HESO Magazine

Photography, Music, Film, Hitchhiking, Craft Beer – Cultural Pugilist

Author: Manny Santiago (Page 3 of 22)

Friends of Laphroaig

Friends of Laphroaig

2015 is Laphroaig’s double centenary year and The Friends of Laphroaig 21st year as well. Celebrating the 200th year of making exceptional Scotch Whisky with a whole host of events and special releases. At the request of the Friends of Laphroaig there is one off bottling of the famous 15 year old and the permanent reminder in the form of a huge dry stone Cairn / Kiln near the water source – The Kibride Stream. There’s the new tasting room and in September there we will be the official party during Laphroaig Live.

Friends of Laphroaig

Friends of Laphroaig

What exactly is a Friend of Laphroaig? Having children causes one to get back to their roots, and as I’m Scottish therefore Whisky flows through my veins, so thankfully the one clear, sober decision I made was to join the Friends of Laphroaig and drink Real Whisky like it was meant to be drunk: On The Peat. As of November 2008 I’ve been a Friend.

From the deed:

“As a condition of this award, we agree to pay a yearly ground rent in the sum of one dram of Laphroaig, to be claimed in person at the distillery.

Upon the Leaseholder’s arrival at Laphroaig we undertake to provide a map, with adequate directions for locating the PLOT, and suitable protective clothing against Islay’s rugged weather and eccentric wildlife.

The LEASEHOLDERS’ Cupboard will contain at all times essential equipment, including: For ascertaining the boundaries of the plot, one tape measure; a pair of wellingtons, size 12, approximately one foot in length. For the journey to the plot, protective headgear against low-flying GEESE; a thick overcoat to repel the inclement Scottish mist; a lifebelt and anchor to safeguard against being blown out to sea; one ball of string for securing trouser legs from inquisitive stoats; and a towel for the Leaseholder to dry-off in the event of unwelcome attention from affectionate otters.”

To get your own you need a bottle and a code. Don’t wait, let’s dram it up like real Men Of The Sea.

Taste Testing Chainbreaker White IPA

Taste Testing Chainbreaker White IPA

I had the opportunity to taste test White IPA A versus White IPA B a few years ago when in Portland’s Pearl District I happened across the Deschutes Brew Pub. It wasn’t any kind of special event that I was specifically invited to, but rather Deschutes offers tasters of their Beers To Come to the public. It’s a great program that let’s the average Bearded Joe Craft Beer Drinker feel like they know what they are talking about when they drink a beer. I’m pretty sure I wrote something about "the fruity frothy white reminds me of a shaken not stirred Welch’s white grapejuice" kind of ignorant bullshit.

But the IPA, Wheat at a medium ABV of 5.6% packs just enough IBUs at 55 to please multiple camps of beer drinkers–enough to satisfy the hardcore heavy IPA thrashers who wake up to a smoothie of Ninkasi Tricerahops and Lagunitas Hop Stoopid, as well as the lighter Belgian Wit loving orange and coriander flavor savorers. Brewed with pilsner malt and both malted and unmalted wheat, Chainbreaker White IPA has enough citrusy IPA guts from Bravo, Cascade and Centennial hops that meld with the esters of Belgian yeast to make it the best of both worlds. This is the beer Blue Moon dreams it could have been at night.

Best Bloody Mary Ever

Best Bloody Mary Ever

Best Bloody Mary Ever

Best Bloody Mary Ever

Add the ice, Season the glass, then pour for the win…

Just as the smart traveler does not fly to Santorini for only one day, the smart drinker realizes that one cannot have just one Bloody Mary — if only for the fact that it takes at least one of these finely crafted, blue collar beauties to merely season the glass (an important point I will come back to) — but rather must make proper arrangements in advance in order to insure the best Bloody Mary drinking experience possible. In order to write this, I am, at this very moment, under the influence of more than a few fingers of spicy vodka goodness. Which begs the question: what makes a good B.M.? Bloody Mary mix? Is it merely the tender pressings of tart tomatoes or rather the clear winter’s chill of crisp Russian spirits? After making more than 1000 of these vitamin C packed concoctions, rest assured it is more than just the aforementioned juice of the tomato fruit and medium-grade Russian intoxicant, that makes the Blood Mary the drink of choice for the mornings of forever after. So let’s get started:

The History:

