Griffin Walker has enormous balls. Actually, so does everyone that took the stage at last night’s unforgettable New York by New York Of Montreal karaoke jam. That above is Stereogum’s Sing Indie Rock Karaoke With Of Montreal contest winner G. Walker, backstage with Kevin Barnes just an hour after getting karaoke night’s second largest ovation, hamming it up on Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin.'” Top honors, though, go to Aquaman, who straight killed “Moonage Daydream” (but then, OM straight kills all Bowie tunes.) Or, maybe that prize goes to Paul Rudd and David Wain’s surprise rendition of “More Than A Feeling,” spiced with one of Mr. Rudd’s patented faux-smarmy adlibs between lines: “Sometimes, it’s just sooo easy.” Ex-Shudder To Think, now BABY man Craig Wedren was another familiar face to front The World’s Greatest Karaoke Band?. (Fun fact: He wrote theme music for three Showalter/Wain projects: The State, Stella, and Wet Hot American Summer — the latter of which featured Paul Rudd. Six degrees of Kevin Barnes.)
The amateurs represented in costume and theatrics, constantly keeping Kevin in giggle fits while on guitar. (Barnes, by the way, was note for note on Slash’s “Sweet Child O’ MIne” solos — ’til the outro shred. Impressive!) The funniest of the night, though, had to be the evening’s host Michael Showalter (in character as Camp Firewood MC Alan Shemper from Wet Hot American Summer), geriatrically goofing his way through a never-ending rendition of INXS’s “Need You Tonight” that had him befuddled by just how many times the ride-out repeated “So slide over here.” (He finished the tune saying, “Now I know why he killed himself. He couldn’t write any lyrics! Just kept repeating the same fucking verse! I’m just saying … now I know why he killed himself.”) Almost as good a Showalter performance as this.
Oh yeah, before all of that went down, opening band Of Montreal performed a campy, ebullient, prop-propelled set of their E6 electro-pop, delivering one of the best sets we’ve seen from the band in a long while. The set list was heavy on Hissing Fauna (name a song and they probably played it). Future Playgirl model Kevin Barnes kept his own hissing fauna in his trousers last night (confession: we wanted him to get naked), but a song-by-song costume-change/strip-tease had people panting plenty.
If you saw Conan this past Thursday, you saw some of the crustacean costumes in action, but after the jump we have a bevy of pics to help your mind’s eye grasp the goodness of the show of the year, featuring giant lobster claws, partial nudity, lots of glitter, and Paul Rudd.
STEREOGUM CONTEST WINNER GRIFFIN WALKER
MICHAEL SHOWALTER/ALAN SHEMPER
Stay tuned for video!