Beer and Pavement

Free Association Blog Post

Posted in Beer, Film, Intersections, Jock Straps, Life, Records by SM on February 21, 2011

I have some things in the works and some other things I wanted to mention, but none of that is ready nor does it interest me at the moment[1]. So, for your reading pleasure, I will do a little free association blog post that will hopefully hit on some of the things not quite worthy of their own blog posts.

Looking for a new way to label my homebrew, I designed and ordered the following rubber stamp.

The plan is to stamp some big mailing labels, write in which beer is in the bottle, and slap those mothers on. It will save me from having to print out extravagant labels at Kinkos while providing me a uniform way to mark my own brews. A good point was made regarding the new name of my fictitious brewery: It’s better than naming it “Watery Domestic,” a name I never considered. For those of you not in the know, Treble Kicker was Pavement’s made-up label for their first few singles. They later just put it on every release, sort of for publishing purposes or something. I’m using it as the ideal moniker to connect my two loves into my homebrews[2].

Speaking of homebrewing, I did this collaboration with a friend. He used leftover malt to brew a pale ale and I supplied leftover hops[3]. We split the beer to see what we each could do with dry-hopping. I had several mishaps with bottling, making me label the caps “FML” or fuck my life[4].  The first bottle was opened seven days in at a homebrew tasting last weekend. It was awful, but the veteran homebrewers in the room assured me that waiting it out might result in a better beer. Well, I opened one last night and it is getting better. Hopefully it will continue to improve.

I’m also hoping that the new Bright Eyes’ album will get better. It’s supposedly the last album to be released under “Bright Eyes” and that might be for good reason. Conor Oberst appears to be all out of ideas at the moment. When he did that pre-emo, cathartic thing he did in his late-teens/early-twenties, he was supposed to be the next Dylan[5]. Really, it was some good stuff. Then, he released maybe his best folk album alongside a semi-electronica record[6]. Okay. Then, after a live album and a rarities collection, he went down the[7] rabbit hole, seemingly never to return. This would have been acceptable as so many artists do the same. Plus, he typically aligned himself with some excellent musicians. Alas, Conor was not meant to be. He released the regrettable People’s Key last week. I’m holding off judgement to see if it will grow on me, but I’m not hopeful[8]. At least the artwork and design of the record sleeve is interesting.

Speaking of “interesting” album artwork, I finally unwrapped Tennis’ Cape Dory. This album is everything that Bright Eyes’ “effort” is not. It’s fresh, moving, interesting, enjoyable, etc. Of course, one has to get over the awful, awful artwork on the cover[9]. It’s low-fi with that echoey, Phil Spector-ish doo-wop feel and retro vocals[10]. It reminds me a ton of Camera Obscura if they recorded from bedrooms instead of studios. Still, this will be a nice record to enjoy as the weather turns.

And as the weather turns, March approaches. I try not to write too much about the sports-ball in these parts, but I have to address this at least one time before March Madness descends upon us. My boys at Ohio State are the best college basketball team in the nation[11] and early favorites to win it all in March/early-April. They are lead by a core of experienced players that seem to have played in Columbus for 15 years as well as three freshman stars. One of those freshman is Jared Sullinger whose ass[12] keeps defenders off as he puts up 18 and 10 on a nightly basis. Look for Ohio State to make a deep run this year in the tournament.

Something else happens in March…

The first weekend of March in these parts is dedicated to the True/False Film Festival. It’s our very own documentary film festival and it’s the best thing that happens here every year. We have reservations to see somewhere between 16 and 17 films[13] over the weekend (starting Thursday), plus a few parties and live music in between. There will be a full report here and possibly more somewhere else[14]. It’s going to be an incredible weekend this year. I can just feel it.

… feeling it, I feel as though I’m about to have my mind blown. I’ll be imbedded in said festival like never before[15], there are some interesting records coming my way, and there’s a ton of beer on the horizon. So, there will be a lot to discuss here. Come back, even if you noticed the lack of footnotes in previous posts. They’ll be back. Don’t worry[16]. Sorry for the filler. I’ll wrap up the Archers of Loaf oeuvre on Wednesday, plug in something interesting about either beer, indie rock, or both on Friday, an preview the film fest next week.

