When people get drunk they want to feel either really happy or really sad. It’s a lot easier to achieve both of these states when accompanied by a personalized soundtrack — which is why jukeboxes are so popular. But to bartenders apparently, everybody’s sad/happy songs sound the same.
Where she presides: The Cellar, East Village
Favorite drink: Storm Trooper — Patron Silver, Coffee Patron, Bailey’s
People don’t play the jukebox here much, because we have DJs so often. There are songs though. Personally I’m gonna say that ‘Mother’ song, just cause I’ve heard it so many times and his voice is really grating. My boss is gonna’ kill me. She loves that song. That’s pretty much it. I did work in a previous bar though, and anything by Beyoncé. And that awful OutKast song that everyone sings along to. Late at night they’ll play it — people are drunk and jumping around and singing along.
KateWhere she presides: The Pit Stop, Greenpoint
I can’t remember any of the titles. There are so many annoying songs. I’m sorry. I can’t think of anything. [A man chimes in from down the bar] How about those guys playing those Eminem and 50 Cent songs all the time — doesn’t that get on your nerves? [Kate] Not really. [Another man at the bar] Kate is too nice, she likes everything and everyone.
Where he presides: Turkey’s Nest, Greenpoint
Favorite drink: Not sure, but he strikes us as a whiskey man
Oh yeah, there is a fucking one — it goes on for about 15 minutes. What’s the name of that song again? I listen to it every week and I can’t remember the name. ‘Freebird’! That’s it. It goes on forever. When it comes on and the owner is here, he cuts it off. The old man hates it. ‘Freebird’ is a song that he despises. Doesn’t take it off the jukebox though. I’m immune to it by now. But it does go on forever. And on a Friday night you hear it like half-a-dozen times. When I leave here I have to put on classical music to drive home. Otherwise I’ll go home shaking.
Where he presides: The Abbey, Williamsburg
Favorite drink: Stoli Vanilla Pineapple
It’s a toss up between ‘Back in Black’ and anything by ‘Jay-Z’. It’s not that they’re bad songs, they’re just on all the time. That’s why having the iPod now is so great. I put it that on — it’s a challenge for me to keep people away from that motherfucker [pointing towards jukebox]. Cuz I’m sick of everything in it. It’s really ruined a lot of great songs for me.
Where she presides: Finnerty’s, Third Avenue
Favorite drink: Ketel One on the rocks
Let’s see — there’s so many of them. Anything by Metallica usually irritates the dogshit out of me. [Conor the bouncer chimes in] How about that Candyshop song? [Fashawna] Nah, that doesn’t really annoy me. [The barback enters the conversation] How about that Gwen Stefani song — ‘Holler Back’ [Fashawna] Oh yeah, I hate that song! [Barback] And for the love of Christ, the live version of ‘Friends in Low Places’. [Conor] Oh yeah, ‘Friends in Low Places’ sucks!
Where she presides: Nice Guy Eddie’s, East Village
Favorite drink: What the Fuck — Contents of drink cannot be revealed
There’s a lot of songs. I can’t think of anything right off the bat though. Oh, wait a second. ‘Black Betty’ — whatever it’s called — the one that goes "Whoa Black Betty, bam-ba-lam." [For the record, the song is, as one always somehow suspected, called ‘Black Betty’. It’s by Ram Jam, and it is rawking awesome].