I’m thirty and until very recently karaoke was on my bucket list of things I must do before die, along with bungee jumping, flying an airplane, and reading IQ84. Despite having sung my own songs in a band for years, karaoke remained something I was terrified to do. I loved watching it, I loved going with friends to do it, but you could not pay me a million dollars to earnestly get up there and sing a song over a track.
So, cut to, Joshua Tree Saloon about two months ago, and three whiskeys deep. My sister and I get on stage and sing Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow’s duet Picture. (You know… I put your picture away, sat down and cried today…) And it was bad, it was so bad that the DJ grabbed his microphone and came on stage to help us out. But, despite it being everything I was afraid of, it was almost some of the most fun I’ve ever had. I was in stitches before, during, and after. And there are few things more priceless than the look on my sisters face while I was trying to hit those high notes.
Karaoke is among other things, a lesson in humility and the importance of not taking ourselves so seriously all of the time. It teaches us how to set aside the ego, which I feel safe saying we all need to do a little more of. So here is your assignment, if you choose to accept it: find your nearest bar that holds weekly karaoke, gather a few of your vinas, and get up there.
If you’re feeling really squeamish then bring your vina with you your first time, it does help having some other vocals to fall back on. And if it makes you feel better pick a song you know really well, or pick one beforehand and practice in the car. (Just know that there are no vocal tracks and you’ve got to find that melody on your own once you’re up there). If you’re feeling really brave, you and your Vina’s play karaoke roulette: choose songs for one another and submit them, you won’t know what you’re singing until it’s happening.
Another really fun way to go about this, is to get a karaoke machine and host a party at your house! That means no waiting in line, no backing out, and no pants if you don’t want to wear them.
So, just to get you started I’ve made a list of the best songs to belt out with your Vinas:
PICTURE: KID ROCK AND SHERYL CROW
BUILD ME UP BUTTERCUP: THE FOUNDATIONS
GIRL CRUSH: LITTLE BIG TOWN
SWEET CAROLINE: NEIL DIAMOND
SON OF A PREACHER MAN: DUSTY SPRINGFIELD
ENDLESS LOVE: DIANA ROSS AND LIONEL RICHIE
I GOT YOU BABE: SONNY AND CHER
BARBIE GIRL: AQUA
What’s your favorite Karaoke tune? Tag a vina and comment below!
(Featured Image via Urban Outfitters)