Ten Favorite Metro Phoenix Jukeboxes
You think you can be a jukebox hero? The jukebox at Shady's can make you feel like one.
Jason P. Woodbury
See also: Top 10 Songs for Jukebox Warfare
In the hands of a capable coin-popper, an Internet jukebox can be a great thing. A little far out Tropicália? That sounds nice. Some classic funk from Parliament? Yes, please. The deep cuts cost more, but can really set the mood.
So we're not putting down the idea of the internet jukebox, but rarely does it bring out the best sounds from a crowd. More often it enables people to quickly pick the same shitty shit you heard scanning the radio dial on the drive to the bar.
We like old school jukeboxes a lot more, the kind that demonstrate and reflect the taste of an establishment (or lack of). We like jukeboxes stuffed with discs, or at least a well-pruned digital playlist. We like the idea of that glowing box in the corner actually saying something about where you are.
These jukeboxes do just that. So welcome to our 10 favorite jukeboxes in the Valley. Leave yours in the comments section.
Not that the juke box at P.V. is always easy to get access...
The jukebox in Q & Brew doesn't have a particularly expansive collection of music, but what it does have it perfectly suited for shooting pool. You won't find club hits or the latest indie flavor-of-the-month, just music that reflects the no-nonsense nature of the place: Tom Petty, GNR, and classic rock collections. You're not going to hear anything particularly surprising, but it all works for that moment you're trying (and most likely failing) to make that corner shot.
No, it's not a juke box in the strict sense, meaning there's no 45s or CDs, but the customer accessible iPad works just like one, minus the money. The staff at Cornish Pasty Co. stock it with indie rock, vintage punk, and offbeat pop, and the carefully assembled tracks fit the ambiance of the place to a T. Yeah, it's an iPad, but it's more jukebox than those select-whatever-you-want Internet cubes.
The "Dirty Verde" is a punk rock kinda place, and the juke there has got all the basics: retro heavy metal like Sabbath and proto-punk like The Stooges. Don't bother looking for trendy hits; like the beer here, the music's not super fresh but manages to hit the spot.
Giligin's is a mixed bag. Literally. The mixes in the jukebox are supplied by patrons, so the sounds can range from the surfy, fratty fare of Sublime to more bumping Scottsdale electronic hits.
The haul out to Queen Creek from the Valley isn't a short one, but Norton's makes a day trip to the "far East" worth it. The jukebox is stocked with vintage country classics like Dwight Yoakam and George Strait, but best of all are oddball selections like Prince. Don't let anyone tell you cowboys can't get funky when they want to.
No one is going to argue that you should eat at Waffle House, but it's nice to know that if you ever find yourself, say, buzzed at 3:30 in the morning, staring down a plateful of covered and smothered hash browns, you'll have a surprisingly varied collection of classic rock 'n' roll, boogie woogie, doo wop, modern country, and pop to help you choke 'em down. (Don't get snobby, you know it's happened to you.)
With its laidback biker vibe, TT Roadhouse is a nice place to chill. The jukebox is renowned, too, featuring CDs from The Misfits, The Clash, Elvis Costello, and The Specials. Local promoter and music fan Tyler King puts it best: "[There's] a few hidden gems that you have to be an insider to know the track number. Yes, you can "Rick Roll" a roomful of weekend warrior bikers." That's our kind of jukebox warfare.
The Ice House Tavern is unique place. Where else can you sip a cold one while watching a Zamboni cruise the rink of the Arcadia Ice Arena? Yeah, the bar overlooks the ice (you've got to cruise around back to get in), and that's not the only way co-owner Daryl Chester has made the bar singular: He's stocked the jukebox with strictly local CD selections. His favorite? Compound by The Relics.
The two-tone cartoon character on Shady's sign tips nicely to the kind of music that stocks the jukebox: Brit pop, vintage alternative, mod, and punk classics. The unpretentious vibe of the place is well-suited to the sounds, which extend from soulful tunes by Al Green to morose alternative pop from The Smiths. Bonus: Compilations like Legend City and Hot Phoenix Soul Sides From the Vaults of Hadley Murrell 1964-1972 offer unparallelled vintage Phoenix sounds.
She's a beaut.
With a gorgeous, fully function Seeburg machine, MacAlpine's has the lock on vintage tunes (and vintage everything else: food, sodas, milkshakes, etc).
Stocked with 45s by Fats Domino, Booker T. and The M.G.s, and Ricky Nelson, the songs are proceeded by a warm pop and crackle. Sure, anyone with a pinup calendar in mind can go for a vintage diner feel, but attention to detail (and the presence of actual vintage stuff) keeps MacAlpine's at roaring as leaders of the jukebox pack.
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