It was sometime last century, likely in between world wars, in the few years of celebration when Europe was recovering from the war to end all wars and preparing for the deadliest conflict in human history, that the drink which was created to deal with hangovers was probably mixed up for the first time in Paris. Though some argue that it was first thought up and imbibed in New York around the 30s, in order, most likely, to deal with the major pain in the ass the that was the great depression. Wherever tomato juice was first mixed with vodka (or gin as was a common alternative) is not so important as the evolution of the drink, which has morphed from two simple ingredients to a complex and lively mixture that is both refreshing and uplifting, especially on Sunday mornings during brunch out with friends, or for the more skilled party-goer, for late Saturday night in preparation for the inevitable dehydration and loss of vitamins minerals caused by drinking alcohol. Whichever you may be, in order to properly enjoy the Bloody Mary to its full potential requires a bit more than elementary skill, but with a bit of practice and not much cash, anyone can make a damn good one for someone you love to love in the morning.

Seasoning the Glass:

Best Bloody Mary Ever

From dark to translucent the heart of the mix …

It’s almost shocking how much the drink is geared toward getting you going in the morning. Beyond the obvious tomato juice, the usual accoutrements could range from olives and celery, a pirate’s sword skewer of olives, pickles, or those mini Gibson onions. These days the add-ons are over-the-top excessive — bacon, beef sliders, spare ribs. If I wanted food, I would order your farmer’s plate, but what I want is a drink to cure all the wrong things I did last night. Key in the drink is citrus, the lemon and the lime. Which, after putting the ice to the brim, but before adding a couple jiggers of vodka, it becomes necessary to season the glass. This means adding pepper, celery salt, (soy sauce, horseradish, wasabi, kimchi, various chiles, et al are viable alternatives), anchovies, a nice squeeze of citrus and then the wedge, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. The order is important, in that you want a nicely spread uniformity of seasoning. This should make the bottom of the glass appear as if it’s been left out in the rain and tipped over in a mudslide, but not to worry, we have vodka to the rescue. I infused my vodka with a lot of habanero peppers and some fresh mango to sweeten the wrath of the little orange chile. It didn’t do much to tame the heat, but it sure does taste great.

The point of this is to get the ice melting a bit and mix the seemingly disparate elements before adding the tomato juice. Another bonus being that the glass is basically ready to go for round two, with only a modicum of seasoning needed during the next mix up. The importance of this cannot be overstated. Proper seasoning makes for a damn near perfect Bloody Mary experience, no matter what blueprint you swear by. If you were wondering, mine is below.

Ingredients:

Bloody Mary recipe courtesy of the HESO Magazine School of Bartending:

  • 2 oz. (60 ml) habanero/mango infused vodka in a Highball glass filled with (preferably crushed) ice.
  • 1 dash ground black pepper
  • 2-4 dashes celery salt
  • 2-4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • Mashed up Anchovy
  • 1/4 juice of lemon or lime
  • Fill glass with tomato juice

While most home bartenders will be mixing in-glass, if one should have a proper bartender’s cocktail shaker then the mixture may be shaken vigorously, as desired. But above all, these should be consumed in twos and threes over brunch with an unbending spirit of togetherness as you crash blood red glasses toward a brighter day.

Sleater-Kinney - No Cities to Love

Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love

The Beard – EP 109 – Sleater-Kinney by Beard Radio on Mixcloud

Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love

Sleater-Kinney - No Cities to Love

Sleater-Kinney – No Cities to Love – Deluxe Edition Cover

Publishing this feels like something that is so hard to do for so many reasons. The album came out 6 months ago. Every major site has already reviewed it. It’s old news. Who gives a shit what I say? Etc. The truth is it has taken me six months to think of anything to say. Why? Because this album, like all of their other albums, hits so hard it leaves one speechless. There are no words to express the way these ladies get together and make music. It’s best to hear it and then experience whatever it is that comes. But do yourself a favor — hear it in the appropriate fashion: live in concert. Or if you can’t make a show, get the vinyl and some great headphones. Or with friends and family. Only listen to my radio show if you are driving somewhere, or at worse you’re on a train. Movement is key. Wind. Water. Better yet, here’s some stuff the ladies themselves have to say about the first album out in a decade.

“Creativity is about where you want your blood to flow, because in order to do something meaningful and powerful there has to be life inside of it,” says Brownstein. “Sleater-Kinney isn’t something you can do half-assed or half-heartedly. We have to really want it. This band requires a certain desperation, a direness. We have to be willing to push because the entity that is this band will push right back.”

