Metatalktail Hour: Empty Orchestra April 14, 2018 4:50 PM   Subscribe

Good Saturday evening, MetaFilter! This week, I'm curious to know your go-to karaoke song, if you have one! And if you don't (or even if you do!), you can tell us what you're doing this weekend.
posted by Eyebrows McGee to MetaFilter-Related at 4:50 PM (103 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Believe it or not, mine's Rhinestone Cowboy. It's easy to sing and people always like it, maybe just because it's a break from pop anthems.

I would sort-of like it to be a girl power anthem of some sort but I frankly don't sing that well!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 4:52 PM on April 14 [2 favorites]


I don't do karaoke but I can tell you my two current favorite songs to sing while playing the ukulele:
Twenty-Six Miles
Moon Shadow
posted by JanetLand at 5:06 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


4'33"
posted by Chrysostom at 5:17 PM on April 14 [19 favorites]


I'm not a karaoke type of person, but I do enjoy singing in my car when I'm driving. One of my favourite go to singing in the car albums is Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts by The Beatles. I've got it memorized and it's just perfect for driving with the windows down on a Sunday summer afternoon drive.

I live in Southern Ontario and there's a bit of an ice-storm happening tonight and it's April damnit?!? So mostly I'm annoyed. Staying in and playing video games.

I'm off to find some leftover pizza.
posted by Fizz at 5:22 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


IT'S MY TIME TO SHINE!

My perennial solo go-tos are Bizarre Love Triangle and Off the Wall. The former makes people go "What is this?" until it gets to the chorus and they go "Ohhh this song." (When I volunteered at Hyphen magazine, this article about why Asian Americans love Bizarre Love Triangle was required reading to learn the publication's tone and content.) The latter just makes people go "What is this?" and they never have it on the machine, but I always sing it when they do, and my friend Graig and I are now karaoke bros for life after discovering that we both love singing that song (and always get the same reaction from it).

For groups it's Tearing Up My Heart.

At various times in my more irreverent youth I was known for Gay Bar and Billionaire.
posted by sunset in snow country at 5:45 PM on April 14 [3 favorites]


There is not enough alcohol in the world to allow me to sing in public.

I paid someone to do my taxes this year, which I have always resisted doing. But it turned out that there was a deduction that I didn't realize that I could take, so paying someone to do my taxes basically paid for itself. I'm never going back.

I spent a good part of today kludging together a fix for my gutter downspout, which fell off and then I unfortunately ran over with my car. I'm going to have to come up with a long-term solution the the downspout situation, which I suspect is going to involve paying someone, but I'm hoping what I have will hold for the time being. Home ownership sure is an adventure!

It's supposed to snow tomorrow. I ran all my errands today, and I plan to stay home with coffee and my stats homework.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:47 PM on April 14 [4 favorites]


I do not sufficiently hate anyone enough to make them listen to me sing, by myself. I have done group karaoke songs, but I try to sing quietly and I just go along with whatever the group picks.

I took Thursday and Friday off, and I hiked/walked 4.2 miles on Thursday with a friend, 7.3 miles yesterday by myself, and 7.4 miles today with a friend. I was going to try to add that up but I am tired. I am also having two friends over for dinner tonight, so I'm a little worried about the tired. The friend who's driving tends to be late, so I'm also putting off starting dinner till I know when she'll actually arrive. I'm making chicken and roast bell peppers and asparagus risotto, and I'm looking forward to it. Assuming I can stay awake.

Currently auditioning Pandora stations for dinner music tonight, and I'm remembering that I'm generally annoyed that their genre stations are so heavily male.
posted by lazuli at 5:57 PM on April 14 [2 favorites]


Rapper's Delight, by the Sugar Hill Gang. Also, Friends in Low Places.
posted by MoonOrb at 5:58 PM on April 14


18.9! I did it! I think!
posted by lazuli at 5:59 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


Cameo's Word Up.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:01 PM on April 14


I'd die of alcohol poisoning before singing in front of people. I wish I could carry a tune, but I'm just not willing to risk an all expenses paid trip to the Hague because I subjected a room full of people to my caterwauling.

But when I had a car and a long lonely commute, Some day out of the blue, Jack Sparrow, and Disturbed may have made regularly appearances on my playlist.
posted by ghost phoneme at 6:06 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


Mine is Brand New Key by Melanie. Lately I've been going to karaoke nights at the VFW, older crowd and lots of country standards. Last week it was Son of a Preacher Man.
posted by Elly Vortex at 6:09 PM on April 14 [2 favorites]


Oh god. I literally just flashed back to a grade school* slumber party where we lip synced to Vegetales. There may be video.

Thats a lie. It was highschool. I can never run for public office.
posted by ghost phoneme at 6:13 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


It was my birthday on Wednesday so to celebrate I bought the cat a cat tree. I ordered it from Amazon with prime shipping and I don't know if you know this but I am kind of a hermit and also I don't drive. I was able to get the dumb heavy box from the post office into a cab and from there into the lobby of my building but then it was just me and the dumb heavy box and a long flight of stairs but I did it! And got it assembled and the cat likes it!

Today I went to Kitchener to hang out with a friend for more birthday fun. It was supposed to be a pleasant stroll through the downtown core, but because of the relentless ice pellets we ended up spending a few hours playing board games at a cafe. It was still an excellent day but we have agreed to try again when the weather isn't so apocalyptic.

And now I am home in bed with some new comic books (Saga issue 50, Paper Girls vol 4) and lots of blankets. Stay safe out there, kids.
posted by janepanic at 6:13 PM on April 14 [6 favorites]


My daughter and I washed "the cars" today and mowed about 1/10th of the back yard.
posted by drlith at 6:21 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


It’s been Good Girls Don’t (I just realized the official video has substantially cleaned up lyrics) but I’m thinking about changing to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:24 PM on April 14


Hi, Metafilter, my name is Jim. I'm 48 years old and I've never done Karaoke!

I am a terrible singer and very, very shy about it. Singing in public is one of my three biggest fears*. I don't think I could ever sing in front of people, even in a mostly-drunk, mostly non-judgmental environment such as a karaoke bar.

That said, I've always sort of wanted to try it out, partially to get over this silly fear of mine. I'd probably do something like a Weird Al song, or something I could maybe talk-sing, like Bill Murray did in Lost in Translation. Or maybe Jerry Was A Racecar Driver, by Primus, because Les Claypool is somehow a worse singer than I am, though I bet not many Karaoke bars have Primus songs in their catalog.

As for what I'm doing this weekend, I am going to stay inside and work in my shop because it's April and it's cold and rainy all weekend. Normally on Monday I'd go watch the Boston Marathon, but it's going to be really crappy so I don't think I'm gonna go. I love watching it and I miss it when I don't. I've watched it all my life, it runs right through my town. We get there early to cheer on the wheelchair racers, watch the elites go by, and then stay and cheer on the masses of runners for the next few hours. This year I'll watch it on TV. If the Red Sox manage to get their games in I'll also be watching those.

My son left for a service trip in Santa Fe today so my wife, Amy, and I have a week where we can pretend we don't have a child. HELL YEAH NO KID.

