Sunday Night Karaoke at the Goat Brings Out the Freaks and Geeks

Categories: The Overserved

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Ricki Rox sang "Toxic"
Typically, I do not believe in signs. But after a weekend spent at Homegrown Fest, after-parties and beyond, it was difficult not to interpret a good omen or two as I made my way into Lota's Goat on Sunday night. Glenn Frey's "You Belong to the City" was on full blast and a gentleman of at least 65 was completely nailing the saxophone solo via a red kazoo. As that melody wormed its way into my brain, I settled into a back booth, pleased at such a charming start to the evening.

That's just one of the details that makes Carmen's Sunday night karaoke at the Goat so special, and a three-day weekend makes it a Sunday-best occasion. That Monday sleep-in means the freaks really do come out at night, head down Gaston, wait in 20-minute bar lines and lobby for their spot among Carmen's juried karaoke list of regulars, local musicians and American Idol would-have-beens.

By 10:30 pm, a stranger had lifted her dress to show me her bathing suit; Carmen announced she was already on standby; and the tip jar was stacked by those trying to curry favor and get on the list. It was the earliest I have ever seen a crowd pack the Goat, and the earliest I'd ever heard her warn the crowd that the list was at capacity.

For those wondering what the demand is for, Carmen, the Goat's karaoke curator, provides more than the instrumental track for your embarrassing solo. Her setup includes a live drummer, a keyboard player and Carmen providing spot-on background vocals and the occasional percussive addition of tambourine. She does not merely put your songs in order, she DJs the evening so an old soul song mingles nicely with the new Nicki Minaj.

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Carmen, counting the green
The Goat serves as one of Dallas' best blues bars on other nights of the week, but on Sunday, some of those same musicians come out, toss a few back and get silly on stage. (Get there early for the old-man hour, it's worth it.) They aren't the only familiar faces on the mic: There were freestyles from GalleryCat, some Prince from the Missile fellas and Sir Silky, and an impressive duet with King Buck Chad Stockslager, cementing Carmen's unique niche in the Dallas music scene.

At 1:20 am, the Goat was out of cold Miller Light, a cross-dresser was singing "Toxic" and party-goers desperately threw bills at Carmen, trying to get a turn. Even the Goat can't escape karaoke clichés: As the opening strains of "Can't Help Falling in Love" came over the speakers, the crowd swayed, a couple slow danced and, by the end of the song, the entire room was belting along passionately. Not all clichés are terrible.

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7 comments
Hugh0906
Hugh0906

Try it again...

If you don't drink at the Goat, you might as well be staying home.

Hugh0906
Hugh0906

If you drink at the Goat, you might as well be staying home.

yukity yuk yuk
yukity yuk yuk

I don't know if i'd like a picture of me "counting the green" on a free online(open to the public) rag. 

Deb
Deb

That green is more Washington, than Benjamin and was hard-earned via a pretty rowdy crowd and shared with 2 band members employed every week, not just 3-day weekends. You love, you tip. I say count em' up Carmen!

Majken
Majken like.author.displayName 1 Like

I don't know how she does it. Dealing with drunk people all night isn't easy!

Deb
Deb

Don't worry, three-day weekends are something of a ballroom blitz at The Goat, sugars. There will be plenty of Miller Light and just as much good cheer if you get in line for the mic on an upcoming Sunday! You might still be late for work on Monday though, not really much I can help you with there.  xo-D

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