Tag Archives: 1990s

The Friday Five: Five Rules for Choosing Your Karaoke Song

“For this I will lament and wail; I will go stripped and naked; I will make lamentation like the jackals, and cry out like the ostriches.”

…That verse from Micah (chapter one, verse eight) probably marks one of the earliest references to karaoke in the Old Testament (that’s the first half of the Bible, to all you pagans out there). The simple fact of the matter is that at some point in your life, you are going to have to sing (or at least co-sing) a song in some sort of karaoke situation. Oh sure, I’ve heard all the excuses before “I’d never let myself sink that low” “I’m too careful to end up like that” “I’m a good person”, etc. but the fact of the matter is you can either prepare mentally and spiritually for this kind of thing, or you can just live in denial and be caught totally off guard when it happens to you (and trust me, it will). Bachelorette parties, housewarmings, cookouts, bar mitzvahs…technology has progressed in such a way that karaoke can strike anywhere, at any time, and even if you take every precaution available, karaoke will find you. And when it does, karaoke will show no mercy. Luckily, I’m here for you, and if you follow a few simple guidelines, you can survive karaoke as unscathed as possible…and heck, you might even come out of it with a good story to tell.

Five Karaoke Rules that will keep you from ending up like this guy. You're welcome.

Five Karaoke Rules that will keep you from ending up like this guy. You’re welcome.                                                     (Note: The National Anthem is not a great karaoke song choice)

Rule 1: Know your level of vocal ability.
I always think this one is a no-brainer, but then every year I see a new set of American Idol promos (I haven’t watched an actual episode of American Idol since the Clay Aiken/Ruben Studdard season, I was too hurt after watching Clay unjustly lose to ever go back…plus those types of shows are pretty played out) where an astoundingly high number of people can’t sing. It’s one thing to be blissfully unaware that you’re singing is off-pitch (shout out to whoever was standing behind me in church this week*, but you do you, homeslice), but there’s a special level of pain I feel for people that are terrible singers and have NO IDEA! Like whoever is the Paula these days will be like “sorry sweetie, you’re no good” and the contestant will be all like “Psh YOU DON’T KNOW MY WORLD SON, I’ma take my voice and go out and make a million dollars without your show! I voted green party!” and then we never hear or see them again, with the sort-of exception of William Hung, who is on national TV about as often as I am (AKA not very). The moral of the story is: it may be painful, but do whatever you have to in order to figure out how good of a singer you are BEFORE you find yourself in front of a group of people at a karaoke bar or a panel of Randy Jackson types.

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Twenty for Twenty: Heart and Souls

The world has changed a lot since 1993. On the 20th of each month, Twenty for Twenty takes us back to the best of 1993 and shares some gems that are gone, but shouldn’t be forgotten. If reminiscing is your thing, feel free to check out my Ten for Ten or Thirty for Thirty posts — which are literally the exact same gimmick cheaply repurposed for a combination of my own amusement and laziness.

What if I told you we could put Charles Grodin, Kyra Sedgwick, and Robert Downey Jr. into the same room and watch them perform onscreen for two hours? You’d probably have to google two of those three names like I did. But luckily 1993 beat you to the punch, and produced the heart and soul warming movie, Heart and Souls.

If Downey had made this movie ten years later it would've been called Heart and Souls and a Coke Problem.

If Downey had made this movie ten years later it would’ve been called Heart and Souls and a Coke Problem.

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Topical References: A Review of 1980 SNL

I always try to keep these things under 500 words, to make them more accessible to you ADHD kids with your glowsticks and your Kardashian sisters and your pogs to distract you. Out of the 135 posts I have on here, I’ve been successful exactly…zero times. But like I always say, one-hundred-and-thirty-sixth time’s the charm.

Saturday Night Live (or, to use the abbreviation I invented for it, SNL) is starting its 38th season, making it America’s longest-running television show (unless it’s not, I didn’t feel like fact-checking that). If you’re Amish and have never seen the show (yet somehow have a computer, an internet connection and are reading this blog), SNL is a sketch-comedy/musical show whose general premise is to put a celebrity in wacky situations for 90 minutes and hope the supporting cast of funny people around them can make a handful of the sketches bearable. And twice per episode they cut away to the musical guest du jour. Some casts are more successful at this than others, and I could probably crank out a pretty healthy 12,000-word article trying to rank each years’ casts in order from best to worst, but man does that sound like a lot of work. Maybe some other time.

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