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But what will you do at these dives?


I was going to comment in the “Best Dive Bar” post, but Hotrod has apparently made my thoughts irrelevant. Also I’m not getting involved in a conversation that claims that the Rustic and the Belknap are dives – cheap, strong drinks + pull tabs ≠ a dive bar. So I guess I’ll start a new entry:

Along with the drinking season comes drunkenness, which often leads to plugging the jukebox with your boozing money. (Alcohol, as we may remember, impairs judgment.) I believe these to be among the greatest songs you can punch in.

For what it’s worth, my selections are based on a couple of factors. These include:

a) Length of song I like the Minutemen and all that, but I can’t rationalize spending money for 45 seconds of music.
b) Likelihood everyone in the bar knows the words Because when you’ve got a roomful of drunken strangers and you want to be amused, few things are better than spontaneous karaoke.
c) Odds that my choice will piss off almost everyone Every once in a while, you need to put the party in check.
d) And, of course: Total awesomeness of the track.

+ “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” by Meat Loaf: Goddamn, this is a long song. And it’s got Phil Rizzuto giving the play-by-play of Meat Loaf trying to hook up with some girl. Best of all, there are no ambiguous feelings about this song – half the people will be stoked that it’s on and the others will be asking, “Is this still that song?” Any time you can create dichotomy in a bar, you are doing something good.

+ Anything by Hank Williams, Johnny Cash or Willie Nelson: You rarely will go wrong. Plus it’s pretty funny when Willie sings, “Hello, ceiling …”

+ “Take This Job and Shove It” by Johnny Paycheck: It depends on where you’re at, but if beers cost less than $3 and it’s mid-afternoon, you can bet that someone in the place has recently quit a job. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to hear the whole story, with all the embellishments.

+ “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen: Everyone knows the words. If they have a BAC above 0.04, they will sing along. During the “Galileo” section, vocal cords will be shredded. Excellent. (See also: “American Pie” by Don McLean.)

+ “Coma” by Guns N’ Roses (on Use Your Illusion II): I actually like this song, but it’s ridiculously long – even after hearing it roughly 500 times at the bar that used to be across the street from Centerfolds, I still can’t tell when it’s wrapping up. If you play this song back-to-back, you will have some explaining to do.

+ “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” by the Georgia Satellites: One time, we were in Curly’s at like 3pm and I put this on. The place erupted; I didn’t think anything could get that sort of reaction out of a group like that short of a career-ending Bret Favre sack. Bonus: Brad Nelson told me that he got passed in a ski race by a guy singing this song and it utterly demoralized him, and that still makes me laugh.

+ “Flirtin’ With Disaster” by Molly Hatchet: This is the official soundtrack of every barroom scrap that began because … uh … well, that guy said something


for my pissing everyone off in the entire bar dollar, i enjoy shellac "Didn't We Deserve a Look at You the Way You Really Are" (track 1 on terraform). they have it on the juke at the reef. it's, like, 20 minutes long and goes nowhere. awesome.

1. Track 1 or 2 of Husker Du's Land Speed Record. They have the album at the Capri (or at least used to, haven't been in a while) and never realized that track 1 is side A of the entire album and track 2 is side B.

2. The Wanderer by U2. Johnny Cash singing quite a good song, but the best part is that it ends with about 45 seconds of silence and then a half minute of a shrill beeping that makes the bartender run to the skip track button. Used to play this one at Joker's Wild just to stir up the crowd.

3. For He's a Jolly Good Fellow. Some bars have a music for all occasions cd in there jukebox, I think in case anybody wants to play happy birthday. Nothing has cracked me up more than watching peoples' faces as the music goes from Pearl Jam to this song.

4. Alice's Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie. Before the Anchor got that new fangled intrenet jukebox, still an abomination in a place like the Anchor, you could hear this song 3 or 4 time a night if you sat long enough. 18 minutes and 20 seconds. Nuff said.

for the record, i made an error. shellac is on the juke at the CAPRI. not the REEF. but, to be fair, everything at the reef pisses ME off.

COMA!!!! Me and Cork used to play that constantly at Fat Daddy's. It was great, Centerfolds had 2 for 1's from 4-7, Fat Daddy's had em from 8-11...

If they have music for all occasions CD, another great song to play is Pomp and Circumstance.

1.) Fly Like an Eagle - S. Miller (we even had hand motions made up for a good deal of this tune)

2.) Magic Carpet Ride - S. Wolf (played in rapid, rabid succession along with Fly Like an Eagle.)

3.) Show Me The Way To Go Home -

4.) (I'm Just A) Redneck In a Rock And Roll Bar - J. Reed (Now, there ain't no sexy dresses, and there ain't no beehive hair, Just boys who look like girls, Who look like boys, who look like Cher...)


5.) Stray Cat Strut - S.Cats (nuff said.)

You cant go wrong playing Rush "2112", Allman Brothers "Mountain Jam" from the Eat a Peach cd and Yes "Awakenings" Throw 2 bucks in the juke box with these and you own the tunes for almost 2 hours!

I know when we stopped at Schultz's, Sweet Caroline was always played. Neil Diamond is the God of Kitsch.

My friend put about seven dollars worth of "Pancho and Lefty" in the juke at Mickey's Diner round about 2:00 in the morning. We heard three and a half of them before music was cut out all together.

Back when West Duluth had a pool hall, there were a couple of idiots who played about $3 worth of Super Bowl Shuffle. They thought it was hilarious, after the 4th time the humor was lost on us.

we'd do the same with The Pogues and Frank Sinatra when I used to haunt the Five Point back in Seattle. man we'd piss people off some nights. load up the juke with $20 worth of the aforementioned picks and chug down pitcher after pitcher of Red Hook.

I always play Piano Man by Billy Joel - it's my go to bar jukebox song. I consider the nite successful when at least three other drunkards are belting out the lyrics.

There's a bar out in west D that apparently has included heavy death metal in their rotation, and a friend of mine's favorite thing to do is play that and watch the faces on everyone get more and more annoyed.

I don't know what band it is -- maybe Grim Reaper? -- what song or what album, but Hotrod has told me about a "song" they play that basically involves someone digging a grave and then beating someone else to death with the shovel. I want to think it's about 10 minutes long. Total buzzkill.

See, those jukeboxes which are connected to the Internet are good for something ...

I was at a bar a while ago on a Saturday night and all the standards were being played, and everyone was having a good time. Then some girl put in like 10 Elliott Smith dirges in a row. Well played, ma'am.

This one of the most lame song choices I have heard in a while. A buddy and I were out at Horseshits poolhall out in the West End and apparently it was Rednecks v. Thugs league that night. Anyway, someone thought they were very clever and decided to play "Rack Em' Up" by Johnny Lang like 5 times. I don't think I need to explain how rediculous that was.

You can't go wrong with Black Betty (wham biddam)as heard at Hugo's in Brimson.

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