....except they actually don't. As I discovered, much to my chagrin, while indulging in my favorite sport (karaoke) at the Macado's in Radford, Virginia last weekend.
Ok, so here's the story. My friend Carl was (until recently) a DJ in the Radford area and also an employee at the Radford college bookstore. We first met about 7 years ago (holy shit it's been that long?) when we both worked at the William and Mary bookstore when I was law school. Since then I have moved to DC and he moved to Radford. Unfortunately it had been a long time since we saw each other, but when I went down to Blacksburg to visit Andi and Jeff we were able to meet up. And it wasn't a moment too soon, because Carl got a sweetass job at a college bookstore in a small town in West Virginia and was leaving literally the next day.
Of course I had to put in an appearance at his Saturday night karaoke. Especially since Carl credits with me with introducing him to karaoke during our Williamsburg days, it seemed to make sense for me to be there for his last Radford karaoke night. But! This was my first experience with karaoke in a real redneck bar. Sure, I had been to Rock It Grill in Alexandria a lot, but come on, this is northern Virginia. Radford is the real thing. I was not surprised by the amount of country music (duh) but I was a bit taken aback by the prevalence of angry 90s grunge. Who knew people in Radford were so angsty. I mean, if I loved there I would be probably go crazy and start throwing chairs, but I figured all those folks were used to it. Maybe the grunge rock was a way for them to express their rage in a healthy manner.
This one guy, he would sit at a table by himself with headphones in his ears. At first I thought he just didn't want to hear anyone else sing, but Carl explained that he was actually listening to the song he was planning to sing to make sure he got everything right. Seriously? This is karaoke at Macado's, not American Idol. Chill, dude.
Carl and I brought the house down with some duets (Summer Nights and Fat Bottomed Girls), and I kicked things off with a rendition of Alone by Heart that wasn't too shabby, but yeah. Ke$ha. Carl requested that I do Your Love Is My Drug, so I got up there and to break the ice I made the Glee joke. You know, "this one is by Ke dollar sign ha." I swear, you could hear crickets chirping. So then I started the song, and yeeeeeeeeeeah. Let's just say this was not the crowd for Ke$ha. I'm not sure if I was just sucking at the song or they had never heard it or what. But it was not good. Probably one of my #1 most awkward karaoke moments EVER. And that's saying a lot. I mean, I once did I Touch Myself.
So the moral of the story is: when you go to a redneck bar, go for the classics rather than the latest pop hit. And apparently you can't go wrong if you channel your inner angry white suburban white boy.