Monday, October 17, 2011

Desperately Seeking Karaoke

One of my friends from high school is in Austin this week on vacation, so I was very excited about getting to see her again.  I think the last time we got together, my son was 6 weeks old - now he's in kindergarten.  So, yeah, we had some catching up to do.

The boyfriend and I have been intrigued by this place called The Highball since it opened.  But we never get to go out, so we hadn't checked it out before.  I suggested it to my friend as a good place to hang out on Saturday night - very hipster Austin-y (it's next door to the Alamo Drafthouse on S. Lamar) - because I (mistakenly, it turns out) believed they would be having a live band for karaoke.

Let me take a moment to explain that I am not a karaoke person.  I like to sing really loudly in my car, embarrassingly loudly to some in my car, but I could never with good conscience make a total stranger listen to me sing.  Not even a bunch of drunken strangers.  And supposedly karaoke is meant for people like me - those who love to sing but obviously shouldn't be doing it - but I beg to differ.  Maybe it's the American Idol effect, but most karaoke singers these days are pretty good and they know it.  At least that has been my experience.

So, I was psyched about karaoke night mainly because the boyfriend is a really good singer and loves karaoke.  He even owned a karaoke machine when we first moved in together and keeps hinting that he'd like to get a new one.  He's done live-band karaoke once before and loved it, so I was excited about him getting to do that again.

The Highball is themed like a 1960s nightclub, complete with awesome Sputnik lights.  They have a bowling alley, private karaoke rooms, a massive bar, and a dance floor.  I was a little concerned about not being hipster enough to hang out there, but it was a nice mix of clientele - including a "Divorce Party" happening at the table next to ours complete with a revolving cake with a naked man on top.  (Sorry, I didn't get a picture of that.  As usual, I was afraid of appearing like a super dork and didn't take any pictures.)

Unfortunately, the bowling had a 3-hour wait and it turned out they weren't doing karaoke but a Footloose Dance Party.  We probably should have just finished out our night there (the divorcee was nice enough to invite us to bowl with her group), but we had our hearts set on karaoke, so we drove uptown to the only karaoke bar we could think of - The Common Interest.

It's your typical karaoke bar, except that it is very popular and you must have to either tip the DJ handsomely or show up at 5 o'clock on a Saturday to get a chance at the stage.  We were there for 2 hours and when we left, the boyfriend was still about 45 minutes from getting on stage.  Of course, the guy who chose to sing the 9+ minute version of American Pie didn't help things along.  (Honestly, who does that?)

So that's how we managed to not do karaoke this weekend.  We still had a blast and I got to drink alcohol for the first time in ages, so well worth it.  We got carded at both places, which made the 43-year-old boyfriend feel really good, but made me break out my sarcastic "Really?  I've got four kids!" because I hate looking like a seventh grader, especially after going through all of the trouble of make-up and hair straightening.

Did everyone else have a good weekend?

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