Beer and Pavement

File Under: Miscellany

Posted in Beer, Life by Zac on January 21, 2011

Several things have crossed my network of RSS, Facebook, and Twitter feeds that could be worthy subjects on this blog. I’m using this post to sort through them and hopefully stumble upon one that can be developed[1]. I’ll at least have a complete blog post when it’s all said and done.

Archers of Loaf Reunite
As I once proposed, it’s time for Archers of Loaf to get back together. Well, they did, but there’s no indication it will happen again[2]. Still, one has to suspect that a tour is in their future. However, how many dates will they play and how far will the tour stretch? Some bands do a weekend in a major city. Others do the full-on Pixies/Pavement model. I’m hoping for the latter as Middle Missouri gets so few great bands as it is. That and I suspect Loaf will do smaller venues like they did way back when. I’m certainly not hopeful for a reunion record, though. There’s a reason that bands like Pixies and Pavement didn’t do much if any recording after reuniting[3]. With band members taking up various projects, these bands stood no chance at picking up where they left off or even resembling their former selves. I’d be happy with a tour that stops through Missouri. That’s all.

Still, if you click through to the videos of the show last weekend, you’ll see why Archers of Loaf were considered among the best live performers in the indie circuit. They were so good that I think they’ve ruined live shows for me forever. So, let’s hope they make it this way at some point in the coming year.

Hopslammed Cont’d
The Beer Holiday I described on Wednesday has come and gone. By early afternoon, Sycamore’s keg was blown and nearly every store carrying the beer was sold out. There are rumors that more is coming to town, but it won’t be much[4]. It was like a Depression-era bank run a la It’s a Wonderful Life.

That said, an offshoot of the Coalition emerged. My beer club pooled their resources and insured that none was without Hopslam on this great day. Facebook group threads kept folks abreast of developments. And when a few unlucky beer enthusiasts were without the sweet nectar of the gods, a few generous members either offered some of their own stash or provided hints as to the whereabouts of additional cases of the good stuff. For these efforts, this Coalition salutes you!

Here are some pics from the day. Those blatantly lifted from Facebook are so noted. Now, enjoy the beer porn…

Lifted from FB and taken at Sycamore by Father of the Month.

“]

Father of the Month again.

Mine. (Notice the retro rotisserie.)

And while you’re thirsty from all those pics, check out this review from It’s a Fucking Beer[5].

No Rock Show
Even though my Freshly Pressed post claimed that attending more local rock shows is the way to get back into music, I skipped out on a show Wednesday night. Why? Well, it snowed like a foot here, I had a glass full of Hopslam, and there was a basketball game on TV[6]. So, no rock show for me. Besides, I’m not 100% sure I wanted to see a poor man’s Animal Collective or whoever was playing[7]. It’s probably for the best. I’ll hit the upcoming show on a Friday for my token local show this year.

January Catch-Up
At the end of every year, I find a ton of records that I somehow missed over the year. I’ll slowly begin to order said records just to see hear what I’ve been missing. A few arrived in December, but I honestly haven’t given them enough of a listen to tell you what I think[8]. There are two more coming soon. So, I’ll have old records to tell you about in the coming week. Stay tuned.

Beard Update

The Ace of (Indie Rock) Cakes
The Pavement reunion was etched in digitally-televised stone forever and it wasn’t MTV, rather Food Network did the honors. That’s right. MTV doesn’t do music anymore. Nope, Food Network’s Ace of Cakes featured Pavement receiving one of those ridiculous cakes only possible on basic cable. With Brew Masters on extended hiatus[9], Ace of Cakes had to fill a void Thursday night.

While it was nice to see my heros on TV, I had my issues with the episode. First, the Pavement cake split time with a cake for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Who cares? Second, the person in-charge of decorating the cake, Elena Fox, was supposedly a big Pavement fan. Of course, there was no way to confirm this fandom as Fox didn’t share any knowledge about the band and used this past year’s greatest hits comp as inspiration for the cake. The kicker was when Fox blushed that she never thought she’d get to see the band until now. Really? How is she such a huge fan that she’s never seen them before? Yes, it’s a bit ageist, but painting her as a huge fan was a stretch[10].

