Monday, October 26, 2020

It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry

Mood Music |
Yo La Tengo | "It Takes a Lot to Laugh..." | Sleepless Night EP

Exciting new-old music from an underrated American band. It never hurts when covering one of the greatest songs of all time, while also delivering it beautifully new. Thanks YLT.


Friday, October 23, 2020


Mood Music |
Linda Ronstadt | Willin | Heart Like A Wheel


Thursday, September 17, 2020

Brew Detective | From Astoria With Love

From Astoria with love, a place where happy can be had. No really, Astoria's awesome, don't tell anyone as the world gets hotter and dryer. Before tragic fires had engulfed the west coast in a haze of scorched earth, we booked a physically distant reservation outdoors in the sun with a shade structure.

Remember the sun? Clear Skies? Or just taking a big breath of fresh air? Our memories do, but I'm sure as shit longing for some outdoor time. Hopefully the heroic fire fighters can combat the destruction, and perhaps Mother Earth and Her climate we lend their aid. This time around I'm becoming more changed, almost too hyper aware. The west is ablaze and there's no going back. Perhaps for me as well. Below I'll reminisce about lighter times, different times.

Our late lunch was tasty. First up was mixed garden greens and veg, before moving on to wood fired pizza and another pint. We finished with a glorious slice of carrot cake, oh the cream cheese frosting. Way to go Fort George. Our early evening Pilsners along the river at Buoy were assisted by a friendly marine mammal. The frequent visits were so cool, as was the personality of this amazing sea lion. I'm super thankful for this day. Now to the beers... 

Fort George
Jealous Butcher - Side A - Pilsner - 4.5%
Their new "45 Series" aims to spotlight local musicians, while also assisting local vinyl pressing plants. Awesome! Seriously. I was all in on this idea, not-to-mention doing the same beer twice, but different — Side A and the B side. Both offerings were brewed in 45BBl fermenters. As unfiltered Germanic Pilsners go, this was boss. Brewed in collaboration with Von Ebert Brewing and Jealous Butcher Records in Portland, the Jealous Butcher Pilsner was not playing around. Of course I scored a four pack and a 45.

Jealous Butcher - Side B - Pilsner - 4.5%
The B side is a different version of the aforementioned Side A. This Jealous Butcher was dry hopped with Simcoe and Citra hops. The added spice was nice, real nice, but I'm gonna keep dropping the needle on Side A. By the way, Califone playing "Crazy as a Loon" is also boss. Who doesn't like John Prine songs? Side A wins on both accounts.

Song Bird - Sour Blonde - 6.5%
I wanted Song Bird on draft rather than out of the bottle. This sour blonde is brewed in collaboration with Alesong Brewing. Agent M's initial reaction, "real tart." This mixed culture blonde was conditioned on a thousand pounds of peaches and aged in wine barrels for 7 months. Timely to say the least. I was glad I was able to enjoy it fresh from the source.

Sunrise - OPA - 5.2%
Some seriously herbaceous vibes were emanating from this pale ale. The bitterness, which was almost resinous, sacrificed some of the traditional smoothness other pale ales possess. Sunrise OPA is based on the first beer ever brewed at Fort George, pretty cool.

Czech Pils - 6.2% | 35 IBU
A classic take on a standard, Buoy's Czech-style Pilsner never disappoints, especially in person along the Columbia. Saaz hops bring this beer to life. Clarity is unmistakeable, so too is the beauty of the surrounding nature. It's best to enjoy beer while allowing oneself to soak it in, to not be in a hurry. Thanks for checking in. I hope everyone's being safe, sensible and kind. Do the right thing.


Saturday, September 12, 2020

Brew Detective | Beachwood | Amalgamator IPA

The name may be a mouthful but the proof is in there. Beechwood's Amalgamator is an IPA for those of us who want transparency in body. The blending of ingredients inside of this ale, is an artistic path to the notes we smell and taste. Doughy foam sits noticeably atop the ale. Carbonation is initially hidden, but apparent in mouth feel. Earthy garden vibes are at the forefront of tasting, reminiscent of leafy greens. Amalgamator IPA is light enough to crush and refreshing, a great summer beer. I recommend picking some up if given the opportunity. Enjoy craft beer responsibly.

