Archive for February, 2010

Karaoke Challenge: It’s Not Unusual

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

This week's challenge is, though I find it hard to believe, a new karaoke on the site. Odd as it is, when I saw that Tom Jones first major single It's not unusual was finally added to the karaoke catalogue, I couldn't help but want to hear everyone on Red Karaoke sing this cheesy and upbeat tune.

 

 

Though this famous song may instantly create an image in your mind of Tom Jones all glammed up for one of his Las Vegas dinner shows (that or Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel Air), It's not unusual was originally performed by his first no label group, Tommy Scott and the Senators.

 

Wait, Tommy who?

 

That's right, it took the group's single It's not unsual to become a massive hit before the band was able to land some attention from labels Columbia and Tower, and before the lead singer became the Tom Jones we all know and love (actually inspired by the current popular film The history of Tom Jones, a Foundling).

 

 

The infectious single found success with an offshore pirate radio station, the only station willing to promote it, helping it skyrocket to number one in the UK and to the top 10 in the US, and helping Jones earn his first grammy for Best New Artist in 1965.

 

Think you have the guns to channel the energy of Tom Jones? Well here's your chance. Sing your own rendition of It's not unusual and enter the weekly challenge by posting a link to it in the forum. Your recording could be chosen and featured in next week's newsletter.

RK´s Top 10 of 2010 (so far)

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

As February reaches its end and Spring approaches, it seems New Year´s resolutions of January have already been forgotten by many, Valentine´s Day has come and gone, and soon people will be itching for Summer as the sun starts to shine through office and classroom windows.

 

With 2010 well underway, we´ve been curious here at Red Karaoke what has been holding our user´s attention this year so far? What songs have you karaoke lovers been really loving? What new features have ya´ll really enjoyed? What would you like to see more of as 2010 goes on?

 

Well, the first question of what users really love singing on Red Karaoke is easy to answer. Here´s a nifty little look at RK´s Top 10 Karaokes so far this year:

 

Landslide


Landslide - Vote for my rendition!

One of the most popular weekly challenges so far this year, Fleetwood Mac´s Landslide has been sung the most on Red Karaoke so far in 2010.

 

Bad romance


bad romance - Vote for my rendition!

The latest hit from Lady Gaga, the popularity of her number one single is no surprise.

 

Love story


Love story - Vote for my rendition!

Taylor Swift has managed to create a huge following of teeny boppers, and this 2009 chartopper has remained her biggest hit here on Red Karaoke as well.

 

Yesterday


Yesterday - Vote for my rendition!

It´s nice to see that a classic like The Beatle´s Yesterday still captivates audiences and singers of all ages.

 

Take a bow


Take a bow - Vote for my rendition!

Yet another leading lady, Rihanna seems poised for a huge comeback after the up and down rollercoaster she was on in 2009.

 

Halo


halo - Vote for my rendition!

It seems like Beyonce, Red karaoke´s reining Diva can do no wrong and her karaokes remain a favorite to sing.

 

I won't back down


I wonŽt back down - Vote for my rendition!

Another weekly challenge, Tom Petty´s upbeat song of defiance is as fun to listen to as it is to sing.

 

My immortal


My immortal - Vote for my rendition!

Evanescence has always been popular on Red Karaoke, and My Immortal continues to be one of the favorite karaokes in 2010.

 

The rose


The rose - Vote for my rendition!

I have to admit that number 9 on the list gave me a surprise, but then again, who doesn´t love belting out some Bette Midler!

 

Paparazzi


paparazzi - Vote for my rendition!

And last but certainly not least, our 10th most popular song so far in 2010 is another Lady Gaga top single, her dance craze Paparazzi.

 

Now it´s your turn to tell us what you like so far about Red Karoke in 2010! Go to the forum and tell us all about what you have and haven´t liked of all the new features and changes on Red Karaoke. We love to hear your feedback, questions and comments so that we can improve the site and make sure we are giving users what they want.

Karaoke Challenge: We Are the World

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

The Karaoke Challenge is back this week with what I hope should be another big turn out. With the music industry´s efforts in full force to help Haiti, including their massive collaboration and rerelease of We are the World, I thought what better way for Red Karaoke to show their support.

 

We are the world was originally written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie as part of the USA for Africa effort in 1985. It was created with the idea of bringing together American artists on one single to benefit African famine relief. The final recording session was considered historic, bringing together more than 45 of the top artists in the industry, and created one of the highest selling singles of all time.

 

 

Now, after the severe devestation in Haiti,  today´s biggest stars gathered in the same studio to rerecord the single to benefit Haiti and it´s people. The single has already soared up the charts and features artists from the young Justin Beiber to Tony Bennet to Mary J. Blige. Lionel Richie helped create an excellent reworking of the piece, including a new rap segment led by LL Cool J, Snoop Dogg and Busta Rhymes. Hopefully We are the world 25 for Haiti will see the number one spot on Billboard next week.

