Friday, March 28, 2008

Like That Annoying Song Stuck In Your Head

I don't really have the meat for an entire post here, but I've noticed over the last several years I've been getting really bad music stuck in my head, music from the '80s that clearly made an impression on my brain. Some of it doesn't totally suck, but then there's the days when "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" pops in and won't go away, or something from some crappy-ass rapper, hair band or worse, one-hit-wonder pop stars. For the longest time I wondered if I needed therapy for this condition, the bad music stuck in the head, but eventually I realized it was more common a condition than any of us lead on - yes, I suspect it happens to you too. Right now, in fact, I've got "Don't give me no lines and keep your hands to yourself" looping between the ears - not nearly as bad as Cindy Lauper. Heck, there are even times I don't mind Dave Matthews...

So, what's the harm in listening to, and enjoying, a crappy song once in a while? Really? While in Phoenix recently I had a rental car that was tuned to some 80's station, it was a fun ride into the office that day. And now we have online streaming stations we can customize, stations like Pandora or even some found through iTunes' radio feature. It's easy to indulge in the music we won't listen to with friends, or in public, the music we avoid when walking the aisles of the music shop. Not only is it easy, I think it's good.

All this brings me to this past weekend in Portland. After hitting up Horse Brass and Green Dragon I met up with some friends at a dive bar. There were a couple mega-craft beers available on tap, but something in me was just dying for an Pabst Blue Ribbon, from the bottle. Figuring I wouldn't ruin relationships with those around me, I bought one... and thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, I had a second one.

You probably get where I'm going on this, right? Pabst isn't a bad beer, but after college and the age when we sought after only the cheapest pints, we're more comfortable imbibing more characterful beers, the craft beers of the country. It's sort of like those bad - and marginal - songs we have stuck in our head. It happens. Its OK, you can still be part of the better beer enthusiast club.

What's more, there are nights I've gone out with friends to a local club for dancing and drinks (and no, I can't dance). When there the music that's stuck in the head from time to time just seems right, shuffling feet to "To the beat of the rhythm of the night" doesn't seem as sorry as it would if you were alone in the living room. In those times, the setting makes the music more palatable, acceptable, fun and down-right entertaining.

The same with beer, even macro beer. Every year I share a few Buds with my father and brother. Sure, they'll dabble with craft beer, but for them it's almost as though 'beer is beer'. I gotta tell you, for as long as I've been drinking beer as an adult, there are no better beer drinking memories than these times, especially if we've been hiking in the Cascades in Southern Oregon in the heat of summer. Getting back to the truck and pulling a Bud from the ice, sharing it with my family while sitting in the dirt - there's no bar in the world that offers that lasting emotional memory.

I guess as Don Younger says, "It's not about the beer, it's about the beer".

Perhaps I should have titled this entry, "Confessions of a better-beer and better-music enthusiast"...