November 29, 2012

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the social politics of karaoke (as opposed to literally anything else, I guess) and concluded that a public room is almost always superior to a private one. Sure, the privacy of a karaoke booth enables one and one’s friends to get truly blasted and unlock the deepest, darkest recesses of the drunk subconscious guiding all selection choices, but there’s something infinitely more self-affirming about standing in front of a room filled with strangers and getting them all on board with a spirited take on, say, “Sister Christian.” (I’ve seen it happen!) It can be lonelier, too, especially when there’s not a lot of people in the room, but you’ve just got to keep going with it. The video for The Babies’ “Baby” channels such a vibe, as lead singer Cassie Ramone (Vivian Girls) stands by herself in some garishly lit karaoke room, swaying and praying along as the lyrics cycle behind her in big block letters. (Getting a karaoke place to program the lyrics to an indie rock song—nice eye for detail.) There doesn’t seem to be anyone else watching, but that’s alright. Their album, Our House On The Hill, is available now.

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