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Bar Jukeboxes

"Dude -- more U2!" seems to be the usual method of stocking jukeboxes. But at a few bars around town, the music choices are eclectic and thoughtful. Here, great spots to be your own D.J.

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1. Rudy's Bar
A grotty throwback to the glory days of Hell's Kitchen, where the only thing better than the $7 pitchers is the jazz- and blues-heavy jukebox, with artists from Herbie Mann to Willie Dixon to Muddy Waters. (627 Ninth Avenue, near 44th Street; 212-974-9169.)

2. Joe's Bar
The smoke can be suffocating (even for pack-a-dayers), but the beer's cheap, and no other bar offers better country, from the true blue (Merle Haggard, Patsy Cline) to the crossovers (Faith, Shania). (520 East 6th Street; 212-473-9093.)

3. O'Connors
If you can tear yourself away from the stream of vintage sitcoms on the TV, you'll find equally time-warped CDs on the juke: obscure sixties British invasion (the Small Faces, the Zombies, the Pretty Things) and seventies power-pop (Big Star, the Raspberries). (39 Fifth Avenue, near Bergen Street, Brooklyn; 718-783-9721.)

4. Boat
An extensive beer selection, working fireplace, and plenty of seats round out the draw for Brooklyn hipsters, who come to take over the indie-rock juke, replete with Slint, Iggy Pop, Dinosaur Jr., Kraftwerk, Sonic Youth, Pell Mell. . . . (175 Smith Street, near Warren Street, Brooklyn; 718-254-0607.)

5. Dick's Bar
Regulars miss the porn-playing TVs, but this gay dive bar in the East Village still draws a crowd, with New York's best New Wave (Nina Hagen, Lene Lovich) and punk (the Adverts, X-ray Spex). (192 Second Avenue; 212-475-2071.)


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