First, dear readers, an apology for my extended absence. I promise to mend my wicked ways and catch up –

But a quick post just to brush the cobwebs off.

On Thursday, as a send-off for our much-beloved Josh, a number of DePaulian library folk gathered at Carol’s Pub (that discriminating establishment) and warbled the night away. Many enjoyable performances – including, if I don’t pat myself on the back too much, a couple from me, one of which was a duet with Josh himself… if I haven’t bored Missy away perhaps she will send me the photo and I will gladly post it here. there were some characters there, worthy of more explication another time, but to end this one off …

Courtney’s Cardinal Rules of Karaoke

  1. Choose a voice that’s like your own. I realize this sounds obvious, but I think it isn’t. And, after all those voices like yours are sometimes what you might expect and other times not. I do enjoy Neko Case, for example – but would never try to sing like her. However I can sing Elton John pretty easily. These are not great examples, but my point is, find someone whose range and style you can manage.
  2. Avoid the obscure or unexpected (or difficult) unless you are a pro and can really nail it, or unless you have boundless reserves of self-esteem. I find the karaoke floor to be a bad place for experimentation, unless you’re drunk, which leads us to…
  3. It’s actually best if you aren’t wasted. By all means, have a drink or two to loosen up. But don’t turn into that drunk fool who shouts into the microphone. Also, we needn’t even mention how this works out the following morning.
  4. When possible, choose a song you are familiar with or know well. This reduces stress if you are actually trying to sing it. Also, you won’t end up in front of a room of people and realize that actually, it’s the harmony in the refrain you like to sing and OH CRAP you don’t even know the melody line. Trust me, I don’t recommend that. However, if this isn’t practicable, you can also opt for the final rule …
  5. Choose a song *everyone* knows – because then it doesn’t matter what you sound like or if you know the words, they do, and the whole place will sing with you. This is the ace in your pocket. When all else fails, do “Sweet Caroline” or “Ghostbusters” or something. Right after “Almost Famous” came out, I and a couple of friends applied this rule to great effect when doing the song “Tiny Dancer.” Everybody hollers along, and you get huge applause.

Watch this space! More coming.