Top 10 Jukeboxes in Los Angeles
For all the best of L.A. music, download our free Best Of Mobile app.
See Also: Best Hip Hop Jukebox in a Dive Bar
An amazing jukebox will tell exactly how connected bartenders and their bosses are to their patrons and the moods they want to create.
This list is composed of those heroes that wouldn't dare let you drink to the adolescent caterwauling of some bullshit Justin Bieber or nu metal. And those freewheeling digital jukeboxes that might allow an interloper to insert crap into your bar's precious soundscape? No way -- we omitted those bars for that very reason. But the following ten establishments understand exactly why you make well-curated music-making machines available to the masses.
10. Max's Steiner (or Candi Bar or ... whatever it is at night)
Genuine shithole dives always seem to disappoint in the music department -- whether it's the house Staind cover band or the ever-present bar-rat that can't resist playing Journey's "Open Arms" over and over. Well, the grimiest shithole dive we know (and we mean that with the utmost love and admiration), Long Beach's Max's Steiner, has upped the game -- they keep you bumping and grinding to dive-appropriate albums from AC/DC, the Stray Cats and yes, the Scorpions. There's nothing like blasting "The Winds of Change" to a Hasn't-Changed-in-50-Years bar crowd.
9. Cinema Bar
Fine, they're physically the closest bar to LA Weekly's offices and they don't even put copies of our paper in their doorway. We're okay with that, "Speak Freely" and whatnot. Despite that, we're more than willing to put Cinema Bar at number nine on our list for their commitment to locals and outliers. It's kind of hard to find a bar with an out-of-the-box country selection that won't make you want to slit your wrists -- thankfully for the twang-lovers, they've got former Angeleno Mike Stinson's entire catalog, Lucinda Williams and local country balladeer Patty Booker.
8. The Roost
Let Marty Be Your Wingman
The Roost's spot on this list is anchored by its collection of musical reasons to drink. If two Elliot Smith albums don't put you in instant bender territory, we don't know what else will. They've taken the cinematic soundtrack element to new heights with Marty Robbins' Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs -- if a shot of whiskey doesn't give you the courage to seal the deal, Robbins' "Big Iron" sure will.
1800 Hillhurst Ave., Los Angeles, CA