I never judge where I make new friends, find new music, or any other of life’s pleasant discoveries. I tend to let serendipity take its course. This week I was blown away by a new track at the clothing store, H&M. Okay, maybe you can judge me for that, but this wasn’t the typical pulsing E.D.M. soundtrack that makes you feel your brain feel like you’re stuck inside Candy Crush.
Allow me to frame the scenario.
While my wife auditioned new threads for her wardrobe. I perused the men’s section. For those of you who have never entered H&M, it is the type of clothing store that doesn’t carry loose fit or boot fit jeans. There is one size: skinny. Like twelve-year-old boy-who-hasn’t-gone-through-puberty-yet skinny.
I’d never tried on skinny jeans before. And now I know why. These pants fit me like someone tried to put eight ounces of toothpaste back into a seven-ounce tube. I’ll spare you the details. Let’s just say getting out of those jeans was time-consuming and messy.
I placed a modern-day corset (At least this torture device is unisex. Yay, progress!) in the hands of my retail associate without making eye contact and with my tail between my legs. While I licked me wounds, my wife laughed at me and continued to shop. When I had given up hope that this trip would be in any way redeeming for me, this song came on: “Shake it Loose” by Astronauts, etc. As the reverb-soaked guitars slithered in, my shame began to slither out. Shimmering, delicate downtempo funk melted on my musical palette. P.S. the rest of their first album, Mind Out Wandering, is pretty great too.
Immediately, I felt better, at least until my wife came out of the dressing room still laughing with a heap of clothes that fit her like joy fits a child. Her wardrobe passed the audition. My attempt to find a decent pair of jeans failed in the same dramatic, let-it-all-burn-to-the-ground fashion that finding a date to Homecoming junior year did. That, my friends, is a blog for another day.
I’m pairing “Shake it Loose” with Ballast Point’s Calico Amber Ale, or California Amber Ale. The label is a bit misleading because it’s a hybrid between an American amber ale, and an English ESB. The color is a reddish, amber color, with a nose that is surprisingly spicy and floral. The initial flavor is like a sweet, velvety biscuit, but the hops provide the perfect amount of balance and bite.
This song and this beer are perfect for setting up a comfortable evening. Whether you are starting the grill, heating up leftovers and watching Netflix, or putting on clothes to meet up friends for dinner (preferably jeans that don’t make you feel like cheese melting out of a fresh-pressed Panini.), this beer and song combination offer a great start to the evening. These selections aren’t anything too frantic or overpowering because no first song or beverage of an evening should be. The pairing is simple understated elegance—what every good weekend night should be.
Cheers. Prost. Salud.