Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Youtube poop from beyond the grave

One glass of wine too many and I ended up beyond the void in the netherworld of the webernets (thanks Carlo Rossi).  First, you remember the Misfits.  And you remember that they ressurected the Misfits without Danzig and put out some material that was maybe ok but nothing like the real thing.  And you promptly forgot the whole ordeal.  I know I did.  But what, youtube covers of modern Misfits?  First, a refresher:

The original, in case you slept on it (and I know you did).  I don't think it is terrible, but if this wasn't sold as the Misfits it would probably be your favorite local band that never made it.

Bish covers this song acapella. Probably born after Danzig I came out.  Note the unfinished guns chestpiece.  I am old and have no idea what it means, but wise enough to know it is probably not something original and is more likely a reference to something (hit me up in the comments for the answer please).

But there is more!

On we go!

At this point my mind is blown.  So many bishes covering some random newera Misfits song.  WTF?  You may now weep for humanity.

Yes I know.  I will cry with you at the youtube poop.  There there.  We will get though this one day at a time.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Interview Jerk

I sometimes wish I could interview bands so I can ask obnoxious questions.  For example I would ask the band Agalloch:

"Your songs have often praised wood, and oak specifically.  Do you like whiskey because it absorbs the flavors of oak over time, or do you think it is a tragedy to cut down a tree for a silly drink?"

I would ask Dave Mustaine:

"You've written songs about band members being a jerk and both of them have later rejoined the band.  Do you think it would work on James Hetfield?  If Metallica wrote a song about you being a jerk would you rejoin them?"

"You like putting silly voice over stuff in your songs.  From 'pull over shithead it's the cops' in 502 to 'Gears of war' in Gears of War.  What's up with that?"

I would ask Cradle of Filth:

"How do you decide which roadie has to go buy wine coolers for the groupies?"

"Why do you look like a clown?"

I would ask Dimmu Borgir:

"Why do you dress like Cradle of Filth?"

"What wine coolers do your groupies prefer?"

I would ask Devin Townshend:

"How many albums do you have to release in a year before you can afford to eat again?"

I would ask Dream Theatre:

"What's the difference between a drummer and a large pizza?  The pizza can feed a family of four.  How can you tell if your drum riser is level?  Your drummer drools out of both sides of his mouth."

I would ask Lemmie:

"Has your doctor ever advised you to drink diet Coke instead of regular for your beetus?"

Boy I am an obnoxious prick.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pouring one out for my homie

Once I owned and enjoyed the Nevermore album The Politics of Ecstasy.  But I lost it years ago and now I have finally given up hope of finding it.

Miss you!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mister Booze joins a posse

If you go to the website for Carlo Rossi jug wine you can find, if you dig, a link for the Carlo Rossi Posse.  I think the link only appears if you click on the trophy case and see all the awards Carlo Rossi 4 liter jug wines have won.  For reals.

How do you become a part of Carlo Rossi's Posse and what does it entail?  From the website:

Carlo Rossi was a simple, practical man with a down to earth demeanor and sharp sense of humor. He liked to talk about his wine, but always would have rather been drinking it with friends. Since the beginning, Carlo Rossi and his fans have remained true to the wines heritage and no-nonsense, straightforward style. Surviving decades of fads, trends and dance crazes, Carlo Rossi and his posse kept their jug nearby and rose above it all.

It's been 30 years since Carlo began making his wine. Now, we're searching for a regular guy or gal who embodies Carlo Rossi's spirit through his/her own signature style and genuine characteristics, and who truly is the leader of their pack. It's time to honor someone like Carlo, who kept it real, good and honest.

That says to me that they are looking for another spokesman.  Someone who can sell this stuff to young people.  Because the only people I know that drink it are in their 60s. While I'd like to spread the good word about this jugwine, I don't think I can convince young people that this is stuff worth drinking.  Besides I already look like an old man.  

I'd like to point out one thing on the website that makes me a "posse" member.  The food pairing selector.  Want to know which jug goes with supreme pizza, fried chicken, or nachos?  Carlo knows, and he will hook you up.

Take it away Carlo


You might recall old Mr. Booze looking for similar wine pairings.  So I feel I found a kindred spirit in Mr. Rossi and his approximately 1 gallon glass jugs of wine.  Though mark my words:  the day they ship these in plastic jugs is the day I stop drinking Carlo Rossi.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

2011: The Year that Was

2011 was full of great music, wasn't it?  Let have a look at some of the great albums and bottles of booze that made this year so special.

Pallbearer - Demo.  Big thanks to DSFCB for introducing me to my new favorite doom metal band.  These kids are from somewhere in the deep south but damn if they don't sound like they are from England circa 1972.  The lead singer sounds like a young Ozzy so much it is crazy.

And he knew there's no hope of redemption!  Don't you want to cut your wrists listening to that?  Amazing.

Last spring I listened to Pallbearer constantly and drank Canadian whisky.  I enjoyed the 10 year version of Canadian Club.  Delightful stuff, really.  That was the spring, but moving on to the summer new jams were needed.  And what a hot summer it was.

Jan Hammer - Crockett's theme.  Felt hot like Miami this summer.

Just put it on repeat for a few hours.  Maybe open a bottle of Soberano brandy.  That was summer.

Summer was also a time of drinking bourbon and listening to Motorhead.  The classic album March or Die was my soundtrack.  For some reason it just fit.

In the thunder and heat!  Makes me think of the 90s and being young and full of vim and wanting so bad to taste the sweeter things in life like booze and women.  Sigh...good times.  Speaking of bourbon, I found an old bottle of Ten High 10 and it was pretty good whiskey.  Pretty cheap too.  If I make it back to the ghetto anytime soon I'll stock up for sure.

Moving on, this next gem is probably the only album released in 2011 that I actually bought.

Mithras - Time Never Lasts EP

Solid Mithras.  Enough said.

This was a good year for doom, wasn't it?  I can't remember who introduced me to this gem, but thanks for hooking me up with Lycus!

Lycus - Demo.  Another American doom demo?  We must be on the cusp of a great American doom metal awakening.

Reminds me of Ahab in many ways.

And finally, this was another great year for Bach.

The Emerson String Quartet - The Art of the Fugue.  This classic recording of Bach's 24 fugues from the Art of the Fugue is deft and wonderful.  I prefer the previous album of Bach fugues simply titled Fugues, but this is still solid work.

Starting this summer I had this set of Gymnopedie by Satie on repeat for hours.  Still do.  For those quiet moments.

That's kind of the year in music for me.  I didn't say it was the year in new music, because I am old and hate new things and there was very little new music worth hearing this year.

It was a good year for booze, particularly whiskey.  I'm not one of those whiskey snobs, we keep it real around here.  Real cheap.  In fact I am working diligently on a formula and a philosophy for making beer as good and cheap as possible.  Emphasis on cheap.  The sort of thing you could do in your dorm room if you had a sink, a hot plate, and a mini fridge.  Just don't forget to invite me to your next college party; I will show up with a fifth of whiskey and sit in the corner and drink and call people peasants and try to get in a fistfight with someone bigger than me.  Cheers.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Old Forester whiskey

I went to Costco and bought a 1.75 liter bottle of Old Forester whiskey for $9.95.  This is 86 proof bourbon.  So in terms of hobometrics, this is a buy.  If it ends up tasting better than paint thinner it is a deal.  So how good of a score was this?

Decent enough.  There is a bit of harshness to it, a bitter flavor in the middle of the palate that does not mellow out by soaking in ice and dilution with water.  The finish is rather thin as well.  I'm no expert but possibly this is due to inferior wood in the aging?  So this isn't exactly a sipping whiskey, but perfectly fine to mix with Coca Cola.  And still a bargain at this price point.  I'd rather have Old Fitzgerald but I'm not complaining; this stuff is silly cheap.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Millar's Irish whiskey

Life is full of difficult choices.  Do I pay 25 dollars for Millar's special reserve or 30 dollars for Millar's 8 year old?  Well since they are both a blend of grain and single malt whiskies who is to say that the special reserve isn't about 8 years also?

So I went with the special reserve.  The taste is somewhere between Irish Manor and Michael Collins.  It has the warm malty finish of Irish Manor.  Only minor caramel notes like Michael Collins.  I like this one.  I think I like Michael Collins the best, but they are all very similar.  In terms of boozenomics I think I'd rank Michael Collins on top and Millars on the bottom, but that said I think Millars is a fine whiskey.

Also, I know that this is another Cooley blend.  Typical Cooley bottling (bottle shaped like Dewar's bottle).  Familiar Cooley taste.  I know that Cooley is trying to make Irish whiskey that competes with Scottish whisky.  And I appreciate that.  Blended Scotch whisky is still the biggest seller around.  It has cache.  I'm usually not a fan because I am not into the peaty flavor usually found in Scotch.

Having said that, I am sometimes at a loss with these Cooley blends.  The bottle says "Adam Millar and Co."  And, "Since 1843".  Well there probably was an Adam Millar & Co. making whiskey in 1843.  And they probably went out of business by 1920.  So a whiskey made by the Cooley distillery and distributed by a company in Des Plaines Illinois is marketed as an old brand.

I sometimes think that their strategy is to try and trick a blended Scotch drinkers into buying their Irish equivalent.  The bottle looks like blended Scotch.  The labeling is as old as any Scotch blend.  I like the stuff inside the bottle, but I have to wonder if a Scotch drinker does.

Do you remember the Cycle Sluts from Hell?

Did you grow up watching Beavis and Butthead?  Did you see that episode where they saw this video?

I do.

I think I owned the album at one time.  The liner notes were confusing at first.  Wait there are four chick singers, but the musicians that write all the music and play all the instruments are all dudes?  But hey that sounds about right doesn't it?  Behind every good woman is a guy doing all the work.  Correction from the comments, the girls wrote the music mostly with the guitarist.

The intro of this song reminded me of the intro to Call of Ktulu.  What do you think?

Dark Ships was an ok song too.

Their other "big" song was By the Balls, and you can find clips of them playing it live.
Kind of a shitty song, though.

Too repetitive.  Playing live in 2003. Hey, no one got fat. Congratulations!

Decent riff here.

So was I the only person outside of the New York metropolitan area to remember this band anymore than a Beavis and Butthead clip?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A moveable library

Good news folks, Stanza has an update.  It is now compatible with iOS 5 and the Godmachine.  So you can download all those public domain books at will.

Speaking of reading, I do not have the time or will for much writing on this blog, so my apologies.  I don't even get much good drinking in these days.  Still trying to find the right wine to pair with Taco Bell.

But this is my blog and I do what I want.  You can run your blog your own way.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Very Old Barton

I'll cut this right to the chase:  Very Old Barton 100 proof bottled in bond bourbon.  I paid 15 dollars and change for a fifth - including taxes.  How does it taste?  Good.  Closest analogue?  Old Fitzgerald.  No strong rye kick like Old Grand-Dad, and an almost almondy nutty undertone.  Definitely a buy.

Unrelated tangent:  This song was in my head all week.

boy is that a terrible video!

Also this would be a good song if Dave didn't put so much crap production into the song.  I now understand the pain of Android users with their "bloatwear". I hate to sound like grandpa creapo always drinking whiskey and yellin' "stripped down and raw" because that might give you nightmares about what I do to your grandma but holy hell Dave Mustaine is like some guy that buys those goddamn Thomas Kinkade plates.

Dave Mustaine's musical tastes in the form of a plate.

Wait what was I talking about?  Oh yeah, simpler isn't always better but when it comes to producing Megadeth then yes.

Full disclosure, I actually bought a copy of The System Has Failed, the first Megadeth album I bought since Hidden Treasures.  Man wasn't Go to Hell an awesome song?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Whiskey propaganda films

The good folks at the Cooley whiskey distillery in Ireland have made a nice little film about their business.  Who they are, what they make, and whatnot.  Not bad at all.

Not to be outdone, the fellows over at the Midleton distillery in Ireland created their own film about who they are and what they do in regards to their Pot Still whiskey.  Single Pot Still is a new website, and unfortunately they won't let you embed their videos, but it really is worth your time to go see the 40 minute whiskey propaganda film.  Has the like of this ever been done before?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Newsflash: Lou Reed has always sucked

I don't want to comment on Lou Reed's newest terrible collaboration.  That it sucks is not disputed.  After all, it is Lou Reed.  He is a one hit wonder that people respect but for no reason.

Lou Reed sucks exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

I rest my case, because I can't stand to listen to anymore. That someone can have a 40 year career based on one song is rather amazing. What a country.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Old people are stupid

Old people say stupid things relentlessly.  The one thing they remember from their youth is that someone sold them rocks, and like idiots they bought it.

So the only advice that old people find worth passing on is "you gotta find that one thing, like Pet Rocks, that will sell. And then you'll make a million dollars."  At least Beanie Babies had room in your investment portfolio.

Bad luck headphones

I have bad luck with headphones.  Sometimes it is my own damn fault, like falling to sleep listening to music.  I roll over, rip out the headphones, and they eventually break.  Sometimes it is bad luck.  I lost 2 pairs in the last year.  I have no idea how.  So I usually look for cheap pairs, since I know they won't last long.  My last pair were JLab JBuds.  You can get the old style ones for 10 bucks on Amazon, which is a decent deal for solid headphones.  I'm trying a different brand since my last pair broke today.  I ordered some Samsungs.  I'll let you know how it goes.  Also, before you snark about first world problems my shoes also wore out the heels today.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Before the Internet: like a ghost

Before the internet things had a way of disappearing like a ghost.  For example, I remember hearing a band called Varga on the radio.  They had a video on MTV and it was on an episode of Beavis and Butthead.  Then, a few years later, they disappeared without a trace.  Nothing in music stores, not even the bargain bin.  It was like they never existed.  I wasn't a huge fan or anything, so it didn't bother me greatly.  But it did seem weird that a band could come so close to heavy metal success and then disappear like a ghost.

All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Retooling the Godmachine

My favorite app, Stanza, is dead. The nearest replacement, Bluefire, is a hassle to load. Currently my commute reading is the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. Good times.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Brandy Review: Alfonso I, Tres Cepas, Captain Apple Jack

Three new mystery brandies were sampled recently.  In order of price they were:

Alfonso I - A brandy de jerez, this clocked in around ten bucks.  A bit harsh around the edges but mellowed a bit in ice.  The flavor is consistent with Jerez brandies, and taste wise not bad.  Buy.

Tres Cepas - Around fifteen bucks, also a brandy de Jerez.  Less bite than the Alfonso.  Also a buy, but only nominally so.

Captain Apple Jack - This is a bottled in bond apple brandy.  The same stuff as Laird's apple brandy, but marketed for Virginia.  The label features an androgynous looking pirate.  I call it "Pat".  On closeout sale for 20 bucks.  Harsh around the edges, not as strong of an apple flavor as I recall from the Laird's.  Good for mixing but a bit too pricey for a mixing brandy, even at closeout prices.  Pass.

So there you go.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It would be good without the synths

Someone on the webernets called Italy's Fleshgod Apocalypse "death metal Dimmu Borgir", and boy howdy is that ever apt.

The bassist does "clean" or "operatic" singing, just like Vortex.

What's with the makeup?  Did they just get out of the coal mine?  Or were they busy working on rebuilding the transmission on their Camero?

So yeah they play really tight but I hate the crappy synths they poured over their riffs.  And if I don't like it, you know it sucks because I am usually a sucker for that kind of classic inspired crap.  It is like some stupid youtube "mashup".  Like someone in their basement took someone else's death metal song and sat their with a Korg and layered this crap on top of it for shits and giggles.

