BEST KARAOKE Minneapolis 2004 - Country Bar and Grill
Some years ago, no one would have thought that karaoke, the ultimate geek party favor, would make a comeback. But it's bigger and hipper than ever, and therein lies the problem. The spirit of karaoke is a populist one, and too many of the karaoke nights around town have become too ironic, too meta, or just too competitive for the run-of-the-mill crooners among us. But that's not the case at the Country Bar and Grill, a decidedly working-class bar that thrives even as the Lyn-Lake neighborhood slouches toward gentrification. The karaoke on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights caters to the regulars as well as to those cursed with stage fright (and, blessedly, there are no prizes for which to battle your rivals). Not that the Country is for the faint of heart: The place is often packed with some pretty hard drinkers. But nothing from the joint's massive songbook is off limits; selections from Jay-Z go over just as well as anything from Garth Brooks. And by the end of the night, as the liquor flows, most of the crowd ends up singing along, no matter how many sour notes you might hit.