Beer and Pavement

Indonesian Pirates, Hand-Cranked CD Players, and Magical Beer Chillers

Posted in Beer, Challenge, Intersections by SM on September 9, 2011

Somehow, Carrie the Destroyer was cropped out of her cast picture.


After my lame attempt at filling digital space on Wednesday, I figured that I would go with the suggestion that provided the best chance to write the most epic[1] Building International Coalitions Through Beer and Pavement post ever. Then, I read the suggestions and decided to go with Carrie’s second suggestion anyway:

 You are on a cruise ship that gets ambushed by Indonesian pirates. You gave them a watch so they will let you live, but they are going to deposit you on an island with a machete, a hand cranked cd-player and a magic eternally chilly beer cooler that automatically refills when you run out–the only catch is that this magical beer chiller can only replenish the supply of 3 beers. They tell you that you may take only three albums with you. There is a good chance you might be stuck on this island for the rest of eternity. What 3 beers and what 3 albums would you choose to be on the hot, possibly enchanted, uninhabited island with?

I will get to most of the other suggestions eventually, but this is where I’ll begin. That said, expect another top-5 on Monday. Now, on with the exercise…

There are several factors to consider when choosing may three albums. First of all, I’m changing the rules so that it’s not a hand-cranked CD player and is instead a hand-cranked phonograph player. Just because I’m stuck alone on a deserted island doesn’t mean I won’t want to hear the warm crackle of some vinyl. That said, these three records better be so good that I won’t mind hand-cranking for my tunes, severely limiting my dance time.

Another factor to consider is the versatility of the music. My three favorite records might not be good for all occasions. What if I invite over a few head hunters for dinner and want some nice mood music? What if the party gets wild and I need music that we can thrash and dance to while cutting off the heads of our meal? What if we all enter a cannibal-induced  coma requiring us to relax a bit? What if I get lucky[2]? I need a soundtrack that meets many needs.

All that is true, but it has to be music with which I’ll never grow tired. We’re talking potentially an eternity. I have to be prepared. So, I picked mainly music from my favorite time period and favorite non-genre: 90’s indie rock.

  1. Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain by Pavement – I go back and forth whether this is my favorite Pavement album. It does fit the criteria I’ve laid out in that I love this record, it has a song for every situation, and I will never grow tired of it.
  2. Exile in Guyville by Liz Phair – I, like most men my age, love the idea of Liz Phair on Guyville. We like that she’s adventurous and just looking for a sensitive guy[3] and we think we can save her. Luckily, the reality of Liz Phair isn’t so appealing. Still, this is a great record that is fixed into my eternal top five or ten albums.
  3. Perfect from Now On by Built to Spill – I will need mood music that will also feed my anger and blood lust[4]. This record can do both and is really good.

Again, this might not be my top-3 albums of all-time[5], but they fit the criteria best. I’m also not trying to over-think this or – as I like to say – out-think the room. The goal was to pick three albums to take with me on a deserted island. Done. Easy. The beer portion of this post won’t be as easy.

The limitations are an unlimited supply of three different beers[6]. I figure one of those beers could be a beer one could drink all day long, a “sessionable” beer, if you will. There should also be a beer that will get me schnockered with just a few sips. I will need more bang for my buck. And when drinking the same thing all day or getting wasted is not my thing, I will need something I will really enjoy drinking.

Then, there’s the issue of style. I tend to prefer American craft styles over all others. So, that eliminates the imports. It’s a tough sacrifice, but I think that I’ll manage. Styles I like are Saisons, imperial stouts, sours, and IPA/DIPA’s. There are other styles I like, but these are the ones I generally reach for. The challenge will be to find three beers that fulfill my four (or five preferred styles).

