You've found usThe 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 @ Nomad Bar
& Third Saturdays @ Indian Roller
Saturday, 1/19 @ Indian Roller
Saturday, 2/2 @ Knomad
Saturday, 2/16 @ Indian Roller
Saturday, 3/2 @ Knomad
Saturday, 3/14 @ Drinks Lounge SXKU XV!
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.
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.
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!
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
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
APRIL RULED SO HARD.
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
Totally rad crowd cheering along with Sleater-Kinney’s Dance Song ’97 during the Dig Me Out karaoke set at Cheer Up Charlies
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!
MIDWEST TOUR HEADS UP!
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.
NOT KU BUT STILL FUN
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.
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
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…
SHOWS (IN AUSTIN)
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
THUNDERSNOW TOUR IN FEBRUARY
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!
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
WOW, November was amazing! Very thankful for a great month for KU, and no slowing down now. Lots of fun shows, highlighted by a great Joint 10th Anniversary Party with our friends in Karaoke Apocalypse last weekend. I posted a bunch of pictures on the Facebook and Instagram KU pages, check ’em out.
I (Kaleb) was also interviewed by two national sites this month, have a look:
FORGET “DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’,” KARAOKE UNDERGROUND LETS YOU SING YOUR FAVORITE INDIE SONGS FROM JAWBREAKER TO BIKINI KILL by Scott Butterworth in Noisey/Vice
Anarchy at the Bar: Punk Rock Karaoke, video interview with Sami Jarroush of the Rock It Out! Blog on Consequence Of Sound
Sunday, 11/30 @ The Highball, 8p, FREE
Wednesday, 12/3 @ Spider House Ballroom, 10p, FREE + Mario Kart 64 tournament!
Saturday, 12/6 @ Nomad Bar, 10p, FREE
Tuesday, 12/16 @ Volstead, 9p, FREE
** SAD BASTARD KARAOKE with DJ John Gross for NO DANCING – Only the sad songs from our list will be available, plus John will be spinning his lonesome sounds between short karaoke sets!
Friday, 12/19 – Private Party
Saturday, 12/20 @ Sweetwater, 9p, FREE
Sunday, 12/28 @ The Highball, 8p, FREE
Bad Religion – Against The Grain
Dead Kennedys – Let’s Lynch The Landlord
The Frumpies – I Just Wanna Puke On The Stereo
Gang Green – Alcohol
PJ Harvey – Dress
Ted Leo & The Pharmacists – A Bottle Of Buckie
Pavement – Frontwards
RVIVR – Spider Song
Uncle Tupelo – Outdone
More shows and songs on the way, ask about booking a holiday party or benefit show, we’re still open for a New Year’s Eve party, so act fast!
Also looking to confirm venues 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!