 

 

So my challenge to Red Karaoke users is to sing We are the world with your hearts for people in need, whether its Haiti or Africa, or people right here in the US. I know the singers on Red Karaoke can do this beautiful song justice.

 

Post your rendition in the forum and yours could be featured in next week´s newsletter.

Artist Feature: Peter Gabriel

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

With his new album, Scratch my back, it seems Peter Gabriel is debunking the theory that an old dog can´t learn new tricks.

 

In an attempt to throw a spin on artist collaborations, Gabriel has covered 12 songs from established and emerging artists alike, reworking every guitar chord and drum beat into a "pallet of the piano and orchestra." With Gabriel´s aging but still beautifully haunting voice center stage, billboard has called Scratch my back "a poignant, contemplative album that is stripped down to the essentials." But Gabriel isn´t stopping there.

 

Gabriel hopes all 12 artists, from Regina Spektor to Radiohead, will help him put together a response album entitled I´ll scratch yours, in which each artist will cover an original song of Peter Gabriel´s. "To do a covers album seemed a bit boring to me, so I really thought maybe we could do a swapping process where, 'you do one of my albums, I do one of yours', along with some dialogue and interaction," Gabriel told Billboard.

 

 

Gabriel´s cover of The Book Of Love has already been released as the first single for the album (you may recognize his version from The Scrubs finale a while back). The return scratch has already been released by the lead singer of Magnetic Fields, the group who orginally performed Book of love, Stephin Merrit. His cover of Gabriel´s Not One of Us has a throwback 80´s underground vibe and already marks a good start to the swap.

 

But where will the album go from there?

 

Radiohead supposedly made an initial agreement to cover Gabriel´s Wallflower, though that all may have changed, whether it´s due to lead singer Thom Yorke´s busy schedule or possible distaste for the Gabriel orchestral arrangement of Radiohead´s Street Spirit.

 

 

It´s easy to imagine Gabriel´s collaborations with big time musicians like David Bowie (whom he toured with years past), Randy Newman (who performed with him during the ´99 Oscars telecast), and Neil Young. And while Gabriel´s versions of indie favorites like Bon Iver´s Flume and Regina Spektor´s Apres Moi are certainly going over well with the critics, we are left only to wonder what a cover of Sledgehammer by The Arcade Fire or how Spektor´s rewriting of Big Time will sound.

 

Until the release of I´ll scratch yours, enjoy singing your own cover of Peter Gabriel´s hits here on Red Karaoke.

Share your recordings on Facebook!

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Following the idea of sharing our content outside of Red Karaoke, with the objective of increasing the number of times community member´s recordings and videos are seen and heard, today we announce an important new feature:

 

From now on, Red Karaoke recordings can be inserted and seen automatically within Facebook, the largest social network in the world.

 

Until this point, when someone shared a Red Karaoke recording on Facebook, in order to see it a person would have to return to Red Karaoke, working more as a link. On top of that, it was impossible to see the image that accompanies the recordngs (the "thumbnail").

 

Today on, when sharing a recording or video, the image will be inserted automatically in Facebook, and the recording can be played directly in this social network without needing to return to Red Karaoke, which will allow more people to see and hear our recordings.

 

Barely anything is required for this to work: all you have to do is paste the recording or video´s link on Facebook, or click the button "Send to Facebook" that is on all of the recordings.

 

This feature is possible thanks to contacting Facebook and requesting that we be included on the list of Internet companies that offer this service. After sending them various recordings to be analyzed, the Facebook team accepted the inclusion of Red Karaoke on the white liste of companies that can use this service.

 

We hope that this feature is interesting to you all and the it helps incread the number of people who see and hear all of your recordings.

 

Also, remember there is a Red Karaoke fanpage where we constantly inform users of new features, suggest songs, etc.. You can become a fan here.

 

And if you want to make a comment about this new feature or leave us suggestions, feel free to use this thread in the forum.

The Red Karaoke Store: Your place to download instrumental tracks

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Today is a day unlike any other. It´s not everyday that we get to announce a project so important to us and one we have dedicated so much time and effort to. So with much pleasure, allow me to present our new downloading store for instrumental tracks, The Red Karaoke Store. :)

 

There have been many users over the years who have asked time and time again for the chance to download karaoke from our site to use them without being online, without a computer, on cell phone, mp3 players, videogames…and today, after more than a year of work, we at last can offer this chance. From now on, we offer in the Red karaoke store, the largest karaoke catalogue in the world available for download, with more than 25,000 available tracks in Mp3, that very soon will reach 35,000.

