Melancholy Monday: Good times and good friends

The Damn Yankees rang in the decade that defined my youth (Photo: courtesy of metrotimes.com)

The Damn Yankees rang in the decade that defined my youth (Photo: courtesy of metrotimes.com)

I hope you all had a great time this Independence Day! I know I did. Maybe a bit too good, actually. I paid for all the food I ate and, uh… beverages I drank the next morning. Not feeling so great, I decided to stay home Saturday and just rest. Sitting in my favorite chair and thinking about the previous night’s festivities, I couldn’t help but feel a little melancholy about other good times I’d had and the music which defined them.

For example, back in the early ’80s I remember tagging along with my older cousin, her boyfriend, and their friends. We’d go to the arcade (those long forgotten places where kids used to go to play video games before there was such a thing as Xbox), the water park, or the movies, and no matter where we went the entire trip there would be filled with music from her favorite band, The Police.

When I got a little older and was able to talk my parents into letting me hangout with friends without my cousin around, I remember that no matter where we were, be it the mall, the arcade, or at a friend’s house watching MTV (believe it or not, they actually used to play music on that channel), you couldn’t seem to go more than an hour without hearing either something from Madonna, Duran Duran, or this classic from a-ha with the most impossible high-note of the decade…

Then, only a few years later, came a song that, for me, defined a decade; my decade. Puberty, girls, parties, and high school; the 90’s had arrived! In the late 80s, hair bands such as Poison, Motley Crue, and Def Leppard dominated the music scene, and though it wouldn’t be long before a couple Seattle-based bands would take music in a completely different (and awesome!) direction, 1990 produced one more iconic power ballad. A song that also just happened to be playing in the background at a party during my first, um… meaningful “romantic encounter.” Thank you, Damn Yankees!

Though the rest of my teenage years would still be full of good times and great friends, there was also angst, confusion, and even anger. Nothing new, of course, but it was new to me and the 90s gave my generation the perfect opportunity to express those feelings of disenfranchisement through music… and combat boots. Enter, “grunge,” and one of my favorite bands of all time, Nirvana! High school dances became flannel-clad moshpits and we never had a better time being pissed off.

So what songs and music genres define your younger days? Which artists and tunes bring back memories of old friends and good times? Let us know in the comments. Also, be sure to like us on Facebook and download the free Sing-N-Share app for your smartphone or tablet if you haven’t already! It’s a free, easy way to relive those music-filled good old days.

Ylvis Has Left The Forest: “What Does The Fox Say” finds its way to Karaoke Cloud!

mvd-ylvis_thefox1

How do you achieve international stardom in the pop-music industry? Apparently by making fun of the pop-music industry! Just ask Ylvis, the Norwegian comedy duo consisting of brothers Vegard and Bard Ylvisaker. Their “anti-hit” video “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say)” has embedded them firmly into Western pop-culture and now the satirical sensation has made its way to Karaoke Cloud!

Originally intended as nothing more than a promotion for their Norway-based comedy show, “I kveld med Ylvis (Tonight with Ylvis), The Fox was written and produced as a sardonic take on the electronic dance music industry. The video was posted to Youtube on September 3, 2013, and has gone uber-viral with over 287 million hits and the song itself claimed the #6 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for three consecutive weeks. That makes it the highest ranking song by a Norwegian artist since a-Ha smoked the charts at number 1 with “Take On Me” in 1985! Ah…sweet irony.

What Does the Fox Say has spawned an amazing amount of covers and parodies and has even been featured on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live.

And now it’s your turn! You can download the original song on iTunes and be sure to check out the fully-authorized Karaoke Cloud version below (courtesy of KaraokeOnVEVO) to do your best Ylvis imitation. Or replace the words as you see fit and make your very own parody. We’d love to see some of your ideas on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter! You never know, you could be the next “accidental hit!”

Karaoke Roulette as an Art Form? New York exhibit says yes.

Skaryoke Exhibit Photo

Long-time karaoke enthusiast know of a wonderful game, sometimes called “karaoke roulette” or “kamikaze karaoke”, that puts the singer onstage with no idea what song is about to play. Often done as a lark between friends, a KJ-sponsored show segment, or even a contest, it’s a great way for folks to face the terrifying prospect of looking a little bit foolish, and being okay with it.

Dan Kois, a senior editor at Slate, was asked to curate at exhibition at a New York art gallery in Tribeca. His contribution, titled “SCARYOKE!!!” and based on karaoke roulette, opens today and runs through December 21. Read about his inspiration for the exhibit, and reasons why we should all try karaoke roulette at least once here.

You can check out the playlist of the kamikaze songs here. If you can’t make it to New York before Christmas to try it yourself, then we dare you to sing this song right now, no matter where you are!