REVIEW: Andrew W.K. Hosts Karaoke Party in Brooklyn

Andrew W.K. Karaoke’s at The Gutter | Village Voice | By Claire Lobenfeld

Last night, the Gutter, Williamsburg’s divey alternative to Brooklyn Bowl, was turned into Ray-Ban and Vice’s version of a homespun punk prom. Decorated with shimmering balloons and Confetti System streamers, the wood-paneled bowling alley played host to bands the Men and White Lung and a karaoke contest hosted by Andrew W.K.

Kicking off in the front room, Andrew W.K. (who, full disclosure, is a Sound of the City columnist) played the most genial karaoke host. “It’s not a contest because everybody wins!” he exclaimed, ushering onto the stage the first “contestant,” who wore a shirt emblazoned with “SATAN IS MY SPIRIT ANIMAL” and performed Bon Jovi’s “Dead or Alive.” While Bon Jovi is a classic karaoke move, the night offered a diverse array of song choices, from a survey of TLC (“Baby Baby Baby” to “No Scrubs”) to Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise,” for which W.K. provided the chamber-like backing vocals. While most karaoke hosts simply cue up the music (as they should), W.K. helped bolster each participant’s confidence by playing hypeman when they needed it, even if he himself was unfamiliar with the song. There are always standouts in a roomful of strangers performing for one another, and, even though there was no winner, the hypothetical crown should have gone to the woman doing full body rolls to Melanie’s “Brand New Key.”

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