Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Beer Barrel Heaven

We've got another guest poster, Richard Solensky, today, who's got a bone to pick with us about a classic drinking song we've left off the Top 100 Drinking Songs list. He'd also like to chat with you a bit about #32 on the list. Mr. Solensky, the Barstool is yours:

"Polka is the forgotten genre of world music. Associated with Germans and
Poles, it's deemed "too square" to get the same love and respect that, for
example, Celtic/Irish music gets among today's rockers. It's a shame,
because there's nothing livelier or more suited to partying than a polka.

"In Heaven There Is No Beer" (#32) is one of those songs that everyone knows
the words to. A simple, four-line verse with an easy rhyme scheme (AAAA)
means anyone can create their own versions. And it seems everyone has -
Brave Combo, The Pogues, assorted college marching bands... Perhaps the
earliest recorded version belongs to the great Frankie Yankovic, in an
arrangement by his protégé Joey Miskulin.

Here's Frankie Yankovic's version, and a "klezmerpunk" version from Brave Combo.

Frankie Yankovic: In Heaven There Is No Beer (mp3)

Brave Combo: In Heaven There Is No Beer (mp3)

Another great, traditional polka is the "Beer Barrel Polka" (inexcusably left off the list, in my opinion). Based on a nineteenth century melody, it was given its current form by Czech composers Jaromír Vejvoda and Eduard Ingris in the 1920's. It was an instrumental known as the Polka of Modřany, and got its first lyrics in 1934 from Václav Zeman. His words made it a song about unrequited love, which really doesn't go well with the lively tune.

The song became a hit when a German version was published in 1938. The
English lyrics, that we all know and love, were written by Lew Brown and Wladimir Timm the next year. The Andrews Sisters had a smash hit with it almost immediately. Many others would follow with their own renditions (even the Grateful Dead recorded it!), making it perhaps the best selling polka of all time. And why not? After all, it's about a keg party, right?

Here are the Andrews Sisters showing why The Supremes were the Andrews
Sisters of the 60s with their version, and an instrumental version for two
banjos by Roy Clark and Buck Trent."

Andrews Sisters: Beer Barrel Polka(mp3)

Roy Clark and Buck Trent: Beer Barrel Polka(mp3)

Friday, July 6, 2007

Pink Elephants

Gonna take you into the weekend with a little French today. I'm all Scooter'd out.

I probably don't need to do much in the way of introduction to Serge Gainsbourg. He's a dirty bugger, and you know that. Filthy, really. Sexual deviant, ladies man, drinker of reknown, and icon of cool.

Gainsbourg's song "Intoxicated Man" came in at #26 on the Top 100 Drinking Songs List . It's a sleazy riff on a familiar delirium tremens trip. The translated lyrics are, well, a bit lost in translation, but the beat noir groove and Gainsbourg's typically lecherous, smoky delivery conveys a veritable pink elephants on parade vibe. It's trashed decadence at it's finest, as only Gainsbourg could deliver.

As a bonus we've tossed in some time Bad Seed, Mick Harvey's English-language (sorta) version. Why? 'Cuz we like Mick Harvey, and he released two fine Serge Gainsbourg cover albums, well worth your time.

Recommended reading: "Under The Volcano" by Malcolm Lowry.

Serge Gainsbourg: Intoxicated Man (mp3)

Mick Harvey: Intoxicated Man (mp3)

Please support you local, independent, French winery.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Four Dollar Pabst

Hey Bartender!

We're actually having a crossover today with our parent site, Big Rock Candy Mountain. But fear not, the songs below are unique to Barstool Mountain, and are still the booze-besotted tunes you expect from this here joint.

Did you book your tickets for Chicago this weekend? The big news of the hour: we've got a swell show coming up on Friday, July 6th, brought to you by yours truly, Songs:Illinois, and Can You See The Sunset From The Southside, the three finest tastemakers in the Chicagoland area.

For 5 measly bucks, you get three bands and entrance into the finest dive in the South Loop, the legendary Cal's (400 South Wells), where the booze is cheap, the women are cheap, and the men are free (hell, they'll pay you). It's a Big Rock Candy Mountain kind of joint.

Who's playing, you ask? We've got Satellite 66 from the great land of Chicago. We've got Frontier Ruckus from Michigan, who Craig from Songs:Illinois recently gushed about.

And finally, we've got recent Chicago transplant, The Gunshy, who I think is the bee's knees.

Combining a little Tom Waits, a smidge of Eric Bachman/Crooked Fingers, and a mesa-top full of burnt desert filtered through urban neon sprawl, the Gunshy play a gritty Western noir through the greasy windows of your favorite Old Style bar.

Show starts at 10 p.m. Come by and look for the red-headed stranger in the John Deere cap (that'd be me, the walking stereotype).

"$4 Pabst" is a classic in the making.

The Gunshy: $4 Pabst (mp3)

The Gunshy: My Nicotine-My Whiskey (mp3)

Please support your local rock'n'roll band, and the dive bars that love them.