Best Jukebox 

George Kaye's

Most jukes are full of all the old clichés you've heard a million times: "Jumpin' Jack Flash," "Roadhouse Blues," "Purple Haze," "Hound Dog," "Respect" -- you know 'em. Not to dis the stuff; it has its place, but it gets a bit tiresome to walk into the same old dives and to see the old crowds of soused off-duty truckers wailing: "She's a haaaaaaaaaaaawnkey-tonk woooman." From the outside, Kaye's looks like the same kind of place, but its jukebox would challenge the sensibilities of any self-respecting hick. Sure, they've got the Doors, Hendrix, Aretha, and all that. But this machine has a refreshing variety, with the Pixies, X, Devo, and Boss Hog rubbing shoulders with Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Al Green, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. There's Irish drinking fare such as the Pogues and the Chieftains to accompany your pint. And while Kaye's includes the '90s East Bay punk compilation Shit Gets Smashed and Big Black's Songs About Fucking, it's not too punk for Steely Dan's Aja. Don't forget the crooners (Sinatra, Orbison, and Brenda Lee); some country (Patsy Cline), and even Pavarotti, all of whom tag-team with the likes of Squat, Jawbreaker, and the Buzzcocks. It's probably the only jukebox on earth that carries obscure Italian new wave band CCCP. Of course, there are a few obvious genre gaps: Pack some choice hip-hop CDs into this sucker and it'd be golden.


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