Thursday, August 28, 2008

Concerning beer, our newfound tourmates, and my probable second career as an ad executive

After months of sitting home and rotting like a forgotten nectarine, us four Birdmonsters are gearing up for a tour. And while I'll miss the comforts of home (like, say, blankets not infected with herpes), I'm thrilled to be heading out. After all, tour is just code for "traveling with my three best friends, playing music every night, and sampling the myriad beers of the Pabst Brewing Corporation."

(Parenthetically, you truly need to check out the "quality" beers distributed by the Pabst Brewing Corporation. It's a veritable "Who's Who" of hobo-quality swill. Blatz? Rainer? Lone Star? Oh yeah, they do all three. And since nothing says "quality" like a luke-warm 40, Pabst also distributes Colt 45, St. Ides, and Country Club. Now, I'm no beer snob (nor could I afford to be one) and I enjoyed a cold Pabst no less than twelve hours ago. I'm overjoyed at the prospect of Lone Stars and Pearls in Texas, Olympias in Seattle, and a Stroh is Detroit. But you can't call a collection of notoriously low-rent alcohol "quality." It's like being a Kansas City Royals fan: you're in the Major Leagues, but just barely.

And while we're digressing wildly, it's worth noting that Pabst is now the largest American brewery. In case you didn't hear, Anheuser-Busch, brewer of Budweiser, the red-white-and-blue-enest beer on God's America, is now owned by a Belgian-Brazilian brewmonster known as InBev. Coors, on the other hand, is half-owned by Canadians. While some may read this as further proof of our nation's decline into less-than-Superpower-dom, I read it as a staggering opportunity for Pabst. If I was them, I'd make commercial where a cowboy in a pick-up truck is drinking a PBR and listening to a baseball game. He'd look stoic and withered and the announcer would say "Pabst Blue Ribbon is the last true American beer for true American originals," then the voice-over comes back "Budweiser would have you believe they're the great American original too, but they're owned by someone else." Then you play this video:

That was awesome.

Then you go back to the cowboy in the pick-up and do a slow zoom out so you can see the amber waves of grain rolling in the distance. "Pabst. Because you love beer," says our announcer---and it really should be Sam Elliot doing the voice-over, now that I think of it. Screw that. Sam Elliot should be the cowboy too. Sam Elliot should also be making me coffee and spitting Skoal into my trashcan. I need to make this happen.)

Okay, like Snoop said, "back to the lecture at hand": tour. I've included the requisite dates over there on your right and, as we fill out the tour and eliminate off-nights, days of rest, and other probably-needed days of respite, more dates will inevitably be added. (In the past week alone, we've added days in Tempe, Detroit, and Toronto, as well as a pair of Virginia ones.)

However, this post is not about us. And although up to this point it's been mainly about Pabst, our original goal was to introduce you to our indefatigable tour mates: The Rumble Strips.

All shows from October 4th through November 1st will be with these fine Brits. This means several things. Firstly, we will all have to struggle against accidentally slipping into English accents. Inevitably, this is easy at first, but then all of a sudden, you're saying "cutlery" instead of "silverware" and "cheers" instead of "thanks," and then you're discussing the UK-India cricket final in a Costneresque lilt. I pray we persevere. It also means that we get to spend almost a month with some seriously good musicians and songwriters. When we were approached with the offer to open for these guys, I admit I hadn't heard their music before. That's not surprising. I just heard the "Vampire Weekend" CD a few weeks ago. I also hear these "Beatles" are pretty slick too. Point is, I'm out of the loop. It's a symptom of age, I think, to fall out of that insular circle of right-now-hipness, and if that is indeed true, I'm getting pretty Methusilahy over here. And while I hadn't heard the music yet, when I did, I was impressed. It's a lovable amalgam of British pop, Soul, Rock, and maybe a little Folk, spruced up with horns and some rather inspired arrangements. In other words, it's good. Plus, they cover Thin Lizzy. That's reason enough by itself.

So do check them out. I feel like it's a great pairing and I'm giddy about a month of hearing them near nightly and sharing the great American beer tradition with them, which, as we noted above, means one dollar cans of Pearl Light.

No comments: