Jay-Z & Karaoke Don't Mix at CC's Lounge, But Hornitos Helps

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Jay-Z & Karaoke Don't Mix at CC's Lounge, But Hornitos Helps

  • Jay-Z & Karaoke Don't Mix at CC's Lounge, But Hornitos Helps

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    Causing 99 Problems in Burien.
    One of the few positives about the Fourth of July landing on a Monday this year was that CC's Lounge in Burien moved their karaoke up to 6 p.m. so people could sing and still get out to catch the fireworks. I hope to someday live in a world where karaoke starts that early every night, but until that time comes, I'm seizing every rare opportunity I get.

    I got to CC's in time to catch one of the early performers fumble her way through Tony Orlando's "Candida." I took a seat on the far left end of their horseshoe-shaped bar. They have a big elevated stage on one corner and a grand piano set up on the other side. Every section of the room was packed, and it was about as old a karaoke crowd as I've seen. Two-thirds of the patrons looked well into their 60s, and the rest weren't much younger.

    Their KJ, Kevin Kelly, is well-known in the karaoke community and hosts a great show. His song catalog goes against the traditional binder style; rather, the artists are separated by decade and genre. He consolidated the lists into a 12-page restaurant menu, and added a note that he has thousands of additional songs to choose from. I personally prefer to see everything that is available, but I did find it easier than usual to find my first selection, "Free Bird." I found it on the front page of the song menu entitled "The Top 50 Karaoke Songs of All Time."

    The first rotation was 17 singers deep. People sang a lot of classics (by Anne Murray, Merle Haggard, and Jimmy Buffett), but no one, including myself, came even close to nailing it. The two PBRs and two shots of Hornitos I took still left me a shot short of where I needed to be, so my Skynyrd performance came off tense and flat.

    CC, the owner, was bartending, and we got to talking. She usually starts Monday nights off behind the piano and takes requests from 6-8 p.m. It was at that moment that I realized I'd picked the wrong night to come in. The one thing I love as much as karaoke is piano-bar sing-alongs. She later showed everyone how it was done when she accompanied one of the male performers in a duet of Shania Twain's "From this Moment."

    The third Hornitos was a charm, because it got me good and frisky for my second song, "You Can't Do That" by the Beatles. What a difference a shot makes! I took the stage and totally lit everyone up with that number, earning a few compliments as I made my way back to my stool.

    The most random performance of the night came after my song, when this dude in his 20s got up and screamed Jay-Z's "99 Problems." It was brutal. He either had no sense of what was appropriate to sing for this crowd, or just didn't care. A couple of the old folks sitting at the tables behind me looked at him as if he was taking a dump onstage.

    CC's Lounge, 635 SW 152nd St, 242-0977, BURIEN

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