|I love those karaoke nights.|
I'm no singer. In any normal situation, the very thought of grabbing a microphone and belting out a tune in front of other people would fill my wee heart with horror. But there is something about the sanctity of the karaoke box that makes public humiliation natural, possibly even beautiful. You may be slightly nervous, as your turn approaches - you may even begin to have doubts about your song choice (I'm afraid these doubts are justified if you picked Celine Dion). But all fears are forgotten the minute the song begins, and your intoxicated friends begin to cheer you on, as if they are at a spectacular music festival extravaganza, instead of a slightly scummy, smoky little room. You realise this is the moment you have been waiting for all your life. And it is happening, here, right now. Only in Japan.
You learn things about people that you never knew before. One of your friends turns out to be a seriously brilliant singer. A female friend has a penchant for gangsta rap, a male friend enjoys Miley Cyrus. Then there's the one who can barely speak Japanese in everyday life, but becomes unexpectedly fluent when it comes to reading Japanese song lyrics. I personally have been told that I am very good at shaking my tambourine in time to the beat. Karaoke. It just brings people together.
|The great bearer of tambourine|
Difficulty ratings:Chopsticks = may be attempted by any gaijin
Origami = recommended for those with a certain level of skill
Wasabi = proceed with caution
Kamikaze = setting yourself up for failure
1. Don't Stop Believing - JourneyAh, classic Journey, made all the more famous by the filth that is Glee. Sumo-sized, crowd-pleasing chorus. Difficulty rating: Wasabi. Mainly because of the 'NIGGGGGGHT' note.
2. Don't Stop Me Now - Queen
3. Bohemian Rhapsody - QueenFreddie Mercury wrote his songs with karaoke in mind, I'm sure of it. The changes in pitch and tempo keep things ever interesting, and by the guitar solo I guarantee you will have abandoned your microphone. Intense. Difficulty rating: Origami.
4. Wonderwall - OasisThis British anthem is brilliant for karaoke because you don't even have to sing, just sound like you're really bored. The hard part is explaining to a curious Japanese person what 'wonderwall' actually means. Difficulty rating: Chopsticks.
5. I Love Rock 'n Roll - Britney SpearsWho has seen Crossroads? I love that movie. Bitch shows us how karaoke is done. Difficulty rating: Chopsticks.
6. Super Bass - Nicki MinajI like to think of this one as my specialty karaoke song. Impress your Japanese friends with your rapping skills! Difficulty rating: Wasabi. The chorus is surprisingly high. And the 'boom ba doom boom' bit becomes harder to articulate with each Chu-hi consumed.
7. Peach - Ai Otsuka
8. Bad Romance - Lady Gaga
9. Tiny Dancer - Elton JohnSometimes it's nice to put the tambourine down for a bit and just have a good old fashioned croon. Extra points if you replace the lyric 'tiny dancer in my hand' with 'tiny dancer in Japan'. LOL. Difficulty rating: Chopsticks.
10. Sekai ni Hitotsu Dake no Hana - SMAPThis is one of the most popular karaoke songs for Japanese people. Has the added bonus of being extremely catchy. Attempt this song, and your transition to karaoke superstar is complete. Difficulty rating: Kamikaze.