Friday, December 28, 2007

Today's Reason To Drink

I hate drinking alone, but blogging alone is even worse. Where are all my faithful commenters? Am I talking to myself here? Don't you have anything to say? Bitches!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

My Top 5 Albums of 2007

(Photo: Uh Huh Her. Photo by Clea Duvall)

1) Rilo Kiley: Under the Black Light — I was awestruck by this group’s fourth release. Pop music today is gross, I thought. Predictable. Over-produced. Robotic. Until … Rilo Kiley showed me what they discovered under a black light — fresh, appealing lyrics in bed with funky, raw beats and a naughty spanking from Amy Lewis’ mesmerizing, unrefined vocals. Turn off the radio and give your ears this much-needed respite from the same old, same old.

2) Uh Huh Her: I See Red — It’s a sad day when bands break up. It’s a happy day when disbanded band members find other disbanded band members and learn how to make sweet, sweet music once again. As is the case with this group, which formed when Camila Grey (of Mellowdrone) met up with … uh huh, her … Leisha Hailey (of The Murmurs). Although neither had frontman experience — Grey played bass and dabbled in production (Dr. Dre, Kelly Osbourne) and Hailey has been on a five-year music hiatus doing time on the boob tube (as Alice in “The L Word”) — both have effortlessly stepped up front and center with this electro-pop EP. It’s edgy without being loud. Surreal without being cryptic.

3) Ryan Adams: Easy Tiger — He’s an asshole, no doubt. But that doesn’t mean he can’t make great music. Adams defies music-industry rules, molds and etiquette. He always has. I’ve got friends who are still bitter over his overly short stint closing out this year’s Non-Comm. Of course they didn’t bother to fork over some dough for his make-up show a few months later, which was amazing, being that most of the playlist came from Easy Tiger.

4) The Fervor: Bleeder — I’m gonna put this out there: The Fervor is Louisville’s version of Rilo Kiley. Which is neither a knock nor a surprise that both are on my Top 5 list. Bold female vocals (courtesy of Natalie Felker), innovative melodies and solid subject matter make for a refreshing 10-song drag from an inhaler. Loosen it up. (BTW: LEO music editor Mat Herron plays the drums in this band, but that didn’t influence my pick, I swear. But the drumming is quite good.)

5) Bruce Springsteen: Magic — Remember when music was just music? No bling. No frontin’. No celebrity. Just music. Pure and simple music. Bruce Springsteen does.

My Top 5 Films of 2007

(Photo: Christina Ricci and Samuel L. Jackson in "Black Snake Moan")

1) Black Snake Moan — Forget church or therapy — one way to cure someone of their demons is to chain them to your radiator and play ’em the blues. Sam Jackson and Christina Ricci rise to the top in this raw, gritty, sweaty film.

2) Lars & the Real Girl — A moving but very weird story of human compassion at its finest. So what if our adorable Ryan Gosling totes around a blow-up doll and calls it his girlfriend? Are you going to ridicule or play along? The small town in this story chooses to play along … and they were better people for it.

3) Knocked Up — Izzy gots some comedy chops, who knew? Judd Apatow, apparently. Sex with strangers, accidental pregnancies, loser friends … we’ve all been there, right? Apatow took the most stressful situations in “Knocked Up” and magic-wanded them into complete comic genius. I wonder what would happen if he ever hooked up with Sarah Silverman. It’d be some crazy shit.

4) Year of the Dog — Molly Shannon puts aside her Catholic school girl antics and does a real fine job at bringing the lonesome, apethetic Peggy to life. You can’t help but feel sorry for her after she loses her dog Pencil, the only friend she had in her sorry life. This film proves that Molly is Rhoda no more. She’s got the Mary chops, indeed.

5) Waitress — The quirky characters and delightful, effortless storytelling by Adrienne Shelly made script-writing seem easy as pie. If only it was.

Today's Reason To Drink

I saw myself in the mirror today from the side angle. Holy chocolate balls! Who is that person? It can't be me ... can it?

