Thursday, February 22, 2007

New information requested: Support is appreciated

Folks, it appears that some people are actually taking parts of my blog
seriously. Its kind of cool and I am working as hard as I can to keep
new material coming in. The topics of this Karaoke blog have expanded to include
topics like ideal karaoke systems, Laptop versus self-contained
hardware, equipment to use, software to use. I've actually been asked
how to set up an ideal small Karaoke Box in Chicago, how to set up a
laptop here in Toronto and a guy from Florida ask me how to recover songs from his dying CAVS hard drive. You will see a donation button on the right and perhaps a few
small adds. Reason for this is getting the information I provide takes time and resources to collect and publish. So there it is: I have to pay to visit karaoke
boxes, pay for food/drinks at karaoke bars, pay software license and
even equipment in some cases.

Please be assured that this will have no affect my objectivity.(or subjectivity some may argue) The content of my reviews will never be for sale. If a service or product
sucks, I'm going to say so. Period. Likewise if something is fantastic I'm going to say so even if they tell me I suck. Its all about providing useful Karaoke info about Toronto and in some case the world of Karaoke in general. If you think my work is worth anything and would like to help expedite the process feel free to volunteer information (for which credit will be given)or give a small donation to offset my costs(public acknowledgement of donors will be given with permission from the donor). It really does help. Cheers all.

Oh, if anyone one has an old CAVS JB-99 that boots up I'd be interested in buying it. I want to test a software tool I'm writing to speed up loading large amounts of data to it which will be freely available and open source upon successful testing. Currently the method of loading gigs of songs to a JB-99 through the IDE-TO-IDE (by far the fastest) method is VERY technical and error prone (for non-techies). I intend to rectify that with this tool but I need a JB-99 to test it on. As long as it can read a hard drive properly formatted it doesn't matter if it has scratches or non-working cd carousel or no hard drive. Just as long as it is functional (meaning it can ready a properly formatted hard drive and play the songs ). If one could loan me one for 2 weeks that would also be great and would count as a donation. Thanks all.

Jonah A. Libster

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Karaoke Review: Bar + Karaoke Lounge

December 12th, 2006

This place was set up by the owner of one of Toronto's first premium karaoke boxes, XO. I was told by a senior manager that this new place was set up to attract “westerners”. (As opposed to the Korean population at Bloor & Christie. Someone told me there is some Korean gang activity in Koreatown so perhaps this was also motivation). Although I had loved XO for 10 years the fact that much of the original furniture was badly broken and ventilation systems were mostly non-functional (especially in the summer) left me longing either for a major repair at XO or a new venue of the same selection and equipment. When I was told about the “plasma” screens I was drooling as my mind envisioned the ultimate karaoke box in the center of downtown Toronto. Imaginations can run away with you very quickly when you are looking for the ultimate karaoke box. With a 30 minute free trial this was going to be the a easy review for my wallet.

The Good
: Well the plasma screens were there, brand new of course although I quickly recognized them as low end. (plasma is less expensive than LCD which has clearer images) The look of the place felt like karaoke box meets night club feel to it. The looks of the interior was actually very nicely thought out. The selection was identical to XO which is to say it was decent.

The Mixed: I wish I could say that the spirit that created XO was preserved but unfortunately all the effort appeared to go into initial looks. The mikes were cheap and easily overloaded and I was picking up residual noise noise from the receiver. It turned out to be a radio signal coming in over the speaker. I quickly pointed this out the staff who told me the receivers were lower quality from Korea and they would be replaced eventually. The other thing that caught my attention was that there were no key changers in ANY of the rooms. What I was hoping to be an awesome experience was turning into a bad dream: The owner got extremely cheap on the equipment: all you had to do was scratch the surface of that pretty exterior for the poor quality beneath to show. XO was the top karaoke box in its day and for the owner to get cheap on equipment was a real let down. I told the staff what I had observed and even told them how to get key changers for <$200 each. 13 rooms for a total of ~$2600. For a small business this is not a big investment. For 6 weeks I kept checking in to see if key changers were going to be added. Every time I check out the place it was fairly empty. I asked about food availability. They said there was food available at a nearby restaurant but no menu was available. This looked like a minimal beginning as well as a cheap one. The rates are slightly less than XO which I'd like to say was good but given the quality of the equipment that was there (no key changers) I felt the customers could do better for the money.

