I've been singing karaoke at least twice a month at a tiki bar in my neighborhood. I try not to repeat songs from week to week but I have my standbys, a growing list of songs I will "definitely sing again," and a couple karaoke experiences that I don't think I will ever be able to top:
  1. Nicki Minaj: "Superbass"
    I spent the first half of 2011 listening to "Only Skin" by Joanna Newsom on repeat, and by summer, I was ready for something a little different. I heard "Superbass" late one night, driving back to Nevada City after a Sacramento airport run, trying to stay awake listening to Top 40 radio. I decided this song was mine: to love, to learn, and to sing along to forevermore. It's one of the most fun songs to sing.
  2. Limp Bizkit: "Nookie"
    I have only performed this once, because it was my most pure, karaoke verité experience to date. Cannot recreate the magic and mayhem! My friend put it on at the last minute, and I jumped in on back-up vocals. I abandoned myself to my inner-Fred Durst (Anyone who watched a lot of MTV the summer of 2001 has an inner Fred Durst), and I understood at once the sacred transformative effect of karaoke. This was the moment I realized there's no turning back in my love for karaoke.
  3. Radiohead: "2+2=5"
    My recent performance of this song took me to a higher place. I felt like I inhabited it as fully as one can inhabit a song. As though nothing else existed! (not even the emcee who was trying to harmonize with me!!) It felt like all of those sad winter nights listening to In Rainbows sophomore year of college paid off handsomely, as the bar united behind me, screaming "you have not been paying attention!"
  4. Taylor Swift: selections from 1989
    Shake it Off! Style! Wonderland! Wildest Dreams! Bad Blood! !!!!! 2015: also The Year of Taylor Swift. 1989 was on repeat for most of 2015, as I prepared to attend my first T.Swift show with my younger sisters in June. I love when hangs with my sisters turn into singalongs, and I was determined to learn every single word of every single song on 1989 so that we would have the most epic singalong of all time at her show. Success!
  5. Rihanna: "Diamonds"
    Singing this song feels like, slow and steady wins the race. It's solid and it works and it carries me through.
  6. Sam Smith: "I'm Not the Only One"
    I love singing sad songs.
  7. The Goo Goo Dolls: "Slide"
    The spirit of my fifteen-year-old self, she who copied the lyrics of this song onto her school binders, was so shocked at having been released into the PA system of a tiki bar after 15 years!! But she loved that everyone in the bar gathered together and screamed along to a song they had almost forgotten about.
  8. "The Lonely Goatherd" from the Sound of Music
    Singing this really, really worked for me. Someone had started the night out with "If I were a rich man," and I thought, if he's going there, I'm taking it here.