Finally…A Winter Wonderland

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The Portland Metro Area may have had this much snow fall when I was a young lad, but since I cannot remember clearly I am going to say that in 34 years of life on this good earth in this general area the record has been broken.  Ten inches in less than 24 hours!

I took the day off to go sledding with the wife and kids.  We were at the local sledding hill before 9am so we can get in a second sesh later in the day!

Winter weather is a tremendous creative inspiration not only when I am trudging through shin-deep wet snowfall, but also when I gaze out of my back window staring at random snowfall patterns and the frolicking squirrels so despised by my spouse.  If I weren’t nearly halfway through Dry January I would likely be sipping an Imperial Stout and just zoning out in cozy, slightly inebriated bliss.  Eh, another cup of coffee sounds just as appealing.

Enjoy your day be you out of doors or in!

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Basecamp Brewing Company’s Ultra Gnar Gnar IPA & Backwoods Brewing Company’s Logyard IPA

I realize it has been FOREVERRR since I have blogged!  I figured would write up a couple of reviews for two of the delicious Northwest-style India Pale Ales I drank yesterday!  Behold the Ultra Gnar Gnar IPA from Basecamp Brewing Company in all its hopulent glory!  While BCBC strongly recommends enjoying their brews straight out the can (marketing aesthetic?), I chose to pour this badboy into a 20 oz. tulip glass so as to let it breath.

Nose: Piney

Color: Light-Amber

Taste: Plenty of tropical and citrus notes.  Watermelon detected.

ABV: 6.7%

Overall: Great mouth-feel, nicely carbonated, finishes a bit malty while maintaining a good balance between citrus and pine resin.  No problem dropping $8.99 for a sixer.  As you can see below, typical BCBC flair on the can art.  A strong 4 out of 5.

Ultra Gnar Gnar IPA in a can!

Next up on the docket is Logyard IPA from Backwoods Brewing Company.  Photo courtesy of Untappd.

Logyard IPA

They should have named this one Maui Wowee! Poured this from a can into a 20 oz. tulip glass as well. Fun fact. This is the first beer from Backwoods Brewing Company that I have had the pleasure of drinking and needless to say, I am now looking forward to many more!

Nose: All the pineapples! Seriously, it was like smelling the bottom of a ripe pineapple.

Color: Light-Amber

Taste: You guessed it! Pineapple. Hell, even the finish tasted like pineapple to me.

ABV: 6.7%

Overall: If you like pineapple you will love this IPA. Very mild malt profile that does an excellent job keeping the ale from tasting like pineapple juice. Don’t get it twisted. This is still an IPA. The can art was kind of ho-hum, but I drink beer for the taste not the art. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

The Tortoise and The Crow Tour – The Grouch & Eligh – G&E

IT’S TOMORROW!!!

It will not be tonight because I am sleepy, but tomorrow I plan on doing a write-up with some picturas y videos about the G&E show in Portland, Oregon at The Hawthorne Theater I attended last Tuesday.  Talk about refreshing my drive and reinvigorating my desire to be an agent of change in our world.  Muah!

eligh 1 g&e1 g&e2 g&e3 g&e4 g&e5  grouch 1 grouch 2

“Pack it up.  Pack it in.  Let me begin…”  Let me begin by apologizing for cell phone photos and pretty crappy ones at that!  Grouch is in the red hat.  Eligh is in the gray shirt.  Dj Fresh is in the background on the 1’s and 2’s.

A little background for those unfamiliar with The Grouch and Eligh who go by G&E when recording/performing together.  Grouch is from The Bay.  Eligh is from Midcity LA.  Eligh moved to The Bay around 1995 and at that time The Living Legends and all of their solo and sub-groups began to take shape.  Putting out records and touring without any major label support Grouch and Eligh built their brand(s) through blood, sweat, tears, and most likely a few other fluids we won’t mention at this time.  Both artists eventually moved to LA around the year 2000, but continued to evolve as artists in the best ways as far as image, lyrical content, and production value goes.  Fast forward to 2014.  These gentlemen having been doing this for almost 20 years without a label!  Independent as fuck, indeed!

For their latest release, G&E once again flipped the script by funding the promotion and the nationwide tour through Kickstarter!

The Tortoise & The Crow Triple Album

The funding goal was $50,000 and thanks to almost 1300 individual backers including yours truly, to date they have raised $90,729 and I feel blessed to have been in a position to contribute to that amazing result.

Ok, ok, ok.  I’ll get to the actual show!  This will have been the 2nd G&E concert I have attended.  I have also seen The Grouch and Eligh performing solo dolo so I knew exactly what I was getting myself into.

I was kind of bummed that I missed DJ Fresh setting things off because I am a big fan of his production, but life had other ideas like making sure the family and I had dinner so I was a bit late getting in the door.  A dude from the St. John’s neighborhood in Portland called Saint Warhead was up on stage and while he had skills, his subject matter was the same old shit so I ended up paying more attention to the two strippers dancing on stage with him.  He definitely held the stage down well enough, but due to the lack of exposure and seemingly mundane lyrical content I was just not feelin’ it.

Shortly after son left the stage the next performer greeted me with a familiar face.  Pigeon John, baby!  I love this dude.  Seen him in concert one other time and his energy is infectious.  Plus he is a just a fun, creative, whimsical lyricist.  Oh, and did I mention homey can sing?!  He performed for about 30 minutes with barely a pause doing an amazing job of engaging the crowd and elevating the energy levels in the building.  I need to cop more of his albums because the two I have already are classics and I like supporting artists like this so they can keep doing their thing.

The next artist on the bill was Mad Child of Swollen Members fame!  I honestly did not know what to expect with his set.  I was pleasantly surprised.  His conversations in between songs about how he had been barred from the United States for the last three years due to “a badass drug addiction” and the authentic air of gratitude he expressed during his time on stage engaged the audience on a very real level.  He was so excited to be back performing in the states, sober, and it showed.  His lyrical content was a bit misogynist, but it was also very tongue in cheek so it did not turn off the listener too terribly much.  I love Swollen Members and I love a good redemption story.  Mad Child was that.  He is so grateful for the second chance and seemed to genuinely be trying to make amends and exorcise those demons.  I sincerely hope he stays on the wagon and continues to make good music.  Addiction is no joke and it is heartening to see a person slay that demon to take back their life.

At this point it was time for a potty break and on my way back to my perch in the grownups section of the club I grabbed another Rainier Tallboy at the bar just as the main event was about to jump off.  The next hour and a half  was the best kind of blur.  New material on display in the form of Hella Fresh, Run, and All These Lights was off the Richter scale.  Got to witness the pure joy of a Simple Man a capella and they did Lake Release!  The whole joint was bouncing from the stage to the rafters.

To cap the entire night off as I’m walking out the door there’s the homey Grouch manning the merch booth not more than five minutes after having exited the stage.  I walk up to him, extend my fist, get/give daps and then I was out into the night.