New Year’s Eve Playlist 2011/2 (for those we missed)

A Happy New Year’s Eve’s Eve’s Eve to all o the. As a reasonable open-minded man in his mid to late 20s (quiet you!) I listen to & experience a vast assortment of musical tastes and genre-hopping radio stations/events/gigs. With that in mind I have prepared a rough playlist for NYE 2011/12 which attempts to meet as many expectations as any one houseparty can comprising folk of mostly a similar demographic (whilst ignoring Britpop/Indie & Dance bollix wherever possible).

Being far from an exact science I would as ever appreciate any feedback or glaring omissions relating to my sometimes very linear-minded pursuit of pleasurable compiling. This list also includes the 12 lamented souls who departed us this year from my previous musical obituary.

Surefire Party Opener

Prince & The NPG – Jam of the Year (Woah! Everybody’s actually here, my own party hasn’t failed)

The trio of obligatory despair (get ‘em outta tha way)

U2 – New Year’s Day

Abba – Happy New Year

John & Yoko – (Just Like) Starting Over

Get the Party Started for realsies

Harry Webb aka Cliff Richard aka Satan My Master – Wired for Sound (All speaker sizes welcome)

Cat Empire – Get The Party Started (cause Pink can go suck her mother’s dick)

Cheryl Lynn – Got to be Real (from Carlito’s Way soundtrack as is…)

Sylvia Robinson – Pillowtalk (perhaps a little saucy for pre-watershed)

Prince – 1999/Housequake (Shut up already, DAMN!)

Cool smoke machine guys...either that or peas for lunch

Heavy D (RIP) & The Boyz – The Overweight Lover’s In The House (probably the bathroom)

Young MC – Bust A Move (“Standin’ on the wall like you was a poindexter”)

Dobie Gray (RIP) – Out on the Floor (“I’m gonna get my kicks…”)

Mayer Hawthorne – Your Easy Lovin’ Ain’t Pleasin’ Nothin? (Dat’s a whole lotta g’s missin’)

Toddla T – Badman Flu (“Temperature! TEMPERATURE!” Samples Lyn Collins’ excellent Think About It)

SBTRKT – Wildfire (From one of the best dance records of the year)

Chic – Everybody Dance (Bernard Edwards cuts some rug & Nile Rogers reprasentz)

Pleasure – Joyous (12″ for the full 6 1/2 minute sultry stringed guitar climax)

Candi Staton – Young Hearts Run Free (Gay/liberation/Post-apartheid power anthem that just can’t be ignored)

"My mind must be free to learn all I can about me" - Something tells me maybe you already are sister

Kool & The Gang – Celebration/Jungle Boogie (Former: relevant. Latter: too funky)

James Brown – Sex Machine (cause someone always feels like being a…)

Eddie Murphy – Party All The Time

Rick James (Biiitch) – Give It To Me Baby (Disturbingly intimidating producer of Eddie Murphy in the previous vid)

Stevie Wonder – We Can Work It Out (Most soulful Beatles cover ever. End of)

Fats Domino – Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except For Me & My Monkey

Lionel Ritchie – All Night Long (So many words for party: Samba Fiesta Jambo Jambo)

Captain Beefheart – Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles (from The Big Lebowski)

Howlin’ Wolf – Moanin at Midnight (wedged somewhere betwixt Maiden & Priest)

Bill Tapia – I Wanna Learn To Speak Hawaiian (oh but he could with his fingers)

Cod rock/metal pre-erection section

Passing Stones – Start Me Up (preferably with video link-up)

Warrant – Cherry Pie (dedicated to Jani Lane)

Tucky Buzzard – Time Will Be Your Doctor (Lost Classic according to erm Classic Rock)

Iron Maiden – 2 Minutes to Midnight (Self-explanatory)

Europe – Final Countdown (Guitar solo climax right on the ‘stroke’ of midnight)

Judas Priest – Living After Midnight (See Maiden 2 cuts above)

Kiss – Rock & Roll All Night (cue tongue-waggling contest)

Dead Kennedys – Too Drunk to Fu*k (Don’t worry kids, that was probably how you were made)

Somewhere down the barrel i.e. until the wee hours (does the playlist still have principles?)

