Pants Karaoke’s triumphant return (ish)
âNow let’s bring Ryan on stage. “
These are words I hadn’t heard in a long time, and they instantly sent my body into defense mode, pumping a sweet-salty mixture of adrenaline and anxiety through my veins. I went up the stairs. For a brief moment before the music hit, all I could hear was the disembodied whisper of bar chatter, and it felt juicy.
What did I get myself into?
But then the bass-heavy intro to Soul Coughing’s mid-90s hit, “Super Bon Bon,” sounded from the sound system. I released the mic and sang the band’s nasal signature: Move to one side and let the man pass. Let the man pass.
By the second verse all my nervousness was gone and that silly White-boy pseudo-rap unabashedly spilled out of my mouth.
It turns out that it doesn’t take a lot of exercise to get your karaoke muscles back in shape.
On July 11, Pants Karaoke returned to the Til-Two Club in City Heights, and for the regular community that frequented Pants (as it is sometimes called) every Sunday night before the pandemic, it was bliss.
Everyone thinks their karaoke night is the best, but they’re wrong. Karaoke pants are the best. On the one hand, the songbook is off the hook. No other karaoke party will have nearly all of Radiohead‘s songs (even B-sides) in existence. Want to sing The Misfits, Phoebe Bridgers, The National, LCD Soundsystem or BeyoncÃ©? You can sing them to Pants.
And that selection widened considerably during the pandemic. As everyone perfected their sourdough breads, Scotty Pants – the brains of Pants KJ (karaoke jockey) – discovered a new way to quickly create karaoke tracks from almost any song. It is a method that he cryptically calls the process.
When I asked him how many songs he had made in his spare time, Scotty Pants said, “It’s something like 4,300.”
But more than the selection of songs, it’s the community.
When COVID precautions banned religious services indoors, I kind of understood the outcry (emphasis is on the kind of): These are the places we feel a connection. I’m not religious, so pants are the closest thing to church. This is something Scotty Pants understands, as evidenced by the virtual karaoke party he hosted every Sunday during shutdown. Sure, singing softly into Zoom while a cat sleeps on your lap doesn’t have the same visceral thrill as tripping over a White Zombie song in front of a bunch of strangers, but it’s quite something.
My Soul Coughing song is over. I left the stage to moderate applause. I did well. Not great, but no one goes to Pants Karaoke to be a star. It’s a place to take risks, trip up, and make a fool of yourself in front of friends.
As the night went on, the atmosphere became euphoric. A singer by the stage name JMoney started singing “Jump In The Line” by Harry Belefonte and Katie Reams – a regular singer – formed a conga line, dragging people until almost half the bar was over. engulfed.
âIt’s like one of those dinner scenes in the gangster movies,â said fellow regular Butch Rosser, watching the festivities. “Where everything’s perfect right before it goes to hell.”
With the Delta variant lurking in the corners of our conversations, threatening to shut things down again, I knew what Butch meant, but hoped he wasn’t right, because there are still plenty of new songs. that I still need to sing.
Due to the Delta variant, Pants Karaoke is once again on hiatus until further notice. Find updates at Facebook.com/pantskaraoke.