Search This Blog

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

83. "20th Century Boy" by T.Rex

"Hi, I'm Rex."

"Hey, did you know there was a band called T.Rex?"

And so it took me a while to appreciate Marc Bolan's music. But one gets over these things, and I've been a fan for a good long time now.

Yet another thing that I've had in mind since I had the idea for 39-40 is that there are karaoke versions available of a great number of songs, and how it might be interesting to do something with that. The truth is that, to this point, very very few of the songs The Machine has selected for me have been broadly popular enough to have karaoke versions, and the few times I've been assigned ones that are (like yesterday), I've had other strategies in mind. But what I thought might be interesting would be to take a karaoke track, which pretty much by definition would be much more professionally played and produced than anything I'm going to come up with in my living room, and sing entirely wrong (or rewritten) words over it. I had something a little bit artier in mind than what I came up with for this one; I've had a sort of half-written goof song called "Rock & Roll Millipede" kicking around for years, and I have a hard time letting go of even really bad ideas, so I put these two ideas, which are both in the least highly suspect, together.

Maybe next time it'll be a little bit less of a goof...

Omnibus Karaoke ~ backing track
Rex Broome ~ lead vocal


  1. I don't know about karaoke versions available online...but relatively obscure songs do have karaoke tracks somewhere: we were, several years ago, in a somewhat faded hotel bar in Columbus, Ohio, and the rather extensive karaoke list included such unlikely numbers as Liz Phair's "Fuck and Run." If only I'd gotten a second go onstage, I would have chosen that one (and first prepared our group to make a quick exit)...I have a funny feeling no one had ever done that song at that bar. One of our number chose a Pixies song (yep) and was asked beforehand, are you sure that's the right song? in a manner that suggested, I've never heard of this song so it must be a mistake that you chose it...

  2. The vagaries of what is and isn't available as karaoke are truly worth of study. By someone totally else, of course, but they have a lot to do with licensing in various and sundry territories and a lot of bizarre handshake deals, where someone gets to license something much desired in exchange for putting flop singles by on there as well. Which doesn't seem that desireable, seeing as how all it ever leads to is people seeing an unfamiliar song title and wondering, probably out loud and certainly drunk, what the hell that song is.

    I had a karaoke phase. It was partly a social thing, and partly coincided with me taking up frontman duties in my band. The most instructive and frightening part of it was finding out what songs most people really know really well, and trying to puzzle out why and how. It led to some interesting conversations and I may be a better man for it. Or I may just have heard more bad renditions of Bon Jovi tunes than is strictly healthy. But I tell ya, you can kill by doing "Once in a Lifetime" with the hand motions from the video!