Also I'm wondering if the name means something really cool in Italian.  Because in English it sounds kinda dumb.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Talking about music

If you audited my iPod you'd find it is a crappy mix of music.  There's some off items like my Frank Sinatra collection or Patsy Cline or Johnny Cash, but not a whole lot of top 40 fare.  Well not 21st century top 40.  Hell, not even second half of the 20th century top 40.  Depending on things a lot of heavy metal but also a lot of "classical music".  Lately Shostakovitch, but over the summer a heavy Villa-Lobos rotation.  I have a hard time calling 20th century composers "classical".  I really hate discussing music with new people because most people don't like heavy metal and assume that if you listen to it you are dumb white trash.  I just found out who Lady Gaga was a few months ago because of that funny Andy Rehfeldt video, and I had no idea who Amy Winehouse was when she died.  So many awkward conversations there.  I thought she was some American Idol contestant or something.  I've never actually seen that show, except the funny youtube clips.  So when I meet new people conversations usually go like this:

Random stranger:  So what do you do?
Me:  I drink.
Random stranger:  Haha, no what do you do for a living?
Me:  I sit in a cubicle and do boring uninteresting stuff all day.
Random stranger:  Well what kind of music do you like?
Me:  Classical music.

Boom conversation over!  So if you ever find yourself talking to some random jerk and want to shut down the conversation in the most painless way possible just tell them you listen to classical music.  They will think you are the most boring person alive and practically run away.  This works great, I have never had this conversation and said "classical music" and had a further question or comment about music.  If you are like me and hate 99% of all humans you should add this to your conversation repertoire.

Also, make sure you have this on your iPod at all times because 1. it is awesome music and 2. if anyone ever asks you can bust this out to make sure no one ever pries into your music world again.

ZOMG so boring amirite!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Marketing 101

This is my blog and I'll post what I like.  And right now I am obsessed with marketing and smartphones, so this is a rambling smartphone post.

First I like to think that Microsoft has the worst marketing department since General Motors.  I mean what was the Jerry Seinfeld commercial supposed to sell?  It was funny but I didn't get it at all.

So Microsoft released their Windows phone 7 update, called Mango.  I want to start with this as an example of terrible marketing.  The new Windows mobile OS was a huge departure from the old and terrible Windows Mobile OS.  They rethought the mobile platform and came up with a concept of making the GUI like a subway map.  The philosophy led them to a color scheme of solid primary colors and the Metro typeface.  So why didn't they call it Windows Metro?  It makes sense.  It is something that identifies the brand and what it is trying to accomplish.  Calling it Windows Phone 7 leads the average consumer to think it is more of the same old crap rather than something new and different.  Fail.

Mango.  The first thing that mangos spring to mind is that Saturday Night Live skit.  The second is that naming each OS iteration after a fruit is simply copying Google's plan of naming each OS iteration after a confectionery treat.  Mango and guava.  Honeycomb and gingerbread.  I get it.  Second fiddle to Google.  Poor man's Android.  That's what this marketing tells me.

I'm not married to Apple, Lord knows I hate iTunes.  Seriously, they took away the delete key?  I have to click edit -> delete now?  FUUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKK!!

Still Apple has some of the best marketing around.  Just look at the iPhone marketing.  It is brilliant in its simplicity.  A close up of the actual phone with a hand model demonstrating the phone's ease of use.  In contrast Microsoft tried to market 7 by showing people spending too much time looking at their screens.  How does Microsoft's phone do better?  I don't know because the commercial didn't show me.  Just showed a bunch of iPhone losers looking at their screens instead of talking to girls.  Doesn't exactly sell me on the hub crap.

When I survey the smartphone market I think about what phone I'll buy next.  I love my 3GS and see no reason to upgrade anytime soon.  It still does all the things I want and none of the new phones, including the iPhone 4, do things significantly better.  But I know that one day it will break and it will be time for an upgrade.  A friend has an Android and I like the widget thing.  Very useful.  Maybe the new iOS 5 will match the widgets.  The Mango has live updates on their icons, seemingly similar to widgets.  Which one looks the best?  Not RIM.  Buhzing!

Would I buy a Windows Metro phone?  Maybe.  I think marketing plays a big role right now, since other smartphones have finally caught up with the iPhone.  I've researched this probably more carefully than most consumers, and there is a lot to like about Metro.  The problem is that they don't do a very good job at showing people what there is to like about Metro.  Androids have marketed well by showing that they have better hardware than the iPhone but comparable features from the OS.  In some ways slightly better, for example cordless syncing.  So while the Android ecosystem is incredibly diverse in terms of OS versions and hardware iterations, consumers at least know something about the brand.  And this brings us back to marketing 101.

Will Windows Metro flourish or flounder?  I can't tell right now.  There is a lot to like about the OS, but a few problems, and a lot of hardware question marks.  But what I can tell is that the marketing for this product is fairly poor and this will hurt sales.  That will limit developer participation, which in turn reinforces poor sales.  My own humble policy recommendation is to rename it Metro, and work closely with the handset manufacturers to market and brand the Metro phone ecosystem as its own thing, and then advertise all the ways that Metro gives you the best combination of hardware and user experience.  This isn't a profound insight, this is Marketing 101.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Black Metal hipsters

I am old and out of touch, but lately I've been hearing that hipsters are into black metal now.  I guess there is some flannel wearing hipster in Brooklyn that has a Burzum clone band and is really pushing the low fi sound to the masses.  I wondered where this stuff came from, but then I found it.

Hipsters love documentaries.  Check out the credits at the end.  The soundtrack is composed of Norwegian black metal and...

Boards of Canada.

I wondered about this and now I know.  A movie about black metal for hipsters.  I'm sure hipsters only enjoy "authentic" black metal.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Summer's End

Samhain (pronounced saw-in) is a Gaelic word meaning "summer's end", and referred to a harvest festival held in Ireland on October 31st.  Here in the upper Midwest summer's end comes a little earlier.  Today is a good day to celebrate Samhain.  Today is the last day of summer/first day of autumn.

What better way to celebrate Samhain than with music.  Today feels like a classic Norwegian black metal day, and what better way to explore the music of Norway than with some of the albums produced by Pytten and recorded at Grieghallen.

Early Burzum is kind of a joke but the trancey structure of Hvis Lyset Tar Oss is a breath of fresh air from the sometimes formulaic song structures of heavy metal bands.

Back before the webernets it was hard to find any information on these bands.  I was surprised to see Pytten and Grieghallen show up in so many liner notes.  For example what is clearly Emperor's best work

Thus Spake the Night Spirit.  They don't make them like that anymore.  Sadly neither did Emperor.

I thought Borknagar, aside from having a silly name, had an uneven debut album.

One of the better tracks.

Ain't gonna lie, I never bought into the whole Mayhem mystique.  But you gotta at least respect De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas

Freezing Moon, solid

I like that you can even find new things.  File Hades under "it's new to me".

There is definitely a certain pathos in the work that binds them together.

What more can I say?  The work speaks for itself.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Double bubble toil and trouble

Today I declare my independence from breweries.  I have taken a stand against the craft beer movement.  I reject the over-priced, over-hopped, uncreative beers.  I refuse to pay 9 dollars for a six pack.  I refuse to choke down another bitter, sour, generic beer with a showy label.  I refuse to be a part of it any longer.  Today I make my own beer.

That's right, I am now brewing beer.  Malting hulled barley didn't work so well, so I bought some malted barley from a brew store.  It was cheap, about a buck a pound.  So roughly the same price as hulled barley from Whole Foods.  I have a lead on some whole barley from a feed store, but that is a project for another time.

The process is really basic (so easy an ancient Sumerian could do it).  Just cook the sugars out of the malted barley.  You may want to cook the barley a few times to get all the sugars out.  Can you believe they came up with a stupid name for cooking the barley a second time?  They call it sparging.  My wife calls it spooging.  You can tell if there is a lot of sugars left in the barley by eating a few grains.  After cooking it a second time most of the sweetness was gone, and it was enough to get the specific gravity to 1.040 (though I will add some brown sugar for that gingerbread sweetness) but more importantly enough to get a gallon of juice.

Then the barley juice is boiled and here it is like wine making.  With wine it is called must, with beer it is called wort, but it is the same thing.  Boil it and add ingredients to taste.  I added the smallest amount of hops possible and it altered the taste considerably.  I also added the quadrafecta of pumpkin pie spices:  cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.  It is going to be a harvest beer in time for pumpkin pies and spiced apple cider.

