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The Karaoke Underground is for punk and indie rock fans who love to scream, yelp, croon, bark and sometimes even sing their favorites from artists like Bikini Kill, Black Flag, Modest Mouse, the Misfits, Cat Power, the Pixies, Dead Kennedys, Sleater-Kinney, Pavement, Joy Division, Fugazi, Guided By Voices and many more. It's video karaoke with onscreen lyrics, a stage, you -- and the chance to sing great songs you just can't find anywhere else. With an ever-expanding catalog of punk and indie classics, we've got your poison. From Wilco to Wire, from Belle & Sebastian to Big Black, you're sure to find something to put a microphone in your hand. Don't see your favorite? Request a song!

First Saturdays @ Knomad Bar
& Third Saturdays @ Indian Roller

Saturday, 10/12 @ Barracuda Austin 15th Anniversary party w/ Karaoke Apocalypse!
Friday, 10/18 @ Blue House for AH-FUCC 2019!
Saturday, 10/19 @ Indian Roller
Friday, 10/25 @ Knomad for a Halloween podcast party with One Of Us
Saturday, 11/2 @ Knomad
Friday, 11/15 @ Sound Unseen in Minneapolis, MN
Saturday, 11/16 @ Indian Roller
January 3, 2016
Goodbye, 2015

82 shows this year! Here are KU’s top 10 most-sung songs and artists for 2015…

1. Portions For Foxes – Rilo Kiley
2. Deceptacon – Le Tigre
3. This Year – The Mountain Goats
4. Last Caress – Misfits
5. Rebel Girl – Bikini Kill
6. Ask – The Smiths
6. At Your Funeral – Saves The Day
6. Psycho Killer – Talking Heads
9. In The Aeroplane Over The Sea – Neutral Milk Hotel
10. Hey – Pixies
10. Lover I Don’t Have To Love – Bright Eyes

1. Misfits
2. Pixies
3. The Mountain Goats
4. Pavement
5. Descendents
6. Guided By Voices
7. Rilo Kiley
8. Fugazi
8. Modest Mouse
8. Velvet Underground

I think KU did more out-of-town shows in 2015 than we did all 11 years before! Thanks to these great clubs and the fun people that came out to sing with us on the road:
Denton, TX – J&J’s Pizza & Riprocks Bar
Lawrence, KS – Replay Lounge
Madison, WI – Mickey’s Tavern & The Red Zone Madison
Gladstone, MI – Terrace Bay Inn & Suites
Chicago, IL – K’s Dugout
Milwaukee, WI – Frank’s Power Plant
Cedar Falls, IA – Octopus College Hill
Kansas City, MO – recordBar & miniBar
Memphis, TN – Hi Tone
San Francisco, CA – Elbo Room & Rickshaw Stop
St. Louis, MO – 2720 Cherokee
Champaign, IL – Mike N Molly’s
St. Paul, MN – Turf Club
Fayetteville, AR – Lightbulb Club
Los Angeles, CA – The Lost Knight
Portland, OR – Twilight Cafe and Bar Music & Booking
Seattle, WA – The Central Saloon

KU played 14 different venues in Austin this year. As in every year since 2008, Nomad Bar on First Saturdays was our home base, big thanks to Miguel, Michael, Davis and everybody there for holding it down! I also host a monthly night for instrumental rock at Nomad, Second Saturday Surf, so these guys get props for putting up with me twice a month.

