If it's Barry Manilow, it's got to be karaoke.
Last weekend, the Fort Greene/Cinton Hill Knit & Crochet Group held our 2nd annual Secret Santa gift exchange and holiday party at Duet 35, an AWESOME karaoke bar just north of Manhattan's 2-block Koreatown. Actually, it's a karaoke box, as they're called in Japan. You reserve a windowless private room for your party, pick up some Korean take-out (I got mine at Woorjip), settle in with a couple of microphones, songbooks (in English, Korean, Mandarin and Korean), possibly a few drinks and there you have it: instaparty. We made our first visit there last year when we had our going away party for Brooke , and it was crazy fun, so we decided we to return.
The winter holidays can be stressful for crafters who make gifts, so we planned our exchange for after the holidays, thereby maximizing creativity and enthusiasm while minimizing burnout. The party was also scheduled very close to our girl Oiyi's birthday, so I made a cake to help her celebrate.
So the party was super fun, but that was no surpise.
We ate and sang for a few hours before we got down to cake
and presents. I've learned a couple of things since I first karaoked. Here they are:
No rap songs, unless you really know how to rap. It's super hard to get the breathing right, and the singer always ends up huffing and puffing. You may love singing along to Kanye on the radio, but it's a bust in the karaoke box.
If you don't know how a song begins, pass on it. You'll start off awkwardly and never recover your sense of joy and excitement.
Ditto if all you know if the chorus. Yes, it's fun to sing "I'm hot, sticky sweet, from my head to my feet," but there's more to Pour Some Sugar on Me than those lines.
No one cares if you have a bad voice (you're not getting paid or anything), so no apologies, please.
Avoid songs that have looonnnnggg instrumental interludes, e.g. Sympathy for the Devil.
Avoid songs that have repetitive endings, because you'll likely peter out. I made this mistake once at a karaoke party when I elected to sing Turn Me Loose, by the Canadian rock band Loverboy. It was bad.
I do much better with duets (thank you Judy, Lissa, Angela and Rima) than on my own. Except for Berlin. I can tear it up with The Metro sans assistance.
Consider bringing a set list with you, because for the past few days, I keep thinking of songs that I wish I'd have sung. Arrgh!
Yarn: Rowan Kid Classic