6.11.2010

Don't Be Afraid to Sing

I need to ask y'all a personal question: Do you like to sing karaoke?

Rats, somebody beat me to this million-dollar idea.

Because I do. A lot. Last night, I went to a karaoke bar for a bit, waited for them to play my song, got bored, and left. But when there isn't an enormous queue, karaoke combines a few of my favorite things: singing at the top of my lungs, dancing like a maniac, and drinking copious amounts of booze.

True karaoke lovers are hard to find, and most of them are actually decent singers. Folks who don't have a professional-level voice tend to be embarrassed or even intimidated when they attend karaoke, so they require more drinks than seem humanly possible for them to consume before they can get onstage. But anyone who has ever heard me talk knows that my voice is not suited for anything, so I would like to share with you my professionally unqualified tips for enjoying your karaoke experience without needing to incur serious liver damage:
  • Choose your setting carefully. How comfortable are you singing in front of a bar filled with strangers? Not very? Try one of those Japanese-style karaoke lounges where you pay an hourly rate to rent a room with only your friends (or still strangers, depending on your typical going-out modus operandi). Also hit up this kind of establishment if you can't decide which song to sing: The remote-controlled system makes it easy for you to choose many songs and then skip or delete them later if you want. You can graduate to onstage performances in crowded bars further on down the road.
  • Pick a song everybody knows and loves. This increases the likelihood that no one will hear how awful your voice sounds because the audience will be singing along, plus you'll know most of the words and the tune. In my opinion, you really can't go wrong with any '80s pop song. Later, when you feel more comfortable (or drunker), you can choose a more obscure song. Here's my list of go-to karaoke songs:
    1. Journey: "Don't Stop Believin'"
    2. Michael Jackson: "The Way You Make Me Feel"
    3. Meat Loaf: "I Would Do Anything for Love"
    4. Madonna: "Open Your Heart"
    5. Britney Spears: "Womanizer"
    6. Guns 'n' Roses: "Sweet Child of Mine"
    7. Def Leppard: "Pour Some Sugar on Me"
    8. Heart: "Crazy on You"
    9. Sir Mix-a-Lot: "Baby Got Back"
    10. Prince: "When Doves Cry"
  • Put on a show. Nobody is judging you, and if someone is, they have not consumed enough beer yet. Have fun with it. Dance if you feel like it. Yell into the microphone. Send a shout-out to your mother. Laugh. Pretend you're a superstar; this is your chance (unless you make it big in reality television)!
So get out there, and sing your heart out! Maybe I'll see you from the stage...


xo,
s

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