Ode on an Irish Pub

March 17, 2010 11:59 AM

Who's getting wasted today? I said Who's Getting Wasted?! Well alright!! Hope you're drinking lots of green beer, remember to tip your bartenders. We've been Tam and the Shanters, thanks for coming out tonight!

I had this idea for last month's "traditional song" challenge, but didn't get around to actually doing it until now. The mix is a little rough, but it is what it is.

posted by uncleozzy (17 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Really nice.
I know you're being jokey, but I like the quality of your voice when you're "shouty." I'm jealous because I can't do that. Nice and raspy and on the edge of breaking apart but still on-pitch.
Also it reminds me of a handful of Toronto bands from the 90's, Lowest of the Low and The Mahones come to mind. There was a big post-Pogues sort of grungy thing here for a while, our East Coast being quite ScottishyIrish.
And I am drinking beer. Not green, but from a green bottle: St. Peter's Organic English Ale, to be exact. My favourite.
posted by chococat at 5:08 PM on March 17, 2010

Yeah, as someone who finds his own shouty outings fairly unconvincing I dig the balls-out-but-not-blown-out feel you've got going on with the vocals too. It's just about perfect for this. If I didn't know better I'd believe this was something going around a little too loud on my dorm floor back in '97.

Definitely a context where a rough mix is not a problem.
posted by cortex at 5:34 PM on March 17, 2010

Thanks, guys... this was a fun, quick throw-together this morning. It's good to hear a little encouragement on the "shouty" voice... it always feels really thin to me. And it really kills to do... if I had to do this for a living, I would need some very serious voice lessons.

I've been hearing a lot of Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys lately, for some reason, so that was sort of the target here. Plus hey, I figured it was an excuse to play the accordion.

I think I've had that St. Peter's a couple of times; I used to buy beer at Whole Foods, and they always tock it. It's a real attractive bottle, for sure, but you think they'd at least make the export version brown. It's always a little funky by the time it gets to the fridge.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:41 PM on March 17, 2010

Maybe that's one of the few benefits of our archaic government-controlled alcohol distribution system here in Ontario; they seem to be pretty good about quality control. I've never had a skunky one, although one time I noticed a few cloudy bottles while reaching for a clear-looking one.
Beer is delicious, isn't it?

Any tips for the shouting?
posted by chococat at 6:57 PM on March 17, 2010

Beer is magical, actually. Homebrewing is both the best and the worst thing that has happened to my beer-drinking.

And I'm the last person you should ask for advice on shout-singing, because I do it "all wrong." It's like moving your chest voice up a few inches, but not quite into your head (which, I suppose, is why I can't extend downward when I shout). The vocal cords pinch a little bit and get gritty, and you're burnt out after 15 or 20 minutes. There is certainly a better way.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:33 AM on March 18, 2010

Is there a genre you can't effortlessly pull off? **bows down**
posted by umbú at 6:51 AM on March 18, 2010

Awesome! Where does this sound come from? The singing is great, but there's so much rock here I don't know where to begin. I feel like I have to SHOUT my comment to be heard!

Also on shout singing: I don't do a lot of it myself, but I feel like it requires a lot of air. You really have to pass a large volume of air through your lungs in order for your throat to rumble or distort.
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 11:19 PM on March 18, 2010

This is really good, very Dropkick Murphys-esque.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:14 AM on March 20, 2010

Hah! Love it ozzy (I can hear the accordion has had another run out). Sounds like it's clipping a bit in places though?? And on a point of pedantry Tam O'Shanter is Scottish not Oirish - but what the hell. Worthy of the Pogues my friend - which is praise indeed!
posted by MajorDundee at 3:08 AM on March 21, 2010

Oh and Choco I'm delighted that your excellent taste even extends to ale. St Peter's is one of my favourites too - they do another one in a red-labelled bottle that's worth a try. If you ever get the opportunity check out Shepherd Neam's "1698" - bottle conditioned nectar of the finest kind.....hic.....

Actually - if anyone wants any pointers about good English ale, give me a shout.
posted by MajorDundee at 3:12 AM on March 21, 2010

Major, here in the States, we don't know our Scots from our Irish (although we do, on occasion, know our whisky from our whiskey).

And does it clip? Well, yes and no... it's a terrible mix with distortion used as an effect everywhere, compressed and limited to within an inch of its life (and it's got too much mud in the bass, which makes it all a bit small). It doesn't actually clip, but it's smashed to the point that it may as well (and the amp was practically on fire during one of the guitar tracks, so it's spongy as all hell, which gives the impression of overload).

Now, to the important stuff: beer. I must admit a bit (or more than a bit) of national pride in American beer. The only style I can think of that Americans simply do not do well is Hefeweizen. The only passable example I've had is from Long Trail, in Vermont, and it was nothing special.

