If There is Karaoke In Hell, AND THERE IS, This is What’s Playing

“The Final Countdown,” performed by Leif Garrett.

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There are no words.


By John Scalzi

I enjoy pie.

85 replies on “If There is Karaoke In Hell, AND THERE IS, This is What’s Playing”

I’m quite fond of this version. Because who doesn’t love somber Norwegian rockabilly?

Then again, my taste is completely suspect in all matters related to Europe and “The Final Countdown” because, well, I fell in love with the song when I was 13 and have never fallen out of love with it.

Gets long, fuzzy pipe cleaners. Links together. Applies bleach. Sticks in one ear until it comes out the other. Scrubs back and forth vigorously. Removes cleaners, wax, earworms, etc. Cleans up. Goes on about business.

Aaahh…much better.

What the hell instrument is that carrying the tune? It sounds exactly like – oh, crap, I can’t remember what it’s called, zymophone or something, but there was a YouTube of some guy in England playing Christmas carols or something on this miniature keyboard whatsit that sounded like a cross between a kazoo and a harpsicord. IIRC, posting that YouTube was another Scalzi special.

Anyway, between the kazoo-harpsicord and the thin, just-barely-hitting-that-note vocals, I’d swear this was Leif doing karaoke. I don’t care if he put it on a record and sold it, it’s still karaoke.

Scalzi, where do you *find* this stuff?

I used to respect you. I had nice things to say about your work.

But this. You miserable son of a bitch, you’ve forced me to accept the fact that I like Styx. You are driving me towards Journey, and then…



I hope you can live with yourself — but in the near future you will have to live with me. And I will make you pay for the way you’ve stripped my cool guy (Ali Farka Toure/Fats Waller/Carl Perkins/Wendy Carlos/Jean Pierre Michelle Jarre, Ramones, Nuggets, etc.l) credits away from me and forced me to accept the fact that I’m a product of seventies/eighties stadium rock.

You will pay.

Of course, I might wind up playing those kinds of songs. In which case, thanks loads.

Prog Rock lives!

sir ~
be advised that i have informed the alien kitten overlords that you must be the first enslaved so that you do not purposefully, and with malice aforethought, inflict such damage upon us, your humble (and, okay, not so humble in some cases) servants again.

be prepared, sir. be prepared.

now if you’ll excuse me, i am off to the store to purchase the supplies suggested by WendyB_09@34.

Synthesized kazoo.


I don’t remember hearing this in its, um, day, and since I retain the memory of something called “Nee Nee Na Na Na Na Nu Nu” from the Jurassic Era of rock, I can only conclude that if I did hear it, the brain immediately erased the memory. Which means that by tomorrow, the taste this … thing … left in my brain should be gone.

It made Night Ranger sound almost like Verdi.

Y’know….I kind of like it…I know, I’m sick, but I also like Meco’s version of the Star Wars theme back in the day.

Don’t hate me because I’m weird…

That lead melody sound is called a ‘supersaw’. You can twiddle most synths to produce one, but you shouldn’t, because enraged techno geeks will beat you to death with their shoelaces.

(It’s several detuned saw waves stacked at octaves, and is symptomatic of the electronic music equivalent of the spandex power ballad.)

I don’t get what’s so bad about it either, but then again – I liked The Final Countdown in the 80’s and I haven’t gotten around to stop liking it.

Actually, that was the first album I got and which I liked, myself.

For the first time I’m not unhappy that the link is blocked by my workplace.
I only needed to see the words “The Final Countdown” and “Leif Garrett” in the same sentence to know it was somewhere I really didn’t want to go.

I’m gonna fall into the “also likes Laibach” camp. Across the Universe is amazing.
And yeah, I owned a Leif Garrett record in the late 70’s. And Andy Gibb, too.
Shut up.

I hear this song multiple times a week because I am in my college pep band, and we play the song. It is slightly less awful when played by 10 tubas, 20 trumpets, 15 trombones, 3 electric basses, lots and lots of percussion, and assorted other band like instruments. However, since we play at about 135 Db, it is no less painful, just less awful.

WHERE do you GET this stuff??
And peeps, you’re hilarious but you’re encouraging him!

In self-defense, I must point out a bluegrass version of Baba O’Reily that’s almost better
than The Who (yeah, the bookstore regular musician said it was Crazy Talk):

I almost didn’t recognise it on FolkAlley when it played — it was the ‘I know that continuo!’ that finally tripped my memory.

Yaknow, I upgraded iTunes and now I can’t find FolkAlley — or indeed any Folk station at all. Hmn, coincidence?…..maybe I just need to go back to playing the 80s station for the weekend.


Possibly you were listening to Hayseed Dixie. They’ve done tribute albums to AC/DC, KISS. Maybe they’ve also done some Who covers.

BTW, they don’t qualify as “bad” music. Not only are they good musicians, they’re funny as hell. The first time I heard their cover of “Love Gun” I laughed so hard I thought I was gonna have a stroke. It gave me a whole new appreciation for the emotional and philosophical depths of KISS’ lyrics.

I’ve heard Hayseed Dixie do ACDC -I didn’t realise they’d ‘covered’ other bands. Well, hell, now I know what to research tonight.…

I have a stylophone, and I know where you can get one.

By the way, I heard a cover of “Don’t Stop Believing” the other day that blew any other performance of it I’ve ever heard out of the water, including the original.

Still not a great song in my folky/classical opinion, but beautifully performed. It was from the TV show Glee, which I think I’d better start watching.

I imagine this is the song a person hears on their death bed, right before the Grim Reaper walks into the room surrounded by cheap fireworks and skeleton cheerleaders and sucks out your soul out using a Turkey Baster.

Or something closely resembling that.

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