It is you, you fat bastard. Now get to the gym and lay off the beer!

Gin & Soda, this is Sara.
Sara, this is Gin & Soda.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Today's Reason To Drink

Don't stop now! The holidays are still chugging along. Keep your liver in tip-top shape for New Year's Eve.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Today's Reason To Drink

Merry Christmas, you old Building & Loan!


Monday, December 24, 2007

Today's Reason To Drink

You're with your relatives ... do you really need a reason today?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Smoke em if you got em

A judge just overturned the smoking ban. It's back to stinky clothes and shit-hacked lungs.

Today's Reason To Drink

Holiday vacation is so close I can smell it. Just a few more hours.

One early New Year's Resolution: No more eating food at the Back Door. Tastes so good going down, but definitely not a party the next day. Ouch, bitches! Think of it like a bar-food mullet: Party in the front; bad, bad business in the back.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Today's Reason To Drink

Jimmy's On The River has closed its doors forever. It's a sad, sad day when a bar closes. It really was never the same since it opened last year under new management. I hear that the folks from The Menu (in New Albany) are looking to buy it, perhaps make it a more upscale place. It has one of the best views in town. Can't beat that outside deck facing the Ohio and overlooking the Louisville skyline.

I've had some great memories at that place. Remember the $1 beers just about every day? Remember when bands would play upstairs and the whole floor would shake? Remember their buffalo chicken tenders on top of tortilla chips? Remember the River Frog? Memories ...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bar Belle Column from 12/19/07 LEO

The Bar Belle
My Christmas list

Much like my resilient liver, my letters to Santa keep bouncing back. So I’m just going to publish it here and hope he reads LEO, at least every other week that is. Roger Baylor can fend for himself — may he get a lump of hops in his stocking (that’s a good thing, right?).

Dear Santa,

LEO Bar Belle here. Let’s make this quick and painless. Enjoyed our time together last year … but still on those damned antibiotics! Hope all is well. Here’s what I want:

•Bottle of Woodford Reserve

•Trip to Ireland

•Cure for hangovers

•12-pack of Miller Lite (the water in my house is awful)

•Free year-round City Scoot service

•My own reserved table/area/shrine at the following establishments: Dundee Tavern, The Back Door, Headliners, Old Hickory, Wick’s, Norm’s, Gerstle’s, Jimmy’s, Rich O’s and the Tropical Isle (in New Orleans)

•The recipe for those delicious cheese fries at Cahoots

•Low beer prices

•For PBR not to be hip

•A decent ventilation system for the Pour Haus

•For Louisville’s bar-hopping public to put down the karaoke mic and embrace the talented musicians and bands we take for granted

•For peace on earth and a truce between O’Shea’s/Flanagan’s/Brendan’s and Maker’s Mark

•For beer snobs and swill chuggers to play together in a sandbox

•For Starbucks to sell Jagerbombs (“Buckbombs”?)

•6-pack of Zima (hey, it was my first!)

•For friends and strangers to buy me drinks*

•Crispier hot wings

•Non-cancer-causing cigarettes

•More tippers and less bitchers

•More bars in more places

*LEO does not advise its readers to buy Sara drinks. Her friends, however, should pony up.

Share your own wish list with her at, or post something dirty on her blog at

Today's Reason To Drink


I just had some chocolate a coworker brought in, and it sent shivers through my body. I had to hold on to my chair. Even needed a cigarette afterwards (only kidding, since it's been more than a year since I quit). Maybe a cigar.

My favorites are Twix, Whatchamacallit, Score and Starburst. And Magic Shell. Every bowl of ice cream needs Magic Shell.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Today's Reason To Drink

Hmmm ... what shall it be?

May Whitney Houston stay sober in 2008! I can feel a strong comeback. She just needs to realize that the greatest love of all is inside of her.

I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way ... to the bar.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Today's Reason To Drink

Beef jerky has wreaked havoc on my internal software. Abort!

