January 23rd, 2012


Karaoke party funtimes!

Saturday night was my belated natal day celebration, wherein several* of us gathered at The Mint in San Francisco to get our karaoke on. Now, if you're going to get your karaoke on, The Mint is the place to do it. They have an incredibly large, diverse catalog of songs, and their resident KJ**, Frank, is a snarky miracle. Plus they have pear cider on tap. It's a perfect storm of karaoke awesome.

Because it was my birthday, Vixy actually flew out from Seattle on Friday night, and we were able to spend a good chunk of Saturday ambling around San Francisco. I showed her Toby's new neighborhood, and we ate lunch at the Phoenix. All was well. Our reservation was for six; we reached The Mint about ten minutes early, and secured our tables. Several people were already there, karaoke-ing away. Some of them were even sober.

The rest of our party trickled in by dibs and dabs; you never knew who was going to show up next. Naamen, for example, spent an hour at the wrong bar before he checked his email and realized he was in the wrong place. Oops.

Successful karaoke requires an odd mix of "taking it totally seriously" and "not taking it seriously at all." You either need to choose songs that sound good in your range, or songs that are utterly ridiculous, like our lengthy run of Disney standards (Kate's "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" was awesome). You need to have a sense of humor, but not clown it up so much that it hurts to watch you. Because we are a group of lunatics, we're very, very good at successful karaoke. Not all of us can sing, but we can all laugh at ourselves while still being PROFOUNDLY SERIOUS about the source of our laughter.

We sang rock. We sang country. We sang "Bohemian Rhapsody" en masse. Morgan claimed not to know Melissa Etheridge, so Kate did "Come to My Window"; Morgan allowed that she knew Melissa Etheridge after all. Morgan sang "The Final Countdown," and we were all kazoos. Vixy sang "Barracuda," and I watched all the drunk sorority girls hate her forever (it was adorable). Victor and Lara did "Istanbul," which was hysterical and amazing. Sunil sang "Dragula," JUST FOR ME. In short, we had a seven-hour karaoke party of karaoke party awesomeocity.

At one point, having already exhausted the songs that other people wanted me to sing ("When You're Good to Mama" for Kate, "Raise Your Glass" for Vixy), I decided to do "Independence Day," by Martina MacBride. Only I don't really know her version. I know Talis's version, which has less spousal abuse, and a lot more alien invasions. So I figured what the heck, if the scansion worked, I'd run with it.

The scansion worked. I ran with it. Turns out I know the whole thing! The drunk people looked confused, since they could tell I wasn't singing what was on the screen. The sober people cracked up. One nice man even came up to me after to tell me that I was his favorite performance of the night.

Kate and Morgan saw us out with a duet of "Don't Stop Believing" that got literally the entire bar singing, and then we all limped, exhausted, home.

And that was my karaoke party. We're going to do it again soon. Frank promised me he'd get the new Taylor Swift***, and I need to get my karaoke on.

(*The Mint is not a massive establishment, so "several" was defined by how much space we could successfully reserve. Another party had already reserved most of the seating area for their loud drunk bridal shower. In the balance of things, I wish we'd reserved first, but we live with what we get.)

(**Karaoke DJ. Basically, he's the guy who decides whether you get the song you asked for, or the obscure Swedish cover that's been pitch-shifted up an octave and shifted to a faster tempo. Be nice to your KJ. Tip your KJ.)

(***"I think her ever-present frown is a little troubling. She thinks I'm psycho 'cause I like to rhyme her name with things.")