In Q & A, a weekly feature of Fantastic Fangirls, we ask our staff to tackle a simple question — then open the floor to comments.
It’s karaoke night! Who is singing, and what are they singing?
Laura Kinney, Mindy McCready, Mia Deardon, Cass Cain, and Anya Corazon were recommended to intensive psychological therapy. Surrounded by death and destruction, expected to risk their lives daily, constantly measuring themselves against the older, stronger, more powerful and more experienced adults they run with — really, it’s a wonder they aren’t completely psychotic. But there aren’t that many therapists with the required level of specialized understanding to deal with these kinds of issues. Not to mention the security clearance. The Powers That Be are “working on it”. In the meantime, they’ve got group therapy with Jess Jones and Dinah Lance. And today is Group Karaoke Therapy.
The ground rules are simple: sing a song to express something personal. And the song list is simpler: it has to play on Radio Disney.
Jess and Dinah kick it off with Aly and AJ’s Rush. Jess is more into it and Dinah has a better voice. The girls watch with varying degrees of interest and anxiety. Cass and Laura count the beats silently and Anya wishes she was allowed to have her smartphone.
Ready to get this whole ridiculous exercise over with Mia volunteers to go next. She sings Taylor Swift’s Better Than Revenge and secretly enjoys it.
Anya chooses Selena Gomez and the Scene’s hit Naturally mainly to sing something “in the style of Selena Gomez and the Scene” (Best Name Ever) but when pressed she admits she loves the chorus.
Cass starts singing Avril Lavigne’s Alice (Underground) so softly the group aren’t sure she is singing at all — but by the end she gains some quiet confidence and ends with a measured strength.
Laura surprises everyone with her uncanny Miley Cyrus impression singing Robot. It’s the best performance of the night.
And Mindy brings it home with Ke$ha’s We R Who We R. She is oddly but incredibly charming and by the second chorus the whole group is up dancing, arms in the air and singing along. The girls leave closer and more buoyant than ever before.
Jess says it went really well. Dinah says maybe, but next time she’s in charge of limiting song selection.
Brunettes are fine, man,
blondes are fun,
but when it comes to getting a dirty job done
it takes a red-headed woman
Maybe by the standards of the Springsteen catalogue*, “Red-Headed Woman” is just a bit of rockabilly fluff. On the other hand, it’s got to be one of the most cheerfully filthy odes to married love and/or cunnilingus ever put to tape by a major recording star, and that has to count for something.
If you lived in the Marvel Universe, of course, the song would have slightly different connotations, because every third woman would be a redhead. What was with that, colorists of the sixties? Nonetheless. Some Marvel redheads are more defined by their red-headedness than others, and, after Mary Jane Watson, the reddest of the reds has to be Jean Grey.
Now, MJ is certainly enough of a free spirit that she would belt this one out without much provocation. Still, sophisticated New York City model that she is, one suspects the Boss might not be quite her thing. Jean on the other hand, despite her good girl reputation, has her wild side. Get a few drinks in her and she’s belting it out in the direction of her husband, Scott Summers, and Wolverine, at the same time. They’re both simultaneously embarrassed, and loving it — for different reasons, which is exactly what she has in mind.
*apologies for being the kind of fan who invokes the standards of the Springsteen catalog
The era: roughly 1975-1980
The place: Iron Man’s private karaoke room
The team: Captain America, Iron Man, Beast, Wonder Man, Scarlet Witch, and the Vision
This is one of the greatest Avengers lineups, and one of the most likely to participate in group karaoke. Assuming, for the sake of argument, that Tony managed to invent a karaoke machine in the late 70s, I envision a party where each member of the team sings a Billboard top-100 hit from one of the years of their tenure as a team.
Tony Stark, being the host, opens the party with a totally shameless, rocking, off-key rendition of Bachman Turner Overdrive’s 1975 classic “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.” Steve, Wanda, and Vision are far too polite to say anything, but Hank and Simon get in their fair share of ribbing. Tony shoots back that they need to put their money where their mouth is, and passes along the microphone.
Hank, always the life of the party, happily volunteers to go next, and proceeds to do exactly what the title of Peaches and Herb’s 1979 “Shake Your Groove Thing” says. A giant blue gorilla man shaking his groove thing is a sight to behold, and it emboldens the rest of the group.
Steve, after pouring over the song list for some time, looking for anything he might be familiar with or at least not totally mortified by, settles on Stevie Wonder’s 1977 “Sir Duke,” a tribute to the big band leaders of Steve’s own youth. His singing voice, like every other part of him, is the peak of human perfection. Tony seethes in envy.
Simon goes next, leaping into a passionate and completely unironic performance of Irene Cara’s “Fame,” from 1980. No one is particularly surprised.
Wanda, shy by nature, has been sitting on the sidelines for awhile, unsure of her ability to perform in front of her teammates. To bolster her confidence, the Vision displays uncharacteristic levels of self-deprecating humor and sings 1976′s “Love Machine” by The Miracles. He’s just a love machine, and he won’t work for nobody but Wanda.
Utterly charmed, Wanda repays Vision’s sweet gesture with a low, quiet, heartfelt “You Light Up My Life,” Debby Boone’s 1978 hit. Everyone is smiling by the time she’s finished, and she and Vision curl up together in a corner, utterly besotted.
Finally, to round out the night, Beast and Wonder Man take the stage for a finale performance — a duet to Elton John and Kiki Dee’s “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” from 1976. In between the peals of laughter, some of their teammates can’t help wondering if they’re entirely joking.
Then, of course, Kang attacks, and karaoke night comes to an abrupt close. Time-travelling despots, strangely enough, aren’t overly fond of amateur cover songs from the late 1970s. It’s one of the many reasons they’re so evil. But Tony’s karaoke machine remains intact after the ensuing battle, foreshadowing many more nights of musical fun to come.
They’re stuck out in space, sure, and nobody at Marvel seems to know or care what they’re doing, but I care, and I know. The Starjammer’s crew is getting a little R&R singing karaoke in an intergalactic dive bar.
Rachel Grey: Rock Star by Rihanna. She sings it with enthusiasm, like she means it, and it makes her uncle Alex a little bit nervous. It sounds faintly self-destructive to him — but, really, he hasn’t got a leg to stand on in the avuncular advice department, so he lets it go.
Lorna Dane: Drumming Song by Florence and the Machine. Lorna couldn’t tell you who the “you” in the song is. Sometimes, it’s Alex, sometimes it’s herself, sometimes it’s Scott. And mostly it’s her father, but she wouldn’t tell Alex that.
Alex Summers: We Were Born for This by Paramore. Actually, Alex thinks that Scott is born for this, whatever “this” is, but he’s not going to tell Lorna and Rachel that.
So What about you? Who is singing, and what are they singing?