Archive for category Karaoke
After work I had plans with a few teachers to go for a beer at Wara Wara. Our outing started small, but as word got around more people kept showing up. Our table started to get cramped, so we asked to upgrade to a larger table. Wara Ware was already hosting a large party, so they couldn’t give us anything bigger.
Since we didn’t want to remain stacked like sardines, we relocated to Uotami, where we were joined by even more teachers and friends. I’m not sure if everyone really needed a drink, or if people were afraid of missing out: whatever the reason our small group going for a few beers had turned into an event. We eventually outgrew our table at Uotami, so the staff moved us into an available party room.
The good news is that our spacious party room contained a karaoke machine. The bad news was that the karaoke machine did not have the usual selection of English songs that we could find at our usual karaoke places. The thought of staring at an unused karaoke machine was too much for me to bear, so I started searching through the song book for anything that might have more English than Japanese.
Many of the printed songbooks for karaoke rooms show the first line of the song next to the name and artist. I scanned through the list and stopped at something that looked amazing: Sad Cows Song by Japanese ska / punk bank Shakalabbits.
The song was 98 seconds of pure awesome. With lyrics including “Let us drink to much milk hey, because we feel sorry for the cows around the world” it quickly because a highlight of our evening. Hooray for Shakalabbits!
After my short vacation in June I have been pretty reclusive, trying to save money by staying home after work as much as possible.
Tonight I went to karaoke after work for the first time in a long time. Fun was had by all and I stayed out too late (as usual).
Today I spent some time hanging out with The Penpal and some of her friends from NICE (Numazu Association for International Communications and Exchanges). We went to karaoke together in the afternoon which was memorable for two reasons: there was no drinking, and I learned how challenging it could be in Japan for someone in a wheelchair. Since these are two very different themes, I am going to make them into separate posts.
Karaoke without beer
I have lost track of how many times I have been to karaoke since coming to Japan almost two and a half years ago. Karaoke in Japan is great – there are private rooms to sing with your friends, there is a phone on the wall to order food and drinks, and alcohol is usually cheap and plentiful. I rarely touch a microphone without having at least one or two drinks. Most of the time I go to karaoke with other English teachers at the end of a late shift. Today I was out with The Penpal’s friends in the afternoon, and nobody was ordering drinks.
Don’t get me wrong – it is both possible to do karaoke without alcohol, and possible to have fun. However, when you sing sober, you become aware of how terrible your singing actually is. I am not a great singer, but this never usually stops me. Today however, I avoided a lot of my regular songs with notes that are outside of my one octave range. I also was a lot less theatrical; no dancing around or striking rockstar style microphone poses. In addition, I did not pick up the spare microphone to duet on songs that I didn’t really know well.
Overall, it was a very different experience than usual, but I still had fun and got to spend some time with The Penpal and her friends. After singing we all went out for yakiniku, which is a great way to end any day.
Today a group of people went out for beer and karaoke. I was one of them.
(2015 Update) At some point in the future, I will be asked to sum up my 3 years in Japan. If I only use the words “beer and karaoke”, I will have successfully described about 50% of my time in the country.
Tonight I went out for birthday karaoke (not mine) with Azeroth and some of his friends, most of whom are students. I didn’t think there was such a think as too much karaoke, but by the end my voice gave out and all I could do was squeak into the microphone.