We added three other monthly shows, and they’ve all been the best non-Nomad regular nights we’ve had for a couple years:
Third Saturdays at Indian Roller
Third Thursdays at Spider House Cafe and Ballroom
Last Sundays at Drinks Lounge

Thanks also to these places for having KU!
Cheer Up Charlies – Several great shows, including the best Austin show of the year
The Highball Austin
Badlands Austin
Motel Hell-O-Ween
Swan Dive
Hotel Vegas – Thanksgiving and Christmas shows were so fun!
The Volstead – Long live No Dancing: Sad Bastard Music!
The New Movement – Thanks for hosting SXKU XI!
The Blackheart

Finally, five great moments in 2015…

5. On the first night of the February THUNDERSNOW tour in Denton, a potential disaster turned into a great show. Dave Norwood of The Gary (seeing him play solo just about every night was a treat, and it was a pleasure talking about all kinds of stuff with him) was driving with me and opening the shows, but it turned out Riprocks Bar didn’t have a usable PA and we were stuck. But KU fan Austin came through and brought over the PA from his practice space and helped me set it up so we could get the show going. After a slow start, the Mardi Gras crowd started to show up and out in the cold back patio where we were singing. A growing crowd was really energized and by about midnight we had the patio pretty full, but it was almost time to close the bar. New friend Jessie wasn’t hearing that though, and told us to bring everything to her apartment just a couple doors away! We ended up talking and singing until about 4 a.m., a great way to kick off the tour.

4. In October, KU teamed up with Transmission Events and Drinks Lounge for a weekly series of Sunday shows where we gave away Fun Fun Fun Fest passes, building up to a judged contest the Sunday before the fest where the prize was Ultimate Smooth Passes. We hadn’t done a contest for quite a few years and I was a little leery about doing so, but it ended up being a lot of fun. The shows ended up raising about $250 for Girls Rock Camp Austin (through donations for raffle tickets) and the final show contest was much more fun than I expected. Judges Chepo from Karaoke Apocalypse, Sabrina from the Applicators and Morgan from Ovrld were enthusiastic and the contestants did great. KU regular Dylan won the contest pretty indisputably by singing Refused’s “New Noise” everywhere the mic cable would let him reach. I also love doing the FFF events ’cause it’s a great excuse to add new videos by the artists playing the fest.

3. The July Midwest tour in general was amazing. I was on the road with my family, visiting children’s museums and playing at rest stops during the day and then doing the KU shows at night, visiting friends wherever we could. Three shows especially stood out: 2720 Cherokee in St. Louis, where over 100 people came out to a crazy DIY art warehouse space with virtually no promotion; Turf Club in St. Paul, where I got to sing with some very good friends and got to see Ian Rans sing The Circle Jerks on the KU stage after Hannah and I spent close to a year singing at his sorely-missed Punk Karaoke show in Minneapolis in the early ’00s; and finally in Fayetteville, AR at Lightbulb Club, where a packed club came out to see some great female standups open the show and then great singer after great singer rocked the stage. Champaign, Madison, Omaha and KC were all great too, we’re planning to come back to our Midwest roots this May!

2. Teaming up with Girls Rock Camp Austin again for the Sleater-Kinney afterparty at Cheer Up Charlies in April was easily the best Austin show of the year. How could it not be? Hannah and I spent the early part of the night watching Sleater-Kinney at Stubb’s while SAILOR POON, SEA-DRIVE and Kay Odyssey played CUC, then we headed over to set up KU while Carrie and Janet* paid a visit to the club! A few friends got to say hi to them, and then we kicked off the KU portion with a song-for-song set of the entire Dig Me Out album, the energy in the building was immense. We ended up raising about $1800 for GRC -> success!
*I was busy setting things up and didn’t get to see or say hi to the Sleater-Kinneys who came over, and therefore I’m not sure I have the right names.

1. Rickshaw Stop, San Francisco. The two biggest shows of the year, and the one in December was the most people who’ve ever come out to a KU show. April was in some ways more fun for me because it was all new and there was an incredible moment where “Rebel Girl” by Bikini Kill started but the singer had actually meant to sign up for something else, but the crowd was already going crazy and we went ahead with “Rebel Girl” anyway and HOLY SHIT THERE ARE 20 WOMEN ON STAGE ROCKING THE FUCK OUT! December had plenty of great moments too, I loved seeing the whole room full of 400 people thrashing to “New Noise” as sung by my friends Scott and Jonathan, and got up to join my friend Bryan to sing Pup’s “Reservoir.” All this with a giant inflated Santa Claus overlooking the festivities. Merry New Year, y’all!

