Who doesn’t love karaoke? Okay, some people don’t. But if you do, there are plenty of options in Austin. You can get your sing on in a bar full of strangers or solo to get some practice in (seriously, solo karaoke really helps). If you are strapped for cash there are deals to be had and if you are too drunk to leave downtown there are places to sober up with some Springsteen.
Here’s a guide of just some of the hot spots you shouldn’t miss.
When you’re in the mood for a classic karaoke bar
Common Interest has been an Austin staple since 1974. CI, as its known to its regulars, is housed in a strip mall off of Burnet Rd. and 183. After a fire in 2005, Common Interest has risen like a phoenix and expanded to add private karaoke rooms along with its classic stage. Warning: Don’t be surprised if you find yourself consuming a syringe full of Jell-o and then singing Bonnie Tyler's “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”
If you live up north
Karaoke is convenient no matter where you live in Austin. You don’t have to drive all the way downtown just to sing Journey’s "Faithfully." The Canary Roost on Metric and Parmer will fill all your northern karaoke needs. Further up I-35, Homer’s Bar and Grill has karaoke seven days a week, and Pflugherville’s Graham Central Station has a karaoke room called the Alley Cat. They even provide back-up dancers.
When you want a more alternative selection
The Highball is the place to go if you want to mix up standard karaoke fare with some more obscure tunes. Be careful, They Might Be Giants’ “Birdhouse in Your Soul” is harder than you think. Bonus: Highball karaoke rooms are free from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays as a part of the happy hour special. Highball also has an app so you'll never have to wait for the song book again (unless you don't have a smartphone... then you have to wait).
When you’re south of the river
South of the river residents can sing their butts off seven nights a week at Ego’s. The bar housed inside a South Congress parking garage is ready to take any weird act that Austin karaoke wants to bring on. Go ahead and sing AC/DC’s "Balls in Roller-Skates" (my friend Patton did). During peak bar times it can get a little crowded, so if you want to maximize the amount of songs you get in, try for a weeknight and get there early.
When you're looking for some late-night fun
Austin Karaoke is another staple in the amateur singing scene. Austin Karaoke is B.Y.O.B., so stock up on the booze before you get there (there is a Walgreens next store that is open until 10 p.m.). This venue stays open way past 2 a.m., so if you are looking to keep going past closing time, it's your place. Just make sure your friends check out when they leave, Austin Karaoke is per person, not per hour. If not, the last person is going to be stuck with a high bill.
When you’re already downtown
You’ve parked downtown, gone to a couple bars and now you want to sing. No need to change locations: KTV Silhouette Lounge has you covered. On 7th and Congress, right next to Silhouette sushi bar, you’ll find private room karaoke with wait service on the second floor. The selection isn’t as large as other private room karaoke venues, but it is one of the few places I’ve been able to find Technotronic’s "Move This Body." It’s a song I highly recommend for any alto female singers looking to impress.