Sing, damn you, sing

Everybody knows where to ski, but who really knows where to karaoke?

You know how it is. You get up on the hill, spend all day on the mountain boarding or skiing, and after the last lift closes, you feel like having a good time with your friends. You want to hang out, maybe have a beer or two, chat—maybe even burst out in song.

The Tahoe Basin offers winter-sports enthusiasts a plethora of locales to indulge their sport of choice. But what many don’t know is that the Tahoe Basin boasts another attraction—a place to enjoy the most under-appreciated pastime ever, karaoke.

I found this gem last year after skiing at the Homewood Mountain Resort. The day had been awesome. Though small, Homewood Mountain has incredible views of Lake Tahoe.

It was definitely enough for me—the occasional alpine-skier who’s out to appreciate the outdoor air and the company as well as the sport. We had arrived around 11 a.m. and skied until about 4 o’clock.

And there I was, drenched in my post-ski snow-sweat, my hair matted from being snuggled beneath my sweaty knit beanie, my nose and cheeks a bright red. I guess we would have ended up in Reno if we hadn’t seen the large sign posted outside the Blue Agave in Tahoe City: “Karaoke.” Or maybe it was that Blind Melon song playing on the radio—the one we karaoked to years ago when we were English Lit majors at UNR.

The Blue Agave is in one of the few historic buildings left in Tahoe City.

It’s actually a Mexican-style restaurant bar, in which all the moose heads over the myriad fireplaces are strung with Mardi Gras beads and sombreros. Every Tuesday night, beginning around 8 or 9 p.m., they host karaoke night—but it’s not your typical karaoke scene.

Since Tahoe City is a small town, you won’t find a crowded bar and an endless list of fellow warblers to sing before you. It’s the perfect atmosphere to take you and a group of close friends—the sort you don’t mind serenading. It’s the sort of place where everyone should know your name and eventually will.

It was there that I sang my first big “hit”: “Baby Got Back.” Someone even captured the moment on video—sunburned face and all.

Another selling point: for dark-brew lovers like me, Guinness is available on tap. Nothing ends the ski day like some badly sung rock ’n’ roll and a tall glass of liquid bread.