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Baby Get Back: Seven Bamboo attracts guys like Christian Bateman, Nick Mendoza, Jason Khourg and Jeremiah Glodoveza who love to sing it loud on the weekends.

Citizen Canes

Best place to sing off-key and receive applause

By Will Harper

Seven Bamboo
162 Jackson St, San Jose 408.279.9937

LET US BEGIN our lesson by sharing the recipe for a great karaoke bar: First, assemble an extensive songlist with a healthy dose of nostalgia. Next, provide a pleasant, not too crowded atmosphere for crooning customers. Finally, add a generous amount of alcohol.

Put it all together, and you've got Seven Bamboo, the hippest place to toss back a Sapporo and perform tunes of yesteryear.

Because Seven Bamboo attracts a younger crowd--the bar is located in Japantown, less than a mile away from San Jose State University--the songs of yesteryear are "Love Shack" by the B-52's and "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-a-Lot (the latter of which always gets play here).

Unlike other karaoke places, annoying glee club alumni don't rule the stage here, though they still have a palpable presence.

Personally, I find the glass-shattering note-killers more entertaining than the Wayne Newton and Mariah Carey wannabes. Seven Bamboo has just the right mix of karaoke all-stars, drunken frat boys singing off-key and tipsy young chick-cliques singing "Like a Virgin."

The songlist, however, isn't limited to '80s and early '90s kitsch classics. There are plenty of Johnny Cash, Sinatra, Beatles and Partridge Family tunes.

The beauty of Bamboo is that it entirely lacks pretension. My friend ordered a Long Island Iced Tea, which was served to him in a glass with a bendy straw.

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From the June 22-28, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.

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