Single And A Pint: Dance, Charlatan!/ST Hop Sun

Single And A Pint pairs a new song with a new beer I’ve recently tried.
This week is a single which I’m pretty familiar with, from a band I know well from the area, Dance, Charlatan!. Kyle, Mark, and Pete make up the indie rock trio from Wallingford, Connecticut and did a little Q&A with me. Check out their song below and then see what they have to say about upcoming shows and their favorite craft beer!
THE SONG: “Held At Bay”, Dance, Charlatan!
THE BEER: Hop Sun- Southern Tier Brewing Company
Picture taken by Now Beer This at Now That’s Class, Cleveland OH.
I’ve been looking for Southern Tier’s Hop Sun all summer(not that hard, mind you), and only found it on Labor Day weekend, generally the last party weekend of summer. It’s a wheat beer, but it has enough hop flavor on the finish to attract someone like myself who often shies away from sweet-tasting wheat beers. Crisp and lemony, I do wish I had tried this beer with more summer weather to spare. I drank this one from a bottle at a punk rock club where I didn’t want to risk breaking glassware, so I can’t comment on this brew’s appearance.
As far as a pairing goes, Hop Sun would definitely pair well with seeing Dance, Charlatan! live. They have a ton of energy on stage that radiates into the crowd, and new audience members are often left pleasantly surprised at what they just heard. In that way, I was pleasantly surprised with this beer, and it’s light enough to go with a set of dancing!

You have released a single, “Held At Bay”. When can we expect an EP or full-length album from you guys?

Soon! We’re going back into the studio as soon as possible. We hope to have an EP out in autumn.
Where did you do the recording for this single?
The single was actually recorded at a church/recording studio in Trumbull, CT. The drums were tracked in the room where the sermons take place. It was weird. But it was mixed and mastered at Adorea Studios in Hamden. Where we’re planning on recording our next project.
Photo from Dance, Charlatan’s Facebook.
I know you guys are all pretty busy, but what is the likelihood for a future tour?
We would love to plan a tour eventually to promote this EP. It’s just a matter of finding the right time and another band to join us. Definitely not ruling it out.
You guys have recently played at some local craft beer bars, specifically The Outer Space and Knuckleheads. What’s the Dance, Charlatan craft beer of choice?
Kyle: I’ve been really into the Coffeehouse Porter by BBC lately.
Mark: I’m really into 668, but I got my hands on some Ghandi Bot last night and it was beautiful.
Peter J: Yin Stout by Evil Twin Brewing.
If you could sit down and have a beer with any musician who would it be?
Kyle: Tough question. I’d like to have a beer with Debbie Harry from Blondie. She seems fun.
Mark: Hmm. I’m thinking Yannis Philippakis of Foals. Seems like pretty a cool dude.
Peter J: Dave Grohl. He’s out of his mind in the best way and he’s a huge influence.
What does Dance Charlatan mean anyway?

It doesn’t really mean anything in particular. We really liked the word “charlatan”. It means an impostor or a swindler. Then we thought we should give that charlatan a command. And what’s better than dancing?

I can’t think of a better response than that. You can find out where to dance to the Charlatan by following them on Facebook and Twitter

Review: Hoppy Holidays

It’s that time of year again… Time to start drinking beers brewed with crazy spices, winter fruit, and holiday deliciousness. I’d like to review a holiday album in its entirety, but to be honest, there aren’t really any that I like enough. There are however a lot of songs that I like to listen to around Christmas. So here are a trio of them, paired with some holiday beers that I’ve enjoyed so far this year.

2xmasSouthern Tier Brewing Company

One of my favorite brewing companies, Southern Tier doesn’t disappoint for their holiday offerings. This beer pours a gorgeous reddish amber with a light, thin head. Lots of spice notes, and some frutiness- it’s brewed with figs and orange peels.

The Flaming Lips “Christmas At The Zoo”- from Clouds Taste Metallic (1995)

I’m pairing this one with an original holiday jam from the Flaming Lips. There’s a lot going on with this beer, with some really unique, maybe offbeat flavors. It deserves to be drank with a Christmas record that’s has these same qualities. Weird but awesome.

Anchor Steam Christmas Ale 2012

One tradition I’ve really enjoyed is trying each year’s batch of Christmas Ale from Anchor Steam. This beer was first brewed in 1975, and is a little different every year. This year I get lots of pine notes on the finish, as well as nutmeg and some cinnamon. It’s a super dark pour, but it’s not heavy like a stout.

Tom Waits “Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis” from Blue Valentine (1978)

I have my own holiday traditions. Making lots of Polish food, cutting down a live Christmas tree, and listening to Tom Waits! This isn’t even really a Christmas song, and it’s kind of a depressing song. I was suggested to play it on my radio show a few years ago and I’ve listened to it every Christmas since. Maybe it’s because I share a birthday with Mr. Waits, but either way, it’s another tradition of mine.

Winter LagerSamuel Adams Brewing Company

I actually like a lot of Sam Adams brews. They’re accessible, inexpensive, and easy to get in mass quantities for holiday parties. This year’s winter lager is dark, nutty, and spicy. However, it’s not incredibly heavy and you can definitely have more than one without it being overpowering.

polaroid winter lager snow.png

Henry Rollins “Twas The Night Before Christmas” from the Lump Of Coal compilation (1991)

Sometimes you need contrast in life. So I’m going to pair the totally easy to drink, easy to find Sam Winter with Henry Rollins reading “The Night Before Christmas”, which is somewhat difficult to listen to. It’s basically Henry Rollins celebrating Christmas with the nuclear apocalypse in the background. It’s downright terrifying. This is the last track on this great compilation that came out on Dead Line Records in 1991. I was given a copy while working at my college’s radio station and I highly encourage everyone to give it a listen. Lots of very weirdly done Christmas songs, if this one doesn’t tell you that already.