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Don't Stop Believin': How Karaoke Conquered the World and Changed My Lifeby Brian Raftery
Synopses & Reviews
Armed with a keen eye and a terrible singing voice, writer Brian Raftery sets out across the globe, tracing karaoke's evolution from cult fad to multi-million dollar phenomenon. In Japan, he meets Daisuke Inoue, the godfather of karaoke; in Thailand, he follows a group of Americans hoping to win the Karaoke World Championships; and in New York City, he hangs out backstage with the world's longest-running heavy-metal karaoke band. Along the way, Raftery chronicles his own time as an obsessive karaoke fan, recalling a life's worth of noisy relationships and poor song choices, and analyzing the karaoke-bar merits of such artists as Prince, Bob Dylan and Fugazi.
Part cultural history, part memoir, Don't Stop Believin': How Karaoke Conquered the World and Changed My Life is a hilarious and densely reported look at the liberating effects of a good sing-along.
Book News Annotation:
Setting out to cross the globe singing, and armed with a spectacular cover of "Sister Christian," journalist Raftery did not fully expect to find a complete subculture, but in the wildest bars of New York, Thailand and points beyond he discovered a community with leaders, followers, and a lot of sacred 1970s music. As he recounts his adventures, however, he goes far beyond merely recording required behavior, fashion trends, and counting drinks. Instead he comments on collective memory, competitiveness among and within nations, the ratio between aspiration and talent, and the evolution from casual participant to fanatic. He also takes karaoke very seriously as a multimillion-dollar phenomenon that ranges far from its birthplace, Japan to nearly every corner of the globe, and shares the experience on stage, backstage, and among those who run karaoke bars and competitions. The result is a mystery tour married to a serious ethnography. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A scintillating social, cultural, and personal history of the worldwide phenomenon of karaoke.
About the Author
Brian Raftery's features, profiles, and criticism have appeared in such publications as Wired, Spin, GQ, and Entertainment Weekly. His favorite karaoke song is Night Ranger's "Sister Christian."
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