Saturday, January 15, 2011

Perfect Friday Night: Singing and Skanking

Probably the biggest compliment anyone can pay me is hearing me sing and then assuming I do so professionally.

I am very much the amateur chanteuse, but I suppose the voice lessons, Sober Nixon rehearsals and performances, and night after night of karaoke help me to fool some of the people some of the time. Last night after work, I sang songs at two different karaoke dens, and a woman at the second venue mistook me for a professional singer. So much so that she actually was surprised when I told her I'm not a professional. I guess I did a pretty decent job on "Only the Lonely," "Somewhere Only We Know" and "Heaven Is A Place On Earth" and was a convincing Kim Deal when I backed up my friend Ash on "Here Comes Your Man."

After all the songs had been sung, I made my way to Bimbo's 365 Club to see one of my favorite bands of all time, The English Beat. Only one founding member, Dave Wakeling, still is in The Beat, but the shows continue to be really fun. I used to see The Beat every time they came to town, as well as catching them in Los Angeles with my friend Emily if they happened to be playing a show when I was there. However, I've gotten lazy and missed their last few San Francisco appearances. Last night I was reminded what a mistake it is to skip a Beat show. I had the greatest time singing along (good thing I'd warmed up with all that early evening karaoke) and dancing/skanking until I was a sweaty, happy mess. They played all their hits, some album cuts including my favorite: "Ackee 1,2,3", and even debuted some new material. New English Beat songs after almost 30 years? Apparently so.

I wish Ranking Roger still was in the band, but nothing in life is perfect, is it? Perhaps not, but seeing the English Beat live, even if it's just Dave and a bunch of musicians he's hired over the past few years, is pretty close to perfect in my book.

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