Boasting the Twin Cities' most comprehensive karaoke library, hosted by a pop music historian, the Infernal Singalong Machine brings musical merriment to the Acadia Cafe every Wednesday night (9pm-1am), and Grumpy's Downtown every Thursday night (10pm-2am).
Featuring over 20,000 songs from the last 50 years of pop music history, The Infernal Singalong Machine (ISM) is a chance for people to satisfy their need to make fools of themselves by attempting to sing popular songs in public. They can do so with the eclectic music collection of the unpaid--but far from amateur--music historian Joel Stitzel.
For those who aren't familiar with the man, Stitzel is the former co-host of Cosmic Slop, Radio K's weekly celebration of forgotten hits, album tracks, demos, and obscurities from the first three decades (1950-1980) of rock 'n' roll history. Since he and co-host Chuck Tomlinson called it a day in 2004, fans of Slop have had to make do with Joel and Chuck's occasional revivals of their show on podcast and Joel's solo appearances at special events, spinning selections from a digital and vinyl collection that spans into infinity. [...] Those who think karaoke is a relic of the Clinton presidency should take note that it continues to fill bars and night spots across the country, including local haunts such as the Saloon and Vegas Lounge.
What makes Stitzel's addition unique is that should patrons wish to test their mettle on a tune by the 1960's one-hit wonder band The Shocking Blue that is not their lone U.S. hit, "Venus," or a deep track from the 1980's two-hit wonder trio Banarama that is not their cover of "Venus" (or "Cruel Summer"), chances are good that Stitzel will be able to satisfy that request. Beyond that, he should have every major Billboard chart hit from the mid-1950s to today in stock, as well as those B-sides and deep cuts that some of us sing along to far more than the hits from the same albums. [John Ervin, City Pages 10/20/10]