The Bad: The service when I was there was pretty poor as well: People often weren't at the desk when I was checking out the place as late of 9 PM. Kind of scary. Other times people seemed more occupied with playing video games on a computer than attending the desk. Very unprofessional work ethic ½ the time. The crowds may not be there yet but they should at least look like they cared. I've already said my peace about the receivers there which were outright bad as well as the mikes.

Summary: The owner of this place perhaps should consider a career in interior decorating (or refer the person he hired) because he seems to think “westerns” have no knowledge of what karaoke is all about or what quality equipment is. Let's start with basics: People have different song ranges, so key changers are ESSENTIAL. Yes, ESSENTIAL so that everyone can participate comfortably. Not having simple key changers that will work on any analog audio system is, frankly, very discouraging considering the great work on initially done with XO. Not only that but cheap Korean equipment and radio signal feedback on the audio (when there was no radio component on these receivers or perhaps I should say preamp) also suggests that the owner was doing everything to get this operation up on the cheap using excellent decorating to hide the fact. After six weeks of telling them they should have key changers and even telling them where to get them with no results show lack of attention the customers. Every time I went to the place (generally Fridays) I didn't see much of a crowd. Perhaps its just as well given the lack of respect for Karaoke lovers. Perhaps this is why he has let XO become so run down it is now dangerous to go to in the summer due to lack of proper ventilation and working air conditioners which had not been repaired properly for at least 2 years. I had to stop bringing the Toronto Karaoke Meetup Group as a result. There may be a general trend of business and Karaoke Box owners trying to avoid initial business costs with the invent of computer based Karaoke song changers, but just because a computer can do the rotations doesn't mean you don't provide the basics if you are going to be in the karaoke business at all. Anyone looking to start a karaoke box be aware there are those of us who have been to Asia, know what standard karaoke is supposed to provide and we will let people know who respects their customers, and just as importantly, who does not.

Summary Scores

Facilities: 9.0 (Nice rooms, really clean, furniture in amazing shape)

Equipment: 6.5 (Cheap receivers(radio noise), mikes and no key changers. People do notice when karaoke boxes cheapen the experience. At least the computer song changer worked well. The 0.5 bonus for plasma screens but they are no substitute for proper karaoke equipment)

Location: 8.0 (Block north of Dundas Subway. Parking will cost you a pretty penny at Yonge/Dundas however)

Food Prices: NA (Prices on drinks are average, but only snack food)

Service: NA (staff seemed to be killing time a lot so perhaps its for the best they only serve drinks)
Selection: 7.0 (~7000 English songs, lots of Korean, Chinese, some Japanese, same as XO).

Wait Times: 9.0 (Its a computer AVI/MPG server. So this is expected)

Room Prices: 7.0

1-5 people: $25/Hour

6-10 people: $40/Hour

50 Large Room: $50/Hour

Final Grade: C (Given the equipment quality and lack of basics this is a gift)

New Info: Since my original visit I've been informed that there is a Korea Midi system with limited key change capability but still no real key changers. (2007-02-21)

PS: Some actually asked about this place and when I told them my findings they asked if I could carry around a key changer for the Toronto Karaoke Meetup Group. People notice, people care, and people have to carry basic karaoke equipment with them, better off going elsewhere. Why would a karaoke box customer pay to bring proper equipment?

Venue Information:
Bar + Karaoke Lounge
360 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M5B 1S5
(416) 340-7154

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New of upcoming events at the Groundhog Pub

I have to publish my new review at the Groundhog Pub with new MC Jeremy Siklosi. Before I do here is an update on new events being planned right from the horse's moutm, Jeremy Siklosi:

"We are going to start theme nights in March.
The 1st night will be Musicals, with prizes & stuff."

