Lynyrd Skynyrdaxe.JPG
Keep it simple, and leave the axe at home.
Sometimes I find myself in a karaoke bar and am just not feeling it (99 times

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This Is Why Live Instruments Have No Place In Karaoke

Lynyrd Skynyrdaxe.JPG
Keep it simple, and leave the axe at home.
Sometimes I find myself in a karaoke bar and am just not feeling it (99 times out of 100 it's because I'm hung over). That's how it was last Thursday walking into Scorecard Bar & Grill on Northgate Way. I had a rough night of Hornitos as I attempted to sing Billy Joel (disaster) at Goofy's the night before, but friends were out celebrating the Huskies' win over UCLA and they summoned me off the couch to meet them.

I arrived about fifteen minutes before the show started. This place was the original Northgate Azteca and I was surprised at how run down it had become. It is one raggedy looking sports bar. The KJ was a big jolly Polynesian guy named Leo. We got off to a rough start because he didn't like the way I turned in my first slip (he wanted me to put it in his hand and not on the table), but we eventually worked it out.

When my "off" nights occur, I require three things to help turn the mood around: Ouzo, fine women, and a cocky singer to dominate. This bar didn't have the first two, but there was a dude (looked in his mid-20s) searching the catalog with his buddies dressed from top to bottom in western gear with the hat, the boots, the buckle, and the long sleeve tucked into whitish-blue jeans. I made it my purpose that night to sing prime cuts of Southern Rock and show everyone in this dive how the Filipino sang circles around the cowboy and just demonstrate what quality music is about.

The rotation was about eight deep that first hour and was anchored by a dude that sang nothing but grunge and a shit-faced old timer that went by Bob Michigan. For as dumpy as the place was they had really good sound. They were still working off CDG and laser discs but their catalog was solid as well.

My friends were running on fumes but still delivered some great performances. Mike and Cary's rendition of the Henley/Nicks' ballad, "Leather & Lace," just keeps getting better. And Cary finally decided to try Toto's "Hold the Line," which worked out really well for her.

The Cowboy was pretty good but didn't realize we were in a battle so it wasn't much of a fight. I scored a first round knock out with Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Simple Man" and owned the place from that moment on. His best number was "Friends in Low Places." His buddies had some great stuff too. One of them actually sang my favorite selection of the night, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's version of "Mr. Bojangles.

By the time 10:30 rolled around my friends bailed, but I was rejuvenated and ready to take it to the end. For the rest of the night the only singers were me, the grunge dude, the KJ, the Cowboy, his buddy, and Bob Michigan.

The grunge dude started his night strong with a solid performance of Pearl Jam's "Breath," but messed up royally when he brought his buddy up with a guitar to perform "Black" (more Pearl Jam) and it was a colossal train wreck. From the first chord it was obvious the guy was still learning so he played at very slow pace. A quarter of the way into the song they screwed up so much they had to start over. Leo started barking at them to get it over with already.

Granted, it was pretty funny this time, but there's no place for musical instruments in a karaoke bar (unless it's Rockaroke). If you can play piano or guitar go fuck off to an open mic and leave us ordinary people alone.

 
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