District Karaoke holds ‘pre-season’ party for crooners

It looks like the East Coast's first karaoke league has some pretty good voices.

Michelle Basch, wtop.com

WASHINGTON — If you’re a fan of “American Idol” or just appreciate a good voice, there’s something new in town you need to hear.

The new karaoke league that’s launching has some pretty good competitors holding the microphone and reading the video screen.

The new league called District Karaoke held a “pre-season” party Wednesday night at Policy Restaurant and Lounge in Northwest, and the singing was impressive.

Six teams have been formed with eight people on each team.

Actual league play begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8 at Policy.

“The point of this is to have fun, have a social time, regardless of your vocal talent. You know, we just want to have people get up there and bring it,” District Karaoke founder Jesse Rauch tells WTOP.

Rauch says the league is the first of its kind on the entire East Coast.

“It’s about time Karaoke got some respect,” says competitor Margo, who wowed the crowd with her version of Roberta Flack’s “Feel Like Makin’ Love.”

A singer named Andrew says he’s looking forward to the competition.

“I’m sure there are going to be a lot of people who are as good or better than me,” he says.

“This is kind of the lazy man’s version of being in a rock band,” says Paul, another competitor who used to be in a band and turned to karaoke when he began to miss performing.

Paul got the crowd cheering during his performance of Meat Loaf’s “I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That).”

All the singing slots for this “season” of play are filled, but you could win a prize just for showing up and rating the performers.

Spectators are given a scoring sheet where they rate each performance on a scale of 1 to 5 for musicality, performance and overall appeal.

“It’s our scientifically tested ‘sing it, bring it, schwing it’ system,” Rauch explains.

Weekly prizes for singers include tickets to shows at the 9:30 Club and Atlas Performing Arts Center.

Rauch says he’s still working on a grand prize that would allow the overall winner to actually record a CD with a live band in a recording studio.

Every spectator who fills out a score sheet is entered into a weekly drawing to win a $25 driving credit at Zipcar.

Rauch says another batch of singers will be needed when the next season of play begins around April. He also plans to add other divisions of players that will compete at other locations throughout the region.

District Karaoke also has a Facebook page.

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