1. Turtle Bay Cafe
Where -- or whether -- the motley regulars at this midtown bar work is a mystery.
Still, they do warble like songbirds, and their vampiric enthusiasm for new
blood means no judgments, even if you're more nightmare than nightingale.
Tuesdays, 7 to 10 p.m.; 225 East 44th Street, 212-661-2430.
It's called "Heavy Metal/Punk Rock Karaoke": Instead of singing to a tinny
recording, you front a terrific live band. Intimidating, but if you've been
honing your Axl Rose shriek since you were 12, it's bliss.
Mondays, 10 p.m.; 95 Stanton Street, 212-358-1633.
3. Winnie's Bar
A recent Friday drew a pack of hipsters singing "Eye of the Tiger" as a
dwarf in a fedora looked on. What more could you ask for at $1 per song?
Asia Roma on Mulberry Street and Gold Flower on Doyers Street are local
8 p.m. to 4 a.m. nightly; 104 Bayard Street; 212-732-2384.
4. Sing Sing Karaoke
Village Karaoke's less-well-known sister joint is less seedy and has a bar.
For $35 per hour, you and four friends can bounce off the walls of a private
room and record your own low-budget demo in English, Japanese, Chinese,
Korean, or Thai.
Weekdays till 3 a.m., Friday and Saturday till 4 a.m.; 81 Avenue A; 212-674-0700.
5. Absolutely 4th
Cheesy, but they have Magic Hat #9 on tap and a very fresh song selection
(Avril Lavigne's "Sk8er Boi," anyone?). Drunken NYUers provide free
Wednesdays at 10 p.m.; 228 West 4th Street; 212-989-9444.