Late Night OTB – Vince Gill Does Karaoke

Trying a different take on an old concept.

I’ve tried off and on over the years to post music videos under the Late Nate OTB label, with mixed success. Not only are people’s musical tastes different but simply posting videos tends not to generate much in the way of discussion, which is really the lifeblood of the blog.

Rather than post songs I enjoy, I’m going to try posting some more offbeat things that I stumble upon and find worth sharing. This one, which is a few years old but new to me, will kick us off.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. de stijl says:

    I stumbled on a BBC story about Khalid doing a cover of Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car. I love that song, so I will love this I thought….
    But, it was basically a mimic, not a cover at all and missed the point of the original, I thought.

    What was the point? I hadn’t heard that song in years, but this mimic was so off it pained me. Why? So I listened to the original again:

    That song is remorseless and inexorable and bleaker than bleak. The narrator is seemingly initially wise to her situation but proves herself to be hopelessly naive and sadly hopeful. Her lot will never improve. She might move to a new town away from her father, but she is doomed.

    But for one pure night she got to drive in a fast car with a boy and it was new and thrilling and she spun a foolish fantasy out of that.

    doo doo du. Du! du! du! It’s inexorable.

    At times it sounds hopeful and ramps up, but is so bleak in retrospect. The great resounding din that signifies catharsis and growth in any pop song here yields false fantasy about belonging and hope.

    The last third sounds big and hopeful and it is the biggest godamned mess you can imagine.

    And it is so heartbreaking. Wow. Maybe the saddest song I ever heard. It’s physically painful to hear.

    The narrator feels a delusional hopefulness that will never be.

  2. de stijl says:

    I need both a palate cleanser and a chaser. Both the happiest song ever and the saddest (no Hallelujah or covers of it).


    The Five Stairsteps Ooh Child (Things Are Gonna get Easier) (I understand the back ground for this song is sadness, but this is yearning hopefulness)


    Wow! This is hard. I’m flummoxed.

    Lot’s of people would vote for Joy Division’s Leave Me Alone
    But I find that song as coming out from hopelessness and kinda a phase-change from dark into less dark. “Cathartic” gets tossed around too much, but here it is deserved.

    The saddest song is tough.

  3. de stijl says:

    I can think of a billion (okay that’s hyperbole)… I can think of a million songs that make me “feel” happy, but are not strictly happy songs per se. Those are different things.

    Ah! I might have a happy candidate:
    Len – Steal My Sunshine (But just part of it – the boy bits are broey and stupid, but the girl bits transform our understanding of aesthetics) Plus mr. robot shout out. (OMG, I hate those bros so much!)

    Katrina and the Waves – Walking on Sunshine Bliss+dorkiness

    Also, no Happy Shiny People and any song with “happy” in the title is judge’s discretion.

  4. Joe says:

    Thanks, James. That was a good story.

    I have always told my kids that there is a talent called “being entertaining.” Mr. Gill has that talent. Most A list stars do. So do a lot of people you have never heard of. It is a talent that makes their singing engaging (not all engaging singers are technically all that good) and their stories interesting (same point). I would watch this guy/gal read a phone book, because they are entertaining.

    Also, de stijl, here is a great cover because it takes a song we all recognize and makes it very different:

  5. de stijl says:


    I’m sorry I missed this yesterday. I love Hey Ya! – it’s my call on the song of the century so far. And this guy’s version really underlines the lyrics are basically about a break-up, at least in the first half of the song. The OutKast (face it – this is an Andre 3000 song; Big Boi literally phoned his bit in) version sounds so up and exuberant. And the original video is just astonishing technically and fun (I love the kids dancing in the living room, and also the bashful keyboardist).

    Good call!