Karaoke is not a distraction I'm fond of, it's an art form I'm passionate about. I've sang dozens of songs, but these are among the most solid of choices in my repertoire.
  1. Chris Isaak, "Wicked Game"
    If I have a signature song, this is it. Friends request it, strangers are awed by it, and contests are won with it. It's in every songbook and occupies the most comfortable part of my vocal range.
  2. The Strokes, "Heart In A Cage"
    Most books have it and it's a good rocker to pull out if you want to get amped but your voice isn't feeling strong. Great if the crowd knows it and joins in on the "We got LEFT LEFT LEFT LEFT LEFT LEFT LEFT" part. Any song of theirs is a safe bet. I'd kill for a spot in Los Angeles to offer "Under Control".
  3. Talking Heads, "Psycho Killer"
    One of the most fun songs to perform. 90% chance it will ignite the crowd. "Once In A Lifetime" is good too, but the last section can throw you.
  4. Stone Temple Pilots, "Interstate Love Song"
    Another universal option. One of the best singles of the 90's. "Big Empty" is my preference, but it's rare and a bit of a downer. I wish songs from Tiny Music... were commonplace, I could kill with "Big Bang Baby", "Trippin' On A Hole In A Paper Heart", "Art School Girl", others. R.I.P. Scott Weiland, you brilliant chronic fuckup.
  5. Sade, "No Ordinary Love"
    It's impossibly sexy, and in my case, a song no one expects from me. It translates well into the next lowest octave, but I usually push myself and keep it in the original.
  6. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, "Red Right Hand"
    Hard to find, but always a prime choice when I see it. The instrumental section is long, but I've won everyone over long before it hits.
  7. Blur, "The Universal"
    Widely available, surprisingly. Not guaranteed to be a hit, but it's dynamite in the right crowd. It gets extra points for the perfectly meta line in the second verse.
  8. Joy Division, "Transmission"
    Also surprisingly available, it's the superior Joy Division choice. "Love Will Tear Us Apart" is great, but also overplayed and a total downer. "Transmission" has bite, and the verses move fast enough to scare away amateurs. "Disorder" is my preferred track, but I only know of one spot that has it.
  9. Duran Duran, "Come Undone"
    Slick, sexy, simple to sing. Works best when you can get someone to cover the backing vocal.
  10. Bob Dylan, "Like A Rolling Stone"
    Breaks every unwritten karaoke rule (long, repetitive, Bob Dylan), but if you know how to play this card then it trumps every one of its faults. Both times I picked this it DESTROYED.