Is it too stereotypical to say Asians love karaoke? Almost every Cambodian family I knew growing up in the Khmer community had a karaoke machine with those HUGE LP’s. Needless to say, every Khmer party was not complete without food (noodles, pra-hok, or hot pot), card playing, and of course, music, meaning karaoke. Sometimes I enjoy going, most times, I can’t wait to go home, snuggle in bed with a good book or movie and avoid people.
The only time I like going to those parties is to see the music videos. Every music video we have always have caption on the bottom. For me, it was a good way to learn how to read Khmer. It is not an easy language to read, believe me. I’m sitting there, sounding out consonants and vowels. Good thing is, I tend to try to memorize songs. But believe me, Khmer songs do not use simple words like English songs. It’s all classical or poetic words that I don’t have a clue about unless it’s said within context. But somehow, I always find it more romantic because it’s written like a puzzle, or as we call it, a “prissana”.
I am rambling now.
Recently, at work, there’s been a bit of karaoke in K-Town (one of the best places is Duet 35 in midtown Manhattan but there are several others…if you can read Korean characters). These are just some of my favorite karaoke playlist. You’ll see it’s mostly female songs.
- Celine Dion, seriously, who doesn’t want to sing My Heart Will Go On? Of course, some of her old ones are just as good, Power of Love, Because You Love, I Drive All Night, etc
- Mariah Carey…Remember that version of I Can’t [Ken] Live Without You? Of course, Heroes, Always Be My Baby are just some great classics
- Whitney Houston. I admit it, I love belting out I Will Always Love You but then again, I LOVE The Bodyguard OST and can sing any of those songs but I do love her older stuff, How Do I Know and Wanna Dance With Somebody
- Madonna. Ow, For the very first time, Like a Virgin. What a great classic, along with Like A Prayer, Papa Don’t Preach, oh, I love the songs from Evita!
- Classic anthems like I Will Survive or Total Eclipse of the Heart. Songs about break ups and getting revenge or moving on
- Disney songs like Part of Your World, Beauty and the Beast, Reflection; back in the old days when Disney actually produced hits
- Aerosmith: Cryin’…just gotta love it since I’m from northeast and all
- Girl Anthem like Alanis Morrisette, Spice Girls, Destiny Child, Gwen Stefani, P!nk, Britney Spears…I’m sure for the newbies, they’ll be popstars I can’t even name
- Broadway classics: Phantom, Les Mis, Little Shop of Horror, you name it!
- Bon Jovi, Coldplay, Queen, Journey, the Eagle, the Police is always a classic
So what are some of your favorites?