Being modern: Karaoke
Sunday 14 April 2013
I’ll do it myyyyyyyyyyyyy waaaaaaay. No kidding. For a second, we all thought it was Frank. That’s the glory – and curse – of karaoke: it makes people think they can sing like legends; and it makes people think they can sing like legends.
Literally meaning “empty orchestra”, this wonderfully ear-defiling form of interactive entertainment was invented in 1971 by Japanese musician Daisuke Inoue, when he combined a car stereo, coin box and amplifier. The interactive entertainment gained popularity in Asia before spreading to the rest of the world.
And how. It is not only that the original tape decks have been replaced by CDs; nowadays there’s the ubiquitous dedicated karaoke boxes – small rooms with their own screens and microphones.
Maybe it’s for the best; in 2009, the karaoke machine was voted as the gadget the British most wish had never been invented, so sticking them in their own soundproofed areas rather than allowing people to warble wantonly in pubs is the best way to avoid violence. Well, that and the invention of videogames such as SingStar, which lets wannabe divas caterwaul the night away in the comfort of their own lounge, well away from the threat of someone yanking out the plug.
Perhaps karaoke’s finest moment came in 2003, with Bill Murray singing Roxy Music’s “More Than This” to Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation. It was a silver-screen moment that brought newfound R.E.S.P.E.C.T to karaoke, resulting in the opening that year of the Lucky Voice chain, and, later, private karaoke rooms in unexpected places (Mahiki in Mayfair boasts a karaoke room with bed and shower!).
Aretha would no doubt also give it up for those humble souls who enter the Karaoke World Championships, which also began in 2003. This year’s contest will be held in Finland in November for anyone who fancies entering. And before that, for anyone who still doubts the maturation of this pastime, there’s yet another series of the biggest karaoke challenge of them all: The X Factor. Altogether now: “You raise me UUUUUUUUUP!”
- 1 Eurovision 2015: Graham Norton returns with another cutting commentary - his best lines
- 2 Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
- 3 Eurovision 2015 winner: Sweden beats Russia and Italy to take the title from Conchita Wurst
- 4 Mother 'will allow son's circumcision in return for release from prison'
Greek hospitals cannot afford painkillers, scissors or sheets as budget cuts bite
Purity balls: Girls in the US making virginity pledges as fathers vow to 'protect purity'
Bulgarian seaside resort Sunny Beach is cheapest for beer
Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland
£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...
£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...