This isn't the first time an excellent Sunday was followed by a Monday that brought the combined take back to precisely average.
At the high point of the evening, we actually had, I believe, 12 people in the building. That lasted for maybe 40 minutes. In the end, I ran for 11 rounds, cutting off at something like 1:15am.
But I've gone through nights with fewer people, and felt relatively positive. Last night was just not good.
I mean, there were positives. Honey showed up for a song - it's been a long time since I've seen her. jorgitoelcubano actually sang a song. I took the time to do a little more video arrangement, and appear to have cleared up both the combo player ground loop problem and the video noise problem.
Now I just need to find the source of the interference that appears to be coming from my rack. I had time for one test with that, but then needed to get started with the show.
I'm sure it didn't help last night that I had a mildly sore throat. That sort of thing wears at your equanimity.
And the basic fact that suicide karaoke is a hard, tense, and thankless job doesn't help.
The average song is about four and a half minutes long. Normal overhead (filing discs, grabbing new discs, updating the chart) takes about a minute of that. I only have the remaining three and a half minutes to pick a song for someone.
That song needs to match a few criteria. First and foremost, it should be a song the singer knows, or at least is willing to fake, for those courageous or resourceful enough to fake songs.
Next, it should not be in the singer's normal repertoire.
It should preferably be something the singer can more or less perform.
It should also preferably not be something the singer has done at a recent show.
This is complicated by the fact that I'm not too certain what songs people know, I only somewhat know what is in people's envelopes, and I only have so much memory of what's previously been done.
In fact, for most singers, I only have so much of an idea as to their capabilities. Not to mention that even I don't know all the songs in the bucket.
I use the bucket to introduce a random element to the selection process - and to reduce the songs available to comparatively common ones. I'll pull slips until I find one that seems to fit.
Then, when the song comes up, and the singer yells that I'm an asshole on the mic, I'll at least know that they know the song, and it's not in their repertoire.
If you have a long list of songs to which you've said "never again," guess what? You'll probably get it again, because I'm not going to be able to remember all of those.
If you're one of the few people who have threatened violence if they ever got a particular song again, well, fuck you very much.
Which brings me to the feedback I get. I have gotten sincere threats of violence. I may play the evil bastard, but it's either that or the clueless schmuck, and the evil bastard persona just plays better.
Which takes one to how wearing the insults and expressions of exasperation can be. Yes, I know it's all in fun. Knowing that reduces the hurt by quite a bit - but it doesn't get rid of it.
A lot of Mondays, people are having fun, and there's a certain amount of cheerfulness and energy I can draw from the crowd. While some people definitely had fun last night, it just wasn't enough to replenish the losses.
But wait! There's more! I shut down early with hopes of getting some more work done on the video. I was first going to throw up something from the laptop, then try a few things with the rack, comparing output on my stage monitor with the house TVs.
I of course couldn't get the laptop's video out to work. While I was wrestling with that, timenchanter and Eddie insisted that I play pieces from Dreamgirls. And Timmie helpfully packed away my stage monitor.
So of the things I wanted to get done after the show, I managed a total of zero.
Meanwhile, there was Dreamgirls. The music of the Supremes was more on the Motown side of things. The music of Dreamgirls is solidly RNB.
I don't personally care for RNB. Mostly because a lot of the musical ornamentation feels like it's there purely to be impressive. Not relevant, not even necessarily pleasant, but impressive.
And the Dreamgirls soundtrack has a lot of impressive sounds in it. The vast majority quite musical, though I swear one of the more baroque trills in one of those songs has what sounds for all the world like a gargle.
One of the things about the ornamentation in those songs is that they're a sort of "musical screaming" that only sounds good when done perfectly. If not done perfectly, they sound like a cat in heat.
Timmie was singing along to every song, at that volume that only Timmie and lucydogstringer can achieve. In fact, he kept doing trills, at volume, long after I stopped playing music.
He was singing impressively well. He is, after all, an extremely good singer.
He was not, however, singing perfectly.
To my already frayed nerves, it was like nails on a chalkboard. And. He Wouldn't. Stop.
I asked him to stop. He kept going. I told him he was off-key (which was, frankly, incorrect. He was singing the right notes, just not making the right sounds for each note). He told me I was 75% deaf, and started up again.
I actively begged him to stop. He said something like "I won't forget this," and marched out of the bar.
So on the one hand, I seriously pissed off my best friend. On the other, I no longer felt like smashing a table.
I finished packing everything away, and went off to the Mini Gourmet. I was hungry, and figured warm food in a warm environment might calm me down. For whatever reason, I did manage to relax a bit.
Getting home, hooking up a TV, and figuring out what was wrong with the laptop helped a lot, too (the housing on my S-Video adapter prevents it from seating fully in the port).
Otherwise, I've been alternating between nodding off and working on this post.