Six ways to ruin everyone's lives with karaoke
Image by Tatiana Craine
It's the holidays! Time for you and your dopey friends from high school to reunite and tear up the town. What'll it be this evening? Getting trashed and picking a fight with the bully who became the bouncer at whatever bar that Denny's restaurant turned into?
Or maybe you could do something really wild, like go out and sing some karaoke! Sure, none of you ever have any intention to sing with any sort of rhythm, feeling, nuance, or tone accuracy. Microphone placement? WTF is that? It'll be a blast! For only you guys!
While you're out, make sure you ruin everyone else's chances of enjoying ourselves by obeying these six rules for screwing up karaoke for the rest of us.
6. Sing "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond
Why would you put this song on? Is karaoke some sort of formulaic game to you? Do you also yell out "Free Bird" at concerts and start clapping when someone drops their tray in the cafeteria at work? Or are you just a big fan of the Boston Red Sox? Or the movie Beautiful Girls with Matt Dillon? Please, just sit down. Forever.
5. Have Four of You Sing at Once (and all suck)
It's the same every time you do it. There's the shy one who got dragged up there with no intention of ever actually singing. There's a woman dancing so hard she can't even hold the microphone in front of her face. And the superstar with the constipated face, focusing too hard on actually singing something no one cares about. But who could forget the real crowd-pleaser -- the awkward wallflower who doesn't know the song but makes noises and adds commentary. Brilliant.
4. Perform a "Classic" Rap Song
We're not impressed by your re-enactment of the immortal sketch at the beginning of "Baby Got Back," or by your two friends who so cleverly dedicated themselves to being your "back-up" dancers when you decided to fumble through the ancient rhyme scheme. We're not even impressed that you brought your sunglasses and gold chain to the bar for the sole purpose of performing this song. Your cadence is off, you're yelling the words, and somehow, you've managed to rap out of key. Just stop.
3. Your "Funny" Top 40 Bullshit No One Else Knows
Yes, it's hilarious to you and your five friends when you sarcastically sing that One Direction "Story of My Life" song, but believe it or not, not everyone listens to that fucking garbage. But we are now, thanks to you and your dumb friends who are cackling wildly to every word while the rest of us grit our teeth and contemplate smashing beer bottles over our own heads. You want to sing something that only you and your friends know, get a private karaoke room (called a "noreabang").
2. Sing Any Song Over 7 Minutes That Isn't "Bat Out of Hell" by Meatloaf
Certainly the most powerful weapon in your arsenal of being a dickhead is to play into the one thing that we as humans are all afraid of -- running out of time. If you ever wanted to take your Guitar Hero skills to the next level and sing Metallica's "One," what better place to do it than in a room full of impatient drunken strangers? Is there a way you can perhaps sing the fret-board-tapping solo for us as well?
Do not ever put on a lengthy tune unless you are prepared to do a flawless version of Meatloaf's "Bat Out of Hell." The only other exception, perhaps, can be made for the most beautiful and mesmerizing song ever written, "McArthur Park" by Richard Harris.
1. Mangle Journey's "Don't Stop Believing"
No, you can't sing it as well as Steve Perry, and you certainly can't sing it was well as Arnel Pineda, the Filipino dude who replaced him. The song sucks when Journey does it, and the song sucks even more when you do it. Having rhinestones on your jeans does not make you a rock icon. Now get the hell out of here so I can sing something the people really want: a cover of Bush's "Glycerine."
*Lots of you are considerate, soulful karaoke performers. This is column is only directed at the bad apples.
Follow Drew Ailes on Twitter at @CountBakula.
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