Hello hello hello, to all my fans all over the world with a special hello to all my fans in Japan! Didn’t karaoke begin in Japan?
What a beautiful day it’s turned out to be in Pittsburgh. The city is flooded with sunshine; fluffy white clouds drift lazily across the light blue sky and the temperature is in the 50s.
Spank my bare ass and call me a nudist. You know you can’t beat that with a stick!
I just came back from Armand’s in Little Italy. There were only three other customers sitting at the far end of the bar and I stood up front at the window so I could watch all the activity on Liberty Avenue. Runners were constantly running past the window on the sidewalk in front of the bar. When I asked Joe the bartender (his name is actually Joe) what was going on he said the Pittsburgh Great Race was next month. The runners were probably practicing for the race.
Of course of course of course.
Some of the runners were women and yes some of the women were wearing butt-hugging yoga pants. Is this a great country or what? I sipped my 16oz can of beer and munched on a bag of salted peanuts and enjoyed the view. Then I got a six-pack of beer to go.
But I digress.
I once counted the number of chairs and booths in the dinning room of Nico’s (Pittsburgh’s #1 karaoke bar for the past 10 years or so according to CityPaper) and came up with enough room for 54 people. I thought the dinning room could seat more than 54 people. Because when you’re up there singing karaoke it feels like 100 people are watching you. And when the place is crowded, it’s standing room only.
Nico’s is in Little Italy, too. The big screen HDTV in the dinning room that is used for the lyrics on Saturday nights for karaoke faces the audience. Actually, the way the dinning room is set up, that’s the only place management could have put it. Well, they could have put it some place else, but that would mean management didn’t know what the hell they were doing.
But I digress.
I’ve seen some singers face the TV and stand with their backs to the audience through the entire song. I’m not making this up. How rude. Some singers stand sideways to the TV in order to include the audience. Much better.
But what the true karaoke aficionado wants to do is to know the lyrics well enough so that he or she can turn his or her back on the TV and totally engage the audience during the song. For the singer who can do this, his or her karaoke begins to approach theatre. It begins to approach karaoke as performance art.
I will once again put my theory of karaoke as theatre, as performance art to the test tonight at Nico’s.
I know it’s only rock ‘n’ roll, but I like it!
This is the Old Soldier reporting for the Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette.