Friday, April 19, 2013

Sir Walter Scott, Karaoke and Lounge Music

    Sir Walter Scott, S. T. Coleridge and other writers in the early 19th century were in essential agreement that there is an “implied contract” between a performer and the audience. The contractual obligation for the actor or singer or other performer is to bring value to the observer’s life. The contractual obligation for the individual observer is to respect the artist’s effort to meet their obligation.

    In recent months my experience with karaoke has revealed that audiences are often less interested in the performers’ performances than they are in boisterous outbursts totally unrelated to the ‘show’ being presented. They interfere with the show. For some, karaoke is little more than an opportunity for drunken buffoonery.

    For some performers, it is less an expression of artistic talent and more a psychological catharsis ala Wilhelm Reich’s Primal Scream Therapy. A popular KJ (a DJ specializing in karaoke) wondered aloud, privately, about the screaming which ear-shatteringly occurs much too frequently at karaoke venues. It is often accompanied by what can only be described as “joyful jumping” as though whooping (screaming?) with seeming delight is not sufficient to satisfy the need to express enjoyment.

    For the true aficionado or musician, karaoke is an opportunity to practice songs in a more real setting than sitting in front of a computer singing along to a singer’s recordings. The nature of the venue is often the only clue to the quality of the karaoke experience. Now for the lounge singer, the true musician, the venue can also determine whether the observers are there to enjoy the performance or for some other totally unrelated reasons.

    I had the pleasure last evening of hearing a young female vocalist and the trio she fronts but was disappointed with the noisy audience. This new talent sorely deserves a quality venue where the audience is there to listen to the trio while they dine and not for gabbing or yakking as usual while totally ignoring this new arrival in the music world, St. Elouise.

    If you like female vocalists with a mellow, jazzy, smoky, lyrical voice and you fail to Google St. Elouise you will miss an opportunity to experience this song-writing,  future-chart-busting singer and her trio.

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1 comment:

  1. They become the show thereby interfering with the respectful observers enjoyment of the karaoke machine reviews performers' display of talent unless you have a presenter who respects both the art AND the audience.