Karaoke


#1

It’s everywhere. What do you think?


#2

If God wanted people to sing karaoke, he wouldn’t have given us pump shotguns.


#3

Does my nut in.


#4

D’you know what’s REALLY scary?

When I came to Taiwan, Karaoke was virtually unheard of in UK, so I thought it was just another “Asian quirk” – till the last time I went home and discovered that its the very latest cool pastime for tasteless slobs over there, too!

Even though it must be said that the song choices are far better in the UK, do you really want to sit and listen to a procession of half-pissed schemies belting out some Oasis hit or Robbie Williams number?


#5

Go when you are drunk with some close friends. It can be a lot of fun then.

The poll needs to make a difference between KTV and Karoke. I think KTV is the private rooms and Karoke is in a public area of a bar no?


#6

I have been to countless birthday parties where I find the occupants of the room transfixed by the flickering images on the screen. Nobody is talking, except maybe to the person next to them because the off-key mandopop is cranked too loud. No introductions are made and there is none of the friendly banter that I find going on at dinner parties or in more relaxed settings like lounges or pubs.
The quality of the music is pretty horrendous too. Seems that very few people know how to make music - very few people try to make their songs beautiful to the ear. And so often they treat it as a joke - especially if it is an English song. If I want to hear Elvis sung really badly, I’ll ask Cranky’s wife to record his shower arias! Also the tempo for English songs is cut in half so that the locals can get their tongue around the English lyrics. Let me tell you - Unchained Melody sounds like it is being played at 17 rpm on half-melted vinyl at most KTVs.

I would like KTV’s a lot more if they chucked the tv and the mike out the window. Hell, if you’ve got food, drink and friends, isn’t anything else just a distraction?


#7

Yeah, people ignore the classical form of Karoke: A bunch of drunk guys in a tiny 18th century Irish town pub singing pirate songs about having sex with foreign women and getting STD’s from them. What ever happened to the sing along? Why isn’t there orgy Karoke?


#8
quote:
Originally posted by 4abudabit: Yeah, people ignore the classical form of Karoke: A bunch of drunk guys in a tiny 18th century Irish town pub singing pirate songs about having sex with foreign women and getting STD's from them. What ever happened to the sing along? Why isn't there orgy Karoke?

Sounds great! Where’s the mic? Can someone crank up “Feelings”?


#9

Agree with Hobart. Differentiate. Karaoke sucks. KTV on the other hand if you don’t take it seriously can be a blast. Get ripped (with smuggled in beer) and blast out the old 80s hits:

“once upon a time there was love in my life
Now there’s only love in my dark
something something blah blah blah
TOTALECLIPSE OF THE HEART”

Only go to Cashbox though. All the other have crap English songs so you have to try your luck with the Chinese ‘Baba wo yao qian’ and ‘Tianmimi’.

Bri


#10
quote:
Originally posted by Hobart: The poll needs to make a difference between KTV and Karoke. I think KTV is the private rooms and Karoke is in a public area of a bar no?

KTV is just Karaoke with a tv - for the MTV generation without phantasy… I’ve been to Karaoke three of four times in Japan and must say that there is a clear difference in quality (if I may use this word in conjunction with karaoke…): In Japan you really have the original song, just without vocals, while in Taiwan, every song seems to be played by the same bored and underpaid studio band with the same instruments…
For my taste, such amusement is a little bit too noisy (though people going KTV sometimes like to claim the same about my music…), especially if executed at home in a somehow crowded neighbourhood. If only they could all use wireless microphones - it would be easier to “mute” that noise…
I still remember the Taichung KTV fire a few years ago - most locals (though not all) probably already forgot it, so they don’t understand my question: Go to the KTV? Would you like yourself raw, medium or rather through…?


#11
quote[quote] KTV is just Karaoke with a tv [/quote]

No. The difference is that KTV is in private rooms. Thats’ waht makes it such a different vibe ot Karaoke.

quote:
In Japan you really have the original song, just without vocals, while in Taiwan, every song seems to be played by the same bored and underpaid studio band with the same instruments...

Most of the Chinese songs (the new ones anyway) and even a few English ones are the originals. Videos too. But you have to go to a good one like Cashbox.

