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Karaoke Killers

10 Karaoke Songs Guaranteed to Clear the Room

Worst Karaoke Songs

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Portlandia is celebrating its love of popular songs, crazy background music videos and lots and lots of liquid courage. That’s right! Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein are infusing their sketch comedy show with a touch of karaoke this week. As this dynamic duo of comedy plans the set list for the upcoming episode, we can only pray to the karaoke gods that they don’t fall victim to one of these awful jams.

Some songs are great for continuing the unique frivolity one finds only in a karaoke bar, while others can clear out the room in mere minutes. These are the latter…

10. “At Seventeen,” Janis Ian

As Liz Lemon so eloquently showed with her performance on 30 Rock, “At Seventeen” is such a karaoke buzzkill. A song about the harsh realities of growing up is the last thing we all want when we’re trying to drink as much liquid courage as needed to go up and sing T-Swift’s new hit.


9. “Let It Go,” Idina Menzel

“Let It Go” entered our lives when Disney’s Frozen hit theaters only a couple years ago, but we’ve heard it enough to last a lifetime. The last thing we need is some plastered Broadway wannabe attempting to screech that final high note, like Adele Dazeem tried to do during that New Year’s Eve performance heard ’round the world.


8. “Bootylicious,” Destiny’s Child

“Bootylicious” is a Destiny’s Child classic, but it’s a lot harder than it looks…trust us. We know from personal experience. You get up there thinking that the prompter will guide you along the way, but you soon realize that the only line you actually know is, “I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly.” The rest of the time will be spent clinging to the lyrics like they’re a career comeback and you’re Kirstie Alley.


7. “Summer Nights,” Grease

You don’t wanna be the one in your karaoke troupe to get up and sing something from Grease, but you sure as hell don’t wanna be the one to do “Summer Nights” of all the songs from the soundtrack. (Really, even “Hand Jive” is less predictable.) This song terrorized karaoke bars across the country before a group of heroes sent it back to the hellfire from which it emerged. That’s the only logical explanation we can come up with.


6. Really Anything Broadway…

Unless you have the pipes to hold your performance up against the likes of Patti Lupone, Kristen Chenoweth and Audra McDonald, a good rule of thumb is to stay away from musical theater numbers. They’re usually super long and contradict the vibe most karaoke bars are trying to cultivate. Do you really want to force your buddies to sit through an entire rendition of “Defying Gravity”? Save it for your community theater audition.

5. “Lighting Crashes,” Live

Every once in a while you’ll see a burly dude pull out this earnest ’90s chestnut at karaoke. That means you also have to hear him sing lines like “her placenta falls to the floor” and “lightning crashes/an old mother dies” with a straight face.


4. “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Queen

Queen is a pretty regular contender for karaoke shenanigans, but be careful of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” As Admiral Ackbar said, “It’s a trap!” If you don’t have a couple of buddies up at the mic with you, you’re just that guy trying to sing all the parts by yourself and you’ll sound ridiculous. Plus, it’s always longer than you remember.


3. “Friday,” Rebecca Black

“Friday” is the karaoke blunder of the modern age. There have been a few teenie weenie pop singers trying to emulate the incessant overzealous joy of Fridays, but nothing can compare to the original Rebecca Black classic. And we don’t mean that as a compliment. So keep this as far away from karaoke as humanly possible. We need a few more years before this one earns funny/kitchsy karaoke status like, say, “Barbie Girl.”


2. “Someone Like You,” Adele

This is such a good song…but not for karaoke. It’s perfect if you want to stay at home and down a pint of Ben & Jerry’s as tears smear your mascara-stained face, but it’s not what we would call a joyous time. Don’t believe us? We’ll prove it by watching this adorable dog fall to emotional pieces because of it. #TooReal for karaoke.


1. “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That),” Meatloaf

I’d do anything for the karaoke gods, but I won’t sing this song. If you though “Bohemian Rhapsody” is long, “I’d Do Anything For Love” is longer and has far less variation. Its low tempo, moderately soothing melody and prolonged trudge into oblivion makes this one tough song to sell unless your real name is Marvin Lee Aday.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.