eat. shop. love. nyc.

Live rock and roll karaoke at Arlene’s Grocery
December 30, 2009, 12:23 pm
Filed under: Do, Drink, Listen, Love | Tags: , , , ,

Karaoke is in my blood. Maybe it’s the Korean in me. Maybe it’s because when my dad sings, the skies open up and sunlight floods out as angels bust out harps and trumpets and whatever other angelic instruments there are. Or maybe it’s just plain awesome, period.

I wandered over to Arlene’s Grocery (it is NOT a grocery, by the way) on Monday night for rock and roll karaoke at the request of a very good friend. It’s free, it’s in my neighborhood, and let’s be frank, I had nothing better to do on a Monday night. By the time I arrived around 11 or so, the basement was packed with people wiggling as best they could in the dark, dank, and shwetty space in front of the stage, where thankfully, there is a bar. ($6 will get you a Blue Moon.) There is a LIVE BAND backing you up when you sing, so you can pretend that you are really a rock star and maybe even stage dive after your song (though I suspect that is frowned upon, and you probably won’t be allowed back).

Some things I’ve learned about rock and roll karaoke:

  1. Get there early. The place is open until 3 or 4 am, but dibs on when you sing is first come first serve. You don’t want to end up singing to the four piss drunk people left at the bar at 3 am. Or maybe you do. I suppose that’s up to you.
  2. Have your song of choice ready. The set list is available here. They only allow each song to be performed once in an evening, so have your song all picked out (plus alternates in case it gets taken), and (1) get there early so you don’t end up scrambling at the last minute.
  3. Be prepared to bring it, or at least be aware that some of the other people who are going to sing will make you look bad. NYC is full of talented performers. There are a lot of them at Arlene’s, and some of the regulars will blow your mind. My personal favorite is the little man who sang Pretty Woman wearing a sombrero (which he threw off for dramatic effect) and a green shirt that read, “Single and ready to JINGLE.”
  4. It’s okay if you forget the words or when you’re supposed to start singing. There is a guy in the back who sings backup in case you get caught up in the moment and blank.
  5. If you are really good, everyone screams, “HOLY SHIT!” at the end of your song. You want that.

Arlene’s Grocery, Lower East Side, 95 Stanton Street, NYC. Map it! Live rock and roll karaoke every Monday night form 10 pm till the band gets sick of hearing you sing.


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let’s go!

Comment by Jilly

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