Line Out Music & the City at Night

Karaoke

Friday, January 3, 2014

Underage: Painful Karaoke, Moz and More 2013 Regrets

Posted by on Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Well, 2013, you may have recently left us, but you still have so many musical regrets to answer for. Let's start with the freshest wounds first.

I regret a rough night of karaoke at Bush Garden on November 1, where I was not emotionally prepared to sing the Rock 'n' Roll Animal version of "Sweet Jane" five days after Lou Reed's death. (But to the waitress who hugged me afterward, thank you.)

I regret changing my Amazon account's mailing address to a random street in England in order to download Morrissey's Autobiography to my Kindle before its American release. I still love Moz, and his book was totally bonkers (in a good way), but I wouldn't mind if amazon.co.uk stopped sending me increasingly stern e-mails demanding further proof of my English residency. (Jeff Bezos, if you're reading this, do think you can help me out? The Kindle was a graduation present, and I'd like to use it again one day!)

I regret eating at a Subway in the month of September and finally hearing "Blurred Lines" all the way through. I had high hopes for avoiding that song forever.

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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Punk Rock Karaoke! Tomorrow!

Posted by on Wed, Jun 26, 2013 at 4:03 PM

The last Punk Rock Karaoke at the Funhouse (RIP—SAD FACE) was so much fun. I got to sing "Boxcar" while others tackled everything from the Misfits to Hole. And Sublime. Maybe this time don't choose Sublime, okay?

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It's just $5, and proceeds go to the Committee Against Political Repression.

1-2-3-4 WHO'S PUNK WHAT'S THE SCORE?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Everyone's a Star: Let's Talk About Guilt

Posted by on Wed, May 15, 2013 at 2:16 PM

Alright, let’s talk about guilt. I don’t know much about guilt in general, but I have a friend who does. Let’s call him Bandrew. Bandrew, like many atheists, grew up Catholic. I’ve never been able to understand the terrible gut twists he goes through over commonplace social misdemeanors, but I’m fascinated by it. His ex-belief in god and the papacy and those giant, weird-smelling smoking balls that kids have to swing around while singing in Latin (which is totally awesome because, duh, Latin rulez amirite)... What the fuck are those things, anyway? And why do they need to keep doing weird old shit because really, is anything getting done with those smoking balls? Anyway, Bandrew is an atheist now. But his legacy is of guilt. Guilt has never made much sense to me. I experimented with it as a youth, and as an older youth in high school, but didn’t find it to my taste. Why should Current Patrick have to experience negative feelings because of something Past Patrick did? Obviously, Current Patrick has a great deal more wherewithal, and in Past Patrick’s place, would not have made the same error. Wherewithal.

Anywelp, the point is that guilt isn’t something I feel easily or am really all that interested in feeling, but there is one weird source of it in my life: karaoke. See what I did? See how I made it about karaoke?

So, yeah, boo hoo, poor karaoke hosts have it so hard, what with their free drinking and their power trips and their trouble hearing in their left ear. I’m not asking you to shed a tear and say a prayer for the Roller Boys or whatever, but on a busy night, I really do feel awful when I can’t get everyone’s song in. It’s why I got the nickname “Senselessly Weeping Patrick.” Please, just know that when your song doesn’t get in, it’s not because we’re trying to fuck you. Over. Fuck you over. If we were trying to fuck you, you’d definitely sing lolol jk except not jk but seriously. Don’t judge us too harshly. If you’re not a total dickfarm, we want to play your song for you. But the bar closes and we have a cat to feed.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

I Need a New Karaoke Song

Posted by on Sun, Apr 28, 2013 at 2:44 PM

What is yours, and why?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Everyone's a Star: Advice for Winners

Posted by on Wed, Feb 13, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Patrick hosts karaoke at the Monkey Pub in the U-District on Friday nights from 10 to close. These are his stories [dun-dun!].

You’re a winner and everybody knows it. When you walk down the street, heads turn, cars accident each other. You’re not concerned about the national debt because you were popular in high school and you’re popular now. It’s not just about the looks, the car, the way the wind seems to blow your name, the trust fund, the long list of sexual partners... It’s about attitude. You got ahead in life because you’re not willing to settle for second best. The sky’s the limit. Get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’. Life is a highway, and you wanna ride it all night long.