Faithless – Insomnia (I can’t get no sleep & it’s not just the cheap speed dammit)

Grace Jones – Slave 2 the Rhythm (Never stop the action – Keep it up)

Only Grace can make flossing for spinach look chic

Cool Down aka Vocal Acrobatics & Dodgy Duets

Bert Jansch & John Renbourn – Goodbye Pork Pie Hat (Charles Mingus Jnr. cover)

John Barry Orchestra – Born Free (then somebody caught me)

Love Unlimited Orchestra – Love’s Theme (for that schmaltzy smoochin’)

Hint: His Iceberg is in his bedroom but WHATTA moan!

The Impressions – Fool For You

Ben E. King – Stand By Me (written by Jerry Leiber RIP & Mike Stoller)

Sam Cooke – You Gotta Move (or anything from 63’s Night Beat album)

Otis Redding – Shout Bamalama (because we said so)

Ashford & Simpson – Reunited (and so begins the triple threat of wailing unisex duets)

Cher & Meatloaf – Dead Ringer For Love

Release the Hounds (Relevant & often nostalgic bleary-eyed body-swaying bawlers)

Urban Voodoo Machine – Goodbye to Another Year (thank you Guardian music for hippin’ me 2 get wit dis)

Tom Waits – New Year’s Eve (from his latest LP Bad as Me ends with Auld Lang Syne)

Die Roten Rosen/Dropkick Murphys/UK Subs/Insert favourite band’s live NYE bootleg here – Auld Lang Syne (cover)

Trembling Bells & Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy – New Year’s Eve’s The Loneliest Night of the Year (Warning: Good Houseclearer)

Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocelli – Time to Say Goodbye

Alt Themes/Options (Play the Wildcard);

Captain Beefheart Tribute – socially very alienating & divisive between fans & other

Norwegian Death Metal – as with Beefheart with additional problems of misanthropy)

Major Lazer Daggering Dance-off back before Beyonce completely misunderstood

"I knew I never shoulda let Major Lazer be cultural ambassador"

OR Classic Detroit Techno up in this biiiiitch? OR even all four until people start passing out.

OR We could just leave this thread here eh? Me thinks it would probably be safest.

Word up y’alls next year

PEACE 2K 2 tha + ’12 (or for readers over 25 ‘do be good’ – i was never an original badbwoy)

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12 Great Losses for Music in 2011: in case y’all never paid homage

To those we have lost this calendar year I thought I should pay tribute to a special 12 by preparing a recently deceased list by means of a communal obituary (as Megadeth would say Rust In Peace). All my lists have been in 12s recently – it started out as a festive trend as in days of Christmas but it’s coming to be the only denomination I recognise.

So much talent was cruelly stolen from us in 2011 that it almost makes me want to reject the Gregorian civil calendar & revert to the formerly acknowledged Julian; after all what’s 11 minutes between consecutive western interpretations of time passages? Exactly.

Hubert Sumlin (Howlin Wolf’s snarling guitarist as heard on such guttural abrasive classics as Spoonful, Killing Floor & Little Red Rooster which gave The Stones their first number 1)

Captain Beefheart (What is there left to say about this reclusive genius freeform poet turned painter out in the Mojave Desert that hasn’t been lovingly documented elsewhere? He was apparently striving to sound like Sam Cooke but resembled more the man in brackets above. Utterly unique)

Sylvia Robinson (Owner of Sugar Hill Records, had hit with Pillow Talk from Carlito’s Way soundtrack which contains an unnecessary & unsettling amount of salicious groaning noises)

With street styley B-Girl & B-ees nest hair back in her heyday

Dobie Gray (Overlooked soul singer whose hits included Drift Away, Loving Arms & The ‘In’ Crowd)

Nick Ashford (Ashford & Simpson fame, Motown hits like Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Reach Out & Touch Somebody’s Hand, Solid as Iraq if you’re Dubya and the excellent Reunited which Faith No More opened with at Download 2009)