*the other two are centipedes and these things that are kind of like centipedes only worse.
posted by bondcliff at 6:27 PM on April 14 [6 favorites]


So I have done karaoke exactly once, at a work event, and it required a decent amount of alcohol to get up the gumption to sing. But, my weird knack for remembering song lyrics meant I could do passable versions of both US3 "Cantaloop" and Blues Traveler's "Hook", which was sort of fun.
posted by jferg at 6:41 PM on April 14


Only a little bit embarrassed to tell you that it's Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams.
posted by rozee at 6:44 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


My relationship to music has always seemed less intense than my peers'. At 12, a friend invited me to his house to listen to Pink Floyd’s The Wall and it still resonates. Partially because of the lyrics, but partially because I was a young bisexual feeling his first feelings of male desire, and knowing he should stifle them if he wanted to remain safe. Ultimately I didn’t have the courage of the protagonist in The Wall and never told that friend of my uncomfortable feelings about him. I just listened on the floor of his bedroom and followed the narrative, but knew it was too loud and angry for my tastes. I eventually surmised that perhaps he was too.

I could probably still sing along to The Wall, but I’m sure I’d make a mistake on most of the songs, except maybe Comfortably Numb, with which I could surprisingly relate to, in spite of the fact that my young self had never really been inebriated.

I was a pop boy most my life, especially when I was young. And a bit theatrical, which explained my ability to sing the entire librettos of Jesus Christ Superstar, Annie, A Chorus Line, They’re Playing Our Song, Sweeney Todd, Camelot, and an embarrassing number of others. And my non-Broadway repertoire was even more embarrassing and included Bette Midler , Barry Manilow, Christopher Cross, and Neil Diamond.

And because time isn’t our friend, all those lyrics still needlessly rattle around in my head, along with the songs from a few bands I obsessed over in college like the Talking Heads, The Who, Boomtown Rats, Blondie, Suicidal Tendencies, Velvet Underground, Laurie Anderson, and Kate Bush.

But after that, there’s almost nothing. Nothing I could sing along with anyway. I’d know some of the words, but eventually, I’d be shamed off the stage by my own inadequate performance. As if lip-syncing my way through my big break on SNL. It was like I didn't need music anymore. Life provided its own intensity and I didn't need music to feel novel feelings anymore.

But if in a pinch, I were forced to sing for both my supper and the rest of my pathetic life and I had to sing a song, on stage, in front of an audience, and I could sing any song I wanted… I’d sing the first song I remember hearing, and realized it was being sung about me.

My dad was a difficult man who had trouble showing love, who didn’t deal well with my two brothers with down syndrome, and who seemed endlessly disappointed with his lot in life and the prospects of his legacy left in the hands of his male heirs: two sons with down syndrome and one who seemed like an effete effeminate intellectual.

As you might imagine we didn’t much get along. His mother was Romani and his father committed suicide soon after he was born. His mother remarried but he seemed like a fatherless child anyway, in spite of the love and gratitude he showed for his humble and quiet stepdad. He often seemed lost as a father, but in retrospect, it’s much more understandable now that I myself have a child with an intellectual disability. It was tough to be the indirect target of his disappointment and anger with life, but I know now it wasn’t me personally he was let down about, it was larger. It was his fatherlessness and confusion, and disappointment over knowing that the perfect family he wanted to create to fix the imperfect one he came from would never happen.

We never got along. And that we never truly fixed it before he died is probably on me, not him. But when I think about a song that will always be in me, that I know backward and forwards, that I’ll be mumbling to myself well into any dementia that may befall me, it’s a song he taught me and that he used to sing to me all the time.

Oh! We ain't got a barrel of money
Maybe we're ragged and funny
But we'll travel along
Singing a song
Side by side

We don't know what's comin' tomorrow
Maybe it's trouble and sorrow
But we'll travel the road
Sharing our load
Side by side

Thru all kinds of weather
What if the sky should fall
Just as long as we're together
It really doesn't matter at all

When they've all had their quarrels and parted
We'll be the same as we started
Just traveling along
Singing a song
Side by side

When I finally left my family to go to college, I knew I’d never go back. And I didn’t. I was a shitty son who resented the disappointment I felt, never thinking about why it was focused on my father, or if my father’s treatment of me was in any way understandable.

I remember the day I left to drive to campus for the first time, my meager possessions in my dilapidated car starting the five hour drive that would finally break those chains. I popped a tape into the car’s cassette player, and celebrated my emancipation, that is until Yusuf Islam sang the following words:

It's not time to make a change,
Just sit down, take it slowly
You're still young, that's your fault,
There's so much you have to go through
Find a girl, settle down,
If you want you can marry
Look at me, I am old, but I'm happy
All the times that I cried, keeping all the things I knew inside,
It's hard, but it's harder to ignore it
If they were right, I'd agree, but it's them you know not me
Now there's a way and I know that I have to go away
I know I have to go
posted by Stanczyk at 6:51 PM on April 14 [9 favorites]


I don't do karaoke, but I sing "Guns and Ships" to myself to focus when I hit a rough patch while out for a run.

Tonight, Hannibal Buress. Tomorrow, a run, and probably some "Guns and Ships".
posted by Gorgik at 6:54 PM on April 14


" I sing "Guns and Ships" to myself to focus when I hit a rough patch while out for a run."

Oooooh, that would have been an even better question! What's your hype-up song?

Obama's was Eminem's "Lose Yourself."

Mine's the 1812 Overture, don't @ me!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:05 PM on April 14 [4 favorites]


I absolutely don't do karaoke but I sometimes sing in the car, if alone. And for some reason, since I haven't been RC since age 16, I sing Gregorian Chant. I suppose it's a holdover from being in the grade-school choir (pre John XXIII). If it's not that, it's things like "Michael Row the Boat Ashore" or a few other folk-type things. Occasionally I will hear something on the radio I can sing along to. And that's it (not even in the shower).
posted by MovableBookLady at 7:12 PM on April 14


Danny's Song. Especially if it seems like the crowd is chilly/unfriendly/not interested. Danny's Song is a uniter.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 7:26 PM on April 14 [4 favorites]


"Total Eclipse of the Heart" is likeliest for me, but mostly I wish senior early bird karaoke were a thing so I could do karaoke without waiting for 9pm on a weeknight. Or weekend, really.

I always maintain that you don't need alcohol, you just need enthusiasm, familiarity with the song, and willingness to perform. Don't stand around like a loser during the instrumental break--do the Cabbage Patch! Or, like, if you can actually dance, do that. I just do the Cabbage Patch. Or occasionally the Hammer Dance if the floor is sturdy enough.
posted by asperity at 7:30 PM on April 14 [3 favorites]


Alarmingly, the only time I've ever nailed a Karaoke song was, well, Rock Band which is basically karaoke, and I nailed it mainly because I was really pissed off at the company I was with at the time because they were all coked up and belligerently drunk and I was just drunk.

And, well, they were just massacring a bunch of the usual classic rock standards and I was in a mood and dangerous mix of bored and angry-ish and drunk, and I hated most of the music they had in their Rock Band install.

But they had Jane's Addiction and Mountain Size, which I can actually sometimes nail, so I did. It's also a lot easier to keep pitch and remember lyrics with the prompts, so, yeah, 100% completion 5 stars or whatever, and just stunned the room silent.

