The Loser's Lounge, which convenes every few months at Fez to honor a rock-era songwriter, is a goof that evolved into a modestly profitable sideline for keyb man Joe McGinty and his permanent floating backup band the Kustard Kings. With its one-song-per-singer format, it's also a cunningly choreographed showcase where strong-piped inhabitants of the music-biz fringe can escape the vexation of selling themselves in a buyer's market. McGinty is a pop guy rather than a rock guy—Burt Bacharach kicked off the series in 1993, soon followed by Jim Webb, Henry Mancini, Neil Diamond, Carole King. But gradually he and his troupe of karaoke overachievers ventured out toward the Kinks and Fleetwood Mac. When a friend celebrated her birthday at the 2001 Roxy Music show, I was happy to... More >>>