Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

Tags:

Robot Brewery Tour
May 3, 2010 9:23 AM   Subscribe

It doesn't matter that this 11 minute video is just a commercial for Dogfish Head Beer. What matters is that it includes robots, footage of brewing machinery, and Will "Bonnie Prince Billy" Oldham (via The Awl)
posted by The Devil Tesla (55 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
that was disappointing
posted by empath at 9:27 AM on May 3, 2010


I only made it about 3 minutes.
posted by orville sash at 9:32 AM on May 3, 2010


I think their brews tend to be much more satisfying than that commercial was.
posted by christopherious at 9:36 AM on May 3, 2010


Wait, robots drink beer? But not through their mouths?
posted by Hoenikker at 9:37 AM on May 3, 2010


That's not Will Oldham. It's Sam Rockwell playing Will Oldham.
posted by dobbs at 9:38 AM on May 3, 2010


I got a couple minutes in before I was unable to hear the audio over my own shouts of "TALK FASTER!!!"
posted by DU at 9:39 AM on May 3, 2010


I enjoyed Will Oldham holding hands with the robot, and talking about "genitronics." After seeing his wonderful performance in Kelly Reichardt's Old Joy as well as his bizarre cameo in episode eleventy billion of "Trapped in the Closet," seems there's no telling how far Bonny's star will rise. This sort of kaleidoscopic quasi-celebrity he's got would drive me nuts if it were someone else, but man, those Palace songs—West Palm Beach, Agnes, Queen of Sorrow, Horses.
posted by cirripede at 9:42 AM on May 3, 2010


Yeah, I love Dogfish Head, but this was just about impossible to slog through. I'm really not sure where the humor was supposed to be. Perhaps I'm missing some key reference or subtlety, but I think it's more likely that they should stick to making kickass beer instead of trying to be funny.
posted by tocts at 9:42 AM on May 3, 2010


I have replaced
the humans
that were in
the factory

and which
were probably
brewing
your breakfast.

Would you like
a beer tube up your ass
so sweet
and so cold.
posted by xorry at 9:43 AM on May 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Looking forward to Bonnie's show at McCabe's next weekend.
posted by anazgnos at 9:46 AM on May 3, 2010


I was so excited to try Dogfish Head after seeing Beer Wars.

I was disappointed. Didn't see the appeal although I still love supporting smaller breweries.
posted by purephase at 9:52 AM on May 3, 2010


Couldn't get to the end of this, so I'm not sure of there was a payoff that made it all worth it.

Songs like this, though, make me want to tune into anything BPB does. He's one of my very favorite artists.
posted by ericost at 9:57 AM on May 3, 2010


it doesn't matter that it's pepsi blue; all that matters is the taste!
posted by the aloha at 9:57 AM on May 3, 2010


Now if Oldham would just appear in a Lady Gaga video we'd have the clusterfuck of hipster suck.

Oldham's whole career is based on the fact that he took the back cover photo for Slint's Spiderland and turned that shred of cred into an indie career where he was able to artfully obscure the line between "ramshackled and heartfelt" and "half-assed noodling" and sell it to critics and gullible indie kids as some kind of Appalachian-folk manqué. His weak warble, insipid songwriting, ham-fisted production, and relentless underground PR machine infuriate me.

Go fuck your mountain, Mr. Bonnie Palace Songs Brothers. I hate your work and everything about it. It's mediocrity disguised as meaning, it's the crippled cry of the also-ran standing well behind the finish line.

I fucking hate Will Oldham.

I am threadshitting, and I will stop now.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:09 AM on May 3, 2010 [10 favorites]


As a person who used to be able to identify your hops species and type of sugar used in your brew, I'm a little sickened by the new fad in micro and pseud-micro brews that seems to say that "MORE HOPS" means "BETTER BEER."

I heard such good things about DFH ,and then I tried it...and it was like Bitter Sam Adams with cleaner water...which is to say: really awful.

