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Make a Little Night Music With Karaoke

Sometimes, it’s not enough to sit idly by and be entertained--people want to make a little music of their own.

Enter karaoke, a singing craze that has thousands of people across the country crooning like Frank Sinatra or belting it out like Billy Joel. Recognizing this new interactive form of entertainment, several North County restaurants and nightclubs have installed karaoke machines and have scheduled specific nights for sing-alongs.

With the help of karaoke machines--sophisticated stereo systems that provide musical background--even the most tone deaf can boldly sing the lyrics with a confidence that may or may not be deserved. Many places even provide the printed lyrics to a vast repertoire of songs so that a person with an itch to sing “Stardust” doesn’t necessarily have to know all the words by heart.

Some of the more elaborate karaoke machines display videos on a large screen in the background. Who needs MTV?

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Karaoke first gained popularity about a decade ago in Japan when the age-old custom of unwinding after work at a bar with a little sake and singing went electronic.

Here are some North County restaurants and clubs that offer karaoke nights:

Borrelli’s Back Room, 2677 Vista Way, Oceanside. 721-5400. Karaoke offered Wednesday nights.

Coco Palms Tropical Bistro, 1950 N. Highway 101, Encinitas. 942-1444. Karaoke is offered from 10 p.m. until closing on Fridays and Saturdays.

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The Earthquake Cafe, 1020-110 San Marcos Blvd., San Marcos. 471-1222. Singing offered from 8:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sundays.

Full Moon Saloon & Nightclub, 485 First St., Encinitas. 436-7397. Singing offered 5 p.m. Fridays and 7 p.m. Saturdays.

Henry’s, 264 Elm St., Carlsbad. 729-9244. Karaoke offered Monday nights.

Hilton Hotel, Derby Lounge & Oyster Bar, 15575 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. 792-5200. Singing offered Tuesdays.

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The Mission Inn, 502 E. Mission Road, San Marcos. 471-2939. Singing offered 7:30 p.m. Sundays.

Smitty’s Downtown, 119 E. Broadway, Vista. 724-0510. Singing at 8 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays.


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