Archive | November, 2016

Nice Beach Bar

13 Nov

Driving to Negril, we spotted this funky Bar&Lounge.
We would have loved to patronise this establishment, but the bus was moving at about 90 km/h and we were quite a distance away before we realised what we missed. I understand and recognize the needs for hygine and regulations in the food industry but I’m sure that the food at this and similar roadside stands in Jamaica is on par with anything served at the resorts.

Weekly Vinyl – Animal

11 Nov

Rock n Roll Animal
Lou Reed
I met a man who met this man – Lour Reed that is. The man I met explained what a huge fan he was of Lou Reed and how that meeting broke his spirit.
What I understood from that conversation is that you should never meet your heroes, or, you should not have any heroes, or, you should not hold your heroes (role model) in such very high esteem.
I choose the latter because I really like Lou Reed’s music and lyrics and, as David Byrne once commented about Lou Reed’s abrupt manner – “He’s from New York. What do you expect.”
This album is brief and intense and captures the performance well – I gather, as I was not there. There are but five songs here and only a bit more that 40 minutes of music. But it is intense – when listened at an appropriate volume. Four of these songs are pieces that were done by the Velvet Underground but these new arrangements are striking. None more so, to me, than Heroin. This sparse dreamy drone of a song has been transformed into an almost anthem like song. Still good – but different.

Weekly Wine – Santa Shiraz

9 Nov

1109scshSanta Carolina Shiraz
13% ABV
$8.55 (LCBO)

Santa Carolina is a well-known and established wine company that makes economical wines. They tend to be good.
This one is no exception.
It is nicely bodied. It is well flavoured and rather sharp and tangy.
I like it – you will probably like it too.
The only issue I could possibly have with this wine is that it doesn’t have a very well refined sensation when drinking it. It does not have the complexities of more expensive shirazes. It is rather flat in ins flavour.
It is an inexpensive wine so that should be expected.
And treasured.

This wine is a winner.

God gets requests

7 Nov

I was watching a bit of game seven of the world series a few days ago.
It was top of the 10th (extra innings – overtime for clarity sakes). Chicago was leading Cleveland 8-6 and it was a tense game.
The TV panned to the crowd and everybody in the crowd, whatever team allegiance, was praying to the Lord. Everyone in Chicago was praying one way and in Cleveland the other way. In the United States of America most were praying one way or the other way. (Incidentally, the game got even more intense as Chicago won 8-7 … Cleveland got close.)
Many people in America pray as a matter of course. In America most are praying to the Lord one way or the other way to have their side, their candidate, triumph in the election.
God has a lot of American prayers to sort through lately.
I pity the Lord.

Beach time

6 Nov

As the weather is getting colder, one wants to hit the beach for some R&R. As I post this I’m on a beach. But not this beach. And the music isnot jazz saxaphone. This beach and the saxaphone was great. The beach I’m on now is mighty fine. May you find your beach…

Weekly Vinyl – Blue Raincoat

4 Nov

Famous Blue Raincoat
Jennifer Warnes
This is an album of Leonard Cohen’s songs sung by Jennifer Warnes, his primary backup singer for many years.
The music is the same – kinda. But the voice sure is different. Warnes’ voice is sunny, bright and optimistic while Leonard Cohen’s is pensive. The best contrast is on the song Joan of Arc where Cohen sings backup to Warnes. This really works well as both their voices play off each other very well. .
There are times in the album where you long to hear the deep baritone of Cohen rumbling through the song. Some of the arrangements also belie a middle-of-the road feel that makes the listener forget about listening intently to the words and relegating the music, and words, to the background. This mostly comes through in songs like Song of Bernadette and Came so Far for Beauty.
Jennifer Warnes has an incredible voice. I have made some observations above but it has to be noted that her voice exhibits great tonal range and is full bodied. It is full of life and emotion. It ain’t Cohen. But as I look at the album cover while listening to this disk I want to grab one of the Galoises that are scattered in the image and have a drag.

Weekly Wine – Southern Blend

2 Nov

1102tocsmTwo Oceans Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot
South Africa
13.5% ABV
$9.95 (LCBO)

The label of this wine screams quality.
It looks elegant. It looks sophisticated. It looks like it costs more than ten bucks.
Well it tastes like ten bucks. Perhaps a bit more – but not much more.
It is an okay wine – a bit unrefined, a bit raw, a bit sour.
The acidity is noticeable as are the sulphites. There is a nice cherry flavour but that is whisked away by the sourness and acidity. Are they sour cherries? Not sure.
This wine has a pleasant body that is not too heavy so perhaps that’s what brings out the sourness and acidity. The medium body and acidity actually work well on a warm evening so this is why this wine presents me with a quandary.
Is it a great wine? No.
Is it OK? Yeah… I guess so.
Would I buy it again? Probably.