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Crazy Karaoke With Amanda 

9 p.m. Wednesdays, no cover. Thursday's Lounge, 306 E. Exchange St., Akron, 330-253-2651.

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All the hype about Crazy Karaoke with Amanda -- a popular sing-along night billed as "over 35,000 not-so-ordinary songs yo' mama don't got" -- is justified. On our visit, the night kicked off as a college guy in a worn hoodie ripped through "20th Century Boy," followed by a provocative rendition of Fiona Apple's "Criminal" by a brunette who looked like Tori Amos from the cover of the Crucify EP. Loaded with tracks imported from Europe, the files of host Amanda include nuggets like Erasure's "Sometimes," the Psychedelic Furs' "Pretty in Pink," and R.E.M.'s "Nightswimming." Fans of traditional fare needn't worry -- no karaoke night would be complete without "Me and Bobby McGee." And there's not a karaoke snob in the crowd, so you can reach for the hard-to-hit-notes without risking ridicule. Even if you're not willing to belt one out, it's still fun background music for a few cheap beers.

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