Jun
12
2012

Fairfax Festival 2012

—Christian


Last weekend was Fairfax Festival and your humble enthusiasts made the annual pilgrimage up to Josey’s hometown to celebrate. For those who don’t know, Fairfax Festival is a town-wide party kicked off with a parade on Saturday morning (which our Friday night activities unfortunately precluded this year) and music both indoor and out through Sunday evening. We arrived late, but still got there in time to enjoy some of the regional brew.
Read more »


May
10
2012

Derby de Mayo

—Christian

We threw a party on Saturday to celebrate the rare congruence of Cinco de Mayo and Derby Day. To ensure we were properly lubricated, the Enthusiasts supplied Margaritas and Mint Juleps. And, with the help of Cashmere Agency we able to secure a sponsorship from none other than the legendary Pabst Blue Ribbon! (For those of you who know me, this is a momentous accomplishment, to be sure).


Read more »


Aug
04
2011

Music for Enthusiasts: The Illness’ “Precious moments” (the hidden track)

 

 

 
During their vocal recording session Josh, The Illness‘ lead singer went through an “unbelievable amount” of cheap beer. Luckily for us, Illness guitarist Zippy managed to capture Josh’s between-takes commentary and cut it together into this enthusiastic track. Enjoy.

Recording booth photo courtesy of gypsygirl.photography, flickr.
 


Dec
14
2010

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

—Josey

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.


Read more »


Nov
30
2010

Music for Enthusiasts: Tending bar at the saloon

—Haley

No one is ever surprised to hear I work in a bar. What usually causes a few confused stares and a snicker or three is that I work in a country western bar—a saloon, actually. If the 8-foot sign reading “SALOON” by the front door does not alert you to the fact that you have atmospherically left Southeast Portland and been transported to somewhere in the middle of Montana or Wyoming, the saddle atop an old wooden barrel in front of the bar, the sepia-inspired lighting and extensive bourbon selection ought to do the trick.

If, however, your senses are too bewildered and booze-hazy for all of this to make an impression, the sounds of Merle Haggard, Dwight Yoakam, Hank Williams (yes, Sr. and Jr.), or Johnny Cash will eventually tip even the most overly-enthusiastic of you off.
Read more »


Oct
27
2010

Music for Enthusiasts: What makes a good drinking song?

—Christian

What makes a good drinking song? Well, think about the last time you sang along while drunk. Chances are it was catchy, fairly hard driving and likely fun to dance to (read: stumble and/or clutch the shoulder of the nearest individual to). For me, good drinking songs are high energy and, for the most part, widely recognized. Here are a few favorites I always find myself belting out in my off-key, a-melodic, rhythmless voice.

1. To start, I call your attention to my favorite karaoke song of all time: “The Lap Dance Is So Much Better When the Stripper Is Crying.” Largely spoken word, this Bloodhound Gang number is a great because even a total musical incompetent like myself can make it sound pretty convincing. Another attribute that makes this a good drinking song? Funny lyrics. What a song lacks in catchiness can easily be made up for with humor. And a combination of the two is unstoppable—just look at limericks.

“It was even more of a turn on when I found out she was doin’ me to buy baby formula.”

Read more »


May
13
2010

From underage to overpriced

Am I seeing things, or is that tiger leering at that innocent vocalist?

Every Enthusiast knows that nothing—nothing—goes better with booze than music. Especially live music.

Sure, I might have made a similar statement about drinking and air travel in a previous post, and I meant that one, too. It’s just that I mean this one way, way more. And don’t you dare think this is the final, super-definitive statement about “nothing going better with alcohol than…” that you’ve heard out of this Enthusiast. After all, what goes better with enthusiasm than loudly proclaimed, sweeping generalizations and over-blown, oft-self-aggrandizing, defiantly definitive statements which are always forgotten entirely until sobriety returns, rearing its dehydrating, leg-muscle-spasm-causing, sinus-duct-pinching presence? (Hangover symptoms may vary.)

Many of us Enthusiasts have been on this rodeo circuit for many, many years, despite little restrictions like the “law” and, additionally and prior to that, our “parents” or “legal” “guardians” telling us that we had to be over 21 (or whatever your country of adolescence’s legal boozing age is) to ride this liquid freight train straight to Enthusiasmville.

Nothing could ever stop this Enthusiast, for one, from getting wasted before seeing all my favorite bands play live. We all liked a lot of what we now realize are hilariously bad bands as we trundled awkwardly through middle and high school, so I’ll spare myself the added shame and you the boring—the way that other people’s pictures of themselves in front of C-List tourist monuments are boring—deets. This blog is about alcohol enthusiasm, anyways.

Concerts meant long, sweaty lines of washed-out dyed green hair, and tattered, baggy black tee-shirts emblazoned with imposing logos and sharp, cracked white or raised silver lettering. And acne, and loosely-laced skate shoes. Then there were the shoulder-tap acquired plastic jugs of bottom-shelf, ice-clear liquid-panty-remover, poured gingerly into dumped-out and more discrete plastic water bottles that we could slyly swig from in line. All of this burning through our throats, and chased by M&Ms or crackers and the intense desire to get super wasted before it was our turn to get padded down by security on our way through the stadium and/or venue and/or pier gates. Enviously, we watched our elders lined up at beer-fueling stations, or aside long bars, ordering and receiving that which we’d only carried in with our bloodstreams. So cool with their big plastic branded cups and/or fancy little glasses with their fancy little twin straws. By the time your or my mom and/or dad arrived to collect the sweaty teenaged music lovers, splitting headaches and joy waltzed hand in hand into the blissful sunset of our fuzzy brains as we raced down highways, home.

Last night I got drunk at a fancier-then-I recall-from-being-a-tipsy-15-year-old venue in San Francisco. Pushing past crowds towards the wrist band line, where ID shares were exchanged for rights to buy pricey cocktails, I wondered—was this what I had lusted after, when secretly guzzling seared clear liquid from those plastic lips in preparation for lights up, ear-splitting, cheering, shoving, encore? These short, flimsy receptacles lousy with warming ice cubes, infused with the faintest splash of the essence of vodka or bourbon?

Maybe you just don’t know what you got, until it becomes wildly age inappropriate to participate in it.

And we flashed our IDs to have our wrists festooned with paper bracelets, and we pushed our way past heavily-perfumed, shot taking, bumpit-ponytailed women to swig that which we still and always, lust after.

 
—Josey

Tiger lusting after rock star photo courtesy of Easystreet.

 


Apr
13
2010

$hort Dawg’s (briefly) in the house

I don’t normally go to live shows. But every now and then you just can’t miss something. In this case, it was Too $hort playing an intimate, sold-out show at 19 Broadway in Fairfax. It’s a great little joint with a bar in front, a bar in back, and a stage and dance floor rather awkwardly placed in the middle. I enthusiastically ordered an old standby and the bartender handed me one of those half-shot glass, half-old-fashioned things with a hefty shot of bourbon, a dash of soda and an odd lack of ice. It was different, but not a bad way to get started.

The bevy of opening acts were decent, if not downright enjoyable. The club was filled with the regular cast of enthusiastic characters. You had the girls dancing in front, the people pushing by every fifteen seconds, the occasional couple pressing up against the wall in an impressive grind. Too $hort and entourage entered at what couldn’t have been earlier than twelve-thirty.
Read more »