As a semi-professional vocalist, I used to consider singing karaoke cheating. After all, I’d been paid to perform on stage more than a few times–karaoke is the only opportunity some might ever have. Consequently, I’d never done it at all until a few years ago. Tom Robbins: If you can’t break your own rules, whose can you break? When members of a karaoke camp at Burning Man reeled me in, carnival midway game-style, I couldn’t see any reason to refuse. Since I was technically losing my karaoke cherry, I picked Madonna’s “Like a Virgin”. And mock humped the teleprompter in true Madge fashion.
My sophomore experience was at a radio station president’s BBQ. I couldn’t afford to be shy in a situation like that either.
Upon recently noticing that a Hawaiian getaway (for two!) was up for grabs at a Lannie’s-hosted karaoke competition (not to mention mentoring by Lannie herself!), I immediately began plotting my song choices. I’ve never been to Hawaii, but I loved Forgetting Sarah Marshall to death (and, as we all know, Hollywood’s interpretation of a geographic locale is always dead on). My buddy/longtime collaborator Colin “DJ Satori-C” used to visit his parents there annually (Orange was always green with envy). I’ve also long fantasized about seeing another friend Bassnectar play a bonfire-lit beach party in paradise.
On the third week of preliminaries, I finally summoned the guts and signed up. I chose a Johnny Cash song to be on the safe side, since I’ve channeled his voice more than any other. My friend Teva–not to be confused with the sandal of the same name–came down and kept me company while I awaited my turn at the mic. Although my performance wasn’t flawless (I blame the teleprompter AKA “electronic cheat sheet”), I advanced to round two this Monday, May 24 at Lannie’s. Competitors will apparently be assigned a different genre each Monday from here on out. Pop is this week’s task.
Does hip hop qualify as “Pop”? I’m determined to demonstrate my range. After all, how could Denver’s “Next” Nightclub Star not tackle one of modern music’s single most popular forces?