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Best of 2017: Kevin’s Top Booze and Bands

Hey Garrett Dale, 2017 was kinda horseshit too. Just sayin'.

Fest 16

Every single year I have the exact same thought when I’m putting together my Best of *insert year* list, “fuck.” It seems like by the time we fight our way through another shitty twelve months, all the best music has come out. “There is no way next year can beat this!” Then it totally fucking does. So, I’m sitting here combing through all of the 2017 releases, and I completely forgot that some of these albums were even released this year. They feel like they’ve been around forever. But I guess that’s the sign of a great album – when it feels like part of the family and not some shitty step dad trying to buy your love so he can keep banging your mom without it being awkward. You’re not my real dad, Larry.

Another year done just doesn’t bring the best of albums list. It has also been an experimental year for the ol’ drinking as well. I’m really proud of all my friends who have gotten and stayed sober over the years, but that’s not my path at the moment. I love my hooch. So without further ado, here are the best new cocktails I’ve discovered in 2017:

5. The Statue of Liberty

What’s better than 100 proof minty alcohol you ask? Sticking your finger into the 100 proof minty alcohol and setting it on fire. The goal here is to get a shot of Rumple Minze, dip your finger in, light your newly booze-soaked finger on fire, hold it in the air like the Statue of Liberty, and take the rest of the shot before you sear your flesh. It burns so good.

Pro tip: try this you’re already a few drinks deep. It will seem like a really good idea then.

4. Sweet Tea Bourbon

I originally found this drink at Quenchers Saloon in Chicago. It was one of those days where I just didn’t want beer, so the nice bartender pointed me in the direction of their special cocktail menu. Sweet tea and Bourbon is that drink that just makes sense when you think about it. Bourbon is basically the southern version of whiskey and the people of the South are also the geniuses that dumped a shit ton of sugar into some tea. South + south = a fucking good time. The sweet tea’s flavor will overpower the bourbon, so keep it cheap – Evan Williams, Old Crow, maybe some Jim Beam if you’re feeling a little fancy. Basically anything considered from the well at a bar. No need to go balls to the wall with some Bulleit bourbon; you’re just wasting your money, you Richie Rich piece of shit.

3. Chip Bag Cocktail

This year at Fest I was on a budget. Kendra suggested bringing a flask with me. But a flask is kind of too obvious that you are being a piece of shit. Camouflage is key. So when we had a bunch of empty “fun size” chip bags lying around our hotel room, a light bulb went off over my head. Put the booze in that, stupid. You can carry it around like you’re just eating some chips, but in reality you’re getting tanked. No one second guesses a bag of Funyons. They just assumed you’re a stoned idiot. Plus you get the bonus flavor of some chip dust in your on-the-go cocktail for added flavor if you’re too lazy to wash the bag out beforehand like you know I am. Bonus edition: my girlfriend one upped my scumbag game by emptying a can of Pringles and using that to conceal her tall can of PBR like a fucked up metal/cardboard koozie.

2. DVP

DVPs are the drink of choice for rockers. When I was on tour with Western Settings on the West Coast, Shane Hendry was filling in for Adam Kissell on drums, and ordered a “Ryan Donovan special” AKA the Double Vodka Pineapple AKA the DVP. I watched as a very drunk Shane spilled an entire DVP on the floor of the Kraken in Seattle, and casually ordered a replacement without missing a step. The bartender obliged. That’s the power of the DVP. And fuck you, this isn’t about the PUP song. Get out of here poser, rockers only!

1. Dr. Jameo

Born in an alley in San Diego between some dumpsters, Dr. Jameo is the best thing you will ever have. We went to a show at Red Brontosaurus Records in full party mode, but it was a dry show being in a record store and all. So we went to the closest liquor store, bought a little bottle of Jameson and went in search of a mixer. Sure, we could have got the standard Coke. But I was with my friend Jess and she wanted a good tasting diet soda. And since Diet Dr. Pepper tastes like regular Dr. Pepper ™, we went with that. Well, I got the regular Dr. Pepper because I ain’t scared of no fucking calories. What was born that day was the most tasty booze treat imaginable.

When we brought this gift to the people (my girlfriend Kaylin) who absolutely hates Dr. Pepper, she even enjoyed it. I think the key here is the Dr. Pepper, I recently experimented with distant cousin Evan Pepper (Evan Williams and Dr. Pepper) and was not disappointed. It didn’t have the total smoothness that the Jameson brought, but I didn’t immediately spit it out and barf. The only bad thing about this drink is you can’t really get it at a bar. Most places don’t regularly carry Dr. Pepper in their little spray guns, which is fucking stupid. Idiot bars.

So there you go. Get out and get drunk if you drink. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Vodka sodas and whiskey cokes are great, but there is a world of flavor out there that you are missing out on because you’re fucking scared to leave you’re stupid little bubble. See you at the bar in 2018.

Oh yeah, the music. Fuck.

Top 5 Ep’s of 2017:
5. MastodonCold Dark PlaceReprise Records
4. Dollar SignsLife is Ruff Possum Heart Records
3. The CoathangersParasiteSuicide Squeeze Records
2. Garrett Dale Two T’s EPRed Scare
1. Four Lights/SquarecrowOkay FriendsBomb Pop Records

Top 10 albums of 2017:
10. Hot Water MusicLight It UpRise Records
9. Sincere EngineerRhombithianRed Scare
8. Pears/Direct Hit!Human MovementFat Wreck Chords
7. Sciatic NerveSciatic Nerve Anxious and Angry
6. Dead Bars Dream Gig No Idea Records
5. Western AddictionTremulousFat Wreck Chords
4. Meat WaveThe IncessantSideonedummy
3. Bad Cop/Bad CopWarriorsFat Wreck Chords
2. Freya Wilcox and the HowlTooth and Nail – Self released
1. The DopaminesTales of Interest Rad Girlfriend Records

Fuck you, nailed it.

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