This post was written before the disastrous fires were raging along the west coast. As a Pacific resident my heart aches. I'm saddened and nervous. Thoughts and blessings to all who are dealing with these catastrophic events. Human induced climate change has to be taken seriously. So too does our collective interaction with Mother Earth and our treatment of the natural world. She doesn't need us, but we sure as shit need Her. A global pandemic, social and civil unrest (everywhere, but especially in Portland), and the most destructive fires perhaps of all time, are an almost fictional narrative of an impending apocalypse. This 2020 layer cake of stress is very real and it has me thinking about a lot of things. Be KIND and Stay Safe!

Do The Right Thing (Spike Lee),

Thursday, September 10, 2020

No More Trouble

Current Mood |

Bob Marley and The Wailers | Catch A Fire | "No More Trouble" | 

Play it Loud,

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Brew Detective | Saul Fruitman | Ex Novo

Saul Fruitman is a Hazy IPA moseying in from Corrales, New Mexico. Fruitman's in cahoots with the good people over at Ex Novo, who happen to have a watering hole in the southwest as well. This tall drink is brewed with Citra and Vic Secret hops, pineapple and mango was added for good measure. 

The liquid straw yeller ale smelled of pineapple fruit juice, go reckon. Even though this oat soda is hazy, it somehow carries a light body. Flavor profiles were more muted than expected considering the aroma. Also, it's not too fruity, which I liked. Saul was a good diversion from my usual go-to. Thanks Ex Novo. Drink craft suds respectfully. 


Sunday, August 23, 2020

So Far / So Good... ??? 2020

This year, whew, worst year ever probably, just a crusher. At least there's been some music to consume, with the art of listening required for involvement. Ah, listening. Anyhow, hopefully you've been opening your ears and minds to some good vibrations. The list below is the 2020 installment of So Far / So Good. I wish everyone a safe and productive next couple of months. The last few have been personally brutal. I realize summer's moving toward autumn. I want more summer warmth but let's put this year in the rearview, while never forgetting that progress is still needed. Music can soothe the soul, we're gonna need it.

So Far So Good has been a long running account of the records that've grabbed my ear through the first half of each year. Later on I complete the list as we travel around the sun (So Good So Far). Thank you musicians for sharing your music. Here's to the future... 

Best Records So Far:
* Enemy Radio - Loud Is Not Enough - "Food As a Machine Gun", "Lock Your Wheels"
* Margaret Glaspy - Devotion - "Killing What Keeps Us Alive", "Stay With Me", "Devotion"
* MMJ - Waterfall II - Still Thinking, Climbing the Ladder, Run It, Wasted, Welcome Home
~ Courtney Marie Andrew - Old Flowers - "Burlap Strings"
~ The Jayhawks - XOXO

Honorable Mention:
~ Gillian Welch & David Rawlings - All the Good Times
~ Lucinda Williams - Good Souls Better Angels
~ Thao & The Get Down Stay Down - Temple
~ Bob Dylan - Rough and Rowdy Ways
~ Perfume Genuis - Set My Heart on Fire Immediately
~ Caroline Rose - Superstar - "Feel the Way I Want" - synth-pop, dance music, Beck-like
~ Ben Seretan - Youth Pastoral - "Power Zone"
~ Ray Lamontagne - Monovision

Amazing EP's: 
~ Rubio - La Perdida - EP - edgy, electro-drip, lush vocals, strings, hypnotic, Sade-like, "Nudo"
~ Skull Crusher - EP - "Places / Plans" - one of the best songs of the year
~ Zsela - EP - "Ache of Victory"
~ Kaash Paige - EP - "Frank Ocean"

Thanks for checking in. Be kind out there.


Thursday, August 20, 2020

Brew Detective | Hen House | Stoked

I'm saddened to know what's happening in County Paradiso, as well as the surrounding counties I know and love. We know first hand the havoc being wrought. Big thoughts and much love goes out to all of California as it again deals with raging wild fires. The entire state is in flames. My heart is heavy and I will write this quick review as a reminder to the people, places and beauty that I love. I give my thoughts to the mastery and bravery of Cal Fire as they combat this breathing monster. I hope they remain safe as they pursue the safety of others. I love you California.