As to English styles, I will admit that we, in general, don't brew many, or many good examples. But they can be found. Victory--who I think make some of the best beers on the east coast--make a bitter, for example, that I've had on cask and would call world-class.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:07 AM on March 22, 2010

More love for that St. Peters. We've gotten a bottle of one or another variety from Whole Foods now and then, but my local-as-in-just-down-the-street grocery now sells it which is fantastic.

If ever there were to be a Music meetup in Portland, I think we might have to have it at this little hole-in-the-wall place called Tugboat. Cask-style ales that obliterate your typical beer-related arguments by being so aggressively idiosyncratic that all you can talk about is what you're drinking right then.
posted by cortex at 7:15 AM on March 22, 2010

Naturally, I would be delighted to be converted to US beer, but from what I've tasted on my handful of trips across the pond........hhhhmmmmmm. There's a major difference between ale (which is quintessentially English) and beer. The US beers I've sampled have all been variants on lager - which is cold brewed. Absolutely no offence guys but, frankly, with one or two exceptions lager tastes generally to me like watered-down piss. Ale, on the other hand, is hot brewed and virtually a meal in itself. And, contrary to the usual complaints levelled at English ale, it is supposed to be drunk at room temperature and not semi-frozen. Room temp releases all the wonderful aromas and tastes that make a splendid pint. Cold temps suppress all that - same goes for red wine. Next time one of you is over here we must hook up and go on a traditional English pub-crawl - I'll show you what's what!
posted by MajorDundee at 3:53 PM on March 22, 2010

The US beers I've sampled have all been variants on lager

There's a big difference between "US beers" in the sense of ubiquitous, highly visible major-brand stuff—your Bud and Miller and Coors on the A-list, your PBR and Milwaukee's Best and Nattie's a step or so down more toward regional, mild lagers all indeed—and "beer crafted in the US" which covers a much broader and more interesting pile of ground. Lots and lots of microbreweries in this country who don't have anything more complimentary to say about Budweiser than you do, etc.

If you haven't been to a good beer town (and, well, Portland is a very good beer town, but it's hardly the only one) you may not have gotten a good sense of what's actually available on the ground. You might not be disappointed, under more ideal circumstances.
posted by cortex at 4:37 PM on March 22, 2010

Yup. If your idea of "American beer" is light corn or rice lagers, you're missing all the good stuff. I guarantee--guarantee!--that in any city of reasonable size in the US (and a great many smaller towns) you could find a pint of US-brewed ale that would knock your socks off, blow your hair back, and generally set you right.

I don't know if any of the really good stuff gets exported, though. This article suggests that, in London at least, you might be able to have a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, which is the quintessential example of the American spin on the style. It's best fresh--only once, even in New York, have I had a mind-expandingly fresh pint--but even a few months out, it's pretty good. There's better stuff--lots of better stuff--but they're one of the larger microbrewers who are likely to distribute internationally.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:50 PM on March 22, 2010

with one or two exceptions lager tastes generally to me like watered-down piss

I'm in a bit of an UK Ale period right now, Kilkenny and Tetleys and that ilk; something about the smoothness and richness is just where I'm at lately; but I have to take exception to your lager hate. I'd agree with you on most of the American lagers I've had. (Unfortunately, my experiences only re-enforce the stereotype we have of shitty American beer. I would gladly revise that opinion if someone were to educate me on my next trip south of the border.) But lagers are just the best thing sometimes, especially in the summer. Driving through Germany a few years ago was like heaven, trying different lagers in every town and gorging daily, on beer and würst and potato and sauerkraut...it was awesome but a bit like packing a musket after a while, if you know what I mean.
But something about the German lager, bitter and refreshing; I guess I'm leaning more to a Pilsner thing but there you go.

And please, come to Toronto, ignore Molson and Labatts and sample a shitload of Ontario beers that rock. Mill St., Creemore, Stratford, Amsterdam, Wellington, Camerons, etc. etc., and don't even get me started on Quebec.

This is the best music thread ever.
posted by chococat at 7:53 PM on March 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

Apropos of lager I did say "with one or two exceptions" - such as Nastro Azzuro (Italy). And, yup, on a hot day a cold lager is pretty well essential. But, on the whole, not my first choice of tipple.

Very interested re all the microbreweries you've mentioned. Next time I'm over I will try to track down something more interesting than Bud and Coors and other "corporate" urine - which seemed to be all that was on offer, hence my skewed view of US beers!

Here's a few of my current favourites, starting with my local brewery at the village of Wickwar in South Gloucestershire - about three miles from my door to the hoppy aroma of this tiny but very successful brewery. Next up is the Shepherd Neame range, brewed in Faversham, Kent - Britain's oldest brewer established in 1698 and still going strong. As recommended, the "1698" is just a beautiful pint. Another good 'un is the Bath Ales range, particularly Gem and Barnstormer - the former of which is, indeed, a diamond. Finally, there's another localish brewer Arkell's of Swindon - who do a rather unassuming but rather lovely bitter called Kingsdown. Interestingly, ozzy, Arkell's do an commemorative ale called Victory - small world, huh?
posted by MajorDundee at 1:04 PM on March 23, 2010

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