Last weekend, my friend and I finally got around to going out and doing some karaoke, like we’d been talking about for weeks. And thank the good Lord above that we did. I hadn’t had that much fun since the time I murdered that hobo in Penn Station. But that’s beside the point. The point is, karaoke was so much fun. Which isn’t unusual, I mean, if you’ve been planning on/looking forward to something than chances are you’ll have a good time. However, I have some theories about what you can do to ensure any future karaoke excursion you may partake in is good times.
Drink. This might be self-evident. However, I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to stand up in front of a group of strangers and sing along to Don’t Stop Believin’ in my best Steve Perry impression, I’m going to need to be three sheets to the wind. Maybe four for good measure. I prefer BYOB places, because it’s more cost-effective. If I’m going to have to buy drinks to pre-game with, why not just game with them too? The only downside to getting crunk (or krunk for karaoke drunk) is…well, actually I can’t see a downside.
The company you keep. This is important for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, while you are belting out the hits of the 80s, 90s and today, you need your friends to be there to cheer you on. Or sing back up. Or dance back up. Or take pictures. The only time I’ve seen someone rock out solo, this weird kid sitting at the bar waited for an hour and a half for his song to come on…and proceeded to pace up and down the bar to “Amish Paradise.” While I respect his moxie, I also pity him immensely.
A caveat: the people you go to karaoke with should be of comparable skill level to you. If you are going to karaoke and can sing, then by all means, go with your other friends with talent and bask in each other’s awesomeness. But don’t go with your friends who can’t sing and belt out; this is shady Asian karaoke, American Idol auditions are next week. In my humble opinion, karaoke is made for Japanese businessmen and Americans who know they can’t sing.
The songs you sing. This might be the most crucial factor, since this is the reason you are going to karaoke. Choosing the right song, it’s best to use the Goldilocks method. Avoid songs that are too fast or too slow and you’ll find one that’s just right. My preference is for songs from the mid to late 90s. They are just old enough to be retro, but new enough for you to know all the lyrics. Last weekend, the big hit of the night was when my friend Jaimie queued up Celine Dion “That’s the Way It Is”. When the title first flashed across the screen, everyone collectively said “Jigga what?” to which Jaimie replied “Oh just you wait…” Sure enough, ass soon as the music started, everyone was singing along. Because surprisingly everyone knows that song.
These are my three things to take into consideration in your karaoke planning. Of course, these are just theories based upon my previous experiences. If anyone has other ideas as to what may or may not make the perfect karaoke excursion I’d love to hear it. Also, any suggestions for good karaoke songs (I’m partial to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” myself) is totally welcome.