Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Best of 2010 Mixtape...with Pairings

Every December for the past five years, I've spent a majority of my non-holiday shopping/drinking hours obsessing over my annual holiday mix. At some point I decided a mix for my friends would be better than a cheesy Christmas card. As such, I let out much of my Christmas anxieties by finding my favorite songs of the year, packaging them in a photo from the year, and distributing them to my loved ones (if you don't receive one, it doesn't mean you're unloved... just unlucky).

Recently, the first person to whom I gave a "best of" mix asked me where his was. It is, as he politely pointed out, January of 2011 and he never received his 2010 mix. In order to make up for this awful mistake, I made two promises.

(1) For him, an extra disc of tunes from 2010
(2) For everyone else, drink pairings for each song on the 2010 mix

And so it is... The Audible ImBible 2010 Mix

Track: Giving Up the Gun - Vampire Weekend
Piña Colada

It's as close to an Horchata as one can get without being too obvious.

Track: Boyfriend - Best Coast
Drink: Peach Bellini

I'm admittedly a little off-base here. This song reminds me of 70's sunshine and Don Draper visiting his old life in LA.

Track: You Must Be Out of Your Mind - The Magnetic Fields
Drink: Glögg from Simon's

This band is the essence of the holidays without being overtly Christmassy (see also, certain songs from Sufjan Stevens' Michigan). Nothing better to go with this memory than Glögg from my favorite Swedish bar in Chicago.

Track: Fuck You - Cee Lo Green

Drink: Four Loko

That's right. Four Loko. Nothing says fuck you like "Blackout In a Can." This was the summer song of 2010 and Four Loko was the summer drink of 2010. And if you're listening to "Forget You," then I've got a Smirnoff Ice waiting for you.

Track: Burning Stars - Mimicking Birds
Drink: White Russian

I'm not saying The Dude would dig this tune. I'm just saying drinking a Caucasian while laying in bed listening to this tune wouldn't be bad.

Track: Ambling Alp - Yeasayer
Drink: Brooklyn Brewery Lager

Drinkable. Summer without being fruity. Originally Brooklyn.

Track: Kind of Guy -YAWN
Metropolitan Krankshaft

See above. Remove Brooklyn, insert Chicago.

Track: Feel It All Around - Washed Out
Drink: Seagram's Wild Berry Wine Cooler

Totally 80's. And totally rad. And like totally a fad. However, great summer music/drink combo for you and your hipster friends. Just don't expect it to be around in 2012. And definitely don't see the band live. Very disappointing.

Track: Norway - Beach House
Drink: Bell's Hopslam

This beer seriously has medicinal powers with the sweetness and comfort of Beach House singer Victoria Legrand's voice. Norway, the song, and Hopslam are both essential January.

Track: All Around and Away We Go - Twin Sister
Drink: Bar Deville's Songbird

It's no mistake this track came immediately after Beach House. Twin Sister's lead singer's voice is similarly eerie, haunting, and unbelievably sexy. This song, with its loungy sex appeal, must be accompanied by a hip drink of yesteryear.

Track: Maneater - The Bird and the Bee
Drink: Maneater

How could I not?

Track: Swim Until You Can't See Land - Frightened Rabbit
Three Floyds Robert the Bruce

Favorite Scottish Ale to drink with my favorite Scottish band (sorry Franz).

Track: Bang Pop - Free Energy
Drink: Yuengling Lager

Though this beer doesn't quite have the bang nor the pop, it is probably the beer of choice of these Philadelphia residents. If you need more bangity poppitiness, add some Chipotle peppers to the beer and let them sit for a couple of days.

Track: Good Intentions Paving Co. - Joanna Newsom
Anne Amie 2007 Pinot Noir

Really, any red wine would do. And a fire, or some candles.

Track: Tighten Up - The Black Keys

Good summertime beer. Great playground video.

Track: Silver Rider - Robert Plant
Drink: Surly Furious

Every once in a while you just have to go with personal experience and this song will always remind me of a Low show in Minneapolis last Thanksgiving. As such, this Minneapolis American IPA is the drink of choice.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Welcome to The Audible ImBible

It all started when I was drunk and listening to music... the same way most ideas start for me.

There's this idea of pairing food with drinks. There are certain characteristics in drinks that perfectly complement or even enhance the flavors of food. I personally am one to always trust a good sommelier to make my restaurant experience the best it can be, regardless of the expense. A great pairing helps create memories that are everlasting.

So, this drunken thought was something along the lines of "if a sommelier's job is to enhance your experience by picking the right wine to go with your meal, then who's job is it to pick the music?" Music evokes emotion just as well, if not better, than food and beverage. As such, if a meal should be a memorable experience, then the music you listen to while eating should be considered a decision equal to choosing red versus white or beer versus wine. Music and flavors (whether in food or drink) act as placeholders for memories of emotion, experience, and environment. The right music can complete an otherwise fragmented occasion.

So, I've spent the last few months thinking a lot about music, memories, seasons, drinks, food, and the connections between different types of each. Fun stuff. Aside from intellectual curiosity, where will this lead me (and you, should you decide to read on)?

The Audible ImBible - a site dedicated to finding the right music to listen to while you imbibe.

But first, a blog about a site in the making...

I believe there is a perfect playlist to complement a meal. Am I the best person to do this? Possibly not. A lot of people's opinions of music is based on experience and memories - something telling them that "this goes with that" because "this reminds me of that." However, I think there are many common reference points that humans share and as such, I'm not afraid to share my drink-song pairings with others in hope that they'll share theirs with me.

And so I present to you, some of the thoughts behind this damn little project that won't go away - The Audible ImBible. A blog dedicated to a site dedicated to pairing drinks, music, and memories.

Let the random assortment of thoughts begin...