It’s last call for karaoke requests at classic dive Tom’s Bar on 39th & Division. The night was filled with beautiful moments. A large, older women was belting Etta James’ “At Last” while seductively dancing for drunk patrons. The night was also filled with a many karaoke moments that made us want to kill ourselves. Thus, Rip City Review was inspired to make a list of karaoke commandments. We’ve displeased the karaoke God, now it’s time to repent.
1) Thou shalt not sing rap songs, ever. Nothing against the genre, and we’re sure a few talented individuals could actually pull it off. But we challenge you to try and imagine it this way: What if Tupac were in the audience? What if he were standing there, with his crew, watching you sing “Changes,” making a total ass of yourself? You’d be pretty embarrassed. I mean, have you ever heard anyone try to sing Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”? Losing track of the words? No rhythm? Slurring uncontrollably? God. Awful.
2) Thou shalt observe a three drink minimum, seven drink maximum. Maintain that delicate balance between hilarious drunk and “are you okay, dude?” drunk. We wouldn’t want any nip slips, you’re not a celebrity yet. Yet.
3) Thou shalt sing loud, sing proud. Sing with confidence, even if think you look like an asshole. Because guess what? You probably do. But you’ll probably look like even more of an asshole if you’re singing with your tail between your legs.
4) Thou shalt make sure you go to the bar with friends. Singing by yourself in front of a room full of people you don’t know is brave, but also kind of sad.
5) Thou shalt clap, goddammit. Support your fellow karaoke-ers. You’ll be up there soon, facial blemishes and insecurities magnified under the cheap fluorescent lighting. So don’t judge, just clap like you just saw Tony Iommi shred for six straight hours.
6) Thou shalt not not sing. Don’t continuously go to a karaoke bar and never sing. That’s weird and creepy. It’s like going into the locker room shower and not showering. Why would you do that? What are your intentions? Grow a vagina, stand up there and belt it.
7) Thou shalt not be really good at karaoke. You’re not Whitney Houston. There aren’t any music bigwigs in the audience (except for Rip City Review, of course). These are the type of people that practice their falsetto naked in their bathroom mirror. Why? To impress the saddest crowd imaginable. Karaoke should be fun- not an American Idol audition.
8) Thou shalt leave the laughter til’ after. Don’t laugh continuously during your performance. No matter how funny your rendition of “Rocketman” is, try and hold it in. What if a stand-up comedian laughed so often you couldn’t hear the jokes? That would suck. Even more than actually seeing stand-up comedy. So letting out a giggle or two may be natural and unstoppable, but don’t be a dick.
9) Thou shalt choose a short song. As fun as verse one through five would be of “American Pie,” by the time you get to verse ten you’ll feel like a total dingus.
10) Thou shalt dance. Air guitar is permissible too, if you really want to “amp” up your act.