Feb 152012

Today we launch another chapter in our ongoing effort to squeeze some fun and entertainment out of popular music’s banality, with a segment I call:  In a Word — Schtick!

Here’s how this is going to work: contestants will vie for the coveted RTH No-Prize by attempting to use as few words as possible to describe a vital component of a given performer’s “signature” move, or Look, or some other thing by which he, she, or the group is identified. The goal is to have RTH readers guess the artist in question with the schtick-clue provided. The fewer words used, the bigger the prize awarded — and prizes are only awarded to townspeople who can provide a clue that elicits a correct artist ID on the first try. You lob a schtick clue into the void, and hope the first guess that comes back is the right one. If it is, you win! If it isn’t, it’s the dreaded buzzer for you.

For example — if I wanted you to guess “Keith Richards,” I might submit “drugs” as a one-word clue — but chances are that clue would be too broad, and somebody might incorrectly guess “Sly Stone.” BUZZ! If, on the other hand, I offered the schtick-clue “skull-ring” — that might work.

A few ground rules are in order:

  • God-given/natural aspects of appearance or behavior are not allowed as clues — so, for example, saying “big lips” to get us to guess Mick Jagger would result in a buzzer. But “omega shirt” would be okay.
  • Dialog is only appropriate if it was part of the artist’s schtick, and no famous one-time quotes qualify — so “thank you very much” is allowed for Elvis, while “I’ve got blisters on my fingers!” is not allowed for John Lennon.
  • No song lyric snippets or alliterated riffs are allowed.  It’s about the schtick!

I look forward to your responses.



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