"Damn, teach me to fuck with the witchy mofo, ok, moving on."
posted by loquacious at 7:53 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


I do not sing karaoke, but if I happen to be playing guitar when people are around, my go-to song is "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd.
posted by Daily Alice at 7:55 PM on April 14


As the vintage songs below reveal, it's been a long long time, but:

Girls Talk - Linda Ronstadt's version
Picture This - Blondie
Black Velvet - Alannah Myles
Let the River Run - Carly Simon
posted by carmicha at 8:19 PM on April 14


I'm working this weekend. But not Monday. Monday is Patriots Day in Massachusetts. I'm looking forward to having the day off, even if the weather is supposed to be lousy.

Oh, and I think my ideal karaoke song would be "Oklahoma Nights" by Jimmy Webb.
posted by KazamaSmokers at 8:22 PM on April 14


I think that I would drop dead of embarrassment before I'd get up there and sing. Fortunately, I've only been at a party where there was karaoke maybe twice and at each only a couple of people had the courage to get up there and try to sing. I always thought it was one of those things that happens more often in movies than in real life.
posted by octothorpe at 8:37 PM on April 14


We went curling tonight.. Sweeping is way more work than it looks like on TV. I mostly kept my butt off the ice.
posted by COD at 8:38 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


I only like box karaoke because I prefer to torture people I know rather than drunk strangers--my songs are "Wuthering Heights" and "Tsugaru Kaikyo Fuyugeshiki." I don't believe in letting a little thing (like being unable to sing) stop me from my karaoke ambitions.
posted by betweenthebars at 8:45 PM on April 14 [2 favorites]


Favorites include "Wicked Game" and "War Pigs", but if I feel really confident, I sing either "Tiny Dancer" or Ben Folds's "Brick" in a cartoonish Tom Waits impression.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 8:59 PM on April 14


it's weird, most people I know don't know I sing, and those who do (fellow choir members) know I'm shy about solos (although that's because I'm one of the few non-professionals in the choir, and the communion wine is non-alcoholic so no help there). But for whatever reason, I haven't done karaoke in years.
My favorite crowd-pleaser is probably What's Up by 4 Non Blondes. I have a tolerable I Believe in a Thing Called Love inside me, but only for select occasions.
The Goldfinger version of 99 Luftballons is really fun with the right group.
posted by notquitemaryann at 9:23 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


Count me as another car singer, not a karaoke singer. The last time I sang solo in public was when I was in the sixth grade. I do enjoy a good belt-it-out session in my car though! Especially when it's to Neko Case. My favorites: Deep Red Bells, This Tornado Loves You, Star Witness, and Furnace Room Lullaby.
posted by yasaman at 9:31 PM on April 14 [4 favorites]


I was totally going to be like, "Or what do you belt out in your car?" but then I was like "maybe that's too suburbanist and people who ride transit will be excluded?" so I think I was overthinking, but yeah, totally tell us your car/shower songs!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 9:37 PM on April 14 [4 favorites]


Ha! I occasionally try singing while biking, but there's too high a chance I'll catch bugs in my mouth for that to be a regular event.

And we've got a PSA campaign that covers singing on transit: Don't be Jimmy.
posted by asperity at 9:48 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


My youngest and I were la-la-la-laing in Joann's today. Not karaoke, but our usual stand-by when moseying through the crafting aisles.

My eldest and my husband and I were outside cleaning up the backyard after removing the dog fence. Said dog is now in her (daughter's) new apartment and we have bracken and vines and sundry dried vegetation to bag up before the lawn becomes a pasture.
The front yard is mowed and the not-a-redbud is cut down and in pieces on the curb (spring clean-up, yeah!), which leaves the wild plum in its glory. I might be putting another redbud beside it this autumn, or not.

Later, I stepped on a nail. This goes in the "fecking" thread, but I'll note here that the neighbors were not aware of my plight because I spent several minutes shouting various obscenities before removing shoe and nail. Can't remember when my last tetanus shot was, so that's on the list for Monday.

And spring weather is in it's usual state of weird/dangerous. Freeze warnings, grass fires and the resulting haze, seriously high wind gusts, then temps back in the upper 80s next week.
To Claritin or not?
posted by TrishaU at 9:58 PM on April 14


"Son of a Preacher Man". Boom.

I have also done Love Shack as a duet, and a friend told me I did one of the best "TIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN ROOF!....rusted!"'s he'd ever heard.

A friend-couple I know and I went through a phase where the three of us would do a lot of karaoke; he wanted to do it, and while his girlfriend was professionally trained in opera, she shunned karaoke because she preferred singing after she'd rehearsed. So she'd go with him for moral support but that was it. So I was brought along as the singing pinch-hitter because I didn't give a shit - and he and I have done "Summer Nights" from Grease and "Play That Funky Music White Boy" and "If I had $1,000,000" and such.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:25 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


My version of Queen's Don't Stop Me Now is almost as good as David Armand's.

This evening I am looking at garden pictures on the internet while my husband watches guitar pedal videos.
posted by vespabelle at 10:46 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


One time, I dragged eamondaly on stage with me to sing "Runnin' with the Devil." I told him to sing the choruses and I think he wasn't sure why I would ask that, until it became clear that my personal goal was to sing all of the David Lee Roth mumbling and gibberish. Goddammit baby you know I ain't lyin' I'm only gonna tell you one time ah hoooooooooooooooooooooooo. Then he got it. And he had my back.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:18 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


My dinner party was fun! I stayed awake! Everyone liked the food and the wine one of my guests brought was really good and she brought banana bread, too, and we talked a lot and it was good but now I'm going to go collapse. Good night, Metafilter!
posted by lazuli at 11:32 PM on April 14 [2 favorites]


Ah man, the one and only karaoke song I've ever sung was Brooks & Dunn's "Ain't Nothing 'Bout You," surrounded by disco balls at this insane place. I've also been known to do occasional MeFi Music covers, which are basically an elaborate form of karaoke. Usually, though, for me, karaoke has historically been that time when I spend at least an hour poring over what's in the book, maybe eventually choose a song, then avoid actually singing anything until it's time to leave. I'd like to change that at some point, especially since I've been working on this whole do-the-thing-that-scares-you challenge of recording myself singing for a year and a quarter now. I do feel a lot less self-conscious about that (and somewhat less self-conscious about public speaking, too) so I think it's working.

My favorite tennis-court Pandora stations are largely based on Something Corporate and Michelle Branch, so that's a lot of what I've been singing and occasionally (too infrequently) recording lately. As for my shower song line-up, hmmmmm. I feel a bit embarrassed to mention some of them, not because they're actually embarrassing at all, but rather because it's so weirdly personal and reveals my influences, to the few people who know how I came to start singing some of them. Ah well... Apart from that, the problem with most of these for karaoke is that they're not crowd-pleasers—they're delightful to belt out, but no one I know knows them well. I don't care what anyone in the crowd likes, heh, so I may not be particularly well-suited to that aspect of karaoke.

Anyway, if people recognize any songs they shared with me or I shared with them in here, it's probably not about you, but rather about me, 'cause I've made these mine.

