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Chorallaries' Bad Taste continues crude tradition

Concert in Bad Taste

The Chorallaries.

Room 10-250.

March 10, 11:59 p.m.

By Kim Knowles

The Chorallaries of MIT proved to their audience once again that they can tread on the boundaries of tastelessness and still emerge relatively unscathed. The line did not extend as far as it did last year, and few people if any were turned away. Inside, the tension built as the midnight hour approached, complete with an ad hoc volleyball game between the bouncers and the audience members. Cries of "bump, set, spike" evolved into "foreplay, sex, orgasm" as the audience waited for the opening.

The opening skit, adapted from the restaurant sketch in Pulp Fiction, led right into a parody on "We Belong," with masochistic lyrics such as "S&M ... feel the pain together." This was a strong opening number, as the lyrics got lots of laughs from the audience. The choreography included one person who screamed in time with the song as the rest of the group beat him.

Following another Pulp Fiction skit, in which a binary calculator was described as the heirloom hidden in the father's rectum, the Chorallaries portrayed a drunken party scene, proclaiming "I don't get much, and you don't get much; Why don't we both share the ho?" This too was a crowd-pleaser, especially the shrieks of the "bimbo" dressed as the G-spot.

The Chorallaries brought back the series of LSC movie previews, including a "Nymphomaniacs" movie, complete with theme song. The new Highlander movie (number 3.14159) featured a duel parodied after The Princess Bride between a geek bearing a nerd kit and a course nine "head-shrinker," as well as punishment by Athena: account termination. Cheers from the audience erupted at almost each line, as the Chorallaries showed they were up to their usual bad taste quality. The last LSC preview was "Forrest Hump," with Jenny proclaiming "Cum, Forrest, cum!" "Doggy-Style Man," in contrast to the original "Missionary Man," followed. The lyrics brought groans from the audience at each verse, and as always, in spite of the off-color lyrics, the singing was right on target.

The "Top Ten Reasons Bad Taste is Better than Sex" was this year's Top Ten list. Especially remarkable ones included "Better costumes", "Audience participation", and "It lasts for at least an hour and a half." Later on was "101 Other Meanings for MIT," ranging from stabs at other groups, with "Muses In Tune (?)", "Muses In Toons", and "Muses I've Tasted", to MIT life and meaningless phrases. Some of the more inspired were "Many Impotent Techies," "Many Impotent Trekkies," "More Incompetent TAs," "Men In Tunnels," "Massachusetts Investigates Tewhey," and "Massively Inflated Tuition."

Other songs included John Mellencamp's "Jack and Diane," in which the couple does 69 as part of sex in the Midwest, and "Sex on an Airplane." The group also brought back "Don't Go and End Your Life With One Lay" from last year, about safe sexual practices, and "Necrophilia Down By the Graveyard," with allusions to the murder of Nicole Simpson.

As usual, there was a skit based on Star Trek, this time aboard the ship "Voyeur," and requiring audience participation for sound effects. There were also appearances by Beavis and Butthead, saying "Hee, hee, she said log'!" The skit was long, and an audience member even approached the gong, but for some, there can never be too much Star Trek.

The Chorallaries' social statements were very striking. While sex is always a hot topic at bad taste, material this year included a song about campus crime, "Murdered on Vassar Street," which was humorous, yet reminds the campus of the somber reality. Also included was "Cab Driver on Sesame Street," which began as a funny, muppet-killing cab driver, who reveals himself to be in reality, Newt Gingrich vowing to kill the muppets and PBS along with it.

Duran Duran's "Rio" made another appearance this year, with "His name is O.J. and he's gone across the land and now his trial is all that's ever on TV, who cares who killed Nicole, this trial is killing me," reflecting the ubiquity of the O.J. Simpson trial. There was a brief but brilliant segue into the Simpsons' TV theme, where O.J. wrote on the chalkboard, "I will not murder my wife."

Perhaps the most surprising feature was how many outside groups jumped in. Two MIT groups, the Toons and the Muses, took the stage, as well as two guest groups that the Chorallaries introduced. In addition, there was a group of Chorallaries alumni calling themselves the TestosterTones, who sang "I really hate singing Africa.'" Too bad the Logarhythms did not follow up their appearance last year; they would have rounded out the secular a capella groups on campus.

The Toons, introducing themselves as the "Black Lace Panties," sang about oral sex in "Is She Really Going Down On Him," which fit in well with the Bad Taste theme. All the men wore (only) boxer shorts, with the women in various levels of suggestive dresses. At times, they shouted the lyrics rather than sang, but the audience didn't seem to mind, especially at the lines, "A pubic hair (where?), right here between my two front teeth " and "I went down on her, just to find she was pussy and red I guess I'll need some Listerine." The soloist, singing "I'm getting off around here," was serviced by two women during the last chorus, who spit at the end of the song, prompting many groans from the audience.

After a weak stab at the impotency of a man, the Muses began the Cranberries' "Linger", singing "it's not much wider than my finger ... oh why couldn't you be bigger?" but when the audience cheered in the middle, they were approving the use of the gong, and the Muses were cut short. To their credit, the lyrics were okay - the weakness in execution was what bored the audience. At least they threw the phallic lollipops into the audience.

The TestosterTones featured testimonies by the percussionist and the high tenor, proclaiming how much they hated the song, as well as a log of the events at which they sang Africa, from the creation of its creator, through its performances every fall and spring since it was arranged.

Also featured were the Washington University Pikers, who did a medley of their own bad taste numbers, including "This One Goes Into The One I Love" and "It's That Time Of The Month," a parody on R.E.M.'s "It's The End Of The World as We Know It." Another guest group, the Extension Chords from University of Illinois, sang about masturbation: "I've been waiting such a long time," and a song sung by John Wayne Bobbit, "I Ain't Got No Penis." Hopefully, guest groups will become a part of the tradition, as they provided more variation in entertainment. They were a welcome surprise in the middle of the shows, and gave the Chorallaries a little time to rest in between.

The Engineers' Drinking Song sported the chorus, "We are the f-king engineers." One verse described less than pure family members, but "they refuse to talk to me, cause I'm an engineer." A new verse took jabs at President Vest, indicating a female's sexual preference for "the beaver than the head of MIT," which was not lost on the audience. However, the all-around favorite verse of all was one brought back from last year, in which the soloist lists lewd sexual activities, and says that "these words don't mean a thing to me, 'cause I'm an engineer."

The Chorallaries were called back out for an encore, and the audience demanded "Africa," in reference to how much the group is tired of that song. After a few lines, the soloist stopped singing, and eventually one member ended the show for good by hitting the gong. It was a concise end to another well-crafted show. Despite some shaky lines during the Star Trek skit, the entire show, complete with interruptions, held together and culminated in proper Chorallaries quality, the concert in bad taste. And so the tradition continues.