Printer Friendly

KARAOKE GIVES SINGERS OUTLET.

Byline: Romy Jacobson Daily News Staff Writer

Applause roared throughout O'Haras Cantina as Malachai Upshaw returned to his seat after singing ``Ain't That Peculiar,'' a song made famous by the late R&B singer Marvin Gaye. For the 43-year-old Los Angeles County firefighter, karaoke is an outlet. Former drummer and singer, he gave up his dreams of a career as a musician when he got married in the 1970s.

``I'm a frustrated musician from the old school,'' Upshaw said. ``I've never been able to fulfill my dreams.''

``It's kind of a way for me to have that musical outlet,'' Upshaw added while sipping a Corona beer.

Karaoke - which means voiceless music - got started in Japan about the time Upshaw was leaving behind his musical dreams. Background tracks are on compact discs that project the lyrics on a monitor.

Almost any genre of music can be found in karaoke including rock, rhythm and blues, country, alternative, show tunes, standards, soul and even TV theme songs.

O'Haras Cantina karaoke jockey Catherine Stine became a karaoke hostess after winning a contest at the Lancaster restaurant and bar.

``They (managers) approached me and said, would you like to do karaoke?'' Stine said. ``I was singing, but I wasn't making money, so I said, what the hell.''

Stine eventually bought her own equipment and started her own business, Chameleon Karaoke.

``I think I'll die doing this. I'd rather do this than work behind a desk,'' Stine added.

Karaoke is a way for 22-year-old Hethier Briant to keep her vocal chords in shape and break in new material while she tries to put together an alternative music band.

``It's scary when you don't sound right,'' said the Antelope Valley College student, a regular at O'Haras, after singing ``Jealousy,'' by Natalie Merchant.

Across town, Louisiana Hots was filled with karaoke enthusiasts, including some under 21. A few patrons were taking a cigarette break outside the entrance.

``They should have a place to go, and this is it,'' said Paul Adams while collecting the two-drink minimum charge of $4 at the door. ``The smoking thing hasn't even affected it here. Yul (the owner), he puts tables, chairs and heaters out there for them.''

Karaoke hostess Jeannine Judon, Adams' business partner, was a karaoke singer before she decided to become a karaoke hostess.

``I went to several different karaoke shows, and they were boring to me. They didn't hold my interest,'' Judon said. ``I finally went to one that held my interest, and I had Catherine (from O'Haras) train me because I thought I could do it.''

After hosting for about a year, Judon hooked up with Adams and started Bullfrog Karoakin'.

``It started out as a musical admiration,'' Judon joked.

The duo, along with Louisiana Hots owner Yul Gevargis, have a weekly karaoke TV show called ``Hot Valley Karaoke Nights,'' which features singers from the bar at 6 p.m. Sundays on KPAL (Channel 35).

Eighteen-year-old Josh Cohea got the audience on the dance floor with his performance of the Spice Girls' ``Spice Up Your Life.''

``I just have fun,'' Cohea said. ``I don't worry if I'm singing good or bad. I do songs that I like.''

At neighboring Rosa's Cantina, stock car driver turned karaoke jockey Paul ``Krazy Cat'' Tracey can be seen dancing with one of 50 stuffed cats he's collected over the years.

Tracey has been a karaoke jockey for five years. The North Carolina native got his nickname from an ex-girlfriend. He adorns the stage with stuffed cats, including a tiger wearing a set of headphones.

``I like cats. It gives me something to throw at people,'' joked Tracey, who commutes from Oxnard to the Antelope Valley four times a week. ``Sometimes people bring in the stuffed cats because they know I like them. I'll also trade them out.''

Robert Doutre made his karaoke debut at Rosa's singing ``Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay,'' originally performed by Otis Redding.

``I was nervous. I never did it before. It just scares you,'' Doutre said. ``As long as you're among friends, you have nothing to worry about.''

WHERE TO GO

Here's a list of local spots to enjoy karaoke entertainment:

American Legion Post 771

39463 10th St. E., Palmdale

(805) 947-3771

8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

Bartalo's

33311 Agua Dulce Canyon Road, Agua Dulce

(805) 268-8004

8:30 p.m. Fridays

Paul ``Krazy Cat'' Tracey

Bourbon Street

551 W. Ave. I, Suite E, Lancaster

(805) 945-9810

8 p.m. Mondays

Bullfrog Karoakin' - Jeannine and Paul

Brunswick Vista Lanes

38241 30th St. E., Palmdale

(805) 274-2878

8 p.m. Saturdays

Christa

Buffalo Club

38241 30th St. E., Lancaster

(805) 942-3299

8:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays

L.D.

Desert Inn Lounge

44219 Sierra Highway, Lancaster

(805) 942-8401

8 p.m. Thursdays

Chameleon Karaoke - Catherine

Don Cuco

3807 Sierra Highway, Acton

(805) 269-2858

9 p.m. Fridays

Ray

Don Cuco

1106 W. Ave. K, Lancaster

(805) 945-1048

9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

Robb

Louisiana Hots

2728 E. Palmdale Blvd.

(805) 274-8000

8:30 p.m. Tuesdays (18 and over, under 18 with parent or guardian, two-drink minimum paid at the door) and 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays (21 and over)

Bullfrog Karoakin' - Jeannine and Paul

My Place

2763 Sierra Highway, Rosamond

(805) 256-9974

9 p.m. Thursdays

Denise and Billy the Kid

O'Haras Cantina

44707 Valley Central Way, Lancaster

(805) 942-4442

8 p.m. Sundays through Tuesdays

Chameleon Karaoke - Catherine

Rosa's Cantina

2710 E. Palmdale Blvd.

(805) 272-0222

8:30 p.m. Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays

Paul ``Krazy Cat'' Tracey

Schooner's

43807 15th St. W., Lancaster

(805) 940-7028

5-9 p.m. Fridays

Chameleon Karaoke - Catherine

Silver Spur

5049 W. Ave. M, Quartz Hill

(805) 943-0888

4 p.m. Sundays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

Lois and Barry

CAPTION(S):

Box

BOX: WHERE TO GO (see text)
COPYRIGHT 1998 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 Reader Opinion

Title:

Comment:



 

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Mar 1, 1998
Words:973
Previous Article:A PASSION FOR DOLLS.
Next Article:RESEARCH PLANES MOVE TO EDWARDS.


Related Articles
BITTEN BY BUG, LOCAL KARAOKE SINGER QUITE A `STEAMROLLER' BEHIND MIKE.
FINAL CHORUS; FANS MOURN SLAIN KARAOKE SINGER.
HANGOUTS : SING WITH YOUR SUPPER.
HANGOUTS : TAP INTO FUN, FRIENDS AT THE RED CHARIOT.
KARAOKE MAY BE KEY TO HER CAREER.
HEY, HEY MACARENA : KARAOKE PROGRAM HELPS LIVEN UP SENIORS' LUNCH.
Karaoke versus keitai: karaoke's best years may be history.
Bright lights and applause keep karaoke going strong.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters