Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The season of renewal

Spring arrived, and I missed all the lovely fog as the snow sublimated. Four days of fog and I was sick. Since then it has been nothing but sunshine. Everything is poised and waiting. Waiting for the rains to come.

first flower of spring

The first flowers of spring, emerging from the detritus of last year.

It has been dry. Once the rains come the buds will burst and the trees will be enveloped in a green mist. For now, we wait, and hope it comes soon.

Monday, March 22, 2010

In praise of Glenn Danzig

Danzig's shopping list

Danzig's shopping list by my favorite people on the internet

Icing on the cake

It makes my soul hurt!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Gaze Upon Me

Old Fitzgerald

Old Fashioned but still in style. Hey that sounds like me.

Old Grand-Dad

Head of the bourbon family. Respect!

The two towers

Thursday, March 11, 2010

It's coming

According to my news sources, Amrut Indian whisky hits shelves stateside in a limited release this month. The states are New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Hey, I was just in Illinois. Damn, I didn't think to go buying whisky there seeing as I was Smokey and the Bandit for the weekend.

It would have been perfect timing too, seeing as it has been warm and foggy and almost all the snow is gone. Spring is here and that means we are in for a long summer. What better way to cool down than a large dram of Indian whisky? Well, unless it tastes like poo of course.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bottled in Bond

My liquor store carries two bourbons that are bottled in bond: Old Grand-Dad and Old Fitzgerald. They are both solid whiskeys. Smooth, but not mellow. At 50% alcohol, you wouldn't expect these to be "mellow" whiskeys. OGD has a very strong flavor with hits of an almost almond nut flavor. Old Fitzy also has a strong flavor, though I am at a lack of words to describe it in comparison to OGD or other whiskeys.

These also have some of the most interesting labels of any whiskey. OGD has a nuclear orange color with bright gold lettering proclaiming "Bonded". A seal of quality to octogenarians perhaps? An amusing anachronistic label, equaled by its counterpart Old Fitzy. Ole' Fitzy has so much verbiage on the label it is mesmerizing. It has a seal proclaiming "Old fashioned but still in style" and on the back "Your key to hospitality". It also lists a brief history of the brand and tasting notes. I can stare at that thing and get lost on the labeling, which apparently hasn't changed since the Kennedy administration.

I should have pictures up for you shortly.

So which one is better? Hard to say, really. They are similar in character, with OGD having a stronger aftertaste and that nut flavor. I'll do a head to head comparison and give the results. Either way, they are both solid value whiskeys. Smooth and hangover free, fascinating labeling, and definitely a conversation piece for guests having a pour for the first time.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Time is running short

Everyone loves the collaboration between Johnny Cash and Rick Rubin. It was amazing seeing Johnny Cash stripped down to a raw sound more like his Sun Records roots, and also hearing him play contemporary songs. I first heard of the American Records project when American II: Unchained came out and he covered Rusty Cage.

At the time Soundgarden was still riding high (I dislike everything after Badmotorfinger but I still love that and the prior stuff). I later discovered he had played a song written by one Glenn Danzig which was even more mindblowing.

It wasn't until much later that I discovered that one Glenn Danzig wrote a song for Roy Orbison

In another life, having written songs for Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison gets you some sort of medal. Danzig gets a stack of bricks. Where is the justice?

After Johnny died, Rick looked around for the next Johnny and produced Neil Diamond. Now I am going to say this delicately. Neil Diamond has never had success as a stripped down artist like Johnny Cash had. Even his early hits like Girl You'll be a Woman Soon were smooth productions, not simple and raw like old Sun Records.

No offense, but I think Rick was trying to get this magic with half the production, and it didn't spin the same magic. He must know this, after all he helped Johnny re-record Solitary Man without the horns.


Fucking horns

No horns for a more Sun Records sound. But notice that Tom Petty sings backup and there is a rich layer despite the sparse veneer. It is powerful not because of the production but because of Johnny's delivery.

So what is my point. My point is that if you are looking for a commonality here it is this: if Rick Rubin was looking for another singer to revive it wasn't Neil Diamond. It was Jerry Lee Lewis.

Simple, raw, and powerful. Notice the bass isn't plugged in.

Descending from Rock and Roll/Rockabilly cool to sappy country lame. Its alright, they all did this (even Johnny). Although a song about Schlitz beer is awesome in my book. I don't know if you losers can get this; but my bar carries the stuff in a bottle. Classic 1960s formula!

So yeah, if Rick Rubin wanted to produce another elderly Rock and Roll legend from the Sun Records roster, Jerry Lee Lewis is still alive and kicking. He too was an outlaw and a rebel. He too worked well in a stripped down raw production.

The final piece to tie it together? Have Glenn Danzig write a song for Jerry Lee Lewis. It only got better as time went on. Life Fades Away was nice and all, but didn't make a splash. 13 was on the now legendary American I. Just think about Jerry Lee playing a Danzig song on his American I...

Pull out the terrible Motown horns and bass, and you have an American Original Wild One.

Update - the mean old man playing live in 2008. Come on Rick, time is running short.

The best football team in the South

As you probably know by now, Ole Miss is considering changing their mascot from some old fart to something new. There is a movement to change it to Admiral Ackbar.

Fuck yes! I will be a huge Ole Miss fan if this happens. Previously I did not know the school even existed. Now, I imagine we'll see the admiral on the jumbotron every time they run a draw trap play.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Smokey and the Bandit

This weekend Mr. Booze is taking a trip to Chicago. It is a short rendezvous with some old friend. You might not know this, but Chicago has crazy taxes. There is an additional sales tax on top of Illinois' already high sales taxes. There is also an additional liquor tax just for Chicago, on top of Illinois' high liquor taxes. Therefore the importation of cheap liquor is imperative.

I have contacted my fellows and have a shopping list to complete today. I am bringing the following boozes:

1 750ml bottle of Lustau Spanish brandy
1 1L bottle of Old Overholt rye whiskey
1 tiny bottle of Christian Bros. VSOP (for sampling)
1 12 pack of Spotted Cow beer

I'm also bringing a bottle of something for myself. Maybe Old Fitzgerald?

I've seen this movie before. It was called Smokey and the Bandit. And it was fucking awesome.

Enjoy every scene with the Trans Am

I'm also bringing about a dozen cheap cigars I stole from my former employer. I'm also going to see if I can get some snus for the Destroyer. Hmmm, this is starting to sound vaguely like another movie...

I wonder if there will be a lawyer involved in this? (why do they disable embedding on the best clips?)

Will this end up Fear and the Bandit in Smokey Vegas? Will things explode as they sometimes do when deranged personalities try and channel their demons together? Will it be surprisingly dull? Will I get stuck in bat country?

I won't know until I get there. And unfortunately I can't get my hands on any hallucinogens or high powered narcotics. So probably very little Fear and Loathing, but you never know. A boy can dream...