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lip sync vs. karaoke
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Mr. Barzak responds:

2. Karaoke vs. lip-sync -- pro and con?

A very good question. I've had to give it much thought, as it's a delicate issue.

Let's start with Karaoke. The very nature of it is all about YOU, fabulous YOU. Get up and vocalize, throw in a few fancy moves and mannerisms. Do this either in homage or in great irony. A very versatile activity, as you may find yourself listening to an incredibly heart-wrenching rendition of a sad love song, or putting together a mock mosh pit while someone trashes an eighties song. Karaoke has power, but you must be a self-aware karaoker to access it. Do not simply go up and think you can flub your way through something (ahem, okay, I've given up menntioning what happened at Gavin and Kelly's wedding--you know who you are). Go up with panache and grace. Your intentions should be clear to the audience. Otherwise you are just another yokel with a beer in one hand and the mic in the other.

Lip syncing, on the other hand, is a far more fey practice. This involves the body in ways that karaoke doesn't necessarily promote (although it does not preclude this!). Lip syncing can be like ballet, if it's done right. Someone has orchestrated a "delivery" of a song, an interpretation of a performer's persona. It is not for just anyone. In many ways, lip syncing is poetry to karaoke's prose. But it lacks the versatility that karaoke has. It's hard to be ironic while lip syncing, unless you're a drag queen, and then you're ironic in general, and this carries over.

For me personally, karaoke wins out. Lip syncing is a dying art that came before the wise invention of portable microphones and lyricless tracks and strange videos to accompany a karoke stylist. Just face it. karaoke is where it's at.

So, some of us weren't as prepared to be true back-up singers on "Love Shack" as others, so-- we still feel guilty about that one.

earworm: "Love Shack," (baby!) The B-52's, or possibly something by Madonna or even the Glove Monster

rec: picking old Bon Jovi songs instead of pop

namecheck: Chris "Rhythm is Gonna Get You" Barzak

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