I have no idea of what the other themes are will be but I will ask.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Improvements in relation to previously posted Karaoke Info

I got a notice from Jason Rolland informing of a few things which I should pass on. Tequella Sunrise for one thing is on again with different days. I had visied the palce with a friend awhile back and was informed by the staff that karaoke was no longer a regular event but I've been assured that is no longer the case. (I pass Adelaide on my way to a client so I'll have plently of opportunity to stop in the afternoon and make sure there are no crossed signals) I've also been informed that Mr.Rolland has substantially increased his music collection from when I last checked him out. He indicates 30k songs but I won't consider that official until I review his books (someone once told me they had 20k but the books said otherwise). Remember MC's, if the songs are not in the book, I don't count it. Having songs at "at home" or elsewhere else means '0' to me and to anyone else attending.

I had made some non-karaoke related remarks (as an IT consultant) about Mr. Rolland's site being set up for IE only. I've reviewed the site again and a long last I don't get any messages about my not using the insecure, infamous and inhospitable Microsoft Internet Explorer if I use my Apple Powerbook. Unfortuantely on the Windows OS there is STILL this annoying redirect which has no technical reason for being there. Here's the proof:
The redirect is a very simple and pardon my saying, poorly written javascript snippet. Easy to hack, and according to web professionals other than myself (although I'm one of them) very unreliable. Everyone who keeps up with IT security news doesn't use IE 6 (unless you love spyware being placed on your computer without your knowledge via the magic of ActiveX scripting), and IE 7 has a number of compatibility problems with older sites. Consequently a HUGE increase of Firefox users has been recorded in the last year which of course reduces IE users. So Jason, get up with the program (if you don't want to turn off/away customers) and play nice with the rest of the Internet world (W3C standards). To recoin a phrase "IE is soon to no longer be Number 1 for a reason". Jason appears to still have a little work to do on his web site.

There is a new venue that has also opened up by a Karaoke MC company called Flashback Entertainment/Kanary Karaoke:
3757 Keele Street (South of Finch)
Tuesday Nights
Time: 10 PM? (no time given)

Now I will get to reviewing this venue as it's within Toronto Borders (just) but I'm told by an employee that this company has
"just under 3000 songs however our song selections are extremely popular amongst our Karaoke participants".

Karaoke MCs: I'm all for promoting Karaoke and as such I'm posting this info where I can, but if you want me give a good impression you need to get at LEAST 6k songs to get a decent review. With everyone "upping the ante" with 8k, 9k, 11k and even (unofficial) 30k song lists, 3k just isn't competitive in this business and I'd be doing karaoke MC's and participants a great disservice if I said otherwise. Even if they are "extremely popular". The larger lists I've verified have even more "extremely popular" songs so you can't really make up for such a small selection as there are just too many people in Toronto with diverse musical tastes. I'm not trying to be mean but in my 2 years of visiting and writing reviews on this topic I think this karaoke company needs to "get it up" in the selection criteria if they want to avoid disappointing fans. This is especially crucial if they want to keep the younger crowd. (Peter Rockwell and Jason Rolland are particularly popular with these audiences)

More to come soon.

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Karaoke Review: Mayday Malone's w/ Jeremy Siklosi

Review Date: 2007-02-09

After an admittedly long absence due to my day job as well as well as a few other distractions I'm finally able to get back to reviewing karaoke venues. A few things have changed from last year. For starter's Jeff Zedic has left to explore the world and has passed on his business to the Jeremy Siklosi who carries the torch and at the Groundhog and Mayday Malone's. Jeremy has some big shoes to fill as Jeff was in my view the best Karaoke MC in Toronto since I started this blog. I also had to hold off this review because of a technical mishap that occurred literally the day before the torch was officially passed on. I felt it was ncessary to wait a short period in order to give a fair review. Now that the collection is restored I can move forward with a clear conscience as see how well the new shoes fits our new Karaoke Host.

The Good: Mayday Malone's as a venue has really low prices on food. If you are looking for a karaoke bar on a budget this is one place you should definitely check out. Especially if you like Nachos which are half price on Thursday nights. The equipment is mostly unchanged and Jeremy takes the same care and attention to sound quality as Jeff always did so unless you yell into the mike you'll sound anywhere from good to amazing. The song selection mostly the same as Jeff had. There are around 10k+ songs in the book as a few are still being restored but it should not be too long before the original 13k+ songs are back in the system. The wait times are quite good for the most part but there is a regular group that goes in around 11 PM so your best best to get in 3-4 songs in the evening is to get there around 10 PM. Jeremy keeps up the tempo both in the rotation and energy although he needs a little more variety in his commentary. The food services is quite prompt.

The Mixed: The layout isn't bad and its as good as the restaurant will allow given its configuration. You may be forced to site near the front door due to space. Mayday Malone's is not really ideal for large groups because seating near the karaoke action is limited, especially if groups come to play darts which requires 2-3 tables to be removed so they can play. Seating in the 1st half of the restaurant isn't bad, but it can be awkward to reach when your name is called. The food quality is palletable, but I've had better at places like the Groundhog Pub, but then again prices are higher. I'd say its the best food you can get for modest pries they charge, and that being said, the food is fairly decent.

The Bad
: While you get good food and portions for the price the selection is severely lacking, not only in food selection (very basic sandwiches, pizzas, Mexicana food, a few appetizers, and no desserts), but in drinks as well. No coolers available. They can do mixes for your and they have all the basic beers and lagers. Be warned that if you are a fan of coolers or premixed drinks, you won't find any here.

Summary: Mayday Malone's is probably the best place I've seen in downtown core (roughly) for someone looking to do karaoke on a tight budget. With a very wide selection of songs to choose from, good quality food (especially for the price) and great equipment you'll be happy with this place. The space is more limited than other venues out there and the food selection is extremely limited so bear in mind that low budgets have their price. Jeremy Siklosi takes good care of his participants and tries very hard to please. Fans of Jeff Zedic, be aware that Jeremy is not the comedian that Jeff was. (Jeff actually did professional shows at Yuk Yuk's every so often and that is a rare find in a Karaoke MC). I do miss the well timed jokes and the trivia that Jeff used to give in his shows. If I had any immediate tips for Jeremy in his new role I'd say work up the Karaoke Music Trivia between songs and add a few comic observations. This is one way Jeff Zedic really pleased the crowd and Jeremy is capable of it. All he needs is more practice. Given the way things got started off when he took over the business, Jeremy has been a professional by follow the old motto, “The show must go on”. He's probably still reeling from the mishap of late December when Mr. Zedic accidentally scrambled the music collection the day before Jeremy took over which took some quick action get mostly restored. I strongly suspect we'll see Jeremy shine as an MC now that he is able to focus on personality aspect. I'll check up on him and alter the selection and MC scores as Jeremy gets settled in. All in all this is still a quality karaoke venue to visit.

Final Grade: B

Facilities: 7.0 (Seating may be limited and you may be forced to sit on the opposite side of the from bar from the karaoke host & equipment)
Equipment: 8.8 (minor glitches if MC has to use a disk rather than the computer hard drive)
Selection 8.8 (a few songs from the original collection missing but will be restored shortly)
Food Selection: 6.8 (food & drink selection are really limited here)
Prices: 8.8 (some of the best prices I've seen for the food in downtown Toronto)
Location: 7.8 (Bathurst Subway, and walk north about 15 minutes, scattered side street parking)
Host: 8.5 (Very attentive to sound levels of his singers,but commentary occasionally gets repetitive. There have been some exceptional circumstances to take in to account so this score should improve shortly)
Wait times: 8.5
Service: 8.5

Venue Information:
Jeremy Siklosi, Siklosi Karaoke
Mayday Malone's
1078 Bathurst St.
Toronto, ON
M5R 3G9
(416) 531-8064

Thursdays: 10 PM - 2 AM

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Karaoke Events & Updates 2007

Fellow Karaoke Lovers:
I'm compiling a list of current places for Karaoke Bars and Boxes as well as reviews so we can know where to go for either a private or public session any day of the week. (Yes it IS possible). Also to let people which places have sadly passed on. Without further ado, here is the list of venue places, events and (sob) closings.

Regular Resturant & Bar Events (Confirmed):
** New Venues Added **
Safari Village
1690 Danforth Avenue
Toronto, ON
(416) 406-0534
1st and 3rd Friday of the Month

383 Eglington Avenue East
Toronto, Ontario
M4P 1M5
(416) 484-4101
Thursdays 9 PM - 1 AM

Duke of York Tavern
1225 Queen Street East
Toronto, Ontario M4M 1L6
(416) 463-5302
Wednesdays 8:30 - 12:30?

** New venue ***
Flashback Entertainment/Kanary Karaoke:
Applejacks Resturant
3757 Keele Street (South of Finch)
(416) 631-9013
Tuesday Nights
Time: 10 PM? (no time given)

** Recently revived **
Hollywood On the Queensday(New Review to follow)
1184 The Queensway
Phone: (416) 251-0288
Web Site
8:30 PM - Midnight
Wednesday Evenings

Gus' Knott Inn
Peter Styles
1562 Weston Road
Phone: (416) 913-8090
Wednesday Nights
Time: 10 PM

(see review)
Mayday Malone's
1078 Bathurst Street
Toronto, ON
Phone: (416) 531-8064
Thursdays Evenings 10 pm - 2 am

(temporarily suspended)
MayDay Malone's
965 Bloor St West
Phone: (416) 516-7844
Thursday Evenings
10 pm till 2am

The Old Sod
2936 Bloor St. W.
Phone: (416) 239-3812
Tuesdays & Sundays
9 PM?- Closing

Badger and Firkin
555 Burnhamthorpe Road, Unit 5
Phone: (416) 620-5959
9 PM - Closing

Rose and Thorne
246 Brown's Line
Phone: (416) 233-8827
9 PM - Closing

Di and Gabby's
2902 Lake Shore Boulevard West
Phone: (416) 503-3791
9 PM - Closing

Bert & Ernie's
5555 Dundas Street West
Phone: (416) 231.5858
9 PM - Closing

963 Bloor Street West
Phone: (416) 531-7818
9 PM - Closing

J Michael's Restaurant & Tavern
235 Dixon Road
Phone: (416) 249.2651
9 PM - Closing

The Dufferin Gate
1204 King Street West (King & Dufferin)
Toronto, ON
Phone: (416) 534-2238
Thursdays 9:30 - Closing

The Chateau Bar & Grill
1157 St Clair W (Just East of Duffrin)
Toronto, ON
Phone: 416-654-3784
Saturdays, 9:30 PM - Closing

1335 St. Clair West
Toronto, ON
Phone: 416-653-8777
Saturdays, 9:30 PM - Closing

Tequila Sunrise
212 Adelaide Street West
(416) 593-6164
10 PM - 2 AM (Host: Jason Rolland,
Tuesday & Thursday Evenings

P.M. Toronto
1245 Dupont St.(Rear Entrance to Galleria Mall)
Toronto, ON
Phone: (416) 530-4505
Thursdays 9:30 - Closing

Main Event
2368 Yonge St.(North of Eglington)
Wednesdays 9:30PM - Closing

The Groundhog Pub (See Review)
401 Bloor Street East
Toronto, ON
Phone: (416) 975-1867
Fax : (416) 975 - 9252
Fridays & Saturdays 10 PM - 2 AM

Fox & Fiddle (See Review)
280 Bloor Street West (Bloor St. West @ St. George)
Toronto, ON
(416) 966-4fox (369)
Tuesday & Saturdays 10 PM (11 PM Saturdays) - 2 AM

The Unicorn
(416) 482-0115
175 Eglington East
Toronto, ON
M4P 1J4
Monday Evenings, 10 PM - 2 AM

Saxony Resturant (See Review)
(416) 929-2300
599 Sherbourne Street
8 PM - 2 AM
Friday, Saturday Evenings

Zippers Bar
72 Carlton Street
(Phone Number being confirmed)
8 PM - 12 AM
Thursday Evenings

The Gladstone Hotel (see review)
1214 Queen Street West
(416) 531- 4635
8 PM to 1 AM (Host:Peter Styles,
Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Fiddler's Green Pub (See Review)
27 Wellsley Avenue
(Phone number pending)
(7-9? confirmation of start time pending) - closing time
Friday Evenings (Prizes indicated)

The Fox and Fiddle (see review)
535 Danforth Avenue,
Toronto, Ontario M4K 1P7
Phone: 416-462-9830
Fax: 416-461-3132

Hoops Sports Bar (see review)
458 Yonge Street
(416) 929-3324
9 PM - closing time
Wednesday, Thursday Evenings

Shoeless Joe's Bar (see review)
401 King Street West
(Phone Number pending)
10 PM - 2 AM (Host name pending)
Friday Evenings

Joe Mercury's Big City Sports Bar & Grill
2345 B Dundas St. West
(416) 535-1324
9:30 PM - Closing
Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Peel Pub
276 King St. W. (& Duncan)
(416) 977-0003
Tuesday 10:00pm

On the Rocks Restaurant
169 Front St. E (& Sherbourne)
(416) 862-2901
Thursday, Friday, Saturday
"Marginal selection of out of date songs, but good atmosphere"

Unconfirmed Karaoke Resturants & Bars
(Note because these are as yet unconfirmed, I cannot be certain that
all these venues are still in operation. I will be confirming them in the coming weeks)

Billy Bob's
2448 Bloor Street West
Toronto, ON
10 PM - Closing

Blue Lagoon
3180 Lake Shore Boulevard West
Toronto ON
(416) 259-4700
9:30 PM - Closing

Chateau Bar & Grill
1157 St. Clair Avenue West
Toronto ON
(416) 654-3784
9:30 PM - Closing

2364 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON
(905) 855-7584
9 PM - Closing

Chick 'N Deli
744 Mount Pleasant Road
Toronto ON
9 PM - Closing

Crews Toronto
508 Church Street
Toronto, ON
Tuesdays & Thursdays
11 PM - Closing

Fiddler's Dell Bar
781 Annette Street
10 PM - Closing

Canton Karaoke Lounge
4810 Sheppard Av East
(416) 332-0801

Club Epiphany Restaurant & Lounge
11 Arrow Rd
(416) 740-9329

Future Karaoke Restaurant
58 Redlea
(416) 321-5618

Huong Bar & Karaoke
1680 St Clair Avenue West
(416) 654-8889

Manila By Night Karaoke Bar & Restaurant
4949 Bathurst Street
(416) 225-1078

May Karaoke
876 Dundas West
(416) 361-9377

JR's Bar & Grill
3653 Lakeshore Blvd. West
(416) 521-6302

The Fox & Fiddle
4946 Dundas Street West.
(416) 207-9990

Crossroads House
1544 Danforth Ave. (& Coxwell Ave.)
(416) 406-4017

Cubao Bar & Grill
298 College St. (& Spadina Ave.)
(416) 966-9024
a song or two during the band's break

Duke Of York
1225 Queen St. E. (@ Leslie)
(416) 463-5302
Saturday 4:30 to 7:30 P.M. with SD SIKI

Hollingers Restaurant & Tavern
1026 Coxwell Ave (& Danforth)
(416) 425-9877
Fri & Sun

Jekyl & Hyde
2340 Dundas Street West.
(416) 535-0547
10 PM - Closing
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays

Joe Badali's Restaurant (Elbow Room)
156 Front St. (& Simco)
(416) 977-3064
Wednesday 6:30pm to 10:30pm with Walter & Chris Henkel

Mr. Slate Sports Bar & Top Brass Lounge
952 Kingston Rd.
M4E 1S7
(416) 694-9495 Thursdays Fri 10 P.M.

New Karaoke Restaurant
793 Gerrard E
(416) 463-9902

Play It Again Sports Bar
1002 St. Clair Ave. W. (& Oakwood Ave.)
Toronto M6E 1A2
(416) 656-8434
Friday 11:00am- 2:00am

Purple Pig
1 Richmond St. W.
(416) 366-6465

Rio Restaurant
129 Danforth Ave
Toronto, On
(416) 461-2208

Spice Isle Granadian Sports Bar (formerly 'Caffe Del Corso')
1928 Eglinton Ave. W., York
(416) 782-4044
Fridays 9:30pm - 2:00am with Martin Dalcourt & Merike Purje.

