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Entertainment report: Live music and lots of Karaoke. if you’re into that stuff

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It’s been a while since I’ve talked about karaoke in this column. As a performer of cover songs and, on occasion, original tunes, I have at times been dismissive of the positive aspects of karaoke.

It is true that I have been driven from a bistro more than once by exceptionally bad karaoke singing. In fairness, I’ve also heard some amazingly good singers as well. Karaoke gives them a chance to get up and sing their favorite songs- songs that the average band at an open mic doesn’t know or couldn’t play, even if they knew it.

Portland has karaoke covered

According to the New York Times, Portland, Oregon is not just the “the capital of karaoke” but “one of the most exciting music scenes in America.” At the Bristol Motor Speedway in 2009, 160,000 people sang Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places.” That’s a karaoke record.

Italian Leonardo Polvarelli sang 1295 songs over 101 hours, 59 minutes, and 15 seconds. That’s another record. If anyone in our readership plans to challenge that last record, please contact me so I can do a nice write-up about it and come down to the venue that is hosting it in the 101st hour so I can see the breaking of the old record.

Karaoke up and down the “58”

At the Dexter Lake Club in the east end of Dexter, karaoke happens on Thursday nights, starting at 6ish. For more details call 541 581 3000.

In Oakridge, karaoke is every Wednesday evening at the Logger’s Den behind Big Mountain Pizza. The fun starts at 7 p.m. For more information call 541 782 9520.

A mile east on Highway 58 is the Moose Lodge, where karaoke night is every other Saturday. They just had it a couple nights ago, so the next chance for karaoke is Saturday, June 17. Things get hopping at the Moose Lodge about 6:30 p.m. The Moose Lodge can be reached at 541 782 2558.

In Uptown Oakridge on 1st Street at the Corner Bar, Rob does karaoke on weekends or just about anytime customers show enough enthusiasm about singing. Not on Thursdays, though. That’s when the bar becomes Robburitoville and he’s too busy making his burrito specials to be running the karaoke machine. Chat with Rob at 541 782 1828.

Live music continues to dominate the music scene

Just down the street at the 3 Legged Crane, the Song Dawgz will be howling at the moon on Thursday, June 9, starting at 7 p.m. Soul Crane will be taking the stage at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 10, playing a fun mix of songs that you probably know the words to. In addition to beers and ales brewed on site, the Crane has a nice selection of products from other microbreweries. They also serve a sandwich and dinner menu. There is no cover charge for the live music.

Down 1st Street a few blocks to the west, the Deep Woods Distillery will be presenting Melissa Ruth and the Likely Stories on Saturday evening, June 11, from 6 p.m. until 9. Deep Woods features drinks made from distilled spirits made right there on the premises. Food will be provided by Buen Dia. There will be a $5 cover charge for entry into the Insensitive Wetlands where the show takes place. This is an open-air event with numerous tents and canopies in the rare event of rain- the show will go on!

At the Lion Mountain Bakery on Highway 58 in Oakridge, I will be playing my eclectic blend of old pop tunes on my ukulele on Sunday morning, June 12, beginning at 9 a.m. When I get done, Broken Horn will be taking the stage at 11 a.m. playing songs from the classic era of American music. The Lion Mountain has a spacious, relaxed atmosphere and serves both a breakfast and lunch menu. No cover charge, of course.

The Dexter Lake Club will be having their regular jam sessions and open mics on Sundays and Tuesdays. Things get started around 6 p.m. Weather permitting, these events will start happening in the spacious beer garden out back. The Dexter Lake Club has a full bar and a sandwich and dinner menu. There is no cover charge for the live music.

That’s all I’ve got for this week. If you know of any live music event scheduled in the Upper Willamette Valley, please drop me a line so we can post some information about it.

Ben Olson, musician and Oakridge Resident, with his standup bass Ben Olson photo

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