Recent shower-song line-up
Jimmy Eat World, "Work"
Sugarland, "Tennessee"
Neko Case, "Hold On, Hold On"
Neko Case, "This Tornado Loves You"
SR-71, "Mosquito"
SR-71, "Politically Correct"
Natalie Merchant, "Wonder"
Dixie Chicks, "Cowboy Take Me Away"
Martina McBride, "How Far"
K's Choice, "Everything for Free"
All Time Low, "Dear Maria, Count Me In"
Bettie Serveert, "Heaven"
Bettie Serveert, "The Link"
The Decemberists, "Make You Better"
Guided by Voices, "Motor Away"
Röyksopp, "The Girl and the Robot"
Gotye, "Somebody That I used to Know"
Michelle Branch, "Sooner or Later"
En Vogue, "This Is Your Life"
The Chainsmokers and Coldplay, "Something Just Like This"
Tori Amos, "A Sorta Fairytale"
Nada Surf, "Cold to See Clear"
Ben Folds, "Don't Change Your Plans"
Ben Folds, "Carrying Cathy"
Highly Suspect, "Little One"
Ryan Adams, "All You Had to Do Was Stay"
Something Corporate, "Good News"
Nicole Kidman/Ewan McGregor, "Elephant Song Medley"
Muse, "Unintended"
Dubstar, "Another Word"
Crystal Dawn Baker, "Call It a Day"
The Killers, "When You Were Young"
Diana Ross, "Love Hangover"
posted by limeonaire at 11:36 PM on April 14 [4 favorites]


I have distinguished myself by singing the Sesame Street theme song at karaoke. With a group of high-flying Japanese diplomats. No lie.
Otherwise, if I'm singing in Japanese there are a couple of Dreams Come True songs I like, even though I'm no Miwa Yoshida. In English...God, I don't even remember...good question. I'm another "Son of a Preacherman" fan, though. And carmicha, I haven't thought of "Let the River Run" in years but I used to love that song! Good one.
If I'm just walking around town singing to myself because I'm in a good mood and the world seems good, I sing my dad's favorite jazz standards--"It's Got to be Love" and "Of Thee I Sing" and "After You, Who".
posted by huimangm at 12:55 AM on April 15 [1 favorite]


After a long span of feline oppression, I have returned to shower singing in the past few years. Unless I make the effort to set up the bluetooth speaker for car-style sing-along, I am limited to songs that I have memorized or must suffer the annoyance of whatever random bits my brain radio provides. Which means showtunes or similar standards that are often romantic in nature. (My cat thought I was calling for help and in need of rescue from the evil rainbox and I never could convince him otherwise.)

This is currently relevant, as I am in a continuing situation where singing is desirable. Unfortunately, nearly everything I can sing purely from memory is inappropriate to sing to someone else's husband. Especially in this context. (He's severely brain damaged, and when pressed I can only remember things like Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair, Love Me or Leave Me, or I Get a Kick Out of You, or Strange Fruit. So, um, no.)

This front page post from the 9th : What Makes This Song Great? came in very handy. With the help of some lyrics videos on youtube, his wife and I gave a rousing rendition of All The Small Things that made him very happy.

The last actual karaoke song I performed was Copacabana. NO RAGRETS! That song is pure fun to sing.
posted by monopas at 1:11 AM on April 15 [2 favorites]


This weekend I am making a whole lot of women's Viking clothing because I finally found a cheap source of woven woolen fabric, and next week I will be here for the week. Usually these camping events are in summer, and since this one was scheduled for late April, I figured there was a good chance I'd need more than my usual lightweight linens.

Then the weather went mental and it's still in the 30s most days, so I don't actually need woolen clothes after all, I suspect. But I bought the damn fabric and I'm going to finish these items if they kill me.

I also made about 3kg of feta to take with me (along with some bries and cheddars that are already waiting), and a bunch of waxed linen cloths for wrapping the cheese in and covering containers. I'm camping in a zone where people are very strict about not having non-medieval stuff visible, so that means decanting all my food items into something plausibly oldendays.
posted by lollusc at 1:13 AM on April 15 [7 favorites]


Oh, and I spent a fair amount of time yesterday trying to fit 3m wooden tentpoles into (and then onto) my tiny hatchback car.
posted by lollusc at 1:14 AM on April 15 [1 favorite]


I never listen to music, and fortunately do not work at a karaoke going company anymore so I really never sing.

However, sometimes I sing when I am running, but because I never listen to music it is always some weird kids song that my children play endlessly on YouTube. They loooove Dream English Kids, so I will be singing something like "How is the weather? How is the weather? It's sunny! It's sunny!" I am so glad that no one can hear me. I think.

Speaking of running, I am finally getting over a groin injury that has been plaguing me for months, but I went and stubbed my toe so hard yesterday that it turned purple and I can't put my shoes on, so I am a little frustrated at the moment.

In happier news, because of reasons we aren't allowed to talk about here, I recently decided to change my Korean visa to something more permanent. I have been living here for like fifteen years and never bothered to get anything more than a temporary visa (first a work permit and later a spouse visa), but decided that it is highly unlikely that I will return to the US, and so today took the official Korean proficiency test so that I can apply for permanent residency in the near future. Yay!
posted by Literaryhero at 2:06 AM on April 15 [10 favorites]


Oh hi Literaryhero, fellow hopeful visa-getter here! On Friday (forgetting it was Friday the 13th, oh dear) I went and applied for a spouse visa one country over from you; if, knock wood, it comes through as requested, I will be able to apply for permanent residency a few years sooner than otherwise. (In my case, not totally ruling out returning to the US at some point, it would just be so much more convenient in many ways.) Chukha hamnida in advance!

(Also, I kind of envy the official who goes through applications for spouse visas: their job must be like reading a series of condensed romance novels. This is how we met, this is how we fell in love, here are some cute photos of us to illustrate the events... although my husband and I both hate having our picture taken and had a hell of a time digging up the required snapshots...)
posted by huimangm at 2:17 AM on April 15 [4 favorites]


notquitemaryann, SONG TWINS! 4 Non Blondes' "What's Up" is also my go-to. I sing it to my toddler as well.
posted by duffell at 3:24 AM on April 15 [2 favorites]


I am more of a shower singer than karaoke and to that end, have a whole Spotify playlist of songs I like to sing along to!
posted by ellieBOA at 3:48 AM on April 15


I try to avoid karaoke at all costs, but sometimes there is no escape. (And, when it is my turn to sing people often wish there was an escape.) When the mic comes my way I gotta go for some enka and "Yukiguni" is my go to tune: [nostalgia karaoke version] and [Yoshi Ikuzo pro version].

In other news: school started, I really didn't do much of anything this weekend, and my major accomplishment was getting a haircut.
posted by Gotanda at 3:54 AM on April 15 [1 favorite]


Mine is also Total Eclipse of the Heart, which is SO FUN to sing for the first three minutes, but then it keeps on for another two and a half, which starts to feel like a lot.

Gorgik, my go-to running-up-a-hill song is the opening number to Hamilton. If the hill is really long, I'll transition into My Shot.

Speaking of running, I keep signing up for races and then just ... not running. I have a 10-miler at the beginning of May, a 10k in June, and a 15K in July, and I'm averaging about 4 miles a week. I need inspiration. Or just to get off my ass.
posted by coppermoss at 5:10 AM on April 15 [3 favorites]


Have never done karaoke. Will never do karaoke. I don't sing. Period. It's just not a pretty experience.

As for the weekend...Nothing, really. It's raining like a boss here. Stay inside. Try to work up the nerve to start a painting, maybe.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:24 AM on April 15


Never karaoke, but in the shower I sing stuff like Papa Was a Rolling Stone, Here Comes the Flood, Sweet Baby James, It's a Shame, I'll Be Around, Midnight Train to Georgia, Four Strong Winds, Your Song, Master Blaster Jammin, Boogie On Reggae Woman, Someday Soon, I Want You Back, Have You Seen Her, Oh Girl, Fire (Ohio Players), Fire (Springsteen), Love Roller Coaster, and State Trooper, depending on my mood and what pops into my head first.

