May 12th, 2005

R&B/Soul post

Okay, I know what some of you are thinking. Already, I know. "Dude... Um... WTF, no Smiths? No NIN? No Sarah McLachlan or the like???" No. No, because there is more to music than all of that other stuff. Because this is the stuff I have a lifelong fixation with, and the music I associate with some of the best times in my life. This is the stuff I would listen to when I got my fill of Bauhaus, The Smiths, and Tears For Fears. Now TFF, incidentally, is the closest thing to R&B/Soul music as I think two white boys from Bath can get - but that's neither here nor there.

Some of my happier moments are spent singing. Not a lot of people know that about me, but I love singing, even though it's not something I do for a lot of people. Depending on what mood I am in though, you never know. I don't have the best voice, but who really gives a shit - I sing for pleasure, not to sound like some astoundingly good vocalist. I always find it funny though, the reactions I get when people actually do hear my singing voice, as it sounds nothing at all like my speaking voice. Enough of that, you get the idea.

I've worked in lots of places where I had the opportunity to listen to some of this music with my coworkers, many of whom have been brown folks. The first time I can remember getting a big reaction to my singing from my brown folks was at karaoke one night many years ago. I'd gone with some coworkers to a bar after work one night, and they were having karaoke. After a few drinks, the songlist came floating by. One of my coworkers, a white girl, suggested I get up and sing. I smiled and said "Maybe if you order me another Glenlivet and soda, I'll think about it." Truth be told, I was half working the guy that was helping run karaoke and half paying attention to everyone at our table. What can I say, when the hunt is on - it's on, you know what I'm saying?

So anyway, white girl had heard me sing before in my car when I gave her a ride home once, and gushed (nay, slurred) to everyone at the table, "Y'all - you have GOT to hear this boy sing". That did it, they all but made me get up there at that point. There weren't many people performing anyway, so I got to go up within a few minutes of agreeing. I chose my song, but didn't tell anyone what it was until the music started and then you should have seen the looks on these folks' faces, it was priceless! That distinctive "Oh H A I L naw, no you DI-ENT!!" look when the music for Peabo Bryson's "Can You Stop The Rain" started, quickly detected by my sistahs at the table - all of whom turned their chairs around in disbelief that this little little cracker had the nerve. Needless to say, I think I did a fairly good job, loaded with courage as I was, and they went nuts when I hit the more earnest parts of the song. Besides, you know you're doing pretty good when the kitchen staff comes out to wave at you and holler "Go 'head, boo - you singin' that song, ain'tcha!"

I ended up singing two other songs before it was over (A House Is Not A Home by Luther Vandross - BIG Luther, not skinny Luther, thank you! - and Always & Forever by Heatwave) and won us a $50 bar tab, and was fawned over needlessly by friends and patrons for nerve if nothing else. "Damn if you ain't the BLACKEST white boy I ever met, ol' ghetto ass!"! my friend Corella once gushed at me. I also got a nice hummer from that guy in a bathroom stall before I left to go to MY bar, he even tried to give me his phone number and asked me to dinner the following night. I didn't take the time to explain why it wasn't going to happen, I just thanked him and that was that. "Look, I know we just had anonymous sex, and you don't even know my name, but..." Some people, I swear - just no concept of reality.

So anywhore, this is some of my favorite singing music. Great for housecleaning, cooking, drining, you name it. Collapse )

(no subject)

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