Don't Worry, I'm Keeping My Day Job!

I was invited to speak at last week's Los Angeles and Orange County Audiophile Society Annual Awards Banquet. I spoke there two years ago and did some audio stand up comedy so this time i figured I'd do something else: sing.

They couldn't put a band in the ballroom so I had my friend Martin Butler produce backing tracks for me to sing over.

There was no stage and no lighting but a good sound system and mixer. The sound and mix are okay, though I would have preferred being a bit further behind the music!

Here's the link: Mikey Sings I'm braced for your critiques. I do enough criticizing on this site so I should and am fully prepared for yours! I had a great time performing!

Devil Doc's picture

...for any bar band I ever played in.


Jim Tavegia's picture

I'll wait for the QRP pressing.  Michael, you entertain us all in so many ways. 

Jim Tavegia's picture

1.) Always carry a foam windscreen with you at all times. Carrying a $1k deesser with you always is not practical.

2.) The Tony Bennet rule...if you generally watch Tony sing, he has about the best vocal technique around.  Keep the mic below your chin all the time and let the engineer take care of the rest.  Surprisingly, people want to see a performer's face not a mic sticking out of their nose, but I know that is not what most performers do. You can still be way cool doing that and all the plosives and breath noise will go away and we can really enjoy your singing. 

3.)  Grade:  C+ to a B+ as I've heard much worse become commercially viable, but considering this is NOT your day or night job, pretty good. The raw emotion and joy comes shining through. 

4.) I'm guessing some 7" 45s are not in the offing. 

Cool beans. 


Michael Fremer's picture

Good points. Frankly I was happy to just remember the words! I got tongue tied only once in "Bad Boy" and I lost my place during "No Action" once and for some reason kept singing "No Actions". I have no idea why I did that! I think Tony's mic style works better for crooning than rock but I hardly had time for a sound check.... I'll be better next time if there is a next time!

Jim Tavegia's picture

I sing solos in church about a dozen+ times per year, so I'm a little over the top about vocals, but you and I have the same thing in common, passion to really get into the performance. I get pretty crazy of extraneous noises and intelligibility. It is amazing what a $5 wind screen can do. 

Looking forward to "take 2". 

Paul Boudreau's picture

guts, congrats.  I've done some solo performing in the past and it's not for the faint of heart.  I at least had a guitar to sort of hide behind - which of us was the dummy I can't say.

AndyTebbe's picture


Jody's picture

Your voice is actually pretty good and you have a good range. The rhythm and pacing slipped a few times, at least in those Costello tunes. I guess they are hard to sing.

Michael Fremer's picture

I thought I hit it well on "This Year's Girl," but on "No Action" I messed up around "When I'm inserting my coins I'm doing alright." I had trouble with that for a while when I was first working on that tune but thought I had it sorted out. That turn I messed up but I eventually recovered. It's not the easiest tune to sing. "Bad Boy" is much easier but I messed up "Threw the canary and you fed it to the neighbor's cat," which is a line I've never messed up on. Such is live performing, particularly if you don't do it regularly.

RhodesSupremacy's picture

It was a bit awkward at first, but it got great some minutes in.

marmaduke's picture

All you need is a string bow tie and more tossled hair and you could be a dead ringer for Professor Irwin Corey!

Michael Fremer's picture

When I was younger, I was told I looked like Leo Sayer, then Paul Michael Glazer (of Starsky and Hutch), but never Professor Irwin Corey! He's still alive at 98! When I worked at Disney in the early '80s there was a security guard that looked just like Professor Irwin Corey. It was uncanny. So one day I went up to the guy and said "Has anyone ever told you that you look like Professor Irwin Corey?" 

He said "Yes, he's my brother!"

Rayman's picture

Clear vinyl I hope!

I admire you're endless fascination and enjoyment of all things music Michael. 

No wonder you have so many readers!

Don't ever stop.

Glotz's picture

I keep wanting to hear the backing vocals on No Action....doooooooooowwwwwnnnnn...

First artist I ever listened to, and EC will be the last...

I would give my left nut to hear Model on yr rig...

Muser's picture

Michael, as someone that seems to be a straight shooter I thought I'd give you my authentic feedback.

I enjoy the passion in your writing and commitment to reviewing. I've also been reviewing audio gear for about 17 years and sometimes have a tough time bringing freshness to a review, especially when a product is good, but not ground breaking or revelatory (for me), that doesn't leak into your writing, so I'll give you props for your unwavering passion for analog,

Your singing? Not so much, but I'll give you props for working what you have.

I would like to have heard a few passing comments on your sense of the state of things - sometimes a word from the head of the pack is more imformative than pages from the rest of the pack.

Thanks for coming west for a three hour raffle disguised as an audiophile group "meeting."

John C Freeman's picture

Well, yes it is probably best that you keep the day job. But you seem to enjoy it, and so did the crowd, so I think congratulatins are in order. To all of the above critics who are trying to savage you, can they do better?  Keep on doing what yoou do.

poloy's picture

Congratulations for a job well done. - Wes Upchurch