Posted by Karaoke Underground |
November 4, 2015
Fun Fun Fun Fest Ultimate Smooth Passes contest

Fun Fun Fun Fest 2015 Ultimate Smooth Passes winner Dylan!

Fun Fun Fun Fest 2015 Ultimate Smooth Passes winner Dylan!

Our judges(l-r): Morgan Davis of OVRLD, Sabrina Worthington of The Applicators, Chepo Peña of Karaoke Apocalypse

Our judges(l-r): Morgan Davis of OVRLD, Sabrina Worthington of The Applicators, Chepo Peña of Karaoke Apocalypse

Posted by Karaoke Underground |
October 3, 2015
KU in October – Fun Fun Fun Fest ticket giveaways every Sunday

Lots of great shows in Austin this month, regular nights First Saturday at Nomad and Third Saturday at Indian Roller, plus A WHOLE MONTH of Sundays at Drinks Lounge!

Karaoke Underground has been teaming up with Transmission Entertainment for Fun Fun Fun Fest since 2010, and this year we’re bringing Drinks Lounge into the picture for the most fun yet. Every Sunday in October, you can enter a drawing to win fantastic prizes – including FFF passes! – by singing any song on the KU list from an artist performing at this year’s fest OR by making a donation to Girls Rock Austin. And on November 1st, less than a week before the fest kicks off, we kick it up another notch with a panel of judges determining the winner of a pair of FFF Ultimate Smooth Passes! RSVP here!

Also, working on a West Coast tour the second weekend of December, should be able to confirm all the dates before the end of this month. Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles: Look out! If you know a venue that would be perfect, please let me know right away by replying to this email.

Posted by Karaoke Underground |
September 4, 2015
KU in September + FFFest contest in October

The Lightbulb Club in Fayetteville, AR, one of the great stops on KU's July Midwest tour.

The Lightbulb Club in Fayetteville, AR, one of the great stops on KU’s July Midwest tour.

Missed last month’s email as I was recovering from our fantastic Midwest tour, hope to hit the road again soon. In the meantime, KU picked up a new regular show every Third Saturday at Indian Roller. Come down to South Austin and check it out!

Do you like ’70s and ’80s punk? From Texas? The KU list includes classics from the Big Boys and Dicks, but there’s a lot more great songs from lesser-known bands. Raul’s Royal Foot is a group of veteran Austin musicians who play covers of some of their favorites from the era. I’ve seen them several times and am stoked to play a show together on Sunday, September 13, at The Badlands. Don’t miss it!

More details to come in the next couple weeks, but KU and Drinks Lounge are working with Transmission Events and Fun Fun Fun Fest to give you a chance to win FFF prizes every Sunday in October, building up to a pair of Ultimate Smooth Passes on November 1st! We’ll be adding a lot of new videos for songs from artists playing the fest, you’ll be entered in a drawing for prizes every time you sing one of them, so stay tuned for new song announcements and get ready to sing it LOUD.

Posted by Karaoke Underground |
July 2, 2015
KU in July: Midwest Tour 2015, part 2

Just three Austin shows this month, but we’re visiting eight other cities on our second Midwest run of 2015! This time it’ll be me and Hannah and the kids hitting the road all together, though just Kaleb will be hosting the majority of these shows. Celebrate The Glorious Fourth with KU at Nomad this Saturday!

Saturday, 7/4 @ Nomad, 10p, FREE – Every First Saturday since 2008!

