If you don't already spend a lot of time listening to syrupy Chinese ballads as loud as local ordinances will allow, your first visit to August Karaoke Box might prove a little intimidating. From minimally soundproofed booths, exchange-student cliques speaking every Asian language will be singing an unplanned mash-up of J-Rock, K-Pop, and American Top 40. At the front desk, an inaudible attendant will ask you and your group how much time and which refreshments you want and point you to your own minimally soundproofed booth.
Inside, your tech-savviest friend will navigate an enormous catalog that has been alphabetized by multiple competing, totally incompatible methods. English songs will look suspiciously like ripped and mislabeled YouTube videos. You are not August Karaoke Box's audience, as it turns out. But that unaffected indifference breeds the best kind of authenticity: You'll come out of your booth as bewildered and giddy as if you'd just daytripped to Tokyo, and excited that you'll only have to drive to Tempe to be bewildered again.