Archive | May, 2015

Garden Pants

10 May

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Saw this in Jeziorany, Poland. I’ve got to make this for my garden.

Weekly Vinyl – Jon Vangelis

8 May

Jon and Vangelis
The friends of Mr. Cairo
(1981)
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Is this a one hit album/band…?
Everybody of a certain age, will instantly recognize the song “The Friends of Mr. Cairo” you could not get away from it in the early 80s in Canada.
But to call it a song is a misnomer. It is an opus. It is an operetta. It is 12 minutes long. I remember hearing it on AM – shattering AMs rule for only embracing 3 minute songs. I think there was a shorter version, an AM friendly edit, of this song – but it was still long by AM radio standards.
This album was a hit but I doubt whether anyone heard any of the music beyond the title track.
As for the title track – I have not heard it in ages and I actually did not mind it too much. A bit over the top but hey – progressive rock.
The rest of the album is very wrapped up in pop and is a stark difference to the title track. It is pop music written and performed by musicians who regularly create other music. It is ambitious pop. There are some great nuggets here and worth a listen.

Weekly Wine – Day Trippers

6 May

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Full name
2013
Australia
750ml
12% ABV
$6.45 (LCBO)

I was so happy to see this wine.
First point – I liked the image of the scooter. I have one and I miss not riding it in the winter. It also needs some maintenance work – but that’s another story.
Second point – This wine is Australian and that usually denotes half decent wine inb the lower price category. Plus, I really like Australia, the little bit that I got to experience, and I wish I could go back.
Third point – This wine is criminally cheap. $6.45 for an Aussie wine. The bottle, the label, the cap and the shipping (never mind the taxes, the middlemen, the mark-ups etc.) alone must mean this wine is cheaper than water drunk out of a lake.
Fourth point – This wine is not bad. IT is not great but it will easily rival wines at twice the price. The label said it goes great with “sea foods, salads and Asian cuisine.” We had it with pork and roast potatoes on an evening where the mercury dropped to minus 30 Celsius.
Yea – it was fine. I’m happy this wine is here. It will be a staple when the warm weather arrives and the scooter is on the road.

Chicago Congress

3 May

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This image, from my room in the Congress hotel in Chicago, was taken in the fall. I liked the view from my room in this grand old, but rather dilapidated, hotel.

Weekly Vinyl – Janis

1 May

Janis
Artist
(1975)
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Released about five years after her passing, this double album is a collection of various performances. The first disk is a soundtrack from the film “Janis.” The second disk is a collection of early performances.
The latter disk is the standout here. This is not your standard Janis Joplin but a bluesy, soul singin’ Janis. Dare I say roots music. The recording is a bit muddy – it sounds like it was recorded in a series of non-descript hall using two microphones. It was probably done like this and it is amazing. The emotions are in the music and it creates a glorious ambiance for the listener. I shudder to think that newer versions might be “digitally enhanced.” A pox on that process.
The first side is basically a “best of” type of record – it is fine with all the hits.