TOUR KICKOFF SHOW Monday, 7/13 @ Cheer Up Charlies, 9p, FREE

Wed 7/15 – St. Louis – 2720 Cherokee
Thur 7/16 – Champaign – Mike N Molly’s
Fri 7/17 – Madison – The Red Zone
– Girls Rock Camp Madison benefit show with Gentle Brontosaurus and Sexy Ester!
7/18-20 – no shows
Tues 7/21 – St. Paul – Turf Club
Wed 7/22 – Omaha – The Sydney
Thur – 7/23 – Kansas City – miniBar
Fri – 7/24 – Fayetteville – Lightbulb Club with Standup Comedy from Laura Weiderhaft, Whitney Wasson, Kaia Hodo & Camille M Richoux
Sat – 7/25 – Denton – J&J’s Pizza with Fun Button
Sun – 7/26 – HOME! Austin, TX @ Drinks Lounge

The Cramps – Styrchnine (by The Sonics)
Hum – I’d Like Your Hair Long
Jawbox – Savory
Las Kellies – Erase You (by ESG)
Liquid Liquid – Push
Poster Children – Rain On Me
Propagandhi – Anti-Manifesto
X – Your Phone’s Off The Hook, But You’re Not

Posted by Karaoke Underground |
May 31, 2015
KU in June: Drinks, Cheer Up Charlies, Nomad, Spider House

June’s getting off to a busy start with four shows in the next nine days, and we’re also getting ready for a return trip to the midwest in July. Check the calendar, hope to see a lot of you soon!

999 – Homicide
ALL – Nothin’
The Clean – Anything Could Happen
Ex Hex – Don’t Wanna Lose
Fugazi – Five Corporations
Helium – Silver Strings
Parenthetical Girls – A Song For Ellie Greenwich
The Postal Service – Brand New Colony
Sincola – Bitch
Spoon – Utilitarian
The Stranglers – (Get A) Grip (On Yourself)
X-Ray Spex – Genetic Engineering

Posted by Karaoke Underground |
May 1, 2015
KU in May – Video from San Francisco, new venue in Austin

The show at Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco and the Sleater-Kinney Afterparty/Girls Rock Camp Benefit at Cheer Up Charlies in particular were probably the two best shows we’ve done since the Matador 21 shows back in 2010, it was great seeing so many new and old friends at both. Here’s a clip from San Francisco and a still from CUC, hope to see y’all again very soon!

Stage full of badass women singing Rebel Girl in SF

@rickshawstop #bikinikill #rebelgirl #danceparty

A video posted by KUAustin (@karaokeunderground) on

Totally rad crowd cheering along with Sleater-Kinney’s Dance Song ’97 during the Dig Me Out karaoke set at Cheer Up Charlies

photo by Brian Ledden

photo by Brian Ledden

We have a conflict at Sweetwater this month, so won’t be there in May but hope to be back on Third Fridays this summer. KU will be debuting at Drinks Lounge on E. Cesar Chavez at the end of the month, very excited to start there!

Saturday, 5/2 @ Nomad, 10p, FREE

Monday, 5/11 @ Cheer Up Charlies, 10p, FREE
Monday, 5/25 @ Cheer Up Charlies, 10p, FREE

Sunday, 5/31 @ Drinks Lounge, 10p, FREE

Gonna hit the road with the whole family around a Girls Rock Camp Madison benefit show on Friday, July 17th. Many details TBA, planning to play most/all of DFW, Denton, OKC, KC, Omaha, Sioux Falls, Minneapolis, Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago, Cedar Falls, St. Louis, Memphis and Fayetteville.

Tomorrow (Friday, May 1st) at Trailer Space Records I’m getting a late birthday present from some of my favorite people in Austin. Most of the bands I’ve played in here are getting together and playing a show all together Everybody’s invited, there will be free beer, plus it’s Trailer Space so BYO. FB event
**The Nineties – 7:00
Kaleb solo guitar, silly songs inspired by ’90s bands with dumb names.
**Math Patrol – 7:15
Fractured soul grooves with hiss, I play bass
**Commune EK – 8:00
Motorik and ambient experimental improvisation, I play bass
**The Spoils – 8:45
Noisy surf rock, I play guitar
**You Make Engine – 9:15
Dance-punk, I play bass, Hannah plays keys, we both sing.

