Saturday, February 17, 2007
From trivia that is. The break came on Tuesday, February 13 when we entered a Name That Tune Contest at Union Hall, which happens to be on my newly formed list of favorite places in Brooklyn to hang out. Still hanging on to #1 . . . my apartment, of course.
We first found out about this contest on a Brooklyn message board query that asked - "what are the best trivia nights in Brooklyn?" and while we have yet to venture to any of the others on the board, we did make it to Union Hall as the snow began to come down. It was more like ice, really when we left our place at about 8:30. We arrived at Union Hall at about 8:40 (yes, it is THAT close to #1 (our apt.)). Since it was the first ever Name that Tune at Union Hall & we'd never been to the facility before, we weren't sure what to expect, including how many people would be there and what not. We entered the warm pub place with book-filled bookcases lining the walls of the upstairs and found a primo table. As we sat, smiling to be inside after the ice-coming- down thing we had just trekked through, I was trying to decide if we were, in fact, in the right area of the facility. Would a Name that Tune presentation happen right here in the main of the bar space? After inquiring, we discovered the fun was to be had downstairs and when we arrived to aforementioned downstairs, I could see it was a better venue. Basically, there was a stage and a microphone set up and I would be lying if I didn't say it reminded me of a movie-oake setting from about 10 months back. That of course, didn't make me feel good as the movie-oake, while fun - and yes, I am glad we did it - wasn't all that.
Anyway, we took seats and oh by the way, we were the only ones in the seating area! We trudged on and Jeremy went to the bar for drinks. Sitting with with our drinks we wondered if Name that Tune would be cancelled due to ice falling from the sky. There were people, insiders it seemed, sitting at the bar and two bartenders hanging out.
Anyway, we confirmed Name that Tune was happening and shortly afterwards, our host approached, gave us our answer sheet and a pen. She said each team only gets one pen and Jeremy joked, "right don't want to not have enough for everyone." Hmm. . . while we weren't still the only ones there we were at that point one out of two (two!) teams. She didn't get the joke - this is Name that Tune people! - but she did smile and say, "No really, we totally forgot pens and had to run around asking people upstairs for their own." So that was kinda funny - not that she didn't get Jeremy's joke - maybe she was in denial - but just the fact that an event would be planned where few items are needed and pens are one of them and pens are forgotten. Now, this entry is not about pens but about tunes.
The photo is our score sheet and you will see our name "I'm With Stupid" which only I can take credit. It struck me as especially silly (I am after all a big fan of silly) considering we were practically the only ones there and as luck would have it - we were with each other - but calling each other stupid, while not very nice, makes for a funny team name. (Together at Last! Together Forever!) It was also a good way to divert attention from our quiz winning ways. Jeremy after all has been on a streak - First Place at Camdentown's Oxford Arms on January 15 and Second Place at Brooklyn's Last Exit on February 5. I mean, if we are each with Stupid then our team doesn't have a chance, right? WRONG!!
OK so the game starts and by this time people have streamed in (really - it did happen pretty fast) and there were 6 teams in all. The first round of 20 questions was name that tune straight up - list artist and song name. The first clue was to Justin Timberlake's Sexyback and it was a good one to start with, warming the crowd up because in the end everyone did get that one right. There was one tune the hostess played and afterward she said, "if you don't know this one, I pity you." Well, we are to be pitied. I did think prior to this event starting that we could get rocked hard (in terms of losing and not get one right) and it was because of indie groups and songs like this. It was Arcade Fire which I guess if you are anyone and if you are anyone in Brooklyn, you can name these tunes from a small amount of notes. The thing is we wouldn't have been able to name it if she played the entire song and told us the album or even the title of the song! This was number 5 or 6 and by that time we had already answered most of the tunes so I was not worried it would be all music I didn't know. Speaking as someone who has the Rent and Avenue Q soundtracks on my iPod with very high "times listened to" numbers, I was hoping for that showtune track. What I got instead was the soundtrack from a movie and a TV show. Neither of which we answered correctly. Answers: Rudy and The Incredible Hulk. Our guesses: Titanic and Heroes. I think we should have gotten points for Heroes since wasn't that Hulk guy a good guy? Sure, no cape but he did help out the town now didn't he?
We got a good dose of 80s music - Martika's Toy Soldiers, Violent Femmes' Kiss off, and my personal fave (since I got it without taking a breath) Cameo's Word Up. And Jeremy was the only one (so said our leader) to get Jackson Browne as the artist of song Running on Empty. Number 17 was a man saying "And now it's time for a little break" and our hostess called out to the ladies - "you should get this one ladies!" The pressure was on and I choked. It was from En Vogues' Never Gonna Get It. (no, you're never gonna get it). Which in hindsight since I didn't get it, is well, poetic, no?!
The next round was a multimedia event that being the first time, went off with a hitch. We had to look at the screen and identify the album cover based only on a snippet of that cover. Unfortunately, whoever was workin' the DVD/Computer thing in the back (I think I heard someone call him Skippy?) showed us the answers for the first two (out of 5).
The last round was lyrics and the hostess' friend made his way to the stage and read lyrics from songs in a dramatic voice. That was totally fun though we only got two of 'em. Downeaster Alexa by Billy Joel and Run DMC's You Be Illin'. I am sure everyone got that last one but I was still pleased in my memory of one trip up to Vermont in the 80s when Liza and I and a friend spent the entire 4.5 hour trip learning that song and singing it aloud!!
One limitation of the evening, aside from the on-the-low side turnout (I don't want to say low turnout since I have no idea what the hostess' expectations were and it was icing and all - that is, ice was coming down from the sky that night), was that fact that all three rounds were played without a break and it wasn't too long but it might have been better if there was some competition added by adding up team scores and knowing going into round 2 or 3 who were the ones to beat. But alas, on the other hand of course, I have gotten annoyed at one too many pub quizzes where you are just sitting around for minutes(heh) waiting to get the next round going. Maybe you just can't win. Or can't you?!
So - we did well. And came in second place which scored us free tickets (tickets that normally cost $5) to the Upright Citizen's Brigade comedy place in Chelsea. The Upright Citizen's Brigade where we went in December and because the show was so horrible we tried to block it out from memory!! But I would never look a gift giver (horse) in the mouth so yay! we rock!