Awesome rock & roll jukeboxes
Wed Jul 6 2011
Photograph: Virginia Rollison
Become a DJ hero by popping some coins into one of these well-stocked players.
It takes a long time to scroll through owner Ray Gish's infectious, indie-rock-leaning mixes, beloved holdovers from his bartending days at fellow Slope watering hole Great Lakes. It takes so long, in fact, that the bar has a designated jukebox stool so you don't throw your back out while choosing from its varied but consistently cool selections by the likes of Wire, Captain Beefheart, Dinosaur Jr., Guided by Voices and the Dead Boys. Save some dough for your (amazing, we're sure) song set by opting for $3 High Lifes.
Play this: 64-01, the Modern Lovers, "Roadrunner"
497 Fifth Ave at 12th St, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-768-2040). Mon--Fri 3pm--4am; Sat, Sun 2pm--4am. One song 25.
About a second after descending into this garden-level haunt in the south 'Burg, you'll realize you're in metal country. If the hellish red lightbulbs lining the ceiling don't give this away, the crunchy power chords blaring from the speakers, and the tattoo-covered clientele downing PBRs (a mere $1 a pop before 9pm) will. And yeah, the joint's box leans heavily toward hard-hitting, ghoulish stuff (Cannibal Corpse, Mastodon, Cro-Mags), but you'll also find some nonheadbanging cuts (keep an eye out for the nice frat-rock comp). On Sundays, you can play whatever seedy songs you fancy for free.
Play this: 59-03, the Cramps, "Rockin Bones"
168 Marcy Ave between Broadway and South 5th St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-599-2092, duffsbrooklyn.com). Daily 6pm--4am. Two songs $1, five songs $2.
Holiday Cocktail Lounge
Meat-and-potatoes classic rock just sounds better at this inviting East Village mainstay. Don't believe us? Settle into one of its comfy leather booths, order a Bud-and-whiskey combo ($7), and nod along to the Boss, Zeppelin and British Invasion bands—then try and tell us we're wrong.
Play this: 67-05, Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Lodi"
75 St. Marks Pl between First and Second Aves (212-777-9637). Daily 6pm--4am. Two songs $1, five songs $2, 15 songs $5.
You can catch a free gig almost every night at this Alphabet City bar, but what really helps the place ooze retro-rock cool is its killer 99-album-strong jukebox. Choose from '60s stompers by Them, the Strangeloves and a host of little-known Nuggets-era garage acts. Refuel between picks with a PBR draft and a healthy well shot ($7 for both).
Play this: 89-02, Johnny Thunders, "You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory"
162 Ave B between 10th and 11th Sts (212-529-8463, lakesidelounge.com). Daily 4pm--4am. Two songs $1, five songs $2, 15 songs $5.
Don't let the name fool you. There aren't any life-size Kiss statues or other ridiculous hard-rock trappings at this welcoming LES drinkery. There is, however, a surprisingly strong jukebox that boasts early- to mid-aughts breakouts like Interpol, Arcade Fire, Kings of Leon, as well as party-rock standbys like Thin Lizzy and Cheap Trick.
Play this: 25-01, Television, "See No Evil"
66 Rivington St at Allen St (212-228-4667, themarshallstack.com). Mon--Wed 4pm--2am; Thu, Fri 4pm--4am; Sat 1pm--4am; Sun 1pm--2am. Two songs $1, five songs $2, 13 songs $5.
The topic of conversation along the small wooden bar at this friendly, no-frills pub often revolves around the tunes playing overhead. So choose wisely—not that you can really go wrong; Sackett's indie-rock selection is solid, hitting Modest Mouse's raw This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About, Belle and Sebastian, and the late garage-punk legend Jay Reatard, and is peppered with rock-snob favorites such as Syd Barrett and the Velvets.
Play this: 62-02, Pavement, "Elevate Me Later"
661 Sackett St between Fourth and Fifth Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-622-0437, thesackett.com). Mon--Thu, Sun 4pm--1am; Fri--Sat 4pm--3am. Three songs $1, seven songs $2, 18 songs $5.