Cooking beer or wine is a lot like cooking any food dish.  Taste it, taste it, taste it.  I am surprised when I read the home brewing forums how few people taste the stuff before they start fermenting.  They seem like a bunch of engineers measuring the yields and conversions and whatnot and less like artisan chefs cooking something delicious.  Like fine dining, brewing is a little of both.  You know how the flavors will change; the yeast will impart a yeasty flavor and reduce the sweetness.  So just keep that in mind as you add spices like hops and cinnamon.  One caveat:  some spices will become more pronounced as it ferments, especially cloves.  Go easy on the cloves because they will taste stronger in a month.

Pro tip:  fill up your jug with the hot barley juice and put the jug in a bucket of cold water to drop the temperature down quickly.  If you have enough ice, put ice in the water.  I find ice most effective at dropping the temperature once it has already gone below 100.

So I am down on the craft beer movement for a couple of reasons.  One, it is damn expensive.  Let me tell you, grains are cheap.  Historically, grains have always been cheap.  Grains are still cheap today.  I figure that most of the cost of beer is advertising and distribution costs.  In theory a beer that does little to no advertising and is shipping less than 100 miles should be cheaper than the big beer competition shipped a few states away and running Superbowl ads, right?

Two, after a while, these craft beers all start to look the same.  The lineups are identical:  a super hop charged ale, a super hop charged pilsner, a wheat beer, a stout, and an IPA.  Beer genres.  Bah.

And, thanks to Sam Adams, all beer must now have a ridiculous amount of hops.

After this commercial aired we saw Miller start with triple hops beer and the micros come out with a huge assortment of super charged hops beers.

No hops are not the soul of beer.  Barley is the heart and soul of beer.  Hops were not used in beer production 1,000 years ago.  Hops are slightly toxic and therefore a natural preservative, but does not kill the yeast, which is why they were widely adopted.  You know, before refrigeration.  They impart a bitter citrus flavor, which can be nice sometimes but does it always have to taste that way?  I reject the idea that all beer must be a bitter mouthful of super charged hops.  I even question the necessity of a homebrewer using hops at all.  They tell me it will be too sweet.  Really?  Sweeter than Pepsi?  Surely not.

My ingredients cost 8 dollars and will make a bit less than 4 liters of beer.  However, the most expensive ingredient was the yeast, which I will be able to reuse.  So the cost of the beer was really more like 4 dollars for maybe 3 liters.  A bottle of beer has 12 ounces.  A 6 pack is therefore 72 ounces.  72 ounces is a little more than 2 liters.  So I should get maybe 9 bottles of beer for around 4 bucks, or around 40 cents a beer.  That is cheap.

My beer doesn't fall into any genre. This time the malt was a mix of 2 pounds of pale malt, 1/2 pound of crystal malt, and 1/4 pound of rolled oats.  In the future I will probably cook 3 or 4 different types of malt separately and mix them together into the wort one bit at a time so that I can gain total control over the flavor profile.  This batch I am shooting for a flavor profile like gingerbread or cinnamon oatmeal cookies or some other baked autumnal treat.  The key thing is getting the right mix of malted barley and spices.  Stay warm

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Vortex raises a gale

You remember back when Dimmu Borgir fired their bassist and keyboardist?  Well I always thought the bassist was super talented and I love the hell out of his doom band Lamented Souls.  So I was super excited to hear he had a solo album coming out.  Let's give it a listen, shall we?

Eh it sounds ok. Not sure if I dig it or not.  What do you think?  Did Dimmu fire the two most talented members of the band?  Do you think they are happy they don't have to wear makeup and silly costumes anymore?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

It's new to me: Richard Cheese

When I was a teenager, 66 years ago, I had a dream.  And that dream was to make big band swing/lounge versions of heavy metal songs.  I wanted to hear the filthy lyrics of Cannibal Corpse crooned and fully articulated.

Good start, but can we get some horns?

That is more like it.  Love this stuff.  And it's new to me.  Is it new to you too?


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Booze marketing: entry level price signaling

One curiosity I've observed is the tendency for entry level whiskey to follow a similar price pattern, and that is also true of some other boozes.  The price pattern is as follows:  entry level flagship whiskey is 20 dollars.  From there the next highest iteration of the flagship brand increases in price and taste but other bottlings in the same genre have not clear price to taste relationship.

For example the flagship Scotch whisky is Johnnie Walker.  The entry level bottling is the red label, which is 20-25 dollars a fifth.  The black label is around 30 dollars for a fifth and is a step up in taste.  Lesser blended Scotch whiskys can be had for lesser price.  But equally good Scotches can be had for lesser price as well.

This pattern holds with American whiskies.  The entry level flagship product is Jack Daniels at roughly 20 dollars a fifth.  Irish whiskies the same, Jameson is about 20 dollars a fifth.  The entry level flagship Canadian whisky is Crown Royal, again 20 dollars for a fifth.  You can find just as good brands for lesser price:  Old Fitzgerald, Irish Manor, Canadian Club are all less expensive but equally tasty for my money.

I have even observed this to be true of Spanish Brandy.  The entry level flagship brand, Fundador, is 20 dollars for a fifth.  Perhaps this is why Spanish brandy sells so poorly here.  The flagship brand is not a solid brand, so it spoils the whole genre.  Perhaps if Veterano were sold for 20 dollars a fifth it could displace Fundador as the flagship brand, and raise the whole genre of Spanish brandy?  With the right distributor and marketing it could work, and would certainly raise the standard of cognate brands like Soberano.

So the question I have is why is it that 20 dollars for a fifth is the such an important price point for the entry level flagship whiskey?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Booze reviews: Michael Collins and Ironic False Cognate

First I'd like to share my two cents on Michael Collins blended Irish whiskey.  It was on sale for 20 bucks, so I bit.  If you are familiar with The Tyrconnel or Irish Manor then the flavors in Michael Collins will be familiar.  The same barley profile and lemony sweetness.  It is very similar to Irish Manor.  But it is not identical.  The difference is in the finish, which has a large almost chocolately toffee flavor.  It is, by my tongue, a rather long finish.  If you find it for 20 bucks I'd consider that a buy.  Also, they repackaged it in the traditional Cooley blend bottle, so it will now fit in your shelf where you store your booze.

Next up is Soberano.  You see the word sober immediately, but it is a false cognate.  Pan in Spanish is not a metal cooking thing, it is bread.  False cognate.  Likewise Soberano is not a sober dude, it is a Sovereign.  And how does it taste?  Surprisingly good, actually.  It is smooth and sweet.  I would rank the flavor profile close to the legendary Veterano.  The price point was good as well, 13 dollars.  Definitely a buy.  Much better in both price and taste than Terry Centenario.  Sad, because I wanted to like Terry.  Happy because I have a new go-to Spanish Brandy.  That bottle with the wacky netting...

Post Script:  Posting is infrequent and will probably continue to be so.  Life happens.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

From my childhood: Televangelists

I don't know if televangelists are on TV late night anymore, but when I was a kid they were. I found these programs to be high entertainment, but none moreso than Robert Tilton. He had an interesting cosmology where you would "decree a thing" to your "Jehovah Jireh" and make a "vow of faith" by giving Mr. Tilton money. He would repeat these catch phrases over and over again. It was weird.

So is cocaine to blame?

Good times!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Original Hipsters

Uriah Heep were the original hipsters

Maybe file this under your dad was the original hipster?

Though I actually Like Uriah Heep. They weren't ironic. They were authentically into Demons and Wizards

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Booze miscellany

Here are two brief liquor reviews:

Laird's Apple Brandy (bottled in bond) - This is a bit pricey at 25 bucks a fifth but it is something different.  It is made from apples and that comes through in the flavors.  I am guessing that they use the little green apples.  It is rough at first, at 100 proof that is expected.  Let is sit in ice and mellow out.  I like this a lot.  Wish I could say more about this but it was a rough weekend.

JTS Brown bourbon (bottled in bond) - I didn't drink much of this but what I drank and remembered I liked.  Surprisingly good.  Wish I could remember more but I had one glass.

Also, if you are low on sleep don't try mixing 100 proof brandy/whiskey and a cigar, you will probably not finish the night how you planned.

Sorry no pics.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Malted Barley

Fermentation is a simple formula.  Water + sugar + yeast = alcohol.  This is a process that humans discovered thousands of years ago.  Ancient Sumerians were brewing beer 4,000 years ago.  This isn't exactly rocket science.

