Regular karaoke singer Lindsey Weber has developed very strong opinions about what constitutes the proper etiquette of karaoke–everything from song choice to mic-handling technique. Her opinions (while regarded trustworthy by some of the greatest karaoke’ers in town) are her own, so feel free to disregard. After all, if you’re just dying to sing “Don’t Stop Believin’”* you’ll probably just go ahead and sing it. Send your karaoke questions for Lindsey to karaokeconfessional AT gmail.com.
Is there a rule of thumb for seasonal classics? The last time I did karaoke (July), I sang “All I Want for Christmas is You” and it killed, but I’m hesitant about trying a repeat performance. Was it a fluke? –Christine
With the holidays approaching, you might start to hear a plethora of winter-specific hits. Or, depending on your karaoke locale, you might not. Prove me wrong, but I doubt people are rushing to sing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” But that’s not what Christine is asking. Killing a song is killing a song–there’s no limit on its timeliness. That being said, I’d argue that Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas is You” breaks the boundaries of being a solely Christmas song. Sure, it gets bumped up to the top of the charts EVERY CHRISTMAS (Get it, Mariah!) but its magical pop construction is relevant year-round and you shouldn’t be afraid to “kill it” in karaoke every week. You might even get the privilege of getting to be known as That Girl Who Kills All I Want For Christmas Is You and that would be the ultimate Christmas Miracle.
Other Holiday Songs That Could Kill Year Round:
Lindsay Buckingham – Holiday Road
‘NSync – Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays
Wham! – Last Christmas
Joni Mitchell – River
Vanessa Williams – Save the Best for Last (Christmas version) (Yes, there is a Christmas version)
What do you do when you hit the middle of a song and realize “fuck, this song isn’t as great as I thought it was”??? Or it’s still great, but there’s a lot of refrain and repetition and it’s way longer than expected? My go-to jam of George Michael’s “Freedom 90″ can suffer from this. Everyone loves it, but somewhere in the middle you realize George is still going and you’re not at the rap-ish part that everyone loves most and this is in a higher key than anticipated. Can you just give up? Help me! –Ray
The problem with karaoke (and, I assume, the problem with every type of performance) is that once you choose a song, you have to just go with it. It would be more noticeable and distracting if you asked the KJ to stop the track, so if you’re feeling the song drag a bit, it mostly means you have to STEP IT UP! (Step it up for now and perhaps never choose that song again? Maybe?)
Another solution worth investigating is that FRIENDS CLAUSE. The FRIENDS CLAUSE is having your friends come sing with you. While normally, I don’t support more than one singer on the mic (unless it’s a duet!) if you need to invoke the FRIENDS CLAUSE during a song that’s dragging, I support your decision. Be strong up there.
Previously: Rihanna, Katy Perry, and Lana Del Ray