Archive | November, 2013

Weekly Vinyl – Stevie Wonder

30 Nov

Fulfillingness’ First Final
Stevie Wonder
(1974)
SONY DSC
I’ve been listening to this album on-and-off for a couple of days now and can’t really make up my mind about it. I is a darker, slower, more sombre album that the funky music you expect from Stevie Wonder.
There’s lots to like about Stevie Wonder. He is an amazing talent. But this album just does not do it for me. There are some great tunes here – Boogie on Reggae Woman, for example. But the rest of the music is very contemplative and personal. And very 70s in sound. Besides the above mentioned song and one or two others the songs are rather flat and emotionless – although they are trying to convey emotion. This is very much middle-of-the road music.
I listened to this album three or four times in its entirety trying to get inspired by the music – no luck.

Weekly Wine – Periquita

27 Nov


SONY DSCFonseca Periquita
2011
Portugal
$7.95 (LCBO)
750ml
13.0% ABV

This is a very inoffensive wine.
It is quite light but has a nice flavour. It does not have that earthy flavour, that heavy aftertaste that is a prevalent feature of many inexpensive Portuguese wines. It is nice to drink. It is actually better than many wines that cost cents, and even dollars more.
The label is nice and elegant. Not too flashy. Actually not flashy at all. It looks like a label you would find on a more refined and expensive wine. That’s always a bonus.
Lets not get carried away, this is not an excellent wine. It is a very nice average wine. There is no distinctive character to this wine. It is, a bit forgettable. Characterless. As I mentioned initially – inoffensive.
I should point out that
saw this wine in a liquor store in Narvik, Norway where it was over twice as expensive. But all alcohol cost more north of the Arctic Circle. It was just as good in the land of the midnight sun as it was here – in the Centre of the Universe.

 

TO_UFO

24 Nov

SONY DSC
The lights reflecting off the glass make it look like square  UFOs are hovering over Toronto City Hall. This is not as strange as some of the things that are going  on inside with our crack-head mayor.  Taken from the 35th floor of the office building that is attached to the Eton Centre.

Weekly Vinyl – Enya

22 Nov

Watermark
Enya
(1988)
SONY DSC
So this is Enya.
Perhaps here most noted work – especially due to the single Orinoco Flow best known as Sail Away because that is all the listener hears.
The album is lush. Perhaps to much so. I needed to adjust the equalizer, something I rarely do, on my stereo to balance out the sound. I don’t know if it is me or the record but I can barely make out what she is singing about. Perhaps it is Enya’s genius. I tried reading the lyrics, but they are In a handwriting that is barely decipherable.
The album is pleasant enough – but really it is just adequate background music. Nice for having it play while savouring an espresso by the window on cold rainy day.

Weekly Wine – Gato Negro

20 Nov

gatoMerlotGato Negro Merlot
2012
Country
750ml
13% ABV
$8.95 (LCBO)

I sampled the Cabernet Sauvignon version of this wine a little while back – October 9 to be exact. I liked it. I like this one two. It proudly wears a sticker that proclaims “Winery of the Year (New World)” as bestowed by Wine Enthusiast. I should start giving medals out.
I haven’t gone back to read my previous review of Gato Negro lest it cloud my judgement. I haven’t had Gato Negro for a while and this wine is OK. I kinda remember the Cabernet Sauvignon, and I think it is better than the Merlot. I remember really enjoying the former while this one is just OK. Sure mood plays into it a great deal so perhaps I was in a great mood back then and just OK now. Or I am not in the best of mental balance tonight and this wine is not connecting. The possibilities are endless.
On an empirical note my mood is OK today and so is this wine. Just OK. Nothing really special. A bit tart here, a bit of flavour there. It does not offend. It is a wine that one could serve out of a decanter and most would not clue in.

 

Urban tree

17 Nov

Ktree
It is an endless battle. We chop down trees as quickly as we can and yet they will grow in most situations. These trees off an alley near the Kensington Market in Toronto. It is quite impressive how to huge trees were able to grow in this confined space.

Weekly Vinyl – McCartney in the USSR

15 Nov

SONY DSC
CHOBA B CCCP
Paul McCartney
(1988)
image
I have a many copies of this album. It was released exlusively in the USSR in the twilight of that bastard regime, and initially some collectors paid a kings ransom for what they thought was a rarety.
The citizens of the USSR heard about this and when they were able to get an exit visa they would leave for North America with a few of these records, purchased for a measly 4 roubles, hoping to make a killing in the West. Unable to sell these albums because no one wanted them after the initial curiosity faded, some of my Ukrainian friends left the albums with me. I haven’t been able to get rid of this lo many years have passed.
The album itself is fairly forgettable. Sir Paul is having some fun belting out some blues standards and some oldies … but the album itself is quite unremarkable.

Weekly Wine – Citra

13 Nov

SONY DSCCitra Sangiovese Terredi Chieti
2012
Italy
750ml
13% ABV
$7.45 (LCBO)

I’ve had tasted this wine a long time ago and I remembered it. My memory recalled that it was not a very pleasant wine. It was not an enjoyable wine. It was a harsh wine.
My memory works well as it is all that above and more. I don’t remember it being watery – having a harsh flavour mixed with tepidness. Perhaps that’s just me.
This is a singular wine. A bold wine. A wine that that no doubt has its share of fans. It also will have its detractors.
I don’t like this wine. It is too harsh. It reminds me of the cheap table wine I was served when in Rome. That wine was virtually undrinkable unless you mixed it well with mineral water. This wine is better than that.
But I’m looking for the bottle of mineral water.

Remembering

11 Nov

It is still technically Remembrance day where I am from – Toronto. In Paris, where I am, it is now the 12th. It had slipped my mind that I would be in France for this day.
As it happened on the 10th of November, unplanned happenstance found me in Ypers Belgium – a place where there was much fighting.
First Battle of Ypers – 127,000 to 162,00 Belgian, French and British soldiers died while German losses were about 20,000 killed and 32,000 missing. The Second Battle of Ypers, the allies had about 70,000 casualties versus German casualties of 35,000. The Third Battle, also called the Battle of  Passchendaele, there losses were greater than all – allies, between 200,000 – 448,614. German 217,000 – 410,000.
There are disputes to some of the numbers but no one doubt the calamity of battle here and the massive loss of life.
Many Canadians perished in the Second and Third battles.
The monument to the Belgian, French, Canadian, Newfoundland, British, Australian, Indian, New Zealand, and South African soldiers who died and have no grave is very moving. a little of-put that I had
I was forgotten my camera – but on reflection, the memory of me being here is much more powerful than any photograph that I would have taken.

Art under construction

10 Nov

ACO
I found this in my photo archives. This is a new section of the Ontario Art College being constructed. It is a controversial design – a big box stuck on top angled pillars. I like it. Architecture should evoke emotions – unlike a standard box buildings that we usually see. I could not find a picture of the completed building – I think I shall meander downtown with my camera one of these days.