I made a post sometime in early 2009, around the time of the initial talks of this basement BBQ in the works, suggesting that we should include live karaoke. I didn’t expect anyone to care enough to respond, but within a few hours had been contacted by MF Nightmen (guitar), Ruy Lopez (drums), hench (keys, though more on that), and kerble as the MC. I offered to fill the open bass role, though MF thought we’d be better served by 2 guitars and asked the other bassist in his band (-o-), Erik, to join. Wow, we had a karaoke band!
Months later, we’d kind of forgotten about it and realized we needed to get our shit together. The show was about a month away and people we’re actually anticipating my half-assed karaoke concept. Oh boy. Around that time, hench told me he was too busy to do it, then got seriously ill, then moved to LA, so we we’re SOL in the keys dept. Uh oh, no one on EA plays fuckin’ keys (as far as I knew at the time). I even contacted a professional keyboardist through craigslist to fill in as over half of the requests had pianos or synths. Luckily, the dude didn’t write me back (he seemed a little too into Ben Folds anyway) and Noise&Light contacted me 3 weeks before showtime. Saved! We had our first practice about 2 weeks before the BBQ and after some shaky run throughs, we managed to get 19 songs down in 4 or 5 practices @ MF’s Ravenswood Manor bungalow (which is like playing in a 1960s basement, in the best way imaginable).
The week of the BBQ, I announced something along the lines of “The Hype! Live karaoke Friday night” to promote our silly band. People interpreted that to mean the band was called “The Hype”, which also happened to be the original name for U2. I wish we could take that part back, but it kind of works as this band is as much about the audience and participants as the band members. The BBQ kicked off Friday evening to a cool, though laid back crowd of maybe 40 people at URY. I thought everyone would leave by the time we played (except for the singers), but the place kind of erupted about 20 seconds into ‘Heartbreaker’. Led Zeppelin, not Pat Benatar. I hate Pat Benatar. Anyway, we played songs with lots of guitar solos, Faiz sang and offended people, and by the end of it, most of the audience was on stage singing ‘Waiting Room’ with us. A few drunk people even stuck around and wanted us to keep playing Shellac songs and shit, but we decided to end on a high note, which was about 5 songs prior. Oh well. It came out amazingly well for something we didn’t really have any expectations for. We’ve since played 5 BBQs and learned 90-something songs: some classic, some garbage. Thanks for reading this far! -BP