Every St. Patrick's Day for the last decade, a group of Portland music luminaries—including songwriter Casey Neill, Jenny Conlee and Chris Funk of the Decemberists and the Minus 5's Scott McCaughey—get together to play the songs of Celtic punk legends the Pogues, under the name KMRIA, or Kiss My Royal Irish Ass. Living that many years in the shoes of one of the greatest (and drunkest) bands ever is bound to teach even seasoned musicians a few things. Here are five of them.
1. An accordion can play lead as well as an electric guitar.
2. An unadvised cocktail recipe: Pour one glass Maker's Mark bourbon into one Fender Deluxe amp. Also, mandolins work better before they are shattered to bits.
3. The Pogues wrote some of the greatest lyrics not just in rock history but in the Irish literary canon. Since the Irish never forget songs, this means that "The Sick Bed of Cuchulainn" will outlive "Takin' Care of Business" in the scope of human history.
4. Lyrics that were never right in the first place can never be wrong.
5. You cannot drink like Shane MacGowan no matter how much you think you can or how much the audience encourages you to. This will lead to being carried home, unfortunate events in the parking lot behind the venue, onstage dogpiles, band members gone missing midshow, thinking a stage dive is a good idea, bruises from being hit with a beer tray, and Silly String in your guitar for a decade.
SEE IT: Kiss My Royal Irish Arse plays Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St., with the Minus 5, on Friday, March 17. 9 pm. $15. 21+.