Redeye - singing for my supper November 18 2004

Once I received a unique form of recognition for showcasing my singular karaoke skills at the Clermont. After finishing a rousing, riveting and rending rendition of Guns N' Roses' "Paradise City," I was publicly offered a drink by the KJ (karaoke jock) if I agreed to not sing again on his watch. I slunk from the stage. Yet I was silently proud that I'd won a prize of any sort. Now, however, having attended the eighth annual Georgia State Karaoke Music Awards, I realize the shrinking scale of my "achievement."

"Will sing for food" took on new meaning seeing how serious the 200-odd people in attendance at Park Tavern on the afternoon of Sun., Nov. 14, approached their karaoke. I believe some of these people would forgo many seemingly necessary functions for karaoke; some may actually eat, drink and bath in karaoke — or at least eat, drink and bath in the warm glow of a karaoke monitor on every possible night. And these awards, organized by BIG Enterprises, acknowledge the karaoke krazy. (There's even www.karaokeniteout newsletter.com to help bring together the masses.)

They come from Roswell, Marietta, Austell and Tucker with a love of all things country, pop and R&B, contemporary and classic. It doesn't matter as long as it can scroll across a screen. They represent bars including Sweetwater Inn, Topps II, Chaplins, Jimmy Mac's, Val's, Kastaways and Hungry City, among others. And they're all in diametric opposition to the mugging hipsters who trivialize the songs that make the whole world sing.

Take multiple nominee/award winner Matthew Sease. He's been doing it for more than a decade. And he's not alone in his earnest appreciation of the art, as the fervid attendees and nearly five-hour ceremony showed.

The show ended with its official closing song, "We Are the World." And it got me thinking that at the heart of this semi-casual surrealism is a seemingly sincere desire to promote fellowship. After all, to take to that karaoke machine is to lay yourself bare and allow yourself to be judged by your peers — that takes balls. I may never win a KMA, but there's room behind the teleprompter for every patron and every interpretation, parody to pious. And for all you serious karaoke devotees, follow the KMAs further at www.bigkaraoke.com.

Double (trouble) time

There are some additional "awards" to announce this week, and I'm not just talking about "Most Likely to Fall Asleep in Public." That award goes to me for the fifth year running, as I managed to take an hour nap in a booth at the Earl on Fri., Nov. 12, after yet another energetic show by '60s revivalist rompers the Woggles. I've learned falling asleep around your friends involves balls, as well, just usually the word "balls" written on your forehead when you wake-up-to-make up. I don't know why I'm not more careful.

More importantly, Midtown anchor Eleven50 celebrated four years of hosting the DJ world's international elite this past weekend, while Buckhead touchstone Tongue & Groove claims 10 years Thurs., Nov. 18. Beauty in a Blink talent management held a fashion show Sun., Nov. 14, to celebrate two years, while CLICK Models, long associated with Karma/The Mark, will similarly mark 10 years at that very venue, the Mark, on Dec. 3. Congratulations to all.

Keep one RedEye open. And send all comments, questions, observations and invitations to redeye@creativeloafing.com.