Live Karoake

Lex and Mrs. Lex had a big date last Friday. We went to the Hideout, a cozy bar in an out-of-the-way nook in the industrial zone along Elston Avenue. The Hideout lived up to the favorable comments I had heard. I can say without reservation that it has my highest recommendation. I commend it to all ChicagoBoyz readers as an establishment which can be relied upon to meet the exacting standards of excellence known to be demanded by patrons of this blog.

The wife and I chatted agreeably with a very nice bartender, who plays in a country-western band called Kelly Kessler and the Wichita Shut-Ins. If this bartender’s personal musical taste is any reflection of how good they are, they must be very good indeed. He was playing a various tape he’d made of some very solid old C&W tunes. He made me two barely passable Manhattans, which I forgave. You take your chances ordering a real drink in a homey place like the Hideout. But that was what I wanted, and I was willing to throw the dice. However, this lapse in professional skills aside, our friendly bartender and I agreed that Ray Price is way underrated.

The Cubs were playing that night, so the place was pretty deserted. Apparently it is usually hoppin’.

The Hideout features live band karoake — which is pretty damn cool. You get on stage with a real band behind you and belt one out — you are Angus Young, or Johnny Rotten, or Paul Rodgers, or whoever, for three glorious minutes. When we were there the band was the Hootenanners. Lex was still wearing a jacket and tie from work. Hey, Frank Sinatra and Paul Weller both went on stage with a tie on — but probably never Iggy. I sang, Search and Destroy, which has the greatest opening line of any rock song:

Well I’m a streetwalkin’ cheetah with a heart full of napalm!

I then took down the intensity with White Rabbit, then finished up with Talk Dirty to Me. Mrs. Lex sang three songs, too. Oddly, there was a photographer from Chicago Magazine there. So, maybe Lex’s moment of rock madness will be widely disseminated throughout the Chicagoland Area as a result. Funny if it happens.

Our other friends, who wanted to get some dinner, almost had to chloroform us to get us out of there. We went to Paprikash, a pretty decent Hungarian place. One of the members of our little party spoke some Hungarian, which led to us getting an extra bottle of wine free. We closed the place. A pleasant time was had by all.