Check Colorado off the list of states where I've sung karaoke. I'm now up to 11 (Washington, California, Nevada, Iowa, Arizona, Oregon, New Mexico, Massachusetts, Maryland, and New York). I spent last weekend with my oldest and dearest friend, Scott, and his family at their home in Denver. Ever since he and his wife, Heather, moved there eight years ago I've made it a point to visit every couple years.
This is Scott's brain on Coors and Akvavit.
Scott picked me up from the airport Friday afternoon. They moved into a bigger home since the last time I was there. Their new neighborhood is a few blocks from the campus of DU (University of Denver). As we drove along University Boulevard thinking of possible spots to sing that night, we passed a dormitory with a couple dudes holding a sign outside of their third floor window. It read, "Honk...and we'll drink!" Scott got a big kick out of it. He laid on his horn, they took big pulls off their tall-boys, and I decided this area was just my style. A couple blocks later we came upon The University Sports Grill. Scott said they did karaoke on Fridays and it was walking distance from his house. There was no need to look any further.
The next five hours were spent drinking and listening to soft rock in the warm sun with his wife Heather and their kids in their back yard. We started with a slow and steady stream of Coors, Akvavit shots, and delicious homemade ale, but eventually it became swapping Akvavit & Fernet shots every 15 minutes. By the time their friend Jason met up with us around 9, Scott and I were fired up and ready to rock. We hung out another 45 minutes to give him a chance to catch up and made our move.
The half-mile walk to the bar was the last thing I remembered on my own the next morning. Luckily I texted myself notes while we were at the bar. Here is the recount of the evening, in English-butchering cellphone vernacular:
Andrew KJ: The KJ's name was Andrew and he was a really friendly guy (as most everyone is in Denver). I remember when we took our seats he saw me take a picture of the catalog and he went up to me and asked why I did that. I had to come clean and tell him I was writing about the place. His energy would have been there anyway but I believe he took it up a couple more notches after hearing that.
House of the rising sun. College kid in surfer hair and plaid shirt: I vaguely remember this guy.
200k songs: Andrew said if you can't find it in the book just ask him because he has over 200,000 songs. (I think I made that note because that number seemed outrageously high, but I have no reason to doubt him.)
Everyone wants to be a rock star - scott: We got a boost of energy after two shots of tequila in ten minutes. I believe I took this note because Scott was explaining to Jason why karaoke is so popular.
Earth w and f between songs: Andrew had a computerized set up and mixed in party tunes between performances. The place had a lot of people in it but not many people were taking advantage of the wide open mic.
Nweeevah surrender!!: I have no idea where I came up with the idea to sing Corey Hart, but "Never Surrender" was a great call. His stuff is not that challenging but he has that funny style of hanging on some words and it was so much fun to sing like that. I totally got the crowd's attention.
Kj sings ain't no sunshine. Really well to impress me: I think I was pretty full of myself at this point. I don't believe Andrew was trying to impress me. He was a really good singer, though.
My jeans are horrible: It felt like it hit 80 that day and I didn't pack shorts. I didn't do a laundry before the trip so I just threw whatever I could find in my bag. I was wearing these Levis that get really baggy after not being washed after a couple weeks so my style was off.
Hey you scott hates it: I don't really know what this means.
Scott goes for it. He's a good reader no matter how drunk he is. College dudes hanging around him. He looks slicker than any of these kids. He takes it hm: Scott sang Red Hot Chili Peppers, "The Other Side" and it was a real crowd pleaser. He was worried about singing it around me, because I've dumped on the Chili Peppers in my previous columns, but I was really only busting on "Under the Bridge." Scott's a karaoke veteran. He's never really in key but he sings with more passion than most people at the karaoke bar on any given night.
Great feeling of air con on my head at night as im waiting for pitcher: pretty self-explanatory - I was wasted. We had four shots of tequila and two pitchers in an hour and a half.
Hot burn mfr burn by denver's finest. Pale face Heavy eye makeup: A kid with heavy eye make-up delivered a show stopping performance of "Burn Mother Fucker" by Fire Starter.
Lots of denim shorts: It's true, there were a lot of guys wearing denim shorts in the house that night.
Saw a lot of blow dry hairdos: Yeah, lots of these, too.
Not gay dude in hotpink golf shirt singing It's a new dawn It's a new day: Forgettable.
So basic here. Kj in white T-shirt. Bit Older than the college crowd. Dudes w hair cut messed up by b: I think I was trying to say there wasn't as many college kids as I thought there would be. Karaoke hasn't quite taken over Denver like it has Seattle. Most of the people were there to hang out and the singers weren't the main center of attention.
Legs: I sang ZZ Top, "Legs" my last song of the night, and, once again I don't know how I came up with it but it was awesome. Most people that were fans of theirs in the 70's resent this time in ZZ Top's career--but not me. To me, this is their good stuff. The people that were paying attention loved it.
After my song Jason got me at the bar and told me Scott's reached his end. I looked back at our table and he had a glazed look in his eyes and looked like he was about to topple over. Jason had to order us a cab home. We took it through Wendy's and called it a night. I just realized this wasn't the first time I sang karaoke in Denver. Scott and I had a night just like this the last time--so fun I hardly remembered it.
The Karaoke Korrespondent will be spinning his favorite mellow hits at the first-ever Soft Rock Cafe at Hattie's Hat (5231 Ballard Ave NW) tomorrow (Thursday) evening at 6 p.m. There won't technically be any karaoke, but singing along is encouraged, and happy hours will be extended to 9 p.m. Additionally, the Karaoke Korrespondent will be chatting about the event live on KISW's Men's Room (99.9 FM) Wednesday afternoon at 4:30.