Here is a list of some of the questions (and their answers) we tend to hear a lot. If you have a question that isn't listed here, please ask us.
1. What exactly is Karaoke From Hell?
Karaoke From Hell is a five piece band, consisting of an MC, two guitars, bass and drums. The only thing missing is you: the singer. At our shows, audience members pick from our list of 400 or so songs, then get up on stage and perform with us.
2. So, it's karaoke with a live band?
That's basically it, though comparing Karaoke From Hell to karaoke is like comparing a lovely painting to a photocopy of a lovely painting. Or comparing filet mignon to salisbury steak. Actually, we're still working on the analogy that fits best here. In the meantime, we highly recommend you check out a show and see for yourself.
2. Where can I see Karaoke From Hell?
We play two weekly shows. On Mondays, you can find us at Dante's starting at 10:00pm, and on Thursdays we're at Tiger Bar from 9:30pm on. We are now in the process of adding some weekend shows around town, as well. Outside of those regular shows, we frequently play special shows at other locations, both public and private. Please keep an eye on our calendar to keep track of our movements through the rock and roll circuit.
3. How long have you been doing this?
Karaoke From Hell started out 15 years ago as an informal group of rotating musicians, and has since grown to be a key component in Portland's music scene. Look for a more thorough history of the band on this site in the months ahead.
4. I've been to several shows, and have seen some different people in the band each time. Why is that?
Over the years, the band has grown to include a larger number of musicians who rotate on each instrument. This helps us to be able to perform not only at our regular weekly shows, but also keeps us fresh for special events and private bookings.
All certified Karaoke From Hell musicians are 100% dedicated to rocking your world at each and every show. For more information on these superstars, check out our bio page.
5. Who is that foxy DJ I see at Dante's on Monday nights?
That's DJ Teenage. Typically, he will spin his magic before the show and during our set break. For more information, check out his bio at the Portland Mercury site.
1. How do I sign up to sing?
There should be a songbook at each table at our shows. Leaf through our list of 400 songs and pick out the one you'd like to sing. Then simply fill out a slip and give it to the kabuki attendant.
2. Wait a second. What's a "kabuki attendant"?
The kabuki attendant is the person who takes your song requests, keeps track of the songbooks and lyric sheets, and can answer other general questions for you. If you're having problems finding the attendant, just look for the person sitting near the stage with a tip jar and several gigantic folders stuffed full of paper.
3. Tip jar? Does it cost money to sing?
Tipping is optional, but warmly encouraged. Tipping well is even more warmly encouraged, and frequently plays a role in the order in which people are called up.
4. Okay, got it. So how about lyrics? How will I know the words?
You will have a printed lyric sheet provided to you onstage. Also, our MCs are trained in the art of keeping you on track, and will guide you through the song if you get lost. If you would like to have a copy of the lyric sheet to study in advance, we do require a deposit of $1.
5. If I put in my name for a song, does that mean I'll definitely be getting up on stage?
Unfortunately, we aren't able to get everybody up on stage for every request. There are various reasons, including time constraints, the song already having been performed, or unfair preferential treatment. Tipping well will greatly improve your chance of overcoming any of these obstacles.
6. What kind of special requests do you do?
There are a lot of factors involved. In many cases, we are able to play a song that isn't in the book. Obviously, it hinges on whether or not we know it well enough to make the attempt. Sometimes people want us to play a song from our list in a different style (e.g. a lounge version of Iron Man), and we can often do that, too. It never hurts to ask. And, you know, not to harp on it, but tipping is definitely the key to success here. We are a working band, and you will find that we can summon a lot of enthusiasm for your request when properly paid.
If you're interested in cluing us into a song you think should be in our songbook, feel free to let us know.
7. How long does the show last?
A typical show is about 4 hours, with a short break about halfway through.
8. Can I bring up a friend to sing with me?
Of course! Duets are commonplace at all our shows, as are the occasional trios. For more than that, you may want to consider the amount of room available on stage before coming up with your chosen posse.
9. What if I want to get up on stage and play my harmonica/kazoo/flugelhorn instead of singing?
We do allow this, but it's reasonably important that you know what you're doing, volume-wise. Your sound will be going through the vocal mics, and the potential exists to deafen the audience and make them turn on you. If in doubt, you might want to just sing.
10. And what if I don't like singing at all? What's in it for me?
Since you're asking this question, we'll assume that you've never come out to see us. A large percentage of the people who come to a Karaoke From Hell show never put in a song request. There is a great deal of entertainment value in watching the cavalcade of performers overcoming stage fright for your amusement. We have some singers who are incredible, and some who… have yet to perfect their art. Either way, your entertainment is ensured! Also, if we may flatter ourselves, we put on a great show.
11. Any more performance advice for us, Mr. FAQ Writer?
Yes. Try not to cup your hands around the head of the microphone when you sing. It may sort of look cool, but it creates a bunch of unpleasant feedback.
1. Is Karaoke From Hell available for private functions?
Absolutely! If you're interested, fill out a booking information request, and we'll get right back to you. Alternately, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
2. I don't like the internet. Do you have a phone number I can call, instead?
We will, very shortly. For now, if you fill out the booking request form, you can tell us that you'd like for us to call you back, rather than emailing.
3. What kinds of shows do you do?
We do all sorts of shows, including charity events, company parties, and really pretty much any occasion that would benefit from live music. We've played at a variety of functions and venues. Click here to see the growing list of places we've performed.
4. How much do you charge?
There are a lot of factors that help to determine pricing, including location, length of performance, special requests, and whether or not PA equipment is provided.
5. What do we get if we book you?
You'll get a 5 piece band and an attendant that will coordinate the singing order and lyric sheets with your guests. We can also provide a DJ who will play music between breaks. We can handle other special requests in many cases, including learning specific songs. We are willing to tailor our show to meet the needs of your event. Just ask us!
6. I am a venue owner, and would like more information about your availability. Interested?