Ten Great Karaoke Songs for Labor Day Weekend

Sandcastle

The days are getting shorter and it’s time to celebrate summer’s last hurrah. In the USA, that means a long weekend, the start of football season, backyard barbecues, pool parties, and trips out of town to blow off steam. Here’s ten great karaoke songs chosen especially to highlight your Labor Day weekend.

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Cloud is where karaoke discs go when they die

All discs go to heaven...

Karaoke Cloud is where karaoke discs go when they die.

Music listeners continue flocking to online cloud-based delivery systems, and DigiTrax Entertainment is betting that the professional karaoke jockey and the casual karaoke fan will too.

A report from research outfit The NPD Group released earlier this year cited data gathered from 13- to 35-year-olds indicating that free and subscription-based streaming music services accounted for almost one quarter of those consumers’ average weekly music listening time, up from 17 percent in the previous year.

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The 2013 Karaoke Summit has Ended

Starter-Screen

Joe Vangieri, CEO of DigiTrax took the podium and began with his background. He’s one of the first KJs in the USA, having multiple venues back in the laserdisc days, in New York City.

Natalie Madaj from the National Music Publishers Association outlined the general attitude among publishers for innovations in karaoke licensing, and suggested the Harry Fox Agency’s Slingshot program as a way for streamlining the video sync licensing process.

Allen Jacobi, famous entertainment lawyer, ran down the differences between licensing in the USA and doing so abroad, and how the current licensing structure puts American companies at a competitive disadvantage.

Hal Kinney, President of the Knoxville Chapter of the American Disc jockey Association, talked about how difficult it is for a KJ to stay legal, when his customers constantly approached him with non-licensed files to play. The customers, Kinney noted, don’t care about licensing issues. They just want to sing their favorite songs.

Jonathan Apostoles, CEO and Founder of JoltSoft, makers of Karaoke Anywhere, detailed the new social media “Karaoke Feed” integration in their very popular app, and how it can help singers, venues and KJs.

Roby Robinson, attorney for Piracy Recovery LLC spoke at length about that company’s efforts to curb piracy, and the rights surrounding karaoke use.

Kurt Slep, CEO of Slep-Tone Entertainment, gave a riveting speech covering a brief history of both karaoke and karaoke piracy in the USA, and what his company is doing to bring it closer to an end.

Toni Roberts, Senior Licensing and Production Coordinator for DigiTrax discussed setting up the correct metadata for each karaoke song ever released. Allen Jacobi returned to the podium to advocate sharing and crowd-sourcing the metadata.

Joe Vangieri closed the Summit with a look at how upcoming technology is affecting where and how we use karaoke, before taking closing questions.

You can review the Livestream, with full replay capabilites now at: http://new.livestream.com/accounts/4348237/events/2168578

DigiTrax turns back time with retro karaoke releases

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DigiTrax Karaoke, makers of Karaoke Cloud, were the first to bring bulk digital karaoke libraries to the masses, allowing anyone to build an instant karaoke library complete enough to start hosting their own parties and shows, and to snag the whole thing digitally.

Lately, our ears have been bent pretty severely by folks who want to catch up with the hottest hits over the past three years, and be able to get bulk purchasing power.

So we’re happy to say there are six new 50-song packs in the DigiTrax stable as of this morning. We’ve put together the hottest country and pop hits from the past three years and released them all on easy-to-get 50-song download packs.

You can get all the details right here.

Karaoke Rescue comes from Boyz II Men

boyz

When Cory wanted to show his lady Cassandra a very special night during a trip to LA, he planned to serenade her at a karaoke hotspot.

Unfortunately, Cory had never performed karaoke before. On the upside, he got a little help.

And if you want to sing that song to your special someone, you can sing the same version Cory did, courtesy of KaraokeOnVEVO.

Karaoke Ambush

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The coolest thing we’ve seen today comes by courtesy of Benefit Cosmetics, a firm based in San Fransisco, who recently stalked through the streets of London to bring you this total karaoke ambush:

If you enjoyed that so much you want to throw down a little Whitney Houston yourself, here you are, courtesy of KaraokeOnVEVO.

Karaoke Mailbag – Rant of the Week

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When you deal with a topic as polarizing as karaoke (wait, did we just say that?), you gotta expect to get the occasional nastygram. Here’s one that came over the wires just yesterday regarding the upcoming Karaoke Summit (more details on that tomorrow).

Smoothedge69 writes:

“It’s amazing the amount of sheer nonsense that Karaoke generates. The greed factor in the publishing world is absolutely ridiculous. Everyone has their hands out. Karaoke is a form of entertainment, and you people, with your lawsuits and the greed of everyone in music business is destroying a harmless activity. The people who sing these Karaoke tracks are not professional singers. For the most part, they are drunk people just looking to have some fun!! They aren’t making money, unless they are winning contests. The hosts make a nominal fee, especially now-a-days, and the bars sell drinks. GET OFF OUR BACKS!!

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Karaoke Myth #1 – Karaoke music is cheap and easy to make

Dragon

There are many things about karaoke that are not well-understood by the fine folks that love to sing it, and even more misunderstood by the ones that don’t. In an ongoing series, we’re here to help you sort out the myths from the facts.

Karaoke Myth #1 – Karaoke music is cheap and easy to make.

People who embrace this myth may have been exposed to the worst that karaoke has to offer: the MIDI recording, or the “vocal eliminator”. These two have done more to damage the reputation of karaoke than all the drunks in Singapore.

MIDI and Karaoke

Let’s start with the first disaster: MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface, and it’s been a fantastic tool for musicians since it was first standardized back in 1983.

One excellent use of MIDI is to use one instrument (say, a keyboard) to trigger “samples” of other instruments, in a way that synthesizes some of the original sound the sampled instrument might have made. This handy trick has allowed many innovative developments in music, and in some cases has become an instrument in its own right.

The trouble with this approach for creating top-notch karaoke is two-fold. First, one must have very high quality samples to work from. If you’re trying to replicate the sound of a string orchestra or  a brass band, you’d better have some terrific samples or you’re going to churn out something akin to the sound of an eighties-era video game.

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Indie flick examines karaoke in harsh conditions

Oil-Sands-Karaoke

Charles Wilkinson, director of Peace Out, has just secured a distribution deal on his new indie film that’s sure to be of interest to our readers.

Titled Oil Sands Karaoke, it chronicles the efforts of five oil patch workers, who toil in Northern Alberta’s oil sands, as they compete with one another to win a local karaoke contest. The documentary takes a hard look at why these people essentially leave civilization behind for back-breaking work and long hours, in an industry that’s more than a little controversial due to environmental concerns, and why karaoke is the outlet for expression they need.

The film’s already had more than a few sit up and take notice at Hot Docs, a Canadian documentary film festival currently underway (film profile at Hot Docs here). As soon as it’s released, you can bet we’ll be watching. We can’t embed it, so here’s a link to the official trailer.

Ten people you meet at karaoke

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You know them all.

They’re present at every karaoke night, in Anytown, USA, determined to embellish your quality of life with their idea of the superior karaoke experience. As a public service, to help you readily identify the various species of Genus Karaokus, we present this by-no-means exhaustive list, in all their glory, or lack thereof.

The Diva. Dressed for a cocktail party and dripping with costume jewelry, she sings well, smells great, looks fantastic, and is well and truly aware of all three.

Performs like: a Broadway understudy being given her first big chance. Will be drinking: room-temperature mineral water. Will ask the KJ: at least three times to adjust the reverb on her microphone because it’s “too dry”. Will leave when: the crowd fills less than half the room. Favorite song: “My Heart Will Go On” – Celine Dion.

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