Saturday, May 8, 2010
After taking a few more days off to entertain a visiting a guest it's now back to the business of blogging, about Karaoke.
El Cerrito. A name synonymous with the suburbs, family homes, car dealerships, and... Mel-O-Dee?
Tucked away in a strip mall is El Cerrito's finest if not only, Karaoke joint. The velvet wallpaper alone elevates this place from neighborhood watering hole to fine luxury establishment, albeit from the late 1970's. But lots of good things came from the 1970's, didn't they? Like Pet Rocks, Chico and The Man, and Operation. Velvet wallpaper was cool then, too.
Anyway, Mel-O-Dee has Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night Karaoke, so you can sing three nights a week. Pretty damn cool for those who live nearby. I had discovered this place while searching on Yelp and after reading the reviews, I had to check it out. Fortunately, some of my good friends are former regulars there, so it was a no-brainer getting them to go on Saturday night. We had arrived a bit late, but after signing up it wasn't long before we got our turns in front of the mic, going big. Scott started off the set with The Black Crowes "Jealous Again", and I sang "White Room", by Cream. Singers Rebecca, George (and his magic laser light penis tracking device made us all guffaw uncontrollably), and Claudia completed the SF contingent and represented their city well. In fact, there were many great singers that evening, including a few great performances by people who do not have stage fright. My friend George is a good example. His confidence in the spotlight is inspiring, and watching him and other people with this sense of ease helps me to overcome my own stage fright. Kristen and Heather also showed no mercy on stage when they busted out their duet--a performance that got the crowd on their feet. Many such great performances were enacted that evening, too many for me to remember, but it was all fun, all night long. All that was needed was a cowbell and a couple of fake guitars to add to the experience.
In my opinion, Mel-O-Dee is not just another neighborhood bar in suburbia. It rocks as hard--in it's own way--as any Karaoke joint in the Bay Area. Good people from the East Bay flock here to sing and bring with them their hidden talents. It was a fun evening in a new and unexpected setting. For a night out with good friends you should check this place out, and bring those vocal chops because you're gonna' need them!