Bri


#12

I’ve gone a few times so my experience isn’t broad in this area. Once I went to a birthday party at a private room KTV, and it was loud and crowded. (The guy had lots o’ friends). It was fun for an hour, then it got annoying. Then once i went to a hole in the wall “restaurant” that had ka4 la4 OK, I even mangled a few songs myself! The noise is distracting if you go out with friends, and all the songs sound like they were recorded with a CASIO keyboard and drum machine. Back home I went to a house party some asian friends had. We did karaoke, and it was more fun. I think listening to your friends mangle cheesy songs is more fun than listening to strangers do it.


#13

First, I have to declare my bias – I love karaoke. I am hardcore. I am not ashamed.

Some background: On average, I probably go to Karaoke (whatever form you want to call it – KTV in Taiwan, Karaoke Box in Japan, or Norebang in Korea) every other week. This includes New York, and Los Angeles. I spent a year in Japan and probably went every week. Same frequency in Taiwan. Been to Norebangs in Seoul and other cities in Korea. Other karaoke experience includes other countries in Asia and Europe. I sing mainly Japanese “enka” and jazz.

I have to disagree with Olaf. Quality is definitely higher Taiwan than in Japan or Korea. There are more original videos. The only edge I think Japan has is the Dance Dance Revolution machines available in certain chains, like Big Echo. This could get weird, however, when you jump around to odd or slow songs. Imagine applying a beat to say, “Feelings.”

New York City has a surprisingly good selection of karaoke of high quality. Interestingly, the best ones are Japanese-owned (I will spare you the names and locations --if you want recommendations please e-mail me). Price is higher than Taiwan, but it’s NY.

So my top 3 ranking:

  1. Cashbox chain in Taiwan
  2. Various independents in NYC
  3. V-Mix chain in Hong Kong

Of course, this doesn’t include the hostess-type karaokes, where the focus shifts from singing and having fun with friends into something else. I can give a review of those another time, but a hint: Korea enters the rankings…


#14

Dear cranky Laowai:

You know what, my sister just bought a new Karaoke system for my mother as a Mother’s Day present.

When Thea’s father is back to Taiwan
WHy don’t we get together to try how it is?
They also have English songs…

Indeed, it’s everywhere.
I have to admit, it doesn’t sound good.
but It feels good!!!


#15

Originally posted by thea’s mother:

quote:
I have to admit, it doesn't sound good. but It feels good!!!!!
If I had voted in my own poll, I would have checked "a form of torture." But I'll admit you've got a good point here. I'd be happy to join you and Thea's re-expatriated father in trying out the system. But there must be beer. Lots of beer. [img]images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

Hs-ch may take some convincing, though.


#16

anyone ever seen duets? a movie about a bunch of karaoke singers in the us with gwyneth paltrow. i caught it on my hacked directv, so i didn’t actually PAY to see it. heh.

anyway, there is a huge distinction between karaoke and ktv. karaoke is the variety popular in the us south where everyone is subject to the singing, while ktv, karaoke box, and noraebong is the type one will commonly find in asian communities in the us and the type you see most often in taiwan.

as for torture on the eardrums, i find that most often it occurs when people(both native and non-native english speakers) sing english songs. asians who sing asian songs at karaoke have probably had much more practice and sing pretty well. some of them really well. asian songs usually have the original video minus the voice track, while english songs are poor covers with videos which have absolutely nothing to do with the song and look super cheesy.

i’ve been to various ktv’s, noraebongs, and karaoke boxes in the us and they don’t really compare to the luxury stuff that is available in taiwan. cashbox blows everything away that i’ve been to. not to mention most ktv-type places in the us don’t serve alcohol! the noraebongs in koreatown in la were some of the best i’ve been to in the us(and they let you smoke even though it’s illegal in cali).


#17

I think KTV and Karaokee are the same…
But I think that KTV is just a name they give to the idea of confining people in a room, to hear jingle versions of classic songs… usually you get a couple of singers who are KTV specialists… then in the other corner you get the foreigners getting fueled up to YMCA or Country Roads… However years ago in restarurants they used to have something called Blah? Blah? Ta She( I think it is a Japanese word used in the Taiwan language like Belu meaning Beer)… sorry forget the full name …the person would eat and then could go up and sing a song… I landed in a restaurant like that once in Er Cheng in Ilan… I don’t know was the function of people singing to distract from how bad the food was or a reward for finsihing all your potatoes and vegatables… anyway I heard some atrocious singing annd songs…Are all Taiwanese songs commenced with a trumpet and then go into this slow painful winge I wonder?..