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Syracuse, NY – 5.11.11


more photos on the Karaoke Underground FB Page

Touring by airplane turned out to be a great choice.  As my flight arrived in Syracuse, I was finishing up the fourth new Karaoke Underground video of the day, and my friend Patrick was there to pick me up.  So much better than spending two full days on the road and paying for all that gas and not being able to do anything but drive.  And seeing the city of Syracuse kept me in a great mood: Patrick said it was the first day of really good weather all spring, and the buildings and trees reminded my of my hometown of Stoughton.  There were tulips!  I hadn’t seen those in years.

Patrick helped us out a lot in the first year of KU.  In addition to DJing before quite a few shows, he made a couple dozen videos for us.  The coolest thing about his videos was that he downloaded the public domain Prelinger archives and used a bunch of those clips in his videos.  These are the ones where we have footage of industrial workers or stock commercial images from the ’50s and ’60s.  I am extremely glad that he and his wife Kelly not only hosted me and sett up the Syracuse show, they drove me all the damn way from Syracuse to Boston to New York.  This tour would definitely not have happened without them, so thanks again y’all!

We left for Spark shortly after arriving at Patrick and Kelly’s house, loaded with a PA and about three cases of beer to sell at the space.  It was a really cool old DIY space, old floorboards and extra high plaster ceiling.  The main drawback was the lack of a PA, and we had to act fast when the PA Patrick had lined up didn’t work.  With no other options that seemed remotely reliable, Patrick had to go buy a new cheapo PA from Guitar Center (which he later returned for a full refund).  Crisis averted, we got everything set up and were ready to sing pretty close to the promised start time of 8:30. That was very early for a karaoke show, even on a Wednesday night, but we got a pretty good turnout, almost 50 people.  I know Patrick was spreading the word that this was the after party for a Noam Chomsky speech going on across town that ended at 9, and we did see quite a bit more people come out after that finished.  I paid a little tribute to that by leading off with Gang Of Four’s manifesto “I Found That Essence Rare.” Some highlights:

– A man named Ranjit came all the way from Oswego to sing all the old punk favorites.  He started with “Corona” by the Minutemen and worked through the catalog, including seldom-sung classics by the Big Boys and Hüsker Dü.  I hear the man’s a professor by day, but he rocked that night.

– Patrick’s friend Jason helped out setting everything up and I had a great time talking to him.  He and his wife Emily both got in a few songs (that’s them in the photo up top), and Jason took on the second Minutemen song of the night “It’s Expected I’m Gone”.  We get a lot of questions about having so many Minutemen songs, it was great to hear some justification from other people!

– A woman named Julie sang a ton of songs, first taking the “I don’t know many of these but I guess I’ll sing ‘Debaser'” angle but then getting more and more involved, including a duet of The Fall’s “Victoria” with an Englishman named Damian (who may have been Julie’s husband) that told me he saw so many of these bands back in his hometown of Manchester and was having a great time.

– Though he smelled of curry, a singer named Michael had a voice as sweet as sugar, crooning a fantastic version of “Femme Fatale” and following it up with Love’s “Alone Again Or.”  Great stuff.

– Tim got up and did the best Britt Daniel impersonation I’ve ever seen, getting the crowd dancing with “I Turn My Camera On.”

We had enough singers to have a really crazy busy show, but people were oddly reluctant to sign up in advance so I had to throw myself on stage a few times.  Knowing I probably wouldn’t get the same opportunity the next few nights, I took the chance and had a lot of fun, including singing “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)” for the first time, I think.  I bugged Patrick to sing a lot too, and he came through with a good version of “She Cracked” and an awesome duet with Jason on “Work Hard/Play Hard.”  Kelly sang for the only times on tour too, solo on “Do It Clean” and with P on “What Do I Get?”

We wrapped it all up around midnight, cleaned up the space and then stayed up another hour or so talking with Patrick and Kelly getting ready for the rest of the tour.  Since I just mentioned the Darling New Neighbors in the other post I wrote tonight, I want to mention that Patrick and Kelly are still using the board we got for the balloon darts as a hallway key organizer.  CONNECTIONS, MAN!!!

One Comment leave one →
  1. 05/31/2011 12:39

    super fun night out, k. you missed my favorite highlight, though: you singing mcluskey. sing it!

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