PSA: Are your karaokeing enough?

You think you love karaoke? I love karaoke. Nono, sh. I. Love. Karaoke.

Just a few weeks ago, I walked into a bar I’ve never heard of, on a night I shouldn’t have been out, and I stumbled upon a weekly karaoke contest. I won.

The next week, I did not win. I got gonged off the stage before I could finish. Gonged.

Can I logically explain why an audience loves my rendition of Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me”, but can’t stand my rockin’ cover of Sum 41’s “Fat Lip”? I can’t. That’s just karaoke, mama. The unforgiving “art”.

And that’s what some people need to understand. Karaoke is not art. Maybe “art”, but never art. It’s not an audition and it’s not about talent. If you came for talent, the door’s that way. Talent don’t live here no more. Energy lives here. Irony? Irony has a permanent lease.

Because karaoke isn’t just for people who wish they could sing. It’s for the people who know the world isn’t ready for them. A 5’1” Philippina girl who can perform Ice Cube’s full canon, from “Straight Outta Compton” to “Good Day”? Major record labels may not be interested. But karaoke is. Or what about the 300-lb. former high school linebacker who can whine Avril Lavine’s “Complicated”, making it sound like the anti-pop diva herself? He may not be up for a Teen Choice Award. But karaoke will reward him handsomely.

At this point, some of you may be asking, “Don Julian, why are you abusing your power to lecture us on karaoke? What does karaoke have to do with booze…”

Okay, honestly, I’m fairly certain none of you are asking that. Karaoke has everything to do with booze. In fact, any time I mention karaoke to a friend, this is how the conversation goes:

Me: Hey! Wanna hit up some karaoke tonight?
Friend: I dunno… I really only do karaoke when I’m wasted…
Me : Oh, what a shame. I was planning on going to that sober karaoke place.
Me: …Yeah. That’s pretty much the plan.

The bottom line here is that karaoke is a beautiful thing. It had been out of my life for too long and I’m all too glad to have it back. If it’s been a while for you as well, I suggest you pay your local karaoke bar a visit. What’s the worst that could happen?

ANSWER: You will be gonged off the stage, and it will be oodles of fun.

~Don Julian

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