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Life’s too Short for Bad Karaoke

Kevin Lutz


You’re doing karaoke wrong.  In fact we’re all doing karaoke wrong.  As far as I'm concerned there are three main problems with the current state of karaoke.


First of all, the songs are too long.  Karaoke bars should have special versions of songs in their catalog that are “edited for karaoke”. Take out the middle of “Hey Jude” and go from the first “na-na, na-na” to the 15th time Mcartney says “na-na,na-na” and it’s a seamless edit no one will even notice. Lose Vincent Price’s monologue and it’s a version of Thriller that’s “all thriller no filler”. These new versions would go verse/chorus/2nd chorus now that everyone can sing along/end. Think of it like a Cliff Notes version of your favorite song. We don’t have that much time on this earth, and no one wants to waste it watching you stand next to the machine nodding along to a 45 second guitar solo before you're not able to whistle along to “Patience”.  


Secondly, people shouldn't be able to sing 'deep cuts'. People see Billy Joel for the hits, not some "hidden gem off River Of Dreams that didn't get much radio play". Same rule applies to karaoke.  Performances don’t have to be Top 40 or the same 20 songs over and over again, but in no way should your song cause the rest of the bar to use Shazam. This also eliminates any artists' vanity projects, side projects, or concept albums. Chirs Gaines and The Bacon Brothers should not be heard at Thursday Night Karaoke. If your choice could easily cause someone in the audience to think they walked into an “open mic for original songs” by mistake, then you are wasting everyone’s time.  We only get one life to live, and no one should have to spend theirs hearing a stranger sing “the B side to Creed’s Arms Wide Open”.  


And lastly we need to ban show offs.  No one cares if you can hit all the notes in a medley from Wicked. People who have to do warm up exercise or get into character as Sandy from Grease are ruining the night for everyone.  Really good singing is a form of bullying less talented people, and a “No Cover Karaoke Night At The Airport Marriott” is no place for bullying.  You may think the audience will be impressed with your range, but truthfully it’s just going to make people whisper “they’re so talented, why aren’t they doing this professionally”;  and the only thing sadder than a “has been”, is a “never was”.  Death comes for us all one day.  When you are judged for your sins, you don’t want “took karaoke way too serious” to be the one that turns you away from the pearly gates.


All this said, there’s really only one rule for karaoke: No One Should Perform “Leather And Lace”.  It’s like the worst parts of a wedding “first dance” where everyone in the room just watches two people sway back and forth, except swaying one at a time with guitar interludes.  Nobody has time for that nonsense.

If you enjoyed today’s moot, follow Kevin on Twitter and check out more of his work on his website. If you are feeling generous, consider donating to RAICES Texas, Kevin’s charity of choice.

*For each moot, we generate a cover image using  DALL·E, an AI art platform that generates images using natural language processing. This image on the right was generated using the title, 'Life’s too Short for Bad Karaoke' in the style of Norman Rockwell, Kevin's artist of choice.*

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DALL·E 2022-09-07 19.29.42 - Karaoke Bar by Norman Rockwell.png

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