Bowie at the Bell

Some advice for those who dare the unthinkable

We're having a difficult time grasping the concept of a singer-songwriter coffee shop line-up putting up their dukes for the Thin White Duke. Frankly, this whole David Bowie Tribute Show over at Opening Bell Coffee from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. this Thursday gives us the shivers...and we don't mean the hallucinogenic sort that Bowie was dealing with in the '70s. As Bowie disciples, we are worried that our Glam God will be slain with nasal vocals and absolutely no eyeliner. So, we offer some advice to you performers:

Songs That Are Not Necessarily Acceptable, But We Acquiesce

The Jean Genie: This will allow for that guy from the office that really wants to jam on harmonica with you. A facial lightning bolt is forbidden.

Did the duke stay thin from nonfat lattes? Find out at Opening Bell.
Did the duke stay thin from nonfat lattes? Find out at Opening Bell.

Details

The David Bowie tribute show is Thursday, May 31, at Opening Bell Coffee.

All the Young Dudes: The chorus could launch a sing-along as it does at Bowie's own concerts. Use this to your advantage come them high notes.

The Man Who Sold the World: Thanks to Nirvana, any guy playing guitar in the '90s knows how to play it at least reasonably well (at least as mediocre as Kurt did)...we hope. Just tune the damned guitar first, K?

Everyone Says "Hi": It's a sweet one. Plus, you get to say "and your big fat dog"—which is always fun. Mind the range and we might call off the dogs.

Heroes: Well, Jakob Dylan didn't kill it, so it might be indestructible.

Letter to Hermione: We won't hold our breath, but this might just be the most acceptable selection for the smooth sounds of coffee night. Just enough lovelorn, good on the acoustic and—what was that?—oh, yeah, lovelorn.

Songs You Are Absolutely NOT Allowed to Cover. Just Don't.

Honorable Mention: Anything Gail Ann Dorsey has ever provided backing vocals on. This includes but is not limited to "Under Pressure," "Hallo Spaceboy" and many, many others. Also, nothing Stevie Ray Vaughan ever played on.

I'm Deranged: You may be deep. You may watch Lost Highway a lot and think a "pared-down" version of this crooner would be "kinda sweet." You'd be real wrong.

China Girl: Waaaaay too creepy. Plus, you'd be following not only Bowie but Iggy fucking Pop.

Be My Wife or Breaking Glass: While we're at it, it's best to just steer completely clear of anything off Low. No matter how single you are or how awesome a poet you think you are, you can't rock that album.

Life on Mars: You'll want to. You really will. But be strong. The range required will creep up on you the same way it did the last time you attempted any Journey song at karaoke.

Ziggy Stardust: There's no way in hell you can ace the phrase "well-hung and snow white tan" or "with god-given ass."

The Loneliest Guy: Seriously, polishing off this more recent track will be depressing, pathetic and make you eponymous with the song when it's time to head home.

Space Oddity: Um, no. You can't. You shouldn't. It's unlawful. It's wrong. But if for some reason you do decide to go boldly where no man but Bowie should ever go, for the life of me, if you have a pre-recorded backing track that counts down to lift-off, we will urp our non-fat vanilla latte directly onto your person.

 
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