Karaoke as a balm for the spirit

Ah, karaoke. The “empty orchestra”. The “So you think you can sing” of dive bars. The “moment of drunken stupidity” for many people.

The balm that soothes my soul.

I love karaoke. I’ve loved it for years. I have quite a collection of karaoke discs (true, most of them are Broadway related). I’ve done actual performances with a friend with the karaoke tracks backing. (Dude, singing songs from Phantom of the Opera with Ron at a church’s valentine’s event was FUN!)

When our industry Christmas parties had karaoke you could find me up there with several of my coworkers taking over that stage one after another. When they stopped having karaoke I admit that I kinda lost interest in attending. *sheepish grin*

And yet…for all my love of karaoke, up until last year I’d been out specifically to karaoke only once since I moved to Nashville. My experience at Buck Wild wasn’t

didn’t exactly endear me to the place…though that might have been biased by the fact that goth night had been held there previously and I missed the old location terribly.

At the start of this year, Amanda finally convinced me to join her at a dive bar called Springwater for Tuesday night karaoke. I was hesitant as I hadn’t really done any regular karaoke since living in California (I miss the Lafayette Sports Bar & Grill!!) but I went up and sang one that I was relatively sure I could handle. By the end of the song I knew I’d found a happy home for karaoke.

One of the things I adore about Springwater and karaoke nights is that everyone is applauded and cheered no matter how good or bad you are. If I go there and want to drunkenly caterwaul “Whiter Shade of Pale” they’ll still clap even though I know I was absolutely terrible. Other times, like when singing “Jump in Line (Shake Senora)” there might be a crowed gathered around the stage singing and dancing. It’s the place to go when you want to relax, when you want to try out songs that you have never done and that might not even be in your range. It’s the place to go when you want to experience “Twin Peaks” moments. (All that red on the walls around the stage never fails to make me think of that.)

Me at karaoke

Me at karaoke (taken by Ray+Wendy)

You drop some money in the tip bucket for the awesome DJs when you hand them your songs on tiny post it notes. You nab some pizza and a beer while waiting to sing. And you relax for a few hours, laughing and doing interpretive dance to various songs when not already singing along. I look forward to Tuesdays. I don’t even mind that I have to shower as soon as I get home to scrub the stale-smoke scent of Springwater off my skin. It’s all part of the experience.

I have to give that little dive bar, the DJs and the regulars a lot of kudos. They rekindled my love of karaoke in public.

Which may or may not be a good thing. You’ll have to come by one night, listen to me sing and then decide for yourself.

~ by rumielf on December 9, 2010.

2 Responses to “Karaoke as a balm for the spirit”

  1. I may have to check it out at Springwater… Buck Wild isn’t really the best place to do karaoke around town…

    What are you doing Thursdays? Allie and I are usually out at Troubadour’s on Broadway doing karaoke then.

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