Karoke as art? Dan Kois, senior editor at Slate and a contributing writer to New Yorker magazine consider this in How Good Does Karaoke Have to Be to Qualify as Art?. Is this just another paean to Portland. Yes, but something more, and along the way he does capture why Portland is a special place for artisans.
Portland isn’t just the capital of karaoke, I was realizing. The Japanese influence, the small-business climate and the abundance of bands don’t really matter. Portland is the capital of America’s small ponds. It’s a city devoted to chasing that feeling — the feeling of doing something you love, just for a moment, and being recognized for it, no matter how obscure or unnecessary or ludicrous it might seem to the straight world. It is the capital of taking frivolity seriously, of being silly as if it’s your job.