But what did we do today? We rode bikes down to the retention pond and watched pairs of mating frogs head for the water.
posted by pracowity at 6:30 AM on April 15


There's a lot of good talk-singing songs for when you can't actually sing. Torn by Natalie Imbruglia, Stay by Lisa Loeb, and Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus are three examples.
posted by tofu_crouton at 6:39 AM on April 15


This past week during my commute I’ve been singing along to Aleks Syntek’s 1989-2009 compilation. On days when traffic was particularly bad I would switch to listening to m-flo’s ElectriColor remix album, although the only track I can sing along to is “Love Me After 12AM”, if yelling out the chorus and some Korean lyrics from the Korean version of the song counts as singing along.

I will admit to being Korean and not enjoying singing at noraebang.
posted by needled at 6:40 AM on April 15


I don't do public speaking, let alone karaoke, if avoidable, and mostly listen to audio books in the car, but I will belt the hell out of whatever is stuck in my head in the shower. Not sure I have a "go to" though.

I am starting my first ever 9-5 job this week, after a decade in the airline industry. Maybe I will hate it, but I hope not. I keep getting 9 to 5 stuck in my head but, though fun to belt, it's not actually encouraging. Are there excited for work songs?
posted by the primroses were over at 7:00 AM on April 15 [1 favorite]


I will sing literally anything at karaoke, because getting me to sing is the easiest thing in the world. But “what do I sing on my own” - when I am feeling impossibly blue and need to sing to cheer myself up, I sing Childs ballads, because they were the first songs I taught myself as a very little girl after buying a book of them at a stoop sale. Usually it’s “Mary Hamilton” or “Tam Lin”.

And this weekend I am waking up early and going to church for my first non-holiday in a while, largely based off a reassuring comment from Eyebrows in some thread or other.
posted by corb at 7:01 AM on April 15 [3 favorites]


Post-#Beychella, I am revisiting all the Beyoncé songs that had fallen out of rotation on the infinitely-playing Beyoncé radio station in my head, like Deja vu, and singing them at the top of my lungs! Not my tweet, but here's a tiny fraction of the sound filling my soul right now.

*attempts dance routine in tiny Hong Kong apartment, nearly knocks over bookshelf*
posted by mdonley at 7:04 AM on April 15 [2 favorites]


Big sad stuff going on in my corner of the world right now, so no downer updates from me. Still missing Wordshore's Missives From Rural England, too.

I love to sing but not by myself in front of other people. I've done karaoke exactly once, and it was at the wedding reception of very dear friends (I performed the wedding). It was live band karaoke, which seems so much more fun than the other kind, and I was pulled up in stage, much to my chagrin, because my friend Eric knew I knew all the words to Def Leppard's Pour Some Sugar On Me, despite not knowing any other Def Leppard song.

If I had to choose a karaoke song, it would be something from the Buzzcocks. Or Ben Folds. Maybe Simon & Garfunkel or solo Paul Simon. Pink Floyd? Sex Pistols? Possibly Hall & Oates or The Cure or The Church or Psychadelic Furs.. The thing is, if I hear a song twice, and can understand the lyrics, I will remember them for the rest of my life. Also, I have a wide variety of musical likes.
posted by cooker girl at 7:05 AM on April 15 [3 favorites]


I also miss Wordshore.

I karaoked early in my 20s, to impress a guy. We did Sonny & Cher's "I Got You, Babe." (I did not get the babe.) In the shower and car I'm on an Indigo Girls kick, thanks to a FPP from last month.

This week I returned from a software user conference in Austin, TX and YOU GUYS. We had a blast (even though I was just in the touristy downtown part) and my brain is brimming with ideas and knowledge. I almost can't wait to get back to work to share it all.
posted by kimberussell at 7:34 AM on April 15 [3 favorites]


the primroses were over, you might try something like Chesterton's suggested songs for workplaces:

the specimen verse of the Post-Office Hymn ran thus:

"O'er London our letters are shaken like snow,
Our wires o'er the world like the thunderbolts go.
The news that may marry a maiden in Sark,
Or kill an old lady in Finsbury Park."

Chorus (with a swing of joy and energy):

"Or kill an old lady in Finsbury Park."


I have never karaoked and do not see my life ever going in a direction when I will.
posted by paduasoy at 7:54 AM on April 15 [1 favorite]


Oh, and I meant to say, good luck with the job and 9-5ing.
posted by paduasoy at 7:55 AM on April 15 [1 favorite]


Oh, hey, and since this is an update and what are you doing thread:

I planted a small container veggie garden just in time for a crapton of rain. I had tiny kale and spinach sprouts at day 6, which is just nuts. Last time I looked it was turning into a thick carpet of sprouts. Don't hate me, but I have had to do zero watering or work since I planted. All I've done is go out there and whisper encouraging words at 'em.

I'm in Seattle right now on a mini secret meetup trip. Kristi and her partner Kevin are in town for work or something, and Kristi messaged me a couple of weeks ago to see if I was still in the area. I was overdue for a visit to see my friends and pseudo-nephew anyway, so I popped down to Seattle to meet for dinner last night.

We went to Annapurna, which is basically the only Tibetan restaurant I've ever even seen or heard of in the US. Tibetan food is like Indian and spicy and curry heavy, but like you mixed up stir fry cooking tech, tandoori, and maybe some Thai or Chinese influence. So Indian flavors, but a lot more texture and whole veggies and less creamed lentils or spinach.

They loved it, which was cool because it was kind of a random last minute choice due to the weather and rain, as we'd initially planned on just grabbing something to go and sitting in the park to enjoy the (theoretical) sunshine.

Pro tip: Do not challenge Kristi to an eating contest. I might be on a diet right now, but I'm neither small nor timid about eating. I have no idea where she put all of that food. I swear, I'm still full.

By the way and for the record: Mini meetups are definitely a thing you can do. It doesn't have to be a big group/public meetup. If you're traveling and there's someone from MeFi you want to meet in particular, you can just message them and ask if they want to hang out. (I am obviously down with this, so if you're in town and want to hang out, message me. I like meeting MeFite folks, and apparently I'm pretty entertaining.)

I learned a long time ago that if someone is going out of their way and wanting to meet me and/or hang out, I generally should just automatically say "yes" and go for it, because it's usually a lot of fun. Granted, I'm pretty easy to bribe with dinner.

On the treatment side of things: My tits hurt. Yaaaaay.
posted by loquacious at 8:26 AM on April 15 [2 favorites]


Having only ever once been to a bar with a stage in front of everyone, I can't imagine that sort of karaoke. In Japan, though it's been a long, long time, karaoke is done in small rooms with the group you go to the karaoke place with. No public singing. It can be great. That said, I am the full on god of (Wanted) Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi. I have, in fact, been everywhere, and yes, still I'm standing tall, for verily, I have seen a million faces, and indeed, I have rocked them all.

Other than that, Every Rose Has Its Thorn, by Poison. I'm absurdly good at that one, and unlike most of the songs I used to be able to sing before my voice up and died around about 35, I can still hit all the notes to that one.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:31 AM on April 15 [1 favorite]


Karaoke is one the things keeping me from quietly going off the rails these days.

