Bloomington, Indiana holds a variety of entertainment options for students attending Indiana University and the local community that have been living here their entire lives. If one narrows down a specific form of entertainment, they must still then pick and choose where they want to hangout and collaborate. That can be a challenge in the widely ranged selection of the beautiful city of Bloomington. A distinguishing form of amusement to choose from is karaoke, and Bloomington holds a diverse group of settings for it. The multiple numbers of karaoke bars and areas differ greatly in size, age groups, audience, and many other detailed factors. So, what are some details and components that entail in the characterization of different locations and venues of karaoke bars here in Bloomington, Indiana? The sounds, settings, and significances will bring some surprising information towards our understanding of demographics and the relationships they bring to particular locales.
In a common dictionary it mentions that karaoke is a Japanese word literally meaning “empty orchestra.” It is the use of technological equipment that plays only the instrumental sounds with the artists vocal tracks removed. Karaoke first appeared in Japan, where it became popular among men in the business district in the late 1970s. It is usually performed at bars, where enthusiasts could perform on a stage and sing popular ballods by reading lyrics displayed on a monitor. It has gained widespread popularity in the U.S. in the late 1980s and continues to be successful everywhere (Shelemay 437-438).
As mentioned previously, there are many karaoke bars spread throughout the large city of Bloomington. Most of them are in the heart of the student community on Walnut Street and nearby blocks. There is one specific bar that grabs many students’ attentions during the school year and summer for karaoke; The Bluebird Nightclub. The precise location of this well-known social stomping ground is on 216 North Walnut St., not even a mile away from the gorgeous Indiana University campus. Students flock here every Monday to enjoy the festivities of “Karaoke Night” a.k.a. “Open Mic. Night.” Once a week, The Bluebird provides fellow partygoers to appreciate a unique atmosphere, allowing any and every one to take a stab at feeling like a rock star.
The reasoning why “rock star” is used is because The Bluebird has the user stand atop the huge stage in front of the audience with the PA (Public Address) system behind them. The speakers are blaring and giving them a vibrating sensation and adrenaline rush during their performance. People are cheering, heckling, screaming, and sometimes throwing things at the participants. Even if one does not want to sing alone because of embarrassment, the nightclub allows users to sing in groups of multiple people. After the singers pick their song of choice, everyone grabs a microphone for him or herself and/or shares the mic with another and begins to read off the lyrics off a screen that is set up nearby. If available for the chosen song, there are music videos on televisions accompanying the performance. The music genres change tremendously from singer to singer, consisting of Pop, Country, Hip-Hop, and occasionally Metal. For instance, based off of my personal observations at The Bluebird, when the genres change, the demographics of participants change as well. For example, when Pop music is played through the nightclub one can assume that the majority of the time it will be a female or a group of females. That assumption can also go for the genre of Country music also. I have noticed that men do not want to personify feminine characteristics when singing because they are mainly attempting to impress the ladies in the bar. “Coming across as ‘girly’ is a trait most women find unattractive,” said Sarah Whitamaker, a weekly karaoke contributor. I ran into Sarah during one of my observations at The Bluebird Nightclub during a typical...
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