Posted by Karaoke Underground |
April 10, 2015
KU in April – Sleater-Kinney Afterparty plus Help Chepo Fuck Cancer

Details took a little while to solidify for a couple of these, but proud to announce some fantastic benefit shows in Austin next weekend, plus a reminder that KU will be in California this weekend!

Saturday, 4/11 @ PRF West Coast BBQ, Elbo Room, San Francisco, CA
45-minute pre-party set at 1p, bands start at 1:45

Sunday, 4/12, San Francisco, CA @ The Rickshaw Stop
All night long with American Tripps ping-pong!

Thursday, 4/16 @ Sweetwater, 9p, FREE
This is my (Kaleb’s) birthday, and it’s also your best chance to sing more than once in Austin this month!

Friday, 4/17 @ Cheer Up Charlies, 9p, $5 donation
Sleater-Kinney afterparty & benefit for Girls Rock Austin!
This is going to be HUGE, with raffle prizes including items signed by Sleater-Kinney and Alison Wolfe of Bratmobile, plus this great lineup of acts with KU!
9pm-12am: DJ Mahealani
12am-2am: The Karaoke Underground (will start off with every song on Dig Me Out in order!)
9pm: Sailor Poon
11pm: Kay Odyssey

Saturday, 4/18 @ The Highball, Austin, Free entry, many opportunities to donate
Benefit for Chepo Peña of Karaoke Apocalypse, Help Chepo Fuck Cancer
Our good friend Chepo Peña of Karaoke Apocalypse is undergoing treatment for Stage IV Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. On Saturday, April 18, Karaoke Underground will open up a special Karaoke Apocalypse fundraiser at The Highball to help cover Chepo’s medical costs. Hope you can make it out and have more fun to help a great guy.

Saturday, 5/2 @ Nomad, 10p, FREE

The Blind Shake – I’m Not An Animal
Bright Eyes – Lover I Don’t Have To Love
FIDLAR – No Waves
Scratch Acid – This Is Bliss
Sleater-Kinney – Dance Song ’97
Marnie Stern – Year Of The Glad
The Weakerthans – Psalm For The Elks Lodge Last Call

Posted by Karaoke Underground |
January 28, 2015

The next few months are exploding with shows! Still working on a SXSW show, let us know if you know a party KU should be part of…

Friday, 1/30 @ The Blackheart, 10p, FREE – La La Ha Ha party with Comedy, Bands and KU!
Saturday, 2/7 @ Nomad Bar, 10p, FREE
Thursday, 2/12 @ Sweetwater, 9p, FREE – THUNDERSNOW TOUR KICKOFF

Karaoke Underground hits the road in February for a tour to Upper Michigan for the PRF THUNDERSNOW festival, where KU and my surf band The Spoils will play with LOW and many other great bands! I’ll be touring there and back with Dave Norwood of Austin’s The Gary, who will open the shows with a solo set drawing from The Gary’s five albums. We’ll also have local bands opening a few of the shows too, it’s gonna be a whole lot of fun. All these shows are 100% confirmed, tell your friends and we will see you in the snow!
Tuesday, 2/17 @ TBA, Denton, TX
Wednesday, 2/18 @ Replay Lounge, Lawrence, KS
Thursday, 2/19 @ Mickey’s Tavern, Madison, WI
Friday-Sunday, 2/20-2/22 @ PRF Thundersnow 2015, Gladstone, Michigan
Monday, 2/23 @ K’s Dugout, Chicago, IL
Tuesday, 2/24 @ Frank’s Power Plant, Milwaukee, WI
Wednesday, 2/25 @ Octopus, Cedar Falls, IA
Thursday, 2/26 @ RecordBar, Kansas City, MO
Friday, 2/27 @ The Hi-Tone, Memphis, TN w/ The Family Ghost
Saturday, 2/28 @ Lightbulb Club, Fayetteville, AR

We have to skip our Last Sunday gig at The Highball for February, but we’ll be back in March with these shows:
Saturday, 3/7 @ Nomad
Monday, 3/9 @ Cheer Up Charlies
Friday, 3/13 @ Sweetwater
Saturday, 3/21 – SXKU XI – TBD
Sunday, 3/29 @ The Highball

KU will be visiting the West Coast in April, and have a special show planned the day after Sleater-Kinney’s show in Austin on 4/17, stay tuned!

