Thursday, July 7, 2011

Behold the Hour of Power

I realize I haven’t blogged in forever but, well, I’m not going to talk about the frozen linksys situation earlier this week.  And before that I was in Minneapolis for a reunion with my college roommates.  Sorry I’m not sorry.  Anyway, I knew I needed to get back on the horse but have been devoid of inspiration lately.  I was about to resort to “Things That are the Worst: Part II” when I remembered a conversation I had with my friend Ian recently.  A couple of weeks ago, Ian told me I should start a powerhour blog.  I don’t know if this means that he read my blog, thought it was crap, and was being polite by suggesting I rebrand rather than close up shop.  After all, they say you should write what you know and, well, I know powerhours.  So that’s the theme this week!  Don’t worry, though.. there will be a sequel to Things That Are The Worst but I’m going to save that for when I’m suffering from a  combination of writer’s block, apartment-hunt exhaustion, and PMS.  I suspect that shitstorm will result in my Sistine Chapel of blog posts.

Jon Hamm powerhours with double shots of scotch
Powerhours are the greatest drinking activity ever created.  Don’t question it.  I’m almost as defensive about my powerhours as I am with opening up Triple Word spaces in my Words with Friends games.

First of all, what’s more fun than drinking beer out of a shot glass?  Maybe drinking sweet tea vodka out of Jon Hamm’s belly button, but I’m working with the cards I was dealt.  If you don’t have a shot glass, experience has proven that measuring cups, soy sauce dishes, and urine sample containers also suffice.

Pre-made powerhours are sacrilegious.  If you're going to partake in this noble tradition, have some respect for the art.  Choose your own songs, choose your own minutes, choose your own transition (preferably Tracy Jordan shouting "Our basketball hoop was a rib cage! A RIB CAGE!")  The song choice has to be universally appealing.  This is not the time to be a pretentious asshole.. Your favorite band that no one has ever heard of will blow up in your face harder than the Challenger but with less sympathy because everyone’s drunk and now you’re killing their buzz with a hollow attempt at musical education. There is nothing more awkward than that moment when a song comes on and no one knows it.  Mary Moon was my Bay of Pigs.  Never again.  

There are certain songs that cannot fail in a powerhour.  The “Dirt Off Your Shoulder/Bittersweet Symphony” mash-up (minute 0:25-1:25), “No Diggity” (minute 1:49-2:49), “Like a Prayer” (0:22-1:22), etc.  Creativity is key.  Unexpected throwbacks > Top 40 everytime.  Remember "Hey Leonardo" or City High?  Slam drunk:

If every song I chose, could please the crowd, I'd choose "Forever"

The song order is important, as well.  Before a sporting event or on holidays such as President’s Day, Memorial Day, or 4th of July, start off with the National Anthem.  Your best choices – most importantly, the sing-a-longs - should start around minute 25.  At the beginning people are still talking/sober, so the first songs should be impressive as a hook but nothing that you’re going to wish people had gotten overly-properly-enthusiastic-drunk-person excited about.  But right around minute 25… This is when it gets loud and awesome.  Every 60 seconds someone should be saying “oh my God I love this song” or else you haven’t done your job right.  And God kills a puppy.  Choosing the right minute is also crucial.  Don’t worry about the beginning of the minute because people may still be taking their shot of beer/singing the previous song (it is impossible to pick one perfect minute in “Say My Name” because you have to include the “doc shah nah nah” at the beginning but then it ends right before “somethin’s goin’ down that’s the way it seems” just as you’ve unleashed your singing-Beyonce-in-the-shower diva voice).  But it should end on a high note so everyone is singing along and even the babysitters’ club lightweights who insist they aren’t going to do the full powerhour, can’t not toast that glorious minute.

Minutes 55-59, bring it home with sentimental, sloppy drunk songs like “Piano Man” and “Tiny Dancer” (think people get sappy about those in a bar?  How about when they’ve realized they only have 2 more shots of beer left in what has become the most awesome hour of their lives?).  And always, always finish with the theme from Rudy.

After four years of pouring my heart, soul, and what's left of my liver into custom-making powerhours, I have ended up with the most fantastically diverse iTunes library ever.  Once we even made a powerhour of songs that I only had for the purpose of powerhours.  This musical collection might make me look like an alcoholic schizophrenic pedophile but in my heart, I know that only the first part is true.  So I'll leave you with a little peek at my iTunes powerhour library.

1) "Rugrat Rap" (Preschool Powerhour)
Cookie sheets..
For the seasoned veterans' spill-proof powerhours
2) "Groovy Kind of Love" - Phil Collins (Rise and Shine Powerhour... you know when you wake up with a song in your head?  My roommate Andrea and I recorded them until we had 60 and then powerhoured to them)
3) That song from A League of Their Own (Grand Slam Powerhour)
4) "Bananas in Pajamas" (Andrea's Powerhour..  It wasn't long enough so we listened to it twice.)
5) "Money Can't Buy You Class" - Countess Luann (Gay Pride Powerhour)
6) "Poop in a Jar" - Hayseed Dixie (Georgetown Powerhour)
7) The Dreidel Song - Nick Jr. Kids (Christmas Powerhour)
8) "Hold Onto the Nights" - Richard Marx (Power Ballad Powerhour)
9) "Cha Cha Slide" - Mr. C the Slide Man (Dance Powerhour)
10) "It's Raining Men" - The Weather Girls (Drag Queen Powerhour)
11) Christian Bale yelling at the lighting guy on set (Georgetown Powerhour Part II)
12) "The Galaxy is Ours" from Disney Channel original movie Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century (Kyle's Powerhour.. it was a boy band thing)
13) Dawson's Creek Theme - Paula Cole (T. Ro's Powerhour.. because he looks like James Van Der Beek)
14)   "Eye to Eye" from A Goofy Movie (Castle Point Powerhour)
15) "Too Close" - Next (Valentine's Day Powerhour)

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