By now, everyone knows I’m a big fan of karaoke. Well, let me qualify that, I am a fan given the right crowd. My favorite place to perform karaoke is Eugene’s Side Door Cafe in Albany, NY. The KJ, Mark the Shark, has a really expansive library, and is really good at obtaining new stuff and special requests (he has come through on two amazing songs which you will read about below).
My approach toward karaoke is to perform songs that I can add an element of entertainment to. There’s nothing worse than being there on a night where the singers are super talented and having someone get up there and kill the crowd with a country song. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place for karaoke country songs, but you’ll never find me at that place.
On their first time, most people don’t know what to expect when they see me get up there. They hear the name, Hugh McCool (or, formerly, Huge McCool), and say, “ohh boy; this is gonna suck.” Then they see something like Lady Gaga – “Bad Romance” come up on the monitor and start to worry more. Then sit there in awe when I make their brains explode.
There are very few things in this world that I will proclaim to be good at, and singing Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” is one of them. This past Friday, I originally opted to leave this out of my set until a group of young college-aged kids came in and started killing the energy with country music.
See, I started off the evening with Andrew W. K.’s “Party Hard” (one of the tracks that Mark the Shark procured as a result of my persistent begging). And once I get that going, the energy is high and people are ready to party. I followed that up with a first-time performance of “Monkberry Moon Delight,” my favorite Paul McCartney song off of Ram (another special procurement from Mark the Shark). If you haven’t heard this song, it’s definitely on the ridiculous side, but has a ton of energy.
After that, I sang some Green Day, just to keep singing but not overexert myself. Around this time is when this group came in and killed the buzz. I had in Stone Temple Pilots’s “Plush” but I took that one out so that I could belt out “Bad Romance.” I had the crowd crazy and I even got people to sing along; it was great.
Rory and I rode this out and performed “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys. Yes I performed the Alicia Keys part, and it was glorious. We’re talking about doing that one every time.
I ended the night a little low with Paul McCartney/Wings “Silly Love Songs;” it was fun, but the really fun part of the song was missing from the karaoke version. Ohh well, there’s always next time.
You pretty much have to come out and hang out when I do karaoke. It’s super fun, and I personally guarantee a good time.