“The core of this record is our relationship to each other, to the music, and how all of us still felt strongly enough about those to sweat it out in the basement and to try and reinvent our band,” says Tucker.

Wilco - Star Wars

Wilco – Star Wars

Beard Radio mixes up various tracks from “Star Wars” & beyond… by Beard Radio on Mixcloud

Wilco – Star Wars

The alt-country wannabe band Wilco has been around seemingly forever. From A.M. (1995), to the Jay Bennett era of earning respectability on Being There (1996), the Billy Bragg co-recordings of Woody Guthrie tunes on Mermaid Avenue (1998), Summerteeth (1999) and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002), to the post-Bennett and Leroy Bach world of A Ghost Is Born (2004), and the advent of Nels Cline fervent guitar on Sky Blue Sky (2007), Wilco (The Album) (2009), The Whole Love (2011), to the post-00s fin-de-career releases of Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions (2012) and Alpha Mike Foxtrot: Rare Tracks 1994 – 2014 (2014), we all thought Wilco was done. Especially when Jeff Tweedy made and toured the album Tweedy with his son last year.

So, Wilco has been busy recording? Hadn’t heard that they released a new album called Star Wars, featuring 11 new songs, barely clocking in over 30 minutes? Jeff calls it, “a jolt of joy: a fun surprise.” Why? Because it’s available now as a free download (for a limited time) on Wilcoworld, iTunes, Amazon and Google Play and streaming on Spotify, Apple Music and Rdio. CD pressings of Star Wars come out on August 21st, with a special vinyl edition due out in late November. Download a digital copy from Wilcoworld until August 13th, 2015. Weekly pre-order contest drawings begin July 30 and include handwritten lyrics to Star Wars by Jeff Tweedy, tickets to any 2015 headlining show, an undeveloped disposable camera from Wilco and a signed test pressing of Star Wars.

Highlights include the five-plus minute “You Satellite”, which feels like the first segue into a breakaway live jam that could produce uninhibited middle aged white guy dancing at any of these live shows they’ve got lined up this summer. Tweedy croons on the fuzzy punk-inspired blues-riff-ripp-off “More…”

More than I have
More than there is
More than exists

Jeff Tweedy in the press release, “We’ve been feeling very fortunate lately being reminded of how long we’ve been able to do this. We believe one of the primary reasons for our good fortune has been our audiences reaction to our impulse to be heard and our habit of erring on the side of that desire to override financial ambition. Not that we don’t enjoy getting paid. We do. But this is a recommitment to the idea that music is more important to our lives. Art is more worthy of our striving. And fun is more sustaining than cash. It’s not intended to be a comment on the music business, just one band’s wish to give our fans a jolt of joy: a fun surprise. In that spirit we hope you will accept this gift and if not, well, maybe next time.”

No, this time.

Wilco is Jeff Tweedy (Guitars, Vocals), John Stirratt (Bass), Glenn Kotche (Drums), Mikael Jorgensen (Keys), Nels Cline (Guitars), Pat Sansone (Guitars, Keys, et al) on Star Wars (dBpm, July 17th)

Wilco - Star Wars

Wilco – Star Wars (dCbm, 2015)

1. EKG
2. More…
3. Random Name Generator
4. The Joke Explained
5. You Satellite
6. Taste the Ceiling
7. Pickled Ginger
8. Where Do I Begin
9. Cold Slope
10. King Of You
11. Magnetized

Tour Dates

17 Jul 2015 / Chicago, IL / Pitchfork Music Festival
01 Aug 2015 / Bridgeport, CT / Gathering of the Vibes
05 Aug 2015 / Los Angeles, CA / Greek Theatre
06 Aug 2015 / San Francisco, CA / The Independent
07 Aug 2015 / San Francisco, CA / Outside Lands
08 Aug 2015 / Bend, OR / Les Schwab Amphitheater w/ Speedy Ortiz
09 Aug 2015 / Troutdale, OR / McMenamins Edgefield w/ Speedy Ortiz
11 Aug 2015 / Seattle, WA / Marymoor Park w/ Jenny Lewis
12 Aug 2015 / Vancouver, BC / Oprheum Theater w/ Jenny Lewis
14 Aug 2015 / Missoula, MT / Big Sky Brewing Company w/ Vetiver
15 Aug 2015 / Sandpoint, ID / Festival at Sandpoint w/ Vetiver
16 Aug 2015 / Ketchum, ID / River Run Lodge w/ Vetiver
18 Aug 2015 / Salt Lake City, UT / Red Butte Garden w/ Vetiver
19 Sep 2015 / Toronto, ON / Toronto Urban Roots Festival
20 Sep 2015 / Ottawa, ON / CityFolk Festival
26 Sep 2015 / Franklin, TN / Pilgrimage Festival
27 Sep 2015 / Franklin, TN / Pilgrimage Festival