When it's in the system, my go-to is New Order's Crystal. At other times, it's Jamie Cullum's supercover of Rihanna's Don't Stop the Music.

It's been a very unproductive yet productive weekend. Soup, bread and cake was made, the pile of ironing has gone, and the Voyager binge-watch came to an abrupt end. Rainy days begone!
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 8:37 AM on April 15 [1 favorite]


I've tortured songs here and here a handful of times in the last twenty years.
All I can remember right now are:

Hoochie Coochie Man
Saturday Night's All Right for Fighting
Why Don't We Get Drunk (and added the verses from double live album You Had to Be There, which got some cheers from the Carol's crowd.)
Big Ten-Inch Record

Shower singing - could be anything out of the last fifty years of rock and pop (plus other odds and ends), be it Every Day, Jenny Jenny, All Along the Watchtower, Building a Mystery, We're Not Gonna Take it, Too Bad About Your Girl, most Bon-Scott-era AC/DC and pre-92 Aerosmith, various Metallica, nearly anything by Weird Al, "No Sleep Till Brooklyn sung in my father's Brooklyn accent", or "You Shook Me All Night Long sung by Kermit the Frog".

I will admit to playing "White and Nerdy" on repeat while prepping for a stay-up-all-night-in-bars night, back in my single days.

(Not even really related - but ran into this on youtube while searching the above links. Perhaps it will amuse folks as it amused me.)

This weekend has been more gathering and purging of belongings for the big move, although the rain and snow for today convinces me I should not try to drive the rented vehicle around town.
posted by Mutant Lobsters from Riverhead at 8:56 AM on April 15


I sang Fat Man in the Bathtub once and got away with it. Mercedes Benz is pretty much my go to always for everything song though and you don't even need a karaoke machine. In the shower I sing Concrete and Barbed Wire a lot or anything really that's stuck in my head, even Spanish Techno which is impossible to sing.

I am stuck in this snow in Wisconsin and it is actually not good and I am somewhat concerned about the snow & ice on the camper roof. I am also concerned about the little space heater near the water tank overheating but if I turn it off the lines might freeze. So I am having a super fucking fun weekend from hell thanks and no offense Midwest but good god. I thought i might be able to leave tomorrow but that's looking increasingly unlikely as it just. Keeps. On. Snowing. And if we lose electricity I lose the space heaters and then the water lines WILL freeze and that will be all she wrote. So I am an extremely unhappy camper, quite literally.
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:02 AM on April 15


Check your MeMail, mygothlaundry.
posted by carmicha at 10:15 AM on April 15


100% Every Rose Has Its Thorn, which drives my partner up the wall both because it's a breakup song and because she hates '80s music (an ongoing dilemma, perhaps I should revisit my contribution to the One Big Fight thread). So I also learned Bobby Darin's More (well, usually it ends up being 'in the style of' the Sinatra version) for the inevitable point in the night after I've sung my go-to that she tells me to sing one for her. I've got a couple more in my back pocket for emergencies, but those are the first two I look for.

I also have a standing moratorium on Bohemian Rhapsody, which irks one of our good friends who has been trying for over a year to get me up there with her singing it, but I stand by my claim that if you ever sing Bohemian Rhapsody at karaoke you are a bad person and you should feel bad.
posted by solotoro at 10:23 AM on April 15


I’ve never karaoked, though I really want to. It’s just never been the right set of circumstances. In my head, I like to think I can hit high notes, but that’s really untrue. I do, however, have pretty decent control and I can hold a note for a long time.

I’m the car, I always belt Independence Day if it comes on. I also will take any Elton John standby, thank you very much.

But when I’m totally at a loss, but I feel the need to sing, I’m always stuck on either American Pie or songs from the Evita soundtrack. I kinda like singing both parts of a duet. I’m weird.
posted by Night_owl at 10:31 AM on April 15 [2 favorites]


Mother is my perfect karaoke song forever, and even better if it can be followed up with Mother Mother.
posted by quatsch at 10:31 AM on April 15


I did competitive karaoke for a while so this is a perfect question for me! My go-to is a version of "Feel Good Inc." that is heavily inspired by Josie Charlwood's awesome cover. I also like "Jesse's Girl" and "Renegade" for fun, goofy karaoke.

Yesterday was a sunny, almost summery mid-April day and I enjoyed it by tasting amaro and beer at Don Ciccio and 3 Stars and enjoying conversation with awesome fellow MeFites Copronymus, perrouno, and fedward. This morning was brisk and rainy which was the perfect weather to walk a couple miles up the road to the new place selling WV-style pepperoni rolls. Now just having a relaxing Sunday on the couch and trying to decide what to cook for my weekly meal prep.
posted by capricorn at 12:18 PM on April 15


Piano Man by Billy Joel
posted by deezil at 2:37 PM on April 15


There is a time and place for The Rose, and that time and place is drunken karaoke.

This weekend: Yesterday I did a lot of gardening and not enough practice. Today was mostly a piano rehearsal for Das Rheingold.

I am so pleased to be doing this opera in concert with these people. It's a small company who've kind of become my London home, and the cast is full of people I've known for years, as well as some good new acquaintances. The music directors of this company-- both the guy who started it and the others whom he's brought in-- have always had an ear for good voices, an eye for strong performers who may not "fit the box" elsewhere, and a generous, gregarious spirit. I've watched so many singers and musicians pass through the ranks of this company and start working at the big houses. A good few of those singers have come back for this Rheingold concert.

Change is in the wind; the conductor of this company is starting a two-year job in Germany. Another conductor of ours has just landed a job in Denmark. Right now, with Brexit looming, it makes sense for musicians to relocate while we still have our EU free movement rights.

So even though no one's admitting it, I'm sensing a sort of breaking-of-the-Fellowship moment. But never mind: next weekend, we sing. And it being Das Rheingold, we begin by creating the world.
posted by Pallas Athena at 2:45 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]


I've never actually done karaoke in front of like, actual people before -- damn anxiety -- but I did just serenade my living room with a killer rendition of Waving Through a Window from Dear Evan Hansen, if I do say so myself.
posted by PearlRose at 3:06 PM on April 15


As a young person, I once sang Mack the Knife to an audience that included Michael Milken in the front row. (Long story.) But it was the damned Bobby Daren version that I've still never heard except in karaoke bars, so I missed all the cues and did a terrible job. Since then, the overlap of songs I actually know well enough to sing and songs that appear on karaoke lists has remained almost non-existent. I'm a bit sad about that, 'cause it seems like a really neat concept.

Some day, when our entertainment world has achieved peak niche, someone's going to open a karaoke bar that has the full Chumbawamba and They Might Be Giants discography, and I will finally get my chance to shine and feel popular for 3.5 minutes.
posted by eotvos at 4:16 PM on April 15


Neither bars nor parties are my thing so I've never done karaoke, but I'm here to tell you that empty labs are great places to sing. There are plenty of blowers and fans running all the time from the fume hoods and lab instruments, which provide a nice continuo for keeping pitch, and all the surfaces are hard and nonabsorbent so the acoustics are really bright. It's kind of like singing in the shower, except with more opportunity for embarrassing ambushes when coworkers wearing sneakers pop in. Eeep!

