Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Gangs of San Miguel: The Karaoke Gang

Warning! A shadowy gang of silk-purse-and-sow's-ear ruffians known as the Karaoke Kantantes roams the bars and restaurants of San Miguel de Allende, looking for microphones and terrorizing innocent victims with steady streams of pretend-Billy Joel and Luis Miguel. Take cover immediately! Or...JOIN US! (As reported by the recently abandoned blog Gangs of San Miguel de Allende.)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Karaoke Joke of the Day #1

 It's a bit late for Thanksgiving this year, but I just found this parody on YouTube and had to share it with you. It's a turkey singing "I Will Survive"...in her own words. Click on the photo to see the video!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bored with karaoke? Here's what to do.

I love karaoke, especially hosting karaoke parties, but I have to admit it can get boring when that's all you do.

Karaoke is more than a fad—it's a popular pastime all over the world—and it should never be a yawner. Almost everyone has tried karaoke, and I would guess at least 50% of the people who try it end up as regulars. There are even magazines like Karaoke Scene dedicated to the "sport."

Yet karaoke isn't the novelty it used to be. In San Miguel, it is possible to go out and sing every night of the week. Plus all-in-one machines, iPods and computer-based karaoke software programs are making home parties more common.

Here's what to do if you fall into a karaoke rut:

Learn new songs. This blog is linked to just a few of the many karaoke channels on YouTube, and you are sure to find songs you like. The only trick is finding them on the list at the karaoke bars. But if you buy your own karaoke CD (ranging in price from 60 pesos here in San Miguel to $15 or more per CD in the U.S.), you can take it to La Vecindad on the Salida a Celaya, as they're on a manual system that uses CDs, like I do, instead of a computer-based system.

Change your venue. If you always go to Mama Mia or Muro, and you always see the same people there, try one of the other karaoke venues listed on this blog, to the left. More and more bars and restaurants are hiring karaoke DJs or installing jukeboxes with karaoke selections in both Spanish and English. Go alone to a new place if you have to. Chances are, you'll walk out with new friends!

Costumed karaoke fans at Muro.
Dress differently. Yes, the way you dress really can make a difference in whether you feel bored or peppy. That's why Muro, La Galeria, and La Vecindad all have wigs, hats, and other fun props to coax out your inner performing artist! Start at home by dressing in sparkles if you usually wear jeans, or pulling on a pair of cargo pants instead of a skirt and high heels. You might find yourself attracted to a whole new song list.

Take a break. Sometimes you need to take a vacation to realize how much you appreciate home. If karaoke has become too routine, see a movie or go dancing instead. After a week or two, you'll hear a song on the radio and say, "It's time! I miss the stage!"

Host a karaoke party. Sometimes karaoke gets boring because you're with the same group of people, looking through the same song list night after night. If you've never done karaoke at home, find an occasion to do so, and invite either an intimate group of karaoke fans, or a larger group including people who may not have tried karaoke before. If you have microphones that plug into your TV or DVD player, you can connect a laptop to the TV and find karaoke songs online upon request. If you want to invest, you can buy a Magic Mic or similar system with popular music included for $300-$400 USD new or under $200 USD used. Or you can hire an emcee who brings all of the equipment, the music, the songbooks and the mics (like me!) to make it easier.

Karaoke is one of the most fun ways to spend an evening if you like to sing or even if you just want to hang out with friends who are having a good time. If it starts to feel boring, don't quit—just change it up!