Viking Love - Swedish Indie Rock Revolution

Viking Love – Swedish Indie Rock Revolution

Viking Love – Swedish Indie Rock Revolution by Beard Radio on Mixcloud

A continuation of Sin Fang & All Things Icelandic

The Norse Creation Myth continued:

Odin, Vili, and Vé killed the giant Ymir. When Ymir fell, there issued from his wounds such a flood of blood, that all the frost ogres were drowned, except for the giant Bergelmir who escaped with his wife by climbing onto a lur [a hollowed-out tree trunk that could serve either as a boat or a coffin]. From them spring the families of frost ogres.

The sons of Bor then carried Ymir to the middle of Ginnungagap and made the world from him. From his blood they made the sea and the lakes; from his flesh the earth; from his hair the trees; and from his bones the mountains. They made rocks and pebbles from his teeth and jaws and those bones that were broken. Maggots appeared in Ymir’s flesh and came to life. By the decree of the gods they acquired human understanding and the appearance of men, although they lived in the earth and in rocks. From Ymir’s skull the sons of Bor made the sky and set it over the earth with its four sides. Under each corner they put a dwarf, whose names are East, West, North, and South. The sons of Bor flung Ymir’s brains into the air, and they became the clouds. Then they took the sparks and burning embers that were flying about after they had been blown out of Muspell, and placed them in the midst of Ginnungagap to give light to heaven above and earth beneath. To the stars they gave appointed places and paths.

The earth was surrounded by a deep sea. The sons of Bor gave lands near the sea to the families of giants for their settlements.

To protect themselves from the hostile giants, the sons of Bor built for themselves an inland stronghold, using Ymir’s eyebrows. This stronghold they named Midgard. While walking along the sea shore the sons of Bor found two trees, and from them they created a man and a woman. Odin gave the man and the woman spirit and life. Vili gave them understanding and the power of movement. Vé gave them clothing and names. The man was named Ask [Ash] and the woman Embla [Elm?]. From Ask and Embla have sprung the races of men who lived in Midgard.

In the middle of the world the sons of Bor built for themselves a stronghold named Asgard, called Troy by later generations. The gods and their kindred lived in Asgard, and many memorable events have happened there. In Asgard was a great hall named Hlidskjálf. Odin sat there on a high seat. From there he could look out over the whole world and see what everyone was doing. He understood everything that he saw. Odin married Frigg, the daughter of Fjörgvin. From this family has come all the kindred that inhabited ancient Asgard and those kingdoms that belonged to it. Members of this family are called the Æsir, and they are all divinities. This must be the reason why Odin is called All-Father. He is the father of all the gods and men and of everything that he and his power created.

The earth was Odin’s daughter and his wife as well. By her he had his first son, Thor. Might and strength were Thor’s characteristics. By these he dominates every living creature. As all informed people know, the gods built a bridge from earth to heaven called Bifröst. Some call it the rainbow. It has three colors and is very strong, made with more skill and cunning than other structures. But strong as it is, it will break when the sons of Muspell ride out over it. The gods are not to blame that this structure will then break. Bifröst is a good bridge, but there is nothing in this world that can be relied on when the sons of Muspell are on the warpath. The chief sanctuary of the gods is by the ash tree Yggdrasil. There they hold their daily court. Yggdrasil is the best and greatest of all trees. Its branches spread out over the whole world and reach up over heaven.

Viking Love – Swedish Indie Rock Revolution

Featuring music from:
Miike Snow
José González
The Sounds
Lykke Li
Peter Bjorn and John
Träd Gräs Och Stenar
Esbjorn Svensson Trio

Sin Fang & All Things Icelandic

Sin Fang & All Things Icelandic

BeardRadio gives Viking Love a try in this Almost All About Iceland Show by Beard Radio on Mixcloud

Sin Fang & All Things Icelandic

Sin Fang & All Things Icelandic

The Norse Creation Myth

The first world to exist was Muspell, a place of light and heat whose flames are so hot that those who are not native to that land cannot endure it. Surt sits at Muspell’s border, guarding the land with a flaming sword. At the end of the world he will vanquish all the gods and burn the whole world with fire.

