Thursday, January 17, 2013

Jump, Jive An' Wail

I use that as my title because I know how much Rish hates the music from the swing revival of the mid to late nineties, and I love to bug him. Also, it kind of appropriately describes what we did on the last night of the trip to Vegas for the New Media Expo.

Rish was determined to go to karaoke one night, and now that there was only one night left, it had to be this one.

On the first night in Vegas, we went in search of karaoke, not to actually do the karaoke thing, but to make sure we had found a place that did it, so we could invite any Dunesteef listeners that live in the area to come and participate with us.

Rish remembered having done karaoke at a casino he'd stayed at for New Year's Eve two years prior. He wasn't certain, but he thought it was at the Mirage. However, inside the Mirage, there was nothing that resembled karaoke at all. We wandered for a few minutes, and finally I resolved to man up and ask someone.

There was the hostess to an in-hotel restaurant standing at her podium at the restaurant's entrance who looked to be unoccupied, so I walked up to her and asked her if she knew where we could find the karaoke room at the Mirage. Before approaching her, I hadn't realized what I had gotten myself into.

She was very kind and helpful, she said there was no karaoke at the Mirage (and never had been, not even for one moment in the entire history of the casino. Not even once had a guest at the hotel gone so far as to sing in the shower), but she was so helpful that she looked it up for us on the computer at her podium. There was karaoke at the Imperial Palace, a casino that was directly across the street, every night of the week. There was also a really great place called Ellis Island with nightly karaoke as well.

She was so helpful that I felt like a complete lecher in her presence. Such a nice girl, and all I could do was stare at her chest.

But I couldn't be blamed! Her chest was impressive, and it was almost completely bared for me to see. She was wearing a dress with the most plunging neckline I've ever seen. It wasn't super low like that dress that Jennifer Lopez wore to the Grammies that one time...

...but it was one of those necklines that I believe they may call a scoop neck, really wide, but then also really plunging...mid-rib cage more or less. There may have been some of that fabric tape or spirit gum involved in keeping that thing on, because gravity seemed to be completely against her breasts remaining inside that dress she wore. I've seriously never seen more of someone's breasts without them being completely out in all my life. It was like an amazing feat of engineering, and also, THEY WERE BOOBS!, so I just couldn't take my eyes off them. I tried my best, but it was really, really hard (that's what she said). I felt like a total creep ogling this girl, but I really had a hard time not doing so. I guess I'm just a typical male pig, despite all my efforts to be otherwise.

Since I couldn't remember a word she'd said by the time we were done talking, I asked her to write down the name of the places she'd suggested, and we walked unsteadily away.

I did remember her saying "right across the street" about the Imperial Palace, so I suggested to everyone that we plan on going there, and we set the date for Tuesday night, and posted it on Facebook.

When the day actually arrived, we were late getting out the door because we were recording the post-show episode for Rish's story that we'd recorded the day before. Abbie didn't come, because she was on the verge of vomiting like the little girl on The Exorcist, and Marshal had to go catch his flight, so our group had dwindled to only five.

We went looking for the Imperial Palace, and absolutely could not find it. How could a casino on the Las Vegas Strip be hard to find. They're all lit up with 50 foot screens, replicas of the Eiffel Tower, and real working volcanos. Yet we couldn't find this one.

We walked back and forth, then back, then forth, then back and forth, and still could not find it. We asked for directions, followed them, and still could not find it. Then, we used Scribe's phone's GPS, went to a building that was covered with signs calling it The Quad, and discovered that apparently The Quad is some sort of code for Imperial Palace, because that was the right place after all.

However, the internet had led that pair of big breasts astray, because there was, in fact, no karaoke at the Imperial Palace, and hadn't been since the Ming Dynasty. The security guards were happy to give us directions to Ellis Island, though, which was the other place those breasts talked about the night before.

We got into Rish's car, wandered confusedly for a while, until we finally managed to find Ellis Island, and the karaoke began.

Well, that might be an misleading statement. We actually had, as the DJ said, at least an hour wait before our first song would come up in line. We sat around at our table, singing along with other people's songs, having a good time, taking pictures of each other making silly faces while wearing the free glasses we'd all gotten for being speakers at NMX, before anyone ever got up to sing.

Rish is a big karaoke fan, so it was no surprise that he got his song slip in first, and was the first to hit the stage. I suppose I should have guessed that he'd pick Elton John. It just seems fitting.

He even kind of resembles Elton with those glasses on, don't you think?

I guess it would be better if they were red with rhinestones in the corners, but they weren't giving that style away for free to the NMX speakers this year. I think they ran out of them at last year's convention.

Scribe, who is an excellent singer (as you may have noticed from her high notes on Catastrophe Baker and the Cold Equations), was next.

It was hard to follow that. Luckily, there was a bunch of other folks between me and her, but as far as our group went, I was next.

"Rio" by Duran Duran is a song that I've always liked, but I don't think I've listened to it enough times to sing it karaoke. I don't know if you can tell, but I got lost somewhere in the middle, and realized that I was supposed to be singing the words to a different melody. Then again, it's karaoke, isn't that how it's supposed to sound?

I suppose I was intimidated by folks like Scribe who sang like top 10 contestants on American Idol. There were a few others who sang even better, including this one woman who did the most amazing version of "Proud Mary" that I've probably ever heard. She made Tina Turner and Credence Clearwater Revival sound like first day American Idol contestants.

Renee seemed a little more reluctant to get up there and sing in front of everyone. She finally found a song that she was willing to sing in front of everyone, but wouldn't tell us what it was beforehand. But then she got called to the front, and it turned out to be:

"La Bamba" is not what I was expecting, that's for sure, being that it's a song in a different language and all, but then again, Renee lives in California, and Spanish is so prevalent there that you can't help but pick a bunch of it up.

Bryan Lincoln only listens to Death Metal, and said he couldn't find a song that he knew well enough to sing. We tried to convince him to do a normal song in a Death Metal style, but he wouldn't bite. We even found "Dragula" by Rob Zombie on the list, but still no dice. I guess karaoke isn't for everyone.

At this point, the night was starting to wind down. I was super tired, due to our long walk to find the Imperial Palace, and I didn't feel up to singing another song. Scribe did sing a second one.

And she blew us all away again, but she lived in Japan for years, so I think that just gives her an unfair advantage. It's just in the water over there.

Rish also sang one more song.

And then we all headed home.

It was a good time, and they said they want us back again next year, so we'll actually be prepared ahead of time. There won't be any lost wanderings. We'll know where to go, and we'll get there with enough energy to turn it up to an eleven.

January 2014, mark your calendars.


  1. Looks like you had a fun time !

  2. I love this so much! Thanks for sharing guys!!!