Technology Killed the Jukebox Star

When I lived in (on?) the Lower East Side, my roommate and I, way not cool enough to hang out at the Cool Kid bars that filled the neighborhood, found a home at Iggy's. Iggy'’s was as pubby as you can get below Houston. The drinks were (for New York) affordable, the bartenders were sassy and fun, and right next door was Rush Hour, a burger/sammie place that would deliver right to you. Andrea finagled a guest bartending stint a few times, which meant free drinks every so often.

But the best part about Iggy'’s was its jukebox. The selection was crafted somehow perfectly for us: Prince's "7,"” "“Son of a Preacher Man,"” and the absolute best song to belt out after a gin and tonic (or four), Jeff Buckley'’s "“Last Goodbye."” Let'’s just say a lot of the LES has seen us twirling and singing like rockstars. And when you'’re in with the bartendresses, they give you 20 songs for a dollar. Awesome.

The memories of our own lil'’ local bar make last weekend's discovery that much more sour. Our beloved box has been replaced by a computerized monster. Think about those computer casino games that are in a lot of bars. Gone are the tattered track lists, the flipping of the CD covers to find a new gem. Now, you scroll through a computerized list of artists. And yes, there are many, a much bigger selection than your typical box. But the fun of a jukebox is seeing what limited selection it has to offer...the random mixes that someone pops in, the old school Bel Biv Devoe, the quirk. Computers don'’t know from quirk. And they don't care for Jeff Buckley or Dusty Springfield, either.

And the worst part--the new bartendresses are bitches! If they like your song, they'’ll turn it up. If they don'’t, the volume is so low you might as well have not wasted your $5. Iggy's has really lost its touch. Damn Lower East Side hipsters.


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