2575 Mission Street (@ 22nd) [Map]
Total Spent: $2 for 9 songs
Doc's Clock is known for its shuffleboard table, but don't be too distracted: the jukebox is great too. While the bar tends to get crowded on weekend nights, it is almost always empty early, making it easy to find a seat and monopolize the jukebox. According to something (I can't remember if it was a sign or a conversation with a bartender, blame the beer) the bar has occupied its spot on Mission Street since the end of Prohibition. Fortunately, the jukebox has been updated significantly more than the curios strewn about the bar.
When I say that you can find everything in this jukebox, I mean that nearly every major genre is represented. No, you won't see "grindcore" or "screamo" or other genres that aren't necessary in the first place, but you will see the big ones that matter. There are some great booze-, drug-, and debauchery-themed old jazz compilations in addition to Louis Armstrong and guitarist Django Reinhardt. Buck Owen and Wayne Hancock are two great country artists in the juekbox, and Buddy Holly, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Roy Orbison represent the early days of rock n roll. There are a couple ska compilations (Toots & the Maytal ska, not Sugar Poppin Daddies) and an assortment of Latin bands whose names contain "Los."
One thing that this jukebox does not fear is indie rock, and if that's your thing you will be pleased here. There are several Broken Social Scene albums sprinkled amid Two Gallants, the Raconteurs, and Nouvelle Vague. And, of course, there's the usual punk, from the Sex Pistols to the Buzzcocks. Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings make an appearance, as do Howlin' Wolf and Otis Redding. Alas, Sam Cooke is nowhere to be found.
You would think that a jukebox of this caliber would come at a premium, but it doesn't. It's actually one of the best deals I've found so far: 4 plays for $1, 9 plays for $2, and a whopping 20 plays for $5. That's beautiful. Had I been less thirsty, I would've put $5 in the jukebox and easily found 20 songs worth playing. But one must maintain a delicate balance between booze and music, and anyway it was only fair that I let other people play.
Based on cost and selection, the jukebox at Doc's Clock is officially one of my favorites in San Francisco.