It’s Memorial Day this weekend, and like 2002, we decided to have our 4th Annual Jartacular – which means opening up the lawn darts, several expensive bottles of single-malt scotch, holding a quiz show and, of course, attempting the Barn Talent Show.
The talent show is always the weakest link (which is embarrassing to my Mormon forebears, I’m sure) but not this time. I decided to actually learn a few more tunes before this one, instead of falling back on “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl),” as has happened the last three years.
Scott Bullock had the idea of doing “Mr. Blue Sky” by ELO last year, and we finally have the cajones to pull it off. For those of you without big brothers in the mid-70s, “Mr. Blue Sky” came back to the pop unconscious through this unbelievably brilliant Volkswagen ad, and it is devilishly difficult.
It’s all basically in F major with a D-minor chorus, but the vocals are stunning, including a “vocoder break” and a Baroque ending. If we don’t embarrass ourselves, I’ll consider the Jartacular a success.
Not content to stop there, I thought I’d try and restructure another enchanting pop classic we used to hear while trying to roller skate. I’ve ranted about Afternoon Delight in the past, but before you snickering nabobs tell me I’m a twee gaybot, I dare you to download the song from iTunes and try to sing along. Every single verse has a different vocal line, occasionally flourishing to 4-part harmonies. Sure, it’s about fucking (“the thought of rubbing you is getting me so excited”) but this was back in a day when they actually wanted to pull off something semi-interesting.
I’d like to resurrect two amazing pop songs from the past each year we do this. As always, I am your humble servant and always taking suggestions.