For Asian Americans, there's an odd sense of comfort in holding a mic and singing along to the midi version of schmaltzy pop hits. Whether they're tunes by Basil Valdez, Sin Sisamouth or Frank Sinatra, played in private rooms (such as at Ziller in Fullerton) or set against chintzy lights and throbbing bass, (as in XO Night Club in Westminster) the sight of lyrics flashing on a large TV screen brings back memories of Manila, Seoul or Phnom Penh.
Brian Feinzimer A group of ladies singing the night away at Ziller in Fullerton
After all, in Asia, karaoke is the go-to activity for family get-togethers, birthdays and office team building. When President Barack Obama visited the Philippines on a state visit, Filipino president Noynoy Aquino hosted a karaoke party for him. (Apparently, government officials sang the Motown classic "What's Going On?" with such gusto that National Security Adviser Susan Rice thought it was apt to take the mic and belt out the chorus.)