RAVEN MACK is a mystic poet-philosopher-artist of the Greater Appalachian unorthodox tradition. He does have an amazing PATREON, but also *normal* ARTIST WEBSITE too.

Monday, August 25

Tap & Die Malt Liquor

AFFORDABILITY: Like six dollars for a forty of the fortified, but since I've been on the upwardly mobile beer growth trip lately and been buying $4 22 ounce bottles regularly, I can let that slide up my five-point scale a touch. 2 out of 5.
DESTROYABILITY: It is malt liquor (7.5% alcohol by volume it says), and even though it's a specialty small brewer malt liquor, it still has hints of the normal ass taste all malt liquors have. I florence nightingaled my forty, but still had a light-stepping feeling from it. Perhaps it's because I'm a fucking fairy buying $6 forties though. 3 out of 5.
LABEL AESTHETIC: The label will probably not be inside the internets for me to share a picture, which is sad, because this is my absolute favorite beer label ever, bar none. First off, it's all black ink on white paper, like someone did it on their computer. Secondly, it looks like punk rockers did it on their computer. It's part of some company called the People's Pint so there's their hand-drawn logo, and it has a tap and die, like the old metal bullshit from America's industrial era, on the label. The company is located in the town I bought it at, by chance ending up there on a road trip, and it has normal goofy half-witty statements like uber-hip microbrews do (although the line "Brewed and bottled in Greenfield, MA home of the biggest tools in the world" was great for the triple entendre - real industrial tools, sexual penises, and how yankees call dumbasses "tools"), but the crusty punk patch looking art on the label just makes it so fucking great. Also of note, although it’s not label related, but it affected my score, is the fact this forty ounce bottle has a plain white plastic cap on it, like you’d find on a soda bottle, but it’s a forty ounce beer bottle. Very impressive in a retarded-looking way. 6 out of 5.
CORPORATE MASTER: Franklin County Brewing Company aka The People's Pint restaurant, which I'm sure is some pseudo-communist restaurant with the best-tasting uses of tofu within five college towns, and I'm fine with all that. I have to come to realize the internet is full of haters, sitting with focused vision on a sci-fi cybertronic window into the rest of the world, but the filtering of reality is skewed, so the haterism makes the pasty pudgy white guy mocking the world at wi-fi speed fail to realize his own shortcomings, 'cause there ain't no computers with a color setting to make a mirror. 4 out of 5.
OVERALL AMBIANCE: My wife was going to a women's herbal conference in New Hampshire, and her traveling partner flailed, so we ended up just deciding to rent a car and me and all the kids would roll, we'd drop off the wife and baby and me and the older two kids would cold chill in a hotel with indoor swimming pool and do our thang like only hillbillies pretending to live the good life can. Well, the ride up was like ten hours, and we finally decided to get a room in Greenfield, Massachusetts, since my wife said in previous years, they had stayed in Brattleboro, Vermont, which was like two exits up, and it had been halfway sketchy. I distrust this rural New England sketchiness she spoke of, but I lack maternal instinct, so I deferred. And I can dig it. I hate the northeast, mostly because it freaks me out, even though it shouldn't. I have these ridiculous stereotypes etched in my brain that the entire northeast is wall to wall townships with no real rural areas and it's full of fucked up white people who have been broke since their family landed from whatever European country they came from 100 years ago - just long enough to be resentfully American (and hate anything not like them) but still talk funny as shit. And see, that's what happens, is I have those stereotypes, but the manner of speaking - all fast and jumbled and actually pronouncing the consonants at the end of words, it just reinforces my preconceptions. And white crackheads too. White crackheads scare me more than anything else. I have lived around and interacted with black crackheads often enough to find the wonderful comedic value in them. It's like a comedy routine, but only you know about it. I have spent half an hour conversing with guys holding empty antifreeze containers, needing gas money to take his wife to the hospital for her cancer appointment, at like 11:30 at night, often enough to know that a black crackhead is just a funny story waiting to be retold, albeit one kept at arm's length. Shit, I'll even give those guys money ($10 one time) because even if I don't recoup it, it's an investment in someone else's hilarious experience. But white crackheads aren't like that, perhaps becaues white people are more likely to feel entitled to shit. White crackheads just rip you off of $300 while you're not looking instead of giving you an incredible story for $3 while you're listening. I am afraid of white crackheads, and got nervous going into Connecticut, because how was I gonna protect my children. Here I am some schmuck from Virginia, looking out of place as fuck driving a Chrysler 300, and white crackheads were gonna smell me coming miles away, perhaps from the fried chicken grease in my arteries. We stopped at some truck stop to eat