Thursday, March 12, 2009

JW's Music Factory‎

JW's Music Factorydress:
617 South Dort Highway
Flint, MI 48503

(810) 234-0020

Nights to go: Every night is karaoke
Nights not to go: When the theater students show-up
Waterfall: Yes
Stage: Yes
Glowing Greek Columns: Yes
Living Room: Yes
Follow Karaoke Rules: No
Kids sing Karaoke: Yes, one day a week

To dudes (Erroll and Chase) were singing sad old country songs when we walked in. It was nice going in here and hearing normal people singing instead of the next American Idol contestants that seem to frequent this place. Since the last time I was in JW's they had added a living room. I wanted to drink there but we wouldn't be able to see the stage well. This is one of the few bars in in Flint with a mildly unique interior.

Karaoke here is good. The sound is fair but you get a stage, lights, and a large library of songs to make up for it. I've been here on nights when the place is absolutely packed and there is no room to move. Go on a Saturday or Friday if you dig that. We were there on a Wednesday and it was a great level of not-so-busy. I'll probably come back but, the service was not so good and the DJ skipped my friend three times in the rotation. That pissed me off but, not until after I sang my songs.

Karaoke Rules for Singers and DJ's
For Singer's:
  1. Sing. The words are on the screen. It's easy.
  2. Don't sing in groups unless there is a part for each person, like a duet or Bohemian Rhapsody.
  3. Don't sing Bohemian Rhapsody.
  4. Clap and yell and High-5 when people finish singing.
  5. Songs to not: "Black Velvet," "Me and Bobby McGee," "You Outta Know," "Picture," "Ice Ice Baby," "Baby Got Back." Some of these are karaoke cliche. Some are hard to sing. They all suck. Very few people do a great job. You know who you are. Most people do a terrible job. Thats probably you.
  6. If your friend is singing pay attention to him/her.
  7. If your husband is singing don't start a conversation with someone at the table about what Kenny Loggins songs were on what movie soundtracks because he's trying to sing a damn love song to you.
  8. Jumping in on someone's song is a jerk move. Everyone in the bar likes you a little bit less now. And the singer thinks you should be shot with pig guts.
  9. Buy the DJ a drink.
  10. Be cool.

For DJ's
  1. Don't announce "After Jenny is Rob" and then after Jenny say "We need Angie to come up here now."
  2. Don't sing every other song. Sure the regulars love it, but you're making a lot of other people not your regulars.
  3. If a wedding party comes in and the bride wants to sing a song, let her, don't made the maiden of honor bribe you.
  4. Have songbooks by artist and songbooks by song. Have more by the artist than song.
  5. Replace broken mics. Sure they are a lot of money, but a broken mic at a karaoke bar is pointless.
  6. Don't skip a person in three times in rotation.
  7. Be cool.


  1. I've never been to JW's... I'm going to have to check this out. You put together a good list of songs not to do at karaoke. It doesn't get much worse than listening to someone butcher a song that is way out of their range.

    By the way, thanks for mentioning Kenny Loggins because you gave me an idea for question on an upcoming trivia quiz of mine.

  2. My Friends and I want in on the Fenton Rd Dive crawl. Please email me at with an update. By the way... Tim's Pub is our regular hang out. Let me know next time you go we'll hang out.

    1. timothys Pub is for drips

  3. I've lived in Flint my whole life and never heard of this bar, but it sounds cool. I would also add for DJs: Don't sing, period. Especially if there are people who signed up and ready to sing. I know you think you can sing (you can't) but we want to hear the people who are willing (or unwilling in some cases) to make fools of themselves.

    1. Interesting. Have you ever been to a bar in Flint that does Karaoke and the KJ doesn't sing? Please let me know where that is at. I go all the time and I've never heard of that. Most around here think that the people came in to hear them sing, and not to sing themselves.

    2. Interesting post. You wouldn't happened to know what Bar in Flint you've been to where the Karaoke Host doesn't sing?

      I thought I'd been to all of them. I'd love to go there. A bar in Flint where the host doesn't make himself or herself the center of attention where they think everyone came to hear them sing. That would be a novel approach to Karaoke for the Flint area. If there si it's the only one!

  4. This is an awesome post on karaoke, which stands alone. I don't even care about which bar you are talking about, its true for them all. You should copy and past all the karaoke stuff and put it into a comment on every single blog post about karaoke ever. Rock.

  5. I'd have to be really drunk to sit in one of those overstuffed chairs.

  6. No bars since March 12? What's going on? Is someone on the disabled list? In rehab? Let's get a move on!

  7. Economic downturn? Swine flu? Looks we've got reasons to start drinking again. Plus we've got great bar walkin' weather. Let the games rebegin!

  8. So how many drinks do you need to buy the DJ before he is legally drunk and gets in his vehicle and goes and kills someone?
    If everyone buys the DJ a drink as per rule#9 then he is going to be pretty drunk.
    Just saying...

  9. I think the comment about "theatre kids" was pretty pathetic since they make up a large portion of the karaoke bar income. And especially since few of them are "kids". Many are even college graduates. Can you say graduate? I know you can. Grow up. There are lots of types of songs that people don't like. If you don't like showtunes, then wait for the next song. And for the record... not all theatre folk sing showtunes. I typically start out with Aqualung, for Christ's sake. Yes. I do SOME showtunes from shows like "Hair". But there's a very good chance you don't even know what that is, so my point is lost.

  10. Theater kids are touchy.

  11. Maybe the fact that they don't know what "Hair" is is because you forget what the real world is like sometimes. Touchy fo sho.

  12. It's all the real world; college, drinking, work, art, sports. The crap thing is that he said, 'don't go when the theatre kids go'. How will we know when they go? It's not an actual point of any value, it's just a jab, and it makes the article sound less professional.

    1. Professional? It's not a requirement.

  13. I applaud your comment on the theatre kids. They are loud, gossipy, spiteful and downright annoying. I have never seen more disrespectful people in my life. Most of them aren't even that talented, but boy do they think they are! I try to avoid going to JW's if I know they will be at the bar. I agree with all of your other comments, too especially the Karaoke rules to follow. Rock on!

  14. My two cents.

    Cent 1. You have to know showtunes to recognize showtunes. Thanks for proving my point about theater kids and showtunes. Which means my point was lost on you.
    Cent 2. Professional? No one is paying me. Especially to sing showtunes.

  15. Former Theatre MajorMay 4, 2010 at 8:40 PM

    I can attest to the theatre comment. There are many bars that I have attended with said people and a lot of my friends leave because the theatre crowd are disrespectful of anyone else but their own group when they sing. They could give a F*** less about anyone else singing. They are loud, obnoxious as hell and are usually the reason a lot of customers end up leaving or not coming back. I've seen it happen in more than one spot in flint. They don't have to be "kids" to be immature.

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  17. AAAAh the "theater kids" I know EXACTLY what group you are talking about! Who ever made the comment about them being rude, annoying,disrespectful, self centered etc... You hit it head on! I used to be a regular, regular at JW'S, I would just cringe when I would see them walk in! As far as the rotation problem, I totally agree, that is the main reason I don't go there anymore! The last time I went there 4 years ago, I waited almost 2 hours to sing and ended up leaving when I saw a person get up there for the 3rd time before me! I think that is a pretty Sh*t*y way to treat paying customers, especially one who spends 5 out of seven nights in your bar!

  18. Wow It's now 2012 and these same problems are still going on. The person that initially wrote this should go back and write a follow up. Host's still sing too much. transition time between singers is almost a minute. Sometimes longer. Service is hit and miss. Lighting in the bar is so dark. It doesn't matter if they have books of the songs. You can't read them unless you bring a flash light. Sound has gotten better. But for some reason it get's screwed up after the owner comes in and makes adjustments. One JW's best kept secrets is they actually have pretty decent bar food. But you could go in 20 times in a month and never once be offered a menu. Oh and since 2009 they added a cover charge on the weekends. Isn't it great to be charged to be the entertainment. Gotta make up for the fact that Instead of the Karaoke host spending his time getting people up and going for karaoke he's gotta stop every so often and tell people that they have drink specials and food and to tip the waitress. I thought it was the wait staff's job to sell drinks and food. If they aren't doing it get ones in that will. Quite honestly. I go to sing Karaoke I'm just listening for the name of the singer and the when I'm gonna be called up. SO they are really wasting their time and that of the people that came to sing. Oh and if you expect this place to have the best sound and the most music selection you'd be mistaken. You'd have to go to Yanni's Opa Bar for that. During the week you'll get all the hard core singers. So while there may be only 20 cars in the parking lot. Everyone is singing. Including the host. And because JW's feels it's a slow night it takes even longer to get around the rotation as the transition times between singer drastically increases. They loose on average of 3 to 4 songs an hour (should average 15 - 18 an hour). Due to wasted time between singers JW's averages 11 - 14 an hour. Hard to believe they've been in business for years. Again if ya want 15 - 18 in an hour go to Yanni's When when the Karaoke host owner is running karaoke is isn't that slow.

    1. Couldn't agree more! AND they need to get rid of JW's Karaoke Dj and his side kick he's got hanging around all the time ruining all the music!

  19. After reading all the comments. Things have changed even more. The living room mentioned in the review is gone.

    The host is stuck up in a room where he cannot hear what it sounds like in the bar. Rarely do I see the host's checking their sound.

    JW"s has determined they don't really know what kind of bar they want to be. They now seem to play dance music every hour on the hour whether people want to dance or not. So now I guess they want to be like Jamins on a slow night which is still busier than their slow nights. While not following their format is which is working for Jamins. Jeff, if you're gonna try to steal someone elses success, you can't copy what they are doing half-ass'd. Gotta do it the whole way.
    Service still hit and miss, I really wonder sometimes by the taste of their draft if they actually clean the machines like they say they do. Their Miller lght almost always tastes flat or stale or like farm water.

    THey did finally change the table layout in the bar so that you can walk to the stage so ya don't trip over peoples chairs on the way.
    BTW I never had a problem with the theatre kids. If they get too sing too much it's not their fault. It's the KJ's. The KJ is the one responsible for the rotation.

    Oh, and I don't hear the hosts singing there like I used to. But the transisition times between singers is still terrible.

    And I'd have to agree. WHy is the host telling people about food and drink specials. That is the wait staff's responnsisbility. If they don't want bigger tips. WHy is that the host's concern.