In case you needed another reason to head to Rock Bar, the Front Porch-run spot down in Bernal Heights, the good people at Aquarius Records have just given you a whole lot. The Mission record store has taken on the responsibility of stocking the Rock Bar jukebox, filling it with a collection that is hard not to envy. Considering Aquarius has long been a go-to for a fantastic, varied assortment of records, we’re already making plans to head down for a cocktail and some fried chicken, quarters at the ready.
We spoke to Andee Connors, co-owner of Aquarius, about the collaboration, and what we should plan on picking.
TBB: How did the collaboration come about?
AC:Well, Brion from Rock Bar is a long time aQ customer and old friend, and he just came to us with the idea of having aQ curate their jukebox, which sounded pretty excellent to us. The plan was to make it a super varied collection of sounds new and old, weird and not so weird, metal pop, indie rock, electronic, world, jazz, whatever, as well as records by lots of our favorite local bands. And to constantly be adding new record and swapping out titles, so every few months there’ll be a whole bunch of new music to check out.
TBB: Do you guys have other jukeboxes around the city?
AC: Nope, Rock Bar is the only one!
TBB: How did you go about making selections?
AC: Well, we write really extensive reviews for all the records we carry, and we send out a new arrivals newsletter every two weeks, and when you come in the store, all the reviews are printed out and placed on the records, so the jukebox was sort of an extension of that. The choices, at least for the initial batch, were a mix of all time aQ faves, and newer records that we’ve been digging. No deeper criteria than stuff we love, and thought other people might dig listening to!
TBB: Was there a specific sound, area, type of artist you wanted to showcase?
AC: Mostly we wanted the jukebox to be a good sampling of the sort of things we carry/sell at aQ. We wanted to include a lot of local bands too. We did dial back on the black metal / noise / more abrasive stuff, but really, any bar out there that wants to have a blackened metal noise aQ jukebox hit us up!!!
TBB: What are your top picks in the juke right now?
AC: Really hard to pick just a few, since this first batch was literally ALL huge aQ favorites, but if we had to pick: Electric Wizard, Ovens, The Spits, Mind Spiders, Speedwolf, Royal Baths, The Alps, Crystal Stilts, Black Bug, Pandemonium, Veronica Falls, Rubble, New Lines, Archers Of Loaf, Great Society Mind Destroyers….
TBB: Will the selection be changed up? How frequently?
AC: Absolutely. A few new ones every few weeks, maybe half of the records swapped out every few months, and of course, favorites that get played like crazy will stick around longer. Trying to make it fun and familiar, but always exciting and full of new musical discoveries.