Like purple syrup and hip-hop and like massive amounts of cocaine and Duran Duran, beer and rock just go together. Sure, C&W pickers and a-grinners have been twanging for eons about tears in beers and whatnot, but why mope around? Wait a second. Don’t answer that question. We have lots to mope around about, don’t we? Well, maybe that means we need to put on our big boy/girl pants, mosey on over to the fridge, and grab a cold one or 12. Life is short, and, in the words of Mr. Mojo Risin’, “the end is always near.”
To that “end,” we’ve put together a playlist of beer-soaked and/or party-friendly tunes (mostly) from Fort Worth bands and artists past and present. Most of these tracks are hard and fast and may inspire shotgunning and/or keg-standing. Some are not, but the playlist’s overall vibe is “Let it roll, baby, roll.”
Especially now that “The End” is coming a little sooner than many of us had anticipated.
“Loud and Sucky,” The Me-Thinks
The chorus alone should sell this thing: “Brown bottles clank! / No drink goes un-drank! / Whiskey, wine, and beer! / Pass those three! / Over here!” Based on a casual post-show observation from a concertgoer (“Man, your band is loud and sucky”), this song by Haltom City’s lovable-est losers The Me-Thinks drives hard and fast. Off the band’s last record, the kickass 2013 EP Three Chili Dog Night, “Loud and Sucky” is a lot of the former but none of the latter.
“Camel Lights!” – A.M.
“Hallelujah, I’m a Goofball Bum,” The Backdoor Men
They’re not local, but they’re underground AF, so they might as well be. Having treaded the same boards as Pere Ubu, Devo, The Dead Boys, and most of the other Cleveland greats at the vanguard of New Wave in the mid-to-late 1970s, The Backdoor Men broke up decades ago but reunited in 2004 to lay down some new material, including this anthem for goofballs the world over. The chorus –– “Hallelujah, I’m a goofball bum! / Don’t wanna go to work! / Just wanna have fun! / Hallelujah, I’m a goofball bum” –– appears to be sung by a choir of hairy, belching angels. Praise lawdy lawd. No doubt inspired by the old work song “Hallelujah, I’m a Bum,” “Hallelujah, I’m a Goofball Bum” is the kind of tune you crank up to 11 the morning after you’ve drunk your face off and your commitment to The Party has been thrown into serious doubt. Just listen. “Well, I got me a bottle of sweet sloe gin / And I can drink that shit ’til the saints march in!” To all of my fellow goofball bums out there, hallelujah forever.
“I can’t wait ’til my old man goes off to work so I can steal some money from my mother’s purse!” – A.M.
“Yard Cars,” Collin Herring
“We both have stitches and a Blue Ribbon buzz / One too many knives stuck in the back of us,” sings Austinite-via-Fort Worth Collin Herring on this track off his 2008 album, Past Life Crashing. For a song that’s loud and propulsive (with cranking guitarwork from The Black Crowes’ Audley Freed), it sure is depressing.
“I went to church in my whiskey clothes / I put my faith in the tray where the ashes go / I look up to heaven, nothing / Comes for free / Them gates won’t open wide enough for me.”
Herring has been sober for nearly five years now. An NA toast to his continued success. – A.M.
“Loseyomind,” Son of Stan
Not really a happy song, this Son of Stan gem off the divorce-popster’s delectable 2014 EP Georgia is more like a cautionary tale, but that groove! that chorus! that melody! This is definitely a party starter for our brave new world order, when we have to force ourselves to have fun because there’s a certifiable maniac in charge. “Loseyomind” indeed. – A.M.
“Last Call for the Blues,” Scott Copeland
Dylan-idolizing, hard-living, longtime songwriter/poet/raconteur Scott Copeland wrote this, and local outlaw troubadour Cody Jinks covered it (on his 2010 album, Less Wise). Sam Anderson and Kenny Uptain (and pretty much anyone else who plays an acoustic and knows Scott) probably play it sometimes, too, in which case lots of folks have heard it while enjoying a Sunday brunch at Fred’s or wherever. Do those people pause in between bites of quail-and-eggs, trying to figure out what made them momentarily sad? If so, it’s because they probably caught the chorus. When the singer sings, “And they say, ‘Why don’t you quit drinkin’ / You’re always acting like a clown,’ ” you realize that’s a real person up there who knows what his problems are. And anyway, there’s a nice bit of existential dread it in for everyone; because what is Last Call for the Blues but the realization that everyone’s time is short? Bottoms up to that, right? – S.S.
“It Happens Every Night,” Andy Pickett
Time to curl up at the bar with a pint of Ugly Pug, maybe some smokes, maybe some Pynchon, and manifest the night – the shadows, the twinkling lights, the rivers of chatter – in which we nightflies happily submerge ourselves. Sometimes every night. Over a crisp, lazy-day groove and Randy Newman-inflected piano, Andy Pickett applies his high, probing voice to concerns related to his part-time gig as a bouncer at that most nightfly-esque of drinking establishments, The Chat Room Pub. Off his sumptuous 2015 debut album of the same name, “It Happens Every Night” is a true American beauty. – A.M.
“Crack at the Bottle,” Quaker City Night Hawks
Now we’re talking. With its gaily skipping beat and crunchy guitars, this track off the Quaker City Night Hawks’ 2011 album ¡Torquila Torquila! is blistering and joyous at the same time. “Crack at the Bottle” has to be one of the only songs in existence that’s appropriate for both head-banging and two-stepping. Well played, Night Hawks. Well played. – A.M.
“Back to Drunk,” Duell
From North Texas’ answer to Queens of the Stone Age, Duell delivers a furious blast of supersonic riffage over massive stomp. From the band’s stunning 2014 debut album of the same name, “Back to Drunk” is fast, heavy, and melodic. I’d say it’s perfect for barreling down the highway, but that would be irresponsible. – A.M.
“D.R.U.N.K. (The Alphabet from Z-A),” War Party
War Party’s “D.R.U.N.K.” has one of those “it’s kind of a funny story” origins that qualifies it as something of a local legend, the sort of thing you rehash with people at after-parties in the hopes that someone in earshot was there and can explain exactly how it all went down. But even if you don’t know what it’s about, there’s no denying that the Southside whatever-wave band’s single (found on Dreamy Life’s Group Therapy Vol. 2 comp) is a true party anthem. With its easily spellable, instantly memorable chorus, your BAC probably goes up a little just from your singing along with it. – S.S.
“In With the Brew,” Darth Vato
Ah, the good ol’ days, when Darth Vato was the biggest show in town. And for good reason. They were as fun and witty as Sublime and twice as tight. Their brand of ska-influenced rock was danceable but also head-banging. “It’s out with the old, and in with the brew,” frontman Kerry Dean sings on the circular-sounding “In With the Brew,” lamenting a relationship that’s nothing but a struggle. And struggle we shall do for at least the next four years. – A.M.