Because it’s brilliant and I can’t improve on it, I’m just going to quote from a synopsis of Round Three from the WOOL website. It’s not just me being lazy. If you can’t make the scene (Saturday, December 4, from 8 PM – 11), you can listen in on it (from 9:00 to 10ish or later).
The resolute and self-styled David Pratt, now a darling of the room, belted out his number as did a clever young fellow named Angus who covered a Matchbox 20 song but who also was chided by the judges for having his hands in his pockets. You couldn’t tell that on the radio but clearly the judges have less familiarity with the emo scene than they have with a professorial mandate of no gum-chewing or hands in pockets. Angus was gracious as he took his knocks. That guy will be back, he’s got some pipes. In fact his performance was nearly flawless, so said judge Dickie Colo, but there’s no accounting for taste and in the end young Angus didn’t rank in the top two spots. That honor went to Sophie Geha and to a duo who we’d seen before and enjoyed – two lovely women named Katy Haas and Shannon Waysville. They shimmied through a rousing Lady Gaga song the way, say, Lewis and Clark might shimmy across an uncharted continent. Both the crowd and the judges squealed with glee, even though the rapidly unfurling Waysville, first seen onstage as kidnap victim, danced the whole song with a beer in her hand. You wouldn’t see that on the radio, either, but judges Sharon Boccelli and Jayson Munn made a scathing critique of such barroom behavior. In response Ms. Waysville hoisted her vorpal beer in the air and the crowd endorsed her with a new round of applause. When the judging was over the room erupted in a dance party that made Soul Train look like a New Orleans funeral. Gangs of strangers galumphed to the stage and sang together as if they were cast on the third season of Glee. It’s the kind of thing that might bring a tear to your eye, for a variety of reasons.
Those of you who are squeamish about the very idea of karaoke, let alone horrified that WOOL might broadcast it live on the radio, think again! This is not just metaphor but the actual community confiscating the mic from The Man and expressing themselves as only they know how. This impulse is as old as the hills but rarely have the ramparts of radio been as overrun by the public as it happens here. You can cling to the idea that radio is the dominion of professionals who should speak in a crazy voice learned either from The Wolfman or from the somnolent NPR but the voice of our community will not be told how to be. Professionalism be damned, it says, and it dares you to join this foolish and beautiful experiment. It’s a call to arms against the commonplace and the bitter repetition of living… you should join this lunatic revolution.