Tuesday, February 08, 2011


One of my favorite events in San Francisco, and one that leaves me feeling very talented every time, is the monthly Beatles sing along at a downtown cafe and bar. It's possible I've written about this event before, but if so, bear with me because its praises are worth singing repeatedly (so to speak). The sing along is basically karaoke with live accompaniment, and it's all Beatles! The live accompaniment usually consists of keyboard and percussion, but a guitar has been known to get into the mix, as well. The cafe bills this event as the Fab Four getting "piano bar treatment," but in my opinion, it's so much better than a piano bar.

Now, let me clarify one thing. I can croon the Beatles fairly well, and sometimes my renditions are quite lovely. However, the credit for me feeling so talented each time I attend the sing along must go to Joshua, the musician who runs it, and those four lads from Liverpool who wrote all these songs in the first place. It's not that hard to sound good when singing a simple but brilliant pop song that you've known by heart for decades. As for Joshua, he can transpose on the spot, so you always can sing whatever song you choose in the key that's right for you. If you don't what key you need, Joshua will take a few moments to figure it out with you. Plus, when someone gets up who is enthusiastic but perhaps pitch challenged, Joshua occasionally will change the key in the middle to match what the singer is singing (he's never had to do that with me, but I like knowing such a bailout exists).

I went to this little sing along last night, and of course, it was so much fun. I'd been doing a little traditional karaoke beforehand, so I was already all warmed up. I sang "I've Just Seen A Face" and "For No One" with a glass of Chardonnay in hand before needing to scoot away and head home. The monthly sing along makes me feel like all those times I sang Beatles in high school talent shows were not in vain. I certainly sound a lot better now than I did back then.

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