Until I can finally fulfill my lifelong goal of obtaining a copy of Metal Machine Music on vinyl, I think Betty Davis’ Nasty Gal is absolutely the best record I have to play for these Sunday instigative morning sessions. Even without the words (which are outrageously suggestive, breathy, and grunt-y), this is probably the dirtiest sounding record I own. It is incredible heavy funk, Mrs. Davis backs herself with a crack team that can make the listener dance, grind, and blush at will. Legend has it that Betty was too much woman for hubby Miles (who was no prude himself so I’ve heard), and it is easy to believe that the creator of this record was quite a lady to handle. So exploitive that it becomes empowering in a sense. In short, an album that makes Serge Gainsbourg songs sound like nursery rhymes and Prince records sound virginal. And there is a good deal of supremacy in controlling a provocative sound with that much grace, style, and umph.
Conversely, Clown Shoes’ Tramp Stamp has no such clout (especially regarding gender relation matters). In fact, the beer had three strikes against before I even bought it. First, the beer store clerk said that some guys from a fraternity had just bought 20 bottles of the stuff for a party the weekend before. Not generally a good sign for craft beers. Second, it is a Belgian IPA that is definitely not very fresh, caked in dust. Finally, the name and logo are ridiculously bad. Just lowbrow in the wrong sort of way…juvenile, sexist, and, worse, just not that clever. Frat boy oafish. Perhaps that’s why they bought so much of it. More likely it was the same reason that I bought it…it had been reduced to 2 bucks a bottle.
And, well, really not too shabby of a beer. It tastes like a dirty IPA…hops muddled with some Belgian yeast tartness, citrus bite, malt and bread thickness, and spicy clove flavors. Nothing too distinct. Nothing clean at all. Nothing to take home to ma. Nothing to marry or say “I Love You” to. But good enough to make out with at a party. Or grind on at the disco. Assuming you can still find a disco.
Both beer and vinyl make their living lacking subtlety, exploiting their griminess. Both do the trick. And you can’t mistake the fact that the album resonates as a powerful street funk testimonial, while the beer is maybe just a better than average BIPA with a stupid ass-centric label, they work well together for me. Maybe one props up the other, maybe not. Either way…crack the windows, pop a top, and let those Sunday morning libidinous hymns fly. Give the neighbors something to pray about.