Friday, July 15, 2011

Karaoke as Promotion

I may not sing karaoke often (or well) but I listen a lot.

I've heard great karaoke, funny karaoke, horrible karaoke...and everything in between.  The great thing about karaoke is the variety of songs.  Sure, you hear a lot of the same stuff - Don MacLean's American Pie, Toby Keith's I Love This Bar, Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive, and Picture by Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow (or worse yet the parody).  You suffer through...distract yourself with your drink or food.  But almost every time - there is at least one song that makes me think "Oh, what's this?" or ""Man, I forgot about this song."  Karaoke has inspired me to buy a lot of music and investigate a lot of artists and bands that I hadn't heard of before.

I think karaoke is great for introducing people to new music and reminding them of old songs.  My problem is that the place rarely has the song I want to sing - sure they will have thousands and thousands of songs but they always seem to be missing the exact song I want.  They'll have Harvey Danger - Flag Pole Sitta but not Little Round Mirrors, they will have Megadeth Trust, but not Symphony of Destruction.

Even worse (and I can't blame the venues since they have to buy the songs, but still it's disappointing), they don't have the obscure and small time bands that I think are awesome and would love to introduce to people.  I always wish that more small time and beginning bands would release karaoke versions of their songs for the fans to download and take to their local karaoke establishment.  I would love to have sing some Speed McQueen, Jupiter Sunrise, or 2 Skinnee Js.  There is tons of music that I would love to sing that most people haven't heard...and I am sure many others have some obscure song that they would like to share with the world.  I wouldn't worry about the quality, I've heard really awful renditions and later looked them up to see what it should sound like.  Any publicity is good publicity right?

Just and idea that I have had stewing in my brain for get on it indie bands.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The End of a Era

Saturday marked a sad day in sports history - a titan has fallen, a dynasty has crumbled, and an era had ended.  Upon the announcement of the news, world economies plummeted and fans everywhere were left with the dark depression of having nothing more to live for.  It is with a heavy heart that I bring you the news that CT and I were unable to win to keep the vaunted SLAEROWYCOT - Soar Like An Eagle Rock Out With Your Cock Out Trophy.  The loss of the trophy has left a gaping hole in my soul.

How could this happen?  It was a conspiracy.  Not even kidding.  Just check out these rules...posted mere handful of days before the tournament.  I was disappointed in these rules.

Yes, that is right...I was singled-out and specifically had rules created against me.  I must admit, this is the first time that I have ever been considered a threat in any sport.  I guess that makes me feel better about be perceived as a great enough danger to warrant severe handicaps.  This for the person who was nearly always the last picked in gym class.  Actually, these rules make me sad...I understand that it is supposed to be a mixed partner tournament and that by having two male teammates that we might have an advantage...but if anything, that advantage was very slight.  It makes me sad that the females are considered to be so much less as competitors.  I contend that many of the females in the tournament were taller, more athletic, and more competitive than me (I am a poor specimen of manliness).  I don't see gender as being that big of a difference.  It seems extreme making both members of a same-sex team play non-dominant hand.  To me that shows that the view on women is that not only are they incompetent themselves, but also a hindrance to their partner.  I just don't believe that a woman on the team is that much of a handicap.

Yes, it is taken seriously.
Hosts: The Albers - ready for action
However, I do believe that my non-drinking did play factor in last year's tournament.  I can see making that a handicap.  Last year was so hot, that most people drank A LOT of alcohol...not just normal party amounts of alcohol.  Huge amounts.  The tournament also lasted a long time.  This lead to much drunkness on most teams.  I am not saying that it is the reason we won the tournament, because CT and I had a strategy and adapted match to match...we were just good, but being non-drunk did offer some advantage in later rounds.  However, once again this handicap applied to both players...even though one was drinking.

The handicaps this year - since they affected both members of our team were just too much to overcome.  If one of us had to play left-handed, we might have had some kind of chance.  Even if we had to flip a coin to determine which of us would play left-handed.  Both of us lefties, gave us no chance at all.  We were a little bitter at first.  Play was very strange...left hand was weaker, constantly felt awkward, and threw off every part of our game from balance to hand-eye coordination. I must apologize to CT for my play.  CT actually played decent left-handed.  He said that it actually makes sense because batting in baseball and a golf swing both use the left hand for power with the right being more for guidance.  Oh, that explains it...I don't have those athletic skills to fall back on.  I played awful...especially my serve.  You wouldn't think it would be that difficult but for me it was.  I probably cost our team every match because of my serving.

Grade A Douchebags
Although we lost each match pretty handily, we did put up a valiant effort...never getting left in the dust, but never being able to string together enough of a point streak to overcome.  We did win one match in a best of 3 series...but that was the highlight of our playing, the rest we lowlights - really low.

One consolation (if I am thinking of the right people) was that the winners were a couple that just moved into a new home a short time ago and now are facing being flooded if one of the levees in Western Iowa doesn't hold up.  They probably needed some happiness...and an Eagle trophy is great for that.  So congrats on that...hope you don't lose everything.

CT and I did, however, look fabulous.  We decided to be classy this year and went with Wimbledon White.  I was looking sexy in a white dress.  Yes, it is a little weird asking your girlfriend if she will go dress shopping with you...for you.  Luckily, Angie is cool like that.  It wasn't the dress that I would have liked, but it was the one that fit best - and offered the best movement for badminton.  I got lots of compliments, and a lot of "hey, I have that dress."  CT opted to go for Douchebag adding a backwards and upside down visor and douchey sunglasses to his outfit.  We are awesome.

Other than the actual badminton part of it...we had a great time.  Good food, great people, arguments with neighbors, lots of 'cock jokes, and shotskis.  Thanks again Alberses, Albers' (what is the plural of Albers?)  Thanks again for the great time...looking forward to seeing you again next summer - keep rocking out.

Looking awesome!
Wrestling shoes!