That said, the tiny bit the band was actually on the show was sorta cool. We got to see the band with their spouses and kids. Mark Ibold wore a t-shirt that proclaimed “Good Evening We Are The Fall[11].” The cake itself was well-executed as it depicted a horse as featured on the artwork from Quarantine the Past and various other images from the record. I heard several snippets from “Cut Your Hair,” but that was all the Pavement Ace of Cakes could fit into the eleven or so minutes dedicated to the Pavement cake. Still, it was nice to see the band get a little love from basic cable that wasn’t nearly as awkward as their visit to The Colbert Report.

Beer Marketing Rant
A beer blogger went on a rant about gimmicky beers. While I recognize that this is not a huge surprise nor a new development, the rant itself is perplexing. The Mad Fermentationist rants about brewers using odd ingredients or over-the-top amounts in beers as marketing devices rather than sound brewing choices. In other words, he complains that the marketing around such “gimmicks” overshadows whether or not the beers are any good.

I find this odd as this blog mostly features homebrewing topics. The one thing nearly every homebrewer does is experiment with one-off brews that feature strange ingredients or hyperbolic amounts and varieties. And what is TMF doing but judging brewers and their beers by the marketing and not the actual quality of the beers?

Whatever, it’s a fucking beer. It’s good or it’s not. It might be good because it uses an ungodly amount of hops. It might suck because the combination of malt just didn’t work. Whatever. Judge the beer by how it tastes, smells, and looks, not what marketing tells you. That’s all.

Hellbender
Nanobreweries are growing all over the country and there’s one right here in Columbia. Hellbender is the brainchild of fellow beer geeks Jarrett and Josh who brew constantly and have a ton of great beers in their repertoire. Hellbender is certainly a welcomed member of the Coalition, a relationship that could blossom in coming months. The boys are primed for big things as their entrance in The Bruery’s Batch 300 contest is a sure finalist. “Rosemary, Baby” is the kind of beer The Bruery makes. It’s delicate, subtle, and an ideal pairing for poultry or fish with hints of rosemary (What else?) and low ABV. The nano is planning a party next month in preparation for the stretch run toward finalizing some paperwork that could make them a legit brewery. Cheers, boys! The Coalition supports your endeavor!

Monday’s post should be more of a normal post. In the meantime, stay warm, put a record on, and drink all your Hopslam before those hops fade into the ether.

Notes:
1This is mostly because I don’t want to write an entire post about any of these things.
2Of course, we all know it means that they will play more shows. Once the rumor or even reality of an indie rock reunion begins, it will happen. It might be at an ATP or a full-fledged tour, but it will happen.
3A Pixies album would be awful and a Pavement album would be a simplified version of SM’s solo work. Neither would do these bands any favors. It’s better to leave their legacies alone and play the hits for all the kids who missed them the first time around.
4And now I hear we won’t even get any minikegs. I was hoping to score one for a birthday bash next month. Hopefully my Ohio hookup can…well…hook me up.
5I apologize for the misogyny. The kid’s just trying to drive home the point that the beer is really good. Let’s just say that he’s excited.
6My Buckeyes are now 19-0 and #1 in the country. Their schedule gets really treacherous over the next 2-3 weeks. So, we’ll see what they’re made of. It’s a team loaded with a solid group of seniors and a talented group of freshmen. Ohio State could have a football-sized dynasty in the making.
7Admittedly, that was a bit harsh. The bands playing all sound like Animal Collective is a major influence. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’m just trying to justify not going. I’m the lame one. They rocked out in a snowstorm.
82010 records purchased: Double Dagger, Screaming Females, and Born Ruffians.
9Apparently, it’s coming back, but Discovery is trying to kill it. Why else would they continually change the nights it’s on and wait months between episodes without a programming note. #fail
10I’m not denying this woman a right to like or even love Pavement. In fact, I support her love of the band. My problem is that the show worked really hard to paint her as a huge fan and she wasn’t. Why not point out that Fox is in a band herself and knows something about indie rock? I’m probably just jealous, but I thought that connection to the band was forced. That’s all.
11Pavement has long been compared to The Fall. Some have even suggested that the band ripped off The Fall’s aesthetic. Whatever. The Fall wasn’t on Ace of Cakes, were they?