Heavy D (With his Boyz he helped fuse New Jack Swing with reggae to help shape 90s rap – died devastatingly young)

He ain't about dental maintenance but lyrical sustenance

Jani Lane (of 80s hair metal band Warrant whose hits included Cherry Pie & Heaven)

Jerry Lieber (of immortal Lieber & Stoller songwriting fame who launched the popular musical Smokey Joe’s Café based on their songs)

John Barry/Roger Williams (Autumn Leaves & Born Free composer best sung by Ronnie Barker in Porridge as well as a proficient & diversive popular instrumentalist. Barry died last January aged 77 after composing some of the most iconic film soundtracks spanning over four decades including 12 James Bond films (most of the best), Midnight Cowboy, Dances with Wolves & Out of Africa. Typical work ethic for a Yorkshire lad.)

Bert Jansch (Scottish folk singer/guitarist of a recently reformed Pentangle who headlined Green Man festival in 2008 & contemporary & collaborator to the equally mighty Jon Renbourn)

Bill Tapia (Ukulele-wielding centurion who released 1st cd aged 96! Other than being the oldest living performer he also performed with Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong & Hawaiian legends like King Bennie Nawahi)

"It's a gay hawaiian wedding? Hey that's great"

Kim Jong Il/Colonel Gaddafi/Osama Bin Laden etc.

Eeerm yeah most dictator’s contributions to music may look shaky on the surface but opposition & political upheaval are major motivating factors toward song writing as well as musical protest wouldn’t you say? If I wasn’t quite so lazy or Western-orientated in the music I obsess over then I could probably find some artistic examples…

"No I love you man, that's a human rights atrocity against BASS!"

Xmas Xhaustion? Here’s a holiday hint: PUT DOWN THE FORK!

Without wishing to get bogged down into that whole ‘summarising 2011’ in the various realms of business, politics, music, film etc (I’d much rather leave that to the comprehensive editorial that is The Economist or y’know better news/blog sites), I have noticed that the annual reviews seem to have arrived earlier this year. This in itself reminds me of a recent twitter gag I read; “The people who moan about Christmas arriving earlier every year subsequently have to start moaning earlier every year” or something along those lines.

"My, how you've grown"

Recently I entered an Absolute Radio Christmas competition to win a new laptop. All you had to do was write an unusual Christmastime tradition in 50 words:

Our family Christmas tradition is…Father usually bastes himself in chicken grease then lets the grandchildren roll him around the garden before nuts & seeds are deposited into his every facial orifice like a human bird-feeder until a Playful Robin craps on his head before we all sing some Cannibal Corpse around the piano X

Now I know what you’re thinking right? That shouldn’t be allowed because there are only 49 words & a kiss. Why did I write this? Well, to relieve myself (wait for it) of the restless boredom that every aspect of Christmas brings…other than the company, decent grog & grub in that order (thanks ma).

One of The Daily Mash's Xmas T-shirts

Let’s start with the drink: NEVER drink after Christmas dinner as this is tantamount to assisted stomach suicide i.e. there simply isn’t room. This in turn means that you have to start drinking at around 11am or opening time if you’re a student/retired bachelor. You are therefore either pissed, stuffed or some ugly combination of the two with all the side effects & none of the benefits for the duration of the proceedings.

A glorious countryside walk followed by a pint of winter ale at your local (preferably of chestnut/dark appearance with ample malt & spicy aromas) is usually my personal highlight of the day. Raising that first toast aloft by the fireside bar & bumping into an old school buddy or neighbour should be savoured before the downward descent into becoming human foie gras whilst you endure your opinionated relatives’ prattling outdated views & fanciful notions. The cue-card read wittering of an imprisoned antique heirloom carted around the world to wave reservedly at our economy’s expense (HM Queenie) don’t help none neither.

All I Want For Christmas is...erm my husband's head in a box?

