The ice storm was more than a full day past and I hadn’t left the house except for a short visit to the yard. But it was time to go, time to get out, time to visit the world… at least a little bit. It was time to go to the Lakewood Brewery for a sample of the 2013 Bourbon Barrel Temptress.
Their Temptress, a darker than night Milk Stout beer is one of my favorite things in the whole world. Take that concentrated deliciousness and let it age in an oak barrel that used to hold some fine whiskey and you have made a very good thing better. Today was the day they would open some of those casks.
My Toyota was still incapacitated, covered in a thick carapace of ice. I carefully poured a carafe of warm water along the door edge until I was able to get it open. Almost an hour of running the defroster and chipping away at the thick glazing and it was clear and I hit the road.
The streets were slick, but everyone was suffering from a temporary bought of sanity and were creeping along. I live only a couple of miles from the Brewery, so I made it without any real problem – except for having to walk across the skating rink of a parking lot.
And the Bourbon Barrel Temptress – was it worth the trip? Of course it was.
The Bourbon Barrel Temptress, on a Bourbon Barrel
Lakewood Brewery tour – how they make the stuff.
Music at the Brewery Tour
(click to enlarge)
Leftover from the summer
Arts District, Dallas, Texas
5 city bikes that roll you through town in style
The latest in steel-framed, fender-clad, and leather-saddled bikes at a variety of price points.
Some of the ones that caught my eye:
If I could afford a new bike – this is what I would buy right now:
I love reading (and writing) short stories. Apparently, I’m not alone.
2013: The Year of the Short Story
In Dallas, a deafening slurping noise as the town goes crazy for Asian noodles
I’m going to have to go visit Sulphur Springs and use the public restrooms.
The Ten Sexiest Riffs in Music
You’ve probably already seen this – but it is the coolest music video I’ve ever seen. Be sure and check out all the channels.
Bob Dylan – Like a Rolling Stone – Official Video
For some reason, I really like “The Price is Right” channel… maybe it’s just Drew Carey lip-syncing Dylan.
A cow-orker is retiring at the end of the year (an awful lot are) and he stopped by my office for my help on getting his replacement up and going. I asked the innocent question, “Do you have any plans for retirement.”
He got all excited and launched into a long lecture on kayak fishing and, especially, about the particular kayak he is getting ready to buy – the Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14. I have to admit – the thing is pretty cool.
The most amazing (to me) feature are the foot powered propulsion fins. Two flexible extensions underwater are moved by pedals to propel the kayak forward. Pretty cool… but not cheap.
“What I am looking for… is an immobile movement, something which would be the equivalent of what is called the eloquence of silence, or what St. John of the Cross, I think it was, described with the term ‘mute music’.”
Moonbird (Oiseau lunaire), Joan Miró, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Texas
In a picture, it should be possible to discover new things every time you see it. But you can look at a picture for a week together and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.
Moonbird, Nasher Sculpture Center
(click to enlarge)
“Don’t play the saxophone, let the saxophone play you.”
― Charlie Parker, Parker, Charlie E-Flat Alto Saxaphone
“I would like to bring to people something like happiness. I would like to discover a method so that if I want it to rain, it will start right away to rain. If one of my friends is ill, I’d like to play a certain song and he will be cured; when he’d be broke, I’d bring out a different song and immediately he’d receive all the money he needed.”
― John Coltrane
The telephone poles in your cozy little home neighborhood are festooned with flyers for garage sales, lost pets, and maybe a high school cheerleader car wash.
Telephone Pole, Deep Ellum, Texas
This, however, is Deep Ellum and the wooden poles aren’t decorated… they are armored. The solid steel coating… the Staple Mail, as it were… comes from one source. Band Flyers. Lots of Band Flyers. Decades of Band Flyers.
How long do they stay here? I guess pretty much forever. The real Renaissance of Deep Ellum happened in, say 1982 or so (when I moved to Dallas and started going down there to the Prophet Bar and Theater Gallery) so I suppose some of these are over thirty years old.
