Archive | January, 2016

Beach disco

31 Jan


A night shot of a beach disco at a resort in Cuba. I’m standing at the end of the beach. Behind me there are drunk people in the water. Every once in a while the DJ beseeches the drunks flopping around in the water that they should move to dry land as their activity is not safe.
The music boomed along and the inebriated frolicked in the surf.
This shot was a long exposure and hand held. I like the fact you can see some of the stars in the sky.
It was my first night at the resort.

Weekly Vinyl – Timoon

29 Jan

Adam Timoon Live!
Adam Timoon
I met Adam Timoon many, many years ago. I was in grade school, perhaps grade dix or seven, and they had a media class for us. He came in and we interviewed him.
I saw him performing at one of the long gone hotels on Lakeshore West when I was in University. I chatted with him briefly – I wasn’t expecting him to remember me, he didn’t but he did acknowledge that something like that media class might have happened.
What strikes listening to this album, and the same thing when I saw him live, was that this guy is a fantastic guitarist. It is not flamboyant rock-n-roll style but more a superb technical display while playing some light pop tunes.
The album has some familiar tunes – Kristofferson’s Bobby McGee which is done more like he wrote it than the way Janice did it, George Harrison’s Something, Zorba the Greek and a few other familiar hits. This is a live recording so you get some interaction with the crowd- including a humorous, for the time, anecdote about a Russian hockey coach.
It’s a pleasant album, in general, from a great guitarist.

Weekly Wine – Mezzacorona

27 Jan

SONY DSCMezzacorona Novello
12.5% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

Another new wine that comes with challenges. But first things first…
I love the label. It is very funky very cool. It looks classy and daring at the same time. If the wine is half as good as the label – we have a winner.
This wine is actually corked – with a real cork. Bonus eh!
Upon opening, uncorking, and tasting the wine I was quite puzzled – I had a hard time figuring out this wine. It is dry yet very fruity – the fruit gives it a sweet, syrupy flavour that hides the dryness. It is quite complex. The fruitiness is a mishmash of many fruits and it is hard to tell what you are tasting. It is akin to the Uzvar – Kompot’s that are drinks made with dried fruit for the Christmas season. The combination is sweet and the flavours are complex. So it is in this wine’s fruit explosion.
But the main question remains whether this is a good wine. The wine is perhaps not as good as the label but it is more than half as good – hence this wine is a winner.

WiFi woes

25 Jan

So I come to this place where my kids have after school activities and the WiFi is down. The “visitor” account here is down quite frequently. I see others parents with their laptops, tablets or cellphones staring intently at their suddenly much less useful electronics with furrowed brow and a sense of bewilderments.
I just switched to my word processor and started writing this. The WiFi will be up soon, or not. It will most likely work at home. I can live without it for an hour or so.


24 Jan

New York City, in all its glory, from New Jersey – in all its glory.
Taken on the top floor of a Megabus heading to Philadelphia.
One World Trade Center is the big building in the center.
I tried to get the Empire State building in the shot but the bus was moving fast and it was quite bumpy.

Weekly Vinyl – Thick Brick

22 Jan

Thick as a Brick
Jethro Tull
This is one of the more esteemed recordings in the genre known as progressive rock.
The album is a tad over 43 minutes in length and is just one song.
The album is actually a newspaper which you can read and decipher while listening to the music. It is all one large concept which some take seriously and others, including the creator and lead singer of Jethro Tull, claim the whole album is a joke.
It is very elaborate and I remember reading the album while listening to it many years ago. I did not do this now as I remember that reading the album cover/paper took longer than listening to the album.
The music is complex and layered. There are many key changes and tempo changes. Some of the song is in strange time signatures more used in Jazz than rock. It is a grate listen but you need to concentrate and really listen for the nuances in the music. If it is just in the background it will be irritating because it challenges the ear and brain to pay attention.

Weekly Wine – Pelee S-C

20 Jan

SONY DSCPelee Island Shiraz Cabernet
Canada and others
12.5% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

This was not the first bottle of the evening at the dinner.
It was the last though.
The consensus was that it was surprising that it was quite good. Not excellent, but quite fair.
The expectations were not high as this was one of those Canadian/International blends. They tend to be of questionable taste and quality – usually they aim to get the price down … under ten bucks.
This wine is that but it has a nice character. It is dry but not too dry. It has a fairly robust body and an indistinguishable syrupy fruit essence.
You won’t mistake this for “vin bon.” But then again it ain’t bad wine.
It’s a standard table wine that can be had at any occasion. That being said, there are better wines at this price.

This was going to be different

19 Jan

I had a couple of nice conversations this evening about the various events that are going on in the world. Iran is back, kinda, as a non-pariah state. Russia is collapsing and threatening at the same time. The US election. Canada’s economy. China’s economy and relations with its neighbours and the rest of the world. It was a rich discussion and I was going to write something clever about something from the list.
I turned the news on and I heard that Glen Fry passed away. This last 30-or-so days have not been too good for musicians – Lemmy, Bowie and Fry.
But I was never a big Eagles fan and I leaned more to what was said about them in the movie The Big Lebowski.
But still…



17 Jan


This shadow was moving quite quick along the beach in Mexico.
It was a stingray.
We saw quite a few of them that week.

Weekly Vinyl – Mitch’s House

15 Jan

Communical Expressions Vol. 1

I pulled this album out and had no idea what it was.
I like the plain white packaging. The black title is glued on – it is printed, photocopied perhaps, on plain paper.
This is DIY – true heart of music.
The sound is quite competent house music. It isn’t bad … does it get me dancing?
Not really – I’m drinking Bulgarian wine. But my toes are a tappin’.
And I feel good.
The music has live elements (recorded instruments) and sampled musical riffs. Sitting in a quiet environment and listening to the music on a half decent stereo, you can tell them apart easily. This album is from 1991 – the sampling technology was quite primitive by today’s standards. I have several instruments of this vintage and the difference is astounding.
There’s about 20 minutes of music on this record so it would probably be considered an extended EP back in the day. The music is a kind of House music – background, danceable … quite agreeable. Nothing really stands out musically here though.
But I love the DIY feel of the disc.