Our hearts will go on & on & on

I’m very pleased to say that last Saturday, I only had to read one break-up love letter. 

You see, KJ Teddy the K and I (the Vana White to his Pat Sajak) made a lil’ deal that if there were any lulls during our Heartbreak Karaoke fundraiser, I would read infamous break-up love letters (consider it the downside to Sex & The City‘s Love Letters of Great Men). So SPANK YOU VERY MUCH to the brave soul who cut me off during an incredibly over-wrought 1816 missive from Lord Byron to Lady Byron with another Karaoke chip (and you know, I never had to go back to missive ever again).

As you can tell, the night was a huge success (see photo above of myself and Boy Reporter belting out “I Had The Time of My Life”, which had Miss Coco Buck re-enact the infamous Baby air-lift on the Cameron House‘s dance floor).

We saw boys who literally wore their hearts on their sleeve in the form of tight-fitting 1970s knitted vests, or look like they belong on a Blondie Parallel Lines album cover (albeit trading the white shirt for red). Girls wore divine outfits — velvet sangria, venetian red check, prim and proper fire engine lace gloves. We had one $5 Celine Dion interpretation (“Aaaaaalll by my seeeeeelf…”) and two $10 jump the line and SING NOWs. The prizes were plentiful — a few fascinators, a free haircut, the requisite Worn Fashion Journal subscription — and did I mention how divine the outfits were? See evidence at our Flickr photostream.

I choo-choo-choose you, Heartbreak Karaoke

Amidst the angst and drama of passionate love songs, I have a simple proverb for you: the early bird gets the [Worn]. In the case of tomorrow’s Heartbreak Karaoke fundraiser, consider yourself lucky to be one of the first 25 guests through the doors of our love nest. Cupid has prepared some crush-worthy goody bags to reward those souls eager for liquor and a microphone.

To get your big hearts beating a little faster, take a look at some of the stylish contributors to our treat bags (and come early tomorrow night to see what they donated!):

  • Damzels in This Dress designers Rory and Kelly have a passion for rockabilly, sailor tats, and party dresses galore.
  • Nathalie-Roze & Co. is a creative hub for indie designers and DIY aficionados, offering a plethora of fashion workshops and unique creations.
  • Shameless Magazine is kinda, sorta like us — a grassroots publication run by a team of volunteer staff members that’s proudly indie. It’s also the only worthwhile Canadian alternative to the typical teen rags that celebrates freethinkers, queer youth, young women of colour, punk rockers, feminists, etc. We also heart their blog (we took Mir’s tip and ‘cornified’ our sponsors because we love ‘em that much).
  • Sweetie Pie Press offers gorgeous, unusual button sets, artistic paper goods and crocheted elf hats. We’re currently thrilled about a security envelope inspired button project, and their involvement in the upcoming plastic bag yarn ball this Monday, February 16th that will see many a grocery plastic bag turned into balls of yarn.
  • Upside Dive are four siblings that recover previously loved goods, like this lovely emerald Mad Men frock.
  • Rare Treasure Vintage is very true to their name, and they might just have our favourite capri-length jumpsuit ever.
  • goodEGG Industries offers an eclectic yet finely curated mix of accessories, home wear, and art objects made by the best of emerging and outstanding Canadian crafters.
  • Annares Natural Health says the revolution begins in your senses, specializing in aromatherapy, mojo massage oils, and love potions (ok, maybe not the latter).
  • As well as some extra special last minute suprise additions!
    February 14, 2009 – Valentine’s Day, 9 PM – 2 AM
    The Cameron House, 408 Queen St W
    Cover $7 (or $5 if you’re wearing red)

text by Meagan Allison-Hancock

This is Your Brain on Karaoke

Walter Pater, the Victorian art and literature critic, claimed that “all art aspires to the condition of music.” I’m inclined to agree, but would also add that all music aspires to the condition of karaoke.

When I read critics or hear people talk about the DIY/punk revolution in music, they always talk about how it:

-Encourages everyone to participate
-Blurs the line between audience and performer
-Rejects instrumental virtuosity
-Emphasizes emotional expression

Sounds like karaoke to me. If the goal of music is for an artist to communicate their emotional experience to another human being, how could that circuit be complete without the other human being re-creating that music? Karaoke is the ultimate musical expression (and recreation.)

Nevertheless, some are karaophobic. Here are some helpful pointers.

1. There’s power in numbers: If you want to sing but are a little bit too nervous, one or more of your friends will be all too happy to sing with you on duets or girl group singles.

2. Familiarity breeds content: Choose songs that you know fairly well and that you like. There’s no point in singing a song you don’t like, and it’s fairly easy to get lost if you don’t know the song that well. Similarly, a song that everyone knows tends to (but doesn’t always) get a better response than more obscure fare.

3. Is this damned thing on?: Singing louder makes up for inability to carry a tune or keep a rhythm.

4. I think I’ll have another pint!: Unlike most activities, karaoke is one of the few things that people actually do better when completely shit-faced.

5. More popular than Jesus: The Beatles are always good.

6. Everybody Is A Star: Most rock stars do more than sing. They dance, prance, and sometimes even drop their pants. You have a talent of some sort— so WORK it. Make a funny face; show us your imitation of bacon frying; do the swim. I once saw someone eat a hamburger while singing “All Shook Up.” Hmm, hmm, mmm. Awesome. Use what you’ve got to put on a show.

7. Those who know…: Really great singers do not judge a drunk gal warbling off her favourite song at karaoke night. They know what hard work and dedication is required to become a virtuoso, and don’t blame you for not putting yourself through that.

8. It’ll be years before they find places to hide more cheese on a pizza: There is no such thing as being too sincere, too earnest, too enthusiastic, too emotional, or too hot when singing karaoke. You get to be cool after you blow everyone away with your impassioned karaoke performance.

love, your host Teddy the K

February 14, 2009 – Valentine’s Day, 9 PM – 2 AM
The Cameron House, 408 Queen St W
Cover $7 (or $5 if you’re wearing red)

A Guide to Karaoke Songs

With our Heartbreak Karaoke Party looming, the third floor Parkdale flat/head office is bustling with event planning. The invites have been dropped in select vintage shops, and our Karaoke host Teddy the K has been carefully combing through the silly love song canon for ditties that will fuel your lounge singer aspiration.

But dire help is needed! We recognize that the wider Worn coterie is a discerning lot, and might want to opine on appropriate selections that will showcase vocal talents within varying levels of inebriation. As a karaoke enthusiast myself, I have criteria honed in privately rented karaoke rooms and questionable bar-lit stages: music with a particularly epic quality that reflects the realities of my limited vocal range (one octave). Most importantly, the songs must accessorize whatever outfit I’m wearing (a stretch by all means, but something I think any drag queen/king would agree with).

Shall I elaborate further? Okay! But if I show you mine, you have to show yours (which means that we’d like suggestions in the comments).
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