Oh dear, sweet day drinking. You’re the afternoon’s best friend and nightfall’s arch enemy, a tempting mistress of sunshine-covered fun whose fading, beach-themed wall mural covers up the crumbling brick of the early evening hangover that will surely visit. Unless, of course, you maintain the stamina to play through into the nighttime (which is a whole other mixtape). For today’s soundtrack, we go deep into the feel-good musical spectrum of the past four decades with a story arc that spans funk, disco, hip-hop, and soul — even a premium blend of soft and yacht rock.
“All You’re Waiting For” by Classixx & Nancy Whang
Nancy Whang is best known as the keyboardist/backup vocalist for LCD Soundsystem (easily commanding the role of the coolest kid in class on stage). She’s done lead vocals for The Juan Maclean, Shit Robot, and Audiojack, to name a few. On “All You’re Waiting For,” she pairs up with Los Angeles’ Classixx for some synth-soaked nü disco that fits in snugly with the rest of the opening upbeat funk section of our playlist. As Ms. Whang drinks cocktails, plays with puppies, and dances emotionlessly on a yacht in the music video, this song yearns to rock your day party.
“Brass Monkey” by Beastie Boys
Any Beasties lover can tell you that the seminal bass-driven track, “Brass Monkey,” off the debut album, Licensed To Ill, is early proof of just how funky fresh these boundary-pushing NYC MCs could be (and a rather stirring ode to consuming alcohol to boot). Sampling “Bring It Here” by the little-known Brooklyn group, Wild Sugar, the Beastie Boys celebrate the mysterious, invigorating elixir with all manner of boasts and announcements: “I drink Brass Monkey and I rock well / I got a Castle in Brooklyn / That’s where I dwell.” Just a perpetual cosmic tragedy that Adam Yauch/MCA/Nathaniel Hörnblowér isn’t here to delve out the defness in person. RIP MCA.
“I Know You Got Soul” by Eric B. & Rakim
After decades of public beefing and vowing to never play together again, it was truly mind-blowing to catch Eric B. & Rakim at The Fillmore here in San Francisco a couple weeks ago. When it comes to tracks to help you bob your head to the beat, there are few that can envelope you in the thump like the Bobby Byrd sampling “I Know You Got Soul.” Though the song is more about getting on the microphone and rocking the crowd, the inherent vibe that overtakes the listener makes this near-perfect, classic hiphop track ideal for instilling the liquid courage needed to socialize under the bright glare of sunshine while day-guzzling.
“What I Got” by Sublime
Sublime always seemed like one of those bands that was custom-made for suds- and buds-saturated good times. With the hybrid, SoCal-surfer-meets-hip-hip groove in full effect, “What I Got” holds down the epicenter of this day drinking mix like a ping pong ball nestled in the frothy bottom of a red plastic Solo cup. Hard not to shake one’s fist at Brad Nowell for leaving this earth way too early, leaving us to pour out our collective 40-ouncers as we ponder the myriad songs that could have been.
“I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” by Daryl Hall & John Oates
With the arrival of Hall & Oates and their well preserved “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” — along with Toto’s “Africa” before it — so begins our slow descent into the soft underbelly of ’70s and ’80s rock. Mind you, Hall & Oates have truly turned the corner on their oft maligned, somewhat cheesy reputation and have finally been embraced for the pop music,Philly soul brilliance that they always espoused. Having gone on record as claiming this song to be in reference to not compromising their integrity in the music business (as opposed to their unwillingness to participate in some next level sexual exploration), “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” has just the right magical twinkle in its eye to help you ride your daytime drinking buzz off into the slowly setting sun.
May this mix help you reach an optimal blood alcohol/recording level balance as you duel with the devious dragon of day drinking! Remember: Pace yourself, drink lots of water, and don’t forget to eat something along the way — you’re gonna be just fine! Cheers!