Two girls. Two mics. By Artist. By Title.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

"Karaoke world is a life lived by proxy."

I've NEVER seen the word karaoke employed as such a pejorative and serious cultural metaphor. This isn't so much as an indictment of karaoke as we discuss it here as it is an nostalgia for false modernist "authentic" art forms and practices, elite education, and a misguided deconstruction of postmodern coolness. Still, if you can get through the 13 minute pauses this chap makes after each of his adjectives, this lecture shouts out karaoke culture as in lazy copycat ahistoric performative fun-having as a loaded term more and variously than we ever have on this blog to some means you might appreciate. I love TED talks as much as the next Brooklyn chump, but not my tune: Authentic Creativity vs. Karaoke Culture


Friday, May 13, 2011

Wanted: Outlaw Country Songs, Dead or Alive. Reward: Unlimited Karaoke Fun

This blog does heavy championing & ample tutorial for modern mainstream radio pop, its valiant 90s & 80s predecessors & even the standard deviation of R&B & grunge within that. But I was reminded in a recent epic roke with co-educators at Karaoke Shout (currently the standout mecca of mood lit midnight melodies) of an alternate genre for optimum group camaraderie & singing pleasure. For folks with just the right down home spirit (this crowd was beyond aces) & perhaps one or two rokers who might be able to master the drawl & deep bass, I strongly encourage you to wagon south, west & yes'm, even six to seven decades back, to the treasures of classic country western. See three wondrous suggestions including one masterful performance clip below to illustrate the possibilities & rewards. There's a postmodern nod everyone does to self & screen when David Allan Coe points out to himself & guitar that these songs ain't necessarily 'bout "mama's, trains, trucks, prison, or gettin drunk," the last of which is entirely permissible & often compatible with unlimited fun karaoke nights. Thanks to this great crew for these genre-terrain triumphs as well as general spirit & success in selections from Bell Biv Devoe to Katy Perry with accompanying 4th of J lighting ambiance.

Charles & Grace take Long Black Veil to town & back:

D.A.C. talks about Waylon Jennings & other loves & misnomers:

A well-known regal genre classic for practice with audio & train backdrop, get some friends snapping & swaying for best results:


Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Until you know the melody in your heart..."

Great blog entry from one of Chinatown's most soulful & longstanding KJ's, Stephen Yung. We share his philosophy on the power of the melody & the loyalty of the karaoke crowd.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Trashy pop, radical sincerity?

Though I've never kept up with FOX's debut season of Glee outside catching some of the performance scenes, I've been tracking its vast popularity & have heard of commitment to the show from some unlikely followers. I stopped in for last week's "Journey to Regionals," in which the famous bad-band's biggest hits are medleyed in a climactic season finale performance. In realizing that Glee is clearly the only institution (save roller rinks & 8th grade formals?) giving the exact kind of curious reverie to Journey, I thought it would be important to introduce the topic to this blog, as there's an obvious roke-like question underpinning the show's appeal. The greatest karaoke kids are easily closeted show choir admirers, but rarely former members. And it's the same self-consciousness that occurs with bad TV when the characters speak in that show that you contend with as when you enter the karaoke room. But it's usually a quick journey until you give over & the bad song turns good.

This overthought piece says to perhaps aggrandize the indulgence, "The difference between adequate escapist fluff and transcendent popular art is the difference between the moments where Glee characters talk and the moments when they sing.". A lot of words returning us to a replayed note, that there's a draw to pure singing over pretense on art that's tough to deny.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mistranslations: Like beautiful weeds in field of bad lyrics

Today, my co-rokers, 3 great museum educators with 3 extra dollars to spend on a 3:30-4:30 p.m. rainy-day roke, cued up that terribly strained ballad that had Steven Tyler ending verses with rooster call sounds in the theme to the film Armaggeddon. The song if you're pretending you don't know it, is I Dont Wanna Miss A Thing, & the "thing" is a reference to the remainder of Liv Tyler's life that will be missed by Bruce Willis, the geologist-driller turned astronaut dad who dies in martyrdom saving us from the impending asteroid threat. Luckily, she gets concurrently Afflecked by true love.

The lyrics are as atrocious as you'd expect, & the only thing that could make them a little better to guffaw at while the whiny Aerosmith mimicry is pouring out of a wonderful friend is the appearance of a few great English language mistakes made by the Karaoke Lyric Transcriber (a job that ought to not even exist for obvious reasons). See below excerpts of the strangely incorrect way that I.D.W.M.a.T. lyrics read on the screen today at Karaoke Shout in Astoria.

I could stay awake just to hear you breathing
Watch you smile while you are sleeping
Far away and dreaming
I could spend my life in this sweet surrender
I could stay lost in this moment forever
Well, every moment spent with you
Is a moment I TRACTION

I don't wanna close my eyes
I don't wanna fall asleep
'Cause I'd miss you, babe
And I don't wanna miss a thing
'Cause even when I dream of you
The SWEET STREAM will never do
I'd still miss you, babe
And I don't wanna miss a thing

Lying close to you
Feeling your heart beating
And I'm wondering what you're dreaming
Wondering if it's SMEAL you're seeing
Then I kiss your eyes and thank God we're together
And I just wanna stay with you
In this moment forever, forever and ever...

...I don't wanna miss one smile
I don't wanna miss one kiss
Well, I just wanna be with you
Right here with you, just like this
Feel your heart so close to mine
And stay here in this moment
For all the RESTTIME...


Monday, May 24, 2010

Live & direct Brooklyn-based karaoke

As two south Brooklynites, V & G have often lamented that a quick roke fix always calls for a subway ride into Manhattan. But luckily the calling is usually far stronger than the strain of the subway ride & the destination is always a familiar pleather sectional couch. The only time that The Creators of EO have ever roked in Brooklyn to date was on a stage in the lobby of the Brooklyn Museum, as a part of last February's free First Saturday event. The true anonymous audience live roke hits the self-conscious places that private room experience only toys with, & often returns us to the big wrong questions of who is a real or worthy performer/musician. That said, it's an inevitable curiosity for a frequent roker who has fortified some personal style, which is how we found ourselves chasing words to Since You Been Gone on a screen under bright lights & opposite Eastern Parkway for random Brooklyn families & thankfully a first row filled with our favorite cheerleading friends. We weren't entirely comfortable with the experience, & felt like the Brooklyn bro who rocked an amazing rendition ofShout with a roving performance through the aisles of the folding chairs made us & several singers in the surrounding lineup feel duly sheepish. But the sheer singing & local factor felt appropriate & fun, & something we said we'd repeat with the right variables.

Last week Brooklyn Based published some great preliminary research work for EO's perhaps forthcoming frontier. This wonderful week-round karaoke calendar lists live DJ (or KJ) as well as actually live instrument roke spots - forums that could equally be the apex or beside the point of your personal karaoke career. Depending on the place & crowd, there could be a case for pure audience time & singalong at these events. Stay tuned as EO drags some friends & giggles through some nerves to try out a few of these locations. The Williamsburg spots on the list don't necessarily favor for proximity over our old seated strongholds in Manhattan, but it's quite a well-compiled list that we hope will touch some of our followers.

Thanks Karen A. for the tip to the list.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Valerie!!! ..and Marcelo.

A dedication! There are only four words in this song & today, insert the name of the greatest friend & karaoke queen, dear Val. Unfortunately the only YouTube video I could find to illustrate this dubs the name "Marcelo" into the fill-in-the-blank portion in a very off pitch, so be sure to sing real loud right there. P.S. Why did someone make this video for Marcelo & did he appreciate it.