Dogfish Blue...imo.
posted by TomMelee at 10:17 AM on May 3, 2010


Wow, that makes me sad, as I usually find my self in agreement with you BOP. You're probably well beyond giving him another chance, but have you listened to I see a Darkness?
posted by ericost at 10:18 AM on May 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Only gullible indie kids like Will Oldham, and it's because of Spiderland and some Drag City PR hegemony? Sorry, I really love the old Palace records, especially Days in the Wake and the Hope EP—and Lost Blues. My opinion is that his songwriting has gotten much thinner since I See a Darkness, but the title song from that album was covered by Johnny Cash. You are cooler than Johnny Cash, I guess.
posted by cirripede at 10:22 AM on May 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


I was wondering what took you so long, BOP.

Personally, I think Oldham found the path through irony and artifice back into heart (the long way around). Plus I love relentless experimentation that doesn't have to (but can) be dissonant (also, Neil Young). With 20 or more new songs out each year, it's hard to believe anyone can hate everything he does.

But somehow I don't think I'm going to convince you.
posted by msalt at 10:23 AM on May 3, 2010


One of the most nerd-gasam moments of my life was on the Shiner Brewery tour when I noticed they have a LCARS skin/gui on their brewing robot screens.

Unfortunately, they had a no photos policy, but if you ever go, it's in the last room of the tour, where they have the giant bottling tracks.
posted by fontophilic at 10:23 AM on May 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I got a couple minutes in before I was unable to hear the audio over my own shouts of "TALK FASTER!!!"

The fact that jokes kind of droned on and on is part of what made it so funny to me. It's like a video version of The Best Show On WFMU, though those sketches are even longer. Add in some visual silliness and you basically have everything I want out of everything ever.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 10:26 AM on May 3, 2010


WILL OLDHAM WAS ONLY CAST IN THE MASTERPIECE MATEWAN BECAUSE JOHN SAYLES REALLY LIKED SLINT AND HE WAS LIKE HEY WHO WAS THAT GUY WHO TOOK THE PICTURE OF THEM KIDS IN THE QUARRY I WANT HIM TO PLAY THE CHILD PREACHER IN MY MOVIE DO YOU KNOW HIS NAME?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:26 AM on May 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, what the hell do you yagoffs mean when you say "I tried a Dogfish Head beer and didn't like it?" You do know that a brewery doesn't make "A beer", right? Dogfish Head in particular makes many, many different varieties of beer. So you tried the one with lots of hops in it...uh, you know they make lots of beer without any hops at all, right? They make juniper beer. Barleywine. Ancient Mayan coffee beer crap. I mean, I love (capital L love) about five of their beers and the rest are way, way out of my taste range and I wouldn't touch them with a ten foot pole. So, it would be interesting to hear what kind of beer they made that you didn't like (for me, it's Raison d'Etre - bleh!) - but until then it really comes off sounding like you actually think DFH makes one kind of beer, which is, well, bizarre.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:34 AM on May 3, 2010 [6 favorites]


You are cooler than Johnny Cash, I guess.

Thanks!

But I'm not yet as cool as Buck Owens.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:35 AM on May 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


I heard such good things about DFH ,and then I tried it

Tried which? I'm not on board with all their offerings--or even most of them--but the 60-Minute IPA is a great beer. (And this year's Aprihop is really, really fantastic; this from someone who would not ordinarily come within 100 yards of a fruit beer.)

Also, I couldn't get through this video, but I get the sense that Sam is just consistently drunk, stoned, or just exceptionally mellow, which has got to explain some of this. We took the brewery tour a couple of weeks ago and ran into him giving a talk at the tail end of a private tour (bar owners from Philly, it turned out). Mrs ozzy turned to me and said, "Wait, that's the owner? Is he high?"

