Portland Karaoke Chronicles: Thawing Out The Awesome

By Will Radik

Thursday night I ran Chopsticks karaoke like it was my job, because it was. Per usual, the evening started off with a few people singing in rotation for the first half hour, with me filling in some gaps. A large group of what seemed like karaoke conscientious objectors had taken over the middle tables. They neither sang nor clapped.

(Update: Will is at Chopsticks tomorrow, Sunday, 12-21. Stop By. Say Hi. Sing. Make Out.)

abominable snowperson by robotpolisher on flickr)

But around 9:30 or so, my fears about the weather (zomg Snowgasm!) were dispelled. The real crowd trickled in and we got down to some serious business. Soon, full-on dance floor action broke out. Once the dance is out of the box at Chopsticks, it stays out.

One of my favorite performances of the night was a drunken rendition of Buffet's iconic American masterpiece, Margaritaville, performed by Margarithe and a lightly tossed friend. They got up there and yucked it up like true karaoke masters, punctuating every line of the song with hard-liquor giggle fits.

We were fortunate enough to have karaoke ventriloquism performance artist Danny Norton, and his small woody buddy Lester, show up for one of eyecandyassshaketheir occasional performances. I was delighted to find Danny does some other interesting things, among them performing a rare, light-driven instrument known as the Drum Buddy in two Portland bands (The Golden Greats, Toy Boat Toy Boat) and VJing at all-request music video museum exhibition/dance parties Eye Candy Sundae and Eye Candy Ass Shake.

One of my tweeps @PDXSoshlbutrfly showed up, fresh from the Meetin Portland Mingler at Blitz Bar, with some of her friends. Sadly, half of them were driven away early due to smoke sensitivity, but this is a good time to remind you that, like all bars in Portland, Chopsticks Express will be smoke free in Jan. So I expect to see more of my tweeples out there! No more excuses.

Now I know that the conservative base is constantly attacking karaoke as being destructive to the American family but this is false! In fact, I would estimate, with absolutely no statistics or sources whatsoever, that over 20% of children since 1998 were conceived with the parents experiencing a warm karaoke afterglow.

funny-baby by Etolane on flickr

Now you should know that, although I have a bitter, frozen heart, and the wages of romance are my enemy, (as I am a warrior/poet who shall not be chained), I am not immune to some cutesy action. Toward the end of the night I had a fellow, let's call him John, who wanted to sing to impress his girlfriend (as young men are wont to do), but he was a karaoke virgin, and nervous.

He told me he had worries the night would end before he could sing, causing him to have experienced that stage anxiety in vain! Little did he know, his girlfriend had already come up and thrown some money on his slip to get it up faster. He thanked me as he started his song and she turned around and winked. They sang the Pina Colada song together, and even had a brief mid-karaoke makeout sess. Aww.

Even now, his sperm are probably racing up her fallopian tubes, singing 80's pop songs and Christmas music like tiny flagella-equipped music boxes.

Maybe they'll come back with the kid in October. Gotta hook 'em young. See you next week!

<3 ——- <3

Will Radik, as well as being a KJ at Chopsticks Express, is a visual artist, audio technician, podcaster, and serial volunteer who grew up mostly in the SF Bay Area and Chicagoland. You can find his personal blog at inyourwater.wordpress.com.

Related Posts:


  • Image 1: The PDX #snowpocalypse could not stop us. (photo: abominable snowperson by robotpolisher on flickr)
  • Image 3: the end result of Karaoke. photo: funny-baby by Etolane on flickr


5 Responses to Portland Karaoke Chronicles: Thawing Out The Awesome

  1. Julian Chadwick December 20, 2008 at 2:05 pm #

    Danny rocks! I saw him–I mean Lester–sing Screaming Jay Hawkings “I Put a Spell On You” up there one night. It was fantastic.

    • willradik December 20, 2008 at 2:13 pm #

      Yeah. I remembered what he sang on Thursday. He sang “The Tide is High.”

  2. pdxsocialbutterfly December 20, 2008 at 3:57 pm #

    I can’t believe I missed the mad karaoke-makeout session. WTF! Dammit! All well, 2 more weeks and it will be smoke free, my friends won’t have anything to complain about! I cant wait to try the chow mein!

    • willradik December 20, 2008 at 4:05 pm #

      Well I’m glad you made it out! : D See you soon!

  3. meagank December 24, 2008 at 10:07 pm #

    I’m coming next week. I have to. I can’t believe I’ve gone so long. Travesty!

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