Friday, November 16, 2007

The Night The Mint Imploded

For those of you keeping score at home, I'll tell you that my karaoke habit continues to grow. It's a cheap (in more ways than one) and easy way for me to feed my singing urge. The thing about karaoke, however, is that it's only fun if you check your judgement at the door. Whether you can sing or not, the point to is work up the nerve to get up and belt out a tune. Karaoke is the great equalizer: one of the only forums where all things.. or singers... are truly equal. Good or bad.

That said, the Mint Karaoke Lounge, as I have mentioned before on this space, is known for attracting incredibly good singers. It actually can be quite intimidating as great voice after great voice takes to the microphone. And a lot of the same ringers frequent the Mint on a regular basis. In fact, a guy working at the sushi restaurant next door put it bluntly, telling my friend Sheela one evening: "The same people come here and sing the same songs night after night."

Huh. Night after night, except last Wednesday. Wherever all those ringers were that night, I'm certain their ears were bleeding.

My friend Katie and I decided to swing by the Mint to sing a song or ten on Wednesday night, and frankly, we were horrified by what we saw. Or heard, I should say. Yes, I know I'm breaking the cardinal karaoke rule by being judgmental, but oh, dear Lord. Screech after screech, horribly off-key song after horribly off-key song, squeal after squeal... the scene at the Mint on Wednesday was like nothing I'd ever seen there. Not to mention that most of the "singers" chose to punctuate their performances with really bad undulating that I guess was supposed to pass for dance moves. I'm all for "selling it" when you do karaoke, but really, now. It was bad news. Plus, to add insult to injury, it was really crowded, meaning lots and lots of... interesting, let's say... performances.

Now, in all fairness, some of the brave people who got up to sing were really fun, regardless of talent level. For example, the guy who sang the Jackson 5's "I'll Be There" was quite awesome in his cheesiness. But the woman who sang some song that referenced Taco Bell in its lyrics was not.

Katie, who has perfect pitch, was easily the best singer of the night. At least while we were there. I took second place. Katie sang a Lisa Stansfield song, while I picked Petula Clark's "Downtown" from my ever-expanding karaoke repertoire. I was also going to sing "Somewhere Only We Know" by Keane, but it was so crowded, it took too long for my second song to come up. So I left. As I was making my exit, I noticed a couple of the regular ringers had trickled in. I can only imagine what they thought of the spectacle.

After recovering from this week's karaoke adventure, I met Kate (not to be confused with Katie, who is a totally different friend) on Thursday night at Solstice for snacks and conversation. After swapping stories, mostly about boys, over brussels sprouts, mac and cheese and french fries, we decided that in a lot of ways, our lives are just like they were two and half years ago when we first became friends.

Welcome to 2005, I suppose.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

As you are the only official karaoke expert I know, I need your advice. I have recently decided we need a home karaoke system and don't know what to get! I have long been a fan of the private karaoke room, because, frankly, it is only fun when you and your friends are singing. Other people's silly antics and off-key singing aren't NEARLY as charming and endearing as those of people you know! And while, in NYC, we had the PERFECT place to go (ask me for next time you are there), I can't find it in Madrid. So my living room it is! Any ideas, diva??? besos, wendy