Good spots for karaoke?

microphone closeupCatherine emails with a simple tune:

I'm looking for places nearby that do karaoke.

We know you have some good suggestions for Catherine. Please share!

Earlier on AOA: Good spots for trivia night?

photo: Flickr derekGavey

Comments

It's not the place, but the host.

Back in the days when I went Karaoking....Mark the Shark was the best host. He had the most songs and met and talked with everyone who showed up.

I can't vouch for any of them but it looks like Metroland has a number of places listed on their "club" calendar:
http://www.metroland.net/calendar/calendar_clubs.html

I have two favorite spots. The first is Eugene's Side Door Cafe on Western Ave in Albany. The KJ, Mark the Shark, has a pretty wide selection and keeps things current. It's also a fairly quiet place on most weekends. Some weekends are busier than others, but it's a relaxing atmosphere to drink and hang out with friends. (karaoke on Friday and Sat nights starting at 10pm)

The other is Muddys in Watervliet. This place is known for having a topless bartender, but in 6 years of frequently going for saturday night for karaoke at approx 10pm, I've never seen her. The KJ Steve has a decently sized library. He updates occasionally, so he might not have the newest stuff, but there's a stage and he'll even give you a free recording of yourself singing [if you'd ever want it]. Drinks are fairly expensive, but the atmosphere is great most times.

My friends also talk about The Mill in Round Lake, but I've never been there. From what I hear, there's no real set night for karaoke besides saturday. Sometimes they have it on Friday, sometimes Thursday.

I agree with Lwoodbluz that the most important thing is the DJ (oops, "KJ"). The way they handle rotation, the banter they have with the singers and the crowd, and their relationship with the bar make all the difference - plus, since they mostly provide the equipment and songs, they determine whether you'll be able to sing the song you want and sound good doing it (well, as good as possible).

At one point, I was a Mark the Shark devotee (although I know that at least for a while he had been replaced at Side Door - maybe he's back). But I defected to Lenny Thomas, who was at Bourbon Street in Colonie - he had a better song selection and the quality of his Karaoke equipment was worlds better than Mark's. (He's also been recognized several times in the Metroland "Best Of" poll.)

As I understand it, Lenny is now at Flightline Pub in Glenville but I haven't been so I can't say whether the atmosphere there is as great as it was at Bourbon Street.

Oh, and if you go to Lenny's karaoke, be sure to ask him to do some hair metal (he used to be in a Judas Priest tribute band) or, my favorite song of his, Hall and Oates' "Sara Smile". Guy's got a killer voice.

Lenny's website is here: http://www.lennythomas.com/Karaoke.html
(click on Calendar to see which nights he does karaoke).

For a different twist on karaoke you might want to try "bandaoke" at Savannah's/The Dublin Underground on Thursday nights. You get to go on a stage with full PA, lights, and a real band backing you up. The house band, The Ruddys, have a book of about 500 tunes (with lyrics) and can even accommodate certain special requests. The current season just wrapped up but it should be starting back up again in the early Spring.

I don't know about being "good," but I've recently just sang karaoke at Rafferty's (Weekday) in Latham and also J.T. Maxie's (Saturday night) on Wolf Road. They aren't crowded, so it's fun to go with a few friends and be ridiculous without waiting two hours for your turn, not to mention feeling less judged! Have fun :)

I used to love karaoke, I've been told I sound like Jewel...but I don't know too many people out here in Albany

I am not in Albany any more but the Karaoke at Bombers was always a good time. The Elbo Room had a pretty decent one too. Side Door is pretty much the go to place and I heard good things about Bourbon Street but never made it there before moving out west. The one at the Mill is a good time and used to be every other Thursday or something like that and they stream it on the web so you get to perform for the whole world.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

How New York and the Capital Region compare on income inequality

Income inequality has been a much-discussed topic over the last few years, so some new numbers about income -- and income inequality -- out this... (more)

Roommates, y'all

Revealed in Kirsten Gillibrand's new memoir: KG and Tami Taylor were roommates for a brief time during college. (What? That's not Tami Taylor? She was... (more)

Film Columbia 2014

Film Columbia -- the annual autumn film festival in Chatham -- returns October 22-26. As in years past, the festival slate includes a bunch of... (more)

Drawing: OktoBIRDfest

The Audubon Society of the Capital Region has its first OktoBIRDfest (get it?) September 27 at Quackenbush Square in Albany. The fundraising event includes samples... (more)

Morning Blend

Casino opponents and supporters are gearing up for next week's public comment hearings. [TU] The Amsterdam city council has voted to throw its support behind... (more)

Recent Comments

... I was impressed w/ All Day She Plays and actually bought a dress - during lunch - in Albany. Haven't walked out of my office building during lunch and bought a dress since I lived in NYC.

Drawing: OktoBIRDfest

...has 21 comments, most recently from Ellen

The latest One Monument Square plan evolves

...has 7 comments, most recently from ace

Pop. Pop. Pop. Shop.

...has 7 comments, most recently from statey worker

Capital Region Wi-Fi Map

...has 44 comments, most recently from Paul Reese

Help with kitchen renovation design?

...has 7 comments, most recently from Albany Landlord