A Careful Consideration of Potential Karaoke Options

Okay, so following on Mike's post below about the Literary Karaoke event (this Saturday, 7:00 to 9:00 in the basement of the Big Hunt in downtown DC), following is a careful consideration of the pros and cons of several karaoke options for Team Barrelhouse. Please note that this is in no way an exhaustive list, but rather the first group of songs that came into my head. Please post your suggestions afterwards.

Rock and Roll All Nite, by KISS

Pro: Loud. Singing ability not necessarily required.

Con: Hard to replicate without going all the way – face painting, boots, costumes, spitting blood, breathing fire.

Style points: You really can’t argue with KISS.

Crowd involvement potential: 8 out of 10

I Walk the Line, by Johnny Cash

Pro: Slow. Easy to follow along on that little monitor when you’re drunk. Fairly easy to replicate bass singing style of the Man in Black.

Con: Hmmm…it is a country song.

Style points: Depends on your feelings about Johnny Cash. Rebel/outlaw legend, or cornpone country star blessed with late-in-life hipster status by Rick Rubin? (I’ll go with rebel/outlaw legend.)

Crowd involvement potential: 6 out of 10

Surrender, by Cheap Trick

Pro: Good group-drunk singalong. Not many lyrics. Get to sing “your mamas allright…” just like Damone in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Con: Nasally singing style hard to replicate without damage to throat and/or echoes of Axl, Sebastian Bach, or Vince Neil.

Style points: Ten years ago, retro style points for “hey, I thought they were a joke but that song is actually kind of good, still.”

Crowd involvement potential: 7 out of 10

You Shook Me All Night Long, by AC/DC

Pro: It’s AC/DC, man. Memorized lyrics in 8th grade.

Con: Strangely hard to sing, unless you’ve got a natural throaty rasp going for you.

Style points: Opportunity to wear schoolboy outfit and jump up and down in a sweaty rage.

Crowd involvement potential: 9 out of 10

Midnight Train to Georgia, Gladys Knight and the Pips.

Pro: Hooky, slow, call and response lends itself to karaoke. Everybody wants to be a Pip.

Con: At least two people should kind of be able to sing. Everybody wants to be a Pip.

Style points: Solid pull out of the memory bank, kitschy, still a pretty solid song.

Crowd involvement potential: If you can sing, 9 out of 10; if you cannot, 4 out of 10.

Flight of Icarus, by Iron Maiden

Pro: Opportunity to see Aaron do the Flight of Icarus dance.

Con: Having to sing Flight of Icarus.

Style points: Aaron does Flight of Icarus dance.

Crowd involvement potential: Doens't everybody want to see Aaron do the Flight of Icarus dance?

In consideration of other potential karaoke songs, please note the following:

1. We will be drunk.

2. None of us can actually sing.

3. We are all men.

4. We will be drunk and none of us can actually sing.



Mike said...

Those are all good suggestions. I would offer the following additions to the list of possibilities:

--Journey: Don't Stop Believin'
Pros: words nearly everyone knows, uplifting, life-affirming story of a "small town girl" and "city boy" makin' it work.

Cons: Some tough high notes

Style points: I don't know of any dance related to Journey songs, though this song's crescendo chorus lends itself to the Group Half-Hug/Glass Raise of drunken karaoke.

Sing-along potential: 9/10. Everyone likes Journey, even those people who claim to only like them ironically.

Springsteen: Born to Run/Rosalita
Pros: Both are actually really good songs.

Cons: Choruses not quite the reach of a Steve Perry song, but could still strain the vocal cords.

Style points: Associating oneself with the epitome of working-class American bravado can't be all bad.

Sing-along potential: 7/10. Everyone would at least pretend to know the words, though I'd predict a lot of mumbling in some of the later verses.

--Bon Jovi: I'll Be There For You
Actually, this one's probably too lame for even karaoke. But I heard it in the car the other day and it brought back all kinds of painful 7th grade dance memories. Somehow, singing it in public (or any mid-career Rod Stewart) would signal a spiritual triumph over the lame, stand-in-the-corner middle school version of myself.

TMC said...

I think you should sing the Saved by the Bell theme song. And then, for bonus points, sing Hot Sundae's song from the episode when Jessie gets hooked on caffeine pills.

Kistulentz said...

Can you honestly tell me you've forgotten? Forgotten the charisma of Rick Nielson, the magnetism of Robin Zander? What about the songs??? "Your mommy's all right..."

And as for me, though I will only be there in spirit, I'd like to see someone, maybe Aaron, belt out Laura Branigan's Gloria or Donna Summer's She Works Hard for the Money. Never underestimate the power of a cheap, gender- and stereotype-crushing reversal.

joe said...

Gloria is one of the greatest pop songs of all time and I say that without a hint of irony.