Repertoire: depressing ballads, mostly. El Paso, House of the Rising Sun, Darcy Farrow, you get the idea.
posted by Quietgal at 4:51 PM on April 15 [1 favorite]


If I could have one talent that I don't already have (that would be virtually all of the talents), it would be singing. I think people who can sing have such an advantage in life. You can join a choir! Or a band! You can go to church and not be embarrassed when it's time to sing a hymn. You can sing Christmas carols without shame. If I could sing, I would sing all the livelong day, but not in the grocery, because I want to stab people who sing in the grocery. As it is, I still sing an awful lot. Literally.

This weekend was spent purging the garage of unwanted shit (that's virtually all of the shit). It is SO SATISFYING. It feels like taking off an itchy sweater.

Also my puppy is starting to gaze up at me with a happy smile on our walks.
posted by HotToddy at 5:27 PM on April 15 [3 favorites]


Can't sing so I'm not very karaokey in the public performance sense. However since I largely work alone although under remote observation, one way of kicking against the pricks is to doubly amuse myself by grunting out personal earworms.

E.g. I probably sound like a rambling incarcerable loon, but with a bit of a sore throat I reckon I can nail something of the cadence and texture of Burroughs doing Words Of Advice (if not the accent). Trying to improve our public image!
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 5:43 PM on April 15


Oh, one other thing totally unrelated to singing. I randomly visited Rosemary Kirstein's website hoping for news on Steerswoman Book 5 (there is none 😭) and saw her writing about a book called Happy Snak. I was enamored with the name immediately and dug up a copy.

Oh em gee it is so good and I don't know anyone to tell about it so I am telling all of you.
posted by Literaryhero at 6:50 PM on April 15 [4 favorites]


I love karaoke. I'll even do it sober. To the people who go"Oh, I can't sing, I sound terrible!", you're kind of missing the point. The reason you do karaoke is to MURDER your favourite songs and make a buffoon of yourself. It's so cathartic! By accident I discovered that I can do a fairly accurate impersonation of MeatLoaf, so my go to is I Would Do Anything For Love. With so much drama and ham!

That said, apparently there's a video out there of me doing the modern version of Lady Marmalade, but I have no memory of this, which is a pity because I apparently nailed it. Much tequila was involved. Let that be a warning to you kids!
posted by ninazer0 at 8:01 PM on April 15 [2 favorites]


Omg please let there be MeFiOke somehow somewhere someday.

Depending on the mood, mine are Heard it Through the Grapevine by Marvin Gaye or Crazy by Patsy Cline .

I would also like to out chrismear, who said he would never do kareoke, and as it happens delivered a superb Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic in a bar in Narita on the last night of our honeymoon, powered by excellent ramen and unpleasant red wine.
posted by greenish at 4:21 AM on April 16


Omatsuri Ninja
posted by emmling at 5:30 AM on April 16


When I sing for myself, I sing opera. Usually pieces from "La Traviata". So, if opera was ever available for karaoke - which I never find it is - I would probably sing the "Libiamo ne' lieti calici" or maybe "Un di felice eterea". Why is there never an opera option..... ugh....

One time during the Copenhagen Opera Week we were attending a really fun activity called "Opera Bingo". The idea is, just like regular bingo, you attempt to fill in a row, but for "opera bingo" the prize is that you can choose an aria or duet from a pre-set "menu" for the attending professional singers to perform right there in the hall! it's great fun! There was a bit of a miscoordination when a row had been completed, and the "Libiamo" duet had been chosen but the tenor was nowhere to be found! he had snuck off to the bathroom and had miscalculated the time. So, I found myself thinking "I could do this....." and I actually found myself pushing my chair back to go up to the stage to offer myself as a stand in (this behaviour really surprised me!) when the tenor RAN in and took his place.... it wasn't meant to be I guess.....
posted by alchemist at 5:50 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]


They Might Be Giants discography,

Spring break. The year, 19nevermind. The place, Florida panhandle. Me and some buddies from Ole Miss are partying. We go to a bar with karaoke, where we happen upon some other Ole Miss folks (no one we knew, I assume some branded t-shirts helped us realize the shared background, but my memory of the specific conversation is lost to the sands of time). We were not most of us particular naturals at chatting up strangers, but it was spring break and being the only folks from our university in the place granted us something of an insta-connection.

Until my best friend and I got up and ROCKED Birdhouse in your Soul. Somehow, despite our clear and evident virtuosity, our new friends managed to do an amazing thing I'd never seen before and have never seen since - pull a slow fade, but quickly, and in plain view. Like, I now know it is possible to express disavowment of a group to a whole room using nothing but facial expressions.

Whatever, we had a blast.
posted by solotoro at 6:18 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]


I've never done karaoke and I've always wanted to but also always chickened out, so if I ever interact with you and you are a karaoke fan, please drag me along. I don't know what to sing, though - my brother always sings Blank Space, which is pretty great.
posted by ChuraChura at 7:17 AM on April 16 [2 favorites]


I love to sing karaoke and I've sung a hundred or a hundred fifty times, but mostly ten or twelve years ago in grad school when we would go nearly weekly (narrator: Kwine later failed out of grad school). It combines singing and drinking and silly structured performance, some of my favorite things. I like to experiment and I don't mind failure-for a long while I was trying something new and not necessarily something that I knew too well every time. I have a competent, unremarkable voice and I liked being up on stage listening to the opening notes and wondering if I could really do it. Sometimes it was a disaster. We'd do karaoke suicides too occasionally, where we'd each put a song in for the next person around the table to sing. *That* is terrifying. Somebody (who probably knew I don't want to rap) picked "Baby Got Back" for me once, and that was an experience for everyone for sure.

I guess I have karaoke patter, not karaoke standard songs. I liked to improvise my way through difficult parts of the process with the audience ("Looks like we're taking this one down an octave from here!" "Oh shit, key change" "I thought that I would get the words for this chorus but instead I'm getting background vocals, uh-oh"). I've certainly improvised lyrics based on something happening in the room or something I screwed up, though I can't think of anything in particular right now. Sometimes I'd say, "It's time for everyone's favorite part of a karaoke song, the guitar solo!" and then awkwardly shuffle around as the guitar solo happened. I'd always end with "Tip your bartenders".

I only go a few times a year these days. A standard might be "Substitute" by The Who or "I'm On Fire" by Springsteen, if I'm feeling blah or drunk, but ideally I'm feeling more adventurous. Nothing ever too recent. If we go together I might ask you to pick a Beatles song for me and I'll probably do a credible job, I've done that a few times. I just dug up a 'songs to try' list that I've been keeping around in a text file for a half decade or something, here you go:

melt with you, modern english
call me, blondie
missing you, john waite
one i love, rem
she drives me crazy, fine young cannibals
baby it's you, jojo
live to tell, madonna
what goes around, JT (Dave doesn't have this)
if i ever lose my faith in you, sting
toxic, britney spears
runaway train, soul asylum
chasing cars, snow patrol
don't you forget about me, simple minds
the only living boy in new york, simon and garfunkel
round and round, ratt
all shook up, elvis
back on the chain gang, pretenders
drive, the cars
our lips are sealed, the go-gos

Guidelines for good karaoke song choices: Minimize time up there where you are not singing: avoid long intros/outros, avoid long solos. Avoid endlessly repeating choruses (e.g. "Get Lucky") unless you have some kind of plan to keep people entertained on the tenth iteration. Bold bad singing is better than meek good singing. The song should be under 5 minutes unless it is your birthday, or you're *really* going to wow us. Most of the time it should be a fairly upbeat song, that some fraction of the room is going to know the chorus to, instead of a slower deep cut.