I think I know what to do…

  1. Surly Furious – This IPA fulfills many needs. For one, it’s a hefty IPA that makes the DIPA unnecessary. Bitterness and citrus comes in a can, a very useful container on an island.
  2. Bell’s Expedition Stout – This is a case of me filling a need with a favorite. It’s boozy and sweet and ages well if need be. There was a temptation not to include an imperial stout since deserted islands tend to be tropical[7], but I decided to make sure that this flavor profile was covered.
  3. New Glarus Belgian Red – I was so going to go with a Saison or some extreme Russian River sour, but I thought about what this sort of beer can do. I decided that I needed a beer that fulfilled the sour/tart flavor profile while possibly providing an alternative that doesn’t taste so much like beer. Plus, this is a relatively hard-to-get beer[8]. Why not insure that I have an endless supply of a rare beer only sold in Wisconsin?
So, there it is, my altered desert island list of beers and records. What did I miss? What would you have put in place of my selections? Am I not taking head hunters serious enough? As usual, leave comments below.

1Can I now tell you how much I despise the over/misuse of the word “epic?” I fucking loath the way this word is used in everyday conversation and especially online. Now, I no longer can use the term “epic” to describe a Built to Spill jam or a magnificently huge DIPA. The word has lost all meaning thanks to the improper overuse of the word. Thanks.
2Is it me or did this post just get kinda creepy?
3To fuck. I just went creepy again.
4For wild boar. Nothing creepy. A man has to eat. This all brings new meaning to “I would hurt a fly.”
5However, I suspect all three are in my top-10, if not top-5.
6Can limitations be unlimited?
7Particularly those frequented by Indonesian pirates and their kidnapped victims.
8Although, one is sitting in my cellar at this very moment. It’s a good thing I know people who head to Wisconsin on a fairly regular basis.

13 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. G-LO said, on September 9, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Yo Zach!

    Talk about a thought provoking post. Without “out thinking the room”, here are my lists…

    Top Three Albums

    #1 – Kind of Blue by Miles Davis – Cause it’s one of the greatest jazz albums of all time and cause it showcases everything that made Miles Davis such a musical genius. There may have been better trumpet players, but there were few that could assemble talent like Miles Davis.

    #2 – London Calling by The Clash – Fits your well rounded criteria. They chill, they funk, and they definitely rock out!

    #3 – Boys and Girls in America by The Hold Steady – Great music. Hilarious and thoughtful lyrics. The Hold Steady at the top of their “Bruce Springsteen as a Bar Band” greatness. They just sound like they’re having fun!

    Top Three Beers

    Criteria: Beers that I keep going back to again and again.

    #1 – Smuttynose Finestkind IPA – Had it last week for the 1st time in a long time. After that first sip, I simply said, “I love this beer!”. There are better IPAs, but this one is just so drinkable.

    #2 – Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter – Another solid beer that I enjoy every time. A classic porter but with just a bit of funkiness to keep it interesting.

    #3 – Maine Beer Company Peeper Pale Ale – a recent discovery. Absolutely delicious and goes great with food!

    And as far the word “epic”, I’m happy to hear that I’m not the only one annoyed by it’s usage. “Amazing” is overused too, but it may have been replaced by “epic”.


    • builderofcoalitions said, on September 9, 2011 at 9:34 am

      Good lists. I’m not a Hold Steady (Springsteen doing Beat poetry over Guided By Voices riffs), but I understand their appeal. That porter is a great beer and I don’t like porters.

      FYI-This is now an epic-free zone, unless used as a noun.

  2. Mike said, on September 9, 2011 at 10:20 am

    “Epic” and as an adjective doesn’t bother me, unless it’s being used ironically.

    I don’t drink, so my curated island beer list includes Landshark, Corona, and that lime-infused Bud brew. Coupled with my equally terrible album choices–Jack Johnson, Jimmy Buffett, Israel Kamakawiwoʻole–and I’m ready to throw an epic luau.

    • builderofcoalitions said, on September 9, 2011 at 11:11 am

      You are a cantankerous sort today. Why not replace the beers with something you do like to drink. And I know you can come up with a better list of music.

