• Photo Diary: Cosmic Karaoke

    Nothing better (or weirder) than a holiday party in your favorite karaoke room. Chantal Anderson documented her own glittery, disco-ball infused night for us (and we rounded up a quick karaoke poll with her guests to guide you through the night).

    How do you define “good” karaoke?
    Jardine Hammond: People who don't take themselves too seriously, aren't afraid to totally suck, a song everyone knows and then some sweet dance moves never hurt. 
    Chantal Anderson: When people are loose enough that they're singing like they're alone. 
    Sydney Wayser from CLARA-NOVA: Good people and a solid song! Ideally there is some sort of “Lost in Translation” private room happening with wigs and confetti. It doesn't matter if you are good or not; it's all about heart and commitment. 

    What are your tips for finding a good spot to go? 
    Chantal Anderson: Stumble around interesting neighborhoods in your city and pop into random places. Weekly newspapers usually have a lot to say about the best karaoke spots as well. 
    Sydney Wayser: I've found some of my favorite spots in Koreatown. They've got the master song lists, food, comfy couches, and reverb galore on the microphones. It's always a good time.

    In LA, what are some of your favorite spots?
    Chantal Anderson: My favorite karaoke bar is Smog Cutter. It's a dive bar with a pool table, and the walls are covered in things from Thailand. They have karaoke seven nights a week and the man who hosts has a soft spot for Fleetwood Mac; he can't help but perform with people whenever "Dreams" comes on. There's a two drink minimum and it's cash only — if you disobey the rules the badass bartender lady will give you a very verbal piece of her mind. 

    Foolproof karaoke songs?
    Jardine Hammond: Nancy Sinatra, “These Boots Are Made For Walking.” That or turning any song into a death metal song.

    Chantal Anderson
    -Brandy “Baby”
    -Kate Bush “Running Up That Hill”
    -Salt-N-Pepa “Whatta Man”
    -Madonna “Burning Up”
    -Roy Orbison “Crying”
    -Robyn “Dancing On My Own”
    -Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood “Ladybird”
    -Mary J. Blige “Real Love”
    -Dolly Parton “Jolene”
    -TLC “Creep”

    Sydney Wayser: Anything by Mariah Carey... “Dream Lover,” “Heartbreaker.” A few other favorites are “The Boy Is Mine” (Brandy and Monica), “Waterfalls” (TLC), “Nothing Compares to You” (Sinead O'Conner), “Eternal Flame” (The Bangles), “This Christmas” (Wham), “Freedom” (George Michael), “We Didn't Start The Fire” (Billy Joel), and “Fame” (David Bowie). 

    Do you have any amazing karaoke stories to share?
    Jardine Hammond: The morbidly shy-looking girl who got up a huge karaoke stage and knew every single word to O.P.P 
    Chantal Anderson: Last Thanksgiving, after a group of us got so stuffed we could barely move, we rolled down to a neighborhood karaoke joint and sang off our meal to Kate Bush late into the night. 
    Sydney Wayser: One time I ended up at a quirky Italian restaurant outside of Topanga Canyon that besides serving chicken parmesan also had great karaoke. The waiters and waitresses would stop serving food to perform their favorite songs throughout the night. We turned this tiny restaurant into our very own dance floor and let me tell you, our motto was "If you dip, I dip, we dip!" And that is what we did until the wee hours of the morning. 

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