we don’t go to karaoke bars very often, but “u otter stop inn” in minneapolis feels like it’s been built into the last few tours. it’s a fluorescent little isosceles triangle of a bar full of drunk minnesotans. there’s a scary mural of humans with otter heads on the outside of the building. if you’re driving along central avenue in downtown minneapolis, it’s hard to miss on the north side of the river.
my out-of-tune-peter-brady voice doesn’t always endear me to crowds in karaoke bars the way it seems to when i take the mic at the end of guster shows. for some reason. so i’ve adopted a golden rule of karaoke success that seemed to help me at u otter stop inn last night — just make sure you pick a great song. one that everybody likes and can help you sing along to. last night it was naked eyes’ “always something there to remind me.” at a recent wedding it was a horrific version of “imagine” and it did the trick. but while i got the ball rolling for the guster, i was soon to be upstaged by new guitar tech anderson heath bracht junior.
andy spotted “amsterdam” on a remote page of the karaoke book and submitted his request. and even though he heard the song for the first time two weeks ago at our show in cleveland, he sang every melody and lyric perfectly. except when they printed “shag cd” on the screen instead of “shaggs cd.” at least they didn’t print “shaq cd.” sometimes people think i wrote a song with a shaquille o’neal album reference in it.