, I am the crazy, funny one, Luke and Carrie who did not realize that called me live on their podcast to talk about it. I explained that outside my friends, I end up repeating many of the funny things I hear in songs, movies, and tv shows like a sponge and like a sponge, what comes out when it is squeezed is usually not as good as what it soaks in.

In my group of friends, there are many inside jokes that when applied elsewhere lose their effect. If I go with my daughter tomorrow to her future high school called Fenton, deliberately sit in the SATAN! section, act like the song in the Denton Dossier is playing, and reply to the person at the mike with a robust OOOKKKAAAYYY! nobody other than my daughter would get it.

Until yesterday, I would not care. Now I do.

Last Friday the subject of Track 24 (the song I created for the Luke Ski tribute CD) came up in the gaming group and I was going to explain to someone who had no idea what it was what led to it until I realized it would take longer to explain it than the song itself.

In full detail this led to that track being made and what my plans are:

March 6, 2004 7AM: I wake up and find myself walking the hallway of the Marscon party rooms when I hear music in the karaoke room. I walk in to see someone I know still in there from the night before. She coerces me to grab the mike and for the first time in my life sing karaoke sober. I look up, she is video recording me. Fifteen seconds into the song, One More Minute, I realize two things. One: I can't sing. Two: Now I understand why I was booed performing karaoke in a bar in 1996. After I did Walk the Line, the person hosting karaoke recommended that I should not do karaoke.

March 11, 2004: The husband of the person who recording me, Luke Ski, was doing his weekly internet show featuring music from the previous weekend's convention and played what I performed. Someone in the chatroom stated that my performance woke her up on the floor below.

Over the next couple of years: I try to get Carrie (whom I first met that weekend) to help me sing as she has a degree in music. She states she can't help me.

March 2, 2007: While eating dinner in the restaurant downstairs, I got a text demanding that I HAVE to be at the Marscon opening ceremonies sketch. During the sketch which bounced around various topics, convention agent Luke Bauer was introduced and he asked for a report from Chloe played by Carrie. Among what she reported was that there was a Madman on the Loose in the karaoke room threatening to sing William Shatner's version of Mr. Tambourine Man. Luke asked if it was Ken Sherlock, and after confirming went, DAMNIT.

After that I thought it would be cool if in the karaoke room there would be a 24 style showdown but we never got the time.

March 5, 2007: While driving home from Marscon, I realized it would be cool if I learned how to sing and surprise everyone next year by doing a competent version of Mr. Tambourine Man in the karaoke room. I then purchased an on line vocal training program which still to this day occasionally sends me an email.

April 20, 2007: While at Penguicon, I notice the karaoke room has Mr Tambourine Man and was going to give it a shot but Worm Quartet was about to hit the stage so I could not stay to do it. After screaming SATAN! and SHIT! FUCK! DEATH! BEER! my voice was too trashed to attempt it.

late June 2007: Having finished the course, I contacted a vocal coach and made an appointment for mid July.

July 7, 2007: I tell DJ Particle, who was casting live at Convergence, that I was taking voice lessons and that live on the show I was going to sing when "Luke Bauer" appears to "stop" me. This was planned by me so I could surprise people at Marscon 2008.

July 18, 2007: I go for a voice lesson. After 10 minutes the person stated he could not help me since I have no sense of pitch or tone and that I hear like a color blind person sees.

December 2007: Luke asks me to record something at his house where I do the voice of a Russian being interrogated and then tortured.

Jan 4, 2008: The song Jack Bauer is released. The recording I did turned out to be in the song where my character is being tortured by Jack with the singing of William Hung (the She Bangs person from American Idol)

Various conventions that year: I appear with Luke on stage during that song dressed in a suit and George W. Bush mask being interrogated in the song. 

March 7, 2009: While in the Marscon Dementia Radio party room at 2AM, I stated I caught myself singing and apologized. Luke shows up right after I left and DJ Particle loudly "thanks Luke Bauer" for showing up just in time to stop me from singing. That night, I suffer the reoccurring nightmare I would get about being removed from the fan showcase performance since I can't sing. They next day, I was barely able to function almost doing something that would have been very regrettable. I proclaimed that anyone could babble with music into a microphone for 2 minutes, have it recorded, and get it on DJ Particle's top 20 countdown.

March 7, 2010: I get singed permission by the music guest of honor to perform at the fan showcase and have DJ Particle read it. The music of Mr Tambourine Man starts and just before I sing, my daughter's voice is played instead stating she purposely edited the file so I can't sing and asked me to put the mike down and let someone else sing. I repeat that in 2013 but have the file "glitch" preventing me from performing.

March 6, 2011: I walk into the room during the fan showcase as DJ Particle is making a Luke Bauer joke, shake my head in disgust, and storm out.

Feb 2013: Carrie tells me she is doing a tribute CD for Luke to be given to him in the summer and asks me to perform in it. My first thought was "Jack Bauer" but at 6:24 it was way too long and I agreed figuring it would be a bonus track worthy song.

April 2013: I figure out a way of doing a 27% length version of "Jack Bauer" where I torture the character with me singing "Mr. Tambourine Man" and after threatening to do the full song causing the spy to comply, ending it. Since I did not cover the full song and wanting to create a joke since iTunes list songs that way, wanted to call it Track 24 and have it as the 24th track on a CD.

June 1, 2013: After 2 months of rehearsing, record the two choruses and one verse on the first attempt. It took a little while with the torture scene due to exact timing but it was done in less than an hour. Since it turned out to be a 2CD set, some creative numbering was done by Devo Spice to get my track to be #24 on the second of 2CDs.

June 3, 2013: I find out the person who ran the karaoke room at Marscon who was running it in that day in 2004 died.

June 22, 2013: The CD, Worst Tribute Ever, is released and Luke is overwhelmed.

June 23, 2013: I was going to perform Track 24 as a surprise during karaoke. However, the DJ was initially uncomfortable with getting music from another source as my backing track was on my ipod and by the time he figured out how to do that without risking his computer, I was too tired and my nerves were too shot to attempt it.

June 28, 2013: Track 24 appears on DJ Particle's weekly top 20 countdown at number 17. Had my company's firewall not blocked the site's registration email confirmation, it could have been number one for that week.

January 16, 2014: I announce live on the air that I will not perform Track 24 at the upcoming Marscon Fan Showcase the way it appeared on the CD if Carrie Dahlby's indie gogo project to fund her third CD reached its goal.

March 8, 2014 (planned): Perform Track 24 at the Marscon Fan Showcase. (twist?)

Date TBD 2015 (planned): Perform Track 24 at the Marscon Fan Showcase. (twist?)

It took almost an hour to write the time line that produced a 2 minute song.

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