The Evolution of Karaoke, Part III.

27 05 2008

2nd on 2nd

A little more than a year after hitting One-7 on a weekly basis, we discovered the mayhem of 2nd on 2nd in the East Village. This place was the first Karaoke bar I went to that felt less Asian and more like a regular bar. It was like the movie version of Coyote Ugly meets One-7. A friend of mine even met his wife there when I was signing Rebel Yell. That became a key selling point when I was trying to get friends to go to 2nd on 2nd because if that guy could get laid there, anyone could!

2nd on 2nd is still on my regular rotation, even if me or one of my friends will occasionally get thrown out for drinking too many Car Bombs. Last time we tried counting how many Bombs I drank, but we lost count at 18. It’s all part of the Karaoke!

Sing Sing on St. Marks

A few years ago a Sing Sing was opened on St. Marks and I have been a regular since day one. Unlike some of the Sing Sings in the city, it has a lively open bar as well as spacious private rooms. It also has the thick Karaoke Champ song selection of a One-7, but the staff is friendlier with the neighborhood feel of Japas. Unfortunately for Japas, Sing Sing became a bit too popular and put it out of business.

Sing Sing on St. Marks is one of my favorite bars in the city and I have consumed plenty of sake there, sometimes straight from the bottle! I have never been thrown out of Sing Sing, but I have seen many others get tossed. One of my favorites was when a few girls decided to try dancing on the bar during the Killer’s “Mr. Backside.” Bad idea. The music stopped and the one girl who refused to step down was carried out legs up, spread eagle, kicking and screaming. Of course, me being the douche that I am, got the crowd to chant “let them sing!” after she was thrown out. And the music turned back on. A Karaoke casualty is usually the sign of a good party!





The Evolution of Karaoke, Part II.

27 05 2008

“Love on the Rocks”

Every year for the last decade I host a fantasy basketball draft that involves plenty of malt liquor, trash talking and sloppiness. Tradition dictates that draft survivors take it deep that night. My girlfriend suggested we go to Japas. We were all sloshed, so it seemed like a good idea!

It was a debacle. Britney Spears’ “Hit Me Baby One More Time” was carnaged in good fun. But after seeing one my friends whom I’ll call The Uncle kneel down on one knee and serenade a lady with Neil Diamond’s “Love on the Rocks,” I was hooked. It was pure genius. Who cares if I butchered Foreigner’s “Cold as Ice”?

Japas Revisited

After that fateful night at Japas, my boys wanted more. So we hit Japas again. We tried to get nice and sloppy, but one of them brought a very bossy girlfriend. A true Game Killer. Not only did she stuff the box with songs, but also decided what songs we were going to sing! It was a night of Mary J. Blige and Justin Timberlake. She then offered to share Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home” but her version of sharing was to scream over the other person. Like Foreigner, we were indeed as “Cold as Ice”!

The Karaoke One-7 Era

Karaoke One 7

One night after a fine dinner at the underrated Basta Pasta, my girlfriend and I gave the Karaoke bar next door, Karaoke 17, a shot.

It had 13,000 song book courtesy of Karaoke Champ with the open bar of a Japas as well as the private rooms like Village Karaoke. Even if the staff were like cold Asian robots, 17 became my karaoke den of choice for the next few years probably because I did not know any better. It turns out 17 tries to cater more to the “Phantom of the Opera” show tune crowd as opposed to the party crowd. I bet they are glad I am gone. I owe them a visit!