all posts tagged 'karaoke'

WeblogPoMo 2024 - Song 10: Michael Jackson - Man In The Mirror

🔗 a linked post to » — originally shared here on

I’m working through a blog post right now that discusses the properties of the perfect karaoke song.

Man in the Mirror is my go-to choice for karaoke night. I love singing Michael Jackson, but MJ is a risky karaoke choice. I’ve tried nearly all of his songs, and most of them are extremely conditional bangers.

A song like Earth Song can bring the house down if you are able to throw your entire voice into it, but it can also fall completely flat if you don’t have a crowd that’ll interact with a ballad1.

A song like Will You Be There suffers from a recognizibility problem. Part of a good karaoke song is getting the crowd to sing along. People might recognize a song like Will You Be There if they grew up watching Free Willy, but almost nobody knows the lyrics or melody well enough to join in.

A song like Billie Jean has the recognizability, but it contains a lot of repetition towards the end. Repetition is a surefire characteristic of a bad karaoke song. Nobody wants to hear someone sing the same thing over and over again for two straight minutes. It’s a crowd killer.

Man In The Mirror, though?

Here’s a song that starts out with a lot of classic MJ “chee hee” action, then gives you a chance to warm up with something in a good range, then continues to build with more of those MJ vocal fillers, a killer key change, and ample opportunity for crowd participation.

It took years of weekly karaoke sessions to figure out what songs fit me best. Man in the Mirror offers plenty of fun Michael Jackson vocal action, the song is catchy and instantly recognizable, it’s in a pretty high range so it takes a little skill and practice to make it sound good, and most importantly, it makes me happy every time I sing it.

  1. These crowds are some of the rarest, and are usually packed with karaoke regulars who are engaged and encouraging of others. If you’re in one of these crowds, you’re well on your way to experiencing the perfect karaoke night. 

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WeblogPoMo 2024 - Song 4: The Proclaimers - I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)

🔗 a linked post to » — originally shared here on

I just met this girl a couple hours ago, and she’s clearly the coolest girl I’ve ever met.

One of the very first things she asked me after we met was if I wanted to see a magic trick.

She presents a deck of cards and asks me to pick a card.

Yes, she ultimately revealed my card.

Yes, it blew me away.

We start talking about Four Loko, which had recently been banned across the country. After doing a favor for a friend who paid me with a cardboard box filled with various malt liquors, I mentioned to her that I have some of the real stuff in my trunk.

I did have to warn her, though, that it was expired and had been sitting in the trunk for at least a couple days.

She didn’t care. We each grabbed one and slammed them.

After a couple more drinks, we decide to walk to Blarney’s, a bar that’s not too far from the Dinkytown home of our mutual friend whose sidewalk is now covered in shotgunned Four Loko runoff.

This was a random Thursday night in December. We both had stuff to do early the next morning. I had to film something for my internship. She needed to drive back to Wisconsin for a job interview.

But Blarney’s had exceptionally cheap Long Island Iced Teas.

And there was karaoke.

I don’t recall what she sang that night. I was too infatuated by her “who would win in an animal fight” discussion, of which you could tell she clearly had deeply considered these outcomes already.

I do remember trying to decide what I was going to sing. I was clearly confident, fueled by a potent combination of Four Loko, Long Islands, and love.

But I needed something I knew I could nail in front of a crowd.

So I chose I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles).

For this girl, for this moment, it just felt right.

I did end up making it to my shoot the next morning. I couldn’t get the eye liner off my face that the girl talked me into applying later that evening, so you can clearly see it in the B-roll footage that I acted in.

She slept through that job interview. She seemed to not mind it too much, though, since she ended up marrying me.

This reminds me, I really aught to sing it to her again sometime soon.

It’s just hard to find date night opportunities with your wife when you’ve got two rambunctious kids running around.

That, and the karaoke scene here south of the river is sus. Find me a place nearby where I can do Rap God without censorship, you cowards.

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