Also I don't know what a Will Oldham is.
posted by uncleozzy at 10:36 AM on May 3, 2010


That said, this video looks like a lame imitation of Zach Gallifinakis, who I think is overrated anyway. Vague resonant allusiveness works better in songs than comedy. (Except for Maria Bamford)
posted by msalt at 10:40 AM on May 3, 2010


the title song from that album was covered by Johnny Cash.

on the advice of rick rubin who, though i like a share of his executive production work, is nonetheless fixated on having old stars do 'unexpected' covers (in addition to mixing the vocals up way too high, and gapless tracks on compact discs that nobody buys anymore). i don't think mr. cash would have stumbled upon that song himself; left to his own devices he would have opted to write a better original.

i mean that as a tribute to the man in black, not as a denigration to will oldham/bonnie 'prince' billy (although someone should have told him that there is truly only one prince. an unpronounceable symbol or p. rogers nelson is his name).
posted by the aloha at 10:43 AM on May 3, 2010


His weak warble, insipid songwriting, ham-fisted production, and relentless underground PR machine infuriate me.

I've learned that if I enjoy something I bit more than I should because of a PR machine then maybe I should thank the machine for letting me enjoy something? Or something like that. I don't think anything is really being harmed by Oldham, so the PR is fine. Those first three things are really what should piss people off.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 10:43 AM on May 3, 2010


From what I know of Sam, everybody was probably drunk when they did this.

I'm a little sickened by the new fad in micro and pseud-micro brews that seems to say that "MORE HOPS" means "BETTER BEER."

I'm confused why you think that's a new fad, unless the scale you're using starts back around 1500 CE. If anything, it's definitely been trending back. If only because there are as many as the really young hop vines that were every where in the mid-aughts that were one was using. (Simcoe, I'm looking at you.)

There may be more very hoppy beers than there was a few years ago (because of drift toward the popular styles), but beers aren't really getting *more* hoppy. We reached peak hop awhile ago, probably, with beers like Hopsickle, Moylan's DIPA, Pliny the Younger, and so on.

A lot of the breweries are now doing very interesting things with their hoppy beers instead of just making them hoppier. From Dogfish Head, I think their Palo Santo Marron is probably the only good new beer they've done in the past 4 or so years. It's fairly hoppy, but not overly so.

Although, I do wish the current fad of hoppy Belgian goldens (related to the Belgian IPA trend of a year ago, but slightly different) would end, since I haven't had any that are really very good.
posted by skynxnex at 10:55 AM on May 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


The story of Dogfish in this New Yorker article -- ANNALS OF DRINKING:
A Better Brew
.
posted by puny human at 10:56 AM on May 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dogfish Head's Midas Touch is yum. Dogfish Head's Red & White is super yum. And "You Have Cum In Your Hair And Your Dick Is Hanging Out" still makes me laugh. But on the whole I like the idea of Will Oldham/Palace/Bonny Prince Billy better than I like Will Oldham/Palace/Bonny Prince Billy. No worries, though; we can all come together over beer.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:57 AM on May 3, 2010


His weak warble, insipid songwriting, ham-fisted production

Oldham hasn't affected a weak warble since he became "Bonnie Prince Billy" in the 1990s. Starting with his masterpiece "I See A Darkness" -- 10.0 on Pitchfork -- he has sung in "a clear commanding tone."
- Ham-fisted production; I'm no expert but he uses a wide variety of pretty well-respected producers. "Master And Everyone" was minimalist to a fault, produced by Lambchop's Mark Nevers.
- Insipid songwriting: Really? In an era where Umbrella-ella-ella and My Humps are big hits, you find Oldham's writing insipid?

Uncle Ozzy: Will Oldham aka Bonnie "Prince" Billy
posted by msalt at 11:08 AM on May 3, 2010 [3 favorites]


Anyone got an extra ticket to that McCabe's show on the 8th, please MeMail me. That would be awesome to check out and would make my vacation even sweeter.
posted by dobbs at 11:19 AM on May 3, 2010


"Wait, that's the owner? Is he high?"

