Sunday, November 21, 2004

Ice Cream, Scotch, And Gin

I just ate some chocolate chip ice cream and chased it down with a glass of Scotch. Bad idea. A former co-worker said he didn't like Scotch because it tasted "too medicinal." Never is that more true than after ice cream. It's a combination so jolting to the body that you'll just have to try it yourself someday.

Right now I'm listening to one of my favorite drinking albums, the Gin Blossoms' New Miserable Experience. Of course, this is not an inspirational record--Doug Hopkins, who wrote half of the songs, was an alcoholic who got kicked out of the band before they hit it big. He committed suicide in 1993. Songs of his like "Lost Horizons," "Hey Jealousy," "Hold Me Down," "Found Out About You" and "Pieces Of The Night" speak of a certain sad, isolated, often intoxicated existence. It's anything but "happy" music, although readers have probably noticed that most of the music I like isn't happy (with Devo being a notable exception).

I first heard New Miserable Experience when my brother gave me his cassette. I think he said it wasn't "heavy enough." I upgraded to a CD around the time I moved out of the house (I always hated prerecorded cassettes--I went straight from LPs to CDs), so this album always reminds me of the first few months I lived in my apartment. While I never drank that much (thank God), I had similar luck in relationships, so it was an appropriate soundtrack (along with the Offspring's "Self Esteem"). A couple years ago, I bought a special 10th anniversary "Deluxe Edition" at a store closing sale. Unfortunately, the bonus disc is comprised of mostly weak material and live versions, plus a particularly lame "alternate" version of "Pieces Of The Night" with an unnecessary piano ending. The Deluxe Edition is on the right below.

By the way, the Gin Blossoms are one of very few rock acts to hail from Arizona. Alice Cooper and the Meat Puppets are a couple of others.

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