The Rickshaw is where I learned that solo karaoke isn't>"/>
This week, Karaoke Jeff Roman visits what has become his perennial birthday haunt: Greenwood's Rickshaw.
The Rickshaw is where I learned that solo karaoke isn't depressing. I still prefer to sing with the company of friends, but not all of them want to go all the time like me.
It was around the time one of my regular spots, Leilani Lanes, shut down that I started getting really strong cravings to karaoke during the week. One night I just found myself at The Rickshaw. It was a busy Wednesday and Patty was the KJ. I remember how lively the crowd was that night, and how she sang along with the performers. I had just as much fun without my friends; and in a way, it was better, because I didn't have to worry about being social. Instead, I could devote 100 percent of my attention to the catalog.
Sundays and Mondays are as mellow as it gets in at the Rickshaw. The rest of the week is pretty slammed. Last Monday at midnight, I ushered in my third straight birthday there. Once again, I was alone--but at this point I've become friends with the regulars.
Joel was the KJ, and he's great because he digs deep into the Rickshaw's catalog and picks really goofy songs to sing. The place doesn't have the best sound or selection, but the KJ's make you feel at home. There were some pretty decent singers in the house that night. As I walked in, there was a dude working his way through a really tough song, "She Talks to Angels" by the Black Crowes. It was clearly not in his range, but he still sang it with enough feeling that it worked. Sometimes you can tell when someone is really feeling what they are singing. There have been many random times going in there where I had a heavy heart and just wanted to cleanse myself by singing something gut-wrenching. That's why I wish there was more Allman Brothers available.
The Rickshaw hasn't updated its book in awhile, but they do feature a fair sampling of current music. Kids today have it made: Pretty much all of their favorite songs are available on karaoke as soon as they're released. Over the past few weeks I've been noticing more and more really good performances of Top 40 hits. This young dude sang a really good version of "Best I Ever Had" by Drake. Seeing these kids take to karaoke really lets me know how much it's really going to explode in the coming years.
I didn't have a lot in me that night, because I was still recovering from a brutal New Year's Eve. I usually sing "Brilliant Disguise" by Springsteen when Patty's around because she always compliments me on it, but instead I sang the ultimate Boss wannabe song: "On the Dark Side" by John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown band. That was my favorite song when it first came out in '83, and one of my early karaoke standards. I turned my back on it when I first got into Springsteen because it sounded like such a ripoff, but I've come to learn you never want to drop a song you sing really well. I sang it, knocked it out of the park, and went home happy that I kicked off another birthday my way.