We get to the venue and the parking lot is pretty damn full; there are people already signing up to sing – who knows how many before me, but I know enough to get in line as soon as I walk in the door. I stand behind a woman who can’t spell “Bayou” and therefore can’t find her song. The KJ and I help; then she signs in her girlfriend. Behind me is a man with a long braid ready to queue up his choice. Dave and I had gotten the last seats in front of the KJ and a few who trickle in afterwards sit behind her.
This is a place where it’s clear that regulars rule the roost. Names like Caveman, Disco Nanny, Ciro, Abe, Diva, Big Mike, and Cate Bell all scroll by. My name doesn’t appear. After the woman who stood in front of me and her girlfriend sing, I wander over and ask where I am in the list; I’m not only pretty far down, but my name is misspelled as “Krista;” given that the “I” and “A” are nowhere near each other on the keyboard, I doubt this is my typographical error; the KJ placed me further down the list, behind her regulars. I expressed naive confusion, using the misspelling as a reason to ask if my sign up was successful. When we figured out the name mix-up, the KJ gave an excuse of people getting ahead of me by signing up on their phones. Normally I’d buy that, but five singers – including the guy who signed up after me – between me and the couple at the kiosk — shows that she plays favorites. I keep quiet on the matter, because I’m going to eventually get a turn, and that’s the point of being here. As the names scroll by again, I see a “Kristine” but not a “Kristi” and get a bit anxious, but resist the urge to ask again about my place in line. I wait until Kristine is called, and yes, it is my turn. I let explained my confused look to her as I hesitantly approached the mic was because she got my name wrong again. She said, “Take it out on the song.” I did.
- Location: Fiesta’s Restaurant, Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Miles Traveled: 762
- Songs Sung: Jungle Love (The Steve Miller Band)
Note: I reread this and want to say that I wasn’t nearly as cranky as I sound in this post. The venue was pretty neat and the singers were quite good and very supportive. This just happened to be one of the few times that the KJ showed clear bias toward some over others. I’ve read about this happening in a lot of negative reviews of karaoke places, but always chalked it up to whining on the part of the patron. Now I see some complaints are probably legit. I’m not sure where I stand on playing favorites/treating regulars better than the random person who walks in; I can see both sides, but still think I fall in the camp of fairness to everyone.