October 24th, 2004

Tom Lehrer is Smug

pop quiz, hotshot

So what do you do when you're starting your second number as musical guest on Saturday Night Live and the person cuing your vocal track messes up and plays the wrong track for you to "sing", revealing you as a lip-syncher on live TV?

A. Grin and lip-sync to the track as if nothing had happened and you meant to sing that song all along.

B. Pull an Elvis Costello and try to stop the music, saying "I'm sorry, ladies and gentlemen, I see no reason to do this tonight" and then launch into Radio, Radio.

C. Dance a goofy little jig for a few seconds while your vocal track continues to play and then slink offstage, embarrassed, while the musicians continue to play, looking bemused.

According to pop star Ashlee Simpson, the correct answer is


Also, according to her, you have to blame the band at the end of the show, saying "My band started to play the wrong song!" which is, really, the Classy Way Out.
Tom Lehrer is Smug

(no subject)

Finally got a chance to listen to the Dropkick Murphys' Tessie, the supposed rallying song of this year's American League champions. While the nod to history is very nice (invoking "Nuff Ced" McGreevy, one of the more colorful non-player characters in the history of baseball and I don't mean NPC) and the tune very earmeme-friendly, which is one of the reasons why Nuff Ced and his Royal Rooters (don't laugh, Aussies) used to sing the original "Tessie" over and over and over in the stands nearly 90 years ago, I find that I am not sure if I can like the song for several reasons:

1. I don't care too much for the Dropkick Murphys, especially the way they attack this tune. The lead singer sounds like he really wants to be Dicky Barrett, though he definitely doesn't have the baritone for it and none of the personality either. Even the "old-timey baseball version" I heard with park organ and bagpipes instead of the guitars has him screaming over it, giving the whole thing a real fratboy feel of it, which leads me to

2. The fact that the story of the song tells how Nuff Ced and his Rooters showed up at the park one day to find their seats had been sold, so they stormed the field and incited a riot. Had I heard this song even a week ago I'd have probably enjoyed it far more than I do now, what with the events of the game 7 aftermath and all. Now I'm not sure how I should approach the song. I realize the lyrics (penned in part by some Boston baseball scribes, whose names I've promptly forgotten) are meant to show the exuberant wild spirit of our fans in the Fenway, and it's all supposed to be in good, raucous fun, but apparently the people around the game had the opportunity to have raucous fun to celebrate the victory and they decided to take things out of hand and fuck shit up.

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