Hen House | Stoked | Single Hop Pale Ale

Some of the tastiest beer in Sonoma County is brewed by Hen House. Centennial Hops were used to brew this delicious pale ale. The pale, murky-yellow ale has a strong nose. Good carbonation and a lasting head combine to enhance aromas of hops and malt.  Taste and aromatics match up well. I was Stoked to score a four pack from a local bottle shop here in PDX. I hadn't seen a Hen House can in a minute. It made me nostalgic. I was glad to grab some. Now I'm just hoping for the best, for one of the best places on earth. Be safe California.

drink craft beer responsibly,

Monday, August 17, 2020

Blue Monday

Mood Music |

Bob Seger | "Blue Monday" | Road House Soundtrack |


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

What Time Is It?

There are many thoughts that race around as I gleefully watch The NBA bubble at The Magic Kingdom, aka the Association's campus. Ah, campus life. NBA fans can only hope that this North American sports bubble will continue to showcase success, so far the protocols have been stellar.

Sadly I now expect more from the NBA than I do our federal leaders. The NBA is global, worth billions of dollars, and is operated by smart and sensitive professionals. As tricky as this restart has been, or will continue to be, the resources and diligence of the NBA has shown a path to coherent plans and policies. Those planning tactics and implementations are something our nation does not yet possess, nor do they seem to be stressing.

There are other topics and ideas swirling as it relates to basketball. I'll focus some attention to the on-court product. The who, what, where and why moments will always matter when the post season is looming. Storylines will continue to be written. Below are some thoughts on the intrigue of the NBA.

Who? There's only one who. Dame, that's who. He served up 51 and 61 in consecutive games, a 112 points in 81 minutes on 55% shooting from the field and 45% shooting from three. He's literally on fire, consuming flames and then emitting them. A human flamethrower who walks the walk and can talk the talk. He's an assassin who keeps it real, respects opponents, and remains humble. He's a Capital G Gamer. Lillard joins Wilt Chamberlain as the second player to register multiple 60 point games in a season. Damian has three such games this season. Dame time all the time!

Every game matters to the Blazers. Lillard epitomizes their workman-like mantra while also wielding incredibly fiery talents. This team is on a mission. They didn't come to the bubble to play for nothing. By competing as if every game were do or die, Portland is priming themselves for a run. Dame time is ticking, the Association is on watch.


Devin Booker deserves a little love too. Make no mistake, Booker is a shot maker. The Suns have shown up looking interested and prepared. They know their roles and their schemes. Phoenix has surprised, proving they belong. Good job Suns.

Both the Blazers and Suns have been playing for something more. Are there two hotter teams inside the bubble? Portland Phoenix would be fire. I mentioned above who may or may not consume and emit flames. Please, more Dame Time.

What happened to the Lakers offense? Are they rope-a-doping their competition? Are they just not good at scoring the ball right now? Will they continue to be the worst team offensively once the playoffs begin? What's up with AD? LeBron? Their collective talent hasn't matched the output from early March. They're not manufacturing many buckets and the rest of the team hasn't been shooting the lights out either. Maybe it won't matter if the two superstars do what they're capable of.

Where do the top teams rank now? The Bucks and Lakers are trending down. The Clippers are even keeled. And the Raptor are trending up. Which team prefers which matchup? Sometimes the Raptors look amazing. The Clippers are trying to prove that the regular season doesn't matter. Milwaukee fans probably have some cause for concern. Will the Bucks represent the east? Boston, Miami, and Toronto could burst Milwaukee's bubble. I've already noted the Lakers lack of production. Maybe the playoffs will show us something different.

Thursday is When we'll know who qualifies for the play-in game. The Blazers control their own destiny after Dame's relentless 61. A win on Thursday earns Portland the 8-seed. Then the Trailblazers would need one win over the 9-seed to advance into the playoffs, where they would face the Lakers. DAME! BRON! DAVIS! NURK! MELO! CJ! GT Jr.! Gimme some of that series. I might spontaneously combust. We all know who's on fire.

Why does basketball feel so good? Thank you NBA. Why does the Western Conference feel like Beyond Thunderdome? Why does the Eastern Conference feel weak outside of Toronto? Who will advance? Who knows? Only time will tell. Only in the NBA.


Sunday, August 9, 2020

Feel The Way I Want

Best New Music |

Caroline Rose | Superstar | "Feel the Way I Want" |