Friday, 15 April 2011

Sj Finch, author of 'The Kid on the Karaoke Stage Emptied His Beer and Cried. Men Threw Him a Line'

What song would the narrator/protagonist of your story sing at a karaoke bar and why?

My protagonist performed many karaoke songs in an amateur career spanning over half a decade. He did this for many reasons, and sometimes for no reason at all. Here is the unofficial Greatest Hits in the first person and a somewhat chronological order:


The Darkness – ‘Growing on Me’

Naively, I thought that singing parodic pop-metal would be fun for both the audience and myself because it called for nail-on-chalkboard falsetto and sexy faces. Plus I could just air-guitar when I got too drunk to read the words. Naivety wins.  


MC Hammer – ‘Can’t Touch This’

I knew how to do several MC Hammer–flavoured dances, including the crab walk and that nineties pop-rap cross-foot spin that also features in some Salt ’n’ Pepa videos.


Air – ‘I’m All Outta Love’

The one that got the most audience reaction, often either ironically ecstatic or disgusted and captivated, and probably my greatest achievement. Began as just another slow eighties love song warbled off-key in a karaoke bar, but quickly warped into a rather x-rated and hyper-passionate seemingly drug-induced performance where I would scream about being wrong/sorry/ repentant/repugnant for long minutes and writhe on the ground. During the song bridge I would calmly take off all of my clothes and ask the audience what they were thinking of. Resulted in being kicked out of two pubs, once while perfectly straight.


Electric 6 – ‘Gaybar’

Part of the joy of interacting with the audience at a local pub was seeing how far I could swing the meter from acceptable homosocial drunken interaction to deviant threatening homosexual performance. There is nothing more satisfying than pointing to grizzled, beer-bellied middle-aged men and screaming that I would like to take them to a gay bar, put something in them, and possibly start a nuclear war. The repeated vocal refrains are perfect to air-thrust too. Plus it’s got cowbell.


David Bowie – ‘Life on Mars’

Halfway through the performance, my feet got caught in microphone wire, and I fell backwards against the pub wall. With all my weight on the wall, my body at a less than 45-degree angle, and my drunken mind unable to perform more than two actions at once (singing and reading), I slid, helpless, into the crack between the pub wall and the karaoke stage. I finished the rest of the song stuck there to much laughter and applause.


Prince – ‘Kiss’

Prince – ‘Let’s get Crazy’

I had a love affair with Prince that was secretly not ironic. The hypersexuality, the godblesshim falsetto, the pop genius, the kissy faces. Yeah, Prince has it all. 

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