The Baby Bar
827 W. 1st Ave. * 471-1234
I love the Baby Bar for so many reasons -- the intimacy, the bartenders, the d & eacute;cor... But most of all, I love it for its jukebox. This is no hellhole of Sting/Celine Dion adult contemporary; it's a well-chosen smorgasbord of rock (the Pixies, Rolling Stones, the Clash, Reverend Horton Heat, the Violent Femmes), punk (the Sex Pistols, the Cramps), local (the Bucket Riders) and melancholy (the Cowboy Junkies, Leonard Cohen, Natalie Merchant). Other discs of note? The Pogues, Screeching Weasel, Frank Black, the Reservoir Dogs soundtrack, Jets to Brazil and Sunny Day Real Estate. Have Patty whip you up a Maker's Mark Manhattan while you settle in for a little Surfer Rosa or maybe some good ol' Depeche Mode.
Far West Billiards
1001 W. First Ave. * 455-3429
Even aside from its jukebox, this is one of our favorite Spokane haunts. Conveniently located just a few blocks from Inlander HQ, Far West has a nice selection of microbrews, a specialty cocktail menu and, oh yes, the best damn fish tacos in town. Throw in some pool tables and the lovely 1930s hunting lodge d & eacute;cor, and you've got yourself a good time. The jukebox is almost always playing, and they have a pleasing selection of good ol' standards like U2, REM, Prince, the Rolling Stones, Nirvana, Depeche Mode, Tom Petty, Cake, Van Morrison and more.
The Blue Spark
15 S. Howard St. * 838-5787
Arguably one of the best jukeboxes in town, the Blue Spark offers a mouthwatering musical variety hand-picked by the late, great Dan Ellis. There's no way to really describe it without listing some of what we found within its patiently clicking pages. Joy Division. Queens of the Stone Age. Lucinda Williams. Wilco. Iggy Pop. Gary Numan. Tom Jones. George Jones. Radiohead. Los Lobos. Roy Orbison. Pet Shop Boys. Modest Mouse. Portishead. The Ramones. And Cat Stevens, by God. We couldn't help ourselves. Before we knew it, we had thrown in some hard-earned cash and were gleefully rocking out to Modern English and Tom Petty's "American Girl." It just doesn't get any better.
406 W. Sprague Ave. * 838-1570
OK, maybe Mootsy's has the best jukebox in town. It's getting so we can't pick! We had to wait our turn to step up and seek communion within its mesmerizing white glow, but it was well worth it. Check this out: the White Stripes. Hank Williams. PJ Harvey. John Coltrane. Steve Earle. Elliot Smith. Loretta Lynn (Van Lear Rose, not the old stuff!), the Cure, Built to Spill, the Talking Heads, Louis Armstrong, Interpol. Adam & amp; the Ants, and (this one made us very, very happy) ... Pink Martini. You just can't get too down on this town once you see that in a local jukebox.
829 E. Boone Ave. * 483-7460
"It only works sometimes." This is how David's jukebox was described to us by one of the employees. Still, we found it working on the day we visited and noted its largely Adult Contemporary canon. It's got Sheryl Crow. Paula Abdul. Clint Black. Robert Palmer. Alannah Myles. And both the Stevies (Nicks and Wonder). It's also got a few curveballs thrown in there -- notably Poison and Ratt (heh, heh... Ratt). Sprinkled throughout you'll also find REM, Dizzy Gillespie, Tom Waits, U2, the Beatles and even a few locals like Sammy Eubanks.
Publication date: 2/03/05