Archive for the ‘music’ Tag

Weekend Runs 21-22 October 2017   1 comment

 

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
USPS Creed

The weekend runs tested my resolve with cold, rain, wind, and pre-dawn darkness; not exactly the Postman’s Creed, but most of us really think of the “Going Postal” version of the motto à la Newman from Seinfeld.  In fact, when a colleague asked, “was someone chasing you?” in reference to my mention of 30 miles on trail this weekend I replied, “only my demons,” before I realised I really had an opinion.

 

 

 

Saturday, I did an 8½ mile loop out to the canal path (where someone has dredged a scooter from the depths where the A40 crosses), through Northolt and back to the diy shop to pick up some varnish for a garden project. The wind was brutal and even dislodged a traffic light while I was waiting to cross the street at Northolt Station.

 

 

 

We had a busy day planned Sunday so, in order to be home in time to shower and get out to Uxbridge by 11, I left an hour-and-a-half before sunrise on my 21½ mile journey to Clapham Junction.

 

 

Hitting the canal at the same spot in Greenford as the previous morning, I worked my way south to the longer branch that passes below Ealing.  At a park along the way, I was intrigued by this beached rowboat with the WATER DONKEY sign.  If anyone can explain it, you are a better man than me; if anyone DOES explain it, I regain the high ground.

 

 

The route merged onto the River Brent path as twilight allowed me to holster my torch which would be a great euphemism; not as great as “Prize Length of Piling,” but not bad.

 

The transition to the downstream sections of the Thames Path required a stretch of street running through Brentford where a lovely collection of pubs taunted me with their pulled curtains and gated doorways.  I’ll be back, though, mark my words.

 

 

This year’s World Series involves the Astros and the Dodgers, two of my least favourite baseball teams, but them’s the breaks.  It was good to see that someone with a spray can is also patiently waiting for the Cubs’ return to form, next year:

 

 

Just before the Brent highway segment, there were several impressive weirs and railway bridges.  Following on, I eventually crossed to the south side of the Thames via the stately Kew Gardens Bridge and dodged the now-legion runners and cyclists that wait for a decent hour to get out for their morning constitutional.

 

 

On the far side of the Putney Bridge sits a Wetherspoons called the Rocket in an early-1960s office building that looks as if it was just built (a rarity in that era of Stalinist architecture).  Alas, the bar was not yet open (food only till 9) so to its sister pub, the Asparagus, I struggled.

 

 

After my long-overdue pint, I finished the journey at Clapham Junction.  I think there is a subconscious battle going on in my feeble mind.  Every time I catch a train here, I get songs by Squeeze stuck in my head but NEVER the one you would think.  Typing this up over coffee Tuesday morning, I’m still struggling to supplant Pulling Mussels From A Shell with any other earworm.

 

 

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Posted October 24, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Running, Tourism

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The Elephant and Castle, Kensington, London   Leave a comment

 

Pub #1935 (and just a stone’s throw from The Goat which was Pub #35, exactly 1900 stops and approximately 8½ years ago):

The sign on the door of the Elephant and Castle stated, “No Soiled Clothing Allowed On These Premises” which would normally exclude me since most of my pub stops involve running or, if late in the night, being somewhat soiled in general. But, this trip I was just killing time in the neighbourhood while the wife was interviewing for a job and I was actually presentable.

Unfortunately for documentation, I was only carrying my burner phone (the iPhone I bought from a junkie in Amsterdam a few years ago — and which I usually use for GPS and photography — had to be hacked to use at all and can’t be activated for telephony). The photos the burner takes were considered pretty good 20 years ago but are lower resolution than thumbnails are now. I stole the main photo, above, from the Interwebs (the rest are what the phone did).

 

 

The pub is gorgeous inside, too, and there were 5 real ales on. I had one that spoofed Star Wars (a dark ale I think was called Dark Vader). Pretty good stuff. I took it to the small back room where there was just one other guy and another proclamation declaiming dirty clothing.

 

 

“What’s that playing?” I asked the barmaid. She turned the monitor toward me to show me “Gotan Project,” which had been on for several consecutive cuts.

“I can’t decide if I would like that on at home or if it would…”
“…bore the piss out of you?” My compatriot completed my thought not quite accurately, adding, “I felt that way about the Buena Vista Social Club but I think I’m going to go home and play it now.” He got up and left.

A few minutes later, I left as well, passing the former home of Radclyffe Hall.  On the wait for Jackie to finish her interrogation I was reading some NPR news blurbs online and noted that it is now the 20th anniversary of the release of the album. Neato.

 

Posted September 27, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Lock & Quay, Hayes, London   Leave a comment

 

Pub #1903:

I needed some stuff from a DIY store so I ran to the B&Q, Sunday.  With some time to kill before the shop closed, I popped into the Lock & Quay for a quick pint.

The beer selection was a bit bleak or, rather, yuppie-leaning so I wound up with a pint of a Brewdog IPA with some dickish name attached to it.  All the shade on the water was taken up with diners and civilised looking folk so I sat my sweaty ass in a window directly behind the jazz combo playing for our, the waterfowl’s, and the fishing enthusiasts’ pleasure.

 

 

They wrapped up a little number just as I sat down and I saw on the sheet music that the next one up was Bésame Mucho with only the bass, keyboards, and sax involved — nice!  The drummer returned and the sax man picked up his clarinet as they moved on to Groove Merchant (another perfectly copacetic piece).  If only the shower door didn’t need a seal, I could have stayed for at least one more beer.

 

Posted August 21, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in music, Pubs

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There’s Always Room For Jello   Leave a comment

Browsing the settings for Google Calendar, I stumbled upon this:

 

 

There’s your earworm for the day!  You’re welcome.

Posted August 8, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Made Me Laugh, music

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New (old) CDs   Leave a comment

 

Friday, we didn’t have anything planned so we took a ride to Portobello Market.  Not the part that the tourists go to (or the Japanese that are obsessed with the movie Notting Hill) but up in the formerly crappy part* of Notting Hill near Ladbroke Grove.  (*By crappy, I mean an area that would probably make you lot a bit jumpy but in which I felt as if it were a home-from-home when I first set foot there a few years back).  There is another section of the market far from the London tourism themed tat on offer down by the start at Hyde Park; you can find it, but I’m not offering directions.

 

 

Along the way, Jackie’s librarian senses sparked to life and she nudged me to look at the schoolboy a few seats down.  Good lad.  Good lad.

Somewhere in the book in which he was immersed, track 2 of the Mad Mongols compilation I picked up would have been referenced:

 

 

The Mongols are worth a listen if you like the whole psychobilly genre (we’ve seen the Reverend far too many times and have a shelf of records crammed with Cramps, Shack Shakers, Flat Duo Jets, Southern Culture on the Skids, and the Red Elvises, so this was a nice addition to the slap-bass collection.

The best of the three records was similar but authentically from the rockabilly era.  These were all singles of folks I never heard of but they fucking rock.  And, best of all was this liner note about Howie Casey of Howie Casey and the Seniors:

“After falling on hard times in the ’70s, Howie was reduced to playing in Paul McCartney’s dire lounge rock combo Wings.”

 

 

Posted July 8, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in music

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The Old Nun’s Head, Nunhead, London   Leave a comment

 

About halfway to Peckham Rye from Nunhead Cemetery, we came over a bit thirsty and popped into the Old Nun’s Head for a short one.  Nice pub: they have the drunken octopus hooks I think all pubs should have and Jackie was quite happy with the funky music the barkeeper selected (it HAD to be him, judging from the appearance of everyone else backstage).

 

 

And, abandoned at 2pm on Thursday but the food offerings look really grand (especially the pop-up nights…Thursday was Indian street food which looked grand as I watched the prep through the kitchen window, and Wednesday is Greek food with the corny theme “I should be Souvlaki“).

 

 

Jackie got a Chardonnay (verdict: refreshing) and I got a pint split between 3 thirds of Hop Stuff Arsenal Pale Ale, Hop Stuff Renegade IPA (best of the bunch), and Signature American Pale Ale which, since the pump clip is only labeled once they measure ABV, I had the most hope for but, alas, it was a bit low-key.

Oh, there were Nun’s Head themed images all over.  This would have been annoying were it not for the fetishistic aspects of some of them.

 

 

Posted July 8, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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May Early Bank Holiday Charity Shop Finds (Martini recipe)   Leave a comment

They tried to make me go to rehab
I said, no, no, no

We were dumping off some stuff at a charity shop the first day of the Bank Holiday weekend and found something, as usual, to take home with us: Martini glasses! Four for £2! This prompted us to buy some vermouth for the bar, some stuffed olives for the finished product, and to seek out suitable music.

In vinyl, we struck gold for the cocktail hour: in pristine condition, Frank Sinatra’s Come Fly With Me and …Sings For Only The Lonely. However, we didn’t find these until the penultimate stop of our foraging trip and, in the meantime, racked up these CDs:

Amy Winehouse Back In Black
Iggy Pop Live at the Hippodrome Paris 1977
Slim Gaillard and Babs Gonzales Shuckin’ and Jivin’
Elmore James Canton Crusade (1951-56)
Strut That Thing: Essential Recordings of Piano Blues and Boogie
And, a four CD set of Classic Doo-Wop Vocal Groups
R.E.M. Automatic For The People

How bad can the rest of the weekend be when it starts this well?

Make it one for my baby, and one more
For the road

The martini is this one (makes 2):

3 shots of Greenall’s gin
3 shots of Cinzano dry vermouth
3 dashes of Angostura bitters (hence the colour)
6 olives with pimentos

Stir with ice, strain and decorate with the olives.

I know.  If you use bitters it should be orange bitters and a lighter hand.  And, the vermouth is a lot more than most would expect from me, but this really is a sublime mix.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend, y’all.

Posted April 29, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Booze, music

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