With more karaoke choices than ever, y’all have shown Santa Fe can’t get enough of the faux-rock star action. I attended several karaokeevents and gave them grades. Y’know, just to make your life a little easier.
Wednesday, March 16 • 9 pm • no cover
Rize • 135 W Palace Ave. • 955-0400
The weird thing about Rize is that it’s had approximately 200 other names, but looks exactly the same as it did when it opened under its original moniker. Even though the club has outrageous prices and a faux-hipster interior (you’re not in New York, Rize, no matter how badly you wish you were), it has a strong tradition of karaoke dating back to the days of Swig and Jimmy the Carrot’s Tuesday night amateur vocalist parties. Rize Karaoke with Rob G is, by no means, a bad time, but is struggling with event infancy. A lack of promotion has hindered what could be a righteous addition to Santa Fe’s karaoke landscape. But with a song list reportedly numbering in the thousands and Rob G’s plan to soon allow singers to send selections in advance via Facebook or Twitter, don’t be surprised if Rize Karaoke makes Wednesday nights a little more lively.
Saturday, March 19 • 8:30 pm • no cover
Tiny’s • 1015 Pen Road • 983-9817
Why the dingy, over-priced nightmare that is Tiny’s continues to be a popular destination remains a mystery. However, Showcase Karaoke with Cindi and Nanci transforms the club’s usual snooze-fest into a well-attended weekly party with a strong core of regulars and a constant influx of curious crooners. It’s odd the hosts insist on taking the stage when announcing upcoming singers, but it’s not a dealbreaker. Televisions scattered throughout the bar announce who is currently singing, as well as who is on deck. While it’s handy to know if you’ve got enough time for a quick smoke or a bathroom run, this takes away the surprise factor some singers enjoy. The huge selection of songs coupled with an active dance floor aid in the wannabe rockstar feeling karaoke singers lust after. You really have to decide if you can get past the unfriendly staff for this event to be worth your time.
Sunday, March 20 • 8 pm • no cover
Corazón • 401 S Guadalupe St. • 983-4559
Limelight Karaoke is more of a laid-back affair and a small but dedicated handful of people attend the Sunday night event with religious loyalty. Host Michle Leidig is the undisputed queen of Santa Fe karaoke and, with a set of pipes to rival any trained vocalist, Leidig is just about the only karaoke host good enough to take the mic now and then. The crowd may not be large, but the option to perform multiple songs is a silver lining. Corazón’s staff is friendly, and both the bartenders and Leidig make a point to remember the singers’ names and usual song choices. Plus, The Zón has Ska Brewing beer, which is delicious! From the fantastic song selection to the low-pressure atmosphere, utilizing Limelight Karaoke as a mellow, end-of-the-week practice run is a wise plan for newbies who may be hesitant to perform in front of larger crowds.
Monday, March 21 • 9 pm • no cover
Cowgirl • 319 S Guadalupe St. • 982-2565
Cowgirl Karaoke continues to be the gold standard when it comes to local karaoke. Leidig, who also hosts Limelight, started it all at the Cowgirl, and has built the event into a reason to get out of bed on Mondays. With enthusiastic and supportive crowds and the promise of singing just about any song your little heart desires, this is the model to which all other karaoke nights aspire. The regulars are well tended, and those newly converted to the empty orchestra are treated with respect. Even though karaoke is goofy by nature, Leidig doesn’t put up with jerk-off drunks teasing awful singers, so ass-clowns beware and the tone-deaf rejoice! Add delicious strawberry frozen margaritas, a rabid crew of supporters and regular beer specials to the mix, and you realize why Cowgirl Karaoke is more loved by the people than anyone has ever loved anything.