I'd give my liver and my lungs to own a brewery and be high all the time.
posted by Hoenikker at 11:20 AM on May 3, 2010


Oldham to me just seems to be a totally singular talent, who stands way, way outside any such vulgarities as "indie cred" or "underground PR machines", and I even don't consider myself the world's biggest fan, or somebody generally drawn towards "indie folk" or the like. He just does good shit, and nobody else does anything like it.
posted by anazgnos at 11:20 AM on May 3, 2010


BOP - your post is so ridiculously laughable one doesn't know where to begin criticizing it. With the exception of him taking a photograph used on a Slint cover and your username, you pretty much got everything wrong.
posted by dobbs at 11:22 AM on May 3, 2010


this video looks like a lame imitation of Zach Gallifinakis

Funny you should say that, Will and Zach did a Kanye West video together.
posted by skullbee at 11:22 AM on May 3, 2010


dobbs: "Anyone got an extra ticket to that McCabe's show on the 8th, please MeMail me. That would be awesome to check out and would make my vacation even sweeter."

I might be able to hook you up by proxy. If the guy I know who has an extra still has it, you should get an email from him.
posted by anazgnos at 11:25 AM on May 3, 2010


Dogfish Head in particular makes many, many different varieties of beer.

I've tried a few and, while they were not awful, I just didn't see what all the fuss what about. I'd happily try more, but they're not that easy to locate in my neck of the woods.

Still, I'll take it under suggestion and go for another round! Thanks.
posted by purephase at 11:34 AM on May 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ok then, for clarification...I bought an DFH Sampler pack from the local distributor. 24 bottles of beer for the bargain price of just shy of $59. Simultaneously therewith I bought a sampler of Breckenridge for about $40.

I drank all the Breckenridge, even the IPA---and I don't generally go for IPA's. I believe the DFH had maybe 6 bottles each of 4 different types, and I think I drank 4 and gave away 20.

And re: more hops, OK then, I'll say it's popular to advertise how much hops you use. Personally, Sam Adams makes me want to vomit, and it advertises right on the side of the bottle that it's got twice the hops of a normal beer---and there are tons of beers here whose entire marketing strategy seems to be to tell you just how many bazillions of tons of hops there are in their beer.

I mean, to each his own, I like malty, rich, caramelly beers, and I like wheats, and I prefer lagers lagered in warmer climates and you can keep your Isinglass. Sorry if I came across as "eww nobody with a brain likes DFH", but I certainly won't ever buy the stuff again---so long as there's other stuff I like more for the same or less money.
posted by TomMelee at 11:40 AM on May 3, 2010


This video was funny! (except for the very end was a let down but that is ok!)
posted by rebent at 11:44 AM on May 3, 2010


1. I like Oldham though his beard grosses me out.

2. I don't much care for Slint.

3. I've spent 11 minutes of my life doing way, way worse things than the 11 minutes I spent watching this video with the fuzzy robot.

4. I've never had any of the types of Dogfish as I dislike hoppy beer.

5. Oh! uncleozzy, not uncleozzy. I will no longer wonder what a cleozzy is.
posted by item at 12:07 PM on May 3, 2010


dobbs, I can live with that. I don't like Dogfish Head IPAs, either. (But the pale ale is pretty good.) Different strokes for different folks.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:16 PM on May 3, 2010


I like DFH a lot despite the $$$ price tag. After watching Beer Wars, I completely changed my beer buying habit. I will NOT buy ANYTHING from the big three. I buy regional (Texas) or Colorado or DFH or the like. If you haven't seen Beer Wars, it is well worth the time.
posted by shockingbluamp at 1:34 PM on May 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I guess there's no arguing over taste, but I normally feel that anybody who can't stand Bonny Prince Billy's music simply hasn't listened to it in the right circumstances.

It's not something you can appreciate as background music while you clean the house or drive to work. It demands attention; that you tune in and actually listen in detail, preferably alone at night, either under a full moon or while it's raining.

Just felt like I needed to cleozzy that up for you.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:11 PM on May 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Someone should really check to see how often the phrase "I guess there's no arguing over taste" is followed by the word "but".
posted by IjonTichy at 2:31 PM on May 3, 2010


Arguing over taste is the new racism.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:38 PM on May 3, 2010


Well, I kinda felt Beer Wars was a tad misleading, not as bad as a Moore film...but was pretty slanted towards craft breweries....and left out the bulk of my love of beer, brewed overseas in Trappist monasteries. Still, it's fantastic living where I am and being able to sign up for a free DFH tour any weekend. Also thought it was pretty cool they used my girlfriend's front porch to set up a scenery shot in Beer Wars for Milton, DE (she lives pretty much within walking distance of the place..).

