When you have 6 children and 15 grandchildren like my wife, Judy, and I have, you don’t have to look very hard to find someone, actually more than one, in fact, who loves karaoke and gets a big kick out of entertaining themselves, and all within their hearing, at any opportunity. Actually, I have to admit, as embarrassing as it is sometimes to watch, and sometimes even more painful to listen to, we have on numerous occasions been thoroughly amused by karaoke performers achieving a measure of the fame and stardom they envision themselves claiming.
Perhaps because of that interest, one of our many, I can assure you, I follow the previous week’s news on the topic from Google Alerts. This past week, I noted with satisfaction a brief report in the Feminine.co.uk feed that Charlotte Church is a very big fan of karaoke herself. In fact, she has apparently begun seriously considering pursuing a return to the spotlight as she has contemplated her growing obsession with singing karaoke.
According to the Feminine report, and I paraphrase here, Charlotte Church began singing karaoke while taking some time off from work. The spell binding vocalist of ‘Crazy Chick’ fame – who most recently returned to British TV screens as a judge on ‘Over the Rainbow’ -the new talent search show from Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber – realized it was time to return to the spotlight when she couldn’t stop herself getting up on stage when out with boyfriend Gavin Henson.
She said that she had been mostly staying at home caring for her children and increasingly felt the desire to get back into music. In her words, “I missed
singing; every time we’d go out I’d end up in a karaoke bar and I’d completely steal the mic – ‘Black Velvet’, ‘Walking in Memphis’, ‘Valerie’.
“So I thought, ‘It’s getting a little low-rent now, Charl’, come on now, you should probably do this again professionally.”
In discussing her comeback to music, 24-year-old Charlotte – who has a two-year-old daughter Ruby and 14-month-old son Dexter – promised that her new album will be a “lot better” than was her ‘Tissues and Issues’ effort that was released back in 2005.
She also reported that she had been doing quite a bit of songwriting recently. She said that she felt that she had some inner feelings that she wanted to express and that there’s a little part of her that wants to be a poet. She also noted, though, that another factor was because so few, if any, really writes songs for her range, and I think we all can agree that that truly is exceptional.
Her interview with Feminine concluded with her commenting, “When I listen back to ‘Tissues and Issues’, that was kind of my first try at writing, and I think ‘Ahhh! So little!’ And I might think that of this (new) album in 10 years’ time. But I don’t think so. I think it’s a lot better.”
Well, personally, I hope Ms. Charlotte Church does return to the recording studio so that more than those lucky pub patrons who happen to be present when she decides to give in to her karaoke cravings can listen and revel in hearing her wonderful voice. Just the thought of listening to an evening of karaoke entertainment the quality of Charlotte Church’s singing intrigues me.
As for those of you, like us, who also are karaoke fans, and maybe karaoke superstars to be, take heart that counted among us is a talent the likes of Charlotte Church. And if performing karaoke is a very big passion for you and you’re motivated to become as good at it as you can be, remember that, as with most everything else, practice goes a long way toward improving your performance and polishing your musical routine. A great way to do that is with the “Karaoke Superstar” product that we’re pleased to promote at our website and blog. You can check out our video review of it by clicking on the link provided in the “About the Author” area..
It’s oblique but it’s all there
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‘The most I can do is try to repeat what took place in a different zone in mental terms, trying to distinguish between what made up a part of that sudden conglomeration in its own right and what other associations might have become incorporated into it parasitically.’ – Julio Cortazar, 62: A Model Kit
More and more my memory and experience of works is coloured by the places and the people with whom I encountered them. This screening brings together works that have been important to me over the last few years selected from places where I have lived for a time and where I have filmed myself. The screening features works from Thailand, Hong Kong, USA, Mexico, Taiwan, the Philippines and Aotearoa New Zealand interspersed with fragments from my ongoing project Untitled (Eyemo rolls) shot in these various countries since I began travelling with an Eyemo 35mm film camera in 2011. Each work is drawn from a particular geography but also blurs the line between them. The project is a way to think about entanglement and the cinema as a locality between places.
The selected films speak to particular places but also to the memory of them, to subculture’s reclaiming of space or the resistant occupation. The works are drawn from each of these locations, but often they blur the line between them; Thai artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s 011-66-43-225-059 was made when he was home sick while studying in Chicago, Chick Strand’s Guacamole was made in Mexico during her periodic trips there from her home in Los Angeles. The films speak to particular places but also to the memory of them, subcultural’s reclaiming space or resistance to occupation from Mok Chiu-yu’s iconoclastic Letter to the Young Intellectuals of Hong Kongan open call to political action in Hong Kong during British colonial rule, Chen Chieh-Jen’s action against the conditions in Taiwan during period of martial law or surfer culture as in MalibuNow, You Can Do Anything. A careful balance exists in many of the works between the observers perspective and staged scenarios in front of the camera from the collective Tito & Tita’s feline screen-test Director’s Cat to Shannon Te Ao’s hypnotic reading to house plants of the poetry of Joanna Margaret Paul. Reflecting on her writing and films, Joanna Margaret Paul stated ‘when my work is all laid out together the jigsaw puzzle of my life will show itself, I think…It’s oblique, but it’s all there.’
– George Clark