This past Saturday I accomplished something that was on my original list from high school-Sing Karaoke. In choosing a venue to accomplish this goal, it was necessary that I sing in front of strangers, so I couldn’t do a private room at a karaoke bar. I also desired to do it at an “authentic” Asian karaoke bar. A Facebook friend suggested Able Bar and Grill in Cary, NC, which serves authentic Chinese food and becomes a Karaoke bar late in the evening.
Able Bar and Grill is a small establishment and when we first arrived, my group of eight were practically the only ones there. I wondered if I would have much of an audience for my singing but slowly people began to trickle in as the karaoke hour loomed near. Throughout the evening, my friends were the only Caucasians present besides perhaps half a dozen others. By the end of the evening, it was standing room only. The large majority of those dining and singing were young Chinese, most likely graduate students at the nearby colleges (UNC, NCSU, or Duke) seeking a taste and cultural experience that reminded them of home.
My group was the only one to sing any songs in English and choosing a song was an experience in of itself as it was all in Chinese. The owner, Able, was there and bent over backwards to make sure we had a wonderful experience, bringing out plates and plates of dumplings, kabobs, and spring rolls. For my vegetarian friend, he also grilled some corn, wanting to make sure he had enough to eat. I’ve recently been turned on to Moscow Mules and upon ordering it, he sent an employee to the grocery store next door to purchase ginger ale so that he could provide my cocktail of choice. He repeatedly visited our table, laughing and joking with us, and as we left, he asked us to tell our friends, exclaiming that he wanted “more of us” and, gesturing around to the crowd, “only Asians!”
The food was delicious and we had a wonderful time, even if we couldn’t understand any of the songs sang by the others. I first chose “Killer Queen” by Queen as a ‘warm-up’ song and then unleashed my signature song. You know, that one you sing when perhaps you’ve had a bit to drink? Mine is “Let’s Stay Together” by the Reverend Al Green. I apologize for the quality of the video, the angle at which it is shot, and, most importantly, how horrible the singing is! But it serves as evidence that I have accomplished this goal: Sing Karaoke-COMPLETED!
What is YOUR signature song? Have you sang Karaoke before or are you too shy?