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The sadness of karaoke night at the soulless suburban bar

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Bubbler, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    When I'm on the road, I generally try to find the restaurants or bars that have the most character, if I go out at all. This isn't a problem within my conference (er, yes it is, considering some of the garden spots I go to), but it can be a challenge when you're out of conference.

    Which is the case for me tonight. I checked in to a character-less Wyndham, in one of Chicago's 100 anonymous westside suburbs. Forget Chicagoland, they should call this entire region Naperaurourelginiet. It's all one endless office building/strip mall after another.

    When I got here, I was hungry and tired as fuck and wasn't too choosy about where I ate, so I picked the closest place to the hotel, one of those soulless bar-and-grill type places you see at the corner of four-lane roads in your friendly neighborhood sprawled out suburb. Had an Irish name, of course, because nothing says authentic Dublin like your joe-average interstate cloverleaf.

    It used to bother me to go to places by myself, but now, I kind of enjoy the fly on the wall aspect. I sat right in the middle of the room and it was like I was in a time-lapse camera shot. I sat still, the rest of the joint moved around yours truly, who is 10 years older than most people in the bar, like a statue. That's cool, I just wanted a brew and something to eat.

    What I didn't bargain for was that it was karaoke night. What happened to karaoke? Let me reset that. I always thought karaoke was uber-dumb, but then, so did most of my friends and people my age. It existed for something to channel your drunkeness towards, nothing more, nothing less. There was nothing wrong in the world that couldn't be fixed by a nine-Bud Light version of Peaceful Easy Feeling.

    But I actually saw people trying to take karaoke seriously. Really? What the fuck for?

    We're talking rank amateurs here. It was so sad.

    Where do I start? How fucking pathetic do you have to be to do the drunken version of Souljah Boy at 10 p.m.? But then, try to do it correctly? Who DOES that? If it were 1:30 a.m., last call was beckoning, and THEN you decided to bust out the ironic rendition of Souljah Boy. Still cliched, irony itself has run its course thanks to folks my age, but more acceptable. But the 10 p.m. Souljah Boy? It's like taking a date to Star Wars and making a tit lunge during the Fox fanfare. Awkward.

    But that was just the warm-up. Cue suburban posers! The worst kind of poser, as we all know. Three frat-boy fucks decided You've Lost That Loving Feelin' would be an apropos follow-up.

    Though I watched with my own eyes, I don't think I can accurately convey the fail. First of all, I once saw a dude sing You've Lost That Loving Feelin' to some slut at Ball State and she instantly fucked him in the basement of the house we were at. Damnest bit of hook-up I've ever seen anyone pull off.

    The song is powerful, I know that, but it is not powerful on its own. Alcohol, lots of it, and some modicum of charm, and timing do play a role.

    That's where the Aurora Three showed their asses. Alcohol? It was 10:15, everyone was on their first Leininkugel Wheat Jizz or whatever is seasonal right now. Charm? Not. Unless three dudes decked out in Hollister gear a decade past their prime count as charm. Timing? When it comes to primo hook-up time, they were more premature than BYH tossing it to the Sister Christian video on YouTube on his lunch break.

    And on it went, each act sadder than the next. Women REALLY take this shit seriously. Earth to trying-to-be-badass white chick from Naperville, no one is going to think you're less street if you fuck up a note to Killing Me Softly by The Fugees.

    I guess I was expecting too much. In these worsening economic times, I am looking for evidence we collectively have a soul. I long for us to collectively embrace a reality that has nothing to do with force-fed corporate anything, including entertainment.

    Karaoke isn't corporate in itself, but it feels like it. The safe, approved thing to do on a Friday night while we march like lemmings to our five-day-a-week jobs to pay off debt until we die. There's something Stepford about it, right down to aping lyrics like we're robots, banal robots, who like to lip-sync Piano Man.

    Oh well. I guess it was a tad unrealistic to expect 1930s Berlin-style decadence in 2008 Lisle, Ill.

    At least I hope I didn't see our version of decadence, because if I did, we really suck at it. If some dude turning his White Sox cap around to bust a bad version of Hank Williams Jr.'s Family Tradition counts as decadence, I'm getting the fuck out of this Naperaurourelginiet Cabaret Of Fail, stat.
  2. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Active Member

    Karaoke fails. Period.

    I will not argue this.
    (I can't dance, I can't sing ... you know the rest ... )
  3. KYSportsWriter

    KYSportsWriter Well-Known Member

    Awesome as always.
  4. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    I dance a jig of happiness every time Bubbs posts one of these pop culture critiques.
  5. Beaker

    Beaker Active Member

    Bubbler, that was great. Sounds like most of my karaoke experiences. There are always those who take themselves too seriously.
  6. Beaker

    Beaker Active Member

    Indeed--when I saw the thread, I had to open it right away.
  7. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Forever Town has no idea why he just put Bubbler on blast.
  8. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    I was going to go to bed at 3:35 a.m., but I'm glad I didn't. You've got a way, good sir. And you should have slipped something in their drinks. You know, show them what it's like for once.
  9. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I've always felt there is a bell curve to karaoke. You want to be in the "safe" zone which is pleasantly forgettable, you have some fun, you know how to read the lyrics off the prompter and you know the freakin' song. And there's only one thing worse than total trainwrecks who are finally feeling the three martinis they've guzzled between the time they submit the song and their name being called and they slurr their way through a song.
    And that's "Joe Pro-Singer" who feels he or she is destined to hit it big and they're just biding their time before a reality show comes calling, they scat and add "yeah baby's" even when it's not in the lyrics and generally make you feel like a jerk for wanting to go out an have some fun.
  10. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    I've done karaoke twice in my life. My newspaper staff in college dragged me up to sing Sweet Home Alabama with them during my junior year, and my best friend and I sang a couple 311 tunes at a graduation party the next year. I had a flicker of fun singing to 311, but nothing else.
  11. doubledown68

    doubledown68 Active Member

    Karaoke is simple -- know your wheelhouse, and never, ever, ever fucking stray from it.
  12. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    Next time, have a pizza delivered to the room and watch cable.
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