May 16, 2009

Would you rather the drunk people doing karaoke in the bar underneath where you live be doing terrible obnoxious versions of songs you like, or terrible obnoxious versions of songs you hate? Hearing awful versions of songs you actually like is like watching people you love die: it's profoundly sad but in a romantic way that means there is still right and wrong in the universe. You loved those people. It is sad they had to die that way, but you loved them for a time and they will live on in your memory. Hearing awful versions of songs you hate is like watching people you don't like die: you feel bad in a much more queasy hollow way that is much more disturbing. It's an existential crisis: should you have tried harder to like them? They sucked and now they're dead. Somehow it's bleaker. You just wonder what it's all for.

I'll say this for my friends and acquaintances and pretty much everybody in my circle: when they do karaoke, they freaking try. No one gets up there to just boozily keen. Not everybody is a singer. Barely anyone is. But everyone is trying because you know what? It's fun to try and sing well. People who purposely get up at karaoke and drunkenly howl and waste all of our time are doing so because they think it would be a sin to get caught trying at anything. They want to be told apart from their friends only as much as it's going to take for everyone to go home with a separate person at the end of the night.

Pick something fun and vaguely in your range and fucking go own it. You ARE drunk, right? Your inhibitions ARE low. Instead of using those lowered inhibitions as an excuse to go tank a song (something we could all do stone cold sober), why not use the lowered inhibitions to attempt the bolder, crazier, hotter feat of making an effort? This might be my inner cigarette-y drag queen talking, but: don't get onstage if you're not going to at least pretend to be a star. Y'know?

Posted by DC at May 16, 2009 11:20 PM

that's a beautiful sentiment. owning at kareoke is very difficult and important to do, like all the good things.
and now i wana do some kareoke.

Posted by: jenny

I really appreciate this entry. My friend and I switch between Ignition Remix and Drop it Like It's Hot. We switch off who raps and who exclusively makes the appropriate noises.

Posted by: Christina

Yeah, but what about that girl who took singing lessons her whole life and pretends to be embrrassed to go up there but really desperately wants everyone to notice her and tell her how great she is? What about her huh?

Posted by: Adam

My few karaoke experiences have mostly been spent yelling over the NYU musical theater kids that Adam was describing. Recently, I had one of those girls ask me about the song I sang (Melanie's roller skate song!) and say, "You're good, am I?" Yeesh.

Posted by: Chelsea Marks


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