Monday, November 26, 2007

A Karaoke Hope - Part One

(I'm trying something new here. This is the first part of a short story I'm writing. It may or may not be wholly or partially autobiographical. That information is of little consequence though. The fact is, everyone enjoys karaoke but many are embarrassed to admit it. It's a real problem, and something I'd like to address.)

I have this friend who likes karaoke. He would never admit this to those outside his circle of karaoke friends, so for the sake of anonymity, let’s call this friend of mine, this very close friend, “Steve Songmill.”

Steve really enjoys the occasional trip to the karaoke bar with a few friends (myself not included, of course). Steve is particularly fond of singing hip-hop songs from artists such as 2-Pac, Fat Joe, Ludacris, and Jay-Z. He doesn’t shy away from performing Whitney Houston, Mariah, or Beyonce. Even the occasional Billy Idol, Madonna or Tears for Fears makes its way into the mix.

In other words, Steve has an astoundingly broad vocal range. He also possesses an implausibly detailed knowledge of karaoke technique. He is, however, not a purely technical karaoke performer. Rather, he finds a way to imbue his performances with raw emotion and shocking physicality. What I’m trying to say is, Steve likes to pour beer on his head and stand on a table while he sings. Sometimes he’ll pour sake on his head as well. One time, he used soy sauce, as it was the only liquid within reach. He’s irreparably damaged countless wireless microphones (by submerging them in beer), and ruined quite a few karaoke shirts (similar to Hawaiian shirts).

The owner of the local karaoke bar knows Steve by name, and by credit card number. The bartenders request songs from Steve, and never the other way around. “Is it getting hot in here?” they’ll say. That’s Steve’s cue to put on his do-rag, knock back a shot of hot sake, and jump up on the bar - all in one fluid motion, if you can imagine. The wireless microphone is already in mid-air by the time Steve’s feet touch down on the slick countertop. The mike invariably lands in his hand with the precision of a Peyton Manning pass. We can thank Rick the bartender for his microphone-tossing accuracy. With that, the karaoke machine fires up the intro to Nelly’s mega-hit “Hot in Herre.”

This is one of Steve's classic acts. His rendition is flawlessly authentic. His rhythm is perfect. The cadence, the perfectly-timed movements, everything is amazing. His performance is simply unimpeachable. The bar crowd erupts as the song reaches its climactic chorus. Steve is on top of the world.

But Steve knows that as soon as the song is over, and once the bar closes for the night, the real world awaits. It's a depressing thought, and a bit too much to bear. So he buys a karaoke machine for his home.

The machine is like a DVD player, and connects directly to the TV and stereo system. It plays discs known as CD + G (short for CD plus graphics). It is nothing short of a godsend.

Steve is now able to practice at any time of the day or night. In the comfort of his own home, and in the comfort of his underwear. He orders numerous karaoke discs from a website that burns them to order. He finds all of his favorite songs, and requests them to be burned in a specific order. These discs are to provide the basis for the most ambitious karaoke performance ever attempted. 1,000 songs. Non-stop. No cover charge. Ladies drink free from 9-11pm. Half price Bud Lights the rest of the night.

To be continued......

Listen to this post.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You should drink a few before recording your voice overs. I love them, but I think you sound like an IRS audit agent. Hey don't yell at me, its just my opinion. By the way...the general left big blow. Only sandyman is left.