Video

Alley 9

Tom Sherman and Jan Pottie

2009, 26:52 minutes, colour, English

TAPECODE 366.39

Alley 9 is a pub in Liverpool, Nova Scotia. Every Friday night Alley 9 features Mike Mosher’s Krazy Karaoke. This video documents the patrons of this pub crossing the line between audience and performer. Karaoke is the quintessential interactive form, bringing the energy of live performance back to bars long-deadened by the canned music of DJs. Karaoke not only permits ordinary people to interpret popular music, it closes the gap between a distant fabricated culture and people’s desire for attention in their local scene. This is vernacular culture at its zenith, unique and universal at the same time. The audience at Alley 9 gladly pays its coveted attention until it is time to reverse roles and pick up a microphone. In "Alley 9" we witness the joyous transformation of people attaining ownership of the music they love.

Karaoke, in retrospect and in its sustained cultural vitality, is at the very foundation of the Pro-Am (professional amateur) movement globally, marking the transition from passive consumption of industrial culture to expanding participatory interactivity through an array of social media.

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