That’s why, when it’s time to let off some steam after a hard day of The Business, you sing karaoke. Taking leave of your senses with a six pack of Jaegerbombs and belting a song you heard on Entourage is just the ticket to relieve those frayed nerves. There’s only one problem: the karaoke host. It seems he doesn’t know who you are (a winner). It seems he doesn’t know how fully you’re going to nail “Santeria” if he would just get out of the way and let you. It seems he doesn’t think you’re the next singer. There are ladiezzz present.

How do you get to the front of the karaoke queue?

1. Do Not Tip. If you were going to show weakness, you’d have gone to the…Weakness Emporium? Whatever, you’re not an imaginer, you’re a winner. Karaoke hosts can smell weakness, fear, and campfire on an unwashed hoodie. Tipping a karaoke host will embolden them, allowing them to believe they’ve got you where they want you. Instead, approach them and say something like, “hey, bro, everybody in here wants to hear me do Foo Fighters, alright?” Don’t wait for an answer. Walk away. He’ll get the picture. You’ll be in the next five.

2. Arrive as Late as Possible. Showing up on time indicates a patience that you don’t have. Did you get to be Co-Colonel of Psi Supsilon Bromega by being patient? No. If the bar closes at 1:30, arrive at 1:10. Place your karaoke slip confidently with the host. Raise your voice. Big, angry words!

3. Write Illegibly. Let him do the work.

4. Sit Close to the Front and Talk Loudly with Your Friends/a Girl You Met in the Alley. Obviously.

5. Join Other Singers Against Their Will. If none of the above is registering and the host’s working-class sense of fairness is still preventing you from your due, simply join one of the singers before you on stage. Do not ask. This will assert your dominance over not only the karaoke host, but all of the bar’s patrons. In nature, sheep seek leadership and parties. Be both. The karaoke host will respond.

Above all else, it’s important to not lose sight of who you are. The Best. Using these tips, the next time you look up at that karaoke screen it will say,
Up Next: YOU!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Everyone's a Star: "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" Explained

Posted by on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 1:40 PM

When the clock struck upon the hour, Clara had already decided that, yes, she would visit the studio that night. Her pinched face and lack of skill had long kept her from dancing at a professional level, but when the night fell and loneliness called, she often found herself there, dancing away her poor decisions. She had a key to the place for some reason.

She was surprised to see the hastily markered “Workman on Duty” sign hung outside, but she proceeded with inexplicable confidence. And then she saw him, his long hair cascading down the back of his undoubtedly chiseled neck. His muscles were like really strong-looking muscles, and he was changing a light bulb, so Clara could tell he was definitely handy around the house if you know what I mean.

Hearing her approach, he turned and grinned sheepishly. “This bulb didn’t burn hot enough to last,” he explained. When he spoke, Clara felt her Femininity start to just do whatever, and she knew that she was in love with him. She’d been in love and lost her senses before, spinning through the town. But this time she knew: she had to play it totally cool.

Continue reading »

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What's the Weirdest Thing You've Sung at Karaoke?

Posted by on Tue, Jan 22, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Few people have a stronger aversion to karaoke than I do. Sorry to be a spoilsport, but 98.7 percent of the folks who participate in karaoke have awful-to-mediocre voices and the musical taste to match. Life’s too short to submit to yet another “it’s so bad it’s good” rendition of Billy Joel’s “Big Shot” by Jake in accounting—way too short.

I don’t do karaoke because I know my voice is largely ill-suited for the task—and I don’t want to impose shittiness on others that I myself don’t want to endure. Plus, it’s doubtful most karaoke joints would accommodate the odd song I actually could pull off (Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra’s “Some Velvet Morning” (Lee's verses), the Godz“Womban,” Throbbing Gristle’s “Discipline”).

But maybe I’m out of the loop and perhaps the metro Seattle area actually has karaoke spots whose books burst with strange music. If so, please enlighten us. Whatever the case, I am curious to know what the weirdest song you karaoke lovers have done in public. Please tell me you belted out a killer version of PiL’s “Religion” in Bothell. Or something like that.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Everyone's a Star: Another Man's Karaoke

Posted by on Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 2:20 PM

I went to another man’s karaoke night on Saturday. This is always uncomfortable for me because I can’t stop thinking about everything the karaoke host is doing wrong, and how in my bar, the karaoke host never mentions his own tip jar or smiles or plays songs from the Armageddon soundtrack or acts agreeable in any way as if the whole thing weren’t really beneath him and wouldn’t everyone like to kindly fuck off.

