Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Green Bottles

Hey there. We've got our first guest poster today, with a fine and dandy drinking song to share and rant about. Everybody welcome Tom from La Dimension De Trastos. Take it away Tom:

"First, the caveat: I know very little about Gang Green. I’ve only heard a small percentage of their catalog, and never seen them live. I’ve never read their bio and I don’t know any of their names. So why the hell would I prop them up as some sort of contemporary torchbearers of the drinking song? For the same reason I basically don’t know shit about them. Until very recently, I had only heard them while stinking drunk. There was simply no need for peripherals.

Unlike the cry-in-your-beer variety, or even "happy" drinking songs, Gang Green gets to the point. And the point is, rather their point is, to get thoroughly trashed. Not tipsy, buzzed, loaded or any other semi-apologetic state of drunkenness. Just full-on, "fuck my job, fuck my boss, fuck my landlord and while I’m at it, fuck your landlord too"-type drinking.

Their image is crudely but effectively crafted, heavy on the beer references. I’m sure that’s what initially attracted me. It’s not hard to sell a record to an alcoholic if it’s about drinking and has five different images of Budweiser on the cover. (I know there’s five because when I was drunk I got out the trusty Sharpie and circled them; probably so I could spot them when I sobered up.)

While their music is atypical drinking music to most (one part skate culture, one part hardcore, a little metal and four cases of Budweiser), to a particular type of drinker it is drinking music at it’s most potent. To wit, a sample lyric (from "Alcohol"): "I’d rather drink than fuck!" It isn’t likely that a more declarative drinking statement exists. No, this is not music for lounge lizards, barflies or the anthropological "let’s go to a dive bar" drinkers. It is the soundtrack for eviction parties (best peppered with "ashtray-missed-your head by that much," "if you’re going to waste it, throw a whole can," and "why are there footprints on the wall?" type conversation).

So, honestly, I’ve resisted the urge to learn anything more about Gang Green other than what I’ve come across incidentally. To analyze their music (including this introduction) goes against their very substance. Luckily, effects can be neutralized. Talk to the guy hovering by the keg with the giant cup. He will debrief you."

Gang Green: Alcohol (mp3)

Gang Green’s MySpace page (Four downloads. Recommended: "Alcohol" and "LDSB" ["Lets Drink Some Beer"]:

Gang Green’s Official Site

Friday, June 22, 2007

I Like Beer


Tom T. Hall's "I Like Beer" came in at #47 on the Top 100 Drinking Songs list.

It's a swell tune, if not the most subtle of songs. Heck, the title pretty much says it all. We'd only have one quibble. We think that whiskey is just fine, thank you. And vodka certainly serves an important purpose in the world.

We'll let the song and the lyrics speak for themselves. We do indeed like beer.

"In some of my songs I have casually mentioned
The fact that I like to drink beer
This little song is more to the point
Roll out the barrel and lend me your ears

I like beer
It makes me a jolly good fellow
I like beer
It helps me unwind and sometimes it makes me feel mellow
(Makes him feel mellow)

Whiskey's too rough champagne costs too much
And vodka puts my mouth in gear
This little refrain should help me explain
As a matter of fact I like beer
(He likes beer)

My wife often frowns when we're out on the town
And I'm wearing a suit and a tie
She's sipping vermouth and she thinks I'm uncouth
While I yell as the waiter goes by

I like beer...

Last night I dreamed that I passed from the scene
And I went to a place so sublime
All the water was clear and tasted like beer
Then they turned it all into wine

I like beer...
(Yes he likes beer)"

Tom T. Hall: I Like Beer (mp3)

Please support your local brewer.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Six Pack To Go

Drinky, drink, drink.

Today it's #28 on the Big Rock Candy Mountain/Barstool Mountain Top 100 Drinking Songs list.

Hank Thompson's a favorite 'round these parts, perfecting the art of the drinking song, along with Johnny Bond, near about the time George Jones discovered his first taste of White Lightning. Ah, hell, my timeline might be a little off.

Combining the best of Bob Wills' texas swing with a keen eye of a barroom poet, Thompson is a strong contender for our Poet Laureate (we've already got a Patron Saint.).

Not sure how many states still allow a "take out" license for bars as the the night grows long and Sunday blue laws loom in the headlights. The following song is a testament to the stumbling days of closing-time preparation, where the fog of the night cannot dim the hope for tomorrow's salvation.

Recommended reading: The Ginger Man by J.P. Donleavy

Okole maluna!

Hank Thompson: A Six Pack To Go (mp3)

Support your local pub. Do you really need to find yourself at an Appleby's? We thought not.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Some Bartenders Have
The Gift Of Pardon


Now that the Top 100 Drinking Songs has run it's course, and the list is complete, I figger we'll get down to business and start covering drinking songs. Nothing but drinking songs. We'll get to the individual tunes that made the Top 100 over time. But we'll also going to cover any and all things drinking song-related too.

Normally we'll be posting about a single song, as opposed to an overview of a specific artist, but we're going to start this off we're gonna raise a toast to Mark Eitzel and American Music Club.

Mark Eitzel is a miserable bastard. He also happens to be a brilliant songwriter, with a keen eye for the underbelly of human interaction.

With The American Music Club, and through a spate of solo albums, Eitzel concocts a rare brew of observation, mining the corners of humanity through some of the darkest humour put to song. He also has a penchant for hilariously absurd song titles. AMC provides the perfect backdrop for Eitzel's bastardy, creating sonic landscapes both lush and persnickety, as the lyrics call for. And some of the prettiest steel guitar stylings this side of the honky tonk.

Eitzel has been known to enjoy a beverage now and again. In fact, it was an Eitzel show at the much-missed Stache's in Columbus that convinced my buddy Ryan and I that it was all right to be seen drinking Long Island Iced Teas in public.

Eitzel's drinking songs are more contemplative, of course, making small mythologies out of the dive bar and the bartender, granting each a supernatural power: to forgive or save. All peering from the bottom. They can also be painfully funny, as in "Gary's Song".

Please enjoy some inebriation courtesy of Mark Eitzel and The American Music Club. We'll be back shortly with a tune from the Top 100.

American Music Club: Outside This Bar (mp3)

Mark Eitzel: Some Bartender's Have The Gift Of Pardon (mp3)

American Music Club: Gary's Song (mp3)

American Music Club: Jesus' Hands (mp3)