Monday, April 7, 2008

Karoake Retirement

I partied like it was 1999 on Saturday after a show with a bunch of actors at a place called The Hidden Cove in Chicago. I’ve driven by it many times but never actually went inside as it looked like a massive dive bar from the outside, and since there only thing to do at a dive bar is drink, it pretty much knocked me out of that category.

The wifey and I walked in and there were a lot of people there. Apparently it was karaoke night and there were at least two bachelorette parties there. I had s inking feeling that we wouldn’t get a chance to sing because it was a Saturday night, there were tons of people there ahead of us, and we got there around 11:30 PM with two bachelorette parties going in full swing. It was so loud in there that you really couldn’t hear anyone really so that gave you the option of dancing or hanging out waiting for your name to be called. So, I opted to do both at given times.

While waiting, people picked the most horrendously overplayed and oversung songs. Why do Northsiders pick songs to sing that they wouldn’t even bump in their own cars? For example:

1. Total Eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie Tyler
2. The Love Shack - The B-52s
3. Say You, Say Me - Lionel Ritchie
4. Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes
5. Killing Me Softly - The Fugees
6. It’s Raining Men - The Weather Girls
7. Summer of ’69 - Bryan Adams
8. Jack and Diane - John Cougar Mellancamp
9. Margaritaville - Jimmy Buffet
10. What I like About You - The Romantics

The list can go on forever. A majority of these songs are sung by drunk, college girls with pterodactyl-like vocals at the top of their lungs. If you’re drunk, I guess it’s fun to be bombarded with such crap but when you’re not, it’s annoying as hell .

Because I know they are staples of any Northside karaoke place, rather than eradicate these songs from the catalog, I have come up with a proposition. I suggest that the people who pick those songs be allowed to sing them until 11 PM on any given night. After that, those songs are "retired". If people sign up with them after that, oh well, they mystically don’t get called up to sing. By 11 PM, those songs have been sung 15,000 times by relatively sober people, thus, "we’ve been there, done that". This allows the new comers who aren’t quite as drunk to have a chance to sing something relatively uncommon and make the night more enjoyable for everyone.

On my list of songs to do, I have a common pattern I take. I warm up with a song I already know and know quite well like "Bust A Move" or "Under the Bridge" and then graduate to a leser sung song like "Heart and Soul" or "Peaches" and then I begin the night of trying songs never tried before. It keeps me off my feet as a performer.

Note: This was originally posted on MySpace with comments at:

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