Seattle summer is the best. It doesn't get dark until forever, everyone's outside making the most of the sun, and hardly anyone gets to the karaoke bars early. It's the season when even the busiest spots take awhile to build a lineup. Last Saturday, 4th of July eve, I kicked off my karaoke night at Jabu's Pub and got to sing four songs in less than an hour. This is a pretty popular Lower Queen Anne spot with lots of regulars from the neighborhood. There's no way I would have been able to pull that off any other time of year.
Did Jeff pitch a tent during the bone-stoking makeout scene in Mulholland Drive? Undoubtedly.
The bar was about a quarter full and people were still shooting pool in the stage area when I arrived at nine. Most of the crowd looked around my age, in their 30's. I didn't realize the place would be so divey. People were dressed a step or two below casual in scrubby looking jeans and t-shirts. Some dudes had that old school grunge look going with the shaved head, tattoos, and 19th century facial hair. "What a Fool Believes" by the Doobie Brothers kicked in overhead as I ordered my drinks, and I was relieved to see everyone having fun and grooving to it. It told me I could be as random with my song picks as I wanted without the worry of them thinking I was a cheese-dick.
I grabbed a book and took a seat in the back of the bar at a booth that faced the stage. At around 9:15 someone started setting up for the show. The group (couple guys, couple gals) ended their billiards session but still hung around the soon to be stage area while I did my song search. As I worked my way through the "B's" I happened to notice one of the gals from the group go up to the other, put her arms around her waist and give her a smooch on the lips. They were both skinny and cute and I thought to myself, "That's cool. I don't see that every day, but no big deal. Just don't stare." I went back to looking in the book, but couldn't help but notice every time they did that again. They weren't being too PDA--they just happened to be exactly in my line of vision. When "Crimson & Clover" by Joan Jett kicked in overhead and they really got affectionate, I just took it as a sign to give in and appreciate the beauty of the scene for what it was.
By 9:30 the bar filled in, but nobody but this gal Michelle and I were turning in slips. That's my favorite. The KJ was a good lookin' blonde and she opened with a great rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." The audience was already lubed up and gave her a great ovation. There were a few people that stood right in front of the stage to cheer us on. Michelle rocked the shades during her performance "Plush" by Stone Temple Pilots and the crowd loved her.
I was happy to lead in with Springsteen to get the party rolling. This really tall attractive woman in a lavender summer dress, striped cardigan, and a white Michigan cap told me, "You better bring it," and I responded, "Don't worry, I totally will." I sang "Glory Days" and could not have been happier with the performance. The sound was great and I hit just about every note. The tall chick told me I totally rocked it when I was done.
We each delivered some good ones the next couple rotations. The KJ's best performance was CCR's, "Long as I Can Se the Light." Michelle came through with an awesome "Talkin Bout a Revolution" by Tracy Chapman, and I was most proud of my rendition of Van Halen's "Jump". The rest of the singers finally came around 10:45.
Screw Ozzie's on a Saturday night; this place has a better crowd, better sound and twice the selection. They also do karaoke whenever the Storm play home games at nearby KeyArena.
The Karaoke Korrespondent will be singing live/signing men's briefs and women's bras at the Wedgwood Ale House & Cafe (8515 35th Ave NE) on Thursday night, July 8. If you want to be part of his next column (or bed him), this'd be the surest ticket.