A writer goes to Portland, Ore. where the karaoke scene is vibrant and taken seriously:

“‘Karaoke in Portland is just different from other places,’ said his friend Bruce Morrison. ‘There’s a lot of showmanship.’

“Mulkern swept his long hair over his shoulders and put his top hat back on. ‘People in Portland,’ he declared, ‘are sillier than in other places.’

“In the corner of the booth, a woman with dark-rimmed eyes and black lipstick leaned forward suddenly and took my pen from my hand. She wrote a phone number in my notepad. ‘Do you know,’ she asked, staring intently into my eyes, ‘about puppet karaoke?’”