Karaoke. The word itself looks like it might be the name of some frighteningly conceived, poorly designed, rubber-suited star of a Japanese monster movie. The dreaded Karaoke’s attack would consist of blasting the frenzied populace with ear-splitting off-key sonic blasts and would have a half- dozen horribly aberrant heads, with one or two that might make you think, “Hey – that one’s actually kinda cool.”
Much like real karaoke itself. For years, The Moon, where I tend bar part-time, has resisted that tried-and-true formula for getting butts in the seats. Alas, no more. Every Monday from now until who knows when, the bar’s regulars – mainly hipster musicians and TCU students – will have something to do other than scream-talk to one another after they’ve drunk their inhibitions away. Am I scared? Let’s just say that Mothra and Ghidorah are now looking as low-key as Cliff Claven and Norm.
I popped in last Monday for the inaugural show, a round-robin of everything from Nancy Sinatra to Eminem. Needless to say, most performers’ grave levels of sincerity were directly proportional to their overall degrees of awfulness.
Except for Steedo.
Frontman for Haltom City-based Southern-metal powerhouse Shotgun Messenger, Steve “Steedo” Smith came up to me at one point with an earnest expression on his face and said he wanted to do some AC/DC but just wasn’t sure which song would be appropriate. Naturally, I suggested a nugget from the Bon Scott era, and by the time my fourth double-whiskey-‘n’-soda had magically disappeared, Steedo had launched into a rendition of “Big Balls” that couldn’t have been more pitch-perfect. He was so good, in fact, that at one point several customers had alighted upon bar stools and began sing-shouting along: “We’ve got the biggest! / Balls of them all!!!”
Karaoke, obviously, is a group thing, but when a performer can wring participation from the audience, he or she is clearly a master. (Granted, Steedo is a ringer. But still.) While scary-oke is, at best, unintentional comedy and, at worst, sadistic schadenfreude, it can have its moments. Case in point: Steedo last Monday.
Maybe it’s the booze talking, but I’ll be back next week. And I don’t even have to work.

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