I love when my buddy Lex gets the fever to karaoke, because he's willing to drive me any place I want to go. So last Thursday after a movie we hit the Bullpen in Seatac, where they do karaoke seven nights a week.
KJR was feeling Lively in Seatac.
The floor was dead when we arrived at ten, but there were people lined up to sing. The bar area had plenty of people hanging out, but there was only one table watching singers. It's a wide open space: They have a big stage set up in the corner with a dance area below, and the KJ station is set up in back of the stage.
When we sat down, there was a big guy and a big gal doing a duet of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." They didn't totally suck, but they weren't remotely good either. The sound was nice and loud. It's a big enough place that the KJ can crank it on the floor and it doesn't mess with people trying to carry on conversations at the bar.
The first half of the Bullpen's catalog is organized by song title and the second half by artist. It's nice to have both rolled into one. They've built up a big selection of discs but have not upgraded to computer. The KJ was in his thirties, was a pretty cool guy, and kept things fun.Two singers in a row did Madonna songs. The first was another heavyset guy that goofed around with "Like A Virgin." He got some laughs because he was fat, but I didn't think he sold it enough. The gal after him sang "La Isla Bonita," and that made me decide to try one of my favorite songs, "Cherish." The song came out when I was in high school, and it always makes me think about how tantalizing she looked as she danced all soaking wet around the beach in that video.
I was hoping the KJ would slip me in to round out a Madonna the triple-shot, but he instead called up a husky guy with slicked back hair that delivered a spirited rendition of Howard Jones' "No One Is To Blame." He did such a good job that I no longer wanted to sing my Madonna pick--but I was called up next.
From the moment the words "Cherish....Cherish" appeared on the screen, I knew there was no way I wouldn't wind up sounding like a fuck. I might have been able to have a good time with it if I'd attempted to sing high, but there was no way I could have survived up there. I had to keep it low and it took all the fun out of it. The mic was nice and loud so my voice came out real bassy, and that was cool, but I just don't enjoy singing like that. There was still only one table of people paying attention, so I powered through--but it's one of those songs that drags on forever. The end of the song where I had to sing "Give me faith, give me joy, my boy" over and over was humiliating. I was ready to take off right then and there.
The KJ pulled out something random and sang "When the Sun Goes Down" by the Arctic Monkeys. During his performance some youngsters arrived and sat at the table down from us. It was a couple guys with two really attractive chicks, a blonde and a brunette. They couldn't have been any older than 22. One of them was a blonde that looked a hell of a lot like Blake Lively, and she had a body that instantly made us assume she worked up the road at Déjà Vu.
Lex and I have been gawking at women together since we were 11. He determined within ten seconds of scoping their interaction that neither of the dudes had dibs on these chicks. I wasn't going to pull the prick move of overtly screwing with these guy's chances, but I also wasn't going to stop myself from trying to impress them with my skills on the microphone. I have that in my head every time a chick catches my eye at a k-bar; it rarely pays off but it's always worth a shot.
As I debated what to sing, the girls started hitting the froo-froo shots hard. I spotted one of my all-time favorite Van Morrison cuts, "Jackie Wilson Said," in the book and turned it in. I was really stoked to sing it because years ago I found it at a k-bar while vacationing in Hyannis, but it wound up being a mistake--they didn't have it at all.
We were into the second rotation and things really started picking up. All of a sudden there were like 15 new singers. Instead of getting them all up first, the KJ alternated between new singer and returning singer so I still had my original place in line. Some KJ's like to be fair by giving priority to the new singers, but it upsets people that have been there all along when there are so many of them.
A lady got up and sang what's become a karaoke standard, "Santeria" by Sublime, and it got the hotties dancing. Both girls were wearing tank tops. The blond had this tiny cotton vest that buttoned just over the top part of her torso. When she unbuttoned it and took it off to further expose what was underneath, I wanted to grab the nearest bottle and break it over my head. We could tell by watching them dance there was no way they were strippers. They were just two fun-loving girls who'd recently discovered the joys of partying in a bar.
The husky slick-haired dude was the best singer of the night. As he outdid his Howard Jones performance with an extraordinary version of Maroon 5's "She Will Be Loved," the KJ told me they didn't have my Van Morrison pick after all. It was the same circumstance as the place in Cape Cod. They had it in the book but he showed me it was nowhere to be found on the disc. I told him I'd do "Wild Night" instead.
The song was in my ideal key and I took full advantage of the volume level. I was at the ending stages of my cold where my lungs had a nice coating of phlegm to add that extra rasp when I hit the high parts. It was perfect for a Van Morrison cut. It sounded really powerful and the KJ left the sound alone. The chicks stayed at their table, but I could tell they were digging it. It's a great upbeat song and I nailed the yodeling at the end.
When I was done, and the KJ said to give it up for me, blondie gave out a really big cheer. It made my night.