Gin & Tonic Songs
The textbook rotten day. The kind of day that can only correct itself with a tumbler of Tanqueray and tonic. Gridlocked traffic. A hole in the favorite sweater. A forgotten lunch. Enough paper cuts to keep me from touching lemons for a week. The clock hinted that it was time to pack and leave. Although, I wasn’t ready to go directly home, despite the attractiveness folding myself into a comfortable bed. My mind needed an hour, maybe two. It needed a strong drink to flush the lingering frustrations that had transpired but cannot be undone. We all have those days. Things go wrong. That’s life. In the meantime, that initial desire to erase several catastrophic hours continued to press. I don’t generally imbibe on weekdays, but hey, rules-schmules. That night, I’d drink something zippy, and it’d be a liquid hug.
The ideal evening cocktail therapy experience should have three components: 1. Strong alcohol (in moderation, of course), 2. A bar with a slightly sticky floor, and 3.Good music. The alcohol? That’s easy. I welcome the first biting sip of a gin and tonic, a preferred staple. Don’t go nuts. You want tomorrow to be better, and that’s difficult to achieve if you’ve got your heaving face shoved into a toilet bowl. Drink responsibly. Public service announcement aside, where you go is as important as what you drink. This prompts the importance of finding a bar with slightly sticky floors. While initially sounding gross, and possibly unsanitary, these conditions say a lot. This generally tells me that the bar isn’t uptight, expensive, or high maintenance, all factors being significant irritations piled onto an already irritating day. Aim to find the border between casual and dodgy. Your barstool might be lovingly held together with duct tape, but you have the reassurance that no one is going to swing it at your head during a boozy scuffle. That’s the line. Regardless, the people-watching will be spectacular. You’ll likely have the added bonus of finding someone else who has also had an equally lousy day. Is there better opportunity for commiseration? Hardly.
Conversely, sometimes traveling anywhere after work is impossible. The subway is delayed. Parking is scant. Or, if you’re like me, you’re perpetually poor due to retail addiction. What happens on those nights that I can’t partake in cocktail therapy at the sticky bar? I improvise. The kitchen cabinets are always stocked with concoctions, I’m slightly lackadaisical about mopping the kitchen floor, and a decent playlist is always on hand. My house is my own best dive. Besides, with two furry four-legged bar patrons and a set of comfy pajamas, who really needs to go elsewhere?
Regardless, wherever you park yourself, good tunes are essential. After a rough day, the last thing I want to hear is the poppy beats of something like One Direction. No one is lighting ‘up my world like nobody else’ today. No. Happy music is out. Give me something thoughtful. Give me something with a different sound. Give me something a little cynical. Give me a gin and tonic song. The kind of song that leaves me staring at the bottom of the glass and thinking, “Yep. I totally understand. Cheers to that.” Then somewhere within those few minutes, I feel infinitely better. That’s the power, and necessity, of music.
While updating the personal music collection a few weeks ago, I found the perfect gin and tonic band. I stumbled on a French group that actually made me fantasize that I had a bad day, solely so that their songs could extricate me from the imaginary funk. It was a great find. I instantly fell in love with the distinct sound. The band, Paris Combo, now reigns as a current musical obsession. The Paris-based band, seemingly the love child of swing jazz, cabaret, and other worldly sub-genres, has a unique sound that is darkly upbeat. The whimsical drum, bongo, horn, and brass cameos paired with lead singer Belle du Berry’s enchanting and quirky vocals make for that perfectly eclectic cocktail therapy sound:
Living Room (Album Living Room): This song is particularly catchy. Lately, it’s stuck in my head. Though, don’t be fooled. This song translates to a cheerful condemnation of the establishment. It’s the kind of hate you can tap your toe to.
Señor (Album Living Room): A cynical perspective regarding that eternal conflict ‘to love’ or ‘to not’, but inevitably, we always choose love.
Morphée (Album 5): Another tortured love song depicting that moment you take the plunge with someone who’s inevitably going to wrong you. Also known as the anthem of my former love life, discovered about a decade too late.
Et voila. These are three samplings from the plethora of talent that booms from Paris Combo. I’ve been happily married for five years, and I still enjoy listening to Belle du Berry and the gang delve into the sour swallows of peevish love. Regardless, maybe you’ve had a rotten day. Maybe you’re just in a bad mood. Heed my advice! Take some time for yourself, pour a drink, and get lost in the songs of Paris Combo because, yep, they totally understand. Cheers to that.
À la prochaine.
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