Review: Eric Fredericksen and Weekend Leisure

Comments

1
Thanks for the review, and my apologies that you didn't get your shot at the stage--we were surprised to be told to close up shop early: the plan was for the night to go late and many more songs to be sung by all.

Just for purposes of the historical record: I didn't argue in my talk that karaoke was authentic at all. I was working from the introductory quote from Malcolm McLaren--""Today there are two words that sum up the culture: 'authenticity' is one, and the other ... 'karaoke'! Many artists spend their entire life trying to authenticate, make true, a karaoke culture, but you have to be a magician to make that happen."

My goal was not to assert karaoke's authenticity, but to critique authenticity, using Godard's "Sympathy for the Devil," the Sex Pistols' final concert at Winterland, and Cobain's suicide note as scenes where creation and community run head-on into the problem of authenticity.

It's interesting that this review critiques the evening as a performance, rather than as a lecture and an evening of karaoke, as it was advertised. I went in with the belief that these are very different modes of public presentation, but perhaps agreeing to host the evening from a stage in an auditorium risks creating different expectations.

I didn't set out to make a tight show of good singing. That would be an inappropriate way to present or discuss karaoke: Its virtues are tied to amateurism, enthusiasm, and looseness. I did hope to be a good host, in the sense that those who came out for the night would enjoy themselves during the evening, and would get to sing. This review serves as evidence that those goals were not met.

Best regards,
Eric Fredericksen
2
In the future, now that we are aware of the OLCC's liquor regulations, we'll make sure to sell $1 PBJ sandwiches at our next Oregon event to avoid losing the venue's liquor license and thus having to cut the karaoke short causing you to miss your song.

Be assured, we make every effort to have everyone sing at least once during our events, and Andrew R Tonry, should you ever find yourself at one of our karaoke nights - in Vancouver or elsewhere - you will be given preferential treatment due to this missed opportunity to sing.

Mostly though I am disappointed that you did not care for our own karaoke videos. Were they not funny enough, too kitschy or too little, formally uninteresting? We have always made our karaoke videos with the greatest of enthusiasm, and it pains me to read them described as 'uninspired'. If you could provide me an inspired karaoke video that has been made in the last 10 years, I would greatly appreciate it.

What about this one: http://vimeo.com/6169393?
3
Hey Eric, just reading your essay intensely now. It's great! Really good. Too bad you had to present it at 10pm to tired and well-fed (post-dining) festival goers.