Best Jukebox - 2005
Count on this category to get people crying foul. In-the-moment hipsters will praise the box at the Black Thorn, alt-country types might favor Frederick's, and eclectics will opt for Blue Hill's exercise in computerized comprehensiveness. Musical taste being subjective, crowning a Best Jukebox is an intrinsically divisive endeavor. Which brings us to Krueger's. Not many joints have the temerity to wear a weakness for Jackson Browne, Poco and Loggins & Messina on their figurative sleeve, and yet all these acts' greatest hits are here. Swing the pendulum the other way and you'll find a little Frank Zappa ("War Pigs," anyone?), along with a heaping helping of Cream, the Stones, Dire Straits, the Allman Brothers, Uncle Tupelo and Johnny Cash. And the Jerry Garcia Band -- the Jerry Band gets no respect anywhere, and this nondescript outpost just beyond Clayton's eastern perimeter downright genuflects. It is just this sort of thoughtfulness that tends to wow the academy come awards season.