Bevs, Books, and Bangers // 2

Mondays @ 9 pm EST. Sipping beverages , flipping pages, and selecting from my physical collection. Forever & ever.

THE BEverage

Night Shift Brewing – Santilli

Despite the inauspicious frequency of my posts, I have in fact been drinking delicious IPAs all year. This little cutie is a classic local favorite – Night Shift Brewing‘s slammable Santilli American IPA. At 6.0% ABV it’s not going to knock me out, but my dear friend Steve did bring me a whole 3 cans of it, so that should do. I traded him a tall can of Fiddlehead for his troubles, which is a beer we’re sure to see here in the future.


Nick Hornby – High Fidelity (1995)

I totally gobbled (πŸ¦ƒ) this one up – start to finish in under a weekend. How could I not – when it gives as close a glimpse of the inner workings of a mid-thirties male music lover’s romantic mind as any late-twenties female music lover is ever likely to get?

I find, happily, that I can tear through novels just as fast as I could in the old days. I fret, unhappily, that the main character of this one (Rob) would thoroughly disapprove of my music taste. Perhaps especially of the new pop album I’m about to shamelessly pair the book with.

But maybe I need to put a little more faith in Rob because he goes from agreeing with Barry early on that, “what really matters is what you like, not what you are like,” to admitting, if only to himself, “that maybe, given the right set of peculiar, freakish, probably unrepeatable circumstances, it’s not what you like but what you’re like that’s important.”

I feel like I have my moments with fandom and music taste where I act just as shallow as early-on Rob. That’s when you want to show someone else your taste, desperately grab for their approval and cast them off if they don’t drool over your selections. But lately, I’ve been living in learning about what other people like and why. A friend recently showed me an artist I’d heard of but hadn’t taken a real listen to, maybe because it’s a hyper-popular artist, but I couldn’t stop listening for hours after they’d left. Connecting meaning to music and building community through each other is why we even listen in the first place. Whether we want to admit it or not.

A note before I get to the album – this book’s been made into a 2000 film and a 2020 TV series, both of which I haven’t seen yet. And wouldn’t Rob have to ask Barry and Dick what ever I might mean by that “yet”?


Darwin Deez – Darwin Deez (2010, but this is the 2020 pressing)

So last time, I said I wouldn’t shut up about Doctor Bionic. That was sort of a lie because the real lifelong burner for me is Darwin Deez. This indie rock album hit me like a ton of bricks in 2010, when I was in high school. The number of times I ripped around my suburban town in my little red Volkswagen Jetta, blasting this music and all but yelling along to the lyrics isn’t calculable.

The first track I ever heard by Darwin Deez at all was “Radar Detector,” scraped off’s free MP3 downloads section. I always felt self-conscious playing it because it was so different-sounding and included so much more repetition than other songs. I once counted how many times he says, “you are a radar detector,” and came out with a full 25. Funny, the things you can be insecure about when you fully attach yourself to hipster indie when you’re 16.

It’s not important that I love every song here for its own metaphor-laden lyricism or forceful jangle. It’s not even important that I’m the kind of person who’s blasted this album for years without losing any bit of love for it. It’s just important that this art exists because I’m not alone in connecting to it so viscerally. This YouTube documentary is a good way to fall in love with Darwin if you haven’t yet.

The 7″ that came included with this has “Lights On,” “The Coma Song,” and the song that hits me in the gut, “Hey Mom,” which I tend to spin first every time I bust this pair out. Parents, man. They really do be like that.

Favorite track isn’t all too easy to pull on this release… it’s always been “DNA,” but “The City” and “The Suicide Song” have only grabbed me more and more over time.