Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Everybody Scream (Off-Key)!!!

Last night I went down to the Lower East Side for my monthly hipster refreshment course, where I remind myself how out of touch I am with most people my age, because I don’t make irony a starting point for life experience. Or I make fun of them. In any case, my real goal was not the pursuit of shaggy haircuts and thick black glasses, but to see my friends, the Gods of Fire, do their face-melting old-school metal thang downstairs at The Delancey, followed by the wonder known as Punk Rock and Heavy Metal Karaoke, where a live band backs you up as you sing/butcher a whole host of punk and metal classics in front of a slightly captive and very drunk audience. That’s right: an hour of rock stars with harmonized two-guitar attack and metal-screaming about men with battle-axes, followed by the opportunity to be a rock star myself. This much fun should be illegal.

After rocking out to the Gods and putting on a stirring (if I do say so myself) rendition of “War Pigs” where I channeled a bit of Ozzie Osbourne and a bit of Mike Patton then watched them duke it out in a battle for supremacy over the vocal cords, I had the opportunity to observe the rest of the fauna there for a hard night’s rocking…or watching other people rock without singing themselves (which doesn’t make any sense to me, but whatever floats your boat). Major highlights:

  • The guy who did a surprisingly energetic version of “Live Wire.” Really, you don’t expect that much attention to detail of movement from a karaoke singer and this guy could do a halfway decent Vince Neill, too. Definitely the best performance of the night.

  • The performance of “Photograph,” complete with backup singers, including the guy with the foot-tall bleached blond mohawk and Iron Maiden shirt. Not remarkable because anyone involved had a snowball’s chance in hell of singing on key (somewhere, Joe Elliot was twitching), but because the lead vocalist eventually abandoned any pretenses of keeping with the spirit of the song and did the coda Cookie Monster vocal style. If you’re gonna be original, I say, definitely go all the way.

  • California Über Alles. Definitely a song that’ll get all of the kids singing together - and isn’t that what really matters?