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My Karaoke "experience"...

Iron Chef

Rest in Peace
26 Feb 2003
First of all, if this should have been posted in a different forum, my apologies. I'm still somewhat new and learning to navigate the boards :)

One of of my absolute fav experiences while in Japan was hanging out at the local karaoke joints. I got turned onto this relatively late as my first year there I was occupied with work and acclimating to my new environment. For myself, (and I would guess a great many other Americans) when we hear the word "karaoke", two images come to mind. The first is of our inebriated Uncle Pauly wailing away to Frank Sinatra holding a microphone in one hand and an umbrella drink in the other standing before a tiny monitor as the lyrics bounce by. The other image that springs to mind is that of the pseudo-professional karaoke singer. You know the ones, dressed sharply and hanging out night after night in the larger establishments. These people make the rest of us like poor old Uncle Pauly on his worst night and they pride themselves on their ability to carry a tune, often winning many of the local karaoke contests.

To be perfectly honest, I had never even attempted karaoke until I was in Japan. It wasn't until one evening, a group of my adult language students invited me to the local Cat's Eye for a bit of karaoke after class. Not wanting to be left out of the mix I hesitantly agreed, unsure of what unforeseen doom awaited me... Much to my surprise, I was completely floored at how absolutely enjoyable it was!!! Karaoke "boxes" in Japan soon become an obsession for me heh. Despite my utter lack of talent and wavering voice, I nevertheless finally found my niche' and this soon became a regular pasttime of mine, often going twice a week. Funny enough, one would think that I would have gotten at least marginally better after performing the same old songs repeatedly ad nauseum, but hey-we won't go there 👏

My point is, that when I try and explain to my friends and family back here in the states all of them give me that same skeptical look of "Yeah right, sure sounds like Uncle Pauly to me..." In my opinion, there's nothing more entertaining than paying several hundred yen per hour (sometimes per person), and lounging with friends in your own comfortable box complete with menus for ordering ice cream drinks and chicken wings among other things and wailing away to barry Manilow's "Copacabana" until your throat goes sore!!!

Unfortunately, that same experience I have yet to find here in the States, although I do hear that they have some nice establishments out on the West coast. At any rate, any other members have a passion for karaoke? I suppose if all the karaoke bars here weren't of the "get up in front of everyone so they can heckle you" type, I probably would go more often heheh. Just wanted to share with you all 😄
Lol, absolutely. I think I've already peeled off all the paint on the walls in my bathroom when i'm singing in the shower...
Lol I do understand what you're saying most of the places that I've been to that offer karaoke are either cheesy or sleazy, and I'm often not comfortable or drunk enough, for that matter, to want to get up and sing in front a room full of strangers. though I do enjoy screeching along to a favorite tune in the car with a bunch of friends, sometimes without the aid of a song since a couple people I know have cars that are that are, how should I say, radiodicitly challenged. >.< road trips seem to be the best for this kind of entertainment.
I can only subscribe to your words, I love J-karaoke too. Hm, cheesy & sleazy, well, that also applied a bit to the outlets I have visited in Japan. Once you got used to it you'll love the charming sticky plastic furniture and the smell of beer, old teriyaki and cigarettes.

@ singing in the shower: something I indulge in too, mainly due to the great acoustics.

I've always wanted to try, but never had the guts to go. All of my friends say that I have a great voice, but... you never know if their just trying to be nice. Here karaoke isn't viewed as cool - it's more of a [I can't believe you are actually thinking of doing to karaoke!], kind of thing. When I visit Japan, that is one of the first things I'm going to do. I sing all the time. I learn the words to songs very fast and there isn't a song that plays that I don't hum or sing to. It's just a habit... I figure that if people want to have fun, then go for it! ;)
Karaoke is indeed a lot of fun. I've done it in Thailand and luckily they had those private booths there. I don't see myself going on stage with and audience just yet.

Some friends of mine were actually kicked out of a Japanese karaoke bar in Nagasaki. They had way too much to drink and when one of them attempted to sing <i>Dream on</i> from Aerosmith, it was the final straw for the personel of the bar.
Lol. Yeah, I think having a private box to lounge in is definately part of the appeal for me. The fact that they are soundproofed and afforded some measure of privacy allows you to really cut loose when you're hangin' with friends. Of course, if I could actually *sing*, I suppose the idea of doing it in a bar openly in front of other patrons might not be so bad, heh.

And Point, if you're friends tell you have a great voice, chances are you probably do :D I highly reccomend checking out some of the nicer Karaoke joints the next time your in Japan. You'll have a blast i'm sure.
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