Sober to Hungover
A St. Patrick’s birthday has instilled two strong feelings in me: gratitude for having lived through my 21st, and a consuming hatred of Celtic punk. Can’t I drink and revel without being assaulted by some guttural, redlining, Bostonian ode to the same? Not all of us get in bar brawls after our third pint of Guinness (which I also despise, come to think of it). Let’s hijack this jukebox and figure out what a boozy night really sounds like—from sober to hungover.
1. “Drive It All Over Me,” My Bloody Valentine (You Made Me Realise EP)
Confused, greasy, burnt out from the day’s caffeine abuse and other indignities, you tumble out of your office in need of a Happy Hour. Something in your addled mind is convinced that fun is just around the corner, if only you could find a two-for-one deal. (Speaking of which, since MBV is from Dublin, you just fulfilled your cultural obligations for the night.)
2. “Sunny Day,” Film School (Fission)
The endorphin hit from your first sip. The bar brightens; your shoulders unbunch themselves. Hey, the friends you were meeting here just walked in. You undo a button at your collar—maybe even two, as a joke, but then you leave it that way, what the hell.
3. “The Dum Dum Ditty,” The Shangri-Las (Myrmidons of Melodrama)
Things get slinkier, focus softens, and a sudden key change signals the arrival of an authentic buzz. Man, this beer is working as advertised. N.B. you will never be as witty tonight as you are right now, so get those barbs in while you can.
4. “Plumb Line,” Archers of Loaf (Icky Mettle)
This is the two-drink sweet spot, a perfect tipsiness even as you remain perfectly vertical. If you had any sense you’d probably quit right here, or at least slacken the pace, but nope.
5. “Jail Is Fine,” Army Navy (Army Navy)
Beginning to feel rather invincible, are we.
6. “Thank You Friends,” Big Star (Third/Sister Lovers)
Now come hints of problematic insobriety: chummy demeanor, fizzy exclamations. Resist the urge to suggest a game of pool; chalk the tip of your index finger instead.
7. “23 Minutes In Brussels,” Luna (Penthouse)
Four drinks deep, the heavy buzz. Also known as the eye of the storm. You maybe forget to talk for a while. You’re conscious of swaying a bit, though you choose to believe it makes you look cool.
8. “Wrong Tube [Edit],” Swirlies (Brokedick Car EP)
Here you enjoy a brief second wind! But a sloppy one. Still, you’re so excited about pushing through that wave of sleepiness that you start agitating for a round of car bombs, which in no way improves your literal or social standing.
9. “Everything’s Gone Green,” New Order (Movement)
Everyone’s staring as you attempt to disengage your ankle from a bar stool, trying to recall the last time they were that shitfaced.
10. “Hopelessly Wasted,” Shrag (Shrag)
[FOOTAGE NOT FOUND]
11. “Held,” Smog (Knock Knock)
Presumably there was a bathroom floor and/or Good Samaritan involved.
12. “The Struggle,” The Dead Texan (The Dead Texan)
Wake up in clothes, with more eye crust than normal. Wait ten hours, then restart playlist.
–Miles Klee is the author of Ivyland (OR Books, 2012). He lives in Manhattan with his wife and two dogs.