Beer In Film #24: ElbowSkin’s Beer Song

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Today’s beer video is a wonderful song created for Melbourne’s beer week, Good Beer Week. It was written and performed by Dave Elbow and Ernie Skin of the duo ElbowSkin. I’m sure some people will find something to be offended by in the song, but it’s pretty damn funny. It’s also very catchy with some great quotes like “unleash the beast” and “it’s like drinking god’s tears.”

Beer Song by ElbowSkin from The Post Project on Vimeo.

Beck’s Music-Playing Edison Bottle

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For their New Zealand market, Beck’s hired an ad agency, Shine, to create some buzz for their brand, and they came up with The Beck’s Edison Bottle, the world’s first beer bottle you can play like a record.

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Here’s the description from Vimeo:

The first playable beer.

19th Century technology meets 21st Century music over a bottle of beer in the latest extension to the Beck’s Record Label project.

This time, the art label has evolved, and been replaced by the grooves of Auckland band Ghost Wave. Their new single was inscribed into the surface of a Beck’s beer bottle which could then be played on a specially-built device based on Thomas Edison’s original cylindrical phonograph.
Making the world’s first playable beer bottle was a formidable technical challenge. The clever people at Auckland firm Gyro Constructivists first had to design and build a record-cutting lathe, driven by a hard drive recording head. Then they reinvented Edison’s original cylinder player, using modern materials and electronics and built to very fine tolerances.

The Edison Bottle made its public debut at SemiPermanent in Auckland in May to a standing ovation from the assembled media and design community.

Beck’s has had a long association with music and art. In fact, at about the same time Heinrich Beck was brewing his first beer in the 1870s, Tom Edison was tinkering away on designs for the first phonograph.

Considering how beer has influenced recorded music since then, this physical collaboration was very appropriate and long overdue.

And below is a video showing the design and manufacturing process, along with a short demonstration of the bottle being played.

These close-ups show what the grooves on the bottle look like.
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The Celebrator Silver Polka

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During last night’s Celebrator 25th Anniversary Party, Vic Kralj, from the Bistro, wrote a spoof of “Roll Out the Barrel” for our silver anniversary, entitled the Celebrator Silver Polka. Then he rehearsed it with regulars and friends from his beer bar, unveiling it as a special surprise for Tom Dalldorf during the party. Below is a video the evening’s performance.

And here’s the sheet music, if you want to sing along.
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Afterwards, Tom was presented with a framed copy of the song.

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And later he and Arlene posed with some of the culprits who perpetrated his surprise.

The Band Is Back For Strong Beer Month

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It’s February, and that means it’s time for the 11th annual Strong Beer Month, once again with six new extreme beers each at 21st Amendment and Magnolia throughout the month. Try them all, and you get to keep the commemorative logo glass. Just collect all 12 punches in your Strong Beer Month ticket before the beer’s all gone.

Here’s the beer for this year:

Side M: Magnolia:

  1. Promised Land Imperial I.P.A.: 10.5% abv
  2. McLean’s Wee Heavy: 8.4% abv
  3. Delilah Jones Rye: 9.6% abv
  4. Quadlibet for Tenderfeet: 9.4% abv
  5. Old Thunderpussy Barleywine: 10.6% abv
  6. Smokestack Lightning Imperial Stout: 9.8% abv

Side Two: 21st Amendment:

  1. Lord & Master Strong English Blonde: 8.2% abv
  2. Dub Step Imperial I.P.A.: 10.2% abv
  3. Nelson, Jade, and Helga Imperial I.P.A.: 10.5% abv
  4. Red Giant Imperial Red Alek: 11%
  5. Two-Lane Blacktop Imperial Black I.P.A.: 10% abv
  6. Hendrick’s Imperial Stout: 8.6% abv

This year’s theme is the 1969 album “The Band” featuring Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, John Simon, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson and Richard Manuel, and while I know the names, I couldn’t pick most of them out in a line-up, so I’m not sure who’s playing who this year.

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And here’s the back cover, too:

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Under the Anheuser Bush

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Another historical oddity, Under the Anheuser Bush, was a song written around 1903, with words by Andrew B. Sterling and music by Harry Von Tilzer. This version is sung by Billy Murray and is a 1903 Old Edison Recording.

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Here’s the lyrics:

Talk about the shade of the sheltering palms
Praise the bamboo tree and it’s wide spreading charms
There’s a little bush that grows right here in town
You know it’s name it has won such renown
Often with my sweetheart just after the play
To this little place then my footsteps will stray
If she hesitates when she looks at the sign
Softly I whisper, “Now Sue, don’t decline….”

Rave about the place where you swells go to dine
Picture you and me with our sandwich and stein
Underneath the bush where the good fellows meet
Life seems worth living, our joy is complete
If you’re sad at heart take a trip there tonight
You’ll forget your woe and your eyes will grow bright.
There you’ll surely find me with my sweetheart, Sue.
Come down this evening, I’ll introduce you.

Come, come, come and make eyes with me
Under the Anheuser Bush
Come come drink some Budwise with me
Under the Anheuser Bush
Hear the old German Band
Just let me hold your hand YAH!
Do, do come and have a stein or two
Under the Anheuser Bush!

Here’s Verse 1:

And Verse 2:

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Below is yet another version, a little more scratchy than the other one, but is also sung by Billy Murray. It was recorded in Philadelphia on January 15, 1904 and is Take 4. I found it at the National Jukebox at the Library of Congress.

This one was recorded on vinyl by Monarch Records.

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Lines Written On The Barley Corn

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Here’s another interesting piece of history, an 1867 woodcut illustration of a farmer and a donkey carrying a bundle of barley corn, with a version of the John Barleycorn song engraved below. This one was printed in Dublin. There were countless versions of the English folksong, and its actual origin unknown. The version written by Scottish poet Robert Burns is probably the most well-known, though it was written around 1782, when it had been around for at least several centuries. It’s also been recorded by numerous bands, including a popular version by the English band Traffic. And finally, I wrote an overview of John Barleycorn a few years ago that includes the Burns poem.

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The Toronado Comes To Russian River

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Last night, in the continuing and ongoing celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Toronado, a bus left San Francisco from lower Haight carrying a majority of the pub’s employees (leaving behind only a skeleton crew) along with significant others and friends of the bar. After traffic slowed their progress, two hours later sixty people emerged from the bus — now 18 cases of beer lighter — in Santa Rosa for a Toronado Anniversary Party at Russian River Brewing.

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The dining section of the brewpub was set aside for the private party, while patrons could continue to sit at the bar and use the other sections of the brewery.

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I even got the missus to come out and play, seen here with Brian Hunt, from Moonlight Brewing.

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Toronado balloons hung throughout the place.

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There were many folks at the party who came into town from all over the place; from Philadelphia, Denver, Portland, Seattle, New York and even San Diego. For instance, Jeff Bagby, looking for a location for his new San Diego brewery, and Eric Rose, from Hollister Brewing.

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Our hosts Natalie and Vinnie Cilurzo introduced the band, American Dog, who flew in from their native Ohio to play the party (they’re one of Toronado owner Dave Keene’s favorite bands). The last time they were here was five years ago for the Toronado’s 20th.

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Natalie air-guitaring with a giant bottle of Toronado 25th Anniversary.

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Raising a toast, Dave Keene (in the back) flanked by Ian Black (from the San Diego Toronado) and Jen Schwertman (from New York’s Blind Tiger).

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Dave Hopwood sporting his latest for-charity dyed beard. Click here to donate for Dave.

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American Dog played a great 21-song set and we said our good-byes (Mrs. J having a real job, had to get up early the next morning), leaving the assembled guests as they celebrated into the night. Thanks to Vinnie, Natalie and Dave for another wonderful evening of beer, music and camaraderie. Happy Anniversary Dave!