Friday, October 7, 2016

Alcohaul of Records

Boozing it up to tunes with this SLC podcast.

Posted By on October 7, 2016, 1:00 AM

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It takes a fine hand at the bar and a good sense of music to know how to mix and match alcohol with tunes. Any idiot can go to a venue/bar and get drunk to three cans of Pabst while listening to a punk band, but there's a surprising amount of thought and science behind mixing the right drink with the band you happen to be listening to. This is where the three hosts of  Alcohaul of Records come in, as they take their podcast on a booze-filled journey through their own discographies and record it all for your podcast-listening pleasure. Today we chat with the trio about their show and the concoctions that fuel the show. (All pictures provided courtesy of the show.)

 Beau Brooks, Tanner Gooch, and Dean Askew
  • Alcohaul Of Records

Gavin: Hey gang, first thing, tell us a bit about yourselves.

Tanner: Well, I’m a transplant to Utah from God’s Country; you might know it as Montana. I would describe myself as a want-to-be outdoorsman who enjoys everything from The Highwaymen to Mos Def. I am a failed home brewer, who has a massive distrust for anyone who thinks IPAs are delicious.

Dean: First off, you need to know I'm Will Smith's biggest fan. I went to Ogden High, and I’ve been known to land a kickflip or two in my day. You might have seen me grace the stage at open mic nights at Wiseguys in Salt Lake City, and I think nothing is better than kicking back on a Sunday watching Tom Brady do work while enjoying a little Sailor Jerry.

Beau: I’m a Utah native, and spent the majority of my formative years in the Ogden area. Started school at Southern Utah, but spent too much time up at Brianhead. After a 15 year sabbatical, I finished my degree at Weber State. Recovering frontman of Polkapacity, a late '90s ska band based out of Cedar City. The show’s resident 311, Bourbon and concerts expert.

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  • Alcohaul Of Records

When did each of you get into music, and what were your favorites growing up?

 [For] most people, music becomes a major part of your life in junior high, but I didn’t become serious about music until I got to college. I had a two-hour show in the afternoon on KDWG, where I could play anything I liked. Going to school in a small rural setting exposed me to a lot of country music. I tried to swim against the grain, and played a lot of hip-hop and hard rock. I draw a lot of my musical tastes from bands like Rage Against the Machine, Deftones, Dr. Dre, Biggie Smalls and The Roots.

Dean: I started to listening to music that reflected my taste summer before eighth grade. I got locked into listening to 94.9 ZHT, but back then it was a Top 40 station. It was the pinnacle of bubble gum pop and I was loving *NSYNC, Britney Spears, Creed, Three Doors Down, Matchbox 20 and Blink 182.

Beau: I was 100 percent influenced by my older sister’s music choices in the late '80s. She was into “modern” music, so I was exposed to bands like Oingo Boingo, Depeche Mode, The Cure and Violent Femmes. That early modern stuff is still a guilty pleasure for me. When I was 15, Nirvana’s “Smells like Teen Spirit” was released; that is when I really started to listen to music for me, and I got sucked into the whole grunge scene.

What kind of music are you currently listening to?

I have been really into Childish Gambino and Chance the Rapper, but I did recently purchase Elton John’s Honky Château at my local record store.

Dean: I’m always jamming to Tech N9ne and Michael Jackson. Recently I've been really digging the latest release from Breaking Benjamin.

Beau: BØRNS, Alt-J, and Glass Animals have been making regular appearances on my turntable for the past couple months.

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How did the three of you meet and become friends?

We were all introduced to each other through our significant others. My fiancee had known Dean’s girlfriend for over a decade, and she met Beau’s wife as they both were finishing science degrees at Weber State. Once the connection was made we would host get-togethers at our house, and the guys realized there was a mutual interest in music.

When did you guys decide you wanted to do a podcast? How did the show idea for Alcohaul of Records come about?

Tanner: We were at Beau’s house for a barbecue and while we were listening to some of his latest finds from Savers, there was a thought that we should be recording our discussion. At the time, both Beau and I were members of Vinyl Me Please, a record subscription service. VMP includes a cocktail recipe to enjoy while listening to that month’s record. We thought that would be a great foundation for the podcast: Instead of picking music and matching a cocktail, we would pick a cocktail and then each of us would select a song that we thought would go best with the drink.

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  • Alcohaul Of Records

What was it like getting the equipment together to record?

Tanner: I had some experience putting together a podcast before, but getting three mics and music onto the same track was a new obstacle. So finding a mixer and mics that would not break the bank became the biggest challenge.

Dean: I purchased three mics to be used for episode one, and they were lost in shipping. So we scrambled and used headsets for the “Old Fashioned” episode. In the meantime, Beau had ordered a Snowball mic and we used that for episodes two and three. Then to my surprise two months later, the mics I ordered, and been refunded for, magically showed up on my doorstep. We are currently using those three magical mics today.

Beau: Once the equipment issue was solved, we needed to decide on where the show would be hosted. We started on PodOmatic but thought that Soundcloud gave us the best value and switched after episode three. Episodes show up on Soundcloud first, but you can find us on iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher.

Did you do any test episodes beforehand or just dive right in?

Beau: We just dove right in. The thought was if we were going to dedicate the time to sit down and record an entire show we might as well get it up online and see what our friends and family thought of our new project. We’ve come a long way from our pilot episode, the “Old Fashioned.”

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  • Alcohaul Of Records

What made you decide to do the show monthly rather than weekly like most shows?

Tanner: It comes down to time commitment. We all have day jobs, personal lives, and day-drinking does require a certain amount recovery time, haha. Lately, we have discussed increasing the intervals of our episodes, but we have yet to settle the details.

What's the process like in coming up with the drinks you feature?

Dean: At first, we were nominating drinks that we have had before, and then we used cocktails from VMP. Recently we have been actively searching for new cocktails that would expand our palate. For example, we had noticed that Salt City Vodka posted a Blackberry Smash recipe on Instagram in time for the 4th of July. It looked great, and none of us had that cocktail before.

Beau: The cocktail I think we’re all the proudest of is the Antelope Island Iced Tea. We wanted to create our own cocktail that featured ingredients from Utah. That is when we settled on making a Long Island Iced Tea with spirits from Utah distilleries. Instead of using simple syrup we used honey and instead of just any cola, I found a soda called Iron Port named after Porter Rockwell. It is Caribbean Beer/Root Beer. I think it might be our favorite cocktail of season one, but it is the most dangerous. I mean, having five alcohols in one cocktail can put three dudes on the ground real quick.

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How do each of you choose the music you plan to pair with the drinks?

Tanner: Sometimes I draw my inspiration from the flavor of the drink, or from the name. Like in the “Tom Collins” episode, I chose a song from Bootsie Collins, just because that was the first thing that popped into my brain when we decided to go with the Tom Collins. For the most part, I try to pick music that fits the personality of the drink. Is it a fruity summer drink? Then the music should be light and bubbly. Is it a dark whiskey cocktail? Then maybe I’ll go with a Southern rock type of song.

Dean: Half the time, I have had experience with the specific alcohol, so I usually reference music from my past that reminds of that spirit. For instance, the “White Russian” episode brought me back to my vodka era, and I selected Rob Zombie. So in my drinking history, I have an era where I exclusively enjoyed specific alcohol, and vodka was the longest and wildest period.

Beau: Fifty percent of the time I’m pulling from music I’m currently listening to, the other half of the time I visualize myself in specific settings. I can picture myself in a smoky bar and I order the drink, what do I think would be the best possible song to select out of the jukebox? Or I think about being at a music festival enjoying the cocktail, who do I see on the stage?

How do you each usually end up reacting to one another's choices?

Tanner: I would say for the most part we are supportive, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to take shots at each other for a selection that might be a little off. I would say Dean takes the most crap for his picks, but at the same time, he is the least likely to criticize a selection from Beau or myself.

Beau: Where the most conflict comes from is the cocktail itself. Dean doesn’t like gin, and I’m not a huge fan of vodka. So if the cocktail doesn’t agree with our palate, you’ll hear more complaining about the taste rather than what song that is being paired.

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  • Alcohaul Of Records

What's the reaction been like so far from the listening audience?

Tanner: For the most part we’ve had a positive response, but I will say that the audience that we hear from is mostly made up of friends and family.

Dean: At first my friends were giving me tons of constructive criticism, but over the last five episodes that feedback has diminished, because I think we’ve hit our stride.

Do you have any plans down the line to make the show more frequent or expand content?

Tanner: Yes, we just need to get our schedules worked out and a dedicated recording space. We are currently formulating plans to raise some funds to upgrade our recording equipment and expand our marketing efforts. One thing I really enjoy is that we've created Spotify playlists that feature the songs we've selected in season one. I find myself listening to them regularly.

Beau: We’ve even discussed recording special episodes that focus on craft beers and wines. The working title for this new project is the Expansion Pack, or "EP" as we’ve been calling it.

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  • Alcohaul Of Records

What can we expect from all of you and the show over the rest of the year?

Dean: You’ll see more expansion in the musical selections, reactions to the cocktails, and the creation of an Alcohaul of Records drink “hall of fame.” We’d love to have special guests join in on the fun of pairing music with the cocktails. Specifically music experts, mixologists and genuinely funny people.

Tanner: One project we keep coming back to is the ability to partner with a bar. That way we can feature a great place to get drinks and work with an experienced mixologist to make a cocktail the way it should be.

Beau: Going forward, we would like to create more cocktails specific to our show, and we want to shine a light on all the great distilleries and breweries here in Utah.

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