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Happiest Hour

The Reno's Karaoke

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Who's hosting: Jesse LaRocque isn't just a KJ at the Reno bar in East Missoula, queueing up songs for out-of-tune drunks. He's also a DJ/VJ who plays some of his own mash-ups between karaoke songs and projects music videos on a big screen for everyone's viewing pleasure. You might see the Flying Lizards' 1979 video "Money, That's What I Want" or Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It." In other words, cool videos you haven't laid eyes on since MTV got so lame a decade ago.

What you're drinking: If you hit happy hour between 4 and 6:30 p.m. any day of the week, you get 75 cents off any drink. But if you're showing up for karaoke to belt out some tunes, you're drinking a Pabst pounder for $3.

What you're singing: Almost anything. The karaoke books are gigantic and organized by song and artist. Bad English? Check. MGMT? Check. Garth Brooks? Of course.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE RENO CASINO
  • Photo courtesy of the Reno Casino

Who you're drinking/singing with: A diverse crowd. On a recent late night, the dance floor is populated with a handful of bachelor and bachleorette partiers wearing dangerously short shorts and tube socks, plus one white-haired older gentleman in worn Levis who, frankly, has some pretty slick moves. The karaoke singers were a mix of talent, but one top-notch singer tackled Cherry Poppin' Daddies "Zoot Suit Riot" with nary a stumble.

When to go: You could spend a full Saturday at the Reno, which provides $2 drafts, breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus a free Griz bus into town on game days. But if you want to get your karaoke on, just stroll in any Friday, Saturday or Sunday night at 9 p.m. and live out your singing fantasy.

How to find it: The Reno Casino bar and restaurant sits in plain view at 3650 Highway 200 East, in East Missoula.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender, or beverage for Happiest Hour, e-mail editor@missoulanews.com.

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