Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Turn Around Bright Eyes

Turn Around Bright Eyes: The Rituals of Love & KaraokeTurn Around Bright Eyes: The Rituals of Love & Karaoke by Rob Sheffield

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As a 30-something person who grew up with MTV (back when they played music videos and hadn't even started to dabble in reality TV), I am drawn to Rob Sheffield's books every single time. The titles that instantly get an 80s song stuck in my head are like magnets! And this one got me from the very beginning: "Once upon a time I was falling apart. Now I'm always falling in love." Can a book start any better than that?

This memoir woven with karaoke tales is about Rob's life as a widower and falling in love with his current wife. While I have not exactly been known to rock a microphone, I do want to rock - right now and always! When I wasn't thinking about song lyrics, there were statements like this that made me go, "Ohhhh yeeeeeaaaaaah!" (a la Yello)

"I am not an and suddenly person. I am a gradually, reluctantly and begrudgingly person...I distrust flashes of light or moments of clarity. Stealth is my jam and guile is my butter."

I get that. I don't always want to be chipper and nice (and I can be nice, dammit). This book isn't just about music. There is some advice in here that we can all use.

"You better watch what you sing, if you don't want to sing it for the rest of your life."

And this might be the most important tip anyone needs. "No man ever plans to turn into Rod Stewart. It just happens. <--- been="" br="" fellas="" warned="" you="">
Sometimes I forget how much a part of our pop culture karaoke has become. Can you imagine some of the best non-musical movie scenes that had a dash of silly/dramatic singing/lip-synching? Rob did.

"If 'Pretty in Pink' had been made a few years later, when he would have enjoyed access to karaoke equipment, Duckie wouldn't have to settle for lip-synching 'Try a Little Tenderness' in the record store for Molly Ringwald. He could have sung his own version." THE HORROR!!!

It's towards the end of the book when Rob writes that he has problems. I DO, TOO! I don't want to live in a world with people who don't respond to me saying a song lyric with singing or completing the song! It is such a simple thing that makes me happy (unless it's that stupid Proclaimers song which makes me punchy - DON'T EVEN START, PEOPLE)!

I'm so happy there are so many great and terrible songs from the 80s and 90s to give Rob inspiration. I hope the next book (and don't even tell me there isn't another one because I can't deal with that) includes more of my favorite songs disguising a few life lessons.

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