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Emerald Recommends: a house-curated menu of drinks and music

Here at the Emerald, we pride ourselves on quality. Our special today: a hand-selected pairing of a musical album and an equivalent beverage to cleanse your palette.

For maximum enjoyment, share these pairings with a friend.

The Replacements’ Let It Be + Miller High Life

“The Champagne of Beers” is the perfect companion for the champagne of “power trash.” Known for booze-swindling shows (often fueled by cheap beer), the Replacements reached their apex with 1984’s Let It Be. The anthemic peaks of the album are only strengthened by the emotional disparity, creating one of the finest displays of what rock ‘n’ roll and beer should be about: a carefree good time that can make you forget your pain or serve as a familiar shoulder to cry on when no one is around.

The Mountain Goats’ Tallahassee + green tea

As cool fall mornings become the norm, a hot cup of green tea combined with the soothing Tallahassee will serve as a gentle wake-up call necessary to take the chill out of the day. You may need more caffeine, but it’s at least worth the “Old College Try.”

Red wine + Jens Lekman’s Night Falls Over Kortedala


Jens Lekman’s magnum opus is an album so unsubtle and sentimental, joyous in its sadness and heartbreaking in its joy, it can feel like Lekman is hitting you in the face with his feelings. So what better pairing than the official drink of indulgent sadness?

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Cosmo’s Factory + White Russian


The “Caucasian” and CCR are the twin comforts of one of the great film characters of all time: the Dude in The Big Lebowski. If you want to get into the Dude’s mindset, this pairing should do it. Just whatever you do, don’t put on the Eagles.

Adele’s 21 + Long Island Iced Tea


You’ve been waiting for this moment all your life. You stride into Taylor’s like the man of the year, and over the radio come the mighty pipes of Adele, belting an anthem from the album that bears the name of the age you turned just two hours ago.

Harry Nilsson’s Nilsson Schmilsson and a piña colada

On track seven of Schmilsson, Harry tells a story of a girl, sore with belly pains, who calls her doctor. The doctor calls her “such a silly woman,” instructs her to put a lime into a coconut, and ostensibly has his credentials revoked. Relieve your belly ache with a sweet mixture of rum, coconut cream, and pineapple juice.

The Shins’ Oh, Inverted World and Deschutes Inversion IPA.

What better way to balance The Shins’ soft-spoken debut album and a punishingly bold brew from Deschutes? They’re simply made for each other, and not just because they’re both intrinsically Oregonian creations. Hold your glass up, as James Mercer sings. Toast to the essence of life – super dark beer.

LCD Soundsystem’s 45:33 + Gatorade

creation, commissioned by Nike, is a 45-minute long
track from LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy engineered to be an
optimal jogging soundtrack. It rewards the listener at regular intervals
with jams like the early cut of “Someone Great” off the 2006 album Sound of Silver. Not much more to explain here. Just remember to stay hydrated.

The Avalanches’ Since I Left You + margaritas

Since I Left You is the ultimate summer party album, filled with breezy vibes and samples telling you to “get a drink, have a good time now.” Drink some fruity margaritas with your friends and escape to an island paradise with The Avalanches.

Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago + hot tea

An apt album for cold and rainy days, For Emma, Forever Ago is just begging you to sip a mug of hot tea by the fireplace while you listen to it. Get into the fall mood with some tea and Justin Vernon’s soothing voice and simple acoustics.

The Hold Steady’s Boys And Girls In America + any beer you can find

Get ready for a night out on the town, drink all the beer you can get your hands on, and sing along to the Hold Steady’s infectious bar songs. Be the boys and girls in America that Craig Finn wants you to be and come together over drinking and forgetting about that next midterm.

Frank Sinatra’s Greatest Hits + San Pellegrino

If you’re feeling like taking it old school, listen to any Frank Sinatra album paired with a glass of Pellegrino. It’s a classy drink to match a classy artist.

Peach Kelli Pop’s self-titled album + fruit-punch flavored CapriSun

Burger Records sweethearts Peach Kelli Pop put forth fun, spunky and adorably youthful garage-rock jams. And what drink experience is more tied to youth than stabbing that yellow straw through a pouch of CapriSun?

Belle and Sebastian’s Write About Love + a mimosa

Belle and Sebastian’s style is unmistakably sophisticated. The Scottish baroque-pop band writes songs so sunny and bright that they make the perfect pairing to brunch-time mimosas with good friends.

Elliott Smith’s XO or Either/Or + Everclear

The late indie-folk songster Elliott Smith was a brilliant songwriter. Smith drew forth unimaginable emotion in every string he plucked and every word he sang. At times these heartbreaking songs can become way too much to handle, leaving the listener wanting to numb the pain. Big time.

The Flaming Lips’ Embryonic + a Bloody Mary

If there were ever an album that gurgled through the blood, brimstone and other grotesque things that enveloped it, it would be Embryonic. A gorgeously spooky album, this 2009 release predominantly focuses on the epic cosmic finale that awaits us all as the universe swallows itself whole and we’re left floating in whatever’s left. This demented, apocalyptic soundtrack pairs nicely with a Bloody Mary, served in a highball glass (with optional garnishes of human appendages). Consider this your final drink on this planet.

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Daniel Bromfield

Daniel Bromfield