Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Karaoke is Cheap Therapy

So last Friday night was our Relief Society’s retreat. We called it “Girl’s Night Out” and truly did some very girly things. We stayed up until past mid-night eating good food (like nachos), doing Dance Dance Revolution, lounging and chatting on 6 foot bean bags, giving ourselves manicures and pedicures, and singing karaoke.

I love to sing karaoke; in fact, I provided the machine and all the song discs. But as an ardent people watcher, I LOVE to WATCH people do karaoke. For me, the Karaoke characters fall into the following categories:

The Diva: This is the person who chooses really hard songs. These people are hard core and usually pretty brazen. They will belt out a ballad including all the vocal gymnastics they sing along with on the CD at home. This person can usually sing pretty well, and is not shy about letting you know that. They get mad if they don’t sound good, and blame it on the bad acoustics.

Idols: Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, or Celine Dion

Preferred venue: stadium or arena

Can’t perform without: pyrotechnics

The Beatnik: This is the person who prefers a smaller more discerning audience. They chose songs by folk artists, hippies, and acoustic performers. They often sing well although they are more humble about it. They rarely choose silly songs or crowd pleasers.

Idols: Sarah McLaughlin, Joan Baez, and Norah Jones

Preferred venue: Coffee house on poetry night

Can’t perform without: a stool

The Party Animal: This person doesn’t care what they sound like. They are usually mediocre-to-awful singers with either a healthy sense of irony or few social skills. This person chooses crowd pleasers with the intent of bringing down the house. Rarely does the Party Animal perform by him/herself; it is usually with other party animals or with reluctant wall flowers ripped from the comfort of their own chairs.

Idols: The Village People, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, or Meatloaf

Preferred venue: a smoky bar with lots of neon beer signs

Can’t perform without: pretending to play the instrumental section of the song be it guitar or keyboard

The Auditionee: This person loves country music and is convinced that if they could just get to Nashville they would be the next big thing. They only sing country karaoke simply as a step to getting closer to performing at the Grand Ole Opry.

Idols: Patsy Cline, the Dixie Chicks, and Shania Twain

Preferred venue: mentioned above

Can’t perform without: a twang

The Shocker: You would never expect this person to get up in front of others and have the guts to sing a song, but they do; and when they do they are GOOD! This person actually sings so well that the rowdy crowd settles down and people stop talking to listen.

Idols: Dido, Alison Krauss, and Juice Newton

Preferred venue: their own shower

Can’t perform without: a spotlight

Then we have the other familiar characters: The Producer…the person who incites other people to sing songs but who never sings him/herself. This person can be quite convincing. They prey upon people who are dying to sing, and who are just waiting for someone to ask them to. This person usually has the knack for choosing just the right song for just the right person…like, say…”Back In The U.S.S.R” for the two Russian ladies in the ward…

The Validator: This person sits dutifully in the audience and claps and shouts out encouragements during the instrumentals like: “You go girl!” “Sing it like you mean it!” and “Wooooo!” This person is vital to karaoke. Too often, people are so concerned with picking their song or waiting for their turn that they forget to give the support they themselves are hoping for. The Validator beefs up the crowd and incites audience participation without ever taking a turn…heavens no.

But in the end, who you are at karaoke night says a lot about you. Though what it screams the loudest is either “you need to get out more” or “you need a good therapist.”

Happy birthday, Emma Jo.


Kacy said...

Thanks for writing this. As always, very validating.

pS: I really want to sing, "Gold finguh!" What does that make me?

mo said...

Once again I find myself asking aloud, "How does Carrie know so much about everything?"

Marcy Dibbleblotts said...

I have an ongoing joke that if I ever sang karaoke, I would sing "There You'll Be" by Faith Hill from the movie Pearl Harbor--a song I don't particularly care for from a movie I don't particularly care for. I don't know why I chose it, but now that I've been saying it for a few years, I think I have to stick by it.

Great post, I agree with all of these and usually fall into the category of Producer. It is better for everyone if I go on singing alone in the shower.

Suzie Petunia said...

Would you believe I've never done karaoke? Not even in your living room... And I've never seen you do it either, Carrie Ann. Next time I visit we'll have to fit that in... And Dance Dance Revolution. :)

Marcy Dibbleblotts said...

For the longest time people in my ward were going around talking about "DDR" and I just played along even though I had no idea what DDR stood for. Now I know and would LOVE to give that a go. I bet I would be good at it after my "Darrin's Dance Grooves" training.

Kacy said...

I just can't get over how much fun Russians can be. I mean--seriously--who knew?

Carly said...

I wish I still had my karaoke recording of "Saturday's Child" by the Monkees. I added some WICKED variations to that song (such as, "yeah, yeah. Saturday, Saturday...)

Svenska & Sheaux said...

being known as a japanesey lover, it may come as a suprise that i have never sung kareoke. it would take all the alcohol i will never drink to get me to sing kareoke in front of people like that. oh sure, give me a guitar and theres nothing i wont sing, but hand me a bad mic in front of an over echoey system in front of the only people on earth whose opinions mean the world to me and im as tight as a clam in february.... sing one for me!!

Abby said...

You forgot the classification for the people who get together late at night to sing alone together--and then they eventually turn off the music and sing duets into the microphones until their voices go hoarse...what about us?

christopher clark said...

What Juice Newton song do you have? 'Nobody?' If so, can I have a copy? We have a ward talent show coming up.

Amy Lynn said...

I was dying to find my category but I'm not sure I fit anywhere. I am dying to sing Britney Spear's "Hit Me Baby One More Time" and Elton John's "Golden Brick Road" but I will only do so in front of you and/or my children and the dogs. So where do I fit? And isn't it strange that I feel so shy about karaoke when I try to live the rest of my life in center stage?? What does that mean??

cotton_in_the_medicine_bottles said...

I recognized all the fine sisters--especially Producer Kacy! But I think I must have Karaoke multiple personality disorder. How would you classify me, o Wise One?