Aftermath: Reborn Punk Rock Karaoke Is Promising, Perhaps At Another Venue

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Photos by Craig Hlavaty

Friday night's live-band Punk Rock Karaoke renaissance at Notsuoh on Main didn't draw a ridiculously large crowd, but it did show incredible promise. The night had been on hiatus for the better part of a decade but has made a return to the Houston stage just in time for what seems to be this weird karaoke resurgence in town going on. Boondocks even debuted their own karaoke night last night.

The karaoke night seemed to be in full swing by the time we hit Notsuoh, but was winding down. It was a misty and altogether gross night, with the first of Houston's infamous fog and humidity of the year seeping in. Upper Main Street wasn't exactly bumping the way it's always purported to be, though we did see a guy painted silver sleeping on one of the corners.

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A man was doing the Damned's "Plan 9 Channel 7" as we walked in, with the lyrics being projected high school algebra-style on the wall across from the Notsuoh stage; the list of songs thankfully skewed towards proto- and first-wave punk. (Our friends cringed early on when we were talking it up, expecting Blink-182 and Green Day.) The Damned was followed by two straight Stooges tracks. Someone even tackled the Jim Carroll Band's "People Who Died," and a dreadlocked dude kicked out the jams on the Sex Pistols' "Anarchy In the U.K."

Intermission was highlighted by nun porn being projected on the wall, some vintage strain where the girls weren't as minimally coiffed as is the norm today. The air conditioner was seemingly off at Notsuoh and, coupled with the cigarette smoking going on, made the bar seem ten degrees hotter. But not being in a hermetically sealed sports bar, generally karaoke's natural habitat, added to the feel of the music.

We can't help but think PRK probably would be better in Montrose, or even closer to the Heights. People dig singing in front of other people, especially as they get drunk. Notsuoh is a decent spot, but somewhere like the Mink or even PRK's old home Rudyards would do the nascent event some good, maybe on a Thursday night.

We'll see what happens.


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