If I hadn't of been thrown out of yet another karaoke bar, two, count them, two, in Scottsdale, Arizona, for only wanting water, in the past month, perhaps a more equitable peace could have been made with this paradigm bummer when it comes to what's been going on in music for the past twenty years. In fact, in considering this story about the best karaoke bar in at least Scottsdale, I had an extended relationship with the place for about three months, offering to write a RFA column right away, once I got a drift of what kind of singers were there, but decided not to declare it the best karaoke bar in Arizona because, you know, call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye.
But over the past few weeks, as the bone-burning summer in Phoenix drives people more frequently to the hospital than to the golf course, the snake of jaw-dropping loss in income in the local nightlife has has curled into a coil, shaking a death rattle, an empty cup, to the hungry hearts out there, yearning to sing to be happy as hell. Without fear. Without desperation. Holding back the Sahara of America from choking off all hope, kindness, or normal human interaction. And it's not just the bars, but the hate-filled scream of society being liquified by the heat and pounding, pressurized humidity in general. The wild bestial sexual pulse of downtown high-end glitter? What's that all about? Basically, the summer is trying to kill everyone. So why not party like it's 2999?
And, since they really did throw me out permanently for ordering water, I am going to do the place a favor now, since I love the people there, and the amazing talent that gathers there so very, very much. And the prescient deejays who know how to pick songs for me, rather than what I asked for. The place so-long-not-mentioned-in-a-praising rock journo's review, with it's warm studio setting, big sound, and amazing affability draws singers as good as anything on "American Idol," in many cases better. Many of whom are gifted musicians with their own many projects and amazing professional backgrounds. Many of those choosing more improvisational bends to the originals, thus, perhaps, hopefully signifying the end has begun for this big bad feedback loop of brain-dead repeating of rote "Caroline" Idolotry.
Better than going to church? Perhaps. Indeed, there is no place happier than a room full of singing hobbits, bouncing off the tables, and rolling on the floor. And one more, no, two, no, three things ..,
1) It's OK if you do your own own words
2) It's OK if you want to channel Bono
3) "Caroline" no bueno ...
And so, here it is, the best karaoke bar in Costdale, no, Scottsdale, Arizona, my home, my land, and yours, truly, too ...
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONAYou RFA welcome.
And hey man, what's with this dropping the mic? Don't do it. Just don't. I never did.
This all began with one simple statement about two months ago. There I was, nothing to do on a Saturday night, and I needed some healing, bad. So I said to myself, "There are times in a life when karoake necessary, and this is one of them."
This led to a series of efforts re-training myself to sing. Starting with a Japanese karaoke bar in Tempe, during which I choked and sputtered to nothing less than U2's "Vertigo." Right then, a bunch of Japanese Americans, probably, started peaking their heads out of their rooms, seeing who, exactly, was dying up on the center main room stage ... Any way, this all go to the point to this, again about Tempe ... Posted as thus on Radio Free Arizona's Facebook Group page: "I truly believe an energized music scene is bubbling in the cauldron of Scottsdale, Arizona this summer. The musicians are out, and if maybe the audiences aren't (since it's summer, a bad one, this season), people playing original music are out all over the place. Reminds me a little of Tempe in the late '80s, early 1990s. Went to Tempe to check that out, see if it's the same, monsoon strikes willing. They were, Did a rendition of "Mexican Radio" adding the words, "Vivi Libre O Muertes," So loud it penetrated walls. Now the woman working in the sandwich shop next door kinda likes me, but thinks I'm strange, and I am. By the way, just as we driving up to the place, Tempe cops were wrestling a black man to the ground, kicking him in the head as he resisted. He kept shouting he had done nothing. A local run over Santa just watched and stared. Just asked why? You could see it in his street zoned-in body language. "Vivi Libre O Muertes," indeed.
But now, with the current developments, I would clearly have to say, for myself, "There are times when karaoke is necessary, but this is not one of them." Walked by a day later, and they were still talking through the bars about the previous night's stuff of legend. Perhaps I wasn't the only one thrown out. Maybe for dropping the mic. That's what's the dude said he was going to do, so maybe the's a graduate, too. For myself, all I could think to say was, channeling Neil Young, "That's better than winning a Grammy!" Oh, well, I guess the question isn't how well you play within the circle, but what you do once you break on through to the other side ...
Douglas McDaniel has been living in the Valley of the Sun since 1960 and is pretty darn sure he's spent $1,000 at the Grapevine, lifetime. He is currently a producer, publisher, author, editor, journo, rock crit, web cat, web dog, poet, songwriter, singer, open mic poet organizer, bandleader, band loser, then band finder again, then who knows ... for, here goes, whew ... breathe ... The Bards of Mythville ... Radio Free Arizona (the Band) ... Shiprect ... Son Mythville ... with a poet tree at ... Mythville ... as well as his long-time gonzo feature ... Radio Free Arizona ... He throws right (and left) ... kills at ping pong ... Rights write. Writes wrong. Right on ... Sorry, EA, had to say that part ... Namaste ...