Karaoke Korrespondent Rings in 2011 With the Magic Mic & a Little Help From His Friends"/>
Last Friday, there were New Year's Eve karaoke options all around, but when I found out my buddy Foss was having people over and my other buddy Kristia was bringing her "Magic Mic" to the party, I needed to look no further. New Year's, for me, has always been about spending time with my close friends, and when singing's thrown into the mix, it doesn't get any better.
The cherry-popped Riggins.
We all met for dinner at Pintxo in Belltown at 8 and got to Foss' house in Interbay by 10:30. Laid out on their kitchen counter was a variety of booze and wine and a half-rack of Natural Light. Everyone was drinking full-throttle at that point, but I kept myself in check with the beers.
Riggins (Kristia's husband) was on fire and wanted to get the living-room karaoke rolling immediately. I was still settling in, lounging on the couch and having a funny conversation with my buddy Jason, but he was all over us to get that mike connected. After about 15 minutes of trying to figure out how to unlock the additional input settings on Brian's plasma, we were finally able to get video up and running.
Everyone at the party mingled in the kitchen and dining room as Jason and I traded off songs that first hour. It took a few numbers to get the sound right. The bass and treble on the TV needed adjusting, and in addition to getting the mike volume to blend in just right with the music, there was an issue with getting the echo under control. As a result, our first songs were total throwaway numbers. He goofed around and sang "The First Noel," and I followed with "Love Will Never Do (Without You)." I chose that cut to see if I could get a rise out of my buddy Jake who loved the way Janet Jackson's tits looked in that video back when we were in high school. I saw he noticed it, but it wasn't the reaction I was hoping for. My performance was dreadful. I realized as I sang it why I stay away from singing female artists.
Finding a song in the Magic Mic catalog is a tough search compared to the average karaoke book. It's a real pain in the ass, actually. The artists and titles are numbered, but the songs are listed in completely random order. These things have been in production for decades now, and no one has ever thought about alphabetizing. Jason got kind of fed up with his search right away, but I found a gem for him. I got him to do the mellow-gold classic "Dancing in the Moonlight" by King Harvest. I knew as soon as I saw it he would stick it, and he did.
It was pretty cool not having to care about what I was singing or how well I sang. I tried out a lot of songs, and if I didn't like them, I'd just bail out. My best performance was "Never Let You Go" by Third Eye Blind. I always talk shit about people who pick from this genre, but I have to admit it was really fun to sing. As midnight closed in, Riggins was busting our buddy Miller's balls to squeeze in a performance before we rang in 2011. I could tell he wasn't quite ready, but he went for it and sang "Folsom Prison Blues." It turned out to be the perfect time to get that first one out of the way because there was still nobody paying attention. It was rough at first, but he brought it together in the end.
After midnight, the rest of the party was finally ready to sing. Marion's wife, Becky, went back-to-back with two vintage country selections. She breaks out the most random stuff, and it's always good. Kristia and our friend Sharon followed with the Family Ties love theme, "At This Moment" by Billy Vera & the Beaters. Then Kristia went on to sing her standards: Cher's "If I Could Turn Back Time" and Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive." I have memories her singing both those cuts since the mid-90's.
The highlight of my night was watching Riggins break his karaoke cherry by singing "Forever My Lady" by Jodeci. This is a guy who's out with me all the time, but he's never once taken the stage . I always knew he had it in him, and he knew the song so well, he delivered the lyrics like he wrote the thing himself. I later realized he probably sings the shit out of this mike at home with Kristia all the time. By 1 a.m. you couldn't get the back-up mike out of his hands. Pretty much every song everyone sang the rest of the night was accompanied by him.