Archive | March, 2017

Weekly Vinyl – Гадюкiну – Hadiukiny

31 Mar

Ми – Хлoпцi з Бандерштадту – We Are The Boys From Bandershtat
Брати Гадюкiни – The Hadyukin Brothers

Braty Hadiukiny were one of the best Ukrainian rock bands in the 1990s.
Spoiler Alert.
I know this band.
I met them in Warsaw in 1989 as they were on their way to play a festival in Sopot.
When they were in Toronto in 1990, we saw B.B. King together.
I hung out with them in Ukraine.
I’ve kept in touch all these years.
I’m not unbiased here.
So should I be entitled to write a review of their album? Why not.
It is a great disk. The songs are catchy and witty. This album sees them introduce a horn section which really filled out their sound. They evolved from a punky-reggeaish outfit to a slick bluesy rock outfit.
The transformation from when I first heard them to this album is quite astounding. The music is quite diverse actually – it is a good reflection of what music influenced the lyrysist and singer, Serhiy Kuzminsky and the rest of the band. There are lots of nods to bands here from the Rolling Stones to the Talking Heads, to Bob Marley to even Ukrainian folk.
It is a great album. Yes I’m biased – but it is a great album nonetheless.

Weekly Wine – Black Tower

29 Mar

Black Tower Rivaner
13% ABV
$8.95 (LCBO)

I was not expecting to like this wine.
The Black Tower wines I had many moons ago was sickly sweet and syrupy. But that was probably the Riesling … this is a grape called Rivaner.
To be fair, this is not a wine that is dry. The sweetness is more subline and mixes well with the fresh fruit flavour – I get a bit of apple and lemon here. There is a bit of acidity and it balances well with the lightly sweet fruitful flavour.
It is quite a nice wine, one that I would recommend to friends who like wines that aren’t bone dry. But in fact, mix this with some fruit and club soda and you will most likely get a really nice affordable spritzer drink for the summer deck, or porch or stoop.
There is a sticker on the bottle that touts the new design – it is a two-coloured bottle. I thought it was the same sickly sweet wine. I was wrong in my impressions. This is a very nice wine – no two ways about it.

Mondays in the 1980s

27 Mar

My daughter told me she did not like Mondays.
That hit a chord for me. The Boomtown Rats’ song I Don’t Like Mondays.
She did not want to hear that song.
I did.
Thank the Lord for YouTube – I listened to that song and many others from the early 80s.
I should have done something more constructive but I had a great time.

Night Eiffel

26 Mar


A handheld night shot of the Eiffel Tower.
I like night photography.
I should do more of it.

Weekly Vinyl – Puff

24 Mar

All About Dragons

I hate this album.
I hate the song “Puff the magic dragon.”
One of my teachers in early grade school kept on playing it during nap time. It is seared into my brain.
I hate it.
I do not have any long term issues, nor did hearing this again trigger any pent up fury.
My only thoughts were – Why do I have this? And  – Shall I listen to the whole thing.
The latter was addresses in the affirmative and the former query was unresolved.
This is a mindless kids album which serves no purpose in this day and age.
I dislike Puff the Magic Dragon – this is clear.
I dislike this album because it is bland and uninteresting.

Weekly Wine – Cote

22 Mar

George DeVilliers L’Entre-Cote
Year: N/A
11% ABV
$8.95 (Quebec gas station)

This label is fine looking.
Quite classy – one could mistake it for a nice French wine.
The label in the back claims that it is well balanced and well rounded.
Frankly it tastes like someone poured a bunch of leftover wine after a party into a vat and topped it off with some tap water to get the volume just right. In fact, this wine is a blend of various wines – none of them particularly good I suspect.
The bland flat flavour is punctuated, however, by a bizarre sourness that gets progressively more pronounced as one goes along drinking the wine.
I’m just getting down to the end of my first glass and am already thinking that my head will hurt me in the morning if I have another glass. Heck, it might hurt my while I drink the second glass.
Do I need to conclude the review by stating you should avoid this mixture?


20 Mar

There might be some new projects coming up and so I am reorganizing.
But then again – I have read this on so many other blogs.
I have said this so many times before.
In essence it is a cry for help.
As a freelance writer, musician, entrepreneur, I tend to spread myself thin.
Yes, I need to streamline what I am doing.
This is a constant struggle.

Jamaican Jerk Center

19 Mar

THere was no way I could convince the bus driver to stop at this place for a quick sample of Jamaican Jerk. It was also empty of clients and indeed workers. But it is an enticing place nevertheless.

Weekly Vinyl – Soviet Anthems

17 Mar

Anthems of the Soviet Union

I bought this in Kyiv in 1993. I was surprised to see this in the store because it was still a “government-run” store, it was the main shopping store in the centre of Kyiv, and the Soviet Union was gone.
It was cheap, it was vinyl and I bought it.
What strikes me about this album is how bad the quality is. You cannot make out any of the words being song. The sound is flat. It is akin to making multiple generational copies of an analogue cassette tape and then using that to master the record. It sounds like it is being played far away.
The recording is bad and the anthems of the Soviet Union are uninteresting.

Weekly Wine – Citra Grigio

15 Mar

Citra Pinot Grigio Terre di Chieti
13% ABV
$8.95 (LCBO)

Like most pinot grigios this wine is OK.
It is light. It is crisp. It is slightly acidic and has a gentle flavour – Lemons I think.
It is well balanced. It is quite refreshing to drink and has no off flavours.
It is pleasant.
It says to serve well chilled but it also tastes ok just slightly chilled.
When warmed up a bit you get a slightly more pronounced acidity, probably caused by the added sulphites. But this is not a problem and only underlines the wine’s heritage of being under 10 bucks, and it is well under that sum.
Is this wine a superlative example of a Pinot Grigio – probably not, but it will match and surpass many wines that cost double the amount this wine costs.
Enjoy this one when you can.