See that one staple a third of the way down? Yeah, that one. That’s from an old concert by MC900 Foot Jesus. Below it is one by Reverend Horton Heat. That old, rusty one at the bottom… New Bohemians (featuring Edie (Eatme) Brickell). There’s TimBuk3 and Mo Jo Nixon and True Believers. Don’t forget the Butthole Surfers with Grinding Teeth opening. The Loco Gringos left one behind. There’s one from The Blasters and another by Joe Christ and the Healing Faith. Of course there’s a shiny new one for Home by Hovercraft and a bunch of them from Brave Combo shows.
(yes, these are all shows that I have actually seen in Deep Ellum)
On and on. Think about it… every one of these staples (and the thousands you don’t see, they go all the way around, from knee high to ten feet in the air) represent a music show at a Deep Ellum Club sometime. That’s a lot of music. That’s a lot of memories. That’s a lot of steel hammered into creosote and pine.
Deep Ellum, Texas
Enjoyed Chris Johnson – of the very popular Fort Worth band, Telegraph Canyon – doing a solo set at the Patio Sessions in the Arts District of Downtown Dallas. One of my favorites, Madison King, opened, but I have plenty of pictures of her… here, here, and here.
You were wearing all black
Face that warned of going back
Turning pages oh you grew
Testifying nothing but the truth
Walking in your righteousness
Shake em’ like you shake your fist
I loved you for getting more
Left you when the night was warm
—-Telegraph Canyon, Shake Your Fist
Chris Johnson, of Telegraph Canyon, at the Patio Sessions, Dallas, Texas
(click to enlarge)
The winter has shown us
All of the faults
That are hidden well beneath
Hurried shoulders and heavy feet
As sure as we stand
By the body you’ve left
The fastest of hands
And the shortest of breath
You don’t have to hide
Don’t ever have to hide
—-Telegraph Canyon, Welcome to the Night
Chris Johnson, Arts District, Dallas, Texas
when you’re lost and you try to find
someone with a heart beat be a friend of mine
into the woods I’ll stay with you
I found why I came but my plans fell through
—– Telegraph Canyon, Into the Woods
One of my favorite things to do in the city, the Patio Sessions, has started up again. These are small free concerts held on Thursday evenings, in front of the Winspear Opera House in the Arts District. I’ve been to a few of these and written about them before.
The performer sets up at the corner of a large rectangular reflecting pool. The water flows slowly over a field of perfectly level and even black stone – at a depth of maybe a quarter of an inch. The spectators sit on grassy areas, paved sections, or concrete steps around this pool to watch and listen. High overhead, giant aluminum louvers provide some shade from the sun before it falls below. There’s a pop-up bar, food trucks, and a new coffee pavilion. With the surrounding buildings glowing in the setting sun (there are five Pritzker Prize winning architects represented here) it is an amazingly picturesque spot.
The only downside is that expanse of wafer-thin water is a magnet for little kids. Now, I like kids as much as the next guy, but they are noisy and distracting. The pack of rugrats cavorting on the reflecting pool diverts attention from the music. Plus I am bothered by their parents that wander around with that smug, “look at my spawn” half-smile of pride. This would all be cool – except that there is a concert going on.
But, I will admit, they are pretty cute.
Kids on the reflecting pool at the Patio Sessions, Dallas, Texas
(click to enlarge)
Filming a Mexican Music Video in Klyde Warren Park.
One of the nice things about living in the big evil city is that – if you keep your eyes open – you can see a lot of interesting things.
While I was walking around downtown I crossed from the crowded west section of Klyde Warren Park over into the less-used eastern part. A small group was filming a Mexican Music Video.
It was not a big operation – a guy playing an acoustic guitar wearing sunglasses and a huge blue fake mohawk. There was a photographer with a tiny handheld camera. An assistant with a boombox on a little cart – this was cranking out a tinny version of the tune so the signer could lip-sync along. There was also a video babe in a tight spandex dress and a bright red wig.
She wasn’t in the shot when I passed by – I imagine she does some wiggling at some point.