#50 – Do You Know What I Mean by Lee Michaels
Favorite karaoke songs:
- Do You Know What I Mean
- Never Been To Spain
- Folsom Prison Blues
- Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show
Songs I would like to karaoke but haven’t for whatever reason (unavailability or the below guidelines):
- Most anything by The Hold Steady but especially Your Little Hoodrat Friend or Cattle and the Creeping Things.
- Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd
- Beyond Belief by Elvis Costello
- Mama Told Me Not To Come (there is something about Three Dog Night and karaoke for me)
- R.E.M. (wrong range but I would probably still try Don't Go Back to Rockville).
- Pretzel Logic by Steely Dan
- Debra by Beck (mainly just to do the line “I said 'Lady, step into my Hyundai'”).
My Karaoke Guidelines:
- Know the song. Not just the chorus. Know the whole damn song.
- The shorter the better but four minutes is about the limit.
- Repetition is not your friend.
- Keep it in your range. This eliminates about 99% of recorded music for me.
- Obscurity is not your friend either.
It’s weird that I like karaoke. It is still going to be a rarity for me to get up in front of a bunch of strangers but with friends at Rock Box or something like that I have a blast. The first time I ever did it was sometime in the late 80’s at the Ram in U Village. Kim, Gene and I were roaring drunk and there was a smallish crowd in the bar and everyone absolutely sucked. Kim and I decided we would go up and do I Shot The Sheriff, and as we were heading up to where the mike was he mentioned “Oh, uh, by the way I don’t know anything but the chorus so you’ll have to do the singing.” Fucker. Later I was flirting with some girl and she offered to be my backup singer if I went back up there so had my first solo with Takin’ Care of Business. Shut up, it’s a fun song.
Anyway, even though Do You Know What I Mean flirts with breaking guidelines 3 and 5 it tops my karaoke list. It’s a song that people tend to at least recognize and the repetition gets broken up at least a little bit, plus you have the little “hoo” in the middle of it that makes it if you can hit it right. I’m also happy with it as an entry here because when I told Marcy that it was going to be next she said “That’s one of your top fifty songs?!” I thought about that and realized that this was a song I loved as a kid when it came out, have always been happy to hear, enjoy singing it 40 years later and that’s enough reason for me.