Credit: Eileen Mesler

“I started working at a record store when I was 15, and I’m an organizational freak, so I organize the jukebox like a record store,” explains Matt Rucins, talent buyer and jukebox hero at Schubas. “I have it by section, alphabetized within the section. There’s a classic-rock section, a punk section—country/folk, hip-hop, world music.”

Rucins’s meticulous monthly curation of the nearly 100 albums in the Schubas jukebox is guided not only by a never-ending influx of releases from local and national touring acts, but also by the sheer pleasure of getting to be the DJ. His selections—and their lifespans—are a reflection of his distinct taste at a given time. Of course, some things never change. The Zombies’ Odessey and Oracle, for instance, has been tucked away in the jukebox for well over a decade.

The Reader wanted to know about your Odessey and Oracle. What album do you need to see on a jukebox? What track might best accompany your next drink? You graciously responded via Facebook and Twitter to help build a pretty damn impressive jukebox. The best part: you can keep contributing. Visit our interactive online jukebox and punch your song into the queue. Unlike those other jukeboxes, this song is free—and it may even actually play.

Great jukebox bars

(as defined by quintessential albums or tracks)

Gingerman Tavern

On the jukebox:

Somery by Descendents

Midnight Marauders by A Tribe Called Quest

Want More by JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound

Gold Star
Ukrainian Village

On the jukebox:

Electric Warrior by T-Rex

Another Green World by Brian Eno

The Best of Elvis Costello by Elvis Costello

Green Mill

On the jukebox:

—”Hello Betty” by Jimmy McGriff

—”Patricia” by Perez Prado Orchestra

—”Blue Monk” by Thelonious Monk

Marie’s Riptide Lounge

On the jukebox:

—”That’s Life” by Frank Sinatra

—”Crazy” by Patsy Cline

—”Knock Three Times” by Tony Orlando

Old Town Ale House
Old Town

On the jukebox:

—”My Love Will Never Die” by Magic Sam

—”Summertime” by Miles Davis

—”Lost Highway” by Hank Williams

Richard’s Bar
River West

On the jukebox:

—”Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers

—”Hello Dolly” by Bobby Darin

—”You Don’t Know Me” by Jerry Vale


On the jukebox:

Pre-Language by Disappears

Histoire de Melody Nelson by Serge Gainsbourg

Heaven by the Walkmen

Simon’s Tavern

On the jukebox:

Bivouac by Jawbreaker

The R. in R&B Collection, Volume 1 by R. Kelly

Metz by Metz

Whirlaway Lounge
Logan Square

On the jukebox:

—Evil Empire by Rage Against the Machine

Ride the Lightning by Metallica

Core by Stone Temple Pilots

Return to the Reader’s Bar Issue.