Los Angeles is home to some of the best record stores in the world, whether…
Few things in life are more rewarding than walking into a bar, going up to the jukebox, finding the perfect song. When a carefully curated jukebox has a deep selection of classic albums, obscure indie bands and fans-only favorites, and you throw down your best tracks against your friends, you achieve a special state of extreme badassedness, especially when you can pull that off on a vinyl jukebox. We wish this could be a vinyl only list, but we realized that’s an extremely tall order, and we have to give credit where credit is due, to all of the Los Angeles establishments who still pay homage to the cultural institution that is the jukebox.
This may not sound like a complement, but Three Clubs seems like a place that Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave would meet up to shoot heroin. It’s very dark, it embodies the style and comforts of another era, but it has a version of class that is almost so out of place in 2018 that it becomes a little seedy. Their jukebox is CD based, but its selection is fantastic and covers some bases that really suit their environment, and put them on the map as one of our favorite Los Angeles jukebox landmarks.
THE 101 COFFEE SHOP
There’s no better place to get the old school Los Angeles coffee shop experience, and play some incredible music, than The 101 Coffee Shop. An institution for generations of hipsters, but in this case the hipsters got it right. Hanging out here you get to touch a bygone that we all seem to long for, a simpler time that was richer in many ways, but somehow we keep pushing further away from into the complexity of technology. Great food, awesome jukebox, need we say anymore?
Another great fixture of the classic Los Angeles coffee shops, Swingers is well known for having a very eclectic jukebox. Their selection over the years has included titles from artists as diverse as Bjork, The Smiths and Link Wray. After a night out at Hollywood clubs, most likely listening to some form of the current top-40 music being blasted at a volume that makes it almost impossible to realize how bad it really is, Swingers lets you unwind over some great food, conversation with your friends with a background of incredible music.
A whiskey bar that is as luxurious and handsomely decorated as you could possibly hope for, with the added bonus of an amazing selection of tracks on their jukebox. Some nights they have a live jazz combo, which is always a great night out too. But my favorite nights here are those when you get to pick out tracks from the albums you love, enjoy some incredible whiskey cocktails and just talk about music.
Not the first place that may come to mind when you think of jukebox, but they have them, and the also have a pastrami sandwich that’s so good, it could make many vegetarians rethink their stance on eating meat. This place is caught in a time-warp, but in the best way possible. When you’re here enjoying one of the best late night food spots anywhere in the world, listening to Elvis, you start to realize what a special place Los Angeles is, and how lucky those are who explore it and discover its secrets.