Today I seek to recreate, with my knowledge (and occasionally a google search) the process of getting sugar the ancient Mesopotamian way and malting barley.  I know that the barleycorn is allowed to germinate slightly.  The embryo releases amylase which converts the starches within the seed to dextrose.  It is then dried out in order to kill the seedling before it begins to make chlorophyll.  Boom, starches in grains converted to sugar.

First, where to get barley?  The interwebs suggest feed stores, but there are none close bye.  Think cheap.  Gas is expensive.  Well, the local Wholefoods sells hulled barley.  I know some people on the webernets have said you can't malt hulled barley because the process strips the embryo from the seed.  Well, that's not true.


Boom, malted

The concept was clear to me.  Make the seeds think they were in the earth.  Trick them into thinking it was time to sprout.  The first attempt went poorly.  I soaked them in water.  I then strained them and dumped them in a big pot.  I left residue water.  Unfortunately, this was not correct as the seeds drowned and rotted.  The second attempt went better.  Soaking and straining.  I left them in the strainer.  They could dry, and then sprout.  And they did.

Still, it wasn't a total success.  They had feint smell of gym socks, which means they were contaminated.  I believe they, like their predecessors, soaked too long and some of the seeds died.  So I am starting anew, and soaking and straining and properly drying.  Soon they shall sprout and be ready for the next phase.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Forgotten classics: Low

Once upon a time a thrash metal band named Testament released an album called The Ritual.  I thought it was a good album but some people thought it was too midpaced, to polished, and was following too much in Metallica's footsteps.

Well I liked it anyways, but that isn't the point.  The point is that they followed it up with LowEmbedding disabled, WTF?  Don't they know how the internets work?

James Murphy (Death, Cancer, Obituary) on lead guitar, and Eric playing solos for the first time.  Strangely he only seems to do leads when James is around.  What the deal guy?  No leads on Demonic but step on Murphy's toes?

Anyways this was a summer soundtrack album for me many ages ago, and it seems to have fallen by the wayside.  I even remember an interview with the band where they talked about how the Ritual was too polished and all Alex's fault and they returned to form with Demonic (which I thought was boring and midpaced by the way) but totally gloss over Low. You may have forgotten about Low, but I have not.

Who is GGGarth?

James Murphy again plays with the band on what is possibly their finest moment, The Gathering:

I liked Formation of Damnation too, and the lyrics were a little better than your typical metal album as well.  In fact for some coincidence all three albums - Low, the Gathering, and Formation of Damnation - were classic summer jams.  Timing man.

So to recap Low was a great album that seems to be overlooked.  Look again, fools!  Return to a former state, and a haze of hormones and video games and longing and loathing and all the things that made high school.  If I only knew then what I know now...and I would still make this my summer jams.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cinematic masterpieces: Sea and sand

I'm not the biggest The Who fan around but I'm no hater either.  But the feelings from this video set to Sea and Sand are so powerful I'm ready to buy a fifth and knock up a high schooler and set fire to buildings.  So watch at your own risk!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

New band name

Attention gore death metal/grindcore bands, I found a new band name for you whilst reviewing Mrs. Booze's paperwork:  purulent vaginal discharge.

You're welcome.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Winners and Losers

Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you.  In life there are winners and losers.  Today's triumphant gladiator is tomorrow's disgraced pro-wrestler.  Such is life, and such is booze as well.  There are only so many drinkers in America, and while the number might increase gradually with demographics it is a slow churn.  So if there is a big shift somewhere in booze, it probably comes at the expense of somewhere else.

So it should be no surprise with the rise of craft beer, the vodka crazy, the whiskey renaissance, and the wine discovery that there are losers in this equation.

Beer shipments declined 2 percent in 2009 and 1 percent in 2010, the first consecutive-year slide since the mid-1990s. U.S. shipments are expected to be flat or slightly down in 2011. Another down year would mark the first three-year slide since the 1940s.

and not just Miller is suffering

No. 2 Budweiser has posted consecutive years of sales declines and accounted for 8.5 percent of sales for the year ended May 15. Coors Light made up 7.7 percent of sales over the same period. Beer Business Daily, however, reported last month that Coors Light is on the verge of surpassing Budweiser in sold cases this year to date.

So there are winners and there are losers.  In Wisconsin you can even find microbrew scumbag beer.


Yup, it's a micro.  Well sorta not really.  But still.

So if there are less reasons to drink big beer brands, what about the rise of these small batch whiskeys?  I present to you the most heritage of all reconstruction whiskeys:  George Washington rye.

Talk about a patriot and brewer.  Old GW was the nation's biggest distiller at one point.  But 90 bucks for unaged rye whiskey?  I can get Old Overholt (and put it in my old overcoat) for 15 bucks.  And it at least spent time in a barrel.  Besides, it isn't like they have GW's original still or anything.  Weird.  So if people spend their money on this, what booze are they not spending their money on now?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Land O' Metal

In Sweden they love and respect heavy metal so much that it can become a life altering addiction.  So much that a man in Sweden is getting sick benefits for his heavy metal addiction:

But his sessions with the occupational psychologists led to a solution of sorts: Tullgren signed a piece of paper on which his heavy metal lifestyle was classified as a disability, an assessment that entitles him to a wage supplement from the job centre.

Oh really? 

Tullgren currently plays bass and guitar in two rock bands and says that he tends to get a lot of positive reactions for daring to be himself.

"Some might say that I should grow up and learn to listen to other types of music but I can't. Heavy metal is my lifestyle," he said.

For serious my friends.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The regional whiskey train keeps rollin'

The regional whiskey rocket is taking off.  Blast off to booze city with the spirit of your own region.  Today's flavor of home is from Arkansas, where whiskey is being distilled for the first time since prohibition.

"Young" bourbon is a particularly accurate description since it was aged just three to six months. The distillers refer to their process as "accelerated maturation techniques that includes small barrels and temperature cycling."

"Bourbon has a great southern tradition," said Phil Brandon, distillery owner and head distiller, "and we wanted to make our bourbon from native Arkansas grains and age the whiskey in small barrels coopered in Arkansas. It's the first Arkansas bourbon."

There you go.  24 bucks for a fifth of whiskey aged only a few months in oak.  24 bucks for the novelty of whiskey from Arkansas.  Ehhh, maybe.  I appreciate the sentiment of this regional whiskey.  Maybe it will pan out in the end?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Booze enthroned triumphant

Good news on the booze front.  Fast food is going to start selling alcohol.  Take that, teetotalling scoundrels.  And as you know, Mr. Booze has been pioneering the art of mixing cheap food with cheap wine.  Now my army expands as snooth gets in on the review game.  I'm wondering which Wendy's menu item goes with Carlo Rossi's wine selections.  Anyone?

Monday, July 4, 2011


Recently I heeded the call for podcast suggestions by searching through my stash but I get bored with things very quickly.  So I can't really find much to recommend that is consistently entertaining.  I'd start by saying that there are two sorts of podcasts and they are very different.  For a while I wanted video podcasts because I had a phone with a big screen to watch them.  But they were largely disappointing two years ago.  I was hoping for something like this:

Goth Talk - The Beholder

Shinerod | Myspace Video

God I wanted to find something like this.  I didn't.  At least not on iTunes.  People take their podcasts way too seriously but they aren't amusing like this.  I guess that is youtube poop fair, but youtube is an inconvenient format for phones.

Why isn't this a podcast??  ZOMG the lols.

Of course youtube poop is full of duds too, people sitting in mom's basement droning on at the camera about stuff that is boring and unfunny.

The other category is audio podcasts.  This is much better for amusing yourself while commuting or working when you don't feel like listening to music.  I enjoy a few music podcasts as a way to supplement my intake of music that I only have a passing interest in.  For example I enjoy low light mixes because I'm not a huge fan of ambient electronic music but an hour of free music is a good deal and I have enjoyed a few of the mixes.

Still, I haven't found any audio podcasts that are like a good blog:  funny but not comedy oriented.  Witty without being boring or pretentious.  Clutter free.  A few of the NPR shows make good stand alone podcasts but I do find them to have a consistency problem.  They also don't go through the range of topics that interest me:  alcohol, poverty lifestyle, heavy metal, photography, Hemingway, weird classical music, college football, Glenn Danzig, and international political economy.

I'd also like to take this moment to criticize iTunes for having an incredibly shitty search function.  It is really cumbersome to try and search for free audio podcasts and to filter out topics like religion, or try to filter through a topic to find something that interests you (like Mormon apologetics).  Lo, iTunes sucks, and searches are usually fruitless and time consuming.  Compare that to youtube, where I found Goth Talk Jr in less than 1 minute.

To sum up podcasts I'd say they have so much untapped potential.  I don't just not listen to the radio, I actively hate the radio.  I hate radio programming and podcasts were a way to liberate audio content from the thumb of radio stations.  Plus the name podcast is great branding.  The DIY ethos of podcasts never produced much of quality, which is sad.  Thus I find them to be greatly disappointing, and there is a lot of content on the youtubes that should probably be produced into podcasts but I suspect that Steve Jobs' walled garden prevents that from happening.  Should I blame Jobs for the lack of a real life Goth Talk podcast?  I don't know.  But I do know that it is an underused format and while I like wasting time on the youtubes that won't help me on my commute or at the office and podcasts would.  So for now, so long poopcasts.


Let's face it America, our National Anthem is pretty crappy.  So I suggest we scrap the whole thing and replace it with a National Theme Song.

This will do nicely.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The raisin wine follies

Brace yourself.

No foolin'!  Yeah it went down like this.

I started brewing raisin wine.  I altered the recipe slightly from the original conception.  Only a half cup of rolled oats.  I used a lot of raisins.  I used too many raisins.  I spiced it with cinnamon and cloves.  I threw in some sugar.  Also some pectic enzyme and acid to help clarify and break things up.  Did I buy that stuff or inherit it from my roommate?  Maybe it will help break down some of the starches, but I doubt it.

I used the yeast from the old slurry.  Previously I saved the slurry in a jar in the fridge.  Care was taken to activate it before pitching just in case I screwed something up.  I've never reused a yeast cake in this way before.  I even used a bit of yeast food just in case, since I've never pitched yeast in this manner before.

In the morning no activity.  In the evening when I got home no activity; a little bubbling on top but no real action.  I suspected that the must ended up too thick.  This could spoil the whole batch.

After shaking it up a bit the activity grew more vigorous.  But I knew trying to ferment porridge would cause problems.  So action!

This can't end well, can it?

First, I freed up another container by racking the pineapple coconut wine into two smaller vessels, their final container.  Then I cleaned the old vessel and dumped over half the raisin porridge in and shook it up and dumped some back so that they were equal levels.  I then topped them both off with water which was allowed to sit and de-chlorinate.  I basically diluted the wine.  Now I have twice as much raisin wine fermenting.  One batch, having more of the bottom contents, is more viscous than the other and is consequently less vigorous in its fermentation.  But they are both brewing.

At this point I actually ran out of airlocks and had to MacGuyver some new ones with tape and some piping I found on the handle of Mrs Booze's purse.  I'm also out of carboys so no new batches from me.  Probably.  Though there was a slight sulfur smell greeting me this evening.  Oh noes, contamination!  Well hopefully not.  It was a very slight smell, especially considering there is twice as much brewing as usual.  It was awfully hot today and now that it has cooled off the smell seems to be gone.  Maybe.  I hope I don't have to dump all this hooch.

You know who has the heebie jeebies? My wine, bitches.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Costco Files

Costco carries its own Kirkland signature bourbon.  A cursory googling on the godmachine revealed no reviews or tasting notes.  Is it any good?  Well according to Costco's monthly magazine one Joe Butera from Newark, Delaware reports:

I read ["Costco introduces Kirkland Signature Bourbon", April 2011].  However, being a self-professed bourbon connoisseur, I was skeptical.  I purchased a bottle and to my surprise was impressed by the quality and drinkability of the Kirkland bourbon.

Just to make sure I hadn't lost my taste buds, I invited two other bourbon drinkers over for a blind taste test.  In all we tasted seven different bourbons, which included several premium, name brand, small batch bourbons; all three of us chose the Kirkland brand as the winner.

This bottle of Kirkland brand bourbon now occupies a space on the top shelf of my home bar.

So there you have it.  Still no flavor profile.  Is is a wheated bourbon, or does the mashbill favor rye?  Or maybe a mostly barley backing.  Old Grand Dad has a strong rye presence in the mash, which gives its famous bite.  Other bourbons are sweeter with a wheat back.   Still with this glowing endorsement from Costco's own publication how could I miss?  So I just might bite the bullet and give Costco a swig.  If so stay tuned for a review, including flavor profile.  And if you, dear reader, pick up a bottle please let me know what you thought of the taste.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

More guitar fingerwizards: the fastest fingers in the west

Wow that was fast...

That's what she said!

New homebrewing project: beer vs wine

I was reading James Joyce's Ulysses on the train.  Close to Bloom's day and all.  I was at the part where Blazes Boylan, Dignam, and Stephen Dedalus were discussing Hamlet at the pub.  I found I wanted a beer.  I haven't bought a beer in a long time.  I wanted a specific beer with a big barley taste and very little hops.  Is this an English Ale?  I thought I would make it myself.  Mrs Booze knows of a pet store that sells big bags of barley for horsies.  I could malt that and brew it.

I've also been working on a spiced wine recipe.  I've found quite a few recipies call for raisins, aka zombie grapes, and I'm not sure why.  I tried to imaging the flavor a raisin would impart to a wine versus a grape.  I haven't eaten a raisin in at least 15 years.  So I bought a box.  Ahhh, the flavor's coming back to me now.

At first it wasn't so good, but then the flavors lingered in my mouth and I came upon an idea.  Maybe a bad one.  Make a mash of raisins and oats.  Ferment.

The problem is that the starches in the oats need to be broken down into sugars for the yeast to be able to feast.  Since they are cut oats they cannot be malted.  So then what?  Well the raisins would provide the sugar.  The oats would provide flavor, but too much starch might spoil things.

The recipe, for now, is:

2 cups of oats
2 cups raisins
1/2 cup of sugar
a pinch of cinammon
a dash of cloves

It might be necessary to add some malted barley to this recipe so that the starches in the oats don't make a soupy unfermentable mess.  The crazy person in my head says things like "why don't you just spit in the mash.  The salivary amylase in your spit will do the trick."  Hey that sounds like a fairly simple solution.  Ok, time for my meds...

Once Mrs Booze racks her wine I will start the fermentation and we will see how good or bad this recipe is.  This seems like a great thing to drink on a chilly December evening, and I will let you know.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Youtube poop: Straight Edge Juggalo

Self explanatory.

Youtube poop bonus:  ICP explain themselves in a way that vindicates my economic analysis

"You may think this rapping duo is crazy but...these two guys will be laughing all the way to the bank"

Well said mister TV guy, well said

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Deja Vu

Doesn't this

Sound like this?

I hope they paid King Diamond and Michael Denner.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Beavis and Butthead prophecies

Once upon a time Beavis and Butthead opined that Jeff Walker from Carcass sounded like Dave Mustaine.  I thought that was crazy at the time, they hardly sounded alike at all.

Low and behold Jeff Walker puts out Welcome to Carcass Cuntry and guess what?  He sounds just like Dave Mustaine.

If I hadn't told you, might you have thought it was some shitty Megadeth B side from Risk?

What other observations did Beavis and Butthead make that will come true?  We must work together to decipher the Beavis and Butthead prophecies.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More guitar fingerwizards: Bob Zabek

Once I had a dream that I was at a party and a guy was there with a guitar.  He laid the guitar flat on the ground and started tapping on it.  The music he made was like techno.  I awoke and immediately went googling to see if someone has done this.  They had.

Bob Zabek had done the tapping thing years ago.  Dig the floral Jem, buddy.

I like this stripped down raw performance better than what he recorded for his album, but I also haven't followed his stuff in years.  He has a whole lot of stuff on youtube now, but gone is the floral Jem.  What gives big guy?  Jem or GTFO.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pineapple coconut wine

I racked the pineapple coconut wine to secondary fermentation.  The coconut oil congealed into a thick layer at the top.  I left that in with the slurry.  I tasted the juice and it was a bit oily and a bit dry but good.  I added a little more sugar and some corn sugar that the yeast will not ferment for additional sweetness.  It will be good but will probably only yield 2 liters.  Maybe less.  The new batch was good and clear of Sulfur Dioxide.

I also tasted the orange juice/orange pineapple juice mixture.  It was bad.  The previous batch was probably contaminated because the old slurry produced more SO2.  Even after the SO2 aired out the taste was bitter.  There was no sugar left, and oranges without sweetness is a bitter drink.  So I dumped it.

So now Mrs. Booze is making wine and I am clearing out another jug of Carlo Rossi.  Can you believe it is 12 dollars?  It used to be 7 or 8.  Oh well.  What sort of wine should I make next?  After all, everything can ferment.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Officially sanctioned true Norwegian Black Metal

Apparently the government of Norway is training diplomats to be able to explain to foreign inquiries the nature of true Norwegian black metal.  Please someone Photoshop Fenriz' head onto the body of a diplomat sitting in the UN assembly hall.  Thank you.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Wine Odyssey

At the grocery store I wonder "will this ferment" and "will this taste any good".  Can you ferment bacon?  Can you ferment pizza rolls?  Wouldn't bacon wine be the best thing ever?

Since the tropical theme is going strong, I wondered aloud "can you ferment that coconut juice in the can from the 'ethnic food' isle?"  Mrs Booze says "yeah, of course" and then suggests I make pina colada wine and grabs some pineapple juice concentrate for me.

With this batch I will take every precaution to sterilize most thoroughly every particle.  I will do my utmost to keep it cool in case it gets to 95 degrees again.  And I will buy some white wine (champagne) yeast for this project.  I hope to have a report on the progress in a few weeks or less.  I hope to not have any sulfur smell or sour tastes that need airing out.  Cheers.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Morbid Angel: Redemption

The cool kids are into slowing down albums.  I am into slowing down albums.  Aren't you?  Of course you are.  So instead of crying like Hitler about the new Morbid Angel album you can try to find some redemption:  Heretic slowed down to 33 rpm.

That's right, only the slow burn!  All freezing blasts have been surgically removed.
So what do you think?  Is it still boring and repetitive?  Or is it more like the slow, churning, melting Morbid we all knew and loved?

Would you like a copy?  Hit me up in the comments yo, I can hook you up (you probably weren't foolish enough to buy Heretic like I was, right?).

Also, upon further review Gateways to Annihilation wasn't a bad album at all.  Funny how it takes a terrible album to put things into perspective for you.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Mango wine conclusion and epilogue

I couldn't wait any longer.  I am thirsty.  Time to see if the mango wine is spoiled or successful.  I cracked it open.  It fizzed and is bubbly as soda pop.  I am amazed by this bit of magic and will probably be amazed for a while.  The nose was a bit sour.  The same sort of sour that my first batch of pruno had.  The taste is ok.  It has the mango flavor.  The apples came out really strong.  It is a bit too dry.  Maybe next time I will actually measure the sugar?  Hey, before you sass me my grandmother never measured the sugar when she baked lasagne and it tasted great.  Measuring isn't how it's done.

So was it contaminated?  Possibly.  It is just a hint of sour, lingering in the back, probably coming in from the nose.  There is some acid from the apples, and of course the mango notes that dance on the back of your tongue.  As it aired out and "breathed" the sourness dissipated a bit.  Still a bit too dry and acidic for what I hoped to achieve.  The fact that it wasn't too sour and it seemed to air out suggests that it might have been from the heat, but I can't say for sure.  Maybe I've just drank too much rotgut wine to really tell?

I will admit that this mango juice wasn't the best mango juice I've ever had.  It was a blend, and I recall mangos were second on the list of ingredients behind apples.  Again I probably should have used the white wine yeast.  Oh well; I learned a lot from these experiments as I look to make the best tasting and cheapest pruno possible.  Contamination can add sour notes to the hooch and one should take as much care as possible to sterilize every piece of equipment.  Also brewing is affected by the heat, and you should either avoid brewing when it is 95 degrees or find some way to mitigate the heat like pack it in and icewater bucket or move the project to the storage locker in the basement.  I think the flavors would have mellowed if I would have let it sit longer, but time is not on my side.

If you can do me a favor, please steal all the sugar packets you can from restaurants and the like and mail them to me.  Thanks.

Mango wine status update

The mango wine started to smell of sulfur.  There are 3 possible explanations:

1.  Contamination.  I did not disinfect the airlock tubing, and the batch was possibly contaminated this way.
2.  The heat.  It has been hot and the high heat may have thrown off the fermentation.
3.  The yeast.  The wine yeast I bought, Red Star Montrachet, reputedly releases a sulfur smell.

Thus far I have tried to keep the brew cool with those freezer packs you put on your head.  The smell diminished.  I have also racked the wine into a new vessel, recharged it with more sugar, and sealed the cap so that it will naturally carbonate.  Now I really regret not going with champaigne yeast.

Additionally I recharged the old vessel with more sugar, frozen orange juice and orange juice pineapple concentrate, and more water.  It is again fermenting.  Because I was able to reuse the yeast, the costs are much lower than I previously thought.  I can either calculate that this batch costs a dollar less or that both batches cost fifty cents less.  Someone call my accountant.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

People do weird things

As you know, people do weird things.  Today I learned that some people like to make their own muppets in order to do talk shows about college football.  Watch and learn.

Yeah, no...don't ask me to explain this.  Just know that this exists, and that someone, somewhere, does this in their free time.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Morbid Angel: Final Verdict

You may recall that Morbid Angel has a new album coming out, and with that the blame game arises.  Who is to blame for it being shitty?  I still blame the guy that writes all the music and is the only constant factor in the band.


Yeah that guy.

I mean every single member of the band is different from the last album except him.  Now you might be thinking that old Mister Booze is changing his tune because he didn't think it was too bad based on the two songs available.  If the whole album sounded like Nevermore wouldn't you think it was Domination part 2?  But thanks to the miracle of the internet you can hear the whole thing before being tricked into buying it and save yourself some cash.  And wowee that is a terrible album.  When Adolph Hitler rips your album you know you're in trouble.

I really wish I could interview Trey to find out what the hell he was thinking.  I mean it isn't like mixing death metal and techno is a new or novel concept.

Yeah.  That.

He seems really unaware of things.  He seems unaware that death metal fans want to go to concerts to hear death metal and not jungle drum and bass.  This is almost shockingly ignorant of his own fans.  I also want to ask why he thought it was a good business decision to alter the Morbid Angel brand after working so hard to establish the current Morbid Angel brand.

Yeah, also that.  It isn't really new (see above), just new for Morbid Angel.  And it isn't really good.  When you are outdone by something Fear Factory released over a decade ago, you know you're in trouble.

Just to reiterate:  Fear Factory > Morbid Angel.  Yeah, I said it.  I mean wouldn't you rather listen to this:

I'm going to guess that the reviews for Mechanized are better than for Illud Divinium Insanus.  Just sayin'.

Sigh...well we will always have Covenant and their apotheosis, God of Emptiness.

Sick, morbid, and original.  There was nothing like it before and even Morbid Angel themselves could never reach those heights again.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mango wine

The problem with wine is that it is made from grapes.  Grapes are ok, but not my favorite fruit.  So why grapes then?  Why not wine out of whatever fruit you wish?  How will it taste?  Wine flavors represent the grapes that spawned them; I image the flavors of wines made from other fruits to represent those original flavors well.  Wouldn't coconut or mango wine be great?  I mean if plum wine is a delightful but rare taste of Asia, why not the flavors of the tropics?

So I went to the grocery store and bought some mango juice.  It has some other juices, I think apple.  Whatever.  I will try fermenting that and will comment in a week or two when I have some wine.  I even shelled out a buck for wine yeast to eliminate the sour flavor of the first batch of pruno.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

reblogging the lolz

Cleaning up the saved links and I came across this.  While I never really liked hardcore I knew a lot of hardcore kids in high school.  Even a few no fun club members. I saved this link a few years ago and I thought this might come across as dated, but apparently not.

