Who We Are

We are just a group of guys and gals who love music. The goal of this group is to get together and listen to music, and have intelligent discussion about it. No snobbery allowed here! There are two levels of engagement in the group.

  • DJ – a DJ brings music to the party. He or she will bring a couple of 45s, CDs or records.
  • Critic – a Critic just comes to the party.

All Music Lovers enjoy the same benefits. We listen to the music the DJs bring and thoughtfully critique what we just heard, while enjoying some whiskey or other spirits.

What to Bring

Bring booze. Beer, wine, liquor, tea – whatever you like to enjoy (responsibly) while you consume your music. I will always provide Black Rifle Coffee™ if there’s interest. If you’re not a drinker, that’s okay too. The point is to enjoy yourself while you listen and critique the music. If drinking is part of it, bring something to drink. If not, I have water.

If you have a music collection, bring something you’d like to share. I can play CDs or records on my system. Anyone who hosts will have these options available. It doesn’t matter what format you bring (LP, 45 or CD), only bring a couple. We’ll try to get to everyone’s stuff.

What we Do

  • We will play someone’s disc. Whether this is a 45, a Compact Disc or an LP (12″ record), we will only play one. The disc, the whole disc and nothing but the disc. Just because a Compact Disc is 80 minutes’-worth of music doesn’t mean we’re going to listen to twenty 7″ 45 singles in a row. One disc at a time.
  • We critique what we just heard. There’s a core belief that if you’re purchasing physical music media, you’re at least intelligent enough to buy music worth listening to. Just because someone brings country doesn’t mean it’s bad. There is such thing as good country. And good rap, as well. A core tenet here is that we rise above the level of genres and bands. We critique the music. You don’t judge art for its content, but rather for its quality. Whether you like country & western or not, the hope here is that you’re discerning enough to speak and critique intelligently about it.
  • We drink spirits. For me, this is bourbon. I like almost all whiskeys, but bourbon is my go-to. Yours may be vodka. It may be Schlitz. It may be iced tea because you’re a teetotaler. I don’t care what (or if) you drink. I just think that mixing music and mash is a good and wonderful thing, so this is your forum to do so. Please drink responsibly. Handle your shit.
  • We repeat. After a nice, friendly discussion of the music has occurred, we move to the next person in the list and start again. After the whole group of DJs had played at least one disc, we will start with seconds, if time permits. Three to four hours is probably enough. But whatever the group vibe is at the time, that’s what we’ll go with.

What We Don’t Do

  • We don’t get sloshed. That’s not what this is for. We’re all adults. You’ve been invited to participate in an intellectual (and hopefully fun) engagement with a piece of music. If you get so drunk we have to call you an Uber, you will likely not be invited back. If, however, you have made arrangements with the host to ride the couch for the night, no one will try to cut you off. But the protocol remains: don’t be a drunk dick.
  • We don’t critique the DJ. This is not a forum to throw shade on someone’s musical taste. If someone brings Bette Midler, we will critique the Bette Midler album. Hopefully harshly and without quarter. But we will not mock or otherwise scold the DJ who brought her. There is, after all, a reason someone was physically able to bring a Bette Midler album. Because it exists. It exists because there was a demand for it. There was a demand for it because some poor fucks couldn’t find any Joni Mitchell. Just like the platinum rule in life states: don’t be a dick. We all like different music. That is, after all, what makes the world go round. If we all liked the same thing, we’d all have Green Day’s “Dookie” on our shelves, but no one would buy Tom Waits. Fuck that world. I don’t want to live in it.
  • We don’t talk over the music. I’m not going to be a hitler here, because we’re getting together to have fun. This is a deep-dive interaction with music that hopefully is a bright spark among the dreary doldrums of your normal work week. It’s okay to loud-whisper a “listen to this part, right here!” or a “holy fuck, wow” during the piece we’re listening to. But having full-on conversation is not cool. We are all friends. We can get together to hang out and grill steaks (or veggie burgers) any time. That’s not why we’re here on this occasion. Please respect that this night is different. We’re here to hear. Let’s respect the DJ and the music, and give it our full attention. There will be plenty of time to talk about it when the disc is finished.
  • We don’t bring Bette Midler to Whiskey Note nights. Fuck sake. If I have to tell you that I don’t want to hear From a Distance or Wind Beneath My Wings then I’m guessing we’re not as close of friends as I had thought. Oh, and no Steve Miller Band. There is literally nothing intellectually redeeming about listening to Fly Like an Eagle for the billionth time.

Who You Should Be

Be a purchasing consumer of your music. Don’t just listen to radio. Don’t just stream it. Even if you pay for streaming. Buy records! Buy CDs! Buy cassettes! Ahem. Continue to grow your collection so that you’ll always have something interesting and fresh to bring to the Note Night Sip and Spins. We want to hear what you’re latest love is. We want to know what moves your needle.

Again, none of these are hard-set rules. And no one wants to have to moderate. We just want to keep fresh-in-mind the reason we’re gathered on this particular night. Above all, let’s have fun and hopefully we’ll all be exposed to something new and interesting. Sip and spin!

Related: Read my column about what I think music lovers should be.