You’ve Lost That Lovin' Feeling

With the popularity of American Idol steadily growing, it’s only natural to take a long, hard look in the mirror
By Aria S.K. Laskin and Rebecca M. Myerson

With the popularity of American Idol steadily growing, it’s only natural to take a long, hard look in the mirror and wonder: Is there a star inside waiting to be discovered? Wait no longer—instead, warm up your voice, grab your friends and take a trip to one of Boston’s karaoke joints. Because most of these are clubs or restaurants that only become karaoke bars one night a week, knowing when and where to go is key. The truly dedicated—and those in possession of 21+ IDs—can find somewhere to jam every night of the week.

Sunday—Do Re Mi Music Studio

442 Cambridge St., Allston

(617) 783-8900

Red Line to Central Square

(one mile south)

Weekdays 4 p.m. - 1 a.m.,

Friday, Saturday and Sunday 2 p.m.

- 1 a.m.

$30/hour for five people,

+$5/hour for each additional


All ages.

Do Re Mi Studio is one of the few places in Boston devoted exclusively to karaoke, with separate rooms for private parties. This grungy venue is decorated with cheesy fake flowers and psychedelic art illuminated by black lights. With the flip of a switch, mood lighting and disco balls turn the rooms into an Austin Powers extravaganza.

If you’re planning on going after 7 p.m. on a weekend, get a reservation, and remember: the 30-person party room goes the quickest. According to John Kim, a Boston University student and part-time employee, the 21-room complex draws a variety of karaoke enthusiasts. The usual crowd is a mixed bag of young Asian Americans and college students—hence the three hefty binders filled with Chinese, Japanese and English songs. Despite the studio’s no-drinking policy, beer bottles have magically appeared in the trash and probably have contributed to general enjoyment.

Monday—Uno’s Pizzeria

22 JFK St., Cambridge

(617) 497-1530

Monday 8:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m.

No cover. 18+

The truth is revealed—Uno’s can dish up more than pizza. Cambridge locals and Harvard students come together on Monday nights to share conversation, pizza and a love for average music. With approximately 200 songs to choose from, the selection is limited. However, a number of different genres are represented, from rock to hip-hop to a select few opera pieces. Perhaps the best thing about karaoke at Uno’s—besides its accessibility for the oh-so-lazy—is that it is essentially free. There’s no cover charge and no minimum bill, just the unspoken rule that to sing, you must eat something. So, close your books, put on your diva jacket, head over to Uno’s and become a superstar.

Tuesday—The Milky Way Lounge

403-205 Center Street, Jamaica Plain

(617) 524-3740

Orange Line, Stonybrook (10 minute walk)

Tuesday 9 p.m. - 1 a.m.

Cover $3 on DJ nights, $5 on band nights.


Voted the “Best of Boston: Bar” by the Boston Magazine from 1999-2001, The Milky Way Lounge is already one of the hottest spots in the city. When the multi-functional venue transforms itself into a hopping karaoke joint on Tuesdays, it only gets hotter.

The cover is cheap ($3-$5), the décor is sleek and the crowd is hip. Every other Tuesday, the traditional karaoke DJ is replaced by the five-piece Nickel and Dime Band, which gives Lounge patrons the opportunity to fulfill their rock-star fantasies. A wide assortment of music, from Outkast to Queen, gives performers the freedom to show off their pipes any way they please. The Milky Way also boasts the inexpensive Bella Luna Restaurant and a set of retro bowling lanes.

Wednesday—T’s Pub

973 Commonwealth Ave., Boston

(617) 254-0807

Green Line B, BU West

Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 p.m.

No cover.


Nominated by the Boston Citysearch website for Best Sports Bar in Boston, T’s has been open almost 20 years and continues to attract college students with cheap beer, burgers and fries. Marisel C. Garrido, who has worked at the bar for five years, enjoys the pseudo-stardom the setup provides—there’s a big screen TV and the singers are on stage.

The energetic atmosphere of T’s attracts a crowd, and the line is often out the door. The atmosphere “sometimes gets a little crazy,” Garrido said. Though the students “can be obnoxious,” she likes the regulars. “There is [one] regular guy that likes to do N’Sync songs; one time, six girls came up and danced all over him—he is like a little pop star.”

Thursday—The Ramrod

1245 Boylston Street

(617) 266-2986

Green Line, Kenmore

Thursday, 10 p.m. - 2 a.m.

$7 cover.


Prepare to enter an alternate universe where men of all types—students, professionals, drag queens and leather junkies—congregate to schmooze, sing, and party. This is one place where the only thing a girl has to worry about is whether there will be any other girls present at all. The karaoke is the sideshow to the main attraction: The Machine, the club within the depths of the Ramrod. If you feel like a change of scenery or some racy karaoke, come to The Ramrod for an unforgettable night.

Friday—The Courtside Restaurant and Pub

291 Cambridge Street,


(617) 547-4374

Green Line: Lechmere

Thursday, Friday and Saturday 9 p.m. - 2 a.m.

No cover.


John J. Alberts, the owner of The Courtside for 62 years, has seen it develop from tiny neighborhood bar, to luncheon place for the Middlesex Courthouse staff, to award-winning karaoke joint recognized by the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald. And why is Courtside so famous? “We’re just a real fun place,” Alberts boasts. He gives an example: last Friday at the 2 a.m. closing time, all the women in the 150-person karaoke room stood on chairs and sang and danced to the ABBA song “Dancing Queen.” The song database is quite extensive, with about 5000 songs—many in Spanish—and new hits added weekly. Parties larger than four can and should make reservations.

Saturday—Maluken Japanese Restaurant

645 Beacon Street

(617) 859-3149

Green Line, Kenmore

Monday-Saturday, 9 p.m. - 1 a.m.

Minimum per-person

expenditure: $10.


The multilingual vocalist will feel completely at home here, where the thousand-strong catalogue of songs includes Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and Spanish options. The restaurant’s patrons hail mainly from nearby Boston University, and both students and professors tend to make a lot of good-natured noise as they support their friends. For sushi lovers, Maluken is also a good place to eat—for $3-$10, you can have your fill of cheap and tasty sushi. It might be a good idea to just have dinner there, since the restaurant requires a food/beverage minimum of $10 for all performers.