File not found.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Today's Reason To Drink

This movie is going to be sooooo great! This short clip will get me through the long, cold, sunless winter. Can't wait for summer 2008!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Today's Reason To Drink

Real headline: "Ike beats Tina to death"

RIP: Ike Turner, 1931-2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Invisible Line

Recently, my line between Happy Buzz and Completely Drunk has disappeared. Where has it gone? One minute I'm content and happy and carefree, and the next I've got a beer bottle or lamp shade on my head. WTF? I want to be the brooding, hip, quiet cat in the corner of the bar -- listening, taking it all in, talking about politics and important stuff like Oprah and Iraq. But instead, I'm the fool. Loud, clumsy, the center of attention. Sputtering things about dead TV characters and "The Hills." Anything but cool.

How can I get my line back? I don't want to cross it, but when you can't see it, how do you know how close you are to it? Do I need a black light to find it? Is it invisible like The Predator until I shoot at it and it bleeds all over the place?

Help me find my line!

Today's Reason To Drink

Holidays are fucking stressful.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Today's Reason To Drink

It's currently 71 degrees on Dec. 11, 2007. And you say there's no such thing as Global Warming.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Happy Holidays!

It took me all weekend, but I finally got my tree up.

Today's Reason To Drink

Learned some hard lessons this weekend that I shant go into in this space. Oh - I can tell you one of them: I will never bartend a Steelers game again. In fact, their rowdy and rude fans have turned me against the Steel City team. Go Bengals!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Bar Belle from 12/05/07 LEO

The Bar Belle

Wet yourself

Do you know what today is? Oh, it’s your mom’s birthday … well, besides that? It’s the 74th anniversary of the day Prohibition was repealed! Yep, on Dec. 5, 1933, the sexy 21st Amendment went into effect, making it legal again to drink yourself silly and hook up with strangers. Can you believe our country was dry for 13 long years? Everybody knows dryness leads to chafing. How did people manage to get along? What did they do on the weekends or during NASCAR races? How did they do keg stands or play Asshole? Who let the dogs out?

I think tonight would be a great night to grab a drink with friends and reflect upon such an historic event in our sordid history. Go a little overboard … it’s probably your civic duty to do so. Your mother will approve.

(If you’re interested, this Friday the Filson Historical Society is hosting a bourbon tasting and lecture by bourbon historian Michael Veach, who will discuss how the P-word affected local distillers. Details are at

Goodbye O’Malley’s, hello City Block

On the count of three, say O’Malley’s one last time. 1 … 2 … 3 … O’MALLEY’S! OK, now say hello to City Block, the new name for the nightclub complex that houses Coyote’s, Vinnie’s, List and more. The announcement was made at a press conference last Wednesday. No beer was served. Although they were light on details, what we know is this: The almost-20-year-old, 60,000-square-foot venue will get a facelift by current management; popular clubs like Coyote’s and the Fox Den are staying put, which is good news for mechanical-bull and hog riders; included in the renovations will be a cabaret-type theater in one of the clubs; and it is to be referred to from here on out as City Block. The mayor said so. City Block will continue to be a top venue for touring artists on their way up (eg., The Wreckers) and down (Sir Mix-A-Lot). We’ll watch the developments with interest and try to keep you up to date as things move along.

I’m drinking with your mom tonight. Text me at or jump on my blog at

Today's Reason To Drink

The Muckrakers are playing a gig in town tonight at Gerstle's. Can't wait! It's been too long. 10:30 bitches!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Today's Reason To Drink

I need to have a meeting about how I can have as many meetings possible in one day.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Today's Reason To Drink

Some things in this world just don't make sense, like Jenna Bush calling her father on the Ellen Degeneres Show today.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Today's Reason To Drink

George Takei is back on Howard Stern's show this week. Hey now!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Today's Reason To Drink

It's technically holiday time. Which means your diet can go out the window ... at least until Jan. 2. So why not eat, drink and be merry from now until then? Nothing sounds better right now than a Bourbon Barrel Stout from BBC. It's better than a hug. And it won't steal the covers.