1In other words, I have several barely-started posts sitting there in the dashboard and another dozen or so ideas I just don’t feel like posting. This three posts a week thing is getting tough. Still, dear reader, I feel you deserve better than filler. However, that’s what you’re getting.
2Plus, the design and name scream punk/lo-fi indie rock. There’s no way that there’s a better (fake) brewery out there, anywhere.
3Using leftovers should have been my first clue that the beer would be questionable, but we carried on the experiment anyway.
4I’m worried that there was too much oxygen pumped into the beer, which is not a good thing. Consider that there is a reason beer is sealed in kegs, firkins, casks, bottle, or cans and not just sitting out in the open. There could have also been some unwanted bacteria, but I hope not.
5This never made much sense to me. Dylan’s the superior songwriter; Oberst is the better performer, musician. Still, I hold Oberst in high regard as a songwriter. For me, they are two very, very different kinds of rock stars/folk singers. Any comparison is silly, even lazy.
6The songs were okay, but the musical direction was a mistake.
7I realize it is 2011, but I think I have a statement to make on in an upcoming blog post. Oberst’s turn to the cow punk is not surprising, nor is the demise of Bright Eyes. I will explain once I piece together an argument with examples.
8Honestly, I hate writing bad things about musicians I like. They work too hard at what they do to be ridiculed by a hack with a blog like myself. That said, I feel it disingenuous not to be honest. I just try to make it a practice not to go on and on about bands I like letting me down.
9Just look at it. It’s awful. AWFUL!
10Actually, everything about this release is retro. The cover looks like it’s out of the early 80’s. The music is 60’s pop and the aesthetic is 90’s lo-fi.
11Some would argue that this is not the case as they have dropped two of their last three games. However, both of those games were on the road to the 2nd and 3rd placed teams in the conference. This was the meat of the schedule where everyone knew they’d lose some games. All I know is the next four teams on the schedule better look out as Ohio State will be on a mission.
12It’s big.
13I suspect we’ll fall short of this goal. That’s a lot of documentary film to watch.
14I’ve taken on a project to help another local blogger get a Columbia blog thing going. I’ve written a post and am formulating the next. I only have to post twice a month, so that shouldn’t be too hard. There’s one in the can on The Foundry Field Recordings, another in the works on a seminal album by locals Bald Eagle, and another will happen covering the music of True/False. It should be interesting.
15There’s the Lux pass upgrade, my name on a guest list for an exclusive party, and a Twitter account that’s not mine. It’s not as exciting as it might sound, but it makes me feel like I’m on the inside of this thing.
16Man, I haven’t had sixteen footnotes in forever. This feels good!

9 Responses

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  1. Pizza Cottontail said, on February 21, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Ohio State the best in the nation? Maybe by default, since almost every other good team lost this weekend. I’m going to go with Duke. They haven’t lost in a while.

    • builderofcoalitions said, on February 21, 2011 at 1:25 pm

      Maybe, but before yesterday’s loss, OSU had a commanding lead in the Pomeroy rankings which are the most cited statistic in determining college basketball rankings. Now, Duke has the lead in the rankings by the slimmest of margins (2/10,000th of a point). Ohio State is in first place in the nation’s best league (also according to Pomeroy), while Duke’s conference sits at #4. In my mind, that ranks OSU ahead of Duke, but all will be decided in March/April.

    • builderofcoalitions said, on February 21, 2011 at 2:28 pm

      To further my point, an ESPN blogger writes about the confusing coaches poll. He makes an interesting case for Ohio State to be #1 based on their body of work. Currently, they are ranked third behind Duke and Kansas. All three teams have the same number of losses, but that’s where the similarities end. He writes, “…I’m still confused as to why Ohio State is ranked lower than Kansas and Duke. The Buckeyes have lost two games, both of them to top-15 Big Ten opponents on the road. Duke has lost at Florida State and St. John’s. Kansas lost to Texas (at home) and Kansas State (on the road). Are the Buckeyes’ losses “better” than either team’s? According to the coaches’ poll itself — which ranks Purdue No. 9 and Wisconsin No. 12 this week — they are. So why is OSU third in this week’s poll? Because they lost most recently. That has to be the reason, right?”

      • Pizza Cottontail said, on February 21, 2011 at 3:22 pm

        I’d totally agree that they fell because their losses came so close together. OSU’s still a 1 seed, but I think they might slide more; two of their four final games look winnable; the games against Illinois and Wisconsin look dicey. Duke only has NC.

      • Pizza Cottontail said, on February 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm

        Of course, if OSU wins out…

      • builderofcoalitions said, on February 21, 2011 at 5:35 pm

        I will jizz all over this blog.

  2. Greg said, on February 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Cool idea for the label. If you haven’t seen, there’s a new blog dedicated to homebrew label art: Definitely submit yours; as a homebrewer I like the idea of cutting down on printing costs.

    • builderofcoalitions said, on February 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm

      Thanks for the heads up. Some of the guys I hang with do some pretty elaborate labels. I will definitely submit my work.

  3. Steve said, on February 28, 2011 at 5:50 am

    Incredibly late reply time…

    I think you should consider brewing a low-alcohol session ale and calling it Watery Domestic. It seems like the perfect name for such a brew.

    Love the Treble Kicker name and stamp, and look forward to more beery updates.

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