My girlfriend and I went to a private karaoke bar in North Dallas last Saturday night. This was the second time we went to this place and I wanted to recommend others give these places a try in their hometowns. Because the private karaoke rooms are big in Japan and Korea, they tend to be springing up in the ole USofA under Asian management. I applaud the effort. As far as I know, two of them exist in DFW: Zellar Zone and Family Karaoke. There may be more, for all I know.
Private Karaoke Rooms
Family Karaoke is the place we went to. The name is a bit of a misnomer, because it’s open from 6pm until 4am and I’ve never seen anything resembling a family in the place. On Fridays, Saturdays, and holidays, it’s 21 and up after midnight. Both times I went, Family Karaoke was full of 20-something clientele. In fact, it’s an odd mixture of twenty-something Asians and Asian-Americans and twenty-something Texans who look like they either came from a club or came from a frat house. Music is split between English, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Filipino, Indonesia, Russian, and Spanish. I’m taking their word for it on the last several of those. More on this in a minute.
The place itself is at 11433 Goodnight Lane a block off Stemmons/I-35. It’s not that far from Harry Hines, if you know what that means. The first time we went, I got completely lost, mainly because I didn’t read the billboard. Just turn at the Family Karaoke billboard. And if it’s down a dead end street, you’ve found it.
Karaoke Room Rates
Room rates on Friday, Saturday, or holidays is $25 per hour for a small room, $32 an hour for a medium room, and $45 an hour for a large room. Those rates change to $20/$25/$35 on Tuesday through Thursday and on Sunday. The place is closed on Mondays.
As for the rooms, the small room is enough for 5-10 people. It has 3 loveseat type couches and another leather chair. I saw into one of the large rooms one night and it’s big enough for 30 people–it was a big party event going on in there. The room rates may sound like a lot, but when you start talking about a bunch of people chipping in, it’s almost nothing.
Karaoke Music Selection
The music is where my only real complaint lies, which is a big complaint for a karaoke bar. While a lot of American songs are found on the playlist, they tend to be eclectic in the extreme. Many bands you wouldn’t expect to see have 5-10 selections, while many artists and bands you would expect to see a bunch of songs from have only 1-3. Also, the songs included aren’t always the ones you would expect. Look at the songlist on the website before you go and make sure you’ll be able to enjoy the selection. If you like country tunes, I suggest you stay away. It’s mainly rock, pop, r&B, and rap.
I had no problem finding songs to sing, but my girlfriend has a small set list of songs she likes and she doesn’t want to take the trouble to search for alternatives, so she’s been at a loss for songs after about an hour both times we went. I have a big list I use every time, though I branch out into new tunes when I get bored with staring at the list.
The Korean music videos are hilarious. As you sing, random Korean music videos play. These sometimes go perfect with the song, while other times they make no sense whatsoever. Some Korean movie about soldiers going through basic training and then dying in battle were playing while Maria was singing that godawful Celine Dion song from Titanic.
Food and Drink
One thing which surprised me was how good their food was. My girlfriend and I had gone to the gym earlier that day and had a light snack afterward, so we ended up getting the munchies after a couple of hours of wailing away. I got the tempura shrimp and she got a fried rice dish and they were both excellent. Mixed drinks are fairly limited on selection, but are available. All the usual beers apply, including domestic and imported beer. I’m not sure when the food service ends, but I ordered something after 1am.
Family Karaoke Main Room and Bar
The main room/waiting room at Family Karaoke has a huge screen tv which dominates the room. Hip hop videos play on the screen all the time. There’s a bit of room for dancing if people wish, as well as $3 per song for karaoke in the common room, but I’ve never seen that, either. Most of the room is taken up by tables between the bar and dance screen.
The staff is mostly Asian and altogether friendly. The security staff are large men of African American descent. As I mentioned before, much of the clientele is Asian, too, but everyone feels welcome. It’s a nice place to be and feels about as multicultural as you get in Dallas, Texas. Parking can be a pain and signs are posted mentioning that one of the businesses next door has you towed, while the other one is cool about people parking in their lot after 10pm. Be sure you don’t park in the wrong additional parking spot.
Why Go To a Private Karaoke Bar?
You might wonder why my girlfriend and I would go 2-man to a private karaoke bar. Well, she used to sing for money when she was a little younger, so she is a perfectionist. We went out to a couple of karaoke nights at regular bars and she didn’t like her performance. Me, the amateur, got a better reception, so she wanted to practice. Little does she know that being a GM for many years and doing all kinds of wacky voices has helped me train my voice in a roundabout fashion. Frankly, I like singing with all the other drinkers, but I’m just along for the ride. Still, if you get tired of only having 2-4 songs per night at a big karaoke bar, you might like getting a room to yourself.
