October 7 marked the ten-year anniversary of Ludacris's Chicken-n-Beer album. Although not the rapper's best (our favorite: Word of Mouf), the title certainly suggests a dinner combination that we fully endorse as comfort food, and fully reject as people trying to stay healthy. To honor the occasion, we picked five songs that suggest more interesting combinations of "____ and beer." Give ours a listen and recommend your own. And yes, we did consider Frank Zappa's "...and beer" song, but for the sake of family friendliness, we left it off.
5. "A Keg of Beer and an Accordion" by McCarthy Trenching (2008)
Plenty of bands write songs inspired by their experiences while intoxicated on OTHER substances, but few songs seem to be performed while drunk (outside of live performances of course). Accordion player and indie rocker Dan McCarthy may have tried it during this short, instrumental track from 2008's Calamity Drenching. It sure ain't the smoothest accordion playing we've heard, and the production value is low. This track is all the more better for it.
4. "Skittles and Beer" by Louise Massey and her Westerners (1941)
Another instrumental, this one a polka from Louise Massey, the "original rhinestone cowgirl." The title raises infinite questions however. It's derived from the slogan "life isn't all beer and skittles." We presumed they meant the candy, but were surprised that candy brand was that old. Research shows the candy was introduced in 1974. But clearly both the Skittles brand and Massey interpreted the term "skittles" as something sweet, but what are the roots of the term? Please, seriously help us with this.
3. "Love, Sweat and Beer" by Hadouken! (2007)
Beer seems like the absolute last thing that someone at a Hadouken! concert would want to drink. This track is a dizzying blast of rave beats and hyperactive lyrics, but we suppose that people in the U.K. will drink beer regardless of the event. And, if youth are drinking beer at electronic music concerts versus taking "molly," we're certainly not going to stop them. Of course, drink too much and rave too hard...the results will be gross.
2. "Tea & Beer" by The Herbaliser (2010)
The Herbaliser suggests the most intriguing beer pairing with its hit, that's for sure. The jazz/hip-hop producers bring in emcee Jean Grae to drop lines about the beverages, but mostly her own greatness, over a beat consisting of jazz horns and the occasional theremin wave. During the spoken word closing to the track, Grae gives her thoughts on the title: "Do you even know what tea and beer tastes like when you put them together? Not good, I'm willing to bet."
1. "Warm Beer and Cold Women" by Tom Waits (1975)
Tom Waits represents the man down-on-his-luck better than anyone, almost a depressed Louis Armstrong. This cut from his first live album, Nighthawks at The Diner, represents his talent for the morose as well as any song in his catalogue. He might not be able to find a beer at a decent temperature, but Michael Melvoin's grand piano and Pete Christlieb's tenor sax gently walk Waits through this ballad.