Spirits Bar & Grill
642 Church St.
Toronto, ON
M4Y 2G3
(416) 967-0001
Saturday & Sunday

Star City Karaoke
393 Dundas West
(416) 593-9996

Tropical Nights
1311 Danforth Ave
Toronto, On
(416) 693-9000
Mon 10:00 P.M

Winchester Tavern
537 Parliament St. (& Winchester St.)
(416) 929-1875 Wed and Sun

Wise Guys
2301 Danforth Ave.
Toronto, On
karaoke with Dr. Spin

JR's Bar & Grill
3653 Lakeshore Blvd. West
(416) 521-6302
Karaoke Saturday Nights Began Nov. 2, 2002, On-going


The following Venues have closed their doors. We'll miss them:

Mr. GreenJeans
The Eaton (Sears) Centre (Dundas & Yonge), 3rd floor
(416) 979- 1212
10 PM - 2 AM (Host: Jason Rolland,
Wednesday, Thursday Evenings (Saturdays? possible type/bug on site)

Hollywood On the Queensday(See Review)
1184 The Queensway
(416) 251-0288
8 PM - Midnight (Hosted by Karaoke Nights)
Wednesday Evenings

Wolf & Ferkin
43 Elm Street
7:30 PM - 11:30 PM (Starting after the first week September)
Phone: (416) 971-6264
Toronto, ON

Milwaukee's Good Bites
220 Adelaide Street West
(416) 368-1017
10 PM - 2 AM (Host: Jason Rolland,
Tuesday Evenings

Fuel Station
335 Jarvis St. (& Carlton St.)
(416) 921-1361
Mondays, Pool Tables

The Red Spot
459 Church St
(416) 967-7768
Mondays with Foofer

Lee Garden
1255 Bay St. (& Bloor)
(416) 968-3689
All English Daily 9:30pm Chinese Food Restaurant

Sushi Bistro
204 Queen St. W.
Toronto, On
(416) 971-5315

Cafe Lang Van II Karaoke
70 Ossington
Toronto, On

Charitiy's Karaoke Cause Bar
240 Sherbourne
Toronto, On
(416) 922-4885

Ah So Gardens Japanese Restaurant
614 Jarvis St. (& Bloor)
(416) 920-4333
Featuring songs in English, Chinese, Japanese & Korean.

Fox & Firkin (Open but stopped Karaoke 3 years ago)
51 Eglinton Ave. E. (& Yonge St.)
Phone: (416) 480-0200
Sundays British Pub. Imported beers on tap

Stanley's Entertainment Lounge
129 Danforth Avenue
(416) 462-3373
9:30PM - Close (Host name pending)
Wednesday Evenings

T.J.'s Tap & Grill
2112 Danforth Ave. (E of Woodbine)
(416) 424-4612
Saturday with Mary

Karaoke Box Venues:
This sections I need time to get full details.
See reviews for XO karaoke box for details. More to follow

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Friday, February 02, 2007

What's to come for the New Year (okay its February I know)

Folks I apologize for momentary lapse of reviews and articles. As you may have guessed from my recent postings, I've been busy on a Karaoke project which I believe is mostly concluded. Aside from making sure backups are in place to prevent another mishap that I wrote about from reoccuring everything is ship shape and I can now go back to what we all love: Finding out what's hot (and what's not) with Karaokeland in Toronto.

I have an article I need to publish but Feburary and March there are several places I plan to visit: As you know Jeff Zedic has left for England but a MC has taken over at the Groundhog Pub and Mayday Malone's: Jeremy Skilosi is the new owner of Toronto's best song selection. Can he measure up to one of Toronto's all time best Karaoke MCs? I'll let you know next week. There is also a new karaoke venue at Church/Wellsley with Karaoke MC FooFer, and place called "Grasshopper" at Parliment, the Chick N' Deli at Mt. Pleasent and Eglington as well as The Unicorn near Eglington/Yonge/Mt Pleasent (The Uni as my friends called it) Monday nights (wow a place on MONDAY!!) as well as the The Dufferin Gate in Parkdale. So Karaoke MCs (KJ's) dust off your mixers. We'll have some private box reviews for you as well. There is a new place at Yonge and Gerrard which I held off publish a review on after I visited it because I wanted to give them the chance to improve some poor audio equipment and rectify lack of key changers (they allow you to change pitch which allows more people to participate). The owner of the venue setup XO so I had hoped he intended to set a high standard to top Twister. I'm publishing my review on them as well with or without good equipment next week as they've had more than enough time to get their house in order. So as you can tell there is lots to come. So as they used to say in TV land before Internet and cable tv, "stay turned". Or at least check the blog out once in awhile.

- Jonah