"We want to conquer every San Diego karaoke bar with our costumes and choreography," says Danie Caw of the Leo-TARDS. In spandex, corsets, sequins, and fur, the karaoke quartet incorporates into their act dancing, air guitar, and drums, cross-dressing (one of the two male members is named Tranny-TARD), and the occasional lap dance.
"I pick someone from the audience during [Prince's] 'Darling Nikki,' " says Caw, a former dance teacher. "That one usually results in a lot of unwanted phone numbers."
Regarding favorite venues...
"On the weekends, Kearny Mesa Bowl is the way to go," continues Caw. "The crowd is older and consists of adulterous couples letting it loose and keeping an eye open for their significant other. The crowd is very interactive and very, very drunk. The key to this bar is to sign up with each of our names individually but right after each other, so we can perform four songs in a row, twice a night."
Least-favorite karaoke bars are downtown.
"They tend to be on the pretentious side, consisting of yuppie morons that just don't get what we're all about. Drinks have been thrown at us downtown. Sometimes we go down there just to annoy."
The Leo-TARDS perform on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at the Lamplighter in Mission Hills.
"They have a great sound system and the most eclectic karaoke menu in the area. Those gigs always bring our most outrageous groupies. Some have even produced their own Leo-TARD shirts, and they follow us from venue to venue, holding up their lighters."
Caw says female fans often throw panties at Dio-TARD.
"Once, he wore a pair thrown onstage as a bandanna. The next day, he discovered a curious rash on his forehead."