Friday, May 26, 2006

The, um, Aesthetics of Karaoke

My pals C-Wang and the WB have already narrated the Karaoke events of the other night (by the way, you can now use "karaokie" as a verb, as in "we karaoked the night away"). So no post-mortems here, but a theory of karaoke, since WB tried to justify why she doesn't do karaoke. Based on the other night, here are the kinds of people who do karaoke, and why:
  1. The actual singers. The rarest of the bunch, these unassuming people shyly step up, then belt out "At Last" or something along those lines and wow the Pabst-swilling masses (CLT included). While they're good singers, I don't think they get the purpose of karaoke--you get to sing as loud as you want in your car, except it's not your car, and you're drunk.
  2. The pretty good singers. These singers aren't bad, and they usually tend to take it more seriously than others. They sing along to their favorite songs and feel really f-ing cool. I don't blame them; they aren't bad. But I think a few too many of them have the sense they've really just rocked the house, when in fact the house went to get another beer or pee.
  3. The mediocre or bad singers who don't know they're bad singers until they get up there. By far the majority, these people are living their rock-in-roll dreams. Strangely enough, these rarely impact the unintentional comedy scale, partly because they're so common.
    Yes, I'm being a little blunt.
  4. The bad singers who know it and vamp it up. After all, it's all about performance, making an ass of yourself. I'm in this category. I can't sing on key, much less scream on key, but I threw myself and my vocal cords into "Helter Skelter." This group consists of graduate students in English and white guys who perform rap songs, usually rap songs over five years old that don't include the n-word. (By the way, I confessed to my wife the next day that I almost signed up to perform Kanye West's "Golddigger." "Thank God," she said. She's probably right.)
My point here is mainly for those who refuse to sing karaoke when everyone else does (Wanda, I'm looking at you): the quality of your voice has very little to do with it. If you don't want to karaoke because you don't want to make a flaming ass of yourself, I understand. I'm happy to be the ass. I can't sing my way out of a paper bag, but I can make-an-ass-of-myself my way out.

One last note: I'm voting for a new holiday: Pabstover.


Wanda Ball said...

On the contrary, I'm happy to make a flaming ass out of myself. I do it twenty, thirty times a day. The issue for me is not my own so-called dignity, but rather the wellbeing of my fellow bar denizens. Many listeners have yet to recover from hearing me "sing." When I refuse to karaoke, I have only your best interests in mind.

Crazy Little Thing said...

If people can survive my screaming, they can survive any "singing."

Wanda Ball said...

You sell yourself short! You sing like no other!