Sad Karaoke encourages downer songs for good causes | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Sad Karaoke encourages downer songs for good causes

click to enlarge Sad Karaoke - PHOTO: MATTHEW BUCHOLZ
Photo: Matthew Bucholz
Sad Karaoke
Sometimes it feels good to be sad, to put on the mopiest song you can think of and get in your feelings. With this sentiment in mind, Andrea Laurion and Matthew Buchholz created Sad Karaoke, a night where you can gather with all of the city's moodiest and sing your favorite heart-wrenchers.

After a successful first event on March 19, Sad Karaoke returns, this time on Sat., April 30 at Golden Age Beer Co. in Homestead. The event not only gives people a chance to belt out tracks that would kill the mood at any other karaoke night but also raises money for various local and national organizations.

In a press release, Buchholz says that the last event raised $337 for RAINN, or the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, an anti-sexual assault nonprofit organization. 


“We had a great turnout; something like 60 to 70 people performed over more than three hours," adds Buchholz, best known for his pop art company Alternate Histories and for DJing the popular dance party In Bed By Ten.

The time around, the $5 donation tips encouraged at Sad Karaoke will benefit Write Pittsburgh, a local collective that amplifies the voices of writers and gives them opportunities to lead workshops, do readings, and more.

Sad Karaoke is a good time for everyone involved, but there are rules for participating, says Buchholz.

The first rule is that the songs must be sad. What constitutes a sad song is pretty universally known. But if you're unsure, there are many playlists of sad songs on streaming platforms that you can pull from. The question of what constitutes a sad song is "at the discretion of the hosts."


Other rules include "no irony." The point of the event is to be emotive in front of friends and strangers. So don't get up there and make a joke of it.

Also, Sad Karaoke operates on a "first-come, first sing" basis. A signup sheet for songs goes up at 6 p.m., and singing begins at 7 p.m. Singers are encouraged to
keep their songs to around five minutes.

Lastly, check YouTube to make sure your song choice has a karaoke version.

Regardless, the Facebook page for Sad Karaoke says that, if you missed the last event, "This is your chance. Dry your tears and sing along."

Sad Karaoke. 7 p.m. Sing-ups at 6 p.m. Sat., April 30. Golden Age Beer. 337 E. 8th Ave., Homestead. Free. $5 suggested donation. Search "Sad Karaoke Returns" on Facebook

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