 

Our immense catalogue offers every type of song you can fine, in any genre you can think of, and a store that included a request line for new instrumental tracks if you can´t find what you are looking for. These requests and suggestions will be answered to according to demand: if a certain number of people ask for the same song, we will produce it and put it in the Red Karaoke Store for downloading.

 

To search for a track you want to download, all you have to do is use the store search, clicking on the suggestions on the main page, or browsing through all of the different musical genres. What you will find are instrumental tracks (karaokes without lyrics) in Mp3 format, of the high quality and without limitations of use (they don´t contain the DRM system), that you can purchase at a great price:$1.45 for karaokes of standard quality, and $1.95 for karaokes of the highest quality.

 

One of the advantages of purchasing your instrumental tracks in the Red Karaoke Store is that, because they are completely legal and cover all of the corresponding author rights, you can also use them as you like to sing and record in Red Karaoke with Mp3 tracks. That is, in order to guarantee legal coverage, we only allow recordings made with Mp3s if the karaokes are bought in the Red Karaoke Store.

All of our karaokes are encoded in the highest quality of 320 kbps of bitrate, and include all of the song information: title, original singer, if the song contains backup singers or not, if there is a "fade out", if the quality is standard (silver) or the quality is high (gold), etc. And of course there is a demo of 30 seconds for each track, so that you can be sure that you are downloading what you want.

 

We have tried to make the store as easy to use as possible, with a very simple and completely secure purchasing process, that allows you to pay with any credit or debit card, or with paypal if you prefer. You can also make purchases from your mobile phone or with your videogame is you can access the Internet.

 

And in the future, as our catalogue of instrumental tracks continuously grows, we will also offer discount special, promotions, exclusive karaokes and much more. Visit our store and check out your favorite karaokes! :)

Artist Feature: The Who

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

This year the Superbowl featured yet another classic rock band in a long line of big names over the last few years, The Who, whose medley performance of their greatest hits was darn good considering the "godfathers of punk" are old enough to be called their grandfathers, not to mention they were more interesting than probably the quickest football game I´ve seen in awhile. Join Red Karaoke as we take a peek at the influential history of The Who.

 

The English band´s origins began with a group called High Numbers, formed by Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, and John Entwistle, which in 1964 grew into The Who with the addition of one of Rock´s greatest drummers, Keith Moon. They were considered "visionary" and full of energy, spreading the anthem of their single My Generation, "Hope I die before I get old" as far as they could.

 

 

After more than ten top singles in the UK, The Who finally broke into the US Top 40 in 1967 with Happy Jack, following the hit in the same year with their biggest US single ever, I can see for miles which peaked at #9.

 

After a period of creating nothing but hit singles, The Who changed direction in the late 70´s towards conceptual rock opera, starting with Tommy, a two disc look at the spiritual path of a "deaf, dumb and blind boy."

 

With their return to hit singles came probably their most well known album, Who´s next, which has been called "flawless" and considered a defining moment for seventies rock. The album includes hits like Baba O´Riley´s, Won´t get fooled again, and of course the youth anthem Teenage wasteland.

 

 

In 1978 The Who suffered the loss of Keith Moon who died of overdose from alcoholism medication. After a period of mourning, the band welcomed Kenney Jones in his place and recorded two more studio albums, Face dances and It´s hard with him.

 

Though the band had an extremely long farewell tour in 1982, splitting off to work on new solo material, the Who couldn´t seem to stay away from the stage, no surprise for one of rock´s hardest hitting live acts, usually involving the destruction of some musical instrument. The band regrouped to go on many tours, including big city performances of their rock operas Tommy, which was adopted into a Tony award winning broadway in 1993, and the mod rock show Quadrophenia.

 

 

The Who, who have sold more than 100 million records, charted 27 top forty singles and have 17 top ten albums in the US, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. They were also honored in 2001 by the Grammy Foundation with a Lifetime Achievement Award for "creative contributions of oustanding artistic significance to the field of recording."

 

Get in touch with your rock roots and sing one of the many recordings by the Who here on Red Karaoke.

Karaoke Challenge: Landslide

Friday, February 5th, 2010

This week´s challenge is by Fleetwood Mac, and was chosen to honor the recenlty criticized Stevie Nicks. Who cares if she sand back up for the poorly matched Taylor Swift, Nicks is still the musical icon who gave us Landslide, a coming of age classic and the karaoke I am challenging you all to sing.

 

Landslide was written by Stevie Nicks when she was 26 and featured on Fleetwood Mac´s 1975 album. Many times Nicks has said she wrote the song in about 5 minutes, which is amazing considering it is one of the most heartfelt pieces of music about making choices and deciding where to go in life.

 

 

Which is exactly what Nicks was aiming for. "I was trying to figure out what I was going to do. I wasn't making it big in the music business. I was confused. [My father] told me I should give it about six months and I kind of agreed with him…" Nicks told Arizona Living in 1983, explaining the deep nature of the song.

 

Now the song has been sung by many who relate to the same idea, covered by artists ranging from the Smashing Pumpkins to the Dixie Chicks (their only number one hit ever!).

 

It´s your turn to give the Fleetwood Mac hit a try. Sing Landslide and post your rendition here in the forum. If you´re lucky, your version could be chosen and featured in next week´s newsletter!

The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Last night was the 52nd Grammy Awards, which featured plenty of star powered highs and lows, wins and losses ranging from the expected to the undeserved, and a few amazing high lights that likely won´t be forgotten for many grammy nights to come. Join Red Karaoke as we take a look at the entire night amd share what we think of the annual awards ceremony.

 

Stephen Colbert, a nominee himself, started off the night with some ho hum jokes, but finally got to the good stuff when he announced Lady Gaga as the first act. Her intro into Poker face was different, but in my opinion, not different enough for the queen of crazy, and I found myself bored- that is, until she was lowered into her own personal "fame machine" and popped out with none other than Elton John. Their duo of Your song may not have topped on Gaga´s list of bewildering stunts, but in the end it was a nice change of pace to see her display some serious musical prowress on the piano, and to hear her unmechanized voice for once.

 

 

Lady gaga´s Pokerface was among the nominees for the first category, Song of the year, along with Kings of Leon´s Use Somebody, Maxwell´s Pretty Wings, Taylor Swift´s You belong with me, and of course, Beyonce´s Single Ladies. Beyonce, who was a 10 time nominee, had her first win of the night which got me wondering if Miss Sasha Fierce would be cleaning up and break her previous record for Grammy wins.

 

Greenday and the cast of the new show American Idiot, which I confess I don´t have any idea what it is about, did a mildly entertaining performance of 21 guns before Taylor Swift beat out the likes of George Straight, Keith Urban and Leeann Womack for Best Country Album and accepted her first grammy publicly, no Kanye to interupt her special moment this time.

 

 

Beyonce followed with a performance of If I were a boy which medlied into Alanis Morissette´s You oughta know, which I would´ve described as yet another demonstration by the vocal goddess Beyonce of why we are all mere mortals, except that I was too distracted by the artist´s crotch grab early on in the set. While I understand the context of the move, I wish the usually classy Beyonce would´ve saved it for her tour, I mean, this IS the Grammys afterall.

 

Pink was on next, and her mesmerizing acrobatical performance of Glitter in the air was not only one of the best parts of the night, it was probably the most exciting thing to happen on the show for the next hour. The singer looked beautiful and her voice was perfection, even when suspended upside down for three minutes. Pink said it best later on in the night, there is no excuse for lip singing after that.

 

 

 

Zac brown band nabbed the best new artist award, beating out my personal choice, Keri hilson, which was followed by the same old stage swarm by the Black eyed peas and a somewhat boring performance by Lady Antebellum of her pretty country ballad Need you now. Stephen colbert ended up winning the Best comedy album and Kings of Leon surprised by stealing Record of the year from any of the more likely nominees; Beyonce, BEPs, Gaga AND Taylor Swift (yay for KOL!).

 

Jaime Foxx roused the crowd a bit with Blame it on the girl, featuring T-Pain and a surprise appearance by Slash wish was mildly interesting. Greenday expectantly won Best rock album though I would´ve voted for Dave Matthews Band personally. The following two performances were equally memorable for completely opposite reasons.

 

 

Taylor Swift, nominated a wopping 8 times, performed not just one but three of the hits off her album Fearless as well as a duet with Stevie Nicks. Now, I´ve always had a tender spot in my heart for the bright eyed young songwriter, but the only thing that could´ve been worse than her performance last night on the Grammys would´ve been if she had beat Beyonce for Best Female vocalist. Swift´s a sweetheart and I couldnt´t be happier that she was honored with Album of the Year for her own original material on Fearless, but that performance was better suited for a middle school talent show, not the Grammys.

 

Now, the 3D Michael Jackson tribute that followed was memorable but in the positive meaning of the word. Lionel Richie introduced MJ´s Earth Song which featured a star studded backup including Celine Dione, Usher, Smokey Robinson and an interesting matchup of idol rivals Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Hudson (who looked AMAZING). The performance was moving, but not as moving as Jackson´s son and daughter who accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award on their father´s behalf, receiving a standing ovation to their emotional speeches.

 

 

While we were promised an exciting remaining Grammy night, not even Bon Jovi´s first Grammy appearance in history was enough to make it interesting. The night creeped on every so slowly through a few more awards (best rap collaboration by Rhianna, Jay-z and Kanye), a few somewhat impressive performances (Andrea Bocelli and Mary J. Blige right on par with Dave Matthews Band), and the final win (or upset in some books) Taylor Swift for Album of the year.