Robin's karaoke! 

You say you want a resolution

With less than six weeks left in 2007, there’s still time to tackle this year’s list of New Year’s Resolutions before beginning the process for 2008.

My list this year, as usual, was a mix of fun things I never get around to and lifestyle changes that perhaps will one day take hold.

“See more movies” is on the 2007 fun list. Tagging along to a couple of Savannah Film Festival screenings last month gave a boost to this project. Hopefully in December I’ll add to this one, thanks to Reel Savannah ‘s screenings of the controversial Redacted plus the documentary King Corn.

Spend more time with family members” is one of my repeat resolutions from prior years. I can always count on my mom to find interesting things for us to do together, like Jhon Akers’ concert/lecture/poetry performance on the writer Carl Sandburg and his friendship with Segovia, held last Thursday at the Telfair. Mom and I also attended “Elijah,” the late October chorale performance sponsored by Savannah Sinfonietta, with hundreds of Savannah’s finest musicians and singers, many professional and the rest professional-caliber. It was easy to imagine we were at a performance in Chicago or New York City instead of our little city.

Since “travel to New York” did not get crossed off my resolution list for 2007, I’m looking forward to one more chorale-like Sinfonietta event this year to transport me again to the big city—this time, Handel’s Messiah performed sing-along style on December 14. While I prefer having musicians do the singing while the audience does the listening, I’m hoping that many of the “Elijah” singers from the Savannah Choral Society and Savannah Children’s Choir will be on hand to carry, or cover, those of us with more enthusiasm than vocal skills, despite a Holiday Pops concert they’ve scheduled for the following night.

A few resolutions that didn’t happen this year will return for 2008’s line up. “Exercise more” will go back on the list, since walks like last Saturday’s stroll through the Children’s Book Festival at Forsyth Park are too leisurely and too entertaining to count as a work out.

A trip to this Sunday’s Daffin Park Centennial Finale might be a good way to get a head start, and, if I can get up early enough, maybe I’ll walk the Talmadge Bridge next week as part of the Enmark Bridge Run.

Get the knack for karaoke at Hang Fire

One 2007 resolution that also falls into the “lifetime achievement” category, I finally accomplished last week. To celebrate a friend’s birthday, four women headed downtown to Hang Fire for their famous Wednesday night karaoke. My three acquaintances are seasoned karaoke veterans, each with her own repertoire of standards, some with accompanying hand gestures and body language.

One member of our foursome, a barista known to do a little open-mic poetry, set the bar high for the rest of us with “Purple Rain,” while the birthday girl opted for 1970’s standards by Billy Joel and Gladys Knight.

The late arrival to our party, fresh from her last final exam, stepped up with a little Stevie Knicks ditty, just about the only song she knows that isn’t country, she apologized.

Wednesday night karaoke at Hang Fire is a communal experience. With cheery encouragement from the DJ, the whole bar chimed in on a Guns and Roses tune, then for “Thunder Road,” Springsteen’s anthem to youthful abandon. Talent is appreciated but not required, and everyone gets wild applause.

Around 12:30, fortified by a quart of diet coke, I made my karaoke debut: “My Sharona” by The Knack. Perhaps an ironic choice for my first karaoke experience, it’s racier than I remembered but there’s not much to it, range wise or lyrics-wise, and there’s plenty of whooping for the audience to help out with, plus long instrumental interludes for dancing.

By 2 a.m., after crooning and gesturing along, Pavarotti-style, with a guy in a Harlem Globetrotters basketball jacket singing “Bohemian Rhapsody,” our birthday party was winding down.

Our student friend was long gone. My remaining two companions were outside the door when a guy in biker leathers and a chain on his wallet launched a deadly-accurate John Fogerty cover that drew them back indoors for a last listen.

Escaping the second hand smoke we headed home, ready for more birthdays, more New Years resolutions, or just another Wednesday night adventure.

E-mail Robin at rgunnsav@bellsouth.net


Speaking of Hang Fire, Karaoke

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Robin Wright Gunn

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