Friday, February 23, 2007

Karaoke - a post by Gordon

On a Friday night, after a birthday part, my immediate group of friends decided to pay a visit to the local karaoke bar at Pacific Mall. Before I continue on, I think it's better that I clarify what karaoke is, because I'm almost certain that it's not a popular sport among our fellow Tyndale classmates. Karaoke is a form of entertainment developed by Japanese people. It consists of a dark room with comfortable seating, a television, karaoke player system, and 2 or more microphones. The objective of this is to sing along the tunes sung by popular music stars. The TV screen shows lyrics where a blue or red highlighter scrolls across each word, moving accordingly with the pace of the song. Songs are usually played with instrumental music only, so that the participant can show the quality of their voice. People who are either off tune or musically challenged have the choice of turning on the the orginal singers voice to follow the song better and hide some imperfections. Karaoke can be played by anyone through all ages: friends, couples, and even family.
This was probably my 3rd time going and actively singing. I was glad that there were English songs, because the majority karaoke bars in Toronto are ownned by Chinese people, meaning Chinese pop songs and the majority of our group either do not keep up with Chinese pop culture or speak the language. So by default, we turned to the English song selections which consists of Back Street Boys, Spice Girls, and Savage Garden; corny, cheesy, boy band like musice we grew up to. I don't listen to songs like that on any given day, but it was for fun and we had many laughs. We were really pleased with our night and it was another way of bringing our friends together.
On the back of my head, I wonder why this fun activity was never popular amongst Non-Asians. I've seen Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and even Phillipino karaoke bars, but NEVER Caucasion or any other Non- Asian culture. Why is this sport so foreign and not popular with Non-Asians? When we have interactive television activities like video games, dance dance revolution, and now the new Nintendo system, Wii; karaoke has existed for few decades now and it still remains unpopular to Non-Asians. Terrible promotion or (pestimistically) Non-Asian wanting to be different from Asians? What do some of you think?

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Anonymous Joel said...

Your idea about Kareoke not being popular among "non-asians" is probably due to the fact that you live in Toronto which has the second highest Asian population in North America. I am from Maine, which at one point was the whitest state in the nation ( i think it is second now) and we have kareoke bars (or just regular bars who do kareoke) and there's not an asian person in sight, Just drunk middle aged white guys.

9:31 a.m., February 26, 2007  
Blogger Gordon said...

wow!! great stuff, thx for your comment.

7:49 p.m., February 26, 2007  
Blogger -jess- said...

This is most interesting. I didn't know that kareoke was so popular among Asians. I've been places in Toronto for Kareoke and like Joel said it was mainly drunk middle-aged white guys. It could have been due to the area of Toronto I was in that wasn't prominantly Asian.
Great insight though, I learn somethign new everyday:)

11:55 a.m., March 04, 2007  

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