Random Pop Culture Question of the Week
Drunken Soundtrack
the Staff
Random Pop Culture Question of the Week is a bi-weekly journey into the headspace of the Review to Be Named gang, in which a pop-culture question is posed, answers are sought, and discussions are generated about issues and hypotheticals from throughout the realm of pop culture.

This week's question comes from our own Rachel, who asked:

What is your favorite (or most oft used) drunken soundtrack? What always comes on when you've had a few too many while sitting around your living room, or what makes you jump up and dance (or exclaim and bob your head, depending on your personal preferences) when it comes on at the bar/club/whatever?


Well I of course love to cut loose and rock out to The Black Keys. Yup. The Black Keys. Nothing wrong with that. Perfectly respectable, manly, alterna-rockin choice amiright?!?! ...ok. Fine. I'm lying. siiiiiiigh. I guess I'm the lightning rod this week. It's Ke$ha. Ok? Happy now? Yes. Ke$ha. If I'm at a bar, if I've had a few drinks, and "Tik Tok" or "Your Love Is My Drug" comes on, I will be forced to make my drinking companions bow their heads in embarrassment and shame. Also Third Eye Blind's "Semi Charmed Kinda Life." I mean it's hard enough to hit all the lyrics whilst sober. But a whole group of enthusiastic drunks belting it out together? It becomes a hilarious hodge podge of nonsense. But who cares? It might just be the most fun you'll have all night.


Chris, don't worry about being the lightning rod on this one. I think Rachel actually devised this question so that everybody could pile on top of me. Those of you who read our Random Pop Culture Question of the Week on Ideal Karaoke Songs already know that I can be a maudlin drunk in the right circumstances (I think it's one of my endearing qualities, but the rest of the staff probably disagrees), and many of my ideal drunk soundtracks reflect this. For accuracy's sake, let's try to run through what is probably my ideal drunken soundtrack (if no one else is touching the ipod and getting in my way). The night is probably going to start with some great "˜70s glam rock by way of David Bowie, Elton John or Queen (preferably all three). A few drinks in, we'll move across the pond for some Bruce Springsteen ("Thunder Road" is a definite), and that's where things will probably take a turn for the more...let's say introspective. You're going to get some "Piano Man" at this point kids. This is also probably a good point for me to plug in Sam and my duet to "My Eyes" from Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog (Sam does a mean Felicia Day, after all). And then, you're probably going to get a few choice tracks off Neutral Milk Hotel's In The Aeroplane Over the Sea. Then, it's anybody's bet what mood I'm in, but it's probably going to involve either Stars, Arcade Fire, or The National. Or possibly just every version of "Hallelujah" ever recorded, played in sequence. Now, who's pouring me the first drink?


I am a sorry excuse for a young person. I non-ironically complain that the bars my friends want to go to are too loud. When I do go out, and the others here can confirm this, I wear ties and blazers to all but the diviest bars. Staying out past 1 am is a fucking accomplishment. But when I'm drunk and there's an iPod or jukebox near by, I make a beeline for American punk and post-punk. It's music made by young, underemployed, likely-intoxicated people who are closer to me than I care to admit. It's equal parts anger, frustration, drunk (which I count as an emotion) and fun. My favorite album from last year, Titus Andronicus' The Monitor, is partly my favorite because I listened to it extensively while drinking copious amounts of whiskey, working into my brain bit by bit. It has one of my favorite drinking songs of all time, the appropriately titled "Theme from Cheers"

If you didn't catch all that, it's a song about over-educated Jerseyans who drink and smoke too much and worry about the future. Add in alcohol, and the sentimentality burrows its way into my brain like a carpenter bee. Also, it kicks ass. Ah, what the hell, here's another Titus track about the same damn thing.


I almost always maintain a constant soundtrack (I hate quiet), but get a little booze in me an I absolutely NEED music. I'm generally down with most things, but my drunken soundtrack can be generalized over a typical trajectory. If I'm going out, I start prepping and pregaming with some trashy club music: Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Pitbull, and yes, Chris, maybe even some Ke$ha. The middle of the night is typically pretty indistinct. But as the drunkenness really picks up, I can go one of two ways: if I'm out, I like to stick with the trash. I like those songs that come on in bars that everyone screams along to. Two weeks ago I was getting ready to leave a club when "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga came on, and collectively the group of approximately ten people I was with decided we had one more song left in us. Almost anything by Rihanna also fills this criteria. For instance:

But, much like Jordan, I can also get pretty mopey, typical when the drinking is taking place in someone's apartment. I blame Jordan for conditioning me to crave Elton John, David Bowie, and Billy Joel while drunk. Also, I am unashamed to say, I've been known to participate in some Stars duets when particularly intoxicated. I chalk this all up to the fact that these kind of nights are generally my favorite kinds of nights, ones where I'm with real friends having real fun, where I'm instantly nostalgic and basically already missing the times I know will end. Or I could just be a sentimental little bitch. Who knows.

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Note from Rachel: Unfortunately, my brilliance is sometimes a finite resource. Send us your ideas for future installments of Random Pop Culture Question of the Week on twitter @reviewtobenamed (follow us here), or shoot us an e-mail at reviewtobenamed@gmail.com.

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