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It isn't just for losers anymore

by and

THUR 11/27

On the "things one should never, ever attempt" scale (also known as the Michael Jackson Weirdness Barometer), karaoke sits squarely between sex with your sister and sex with your dog. Sure, it's out there, it's a possibility, if you get drunk enough you might start thinking about it, but you should never, ever attempt it.

And yet people do. College-educated, job-holding, family-rearing people get on stage and sing in place of Celine Dion or Michael Bolton, futilely trying to hit that note in "My Heart Will Go On" or bellowing through an "Unchained Melody" that should have remained forever chained within themselves. Karaoke's power to warp seemingly normal people into warbling performers is frightening and inexplicable, but recent research indicates that it is somehow linked to the dreaded "power ballad/PBR" matrix.

Into this unnatural realm of French-Canadian divas and American skullets (Queer Eye slang for "skull-mullet") steps, nay, leaps the Creepy Crawl (412 North Tucker Boulevard, 314-851-0919). Tonight, after you've eaten your weight in bird, the staff of the Creepy invites you to bring your favorite Creepy-appropriate CD down for their free "Retarded Rock & Roll Karaoke." (By "Creepy-appropriate," they mean punk, metal, power metal, death metal, etc. -- get the picture? Replace Celine with Lita Ford, and swap Bolton for Dio; now that's karaoke.) Finally, someone has realized that if you're going to do karaoke, you should do it to music where it doesn't matter if your voice sucks. (Hello, Lemmy? Keith Morris? We're looking at you.) Rock & roll is the music of the people, and the people's voices are terrible, so laugh it up and belt one out. Doors open at 7 p.m. -- Paul Friswold


TUES 12/2

The touring production of Thoroughly Modern Millie is reputed to be a pretty great musical; the Broadway version won a half-dozen Tonys, including the coveted Best New Musical award. That's all well and good, but for the die-hard Carol Channing fan, there can be only one -- one Muzzy, that is. The 1967 movie that's the basis for the stage production was chock-full of star power (Julie Andrews and Mary Tyler Moore), but Channing, resplendent in flight coveralls and gold-flake motorcycle helmet, was shot from a cannon whilst growling "Raspberries!" -- and who could possibly top that? Millie and her fellow flappers take the stage at the Fox Theatre (527 North Grand Boulevard, 8 p.m., $26-$60, 314-534-1111) and stay through December 14. -- Paul Friswold

A Modest Proposal

FRI 11/28

How to best improve upon the venerable banjo? BC Rich-style vampire wings and super-high-output pickups? Neckmounted flamethrower for spectacular Ace Frehley-style solos? Automated self-destruct system triggered by the opening chords of "Dueling Banjos"? Tom Nechville chose to go with just improving tuning stability by inventing what he calls "Helimount" banjos. He will provide a free demonstration of his cutting-edge banjo technology tonight at 7 p.m. at Music Folk (8015 Big Bend Boulevard, 314-961-2838), covering such topics as "tunneled fifth strings, in-line tailpieces and compensated bridges." The aforementioned self-destruct mechanism is not mentioned in the press release, but perhaps someone in the audience will bring it up. -- Paul Friswold

Leave Home for House

SAT 11/29

Washington Avenue establishments have been offering great music of late, and the club/lounge hybrid Rue 13 (1311 Washington Avenue, 314-588-7070) jumps on the housewagon this Saturday. Om Records' Kaskade (né Ryan Raddon) descends from San Fran to drop cozy, soulful house on Rue's beautiful, sushi-eating, cocktail-imbibing frequenters. Show up around 10:30 p.m. to catch local DJ Merlin and get warmed up for Kaskade's set around midnight. He's out supporting his October release San Francisco Sessions Volume 4: Soundtrack to the Soul, which features offerings from Members Only, among others. The happy vibes from this show should last until the new year (just like the pounds from Thanksgiving dinner). -- Alison Sieloff

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