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Get your karaoke on

By by j.r. ortega/jrortega@vicad.com
Jan. 23, 2013 at 3:04 p.m.
Updated Jan. 22, 2013 at 7:23 p.m.

Nick Cox sings his heart out during Golden Gecko karaoke night on Friday.

Golden Gecko

If Golden Gecko has one thing down pat, it's atmosphere, said Jodi Sandoval, one of the venue's owners.

The bar is about three years old now, and started off putting on karaoke shows with much success.

For some reason, it drifted away, but in November it came back full force. Karaoke is now housed upstairs in a small room with a separate bar and stage.

"We got a lot of people saying, 'What happened to karaoke on Friday night?'" Sandoval recalls. "We love to hear back from our guests."

The venue just added new furniture, rebuilt the stage and added new equipment for a much stronger ambiance.

"It's top notch," Sandoval said.

• 9 p.m. Friday

Shooters

If you feel like putting on your Western boots and letting that good, ol' Texan come right out, then look no further than Shooters on Navarro.

The bar recently renovated its interior and has a wide array of drinks, pool tables and all sorts of fun and games.

But what really keeps it popular - karaoke.

So popular in fact, said Manager Marc Szostak, that karaoke is hosted three times a week.

"We've been doing it for about four years," he said. "Pretty much from the get go."

Shooters even has karaoke competitions several times throughout the year - competitions that offer up cash and other gifts.

So if you're looking for a comfortable night spot to just kick back a few beers and chat with friends, and perhaps dabble in a little karaoke fun, Shooters is the place.

• 9:30 p.m.-1:45 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

Peggy's Karaoke Road Show

Sports

Brent or Michelle,

Thursday Night.

• 9 p.m. Thursday

Troubadours

It's only a hop, skip and a jump to Cuero from Victoria, but if you're looking for hot karaoke nights, then Troubadours is the place to be.

The bar and dance hall just celebrated its first anniversary and, like most bars, has karaoke as one of the week's highlights, said Mike McCracken, marketing director.

"They get to be the star," said McCracken about what karaoke at a venue that can house up to 500 people feels like. "Everyone loves to sing in the shower."

Patrons can choose to sing anything from rock 'n' roll to country to rap - yes, rap. The dance hall has four microphones and a larger-than-life stage to make all your singing dreams come true.

McCracken, a self-proclaimed karaoke star, claims karaoke is coming back in full force with this younger generation.

"You've got to keep up with the music," he said. "Sing like nobody's watching."

• 8 p.m.-midnight DJ Rocketman Wednesday

Sing these with a burning passion

• "I Will Survive" in the style of Gloria Gaynor

Definitely one of the greats, but it's just so much fun to sing to. You can almost scream the lyrics and it will sound right. Plus, you've had a crazy week and you've tossed back a few beers, so why not sing your heart out. This too shall pass!

• "Y.M.C.A" in the style of the Village People

We should always stay away from cliches, but there is just something about this song that's infectious. Give it a try sometime, you'll be surprised how many people join in.

• "Friends in Low Places" in the style of Garth Brooks.

You're almost guaranteed to get the crowd singing this in a drunken slur, especially when you go karaoke-ing in the Crossroads, where country is king and Texas beer rules all.

• "Love Shack" in the style of The B-52s

The love shack, is a little ol' place where, we can get together. Love shack, baby - it's just one of those catchy tunes that you can't go wrong choosing.

• "Rolling in the Deep" in the style of Adele

Normally I would say avoid this, but I think everybody should have a chance to at least sing something outside of the shower every once and a while. Chances are, you're drunk, so who cares, right?

Songs to avoid like a burning rash

• "Don't Stop Believing" in the style of Journey

How many more times can we hear this song? This song begs for people to take a bathroom break, grab another drink, or even worse - leave.

• "My Heart Will Go On" in the style of Celine Dion

You're really going to try one-upping Celine Dion? Get off the stage. NOW.

• "I Will Always Love You" in the style of Whitney Houston

So you sing this song in the shower, right? It's OK to admit it, we do, too. But let's keep it that way. This time, people are listening. Spare them the agony of attempting to out-do one of the most iconic voices of our time.

• "Brown-eyed Girl" in the style of Johnny Rivers

Yawn. Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la.

• "Baby Got Back" in the style of Sir-Mix-A-Lot

I have to admit, even I know all the words to this song. But it does get old after a while. Ever heard of the element of surprise? Keep on looking!

When the sun goes down, that's when the karaoke singers come out - dressed to impress and ready to sing - sing their little hearts out.

Karaoke is nothing new. Truly, the tradition of belting out your guiltiest pleasures in front of a crowd of friends, and perhaps even some foes, has been around for many years, but recently, bars and venues in the Crossroads have become extra privy to the practice.

There are plenty of places to choose from.

You have Shooters, if you're feeling a bit like letting your hair down and kicking up those country boots.

Then there are places like the Golden Gecko, which has set up a room upstairs devoted clearly for drinking and karaoke.

And if you're looking to head out to the true country, Cuero is not too far. Try Troubadours, one of the newest larger venues.

Regardless of where you choose, karaoke is here to stay.

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