I have a lot of karaoke views! Tip your bartenders.
posted by Kwine at 2:54 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


Karaoke is a nightmare for me, so I don't have a go-to song. But one time on a first date with someone we went to see a production of Judith: A Parting from the Body (which is a difficult watch, definitely not a feel-good story). After that we wanted to lighten themood, and my date suggested we go to their favorite place for a drink.

It was a karaoke ambush! It turns out it was their regular karaoke hangout.

I don't really know any songs, but I wanted to be a good sport. They had Nights in White Satin on the list, so I figured I could Shatner the hell out of the spoken word part and create some entertainment value that way.

To my dismay the spoken word part was edited out of the karaoke track.

We did not have a second date.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 3:44 PM on April 16


I can't do American-style (sing in front of a big room, probably including lots of strangers) but I can do Asian-style [at least, Japanese/Korean style, not sure if it extends beyond that] (rent a room with your friends) karaoke. I mean, I'm not a good singer, but in a small group of people I know I'm OK with showing that :P

Due to limitations on reading speed for katakana, I mostly have to stick to a couple songs in Japanese. I can mostly do Cruel Angel's Thesis (the anime song that the most people seem to know) and Megitsune. Also since it comes up a lot anyway I can muddle through Heavy Rotation.

The only Korean song I can make any attempt at really is I Am The Best but its best not attempted.
posted by thefoxgod at 3:52 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


Also since it comes up a lot anyway I can muddle through Heavy Rotation

Hahah that brought me back. Aitakatta used to be my friend's jam when I lived in Japan and now it makes me nostalgic, but I haven't been brave enough to bust it out with my current regular karaoke group (which includes a lot of Japanese-fluent Japanese Americans who are just cooler than that). I did try Ai no Shirushi once and they enjoyed that.

The same friend who did Aitakatta would also always sing Baby by Justin Bieber (it was in her vocal range - rofl). I tried to sing that once at the beginning of the night and my vocal cords were pretty much out of commission after that. Do not recommend.

I feel like if Mefi-Oke ever happened it would have to be in Asia. I was surprised how many people were like "EW NO KARAOKE" in this thread, then I saw it pop up again in my recent activity with a bunch of people getting excited about karaoke, and then I realized it was early morning and all the folks in Asia had been posting overnight and I was like "Well that explains it." I mostly do the Asian-style karaoke boxes but I have done American-style stranger danger karaoke once or twice and it was fine.
posted by sunset in snow country at 5:05 PM on April 16


I am not a fan of karaoke, but legend tells of a man who got very, very drunk in a karaoke room and performed a rendition of Footloose so epochal, so ball-shatteringly crucial, so Laibach-like, that he was moved to leap from the floor onto a bar table entirely covered in empties and surf that table to the floor, rising phoenix-like and unscathed from the pile of glass.

Legend tells.
posted by Kafkaesque at 5:32 PM on April 16 [5 favorites]


I just realized that in Neil Diamond's song, Forever in Blue Jeans, the actual lyrics are:

Honey's sweet, but it ain't nothing next to baby's treat

Not... babies feet. I've been singing it wrong for almost 40 years. And now that I've given it some thought, I don't really know which one is worse. And I feel like a terrible person for ever liking that song.
posted by Stanczyk at 5:55 PM on April 16 [1 favorite]


Bold bad singing is better than meek good singing.

YES. It's hard to get this one across to inexperienced karaoke singers, but there's no payoff in being shy about it. Bring your shower game! The way you sing when nobody else is even home!

This applies both to private room and public bar karaoke, and hell, even to Rock Band or SingStar. Not much point to any of it if nobody can hear you, and quiet whisper-singing's excruciating to listen to. If you're not sure what the microphone will do for you, take a moment at the beginning of the song to say something normally. Introduce yourself. Promise that you're going to sing "Common People" in the style of William Shatner and Joe Jackson. Apologize for your lifelong tone-deafness and thank your audience for their participation in the fulfillment of your public singing dreams.

You don't have to be objectively good. You just have to try not to be boring.

To my dismay the spoken word part was edited out of the karaoke track.

Karaoke versions of songs are obnoxiously variable. Except that all karaoke versions of "Mack the Knife" are the same and they are terrible, no matter how great the song can be.
posted by asperity at 9:19 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


The Bad Touch by the Bloodhound Gang
posted by A Bad Catholic at 3:32 AM on April 17 [3 favorites]


Well it looks like the road to heaven
But it feels like the road to hell
When I knew which side my bread was buttered
I took the knife as well
Posing for another picture
Everybody's got to sell
But when you shake your ass
[*shake*]
They notice fast
And some mistakes were built to last
That's what you get, that's what you get
That's what you get, I say that's what you get
That's what you get for changing your miiiiind
That's what you get for changing your miiiiind

posted by Capt. Renault at 9:23 AM on April 17


I have never done karaoke but my singing-related accomplishment of the week is that I've sung so many nursery rhymes to my baby that my husband is now having nightmares about having to flee a castle before the grand old Duke of York shows up with ten thousand men!
posted by carolr at 2:04 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


I can mostly do Cruel Angel's Thesis (the anime song that the most people seem to know)

I can mostly sing that one as well, something that backfired on me spectacularly once when the teachers who had heard me sing it at karaoke wanted me to sing it at the school's culture day. Their attitude about foreigners singing in Japanese was similar to Samuel Johnson's on women's preaching: like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.

(This was in one of those inaka towns where it is always the Showa era.)
posted by betweenthebars at 5:01 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


I can't sing at all, but, tragically, after a drink or two I'm willing to do karaoke. My strategy involves songs for which singing ability isn't as important as performance. Everyone's usually up for an Elvis impersonation, so "Viva Las Vegas" and (by way of Queen) "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" are two dependable choices.

Alternatively, if I can find a partner who can really sing, "Paradise By the Dashboard Light" is a good choice. When the woman's part is sung well, no one seems to notice mine isn't.
posted by Gelatin at 12:29 PM on April 18


"Mack the Knife," Bobby Darin version.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:13 PM on April 18


Wait -- what happened to Wordshore? I don't see any clues from his comments or any MetaTalk post about it.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 7:30 AM on April 20


This might be a bit late, but this is about music so it fits.

Pursuant to my previous comment above, I was playing some music from my digital collection last night for my friend's very brain damaged husband in the hopes of finding something fresh for him to react to, as one does.

Ok, what really happened was in the course of the normal evening chat with my friend I had said in passing "Happy Happy Joy Joy," and he said (to the best of my recollection) "Joy! I remember that song!" So I grabbed my laptop, dug it out of my files, and played it for him, which he seemed to enjoy. I played and sang him a couple of other songs, and when I was scrolling through I found cortex's masterpiece Choke a Moff. Both friend and husband are big Star Wars fans, so I played it.

My friend laughed so hard that it gave her hiccups, and husband did chuckle (though it may have been a reaction to his wife's pleasure, it can be hard to tell).

It had been a bit of a rough day for everyone, so ending it with a bright moment was a gift. Thank you, cortex.
posted by monopas at 9:30 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


« Older Is your pet on Instagram?   |   MetaAlternatives Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments