Wednesday, July 3, 2013


I love karaoke (anyone who says they don't is a liar).  It was one of my go-to night out activities when I lived in Iowa City.  Now that I'm back in the northeast, in a suburb of New York City, you'd think that I would have awesome karaoke nights on the regular, but alas... all of my pro-karaoke friends live elsewhere.  Every once in a while, I still hear a song and think, "This would be perfect for karaoke!"  When you sit down to pick a song, it's good to have a few in mind that you know you can sing well enough not to give up halfway through.  I once thought it would be a fun idea to try singing "What's Up" by 4 Non Blondes, only to realize that my "joke" terrible singing was really just terrible.  Here are some of my usual songs, plus a few I've been dying to try out...

1) "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" by Pat Benatar
You just can't go wrong with this one.

2) "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" by Cher
Old Cher is really the best Cher.  I also love "Dark Lady."

3) "Dream a Little Dream of Me" as performed by Mama Cass Elliot
This is perfect because it's completely within my comfortable vocal range, but it's also cute, catchy, and most people have heard of it before.

4) "Killing Me Softly" as performed by the Fugees
A crowd-pleaser, nostalgia-inducer, and not too high for me.  No matter how crazy and tax-evading Lauryn Hill gets, I will always love her.

5) "Mack the Knife" by Bobby Darin
When I used to do karaoke in Iowa City, this little old Asian man would come in wearing a fedora and sit at the bar by himself sipping a glass of red wine, every once in a while performing spot-on Rat Pack classics.  One time I actually got to talk to him because we both wanted to sing this song, but he let me have it and then threw me a "good job" after I was done (even though it's kind of low for me).  This was one of  the highlights of my time in Iowa... in case that gives you an idea of how fun it was to live in Iowa.

6) "The Warrior" by Patty Smyth and Scandal
If I don't get to perform this song at karaoke before I die, I will leave this world an unsatisfied human.  I have yet to find it on a karaoke list, but I'll never stop looking.  The video is also ridiculous in a good way.

7) "Heat of the Moment" by Asia
I think pretty much any '80s synth-rock is going to be a good choice.

Some tips:  Don't do a rap song unless you're really going to commit to it and you're comfortable enough with the song to stay on tempo and not get awkward... and never ever say the n-word even if it makes the song less authentic to leave it out.  Don't choose a really slow, emotional song unless it also has a high cheesiness factor (like "I Will Always Love You" or "My Heart Will Go On")... no one goes out on the weekend because they want to be sad.  And for the love of god, stop trying to impress everybody so much... this isn't American Idol!  DO be silly.  DO sing as un-self-consciously as if you were alone in the shower or car.

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