Caitlin Behle of Drunk Music Reviews
Caitlin Behle is one half of Drunk Music Reviews. As the name implies, their MO is quite simple: get drunk and review musicians. But on top of that, Behle's drinking buddy, John Sebastian, illustrates unique caricatures of the bands while they're performing. Together, Behle's words and Sebastian's drawings create a humorously boozy slice of life that goes down smoother than any brew.
How did you and John start working together? Was it a natural progression, or did you specifically seek each other out with a project in mind?
I can't remember exactly how we came up with the idea for Drunk Music Reviews, probably because we came up with the idea at a bar.
John and I have been friends for years though, and I've always admired John as an illustrator. I've never really seen myself as much of a creative writer, but at the time, I felt pretty bored just writing show reviews. So when we first joked about getting drunk and reviewing bands, I thought, 'Why not?'
Our first review was at the Clifton Heights Music Festival
in October 2011. We were pretty surprised at the response. People liked that we were coming at it from the crowd's perspective—drunk, uninhibited, just having a good time. Plus, bands apparently love being drawn. It seemed like a huge hit so we figured we'd keep doing it until people got sick of it or our livers failed, whatever comes first.
You've been writing about music for a while now. How is DMR different from your previous endeavors?
Well, I'm drunk.
In all seriousness, though, I feel much more self-conscious about interviewing bands and reviewing albums. In all honesty, I don't think I'm proficient enough as a writer to make any revelations about a band's music, or even be able to articulate why I love a band in a way that does the band justice. With Drunk Music Reviews, I get to just nerd out about music. I don't have time to overthink what I'm saying because I'm drunk and just tweeting about the show as it's happening.
What's the process like for creating a new DMR? Do you get a lot of requests these days?
We're pretty laid back. John and I decide on a festival or show we think would be a good fit for DMR. We generally don't review shows with less than four bands because we need enough time to get drunk and ease into the atmosphere—any less than four bands, and I assume it's a fast and furious race to black out. We try to pick shows with a mix of bands we like and bands we haven't seen before. John and I usually map out the bands we want to see together. We've split up in the past, but we really work better as a team. His illustrations are awesome on their own but need the reviews to put them in context, and my tweets are just kind of lame without the illustrations. Let's be real, John's illustrations are really what make DMR. Any hack can get drunk and tweet about a show, but his illustrations are pretty amazing and he's great at capturing the atmosphere and feel of a show.
Who would be your dream musician/group to feature on DMR?
I'm sure John would have a different band in mind because he's usually drawn to heavier music or bands that just look really ridiculous. I think Flaming Lips would be a great show. Everyone's usually messed up for those shows anyway, but there's just always a lot going on. Lots of confetti cannons, naked people wearing alien masks, Wayne Coyne walking around inside a giant plastic bubble. You know, the usual.
Of Montreal would be awesome too. Their shows are very theatrical. Again, lots of weird performance art, visual art projections, goofy costumes.
Have you gotten any negative responses to DMR from Cincinnati musicians? What's the general reception been from bands?
I think we've only had a couple somewhat negative responses. We're definitely not malicious, but we'll definitely poke fun at bands. Plus, part of the whole drunk reviewing thing is the "liquid courage" aspect—there's a risk we'll say things without inhibition as the night goes on. But yeah, there have been a few times when we've said something snarky that didn't exactly sit well with a band. And really, all we can say was, "Sorry man, I was kind of drunk."
What's next for DMR?
That's a good question. We really should try to get a game plan together. We're wrapping up an art show of John's DMR illustrations at Smartfish
, and then after that, I don't think we have anything planned. Hopefully we'll get to review Midpoint. In an ideal world, some brave soul with a good sense of humor will sponsor us so we don't have to pay for all of our drinks out of pocket. One time we tried to get a cab company to sponsor us so we had a guaranteed DD, but they didn't really get it.
Interview by Sean Peters