Thrillist firmly believes that karaoke should be like sex with an ex-girlfriend: quick, drunk and infrequent, in a very dark place. Our karaoke fallback: Alphabet City's Planet Rose, the perfect bar for blowing off steam while casually butchering an artist's life's work.
Planet Rose isn't a true karaoke bar. There's no stage, no cheesy, strip-club style MC, and no delusional patrons who think that by flaunting their vocal chops here, they'll somehow end up backstage at American Idol with one hand groping Paula Abdul and the other smashing the mouthy Brit in the jowls. This is really just a fantastically sleazy lounge that happens to offer karaoke's only legitimately worthwhile aspects: microphones, and the opportunity to act like an idiot.
Like any reliable dive, Planet Rose has hard-pouring bartenders, who know that a real man never intentionally humiliates himself until he's had at least six very stiff cocktails. Once you're adequately fueled, you can take your cordless mic anywhere, even the stools along the bar.* That said, We prefer the side-room: It's dark enough to cover Thrillist's shame, and its zebra- and tiger-striped, 70s coke den-stylings remind us of Mustache Pete - the Vegas hustler-turned-big game hunter we employ when we safari in Africa.
A few Planet Rose regulars are actually pretty decent, but you shouldn't waste your time envying their skills. It's much better to be a gleeful jackass, crooning horrendously in a glorious dive, than a pathetic failure performing your lonely heart out in a low-rent dump.