05 August 2008

I Will Dare | The Beer and Music Connection

Over the last several days, the Knights of the Beer Roundtable have been trading a lot of e-mails about music (if you're coming to the Second Anniversary party at Brugge Brasserie on Thursday evening, you'll find out why). This e-mail exchange, Chris's most recent post about drinking beer at the Radiohead show, and Mike's name-checking of the Pixies threw me into some thinking this evening about my mutual loves of beer and music (which I tossed together briefly in our Mikkeller review).

As I mentioned in that post, I was a DJ in college (circa 1985-1990), doing most of my spinning at parties. Because I was busy manning the DJ booth at these parties--I had two turntables, a cassette deck and, eventually, a CD player, so I was always cuing something up--I didn't drink a lot of beer. At most, I'd drink two beers, which didn't give me much of a buzz. Instead, I got my kicks from telling crestfallen song requesters (usually sorority girls) that I'd lost my copy of Modern English's "I Melt With You" (I hadn't lost it; I was just really sick of the song after playing it 500 times) and from scaring the crap out of partygoers by suddenly spinning the Dead Milkmen's "Bitchin' Camero" or Dead Kennedys' "Let's Lynch the Landlord." These latter two songs were quintessential dance floor clearers, which were very handy when it was 3:30 a.m. and I wanted to get rid of the handful of beer-goggled dudes and chicks who were making one last attempt to take someone back to the dorm for a little drunken fun. At that time of the morning, I simply wanted to head home and get some sleep.

My lack of serious beer consumption was probably for the best since the most common beer offerings at these parties were Busch and Little Kings, which even in the mid to late '80s were not ranked among the American beer elite. This might explain why I never blacked out or puked from drinking until age 24, at my bachelor party before my first marriage. Yup--I just wasn't one of those college binge drinkers.

Sometimes, however, the music I played made me want to drink more that my standard one or two beers--y'know, it stoked my thirst. During party prep, when I was trying to cue up as many songs as possible before the party began, I would usually throw on an album, which was normally something that wasn't very dance friendly. A lot of this pre-party music was the standard '80s college radio/alternative stuff--R.E.M., Husker Du, Echo & the Bunnymen, the Cure, Cocteau Twins, New Order, the Smiths, the Clash, and Bad Brains to name a few. But none of these bands were pure beer-drinking fuel like one I haven't mentioned: the Replacements. Indeed, as soon as the 'Mats' classic Let It Be went on the turntable and the first few chords of "I Will Dare" jangled out of the speakers, I'd be primed to start pounding any macro swill, even Michelob Dark. Perhaps I was influenced by the aura that surrounded Minneapolis's favorite sons; they were notorious for their sloppy, drunken shows and were known to get so trashed that they left the A&R types who came to scout them scratching their heads over the hype surrounding the band. It's sort of funny--my impulse to drink due to the 'Mats' music always reminded me of a Three Stooges episode, the one in which Curly goes into a fighting frenzy whenever he hears "Pop Goes the Weasel." Yes, that was me--the '80s version of Curly Howard.

So, readers, as you ready yourselves for Thursday night, do you have any interesting beer/music connections to tell us about? Drop us a comment.


  1. I can't help but listen to some Bruce Springsteen when I drink Oberon. For some reason "Dancing In The Dark" seems that much better with Oberon.

  2. At an apartment show in college (I played drums) our hosts bought a party pig of some beer from Mishawaka Brewing Company as payment to the band (fine by us). I don't remember the style anymore, but it was good strong beer.

    Really good.

    By the last song of the night, I was playing in my boxers and a jester hat.

  3. Anything off of Born in the USA would sound better with a few beers. :)

    Great story, Chris.