Now onto the endless offerings of foodstuffs: Britain has a dodgy enough relationship with its eating habits & ideas of ethical/acceptable food sourcing the rest of the year anyway. The whole holiday affair is sooo stretched out wider than the Jolly Fat Man’s gastric band. Then just when you’re fully burped & digested it transpires that you need to throw an even bigger & more gluttonous New Year’s party but this time around with only a day or two in which to recover.

By this stage you’ve already missed a week by just sitting slumped with your intestines festering, constantly grazing on filling shavings of animal, cheeseboard or sugary sweet (so-called) treats. This last ‘Lost/Missing Week’ of the year should be acknowledged as such by the government (if they weren’t experiencing it themselves) as the least pro-active of every calendar year so tax & sick pay could be compensated for.

For reasons unknown, everything must be smothered or accompanied with spuds, egg(nog) or other heavy dairy substance and liquor. Ah sweet lady liquor; helps to ease the communal pain that all are feeling but to which none are allowed to admit.

Everybody's got something to hide except me & my monkey

A mate was telling me that when his dad was younger he joined a Santa school for training to acquire a job visiting residents of Lincoln door to door bringing Christmas cheer – talk about dream temp work. Now although I’m not so good enthusing strangers whilst stood on their freezing patios, I’d already be concerned that given the current climate & extra-squeezed living conditions they’d kick me in the spleen then deck my halls by punching my Christmas lights out. It seems jobs like that (from the first Simpsons Xmas episode) just don’t come along enough anymore.

To conclude: I received an email & according to Katie, one of the website editors of the RSPB, there’s naff-all chance of seeing turtle doves on the second day of Christmas this year. I mean if her organisation really cared about birds then surely they should’ve captured some inside overcrowded pens to mate forcibly after grossly overindulging without exercise only to be trundled out a fortnight later wondering how they ever balanced themselves merrily on high or sang so proudly & jubilant during the early season…JUST LIKE US.

Tony didn't take too kindly to being told his mother was a snowblower

Despite everything written above: MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

The 12 Killer Khristmas Rifftastic Rockin’ Hells Bell-botherers!

Guns & Roses made some bizarre excuses not to play gigs at their peak, one of which was “there’s too much snow on the roof” which may have been a subtle metaphor for cocaine excess. Regardless of whether any white stuff has fallen some bands have stepped in to rock buildings to their foundations in ensuring there’ll be none left upon high once they’re done. With such spirit in mind tis the season I present the heavier titans of our Yuletide calendar as promised last week.

Numerous attempts have been made by the hard rock/metal community to accommodate more extreme musical tastes into the holiest of holidays. If only Independent music journo Simon Price’s concept of a seasonal Slayer covers band were real with the new spelling Sleigher who performed ‘Reindeer in Blood’ in its entirety (including ‘Angel of Blessed’). Still we can but dream…just remember to treat the assembled cast with respect through ample volume whilst you really are rocking around that prickly tree & don’t fling your air guitar into the roaring fire too soon then regret it.

Like Santa & a kinky Snow White fused then "dipped into a vat of acid"

Bob Segar – Sock It To Me, Santa!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3tJXb3mGT4&feature=related

Here’s our Bob with a funky bad Santa who’s gotta brand new bag. He also shares the same birthday as me so take that Jesus! As retroplanet117 states it’s ‘another Xmas song that hardly sucks at all’!

The Kinks – Father Christmas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xEopHCtEUo

Impressively black humoured considering its relative notoriety “give us yer money, we’ve got no time for your silly toys

Reverend Horton Heat – Run Rudolph Run

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3Fa7u2Rau8&feature=related

The Rev’s irrepressibly Texan rockabilly take on the classic recorded live on New Year’s Day 2 years back. Despite his ‘Bad Reputation’ these guys are always worth seeing if you ever get the chance, cheap official t-shirts too…

The Damned – There ain’t no Sanity Clause

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hbtezeJ1cE

Interesting video this one lovingly compiled by a fan clearly fed up of having this erased from their Chrimbo party playlist (if they’re anything like me).

King Diamond – No Presents for Christmas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5a5fHMlb4V0

Overblown with all the expected metal trimmings & sprinkled generously with the Danish King’s (Kim Bendix to his friends who are probably vastly outweighed by his enemies) ridiculously piercing wail. Just wait until that outro which comes seasoned with a tremlo-led cover of Rudolph.

I’m dreaming of a White…Sabbath! Hahaha

Spinal Tap – Christmas with the Devil

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sixsHSheV4g

From the Arsenio Hall show (yes that guy who was Semmi/Extremely Ugly Girl from Coming to America who became hot property for a while). Sorry for v. poor quality pic, crank this one up to 11…

AC/DC – Mistress for Christmas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aEEhN7_ZTw

Everything you’d expect from the School boys down under. Treating Xmas with the scandal & mischief it deserves “Get a date with the woman in red, wanna be in heaven with 3 in a bed…”

Venom – Black Christmas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlBXd6FE2ic&feature=related

Youtube abuser meatblob937 explains it better than I ever could “Cronos might as well be the jolly St. Nick of every metalheads’ bloody x-mass livin with recession! Exclamations are cool!!!” Just don’t try & understand the last 25 seconds ROLF!

Tortured Conscience – Little Drummer Boy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsvdMvJG0Vs

From the Brutal Christmas compilation, this sure throws new light on Bing Crosby & David Bowie from down the road’s renowned unusual pairing. Apparently there have been over 220 versions of this song in 7 different languages…this must be the 8th.

Dokken – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtlACq9He1o&feature=related

Interspersed with Silent Night Deadly Night 1 & Nightmare on Elm Street Part 3 (The Dream Warriors) with perfectly synched guitar solo from the latter. As those incorrigible Manc Scallies The Blackout Crew once said: Put a Dokken on it!

Reuben – Christmas is Awesome

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wH2umxtA_sc

Comedy meets crunchy powerchord perfection from the Aldershot trio currently on hiatus. Perfectly summarising the challenging yet rewarding nature of the day’s routine; “If I eat a sprout you gotta eat a sprout yeah you gotta suffer too

Twisted Sister – Heavy Metal Christmas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grwP8QvI1jY

From their ‘Xmas Metal’ genre-defining Twisted Christmas album & with a spoken Dee Snider intro in suitably subtle style. “On my heavy metal Christmas my true love gave to me a tattoo of Ozzy!”

I don’t wanna think about how many times the word Christmas has appeared in this post. Pass the brandy butter would you ma? I gotta burn that baby back into the bottle. Happy hollandaise kiddies!

The Twelve (12) Bestest Alternative Comedy Songs/Film Clips of Christmas

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good record collection must only want the finest seasonal soundtrack to enrapture his family with holiday cheer. And so without wanting to resort to typically overplayed novel hogwash like Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer (popular in the states apparently), the season definitely IS a time for laughter at the absurdity of it all…

Paul Simon, Steve Martin & Billy Noel (alright Joel) – Silver Bells (Eggnog monologue)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXN72rbXAr0

Talk about eggnog eggcess! There are numerous references to Eggnog based spirits among Steve’s classically dry throwaway lines about incest, suicide and the futile nature of it all. How Paul & Bill manage to keep the harmonies going without creasing is waaay beyond me.

Mitch Benn – Christmas Songs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmBNrn43pJY&NR=1&feature=endscreen

An excellent rumination on all the same tired dumpster of snowy balls dusted down every year…

Rammstein – Du Hast (seen only in the following context)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyMJxMmm5aU&feature=related

If Clark Griswold only had a electrical engineering qualification in Teutonic Industrial LED-based Power! This must truly piss off any local neighbours, epileptics & airport runways for miles around. For other hilariously rhythmic Xmas lighting displays see Metallica’s Master of Puppets Intro, Heavy Metal Christmas Light Show (Trans-Siberian Orchestra – Wizards In Winter) or I Put a Spell On You complete with singing skull (although this is more Halloween)!

Ned Gerblansky & Jimbo – O Little Town of Bethlehem

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Io8sB9sE9Dw

C’mon Ned, you’re flat” The timeless flip/b-side to Chef’s equally festive Chocolate Salty Balls. He does pick up a semi-tone for that last verse thou – now that’s spirit…

Half Man Half Biscuit – It’s clichéd to be cynical at Christmas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRDJgn68h1A

Best opening line: “Now how did I guess you were going to express your disdain at the tree with the bright fairy lights and you’d moan about the snow cause your car wouldn’t go…

Bob Rivers – Walkin’ Round in Women’s Underwear/The 12 Pains of Xmas/The Restroom door said Gentlemen

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTVBYNHT-p4&feature=related

At last the perfect excuse for a little stocking-related seasonal crossdressing eh?

Frank Sidebottom (RIP) – Christmas is Really Fantastic

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HM8qQ2LUeq8

Extensively featuring Frank’s mad keyboard skills! Chrimbo has never been a time for talent to outweigh feeling and here Frank’s head is visibly overcome with emotion.

Full Metal Jacket Christmas Elves Sketch

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCp4R7pqanc&feature=fvwrel

Lemme see your warface!” Sadly this is probably a surprisingly accurate depiction of how it must feel to work in a Chinese toy making factory around this time of year.

Killing Floor Twisted Christmas Event Trailer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oVqwrhbu70

Not quite sure why this makes the list but alas it did make me reminisce about how I felt last Christmas trapped in Leamington Spa with an unusable crapper & frozen pipes (the houses’ not mine although now I mention it…let’s end this here).

Don’t Open Til Christmas – Santa Claustration

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zv8DxE-jGew

No list of Chrimbo comedy songs & sketches is complete without a little SGM (thanks to Rich Dundas of Kneel Before Zod for acquainting me with this).

Elves film trailer (1990)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLo795JFfpg

The second corruption of ordinarily innocent elves which only goes to show worker’s strikes (&/or mating with virgins to spawn the master-race) are at least as old as our belief system i.e. not very. I just could not leave this out – there’s also a hilarious explanation for the elves actions with links to Nazi research from a John Waters lookalike. Cult Cinema Club Kneel Before Zod are showing this on Sunday 11/12/11 4pm at NottingHack, Carlton Road, Nottingham.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBRV7wGt3jU

This Cinemassacre review comes as close as anyone can to interpreting the most dumbfounding & kitsch Xmas movie ever made where it’s not just the toys acting wooden. Would Santa really react this way? Martian: “You will never return to Earth. Now you belong to Mars.”

Santa: “Ho, ho, ho…”

Bloody mental.

Other recommendations include…

Tim Minchin – White Wine in the Sun

An Aussie atheist take on a family Xmas which steers just the right side of being sentimental thanks to the origins of Jesus jokes

Paddy Roberts – Merry Xmas You Suckers!

A cynical sarcastic take on Xmas’ excesses – maybe I could’ve worded that better

Weird Al Yankovic – The Night Santa Went Craaazy

Hear the gory version for a more detailed last verse. Enjoyable but could always be darker than its delivery

Lou Monte – Dominic the Italian Xmas Donkey

Having heard this it must be a purely cornfed & quite lame donkey, I mean who thinks up these things honestly?

Coming soon: The Ten to Twelve (10-12) Holy Metal Killer Christmas Crackers!

Don’t let the rocking jingly bells end! Starring in no particular hors d’oeuvre Twisted Sister, Venom, AC/DC, King Diamond, The Damned & eeerm Bob Segar (who shares my birthday – in your heavenly face Jesus!) 

And for the not so comedy alt. (should be) classics: TBC

KARAOKE’s Sociable Healing: An analytical breakdown STOP! It’s kara-time

KARAOKE: the lowest common denominator of creative expression as Steve Coogan’s underrated alter-ego Tommy Saxondale once said; the drinking man’s last desperate cry (or shout as it usually ends up) for help; an acceptable group practice beyond an undetermined tipping point of alcohol to blood ratio (at least in the UK).

And yet within that strange word of one too many vowels more than consonants lies a wonderfully carefree and communal bar spirit. As a condensed combination of two Japanese words; ‘Kara’ from Karappo meaning empty & ‘Oke’ short for Okesutura which unsurpisingly translates to Orchestra, hence ‘Empty Orchestra’. But from the sounds that ascend up the average participants’ diaphragm, their orchestras are usually rather too well-fed but probably all the wrong foods for a night of soul-searchingly emotive self-exposure. They sometimes seem to be exorcising demons in pint form. Or as the karoakekanta website summarises: “Singing takes your troubles away and is relaxing, that’s why so many people get addicted to it.”  

http://www.karaokekanta.net/historia_en.html

I’ve recently become one such (empty orchestra) addict, a karaoke addict of which there could be many composite words; karaok-addict, kar-addict or shorter still but impossible to separate again; k-addict. This last label implies that what you’re addicted to is far worse than karaoke, like Ketamine (Special K for that slimmer horse-like figure), Karate or Kentucky Fried Chicken. Surely none of those things are as publicly & psychologically damaging to your profile as belting out Whitney’s finest Boy Meets Girl-penned anthem I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Houston we have a problem indeed). As with Tina’s Simply the Best* on previous occasions, I’d somewhat underestimated the full peak of melodic pitch after the mandatory key change. This unexpected shift forced me into something of a crunch-facing corner (not a Muller yoghurt) despite already being in a physical one where I reverted to falsetto aka false high tones – the last bastion escape route out the seasoned karaokist’s respective Colditz Castle.

*As a side note our band (Cosmic Funky Nuts better recognise fool) in which I am vocalist/keyboardist are now considering covering these 2 irrepressible karaoke classics along with Gloria Estefan’s Dr. Beat/Drop The Pressure as a femme ménage a trio medley and we’re not even trying to be a covers band anymore.

So why have I become so hooked on this harmonious drug? Hard to say ray but the injection (ok I’ll drop the drug metaphor references) of a fez-wearing Geordie DJ in his late 30s with the seemingly constant compulsion to heckle cod pop-ragga phraseology over all his own performances has got to be a contributing factor. ‘Shabba’, ‘Ere me now’, ‘One time’ & ‘Baybe gurl’ from Bubbler Ranx’s immortal intro to Peter Andre’s Mysterious Girl (presumably written about a future Jordan who surely encapsulates the true enigma of modern womanhood).

The fact that there’s more than a whiff of group therapy to the whole proceedings with folk airing their ability to become famous for 15 minutes as Andy Warhol predicted – this translates as around 3 or 4 song performances. Everyone, from Occupy Nottingham protestors pogo-ing & salivating Tasmanian Devil-like to Friggin’ In The Riggin’ & I Fought The Law to the lone abandoned wailing of a fresher girlfriend publicly executing that Canadian manikin Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On. Instead of showing aural pain or pity metalheads & pissheads alike recreated the ‘King of the World’ pose from Titanic as their equally ‘ahem’ unique and decidedly homoerotic interpretation.

No new twist of vocal dexterity is considered too bawdy in karaoke as with my dear chum Pete’s teary-arm pitted rendition of REO Speedwagon’s Can’t Fight This Feeling delivered an octave lower half in the style of South Park’s Ned Gerblansky. Subsequently you’ll have to imagine the 2 videos below hybridised in all their heart-churningly monotonous yet sincere bastardised MOR drive time glory (lack of pitch still packs a proper punch y’know):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67Fb8XbpWMM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Io8sB9sE9Dw

Ultimately as long as people hit the town together in groups or look to make friends to form larger groups, karaoke’s ice-breaking medium will continue to be one of the most sociable. The freedom of individual choice peppered by shared laughter is therapeutic & inclusive like all the best pub atmospheres. Despite the evening always being destined to descend into the same old clichéd favourites to group hugs, linked arms & unabated revelry (Bon Jovi’s Livin’ On A Prayer, Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’, Men At Work’s Down Under & Cheers theme as the final 4 in this case), it’s only ever a few miserabilists still sat at the bar by close stubbornly refusing to recognise that drinks best buddy of choice has always been song.

DJ Tony Leathers’ Good Times… Fun Times… KARAOKE @ The Old Angel, Nottingham; Every Thursday 8 until 1 All Pints £2 (with promo card)