Dudes with Beards

Posted in Intersections, Life, Manifesto by Zac on December 24, 2010

I’ve been giving this a lot of thought[1]. What connects dudes with beards? Why grow hair on your face?

One interesting insight from the comments under my original beard post was this:

We were out at a beer event the other night and a non-beer friend remarked on the correlation of beards on beer people. It’s pretty strange, but I’ve noticed it before as well.

[the beard] brings all the girls to the yard.

While I’m not sure the beard actually “brings all the girls to the yard” in the same manner as my milkshake[2], it is interesting that so many bearded faces are those of beer folk. I mean, the examples are endless, just look below…

[3]

[4]

And, since I focus this blog on indie rock as well, the beards in that scene are just as prevalent…

And there are guys who are just funny/bad-ass who sport beards…

So, what connects all these men? Is it sheer animal magnetism? Is it a shortage of razors? Are they putting extra testosterone in our Wheeties?

Honestly, I think we just like how it looks, makes us feel. Imperfections are easily covered. Our faces never grow cold while out wassailing. WE DON’T HAVE TO SHAVE.

In the end, does it really matter[5]?

Apparently, it does. This is now my second post on the subject[6]. Nearly everyone I run into comments on the beard. They either like it or they don’t. And for whatever reason, they feel the need to share their opinions on my facial hair. It’s as if I’m pregnant and everyone’s commenting on how large I’ve grown while they rub my belly and eyeball that bottle of whiskey and carton of cigarettes in my shopping cart.

The funny thing is that I’ll probably shave the thing off at some point mostly out of boredom. Every time I’ve shaved a beard in the past, it’s primarily to do with boredom. I’ll be done with it eventually.

But for now, it seems to be a hot-button topic here at Building Coalitions. What are your thoughts on beards? What’s the connection between beards? Why does a “beard” also refer to a partner of the opposite sex whose only purpose is to make you seem straight?

As always, comment below and provide me content.

Notes:
1Not really, but I couldn’t sleep and wanted to blog about something.
2My partner does not like it, but she’s tolerating it. For now. My kid loves it, but I may grow tired of her ever-improving grip.
3Yes, the Dude appears to be humping a Sam Adams’ Infinium. I plan to drink and review my own bottle sans fornication.
4Whiskey-drinking bro.
5No.
6And most likely last. At two posts, this is already overkill.

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So, I Grew a Beard

Posted in Life by Zac on December 23, 2010

Said beard.

No, I’m not starting a band. No, I haven’t changed my mind regarding hippies. I’m just growing my beard.

Why?

I don’t know. It could be a sort of mid-life crisis thing. It could be pure laziness. Again, I don’t know. It’s just a fucking beard.

However, people have their take on why I might grow a beard. All of the reasons seem to revolve around hipsters and indie rockers. Am I trying to be hip or fashionable? Again, the answer is “no.”

I just quit shaving during Thanksgiving break. That’s all.

Besides, when did hipsters corner the market on beards? Did they invent beards? Is there a law?

Man, I grew my first beard like thirteen years ago. That was way before hipsters was a thing. It made me look older, which helped as 22-year-me attempted to insure confidence in the parents of my first group of fifth-graders. I don’t know whether it worked, but I grew a beard anyway.

The last beard I grew was maybe ten years ago. Still, this way before it was cool to grow a beard. I’m not saying that I was a fashion innovator or anything, but I had a beard before growing a beard was cool.

I’ve grown a beard leading into the coldest months of the year. It keeps me warm. I don’t have to shave everyday. It’s just s beard.

There. I’ve said it. It’s done.

Now, maybe I should shave…

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