BEST KARAOKE - 2000
In a city where speakers and microphones are practically handed out with liquor licenses, the criteria used to determine karaoke excellence must be strict. After eliminating bars where the bulk of the song list is music most often sold in truck-stop cassette bins, many local karaoke facilities remained standing. Weeding out places with words like "Stand-up" or "Last Chance" in their names took care of a few competitors. All sing-along joints where prizes were awarded to the least-dressed female, even if she sang the Casey Jones birthday song in a voice only dogs could hear, were disqualified, leaving some formidable finalists. But when we crossed off the list all karaoke bars that attracted a clientele of prima donnas, mic hogs, suburban voyeurs, detox regulars, or hyperactive coeds with fake IDs, only Elsie's remained. Here it's just good, old-fashioned karaoke with a broad selection of songs being performed and viewed by average Joes and Joannes. Another plus: Bowling a quick ten frames in the adjacent bowling alley can be a great confidence booster for karaoke virgins and the generally mic shy.