Why Karaoke Grinds My Gears

By Geisha Bar

I love to sing, and dare I say it – I’m not a terrible singer. However, when a night out turns into a few drunkenly overeager friends pushing to go to a karaoke bar, I cringe. Unless you are in Asia, karaoke bars are full of the worst kinds of people. You have the drunk ones that can’t sing but think it’s funny to try anyway, and then the ones that can sing (but only a few select songs that they sing every single time they go) who seem to know all the staff and act superior to everyone. For some reason these are usually fairly unattractive men in their 30s and 40s.


I get it, I really do. It’s super fun to sing into a microphone. For a long time I had Singstar at home, and the only Singstar disc I ever bothered buying was Singstar Queen. My flatmate and I would get absolutely shitfaced on whatever we could rustle up and then treat our walls to really loud and emotional Freddie Mercury performances. That shit is fun, and a worthy way to spend a sickie from work. But on a Friday night at a karaoke bar, the wholesome fun turns sinister.


It seems that every time I have ever been into a karaoke bar, the following songs are performed:

–                    American Pie by Don McLean. Presumably because the person who is singing it either has a very very small vocal range, Asperger’s Syndrome, or the need to be on stage with the microphone for the longest amount of time humanly possible.

–                    Girls Just Want To Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper. Now let’s preface this by pointing out that I love C Laups – she’s fucking great. However it really ruins it for everyone when you have a group of five drunk bitches all trying hard not to get too close to one of the two shared microphones, whilst side-eyeing their friends to make sure that they aren’t making more of a dick of themselves than anyone else up there. Ugh. Either fucking grab a microphone, sing properly, or sit down on your metrosexual boyfriend’s lap. You guys could just go to the Paramount if you want to stand around in a circle singing pop songs without being actually heard.

–                    Some real slow metal/wuss rock song by some dude that has been dragged there by a bunch of girls that he works with (because he secretly wants to fuck one of them). These songs always put a reeeeaaaal dampener on things, and yet he will insist it’s a “really good song”. Yeah, maybe, if I have just had an argument with my parents and want to sulk in my bedroom.

–                    Anything by Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston or Celine Dion. Y’know – the diva ballads. Usually being sung by someone with a mediocre voice who wants to show everyone how super-talented they are. Again, a pretty boring thing to have to listen to for the audience.
So if you are ever dragged to a karaoke bar, or if you just really want to go to one, try to remember that there are other people in that bar as well, who may not want to hear American Pie sung by one person from every single group that visits the bar that night. Try and sing a song that will at least allow other people to dance or zone you out should they not be captivated by your “So You Think This Idol’s Got Voice” audition practice. If you really want to be belting out long slow crap then go buy yourself Singstar and stay away from the karaoke bars.