Music for Enthusiasts: From Hey Ya! ‘Till the last Sweet Thing’s standing


What makes a good drinking song? From first shot to sunrise bottle-swig, here are a few of my wasted favorites.

1) Hey Ya!, André 3000. Two words: Col-lege. Commence frantic, awkward arm-and-leg flailing and vigorous, desperate grabbing at anybody within appendage-reach. Well, that’s what I did when this song played at parties, anyways. Call and response lyrics encourage the boisterous participatory shouting we drunks assume is necessary no matter what song (or lack thereof) is playing. And Mr. 300o’s commands that the soaked and seething mass of booze-sweating bodies “shake it like a Polaroid picture” is the second olive in the dirty martini. Get ready to un-tag some pictures tomorrow morning.

2) This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody), Talking Heads. For an insta-danceparty that transcends generations, time, space, and the physical manifestation of this elaborate hallucination we call reality: Play at top volume through a stereo worn on the body—ideally, in the vicinity of the croch. This Talking Heads classic—and really, Stop Making Sense in entirety—is the ideal bleary soundtrack to any warm weather daytime drinking event.

3) Ignition (Remix) R. Kelly This jam is perfect for when you drift into the compulsed-to-remove-clothes phase of drunkenness. Even people who are typically too hipster or nerdy or shy and antisocial to thurst pelivically or caress themselves in an overtly sexual manner will still grind forcefully against the closest humanoid with an equivalent BAC once Kells unapologetically announces that, so what? He’s three sheets. Songs about drinking and partying and anonymous groupie sex in fabulous hotel rooms always go well with drinking and partying and anonymous sex in the bathroom of your friend’s-friend’s apartment.

4) Sweet Thing, Van Morrison. Three people sit around a table, the euphoria of the past hours wearing flimsy, the vibe going from nude to sentimental. When the sun peers through the windows and only the hardcore Enthusiasts are left awake, it’s time to pass around a bottle of bourbon and play “Sweet Thing.” Fall into the moment as the day breaks. Tumbling against the braced edges of the bottle as the haze of day pushes the inky night away.

Bar dance photo courtesy of Homies in Heaven (flickr)
Belt speaker photo courtesy of our friend Sterling
Table dance photo courtesy of Mike Burns (flickr)