Beyond Muspell lay the great and yawning void named Ginnungagap, and beyond Ginnungagap lay the dark, cold realm of Niflheim. Ice, frost, wind, rain and heavy cold emanated from Niflheim, meeting in Ginnungagap the soft air, heat, light, and soft air from Muspell. Where heat and cold met appeared thawing drops, and this running fluid grew into a giant frost ogre named Ymir.

Ymir slept, falling into a sweat. Under his left arm there grew a man and a woman. And one of his legs begot a son with the other. This was the beginning of the frost ogres. Thawing frost then became a cow called Audhumla. Four rivers of milk ran from her teats, and she fed Ymir. The cow licked salty ice blocks. After one day of licking, she freed a man’s hair from the ice. After two days, his head appeared. On the third day the whole man was there. His name was Buri, and he was tall, strong, and handsome. Buri begot a son named Bor, and Bor married Bestla, the daughter of a giant.

Bor and Bestla had three sons: Odin was the first, Vili the second, and the third. It is believed that Odin, in association with his brothers, is the ruler of heaven and earth. He is the greatest and most famous of all men.

Icelandic Music of Note

  • Sigur Ros
  • Grísalappalísa
  • Snorri Helgason
  • Samúel Jón Samúelsson Big Band
  • Tilbury
  • Vök
  • Ólafur Arnalds
  • ADHD
  • Johann Johannson
  • Samaris – Silkidrangar

Continue Reading about our Viking Love – Swedish Indie Rock Revolution.

Tame Impala - Awash in Currents

Tame Impala – Awash in Currents

BeardRadio – The Currents of Love by Beard Radio on Mixcloud

Listening to Currents feels like listening to a band undergo a metamorphosis. You thought what they once were was pretty cool and what they will be could be amazing, but what they are right now, well, it’s a bit ugly, kind of messy and takes a while to get to the good bits. Which is not to say that the follow up to 2012’s well-received Lonerism isn’t good in its own right. Tame Impala is a good band. It’s probably going to need some listens and some years to be either appreciated and reissued, or forgotten and moved on from. Though in their short existence they have cemented themselves as a guitar band, and the album cover is reminiscent of say a Steely Dan or an nonexistent Dire Straits / Talking Heads 7 inch, there is less guitar here than a fan of psycho-delico live portrayals of Lonerism might expect.

Tame Impala – Awash in Currents

Tame Impala - Awash in CurrentsWritten, performed, recorded, produced and mixed by Kevin Parker, Currents is the soundtrack to Parker’s life. The album is him forsaking the “followup album” and instead playing with an idea. That idea spans the musical genre-scape of easy listening, funk, futury synth-pop, reverb-laden 80s electro, and even touches on hip hop, as if 2001 took place in the Playboy Mansion.

The intro track “Let It Happen” drops into a phase-out drum thump a third of the way through letting us know that this album is stylistically, as well as conceptually about transitions. Life, love, music, and the mind, Parker’s is evolving into a brand new person that also happens to be a one-man recording machine. More Moby and less Pink Floyd. Soon he won’t even be seen with an instrument, just a floating head. Despite the erratic nature of the collection of songs, there is still the soaring sonic cascading over the everpresent dropkick beat. Add in loops, handclaps, psycho-fuzz and crank up the reverb and you’ve got Currents.

“The Moment” feels at times like a sun-drenched day at a beach party and alternately a bit too much like too much ecstasy at a Full-Moon Party. But at least it’s still a party. “Yes, I’m Changing” lacks a lilting melody to lift it out of a down-tempo abyss (obviously because Parker says he can’t remember making it…) while “The Less I Know The Better” seems like a Caucasian cry for help in the Disco-funk era. “‘Cause I’m A Man” is a Prince/Beck lovechild ode to naked slow dancing that is actually lyrically audible. I can hear and understand him. While not a classic album, there are moments of beauty, great beats and melodies and a mostly upbeat feel that I can dance to– a great step forward for the Tame Impala / Kevin Parker sound.

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