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"You've got to pick a good mix of rockin' and something that will please the crowd," Pavlo tells me. "It's not about how good you can sing; it's about getting the crowd's attention and rocking it." I ask him what he's going to sing, and he tells me it's a guilty pleasure. So guilty it's dirty, like a "take-a-shower-and-you-still-feel-it guilty pleasure."

It's '90s night at Rock Idol — the British Bulldog's karaoke knockoff of society's own guilty pleasure, American Idol, taking place every Tuesday through August 28. Contestants are fighting for a cool $1,000, so the competition is sure to get dirty.

According to Pavlo, nothing good came out of the '90s, as far as rock goes. Anything worth listening to from that decade was exclusively hip-hop. But this guilty pleasure of his is sure to bring the house down. The Bulldog's own Ryan Seacrest calls Pavlo's name and the house rolls out the cheers — maybe you could call him a favorite. The anticipation of his secret-weapon '90s chart-topper was killing me. Was it going to be Alice in Chains, or maybe some killer Coolio rhymes? Then it started: "Hand in My Pocket," by Alanis Morissette, and did Pavlo rock it. He sang like a reincarnation of Joe Cocker going through puberty. He was all over the stage, and it was exactly what karaoke is supposed to be. He knew the lyrics; he didn't need a fucking screen feeding him the words. He had the spirit.

But is he going to win? It's hard to say. He's got some tough competition, and with the audience voting, it could go to any of the nine contestants left. Come down to the British Bulldog tonight, 2052 Stout Street. The buy-one-get-one drafts and wells for Rock Idol should help get the masses voting — and blasted. For more information, call 303-295-7974 or go to
Tuesdays. Starts: July 24. Continues through Aug. 28


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