Sam Calagione, the owner of DFH is often portayed in that movie to be part of a rags to riches story, which really appeals to the "root for the little guy" crowd. The movie doesn't really bring up that his father-in-law, Tom Draper, really helped get things started by helping fund the first crucial years.. This doesn't deter from the quality of the beer for me at all, just something that wasn't fully explained in the movie and better explained in Sam's book. The philosophy of the Company, now how they got where they are, is what I admire.

The story of Moonshot was a little disappointing. The beer is really not that good. Wish they had spent a little more time with Stone or even take a quick detour to Russian River. Overall though, a good movie to see the state of the beer industry at the time of its production. I think even recently things have changed pretty dramatically. Lot's more craft brews on the shelves...and I'm definitely not complaining!
posted by samsara at 2:44 PM on May 3, 2010


The best show I saw in 1999 - and I saw a nautical fuckmile of shows that year - was BPB at Stubb's in Austin on the I See A Darkness tour. I'd seen him before and I've seen him since, but that show was the absolute perfect mix of atmosphere, female companionship, drugs, and of course music. I'll never forget it.
posted by item at 2:48 PM on May 3, 2010


One of the best I ever saw was BPB in 2003 at Irving Plaza in NY, touring after Master And Everyone, were he took those quiet, understated songs and somehow transformed them into wall of sounds screamers. Not at all what I was expecting, and totally amazing. "Servant of all and servant to none."
posted by ericost at 3:28 PM on May 3, 2010


the title song from that album was covered by Johnny Cash.

You listen to Pandora long enough and you find something out: Johnny Cash covered *everything.* And much as I admire him as one of the greatest American musicians, a lot of his covers just don't work.

From his bowdlerization of John Prine's "Sam Stone" to the "why?" of him singing "Bridge over Troubled Waters," to the contemporary songs that are so far beneath him, and you just feel bad that he (or Rick Rubin) felt he had to do that to seem relevant. (ie, "Rusty Cage.")
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:37 PM on May 3, 2010


Like humor videos, there is no perfect beer. There are only crafts that suit your palate better than others. I happen to like both their videos and brew.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 4:26 PM on May 3, 2010


If it is hated upon in this thread, I like it.
posted by pokermonk at 6:10 PM on May 3, 2010


Oldham's whole career is based on the fact that he took the back cover photo for Slint's Spiderland...

Front cover, right? The back's a picture of a spider, isn't it?
posted by mr_roboto at 6:25 PM on May 3, 2010


I can't say I love Sam's brewing philosophy of 'throw some more weird shit in there, that'd be rad," I'd love to try his beers, except that they cost significantly more than other craft brews I already like and I never seem to see them in a mix-a-six/22oz/sampler pack situation, and I just can't talk myself into ~15$ for four beers I might hate. For crying out loud, I can get a 750ml of Abt12 and an Orval for 15$.

Also: I really didn't care for BeerWars at all, I think I've mentioned that here before. Computer driven brewing really isn't new, so I'm not sure why Sam feels the need to act like he invented the wheel RIMS, but whatever.
posted by paisley henosis at 8:12 PM on May 3, 2010


One of the best I ever saw was BPB in 2003 at Irving Plaza in NY, touring after Master And Everyone, were he took those quiet, understated songs and somehow transformed them into wall of sounds screamers. Not at all what I was expecting, and totally amazing.

I will make an effort to see any Oldham show, precisely because you never know what you will get. It seems like he produces each album with a particular sound, often an experiment (use a drum machine; hire top notch Nashville session musicians), then somehow disconnects each song from that album sound, and does essentially cover versions of his own music, re-arranged for each tour.

Combine that with a now-massive catalog (hundreds of songs) and judicious covers (from country to rap and metal), and every concert is an event.
posted by msalt at 10:20 PM on May 4, 2010


« Older This that you call Ursus maritimus, this polar bea...   |   Ivan Coyote is a Canadian stor... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments