Karaoke, huh?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2005/10/28 14:20 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2005/10/28/486333.aspx

I'm sure if you have been reading blogs on http://blogs.msdn.com/ that you have been reading about the Giving campaign. I probably do not get in to all of the activities that people like to do during this time (as much as some people do), but I found it mildly intriguing that today our group is going to be doing a Karaoke Challenge.

The idea is that you can bid to have somebody in the group sing a particular song. And of course others who are intrigued or amused at the prospect of that person singing that song may also put their bids in. Then, at the time of the actual event, that person will either need to sing that song or outbid the people who wanted the song sung. Where it gets very interesting is that people at the event can then raise their bid.

It would ordinarily be something kind of obnoxious, but the fact that all the money is going to charity mitigates things nicely.

When I was looking at the song list, I was amazed at the number of songs that I realized I would probably be willing to do if asked. Since I'm probably only doing from 0-1 songs, I figured it might be nice to capture the official list somewhere for people who are curious about the spectacle of me singing more than one song (which nobody is ever going to see).

Here is the official list in no particular order!). If you are somebody who is able to get me into a bar on a karaoke night, you may find this information valuable. I consider this list something that I'd be willing to do only when either charity is involved or I'm very drunk:

Now there is a lot more than I would be willing to do if the songs were there. For example, there is no Matthew Sweet, no mollycuddle, no Michael Penn, no Pretenders, no other Aimee Mann or Kathleen Edwards or Joni Mitchell songs. And no other Coldplay songs that I would want to sing (since I hate Yellow immensely!).

Now one important thing to keep in mind about this list is it has to be songs and not only like but that I believe I could actually sing (sometimes I miscalculate, like when I tried to do The Scientist (Coldplay) in Amsterdam). They may not even be songs that I would listen to on a regular basis (e.g. Neil Diamond, but I loved the riff that David Spade did on Brother Love in an otherwise entirely forgettable movie a while back).

But it should be an interesting event. I may even sing one of those songs.... something I will report on later for those who are interested. :-)

# someone on 28 Oct 2005 4:41 PM:

What are all these songs English? How are you meant to know subtleties of written scripts when they depends so much on cultural issues? We want recordings of you singing in Arabic, complete with glottal stops!

# Michael S. Kaplan on 28 Oct 2005 5:25 PM:

If only I knew Arabic....

There are no non-English songs on the karaoke list (I only know a few anyway)....

# Alicia Cales on 28 Oct 2005 5:59 PM:

I think that's blogs.msdn.com right? we don't yet have the one blog URL to bind them. :)


# Michael S. Kaplan on 28 Oct 2005 9:09 PM:

Whoops, yes it is!

# Laura E. Hunter on 29 Oct 2005 11:09 AM:

I maintain two karaoke standards that are in my range, and are luckily also songs that appear in any decent karaoke song-book:

* "Fire & Rain", James Taylor
* "Black Velvet", Allanah Myles

I actually think I've sung Fire & Rain at two consecutive Summit parties. :-)

# Michael S. Kaplan on 29 Oct 2005 12:15 PM:

Ah, very good, Laura.

I ended up doing Steal My Sunshine, and I think it went well (they had the words wrong on the screen a few times, FWIW). And then later I did Lullaby with someone who did want to sing but was coaxed intoa song that is mostly talking. :-)

There was a huge push to try to get me to sing a duet with a male PM (I've Got You Babe) which I simply refused to do, so I had to buy my way out of it. I think I set the record for refussal to sing a song involuntarily, most other people folded and ended up singing. I think the way I convinced them to give up was by asking the question "Is there anyone in this room who honestly believes they are more stubborn than I am?" and no one tried to raise it after that. :-)

(I HATE that song!)

I realized that the Challenge format is really not such a good one as it may seem, as for the most part people are signed up for songs that they do not know, and if you don't know how the song basically goes then words on the screen are not going to help much. But it was an interesting way to end the day. If it happens again I think that the singer needs to have more flexibility in being able to choose their song; it is fun to embarrass people I guees, but it is more fun to have it be entertaining for more than the humiliation....

# Si on 29 Oct 2005 4:17 PM:


The trick to the format was to place an online bid at the last minute for a song you were actually prepared to perform - that worked for me. I'm not sure why other people didn't work that out. This would have been less painful (for the singer and audience) than buying your way out of singing at all.

Anyway it was a fun event, and was caught on tape too! Yikes!

Cheers, Si

# Michael S. Kaplan on 29 Oct 2005 4:32 PM:

I agree that it was fun, I just think it could also be fun if people were picking their songs and then they would say "if we raise _____ $$$ then they would sing _____."

I am sure people would pick some good ones!

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referenced by

2008/09/12 U+1d31d -- "She's So High" lyrics, as requested

2005/10/30 Getting on people's case

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