This party is out of control. The keg is tapped, the air is gray, and cigarette butts float like rotten cherries in half the drinks on the counter. And everyone's paired off, either contemplating bathroom encounters or arguing over when Golden Girls jumped the shark. You need to get people focused. You need to get this shambling beast headed in a (swaying) straight line again. You need a sing-along. And no one-person-in-the spotlight karaoke music, either. You need songs about the one thing everyone in the room can agree upon: getting even drunker than you are now. Throw the following songs onto a disc before the madness starts, and you'll get great gusts of alcohol miasma pumping from your friends' lungs. Fellowship will be regained. Par-ty.
The Tune: "Drinking and Driving"
The Artist: The Business
The Facts: A drinking song in its purest form, this punk-rock pub shanty from England's the Business gives you the vicarious thrill of drunk driving with none of the risk. If you're listening to this in your car, you're on your own.
Lyric to Slur Loudest: "Knock it back/Have another one/Drinking and driving is so much fun!"
Drink: An Irish car bomb
Level of Drunk Required: Pissed
The Tune: "Are You Drinking with Me, Jesus?"
The Artist: Mojo Nixon (with Jello Biafra)
This most memorable track off the Mojo Nixon/Jello Biafra collaboration Prairie Home Invasion (except, perhaps, "Will the Fetus Be Aborted?") barely features political punk from Jello at all. It's pure bent country, Mojo-style, with such a simple sing-along style that even your most trashed friends will be able to sing the chorus by the second verse. What would Jesus do? He'd drink up, sucker.
Lyric to Slur Loudest: "I know you can walk on water/But can you walk on this much beer?"
Drink: Sacramental wine
Level of Drunk Required: Sloshed
The Song: "The Blarney Stone"
The Artist: Ween
Ween's re-creation of an Irish drinking tune works as well as the real thing. Its tales of claymore swords and foot sores requires heavy drinking and fellowship. Just try not to lift your mug in the air while chanting the "aye, aye, aye" of the chorus.
Lyric to Slur the Loudest: "Who's that girl/That pretty young thing? After I fuck her/She'll get up and sing!"
Drink: Room-temperature Guinness
Level of Drunk Required: In your cups
The Song: "Crabwalk"
The Artist: American Music Club
American Music Club's Everclear is a downer of an album, filled with sad, desperate musings about depression and alcoholism. So it was nice of AMC to slip one semi-ironic, full-tilt drinkin' song into the mix. Don't worry: You won't be thinking about the meaning of lyrics like "No one has any pity/For the life of the party" while you're trying to figure out how to do the crabwalk.
Lyric to Slur the Loudest: "He reels around the nightclub/Like the hubcaps from a car/That just crashed into a sign/That says, 'This way to the nightclub.'"
Drink: Vodka and Clamato
Level of Drunk Required: Stinko
The Song: "Jesse James"
The Artist: The Pogues
While anything off the album Rum, Sodomy & the Lash is good for pure Irish decadence, the Missouri-outlaw flavor of this American folk song gives this tune some added heft. Murder can be fun. Raise a toast to the king of bandits, won't you?
Lyric to Slur the Loudest: "It was Robert Ford, that dirty little coward, I wonder how he feels/For he ate of Jesse's bread and slept in Jesse's bed/Then laid poor Jesse in his grave."
Drink: Corn whiskey
Level of Drunk Required: Liquored up
The Song: "Doreen"
The Artist: Old 97's
Hey, is someone getting a little maudlin up in here? Lover left someone sobbing in his cup? Avoid real sad drinkin' songs like "There's a Tear in My Beer" or "You Were Always on My Mind." Those are party killers. Instead, pop that melancholy like a zit with this scream-along cheatin' song. And keep that sad guy or gal drinkin', -- there're happy tunes on the way.
Lyric to Slur the Loudest: "And the guy who plays the banjo/Keeps on handing me the Old Crow/Which multiplies my sorrow/I can't take it anymore."
Drink: Old Crow, natch.
Level of Drunk Required: Three sheets to the wind
The Song: "Kiss Off"
The Artist: Violent Femmes
Ask drunks what they're rebelling against, and they'll reply, "Whaddya got...to drink?" The sloshed don't know what they're angry about, and neither do the Violent Femmes. Everyone between the ages of 20 and 35 at your jam knows every word to this song, and they will scream along uncontrollably. (Note: the Femmes' "Add It Up" works just as well.)
Lyric to Slur the Loudest: "[I took] eight, eight, I forget what eight was for/Nine, nine, nine for the lost god/And ten, ten, ten, ten for everything, everything, everything, everything!"
Drink: Something you can handle ten shots of. Apple Pucker?
Level of Drunk Required: Tore up from the floor up
The Song: "Too Drunk to Fuck"
The Artist: The Dead Kennedys
Has it come to this? It has, my tanked friend, it has. The least-attractive song about drinking in the world, the Dead Kennedys' "Too Drunk to Fuck" is a volatile additive. It will either implode your party or launch it into the boozy stratosphere. See you in March when the hangover wears off!
Lyric to Slur the Loudest: "But in my room/Wish you were dead/You ball like the baby in Eraserhead."
Drink: What's left?
Level of Drunk Required: Um, too drunk to fuck. Duh.
Also play: "You Never Even Call Me By My Name," David Allan Coe; "Gang's All Here," the Dropkick Murphys; "Ain't That a Kick in the Head," Dean Martin; "The Piano Has Been Drinking," Tom Waits; "Family Tradition," Hank Williams, Jr.