Musical Beverage Pairings

I like to keep things loose here at Bollocks! HQ, but especially on Fridays. Since we have casual dress all week here, I’ve instituted Naked Time Fridays, which is probably why my Imaginary Secretary hasn’t shown up at the office since like 2008.

Anyway, I’ve noticed over the years that I make a lot of food analogies here when I’m talking about music, but not very many of those references are specifically to drinks. Since it’s Friday and I strongly suspect that a fair number of Bollocks! readers enjoy a good alcoholic beverage, I thought it might be fun to give you the Official Bollocks! List of Musical Beverage Pairings, so you know exactly what to drink when listening to awesome music.

Artist: The National. Drink: All the wine. Why: I’m sorry, have you not heard Alligator? Okay. You need to listen to that album right now. There’s a song on there called “All the Wine.” As in, “All the wine is all for me.”

Artist: The Hold Steady Drink: Ginger & Jack (four or five Feminax optional), any citrus and any liquor, but mostly your favorite beer with your favorite people. Why: The first two are explicitly mentioned in Hold Steady songs (“The Swish” and “Citrus”), but these guys are America’s bar band and as such, you should pour a pint of your favorite brew for you and a pal, and then proceed to raise a toast to Saint Joe Strummer.

Artist: Tom Waits. Drink: Here, we must make a distinction between early Tom Waits and later Tom Waits. For early Tom Waits: gin, whiskey, and make sure to smoke. A lot. For later Tom Waits: whiskey from a broken shot glass and/or red wine consumed from a human skull. Or train smoke. Why: Early Waits was the whiskey/gin-soaked barroom poet; later Waits is The Black Rider. Although Waits also “sold a quart of blood and bought a half a pint of scotch,” so I guess almost anything goes with Waits as long is the night ends with you sleeping under a boxcar.

Artist: Asobi Seksu Drink: Vodka, Redbull, garnish with Pop Rocks. Why: This is why.

Artist: Kanye West Drink: Top shelf cognac. I know it’s gross, but you drink it until you acquire the taste. Why: ‘Cause Kanye’s buying.

Artist: John Mayer Drink: Zima Why: Beer magazine once called Zima “the Crystal Pepsi of beers.” Well, folks, if anyone is the Crystal Pepsi of musicians, I think it’s John Mayer.

Artist: Minor Threat Drink: Water. Why: Hey, they’re straight-edge.

Artist: Jeff Buckley Drink: Lilac Wine. Why: To cope with the fact that Jeff Buckley’s dead but John Mayer still gets to make records.

Artist: Bikini Kill Drink: hot tea with honey and a little lemon or ginger. Why: No, not because they’re girls, you sexist prick. Because if you’re singing along with Bikini Kill songs, you’re gonna get a sore throat. Any booze paired with Bikini Kill should be a straight shot of something strong, no ice. This is undiluted stuff, and not for the faint of heart.

Artist: Billy Bragg Drink: pint of beer. If you’re celebrating your love for a girl, you have to get a new tattoo as well. Why: “Greetings to the New Brunette.” Bragg is pining for a chick named Shirley and sings, “I’m celebrating my love for you/ with a pint of beer and a new tattoo.” I’ve always loved that line.

Artist: Titus Andronicus Drink: Guinness, Keystone Light, and whiskey. Lots of whiskey. Why: The song “Theme from Cheers” from The Monitor. The song is an ode to drinking yourself dumb, and it features Patterson Hood from the Drive-By Truckers (who could be paired with all of those beverages as well).

Artist: The Flaming Lips Drink: Organic fruit juice, but tell everyone it’s absinthe. Why: This is not to accuse the Flaming Lips of being somehow fraudulent in their weirdness. I’m just saying that they’re plenty weird in a totally natural way, without the assistance of chemicals. So really, just consume whatever amplifies your inner fearless freak when you’re listening to the Flaming Lips.

Artist: Mike Doughty Drink: Rob Roys (with your man) or the “fuel straight from your lighter” Why: Rob Roys for the coupled-up fans of Sad Man Happy Man and the lighter fluid for people who resent the way you make them like themselves (the line “I resent the way you make me like myself” comes from “Rising Sign,” and I’ve always found it profoundly poetic, honest, and sad. So I raise my own glass to Mr. Doughty for that).

Artist: KISS Drink: Dr. Pepper. Why: because they’re fucking whores who would rather make money than music. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Fuck Kiss and the horse they rode in on.

Artist: Ani DiFranco Drink: Homebrew. Why: Because homebrew is the most independent kind of beer you can get and Ani DiFranco is one of the most independent “indie” artists there is. Bonus: home-brewing, like Ani DiFranco herself, is commonly associated with liberals/hippies/people who hate shaving (I’m not limiting this to women, either – I hate shaving, which is why I never bitch about women who don’t shave their legs or armpits).

Artist: Sleater-Kinney Drink: something seemingly girly but actually really heavy. You slip it to some shit-talking frat clown while he’s bragging about pounding his 19th Natty Ice and watch him go down like Ted Haggard on a male prostitute. Then you replace his copy of Death Magnetic with The Woods and watch his world crumble like so much feta cheese. Why: Because Sleater-Kinney always rocked harder than they got credit for, so they deserve a drink like an AMF that is all pretty and blue but actually kicks your ass.

When in doubt, kids, remember that Guinness (I used to say that Guinness was the real king of beers but then I remembered that monarchy is a concept that I find literally retarded. As such, Budweiser can keep on being the inbred, pure-blooded baby King of Beers and Guinness can just go on being really fucking delicious) goes pretty well with any awesome music. This is the part where I’m supposed to tell you to drink responsibly, but if you’re smart enough to read Bollocks!, I can’t help but assume that you know not to be a total dickhole when you’re drinking.


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