      • Mike said, on September 9, 2011 at 12:12 pm

        If I can’t use my time in exile for profit, I guess I’ll use it for introspection. I guess my mini-album list would probably include:
        1) The Flaming Lips’ Embryonic (mainly because I’m listening to it now, and I assume I’ll have to pack in a hurry)
        2) Bon Iver’s first album, which I never got into but maybe being alone on a deserted island will give me plenty of time to figure out what all the fuss is about.
        3) A specially prepared mixtape of guilty pleasures (Manny Pacquiao, Michael Bolton, et al) that I’ll probably only listen to once or twice and then kick myself for brining, but maybe I’ll learn a valuable lesson about the futility of irony.

      • builderofcoalitions said, on September 9, 2011 at 12:33 pm

        There’s the spirit, BB.

  3. G-LO said, on September 9, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    One last thing regarding Gilligan’s Island… Ginger. Definitely Ginger!

  4. jeffmenter said, on September 9, 2011 at 1:53 pm


    #1: Men at Work: Business as Usual
    #2: Creed: Human Clay
    #3: Red Hot Chili Peppers: Blood Sugar Sex Magik


    #1: New Belgium Fat Tire
    #2: Blue Moon Belgian Wit
    #3: Yuengling Traditional Lager

  5. jeffmenter said, on September 9, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Woah! I left my douche-bot running in the background. Sorry!

    Here’s my real answers:

    Three Albums:
    #1: XTC: Skylarking. Something from the ’80s. Amazing song writing. Even Colin Moulding’s songs are great. Brit-pop slays me.
    #2: Steve Vai: Passion and Warfare. Something from the ’90s. I love great guitarists and I also love inventive composing and arranging. Double-win.
    #3: Andrew Bird: The Mysterious Production of Eggs. Something from the ’00s. I’ve had this massive broner for Andrew Bird since listening to Weather Systems.

    Three beers:
    #1: St. Bernardus Abt 12. St. Bernardus is my favorite saint. FACT.
    #2: Bell’s Expedition Stout. Perfect NO MATTER WHAT THE SEASON.
    #3: Stone Ruination IPA. My first hop love. Not quite an imperial so I can “session” it. West coast IPA is best coast IPA.

  6. Carrie the Destroyer said, on September 9, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    I forgot to mention that the hand-crank is to charge the turbine battery with, so you could very well give a good “charge” crank and dance or fuck liz phair (I did say the island was possibly enchanted, so the fantasy liz phair of Exile In Guyville might show up and be down for a bonk and might not even be scared off if you cried afterward) for a bit while your phonograph plays some tunes.
    I appreciate how you didn’t automatically jump to favorites, but rather considered albums and brews that would best fit your needs provided you were stranded on an island by your lonesome.

    I should probably provide my own list since I suggested it…
    albums–I clearly love a lot of albums. But these would probably be ideal for hanging out on an island with. I’m not a cheater like mike, so I won’t be bringing any mixtapes.
    1. Deerhunter – Microcastle/Weird Era Continued – It’s a double album, so I’m increasing my bang for my buck factor here. Plus, I could definitely get busy to this if a sexy dude showed up on my island–since that’s an option on this possibly enchanted desert isle.

    2. Duster – Contemporary Movement – Favorite album, something isolating and beautiful for my desert island. Plus I’ve listened to it thousands of time and it never gets tired.

    3. Neutral Milk Hotel – In the Aeroplane Over the Sea – versatile album, good for a fist-pump, dancing, or crying to. I imagine I will be doing lots of crying on my desert island.

    As for beverages, since I don’t drink a lot of beer or other alcohols I am only taking one beer with me–it’ll be good for the necessary carbohydrates I will need to survive though.

    1. Boulevard Wheat – a solid standby, great for hotter climates, quaffable.

    2. Independence, MO tap water – it is seriously the best fucking tap water ever. If you filter this shit you are a fucking idiot and you should probably just eat your own turds.

    3. Iced Tea – iced tea is magic juice. I can do anything on iced tea.

    • builderofcoalitions said, on September 12, 2011 at 4:19 pm

      Sorry, I didn’t have a chance to get to this one. Fine choices, all.

      Exhile era Liz fucking? Enchanted indeed.

      I can’t believe I didn’t consider Aeroplane. How did I miss that?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: