Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Types of Karaoke People Who Can Ruin A Night

Having lived in Seoul for a couple of years, I've done a lot of karaoke (the picture above is of me and some of my friends). I love karaoke, but sometimes, a few elements prevent a night out at a noraebang from being 100% awesome.

Here are some of the those people who sometimes constitute those "elements":

1) The James Dean (aka The Too Cool Guy)

The James Dean sometimes chooses to sit disdainfully in the corner, sipping drinks and smirking at everybody else. But the other sort will actually participate. That's a good thing, right? Well, sort of. The James Dean will only sing songs by "respectable" groups like Nirvana, Muse, and Radiohead. Yeah, that'll really get the party started. The more obscure and/or depressing the song, the better. Oy.

2) The Celine Dion/Michael Bolton (aka The Non-Stop Power Balladeer)

This girl or guy's got pipes and is not afraid to show it. I'm always impressed if you can belt out an Alicia Keys song or a super-sappy Korean ballad, but by the 5th time in a row you're singing such a song, it kind of slows the evening to a deadening crawl.

3) The Vanilla Ice (aka The Rapper)

The Vanilla Ice, like the real Vanilla Ice, is a horrific rapper. Lots of ignorant people (who also coinkily-dinkily tend to be old and White) think that rap takes no talent, and that it's all just involves talking really quickly. Once the Vanilla Ice takes the mic in the karaoke room, however, this notion is laid to rest. Watching him struggle through Jay-Z's repertoire is like watching someone try to sprint in ski boots.

4) The MTV Countdown (aka The "Ugh, Not THAT Song" Person)

The MTV Countdown loves the overplayed and the unsurprising. I have an unholy trinity of karaoke songs I've come to despise. They are, in no particular order: Don't Stop Believing, I Don't Want To Miss A Thing, and A Whole New World. They're just too overdone. I particularly gnash my teeth when somebody chooses A Whole New World. It's a song that should bring back happy childhood memories of when you thought magic carpets could be real, but instead, all you start remembering are all those nights when you heard stupid drunken frat boys butchering the song as they lumbered on home from that sports bar on campus that served Miller Lite in tube towers.

5) The Michael Cimino (aka The One Who Never Skips Intros, Interludes, And Outros)

Michael Cimino was a once promising director whose career was destroyed by a little movie called Heaven's Gate. And by "little," I mean "stupidly long," as in, the original cut was over 5 hours long. Like his namesake, the Michael Cimino just doesn't know when to cut something out. Some songs have really long intros and interludes that just wastes everybody's time in general. Please do us a favour and skip them.

6) The Jean-Luc Godard (aka the One Who Always Skips Intros, Interludes, And Outros)

Jean-Luc Godard was one of the most famous of the French New Wave directors, and one of his signature touches was the jump cut, which is essentially when you slice up a single sequence so that it jumps abruptly from Point A to Point C, with Point B cut out. Like his namesake, the Jean-Luc Godard cuts and zips through everything. Okay, at least you're not wasting time like the Michael Cimino, but some intros and interludes are too awesome to just skip over, and by doing so, you actually eviscerate the power of the song. This nogoodnik chops up karaoke songs with the gracelessness of Harvey Weinstein cutting up Asian films.

7) The Concept Album (aka The One Who Picks The Long Songs)

The Concept Album picks such long songs that are positively Beethovenian by pop standards that it gives you a tailor-made opportunity to sneak in a visit to the restroom without feeling the guilt of walking out on your friend's loving rendition of Maroon 5. So I guess she has some merit. But getting back to the point, some songs are great yet are just too long for most karaoke nights out. Hey Jude, Hotel California, and American Pie, I'm looking your way. You're more suitable for a long road trip with the buds than in a karaoke room where the time limit is ominously ticking down like a death clock.

8) The Barbara Streisand (aka The Mic Hog)

Barbara Streisand isn't ever giving up center stage for anybody, and neither is this person. Enthusiasm is a key ingredient to a great karaoke night out, so I can't begrudge the over-eager too much. But please, show some courtesy. It's a pretty big faux pas to queue up 2 of your own songs in a row. It's an aggravated capital felony to do 3 or more. Try to keep an eye out and make sure that everybody who wants to sing is getting in on the rotation.

9) The Kramer (aka The Uninvited Duetter)

Duets are a great way to share in on the fun of a song with a friend. But sometimes, damn it, I want a solo because this is my signature song. However, the Kramer is pretty oblivious to such cues and will come whooshing in to grab the second mic. If I make a mistake and accidentally extend a cold offer to join in, well, I guess I can't fault you for not being able to read my mind. But don't butt in when I look all pumped up and ready to go.

In all seriousness though, any night out with karaoke is a fun night out. I hope people don't read this and start disinviting me from karaoke night for being too critical. This is all in good fun, I swear!

No comments :

Post a Comment