Not sure if you've noticed yet, but this fair city of ours is awash with karaoke. All the way from the traditional joints in Japantown to the dive bars of the Mission (Sunday afternoons in The 500 Club are particularly noteworthy), people are volunteering to sing for their fellow patrons like nothing embarrassing could potentially occur. So here's a tribute to the awesome power of karaoke -- an art form that has the power to transform otherwise hideous songs into stuff we actually get excited about. Here then, are the top ten awful songs that get are awesome for karaoke.
10. "Black Water," The Doobie Brothers
This song is so oddly self-satisfied and bland and irritating in real life. Yet, when performed at karaoke, it's an unabashed crowd-pleaser that almost always culminates in a gigantic, feel good, room-wide singalong. If you tried to put this song on at a party, we would punch you in the eye. But if you choose to do it at karaoke, we will blindly cheer you on. Go figure.
9. "We Didn't Start The Fire," Billy Joel
You might have to stifle the urge to shout "Dude! Why are you subjecting us to this?" when someone first gets up to do this -- 'til you realize the ridiculous undertaking that the person has just volunteered for. It's tempting to assume, that because it's slower, "...Fire" is easier to sing than, say, REM's "It's The End Of The World As We Know It." But it totally isn't, because this requires delicate and exact pacing or the entire song falls apart like a cake in a bath. And the looming potential of that is awesome.
8. "The Power," Snap
If you've ever seen an entire room of people knocking over tables and chairs so they can all do The Running Man at the same time, you'll understand how incredibly valuable this song is to our culture. It should be noted also that the track's performance during karaoke benefits massively if one person attempts to perform both the male and female parts, like a funky, misguided Norman Bates.
7. "I Keep Forgettin," Michael McDonald
Michael McDonald's voice is hilarious. People impersonating Michael McDonald's voice are even more hilarious. Therefore, Michael McDonald is karaoke gold. (Bonus points go to audience members who shout out "G-Funk!" during the intro to this, in reference to Warren G's "Regulate", which sampled it.)
6. "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm," Crash Test Dummies
It is impossible to perform this song without looking and sounding like a gigantic preposterous tool. Which is really, really fun for everyone watching.