My voice is always shot after two hours, which is a good thing. You can only reserve the room for 2 hours at a time. If you don’t have a big crowd (people in line), they’ll let you continue with no trouble. If you have a crowd, it’s two hours and that’s it. The first time we went, it was the cold of February and the house was packed. This last weekend, it was Cinco de Mayo and nobody was around. Go figure.
Whatever the case, I highly recommend the private karaoke bar. It’s a hoot.
Well, it’s tax day again. At least it’s tax day for me. Frankly, I’d prefer to talk about tv, movies, sports, and games.
They say that the only things you can count on are death and taxes, but at least it’s an either/or thing…at least I hope. Our luck, they collect taxes in the afterlife. I guess, if the fundamental conservatives are right, that shouldn’t be the case. Maybe that’s what the Charon the Boatman thing was about…Charon required a coin to ferry people into the Underworld…so maybe Charon was some ancient Greek’s joke about paying death and taxes.
Should I Just Make Out the Check to China?
Every year about this time, I start stressing about money and start reading how to stuff. Don’t get me wrong. I make okay money in my online job, but I’m still paying off college loans, which I’m convinced is a racket. I did find a cool way people can get student loans without going to the banks, at least if you go to some of the Ivy League or most-established schools in America. You take out loans with alumni through a place called SoFi. At least that’s what it sounded like, because I don’t really have to worry about that too much anymore (thank God).
Not Over Til the Tax Lady Sings
My boss always tells me I should get an extension so I don’t have to pay for another 6 months. I asked my tax lady about that last year and she told me you still need to write a check for what you think you owe. My boss thinks the interest on missing payments is no big deal. That’s just between me and the world. Me? I need all the money I can get, so I don’t like throwing away good jink that way. Of course, maybe he knows something I don’t know. I probably just misunderstood the whole thing, or maybe I might need a new tax lady.
Credit Blogging at Its Finest…I Guess
Recently, I’ve been reading one blog about credit. Some of the stuff about government consolidation loans for 2012 to help people pay off old student loans was helpful, while I’m sure the low-interest government student loans would be of use to people just getting into college.
Also, I didn’t realize such a thing as nonprofit debt counseling existed. I always assume every credit counseling group online is just trying to take my money, so I never click on their ads. The “32 Mistakes” page links to 32 organizations that help with debt and aren’t in it for the money – or at least that’s what they say. I wouldn’t pay attention to all the coupons articles, though maybe that’s stuff’s good. I never coupon shop, but then, I probably get a lot of stuff in that part of my life messed up.
They say you work the first three months of the year to pay for the government, so I guess we get to start working for ourselves now, at least. Anyway, enough of all that mess. I hate thinking about the IRS and paying taxes, but I guess I should just join the rest of the world. Let’s get back to talking about rpgs and the NFL.
I was told the other day I should write my own blog. Since everybody has their own blog or social networking page these days, it had occurred to me before. I’d never realized how easy it is to get your own website here on WordPress, so it sounded like too much trouble. Now that I realized I’ve been an idiot all these years about blogging, I decided it was time to join the party.
This blog is going to be about the things I enjoy, all that geeky fanboy stuff that makes me a “niche person”: games, sports, films, karaoke, RPG stuff, and reading. I know there’s nothing earth-shattering there, but we love who we love and we like what we like. I’ll try to add my own individual perspective on these things, but who know, that might not be original, either. I’ll be honest.
I may add an “opinions” or “rants” section to this site eventually, though I hope not to get to personal or obnoxious. Just so I don’t sound too negative all the time, I’ll include a number of “inspiration” pages. These posts will be about things that inspire me, whether it’s inspiration to fight through life’s troubles or simply inspire creativity and imagination. Hopefully, that balances things out.
Over the course of my blogging, I hope people get to know me as I am. I’m going to try to avoid those subjects that really cause trouble between people – talking politics and religion – but everything else will be on the table. Though I don’t expect to give a whole lot of details about my background, I want to share myself with everyone who takes the time to read. Maybe I’ll get some feedback and make some friends among the readership.
If not, I’ll just send notes into the net. I’m not ashamed to say I talk to myself here and there, so if it’s no one but me on this blog, I’ll write to myself, too. This should be fun.