Day 4 – Karaoke-dokey – June 11, 2013

These posts are no longer occurring in chronological order.

If that disrupts your thinking a bit, I apologize. I am not entirely comfortable myself…I generally prefer orderly to random. But…I gotta get this done!

From here on out, I’ll post yesterday’s karaoke activities, and at least one other day, until I catch up. That means most days, there will be two posts a day. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. Whew!

Here we go!

Day 4 June 11th at Iguana Mack’s in Chandler

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Emma Watt has long been a favorite of ours. She is sexy and sweet, and sings like an angel. Emma used to be a KJ at Ernies’ in Chandler before it closed down. Then we heard she was a KJ at Tonic in Chandler, but we missed her tenure there. We discovered a few other Ernie’s regulars had been following her – a term used by karaoke aficionados to indicate the KJs whose shows they travel to different bars to enjoy. And finally, after tracking down Emma herself, found out she and her boyfriend Clint had started their own karaoke company, Wet Whistle Entertainment. Emma has shows now at various venues, and this evening we went to see her at Iguana Mack’s in Chandler.

The venue & the show

Iguana Mack’s is pretty much a sports bar, with a typical sports bar atmosphere, although the décor is kind of fun and ornate. It is a large place, with a large patio to greet you as you enter, with plenty of misters going to combat the summer heat. The entrance leads directly to the karaoke room which has a sizable stage, and a large screen behind. Everyone can see the lyrics while you sing. There are also a couple other monitors, so it is easy to stand or sit almost anywhere in the roomy karaoke area. There is a bar off to one side, and a number of tables about the bar. There is a another room for dining through a set of glass doors, but it was unoccupied while we were there for karaoke.

It is a pretty casual atmosphere, where folks in casual attire and baseball caps can kick back. In other words, not unlike many other sports bars throughout the east valley. No pretensions, you’ll feel at home in Iguana Mack’s. Also, you should know they have a full service restaurant, and the food and service are pretty good.

During the show, Emma sits at a table up on the stage, where she presides over the karaoke happenings. Like all KJs I’ve ever seen, Emma sings. But you may want to go to one of her shows just to hear her sing, even if you’re not interested in karaoke in the least. Her voice is magnificent. She also has an outrageous personality, and often interjects humorous comments between songs. Originally Emma’s show had more comedy, including repartee with a partner named Kevin. Emma’s shows still include sexual innuendo, and even tend toward the raunchy side at times. In other words, it is a show for adults, and of an adult nature.  Fair warning, if you attend one of Emma’s shows when it’s your birthday, watch out, because hijinks will ensue.

From back in the Ernie’s days, she had often introduced us as the “sexy Suzer” and the “sassy Rachel”. She still does, and it’s just one of the touches that make you feel special at a karaoke show run by Emma.

Hijinks ensue!

We were sitting at a table, added to another and another, as more people arrived. I didn’t know most of them, but Clint did, and gladly seated everyone together. With me – in addition to the Suzer, naturally – was BFF Teresa, and our karaoke friends Rocke and AJ (you may know Rocke as the KJ at Bliss/Rebar). We all sang. I sang Like a Stone (Audioslave) as it was a request made by Emma – even though, yes it’s a repeated song from day 2. I also sang Just Give Me a Reason, a duet with Teresa (and yes, this too was a repeat). Sorry. It is, I believe the last day I repeat any songs. I also sang Lady Marmalade (the LaBelle version) with an assist on back-up from Suze. Of course, I danced to it, on stage no less. No biggie. I like to.

There were three people there that night celebrating their birthdays. Uh-oh. The birthday people and their raucous, lively group of friends were cheering and dancing about much of the night. Suzer did an amazing job singing the Boy from New York City up on stage, dancing and really selling it. She’s great like that, a natural. The crowd ate it up, they went wild. So one guy, one of those having a birthday celebration, chose a song specifically to sing to Suzer. The song was Chantilly Lace, and they both really played it up, Suze dancing ’50s style throughout the entire song. Teresa did a great rendition of Lonely Boy, even though she was super-tired. I danced with her during, as if to lend her some of my fast depleting energy. Only Day 4.

As we all readied to leave, Emma staged one of her infamous birthday celebrations. She had the three with birthdays up on stage, and three volunteers. The birthday “victims” laid out on the floor face up, while the three volunteers crouched between their legs. Shots of some libation were placed upon the prone bodies, so the volunteers could lean over and lift up the shot glass with only their mouths and take a swig. Yeah. So…Hijinks. Right?

I’m pretty sure that all the participants had a fun time with it, and that’s what Emma’s fans are there for. Especially those with birthdays.

It is true, however, that these time-outs from the rotation can be time consuming, but the people – especially those we follow Emma’s show – seem to love it. In fact, it sets her apart. Suze and I are finding there is so much karaoke available in the Phoenix area, and so much to choose from, that anything that can set you apart and keep the public coming back for more is a selling point. Though, truth be known it’s not to everyone’ taste. Sorry, Emma.

However, I feel that you can’t help but have a good time with all the positive and crazy energy around.

People often bring tension from their everyday lives. I know I was feeling it that night, and Teresa had more than a few things on her mind. I don’t know if there were others at our table feeling it too…but I do know that it’s impossible not to get caught up in the frivolity, and the life affirming joy of music, singing and dancing. Think what you may of drunkenness and debauchery. Think what you may of foolish abandon. But at the end of the night, realize that we can’t always take everything so seriously. Let loose and live, live and let live. Viva karaoke!

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