Put Another Dime in the Jukebox, Baby

Sigh, We see you there Baltimore… Standing there staring at the jukebox, playing with your hair while you sip your Jameson and coke, shifting your weight from hip to hip in a not-unsexy way. We noticed the way you matched your favorite Chucks to a Betsey Johnson bag and threw in a seasonal scarf just for good measure, and we like your style. So naturally we presume your taste in music is at least as good, and we’re watching to see which three songs you’ll get for your dollar.

You’re taking your time… perhaps looking for something in particular. Or maybe you’re one of those who needs to make a point by deliberately choosing the most obscure hipster record in the entire machine. That’s okay. Just as long as you don’t try to pull any *ironic* nonsense and select some crap like Motley Crue. Doctor Feelgood will not make me feel all right. And you’re probably not even gonna fuck the bartender for blow. (Probably…)

A visual approximation of the Chop at the juke.

So we wait. And finally we see you punch the buttons. We perk up our ears and what do we hear? Wait… no. Is that Animal Collective? Fleet Foxes? Holy shit, I have to suffer through Vampire Weekend? Are you a freshman at MICA or something? Journey? Fucking Journey!? Again? Seriously? Are you not tired of this shit yet? Do you think the whole bar really sees you as the tragic heroine with the heart of gold because you played Journey? Or maybe you don’t actually realize that 3 other morons are going to punch A-13 before last call, because they didn’t stop believin’ either.

So come over here Baltimore. Sit down next to the Chop, and we’re going to buy you a drink and have a talk about your musical taste and the do’s and don’ts of the jukebox.

The Chop is no stranger to jukes of all types, and we’re not afraid to stick a twenty in there and punch buttons all night long. We’ve even, on occasion, cleared out an entire bar on purpose playing songs no one wanted to hear. But we use our powers for good as well. So heed this advice the next time you come to the bar straight from the laundromat with 20 quarters in your pocket: skip your date with the Megatouch and play a couple of Chop-approved tracks instead.

There are only three simple rules to remember when you step up to the juke. In the kind of places your dad hangs out, it can be hard to find songs that meet all three, but where we see you out Baltimore, at RTV and Club Chuck and the like, these rules aren’t that hard to follow.

Three steps to a great jukebox selection:

1/ Pick a song by a popular artist, which hasn’t been ruined by being played to the point of over-saturation and fatigue.

2/ Pick a song with a good backbeat and a catching rhythm. You should be tapping your fingers and nodding your head a few bars in. By the end you should break into a full-on strut.

3/ Everyone in the room should be able to hear the song, and instantly feel like they had picked it themselves. It should make everyone feel that much cooler just for having heard it, thereby making the whole bar that much cooler.

We were going to give you the Chop’s top ten jukebox picks here, but instead we’ve decided to go all 1980’s sitcom style and make this a two part post to be continued tomorrow. Tune in then: same Chop time, same Chop channel.