An Intermediate-Beginners Guide to Karaoke Fun

Karaoke is a subtle but beautiful art.  It lets your inner rock star come out to set the masses ablaze, which has been locked away only by however many ounces of shame you have in conjunction with your temporary sobriety.  Even the most quiet, reserved person can become the next Justin Bieber after a couple shots of that shitty Asian alcohol.  That might have been a poor analogy and in experience isn’t necessarily true (shy people seem to be self-conscious, they’ll usually cry if too hammered, skipping that sweet spot of karaoke bliss).  Anyway I’m going out for some classic ‘oke tonight for a buddy’s birthday so I figured I’d give you a few of my karaoke essentials.

  1. Get to your place on time– assuming you have a reservation, which I would recommend so you don’t have to listen to rando Katie McAteAlltheGodDamnSushi’s inspired rendition of Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” a song so shitty and overplayed that you shouldn’t want to be subject to its merciless ear-blasting by the original vocalist, let alone this bitch.  You’ll also avoid that raggedy looking 47-year-old man’s rendition of “Glory Days,” since I’m sure there’s absolutely nothing to read into there.  Keep dreaming about your high school football stats buddy, we all know they’re still impressive.  So yeah, reserve your own room to avoid these things and get there on time.  If you’re going on a weekend I’m sure it’s booked and you’ll want to squeeze every second of karaoke goodness you can out of your sesh.  Believe me it goes fast and if your friends are idiots you’ll only get like 7 and a half songs in anyway.
  2. Get some good pre-gaming in– Since most people need to be fairly intoxicated to even consider putting that mic in their hands you’ll probably need to get some good pregaming in to calm those nerves and fears.  “What if my friends don’t like the song I picked? What if they make fun of how I sing? What if the waiter comes in while I’m getting into it and completely laughs at me?  I won’t even be able to understand his jokes! What if I shit my pants like last time?” – shut the fuck up.  You’re either being too much of a puss, need to get better friends, or invest in adult diapers.  Either way, chill out with all of that thinking and self scrutiny and get up and sing.  Luckily for you there are several concoctions that can help you with the whole being a puss thing so grab some liquid courage and get belting.  Oh yeah I recommend pregaming not only so you don’t have to waste time getting drunk at the place but also because if you go to your standard karaoke place in the city they’re going to serve you the bottomest of shelves.  Shit’s expensive and probably all you can afford so you’ll have to deal with it but if you’re drunker you either won’t care or won’t have to drink too much more either way.
  3. Don’t be that ass who “just doesn’t sing”– to continue part of that last point don’t be that asshole who’s “just too cool” or says “oh you don’t get it, I’m completely tone deaf.”  Are you going to karaoke with McCartney? If so being tone deaf is the biggest of your problems, you’re being a douche.  For those of us without that privilege you need to stop being an ass and realize one simple thing: nobody can fucking sing.  Or at the very least you’re not the only one in the group of people you went with who can’t sing.  Sure, some will be more talented than others but that’s the same with everything.  Let’s put it this way, you’re definitely not the best driver on the road but probably not the worst, yet we still give you a license to drive anyway and you could kill people doing that.  Might as well sing a 3 and a half minute song in front of your buddies.
  4. Pick good songs, try to avoid overplayed ones- now I’m not saying you need to pick what everyone else likes or approves but make sure you pick solid, smart songs.  “American Pie” or “Echoes” might be your favorite songs but they’re like 874,659 minutes long in karaoke time. Time that’ll be spent with you (who we established can’t sing) wasting the opportunities of fellow ‘okers.  Like I told you your time will go fast, so be considerate.  Pick fun songs that other people can get into.  Sure, you might’ve just found that sick new band that’s so awesome that everyone has to love and they just might have them at your local karaoke place but that doesn’t mean you should sing it for your friends on this night.  If it’s so awesome send it to me on Myspace like normal people do.Oh and for the love of god don’t sing “Don’t Stop fuckin Believin”.  It’s great, everyone knows it, blah blah stop! This is another of those songs you’ll avoid by getting your own room since it’s guaranteed to be “sung” by Ryan McDoucherson and his buddies at least once on the main floor.  The Soprano’s are over, the song’s overplayed, and now Tony’s dead.  We can finally give this song a long overdue break from the collective need to be belted by millions of typical Long Islanders.
  5. When you’re done, get out-  unfortunately when you’re time’s up it’s up .  You’ll probably be pretty drunk at this point and will now be cast off into the streets of whatever city you just had to go to for your karaoke.  You’ll probably still have music on the brain and you’ll inevitably come up with 9 more songs that you wanted to do but couldn’t think of.  I know it’s hard but resist the urge to keep singing.  At this point you think that you and your friends sound a lot better than you did in the beginning of the night and that you’re probably on the verge of getting signed if you just happen to have the right agent pass by and discover you while you’re belting “Baby One More Time” on the streets.  This isn’t going to happen and you’re probably pissing people off.  The exceptions to this are: keep singing if you don’t care about pissing people off; if you’re that guy who wouldn’t sing earlier but now can’t be stopped, it’s good practice that you’ll never remember; and if a homeless guy approaches you singing “Stand by Me” you join him.

Here are a few of my quick picks for solid songs: anything by any boy band, most notable Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync, love me some Celine Dion, Evanescence, Paramore (actually it’s just fun singing chick songs) and the always appropriate goat in “Helena”.

As a side note we’ve been posting for a month now.  Thanks to everyone who’s stuck with us.  I don’t believe in anniversaries so don’t expect this kind of shit every month.  Maybe a year, that’s pushing it though, and you need to throw in anal.  What? We’ve talked about this.

Corey Aaron

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