As some of you know, I have a checkered past with karaoke. I feel it was created as payback for Nagasaki and Hiroshima. I feel many people take it way too seriously*. I feel it is ripe for comedy**.

* We were in a parking lot getting out of the car to go into a restaurant. While waiting for my girlfriend I looked around and noticed this gentleman in a vehicle. He seemed to be having an argument with himself. Or singing. I was hoping for the latter but the moment I saw his license plate I now only knew he was singing but what it was.

I tell my girlfriend the restaurant may be having karaoke and, while passing the singing mans car, told her he was going to sing and what he was going to sing. She asked me how I could be so sure. I pointed to his license plate which read ROBOTO.

Which, near the end of our meal, he did indeed sing.

** I wrote and directed a show called Kouch Karaoke. This is a shitty video of it. The history of the show is on the site not that you’re interested.

I also don’t care that it exists. People strap electrical wires to their genitalia. So, in the scheme of things, karaoke is a somewhat less intrusive pastime.

What I get agitated about is when someone has to badger you regarding their performance. Trust me, you did fine. Even if you didn’t, you did. Let’s be honest, the bar is set very low and the grading curve is flatter than Paris Hilton’s CD sales.

But for some reason some people have to keep asking how good they did. Yes, I know, you’re still stoked from your thrilling rendition of ‘All Summer Long’ and want the feeling to last. But, trust me, it was the best of the four I’ve heard tonight.

Even if it wasn’t.

Do you get a clue of any pattern here? There are a few friends, my girlfriend included, who I’ll critique seriously, but, for the most part, unless pushed, you did just fine.

But some people just don’t get it. Well, until I’m fed up.

“So, really, you won’t hurt my feelings. How was it?” This guy rephrases his question for the fifth time about his unique version of ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ and I was done talking about it. “I want to know what you think.”

“I think it sucked so badly I’m going to kill Van Morrison so he can commence spinning in his grave.”

Boy, some people can’t take constructive criticism.


11 responses to “Karaoke

  1. karoke is proof of the devil

  2. Had this really HUGE girl singing “Total Elipse of the Heart” right in front of the fireplace at Pearl Street once. Every time she swayed from side-to-side, it was more like a “Total Elipse of the Hearth”!

  3. Ah, the Kouch Karaoke “experience”…a sure sign that we were in simpler times, eh ? Fie on the naysayers and non-believers !

    An alumnus, sort of

  4. As you know, I DJ. The one thing I WON’T do: a karaoke show. Why? Because at a wedding it’s a time to celebrate the love of the bride and groom, NOT a chance to torture them with drunken friends and loved ones who’ve had that ONE drink too many and KNOW they can sing (let’s face it: YOU CAN’T). Truth be told, Chris you’re right. Karaoke was created by an organization for torturing people. I KNOW this is true.

  5. Just ask the KARAOKE FOLKS to sing their version in a foreign language other than ENGLISH. Then you don’t have to reply with a quote except ya didn’t understand it. So the singers could be very GOOD or BAD, you just couldn’t tell by the language sung. YOU could just tell them they sounded like a dog whose tail just got steped on.

  6. When I’m drunk, “karaoke” sounds to me like “Kerri, choke me” or “Can you grope me?”

  7. Bob: Now that’s funny.

    Harv: You are more than a sort of alumnus. Kouch Karaoke wouldn’t exist without you. It was, for good or bad, your original idea.

    Mo: Come on! You won’t do it because you’d get all homicidal. I’ve worked shows with you! You don’t like it when people request songs much less sing them.

    Peter: I was at a place when karaoke started. I began to leave but the bartender told me to stay because it was Asian karaoke. It was interesting but, you’re wrong, I could still tell they sucked.

    Earl: This is no place for fibbing! You know you hear ‘Can you grope me?’ every time you’re out because that’s your normal pick-up line.

  8. Is this your audition for American Idol?
    As a judge…not a director.

  9. For the longest time I thought it was “croaky”…

  10. Wow, you owe me big time for the half hour I spent looking at that. Stuff.

    It was like a ghastly mashup of MST3000, American Idol, and something I saw at a VFW post one time. I got the funk in me now, and it kind of burns a little.

    But Harvey’s voice reminded of WBCN, so that was cool. And I think I caught a peek at some nip in the LUST soap ad. On the whole, my critique would be that the commercials weren’t long enough.

    My own theory on karaoke is that it was a by-product of genetic mutation caused by our WWII a-bombs. It’s how the gamma rays and such commingled with the Japanese predilection for unbridled industry in all endeavors. On chromosome 27.

  11. I’ve always said it’s payback for Nagasaki and Hiroshima so, it’s true, great minds and all.

    Oh, so you get all ‘You wasted a precious half hour of my oh so important life!’ on my ass, do you? Well, let me tell you this, mister! Would you like yard work or gutters cleaned?

    I know I wrote about it and, if you think it was bad for you, put yourself in my soggy shoes. It was broiling hot, we had an equipment malfunction, and you should have heard the people I passed on. Some were so bad there really was nothing I could come up with.

    Then there was the time I spent going over the tapes to cull bits, pick out the ones I could get the best bits from, shoot the cut ins with Harv, then edit the final product. I’m not kidding when I say I haven’t watched it in a decade and I can remember EVERY fucking frame. That’s the curse I get to live with, Mr. I Owe You Shit!

    No, the nip is in your minds eye. The chick doing it wouldn’t move her halter down so it made shooting to make it look naked a pain in the ass. So I made her stay in the shower with the water running until it got cold. If you’re going to make it tough for me, well, I think you know what could happen. I bet you won’t be surprised when I say everyone wanted to see the rough tape of that shoot. And they were all disappointed.

    I talked to Harv yesterday and, you’ll be happy to know, he sounds the same. He’s a good guy and the only one I keep in contact with from my radio days.

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