Tag Archives: Saint Patrick’s Day

God Save the Queen!

Today is Saint Patrick’s day, Baltimore. It’s that most drunk and sloppy of meaningless phony holidays which are completely insignificant and thoroughly unenjoyable. We’re already on record as being against drinking holidays and the rabble they produce as a matter of principle, and all of this green and phony-baloney Irish crap doesn’t sway our opinion in the least. Throughout history the Irish have shown themselves to be little more than illiterate Papist subsistence farmers, no better than, say, Guatemala when you really think about it. Instead of ‘Kiss me, I’m Irish,’ we prefer ‘Kiss my ass, I’m American!’

Rather than swill green beer and play at being some sort of drunken foolish hooligan, we’re intending to mark today in the manner we think most proper… a celebration of all things English.

The Chop celebrates England, in all her glory.

With the closing of Canton’s Tyson’s Tavern last Fall, the area’s base of proper English establishments was reduced by a third. Fortunately, two British outposts remain in Central Maryland as a testament to and a reminder of the greatness of the English nation.

If you’re south of the city, Union Jack’s in Columbia is about as British as it gets this side of the Atlantic. We’ve never been, but the photos on their site remind us instantly of some of the pubs we saw in the high street on our trip to Southampton. With a full menu, some 60 beers, and four distinct spaces, there’s little reason to leave once you’re settled in.

If Howard County is a stretch though, you can still get your full fix of all things Anglo at Brighton’s. Hidden away on the second floor of Light Street’s Intercontinental Hotel, Brighton’s is something of an ironic contrast when compared with Union Jack’s. Although it’s in the heart of the city, the ambiance here is decidedly more upscale with something of a country feel to it. It wouldn’t take much suspension of disbelief to arrive around tea time and swear that you’d walked into a country estate, just after the hunt. It also offer’s close proximity to one of the city’s very best bars, the Explorers Lounge. The martinis here may be damn close to $20, but it’s a guaranteed lock that you’ll be able to drink one in peace without encountering a single one of the tossers and punters about in Federal Hill.

If you’re not as flush as all that though, you can still celebrate the same way we plan to: by donning our Arsenal jersey and spinning a Billy Bragg record while whipping up a vegan shepherd’s pie or a bread pudding, and settling into it with a James Bond flick and a pukka dry martini.

(We’ll keep admiring the English right up until about the Fourth of July, at which time of course we’ll conveniently remember our own Yankee superiority, which bows to no one and takes pride in being a citizen, not a subject.)

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Filed under A Day in the Life of the Chop, Chop on the Spot

House Rules: Put Another Dime in the Jukebox: Part II

Happy Saint Paddy’s Day Baltimore. We hope you’re having a ton of fun out there today with your crummy boiled food and tacky plastic shamrocks. We fully expect to wake up tomorrow to gutters overflowing with green puke.

We’ve already gone on record with our opinion that drinking holidays are strictly amateur night, and as much as we love booze (which is a lot), you won’t find us at any of these places, or these places either.

But if you’re heading out tonight, do us all a favor; when you find yourself next to that jukebox give us all a break from the God-awful Dropkick Murphy’s and the ever-insufferable U2, and pick a track that follows the Chop’s 3 rules. Here are ten excellent examples… (links go to YouTube so you can hear the songs on the list, making this post a virtual jukebox in its own right.)

We're not a big fan of the Cranberries, either.

>>> Morrissey: Suedehead Yeah. We all love the Smiths and all, but heaven knows I’m miserable listening to the same singles every weekend. Plus, this song is great for when your ex turns up at the bar hanging all over somebody new and glaring at you icily.

>>> The Breeders: Divine Hammer To a man listening to this song, everything in the bar looks like a nail. Awesome!

>>> Afghan Whigs: Gentleman If Greg Dulli were here, he’d probably lay your girlfriend in the bathroom stall and piss on your car tires. Or the Chop might do it… either way.

>>> Weezer: The Good Life See also: Why Bother? and Tired of Sex.

>>> The Gaslight Anthem: I Coulda Been a Contender If you’re not yet in love with the Gaslight Anthem, then get thee to the record store! There’s no better band for feeling like you’re Marlon Brando circa 1954. If you want to live in a movie, this is your soundtrack.

>>> The Clash: Stay Free Sharif don’t like the Casbah. London called, and they’re tired of the same old song. And Rudie did fail. Stay Free relates the entire bittersweet experience of being British in the 20th century in two short minutes. No one else (except maybe Mike Ness) could so deftly mix equal parts nostalgia and old-school cool.

>>> The White Stripes: Hotel Yorba Get over yourself, okay? You’re not too cool for the White Stripes. Never were, never will be.

>>> Sleater-Kinney: You’re No Rock N’ Roll Fun Playing this song is pretty much like throwing down a challenge to everyone in the bar to be more fun. You can’t do much better than that.

>>> The Replacements: Bastards of Young Got a chip on your shoulder? Of course you do, you’re drunk before dinner. Good job. Beats pickin’ cotton.

>>> Sonic Youth: Kool Thing If you’ve followed the Chop’s advice and rocked all of the songs on this list, you might be fractionally as bad-ass as Kim Gordon for a small moment of your finest hour.



Filed under House Rules