Friday, March 13, 2009

Five karaoke anti-jams

The key to karaoke, as I think I mentioned before, is commitment.  It doesn't matter that your voice is bad if you know the words and you can sell your song.  However, there are certain songs that should be avoided unless you really know what you're doing.  These are they:

1. Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen); Other people would like to use the stage sometime tonight.  Also, if you're picking this song, you probably think you're being original.  You're not.  Attempt this only if: you hate humankind and want to inflict pain others.

2. Virtually any rap song; Even the worst rappers have better flow than you.  I promise.  You just don't know it because you've never rapped in front of a crowd before.  Also, you don't really know all the words to Gin and Juice, let alone City of Compton.  And there's nothing less entertaining than watching you laugh and read the lyrics off a TV.  Even your friends aren't laughing with you.  Well, except the really drunk ones and the ones who have a secret crush on you.  Actually, maybe that's a good relationship test -- if s/he laughs through your shitty rap karaoke, then s/he's still in the infatuation stage.  Hold off on any major decisions until s/he is at the "politely feigns amusement" stage.  Attempt this only if: you are a rapper.

3. Any song you don't know the words to; Arkay and I once did Whitney Houston's "I want to dance with somebody." Did you know that song has bunch of parts that aren't the part that says "I wanna dance with somebody, I wanna feel the heat with somebody?" Yeah, it does. And those parts suck.  Attempt this song only if: you are drunk and you think you know all the words to REM's "It's the End of the World As We Know It."

4. Born to be Wild (Steppenwolf); Not just for the obvious reason -- namely that beer commercials and movie trailers have turned a halfway-decent rock song into a cliché so overused that it now represents exactly the opposite of what it was originally intended to -- but also for the fact that is has a two-minute guitar solo in the middle of the song, during which you have to figure out what you're going to do with your hands. And the thing about karaoke guitar solos is that they're not the original songs, so even a good solo sucks in the karaoke version.  This rule applies to pretty much any Steppenwolf song.  Attempt this only if: it's the only song available.

5. The Friday the 13th theme.  Well, I mean, it doesn't have words.  What's the point?  I just had to say something about the fact that it's Friday the 13th.  Attempt this song only if: you are a conductor, standing in front of an orchestra.


  1. What if I'm not drunk and I actually do know the words to "It's the End of the World As We Know It"? I sang that once in college and the screen was wrong and I hated karaoke, even then. Stupid friends.

    Karaoke is only good for 3 or 4 songs before the evening is old.

  2. McGillicuddy/SwampMarch 24, 2009 at 4:54 PM

    So, this one time I was in this really awesome bar in Ft. Worth called The Poop Deck (and by awesome I mean so rediculously shitty and depressing that it rocked balls) for a scintillating evening of karaoke. I'm not a rapper by any means but I do happen to know the words to Bust a Move by Young M.C., and I also know how to drink enough to perform it in front of 15 wasted hicks. I had two of my friends (girls of course) sing the backup "you want it, you got it" part and we slayed them. The exception to rule no. 2 is to karaoke-rap in unlikely circumstances, where you walk the fine line between feroucious applause and stabbed in a knife fight.