Song Of The Day 6/21/2013: Madonna - "Erotica"

I guess it's inevitable that this would be Song Of The Day after I performed it at the Rickshaw last night, as part of our Karaoke Party People (a subsidiary of Three Imaginary Girls) meet-up at the Rickshaw in Seattle. I'd like to explain how this happened.

We decided after last month's meet-up that the theme for June would be "Naughtyroke." Songs that either had dirty words or dirty stories. I swear, the minute I started driving home from May's meet-up, I knew that the song I'd do for Naughtyroke had to be Madonna's "Erotica." And the very first thought I had after that was, "I need to find a 21st Century Realty gold jacket."

I never got the gold jacket, but we'll get to that. The next thing I decided was that my M.O. would be to perform Madonna's "Erotica" in a vocal style diametrically opposite to the original, which as you can hear in this track, is smoky and seductive, full of that lust-driven underplay that Madonna was so fond of. For my version, I knew I'd have to deliver it in a voice more like Dan Aykroyd in his classic Saturday Night Live sketch "Fred Garvin: Male Prostitute." Which is, essentially, like a real estate salesman.

Throughout the next month -- that's correct, I had time to sit and idly germinate on this idea for a whole month -- more details took shape. I even workshopped the voice at the Clipper in Olympia, just to make sure the voice itself would be effective. It seemed to go well, so then I just had to write out the rest of it. There's a lot of long sections where Madonna just sings the same thing over and over: "Erotic, erotic, put your hands all over my body." There was no point in me doing that, so I had to come up with some ideas to fill out what I really wanted to say.

I don't remember exactly what prompted this idea, but at some point I decided, "I should hand out brochures at the end." Just to drive the sale home.

And if was gonna hand out brochures, the joke wouldn't be complete unless the brochures actually had something on them, so I went online, Google-searched "50's advertisements," and found a whole lot of images that I threw up on PowerPoint. (That's right -- PowerPoint. You lucky people in the audience last night received what was easily the most powerful PowerPoint presentation I've ever done.) Then I wrote a sales pitch because, really, the joke needed some sort of centerpiece.

I printed up 11 copies of the brochure in grayscale. You can see a full-color replication of this brochure in the image below. I printed it in greyscale because, well, it was just a freakin' prop for a karaoke song. I did not want to waste the color ink, because frankly, when it gets to that point, then your existence is kind of sad.

As far as the gold jacket was concerned, well, I couldn't find one. So I decided that a blazer like Herb Tarlek used to wear on WKRP In Cincinnati would work just as well. But then my wife had the great idea that her parents might have some old, tacky blazers around the house in Tumwater, and since they were coming up the day of the show they brought up this brown polyester blazer that fit the character. So with the help of my in-laws, the costume was complete. I must be wreaking total havoc on my children's psyches. They can't be watching a full-grown man do this and think he's going to be the right guy to take them on zoo trips.

Anyway, it worked. Everybody was happy. My buddy Alana even asked me to autograph her brochure, which is the first autograph I've ever given.

So that's how I kill one night a month. Some people do Laser Tag. Some people go to militia meetings. Some people go to prayer meetings. Some people work on their novels which go on to become huge successes for which they sell film options. Me? I do this.

But at least I'm not alone and meet wonderful people. And I gain valuable PowerPoint experience.

Anyways, that's how I'm punching the wind out of my mid-life crisis. Have a nice golf game.

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