First off, relevant to your question, a tight throat is a sore throat. The number one most common mistake novice singers make is controlling their breath (and thus volume and phrasing) by constricting their throat. First, this clamps down on several key areas of resonance, reducing projection and increasing the nasal quality of your voice (which most people find objectionable. Second, by creating a "bottleneck" here in the middle of all this vibration, you're just asking for a sore throat.
The number 2 common mistake of novice singers is related; "pushing". To try to reach notes beyond your comfortable range or "tessitura", you further tense the muscles in your throat to stretch the vocal chords, and squeeze your chest muscles to force more air through. After just a few minutes of this you can ruin your voice for the rest of the night.
The fix to all of this? Relax. Practice singing at about half volume, moving your head from side to side. Work on keeping the neck muscles relaxed; they hold your head up, nothing more. Breath control comes from the diaphragm; the "shelf" of muscles that hold your lungs up in your ribcage. When you breathe, don't breathe using the ribcage. Your ribs can't move, so why try to expand that area? Instead, you get much more breath much more easily simply by allowing your abdominal and lumbar area to expand. This lowers the diaphragm and draws air in like a bellows or a syringe. Then, the easiest way to control the airflow is to concentrate on keeping that "full of air" feeling as you use the air; keep your abs expanded and your diaphragm lowered all the way through the phrase. Keep your throat relaxed, and you'll find you can sing this way for hours on end.
Lastly, if you have a "pretty standard male voice", you shouldn't be singing along with most songs on the pop or rock charts. Just as one example, Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know" has as it's highest note ("make out like it never happened and that we were nothing") a C5, one octave above middle C. If you can hit that note reliably in "chest voice" you would be in very rare company. Gotye himself sings that note in the upper range of his "passaggio" (a quality of the male range somewhere between chest voice and falsetto, and requires a lot of good practice to use well).