You typically don’t come across many punk-rock anthems in karaoke books. Punk-rock fans who enjoy belting out mournful cries and rumbling growls in front of fellow punks have an outlet for their angst this weekend, though.
We recently spoke with Belinda Peñaloza, Punk Rock Karaoke founder and crew member.
The Pitch: How did Chicago Punk Rock Karaoke get its start?
Peñaloza: Punk Rock Karaoke started out of a group of friends in Chicago who were looking for ways to monetarily support the different DIY and community organizations that usually don't have nonprofit status, and are typically run out of the volunteers’ pockets.
When was your first event? Do you guys travel a lot?
We did our first event back in May as a benefit for a local Chicago film festival. We record a lot of our own songs and make the karaoke videos ourselves. We don't travel with PRK that much yet, although we have done an event in Baltimore and are working on expanding a permanent event in NYC where some PRK crew members will be living soon.
The reason it is happening in Lawrence is because two of the five founders/crew members are former townies — me and Patrick Tyrrell. Since we both came down to visit family for the holidays, we thought it [would] be nice to throw an event here to bring in some extra money to a local organization that we both really support. We chose the Social Service League pretty quickly and went from there.
What are some of the bands folks can karaoke to?
Some of the bands included in our catalog are Against Me!, Bikini Kill, Black Flag, Blatz, Bratmobile, Buzzcocks, the Clash, Circle Jerks, Crass, Dead Kennedys, Descendents, Devo, Dickies, the Donnas, Fugazi, Gogol Bordello, Jawbreaker, Joy Division, L7, Los Crudos, Maldita Vecindad, the Members, Minor Threat, the Misfits, NOFX, Operation Ivy, Pixies, Ramones, Rancid, the Rezillos, Sex Pistols, Sleater-Kinney, the Skids, the Smiths, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Specials, Sonic Youth, the Stranglers, Stiff Little Fingers, Undertones, Wire, X, X-Ray Spex
The 21-and-older event runs from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. (encouragement to get there early for optimal song choosing), and cover is $3. Liquid encouragement specials include $3 single, $4.50 Jim Beam.