- What songs do you have available?
Take a look at our list of tracks
- What does "Commercial" mean?
"Commercial" means a track we purchased. It's a commercially available track that anyone can get (and Bruce likely has in the front room, too).
Commercial tracks will generally be the more commonplace, including a lot of the 80s and 90s alternative that people like to sing now and then, and less of the hardcore Goth and Industrial.
However, a number of the more well-known goth bands do have commercial tracks available on occassion. The Sisters of Mercy, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and The Cure are prime examples of this.
Except for very mainstream things like Nine Inch Nails and Rammstein, you won't find much Industrial under this category.
- Of your commercial tracks, what companies produce them? I'm used to seeing (and writing down) track IDs that give an idea as to the company that produced them
We have a wide assortment. We intend to start including this information in the list (at least the online version, anyway) but we haven't yet marked it all down. Commercial tracks come mostly from Sunfly, SoundChoice, and Zoom, though there are other sources.
We don't use the IDs/codes/serial numbers because our software makes it far too simple to look up by title, and after a few drinks we probably won't be able to read those codes anyway (whether affecting our reading or your handwriting, let's be honest here!).
- What is a "converted" track?
Converted tracks are tracks that we have stripped the vocals out of using a number of audio processing techniques, usually in combination, and then synced lyrics up to.
Converted tracks have all the same on-screen lyrics (and usually better, as some of the commercial companies don't seem to pay attention to whether the lyrics they put on screen are right or make any sense.
The main difference is that in some commercial tracks there will still be some vocals remaining. It depends on the track and how well we can strip out the vocals without ruining the music, too.
- Will you convert a track for me?
In all honestly, it depends on the track, how well it fits our genre, how much demand we can sense for it, and whether we even can convert it. Sometimes it's just impossible. For instance all the attempts we've made to remove vocals from Nitzer Ebb's "Join in the Chant" result in nothing but a long drum loop. All musical elements except the percussion come out along with the vocals.
That said, you are welcome to request a conversion. We'll do what we can if we're willing to do it (for instance, we won't convert any Dr. Dre, even if everyone at Death Guild begged us, but we might convert a Switchblade Symphony song off a single request (and have).
Despite the apparent genre and so on, we won't convert (or purchase) any Mindless Self-Indulgence. This is because Dodger really really hates them. We have to have a few irrational standards!
- Are there any songs you have that are no on this list?
- What are they?
Stuff we don't want you singing.
- Why not?!
Because it would fuck with our night. Consider: Every karaoke night is all-request. This means that if a crowd comes in and requests, for instance, Tool and Metallica over and over, we could get a good crowd going of Tool and Metallica fans. But that's not who we're targeting. We're targeting the Goth crowd. Maybe that's suicide, but we don't want to be "Caritas Metal Karaoke."
We've had stuff on the list before, and we still have stuff, that is there to provide variety. We realise that probably 90% of the goth crowd actually really likes Tool and a fair segment likes Metallica. Or at least Metallica before they became "Grumpy Old Metallica." We have nothing against Maynard.
We just don't want to be flooded with his fans and end up alienating the core crowd we want to cater to.
Or if you'd like a shallower explanation, we would rather have a lot of hot chicks in corsets than pseudo-hippies in frumpy jeans and tuques.
Think of it as our version of a dress code, but less imposing.
- What is a "source" track?
So glad you asked! Those are very very special. OK some are only kinda special but often they are very special. A source track is a Karaoke track of a lyrical song created from an instrumental version of that track. While in some cases (such as The Sisters of Mercy's "Marian" or VNV Nations "Saviour") it just means there's both versions on different albums, most of the time it means we begged, bothered, and annoyed bands such as Bow Ever Down, Sonik Foundry, Assemblage 23, and Voltaire until they gave us instrumentals. We're still in the process of bugging some other musicians, such as Ego Likeness, The Strand, Aesthetic Perfection/Necessary Response, and Eric Gottesman of Psyclon 9, Ayria, and See Colin Slash (linked so you can bug him too).
Anyway, Source Tracks are the absolute cleanest ones you can perform. They are better than commercial tracks because commercial tracks are created by a dedicated cover band performing a cover of the song, and then syncing vocals to that. A source track, however, is the real song by the real artist, sans vocals.
And of these, the best ones are the ones where we get them straight from the musician, because they will be the released track exactly minus lead (or all) vocals.
- I know Ronan Harris! I can...
We'd like to handle the negotiations and bothering ourselves, to be honest. If you can put us in contact with someone, that's great. Though actually not Ronan. He has a thing against karaoke or something. We're just going to let that sleeping dog lie.
Issar, on the other hand, would be a great contact! We'd love to get in contact, but we would also like to do the contact thing ourselves so there are no misunderstandings (or so any misunderstandings are on our heads and not yours!). Yes, drama free. Wierd for a goth club huh?
- What is a "covered" track? How is that different from the commercial tracks you just described above?
Well, it's not really. Except that we're the ones that covered it. These are arguably the hardest because we have to do our best to duplicate the song. Made worse by the fact that none of us are really what you would call musicians. We're geek-goths with Fruity Loops, Garage Band, a MIDI controller, music theory PDFs on hand, and so on.
We really have no clue what we're doing. But sometimes we get lucky and it doesn't suck.
This happens more with the old goth stuff using physical instruments, because matching patches in Industrial is a nightmare. For instance, that "chime-shaker" thing that starts out Dead Stars... what is it? Yeah, not that easy. Dodger has over a thousand sound file patches and nothing sounds much like it.
While at the time of this writing there aren't any finished examples of this, a "covered" track may also, at some point, mean we've remixed the vocals out which is way different than audio processing to strip them out. It involves identifying instrumental measures in the song that are identical to other parts of the song except for their lack of lyrics, and then, mashing the song up with itself, mixing out all the lyrics. This may or may not work, and may or may not remove other instruments (or introduce them in the wrong places).
- What's a singalong?
Actually, there aren't any of those in the books yet, so this isn't a frequently asked question yet, but we imagine that at some point it will be if we do this. As we said, vocal stripping is a long and ardurous art and may or may not work. We are giving thought to the idea of simply syncing lyrics up with the actual track, vocals and all. If we do this, it would mean, for instance for a Bauhaus song, you and Peter Murphy would be singing together. Both at full volume.
We haven't yet made up our minds on this, mostly because we are concerned with the potential for confusion.
- Do you always end the night with Dead Stars?
For now. For a while. We started this way for a few months, and so upon re-starting in San Francisco we're re-establishing this tradition. Later we may wander off this format again. One idea we've thrown out is to have people vote for a finale song. Another is to have people vote for a specific singer to sing a song chosen by the crowd. It would be a combination Scaryoke and honour at the same time (because if you win it means either you sang best or at least you just won a popularity contest).
We're still playing with this, so for now it's Dead Stars. Unless Dodger Rickrolls us.
- What if I want to do Dead Stars?
We don't do repeats, so... no.
- On the slip it says "Alternative"—What's that for?
We don't do repeats. That means if someone just sang Zombie Prostitute and you turn in a slip that says you wan to sing Zombie Prostitute you're shit out of luck (even if you bribe).
The "Alternative" entry on the slip is where you can fill in a song to substitute for the one you did sing. It's your second choice. Your fallback.
It is not your "next song after"—if we can fill your first request, your second choice is discarded. There's a reason for this, too. While our software handles rotation, we have to manually identify those repeats and avoid them and 86 them form the list. If we took your alternative as your next song, you'd be getting your request in out of order and it's hard enough to keep track without that added aspect.
If you want your slip back because you can't remember what you put as your request, just grab it. We toss them all on the shelf behind us until the end of the night when we burn them as part of a sacrifice to Baron Samedi.
- OMFG! I'm in for Peepshow and I just realised you're serious about this being a Gothic karaoke night and actually looked at the books and OMG I wanna do Christine instead!!! Can I change my song?
Yes, usually. Just tell a KJ (Dodger or Jack).
That said, we really do mean "usually"—sometimes you can't. Here's when:
- If your song is up now you cannot change your song. It's too late.
- If your song is next and it's within a minute of the end of the person currently singing being done, you cannot change your song. That's dangerous. By the time we have entered your song to sing, you may be up, and thus see rule #1 above.
- If you have already changed two songs over the course of the evening... let's be frank: You need to start making up your mind better, and you're getting annoying about it, so no.
- Can I have a copy of this track?
- Can I buy you a drink?
Sure. Though tips are even better!
- How much do you get paid for this?
Not that it's really your business, but... nothing. We do this shit for fun.
- How do you strip vocals out of songs?
Well, we load up the track in our sound editor and then we apply a trade secret. Or five.
- You know, I've done sound and use CakeSonikFruitbleton Live and I know all about how to do this and what you should do is blah blah blah blah blah.
That's nice. Sorry if that's harsh but if you start doing that, we start humming The Major General's Song in our heads.
- You know what you should do? You should...
While we welcome all suggestions (and feel free to discuss on our Facebook Wall), while we're doing our thing please don't tell us how to run our night. You wouldn't want someone doing it to you. Yes, Bruce may do things differently. Yes the guy on Britpop night may do things differently. We are all individuals (I'm not!) and we all have our own ways of going about things. When you are the host of a karaoke night, you can do it however you feel works best. If you want to make an announcement before the first song, or sing the first song yourself, or not, it's up to you. Right now, it's up to us. Deal. (That ones's a big pet peeve of anyone running a night.)
- Hey this song is off!
We're keeping track of bad songs. Even better now that we have a database. And we will do what we can as they come up. However, in some cases (particularly converted tracks) it may sound like the lyrics are off when they really aren't. This is because it's fairly common that we can strip the vocals but not the echoes of the vocals. Echoes are off time (that's why they're echoes). If you were to just listen to the track, it would really sound like the whole thing was fucked up. If you sing right as the letters light up, you can hear that it's actually fine.
- What's with the microphones popping and clicking?
Signal interference. Try moving over a foot or so. Wander a bit on stage if this happens. Just move yourself a bit and it should go away. Also try not to hold the microphone right at the head. This seems to make it worse. We do our best to arrange the antennae to avoid this but the fact is radio signals actually bounce off of people so the more people back there (which we want) the harder it is to predict the best places to avoid any pops and clicks.
Oh also, don't point it at the dico ball. The disco ball picks up all the ghosts. Those cause interference. We saw it on Supernatural. And possibly Buffy.
- You guys are great! How can I help?!?
Well, there are three potential ways:
- Spread the word, come every Tuesday, bring friends. Go viral!
- Fill the tip jar.
- If you're cute... we may have other ideas... >.>