The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



What karaoke really is

Letter to the Editor | Sunday, April 26, 2009

Dear Organizers of Badin Breakdown,

The Badin Breakdown is not really karaoke, plain and simple. Winners of a karaoke contest should not be people with years of vocal instruction or people that performed a song they practiced for months on end to sing at their high school chorus concert. The art of karaoke is not practiced in concert halls or rehearsal rooms, it is practiced in grungy bars on weeknights with people that can barely stand up straight.

Go to any local grungy bar Monday through Friday and observe some of the artists that take the stage. Those are true karaokeist with the ability to perform any song at a moments notice. I once observed a man perform three songs by the Highway Men and then he pulled out “99 Problem’s” by Jay-Z. He then proceeded to do a heavy metal tune, just because I asked him to. The place went wild. That is what karaoke is; the ability to entertain across multiple genera of music and the ability to get everyone to enjoy the show. The judges and organizers of the Badin Breakdown would know this if they ever attended such bars and participated in such karaoke events.

But alas, as Notre Dame students, most of us are too good to go to such establishments and experience the fun that is real karaoke. Go to any good karaoke bar and sing “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion and then watch yourself be stared at awkwardly, asked if you are contemplating suicide and be greeted by overwhelming sounds of silence afterwards. That is the reaction you would get at a good karaoke bar for singing such a song. At the Badin Breakdown, however, you’ll win $75 because you performed the song for your junior year state vocal competition. Someone please gag me with a spoon and punch me in the stomach. This isn’t karaoke; this is “American Idol.” I thought there was a different competition on campus for that?

Someone, quick, get me another High Life and drive me to Cheers, Garth Brook’s “I’ve Got Friends in Low Places” awaits me.

Tim Campbell


Dillon Hall

April 23