Distilled: The Good Drinking Songs

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

ComFest is this weekend, so I decided to write about some of my favorite drinking songs. These aren’t exclusively about booze, just good songs for sitting in the bar. It’s also not run-of-the-mill crap people usually think of—“Piano Man” and “Margaritaville” are played out and suck, and if I have to hear “I Love This Bar” one more time I might snap. So here it goes, in rambling stream of consciousness format.

When I think of music and drinking I immediately go to The Replacements and “Bastards of Young,” although “Kiss Me on the Bus” or “Here Comes a Regular”—really anything off Tim —is perfect. The Replacements influenceThe Hold SteadyLucerowhose cover of Jawbreaker’s “Kiss the Bottle” was inspiration for my ridiculous column photoand have too many great songo list.

Tom Waits and his entire catalog is obviously another great option when imbibing; my choice is The Heart of Saturday Night. Seriouslyry not to smoke and drink—excessivelywhen Mr. Waits is in your ear.

Other oldie regulars are Bob Dylan(“I Want You”), The FacesThat’s All You NeedCCR“Lookin’ Out My Back Door” and The BandNight They Drove Old Dixie Down. It’s an odd one, but David Bowie’s “Diamond Dogs” always plays better with bar smell.

Songs about drinking? “Too Drunk to F---” by Dead Kennedys (also Nouvelle Vague), “Kiss Me I’m S---faced” by Dropkick Murphys, and Thin Lizzy has the best version of “Whiskey in the Jar.”

Can’t leave out hip-hop, and the obvious choices are “Gin & Juice” by Snoop Dogg or “Brass Monkey” by Beastie Boys—all of Paul’s Boutique is wonderful liquid music too. For a lesser-known beast, check out “Hip Hop Drunkies” by ThaAlkaholiks and O.D.B. The beer-bottle-spinning-on-concrete beat is incredible. Aquemini has always been my favorite Outkast record and “SpottieOttieDopaliscious” is a trippy track perfect for foggy-headed late nights.

I know I’ve left of hundreds, so comment or tweet (angrily or sloppily, depending on your preferred drunken state) and tell me how I left out your song.