Tag Archives: Clay Aiken

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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Ten for Ten: Re-Formatted

What is 10 for 10? On the tenth of every month I take something really cool, underrated, badass, or worth remembering from ten years ago and tell you about it here, a decade past its prime. You may even notice similar posts pop up on the 20th and 30th of each month. Because as a child I was always told to recycle, and they never said that concept doesn’t apply to gimmicks, too.

Ah the music of 2003…whether you were standing in line to buy Justin Guarini’s self-titled record or S Club 7’s Greatest Hits album, one thing is for certain: the music of 2003 will always be fondly remembered as having existed. But there were a few gems, too, and if you were at your local music shop and your dug your way through enough copies of Clay Aiken’s Measure of a Man or whatever half-assed, self-plagiarising record Dave Matthews Band released that year, you might’ve been lucky to find a copy of an album called Interventions & Lullabies, by a small band called The Format.

This is the album cover art for Interventions & Lullabies. I know it doesn't say that anywhere, but just trust me.

This is the album cover art for Interventions & Lullabies. I know it doesn’t say that anywhere, but just trust me.

The Format is an upbeat, high-energy mix of pop vocals, tight harmonies, and more hooks than a Pirates of the Caribbean casting call, and Interventions & Lullabies is their masterwork. If you’ve heard of the modern-day band, Fun., you will definitely want to check out The Format. I know that because if you like the vocal ability and writing style of .Fun frontman Nate Ruess, you’ll love the vocal ability and writing style of The Format frontman, Nate Ruess.

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