dinner, and it was fine enough. The waitress was sweet, but funny-talking, and I left a big tip because that shit plays big with broke asses like that. I am a broke ass too about half the time, so I understand. Wife takes the two older kids to the bathroom and I'm holding the 7-month-old, and an older yankee lady obviously of lower economic bracket is fawning over the young one. "She ought to be the Gerber baby. Look at those dimples. Oh, she has two dimples on her one cheek. She is so sweet." On and on like that, but it wasn't uncomfortable. She was nice, and who doesn't love a beautiful baby, except for internet degenerates? Right after she leaves, a dude with bad tattoos and black t-shirt comes up. "You drive?" he asks. "Nah... we're just travelling through." He goes on to say he thought he had met someone crazy as him, because he had his 11-month-old son on a two-day haul with him, which is crazy. We talked, he looked fucked-up but so do I, but he had honest eyes, which is the window to the soul and how I judge most motherfuckers anyways. It has never failed me. When I know not to trust someone because of their sketchy eyes, even if they are a good friend, it has never failed that within a few years they turn out to be sketchy or judgmental pieces of shit. Trucker dude was decent as fuck though. And so was someone else we passed outside, so I’m thinking to myself, “Maybe I got these yankee fuckers wrong. Maybe I should lighten up and open my mind and shit.” So we drive along and end up getting a hotel in Greenfield like I said, and after the kids are set up in bed and the wife is settled down, I’m like, “I’m getting a beer.” Not knowing the local beer laws and customs, I hit up the front desk, and chick is like there are two “package stores” five minutes up the road. So I’m off, fucking yankees with their beer only in certain stores. Town is nice, not sketchy, and I see the store so pull up before it and park by a Chinaman takeout joint. A couple of people milling about outside (man, what the fuck is it with every white man between the ages of 16 and 35 wearing Red Sox apparel, or maybe Celtics, or at least Patriots?), and front door is locked with a sign saying go to side door. I walk around the building and there’s a whole parking lot, and I think, “Fuck, why did I park my car by the chink spot with those sketchy yankee fuckers milling around a liquor store when there’s this nice wide open parking lot by the actual door?” But I had already committed and in situations like that, I’d rather just fuck myself completely over and push ahead with the wrong plan than backtrack. I go in with eleven dollars thinking I’d get a couple of beers, maybe a nice six-pack, of some shit I can’t get back home, being I’ve started doing these stupid beer things again. Holy fuck, there was like, seriously, a hundred beers that I not only couldn’t get, but I had never heard of before. I guess all these Red Sox/Celtics/Patriots fuckers like to drink some good beer during family cookouts, which they call barbecues, which to me is pork with a vinegar barbecue sauce and tastes great with cole slaw. Well, I pick out a couple things, including this forty, and get rung up for $10.47. I ask about the other beer, “Is this pop top or twist off?” Pop top, but the lady behind the counter finds a neck chain beer bottle opener, hands it to me saying, “Usually we charge for these, but this one’s on the house,” and she smiles, probably it being obvious from my accent I ain’t from ‘round these parts. Being she was cute, I immediately convince myself she thinks I’m in town working and she wants me to put babies inside of her; that’s just how my mind works. I walk back out the store, turn past the front, and two white women with that short hair cut that means they might be lesbians or they might date 45-year-old black guys or they might just be complete dirtbags who can only keep their hair clean by cutting it all off regularly to make the job easier, they are standing together in a huddle and look at me with that, “Oh shit, we got caught” look. I don’t give a fuck though, so I saunter by, and in peripheral vision see they are indeed breaking up a rock, right there beside the liquor store. As I pull out in my rented Chrysler 300, the one guy who was there when I first pulled up is with them now and they are squatted down, one of the lesbian haircutted chicks firing up a crack pipe. God less America. So needless to say, the overall ambiance of this beer was great. 8 out of 5.


Anonymous said...

I've spent a lot of time all over Connecticut and every town with more than 20,000 people has some serious crack smoke emanating from it. Post industrial towns now produce crackheads.

Thanks for fixing that link. I'm downloading it now. Is the 45's on 33 album for sale anywhere? Should I mail you a check? How much material did you record with PSY/OPS?

Raven Mack said...

Yeah, you can go to the sep myspace page I think to order the record. If not, PSYOPS will know if you ask him there. All SEP stuff is me and PSYOPS, he is mostly beats though I had more input on that than ever before on 45s on 33, and I am mostly lyrics, although he is helping more with concepts than before on newer shit we're doing. I think there's links for all the albums to download at the myspace - four full albums of material, plus probably another album of bullshit we didn't use.