The kids these days are still as ugly, awkward, and full of bad haircuts as ever.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Villa-Lobos playlist

I tinker on a playlist for Villa-Lobos' string quartets. This mix is the lazy summer afternoon mix.

1. String quartet #4 allegro con moto
2. String quartet #2 scherzo
3. String quartet #2 andante
4. String quartet #3 allegro non troppo
5. String quartet #4 andantino
6. String quartet #5 poco andantino
7. String quartet #8 lento
8. String quartet #10 adagio
9. String quartet #15 moderato
10. String quartet #17 lento
11. String quartet #2 allegro non troppo

I might tweak this just a bit, but you get the idea.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Booze seminar field report

Memorial day weekend saw the annual booze seminar in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  For this seminar I brought the following bottles:


Hannah and Hogg blended whiskey, Sunny Brook bourbon, Old Fitzgerald, and Ten High Ten bourbon.

I've already introduced you to Sunny Brook, but it is such a good deal for a great old whiskey I couldn't refuse.  And while you might have followed my advice on Old Fitzgerald before, this version had the old fashioned cap seal like Sunny Brook:


The sticker instead of the plastic ring that you find on new bottles suggests this bottle was from the 80s.

Finally, the Ten High Ten came in a tin made in England but cost a mere 15 dollars.

And how did it go?  Well, Hannah and Hogg tasted like I thought it would.  It was a blend of a solid bourbon with "grain neutral spirits" which is essentially vodka.  So it tasted like watered down bourbon.  I didn't know you could do that and still call it whiskey.  I also don't know why anyone would do that.  Anyways you can tell because the whiskey is more straw colored whereas the bourbons are a golden brown color.  The label specifies "The straight whiskies in this product are four years old or more.  Thirty-five percent straight whiskies, sixty-five percent grain neutral spirits".  It was only 9 bucks and is a total curiosity because A) the label says Chicago and B) the brand went under so long ago that google has very little to say about it.

The old Old Fitzgerald tastes pretty much like the new Old Fitzgerald.  So Fortune Brands/Jim Beam Global didn't change the formula too much.  Maybe there are slight differences, but not enough to concern yourself.  A good whiskey, a good price, and sort of a novelty find.

Finally, Ten High Ten.  From what I gather on the webernets this bottle was made by Hiram Walker, but the actual booze is a Barton whiskey.  Hiram Walker has since sold the brand and Barton is now phasing out the bourbon with a cheap blend.  So how did Ten High Ten fare?  Quite well.  It was, if I can recall, a solid bourbon.  Howevah, that bottle went so fast that I had maybe a glass or two.  Maybe it was just that good, or maybe the crew just needed to go to town.  So I think it was a solid buy but this I don't quite remember.

Additionally, our illustrious host brought several batches of homemade dandelion wine and beer.  A few comments.

1. This was my first time drinking dandelion wine, which I first learned about from an episode of Monsters called Mr. Swlabr.  Pretty good stuff.  The wine, that is.  The sparkling dandelion wine (dandelion champagne?) was probably the best batch.  If everyone's lawns weren't so darned well manicured around here I would definitely brew my own batch.  Also, cue the May Song.

Watch Mr. Swlabr! Good times!

Yeah, May is good.

The homemade beer was good, but very unbeerlike.  There were no hops in the brew, which is a big plus for me.  Hops give me a headache.  Also, these were extra sweet, the brewer added sugar when he bottled it so that the yeast would continue to ferment in the bottle, naturally creating carbonation.

Perhaps the best endorsement of the whole weekend:  no hangover.  I know, mixing beer, wine, and whiskey and no hangover is a minor miracle.  The lesson is stay away from tequila.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Bottom shelf treasures

Mister Booze crossed the horizon and reached through the fabric of the space time continuum and pulled some treasures from the bottom shelf of yesteryear.  I hope to have a full report after the weekend.  Cheers!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Megadeth = Dad rock

I'm going to come out and say what everyone is thinking.  Megadeth at some point became a dadrock band.  Just check out this video for Motocyco:

Totally dadrock.  Yeah you're tough riding your Harley on weekends when your ex has the kids.  Motocyco, that's you when the insurance office closes for a 3 day weekend.  It's going to be crazy man.  A six pack of Heineken, some baby back ribs, and The Lethal Weapon on DVD.  Anything can happen!

Yeah crush 'em! That's what you do on summer evenings on your 40 and over softball league.  You'll show 'em.

And you know you're a badass when you crank Walk Alone in the church parking lot at the bake sale.  All those old church ladies get grumpy, but like you explained to Pastor Jones, it is a Christian song about walking with the Lord.  Deal with it.

So what do you think?  I think Megadeth became Dadrock with Cryptic Writings (or as I call it Craptic Writings).  My wife thought Dave sounded tired on The System has Failed, like he would rather be doing something else than making heavy metal.  And I agree.  I almost feel sorry for Dave.  What if your career was doing something that you eventually grew tired of doing?  I can see getting tired of doing something after 30 years.  It is easy for me to get into dirty old school thrash metal because I hate my life.  But what if you had a mansion with horses and a wife and kids that made every day awesome?  How hard would it be to channel that angst you felt when you worked at a gas station making minimum wage and drank bottom shelf whiskey and spent most nights with Miss Michigan?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Homebrew report card

Time's up!  Put your pencils down.  And how did you do, blueberry and pomegranate blend?  Let's see, first we check the nose.  The smell is off.  A sour smell.  I blame the baker's yeast.  The taste is ok, smooth but also a bit sour.  I thought the juice blend was a bit sour for this project.  I will try a straight grape juice blend before I condemn this project entirely.  Still, it is a drinkable alcoholic beverage.  I'd guess I hauled 3 liters worth of hooch for less than 5 dollars.  I'd grade this a "gentleman's C".  Ok, maybe C-.  Also, I don't have a hydrometer so I don't know how strong it is.  I'm guessing maybe 13% but who knows.  Perhaps it just needed more sugar.  Sugar is fungible in these kitchen projects...

I think this strain of yeast would be better served brewing a beer or something made from cereals rather than fruit though.  Maybe it is worth it to get that winemaker's yeast.  I wonder if that is something teenagers today can buy?  Surely you don't need ID to buy yeast, right?

At the very least you could easily mix this with Diet Coke or something.  Probably a cola, though Coke is too expensive these days.  Is this the poor man's Kalimotxo?

Monday, May 23, 2011

This one is for the furries?

It should surprise no one that Japan is leading the way in marrying man and machine.  The human robot hybrid got one step closer with these (inadvertently?) furry lifestyle headbands

Oh Japan...First this and then next people and machines become one.  Eventually we'll end up with giant mechs fighting Godzilla and leveling Megatokyo.  And who wants that?  Nobody.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ensemble Organum

I might have mentioned this before, but if you've ever heard "Gregorian Chants" and you haven't heard le Ensemble Organum you are doing yourself a disservice. 

Led by Marcel Perez, le Ensemble Organum has spanned a number of styles.  Occasionally they dabble in historical reconstruction, such as the Old Roman Chants.  The results, by the way are fantastic.  Meticulously researched, the ensemble married Greek drones (ison) to Western liturgical chants; it probably was that way at some point.

Did you notice the drone?  Sounds quite a bit different that the Gregorian Chants you usually hear.

They perform quite a wide variety of styles within the liturgical chanting world, though sometimes their albums are expensive or hard to find.  Always quality stuff if you ask me, which you did by reading this blog.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The end of times

Remember last year when I told you about the world ending?  Well looks like the lamestream media finally got around to reading through my blog archives and now everyone is "buzzing" about the world ending.  Yes, the world is ending this weekend.  And I know the first question that comes to mind is "what should I be drinking?"  Well, fear not brave souls, for Mister Booze is here to comfort you in your time of distress.

Firstly, since there will be no Monday you don't have to slum around on the bottom shelf this weekend.  At first you might be thinking it's single malt Scotch time, but I want to caution you to be judicious, you don't have much time.  In that case I recommend opening your reserves of...

New Glarus Spotted Cow.

Beer?  Yes, because there is no Monday you don't have to worry about all those carbs.  Because God doesn't care how fat you are. 

Allright people, see you on the other side.