Rock Band may have been the smartest Christmas gift I got for the family.
With the son parked on the couch, alternately grumping and elated depending on his painkiller levels, everyone has been taking a crack at being part of the band.
Both the kids have done well with the clarinet and in the vocal music program at school, so they've both been fairly content to thrash away at the instruments (the drums have defied everyone who's tried them so far) and to take turns singing. While the son and I were at the hospital on Friday, the spouse kept the daughter occupied by playing with her, he on guitar, she singing. The daughter has gotten just a bit cocky playing the part of vocalist, and she confided to me that she'd allowed her father a chance to sing but, "He was terrible."
Yesterday, while sorting laundry, I heard her shrieking "Paranoid." I went out to the family room to investigate, and the spouse announced wryly, "It's Ozzette." She's definitely not shy about belting out whatever she's singing.
The son has really gotten a kick out of the singing part, too, though he's had a little more difficulty staying on key since his voice changed. The spouse passed me in the kitchen this afternoon, rolling his eyes at the caterwauling going on. "I need to go outside," he whispered.
When the daughter regained control of the mic and delivered several extremely flat renditions of "Don't Fear the Reaper," I decided that maybe it was time I take a turn at the game.
"Can I try that song?" I asked the daughter.
"Mom," she said, scoffing only slightly, "you really can't sing."
"Maybe," I replied, "but why not give me a chance?"
Reluctantly, she handed over the microphone.
"Geez, Mom," said the son, as the game praised my pitch and phrasing as awesome, "you're good."
And what do you know? I scored 100%, with a 35 phrase run.
"You were good, Mommy," the daughter said humbly.
"I got 100%!" I responded.
"You don't have to gloat," she snarked.
Then I went on to score 100% on Nirvana's "In Bloom," 98% on The Rolling Stones "Gimme Shelter," and 90% on REM's "Orange Crush."
It was pretty funny to see the looks on the kids' faces as the game announced that the old lady who had just picked up the microphone had "serious skills."
Not that I take it to heart, of course, because I know I can't sing for beans, despite years singing choral music. The game only reads pitch and phrasing, so it's pretty easy to succeed if you know the words and music. Make me sing something by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and it's all over.
Still, it doesn't hurt for the teen and 'tween to think Mommy's got skillz. At least until they figure out my secret.
Go listen to some good music: "Rock On" from the album Rock On by David Essex.