Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Justice Kreider's Cheap Shots Jukebox Bands

Tim Kreider is an excellent writer, comic artist, adventurer and friend. All four of these traits are displayed in this article he wrote for The New York Times.

Years later, Justice Kreider (a title bestowed by Matt Taibbi) and I have both outlived the Village dive described in his piece. But for his upcoming birthday, I've recreated the bar's jukebox on a mix CD.

Justice Kreider's Cheap Shots Jukebox Bands

1. The Beatles, "Back in the U.S.S.R."
2. KISS, "Detroit Rock City"
3. The Doors, "Break on Through (To the Other Side)"
4. Joan Jett, "Bad Reputation"
5. Judas Priest, "Living After Midnight"
6. Van Halen, "Panama"
7. MC5, "Kick Out the Jams"
8. Aerosmith, "Rag Doll"
9. The Charlie Daniels Band, "In America"
10. Queen, "Don't Stop Me Now"
11. ZZ Top, "La Grange"
12. AC/DC, "Whole Lotta Rosie" (live)
13. Pearl Jam, "Even Flow"
14. White Zombie, "More Human than Human"
15. The Rolling Stones, "Jumpin' Jack Flash"
16. Guns N' Roses, "Paradise City"
17. Meat Loaf, "Bat Out of Hell"
18. Shel Silverstein, "Fuck 'Em"

This was one of the easiest mixes I've ever made. Not that thought didn't go into it, but all I really had to do was narrow down and sequence a few jukebox standards that Tim and/or I know by heart.

"We punched Van Halen and Meat Loaf and the Charlie Daniels Band into the jukebox," wrote Tim, so I started with those three, picking Tim's favorites to the best of my memory. The mix kicks off with "Back in the U.S.S.R.," a song that I've seen Tim rock at Lucky 13's Scaryoke night, and the rest is nonstop bar party favorites. Songs that anyone depraved enough to hit up a place like Cheap Shots can sing (or thinks they can sing) after a few rounds of Yuenglings and air hockey.

"Don't Stop Me Now" and "Detroit Rock City" are screamalong musts, and both danceable enough to whip any room into a hoedown. Because this is New York, I can include crossover punk from Joan Jett and protopunk from the MC5, and metal's biggest comic book supporter shows up with in "More Human than Human," armed with the nastiest slide guitar lick in American history.

In memory of Cheap Shots' jukebox, I've included the AC/DC Live take of "Whole Lotta Rosie" and the single edit of "Even Flow," which blows away the album version. Any song that starts with an Eddie Vedder battle cry is immediately superior to one that does not.

Of course, a tribute to Tim and Cheap Shots should also be lawless. Thus the album's finale, an out-of-print number from the irreplaceable Shel Silverstein, was nowhere to be found on Cheap Shots' jukebox (or any--it hasn't even been issued on CD or in iTunes.) Knowing Tim, I couldn't imagine not including it. Consider "Fuck 'Em" a joyful comedown after hours spent destroying your larynx to "Living After Midnight," "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and "Paradise City."

Happy birthday, Justice Kreider! Can't wait for your new book.

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