The Distillers – City Of Angels
The Men – Another Night
Pup – Reservoir
The Rutabega – Come Back Big Brother
Sleater-Kinney – Jumpers
I’ve slowed down while focusing on booking shows, but we’ll be at 900 before we leave for tour. In the meantime, check out this Spotify playlist of most of the songs on our list. Cheers to Rachel Carr for putting it together and keeping it updated!

KU loves to play your party, rock your benefit show and help make your celebrations incredible, let’s work it out! Big thanks to Ken and Jackie in Denton, I had a great time at Jackie’s birthday party in the old basement at J&J’s Pizza on January 10th!

the ku

Posted by Karaoke Underground |
January 1, 2015
Hello, 2015

2014 was an unbelievable year for Karaoke Underground, thanks to every single one of you who sang with us! Hannah and I started this thing on December 31st, 2003, in our living room simply because we wanted to share some of our favorite songs with friends and meet some more fun people in our new hometown – people who weren’t afraid to be seen having fun. It’s come such a long way since then, and we’ve been lucky enough to make a lot of those friends we hoped we’d find, and even to meet and talk to some of the people who inspire us with their music.

The biggest kick for me is still watching someone’s eyes light up when they first open the list and realize that their favorite songs – the ones that mean something personal, that maybe they felt like an outcast for liking, or were resigned to keeping private or sharing with just a few close friends – are in there, and they have a chance to share that enthusiasm with a roomful of people who love the music too. It’s a simple pleasure, and we’ve all got so many stories and reasons why we like our favorites, but I’m incredibly grateful to you all for sharing it.

Special thanks to a lot of you, including everybody at:
* Nomad Bar, home base for more than six years!
* Sweetwater & The Highball, our new monthly residencies
* Red 7, where we celebrated our 10th anniversary with Heart And Soul School Of Music and The Missyfits
* Cheer Up Charlies, where our benefit for Lilith Fund featured an appearance from John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats
* North Door, where SafePlace, Pop Quiz and Transmission helped us put together an awesome Fun Fun Fun Fest themed show
* Beerland, where we played with The Villettes and Phantom Fox to raise money for Monkeywrench Books
* Scoot Inn, where we had a great joint 10th anniversary party with our friends in Karaoke Apocalypse
* Volstead, where KU and DJ John Gross celebrated one year of his NO DANCING with an amazing Sad Songs Only karaoke show
* All the other Austin venues we played over the year: Spider House, Dive, Legendary White Swan, The Liberty and – in just a few hours – Bar 2211, where you can kick off 2015 with us!

Big thanks to people who Let Us Play Your Party: Alie, Liza, Melissa, Danielle, Del, Jennifer and many more who celebrated by coming out to one of our shows.

Just a few road trips this year, thanks to:
* Conan, Ben and everybody at PRFBBQ West at Leo’s in Oakland
* Midwest friends old and new at Billy Frog’s in Sioux Falls and miniBar in Kansas City

Finally, thanks to those who made time to write about and interview us for publications both national and local. As far as press goes, 2014 was unprecedented for us, and we really appreciate it! Links to all these pieces on our Media page at karaokeunderground dot com
Summer Anne – Buzzfeed
Scott – Noisey
Sami – Consequence Of Sound
Morgan – OVRLD
David – Daily Texan

Posted by Karaoke Underground |