By Mike Faloon
Thinking of which writers go well with various songs reminded me of when the Dogfish Head brewery released a beer called Bitches Brew to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Miles Davis album. I thought the wine crowd, if anyone, would lead the way when it came to pairing beverages with jazz records. I asked my friend Brian Cogan to pair "Ocean's Skin," "Hand," and "Maycrowning" with beers.
"Ocean's Skin": There's a hint of Husker Du, so German beer, a lighter spaten or Captain Lawrence's Liquid Gold.
"Hand": More complex, maybe a Brooklyn Black Ops, a good stout with lots of aging potential.
"Maycrowning": a lighter yet aromatic Belgian, Westmalle Dubbel.
I e-mailed my friend Jennifer Whiteford and asked her which writer came to mind when she listened to "Maycrowning."
"I listened to "Maycrowning" a bunch of times and the writer that came to me every single time was Lynda Barry. That may not be the kind of writer you were expecting, but her work really matches that song. There's a kind of uncertain cowardice paired with a fascination with the unknown that comes up in the lyrics and those things are ongoing themes in Barry's comics and in her novel (Cruddy). Plus, the sound of the song evokes a scrappy kind of spazzy, youthful girl, which basically describes all of Barry's characters. To me, the song is about being expected to have faith in something you're not sure has your best interests at heart. Totally Lynda Barry."
From Learning to Surf, a one-shot music zine by Mike Faloon.