Also, I’d been to this karaoke night before and knew the host was young and handsome so I was pre-emptively irritated. I brought a Mead memo pad so I could keep track of all the host’s aberrations, then write about them later. This also had a not unintended attention-drawing effect, so that when someone asked what I was doing, I would respond that I was a “writer” “working on” a “piece” for a “newspaper,” possibly “The New Yorker.”

Later though, the notes I took ended up being a lot more interesting than the angry, masturbatory bit I wanted to write, so here they are, chronologically, after the jump:

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Everyone's a Star: Karaoke and Sex

Posted by on Mon, Jan 7, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Patrick hosts karaoke at the Monkey Pub in the U-District on Friday nights from 10 to close. These are his stories [dun-dun!].

All the time, people are coming up to me and saying, "Hey, Patrick! Is it possible to get laid using karaoke?" Well, sure it is! People get laid all the time singing karaoke songs! Probably! Nothing says "I am possibly interested in lowering my sexual standards by up to 80 percent tonight!" like listening to people sing songs they didn't write! And drinking!

The trick is to know what song to sing, and so I've prepared, with only the filthiest modicum of thought and experience, the following guide. Here is what you can expect when you sing the listed songs:

"Jack & Diane" by John Cougar Mellencamp
Handjob.

"All Star" by Smashmouth
Clumsy handjob.

"Refrain, Audacious Tar" by Gilbert and Sullivan
Hookjob.

"What's Up?" by 4 Non Blondes
Five drops of dishwasher soap in the washing machine can help get the patchouli out of your sheets. LINE DRY ONLY!

"Me and Mrs. Jones" by Kenny Gamble, Billy Paul, Daryl Hall, possibly Howie Mandel, etc.
Expect a torrid affair whose sexual energy is perpetuated only by meeting in the same cafe at 5:30 on Tuesdays for iced hazelnut lattes and then going back to the motel whose sordidness and dirt only fuels the raging fire of passion that burns with the intensity of a thousand efficient LED lightbulbs until stagnation inevitably sets in and you realize that the best years of your life have been wasted on a woman whose torrid doesn't torrid as hard as it used to/man who is Daryl Hall. Recommended.

"Mother" by Danzig
Cut the cord, bro! LOLOLOLOL

"Don’t You Want Me" by Is this by the Human League? I feel like maybe it is, but I don’t want to check.
Whatever, if you sing this, you’ll end up having Normal Sex with the person you sing it with. This always happens. It’s boring.

"Jane Says" by Jane’s Addiction
This totally works on girls named Jane. So does "Jane" by Starship. And "Sweet Jane," too, though if your Jane was born in the '80s or later, do the Cowboy Junkies one. Normal Sex.

Continue reading »

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Everyone's a Star

Posted by on Tue, Dec 18, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Patrick hosts karaoke at the Monkey Pub in the U-District on Friday nights from 10 to close. These are his stories [dun-dun!].

When I was a young karaoke host, there was this guy with a fake name who came in every Sunday, and he was dumb and I hated him. His fake name was his “karaoke name,” and it wasn’t Sloppy Seconds, but it was just as stupid and alliterative. I hated him for personal reasons, most of which had to do with his appearance, which I did not find acceptable.

That wasn’t the problem, though. Sloppy Seconds was really into Metallica. Think of every person you’ve ever known who was Really Into Metallica, and you’re thinking of Sloppy Seconds. This wasn’t the problem either, because I really have no problem with Metallica. Or Catholicism. Just don’t, you know, talk to me about Metallica or Catholicism. I don’t care. I uncare. No, the reason Sloppy Seconds was a monster is because every Sunday, he would come in and sing “Master of Puppets.”

Master of Puppets” is an eight-minute song about the first time James Hetfield got his girlfriend to do his laundry or whatever, and it’s fine, but you can’t karaoke it. I mean, you shouldn’t even want to. The intro is over a minute and a half, the outro a minute, and somehow, there’s a goddamn twelve-minute guitar solo right in the middle, altering space/time to allow Sloppy Seconds to stare at the retreating crowd, pithily check a watch he wasn’t wearing as if surprised, and say things to me like, “You should have seen them in ’95. They were so metal.” Of course they were, abomination.

The point is, you shouldn’t sing eight-minute songs. Or even five-minute songs. Three other impatient bastards could sing in that time, and also please don’t forget that nobody cares. I quit working Sundays, and “Master of Puppets” has been deleted from our database. Nobody knows where Sloppy Seconds is because fuck that guy anyway.

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