Saturday, June 27, 2015

Latest Listening Pleasure 19... Lindemann

Lindemann is a new supergroup of only two people.  Till Lindemann, lead singer of the German band Rammstein and Swedish multi-instrumentalist, singer and producer Peter Tagtgren, known for his bands Hypocrisy and - my favorite - Pain.

So, last year Peter was working with his band Hypocrisy while I was biding my time until he would finish that up and start on a new Pain album.  I've listened to Hypocrisy but, as much as I like Peter, that music just doesn't appeal to me.  While I have grown more accustomed to the cookie monster* stuff, I really do not care for that kind of vocal.  I sometimes like it better as an accent to the music and regular vocals, like in Amaranthe, my previous LLP post.   Turns out that the timing was right for friends Peter and Till to work on an album together, instead.  Skills In Pills was released this past Tuesday.  I had it pre-ordered so it was here when I got home from work that day.

This album is different than anything I have heard in a while.  For Till, this is the first time he sings an entire album in English.  And Peter, well, he does everything else.  He played all the instruments, wrote all the music, engineered and produced the album.  Just another day at the office for him.  He is the driving force in Hypocrisy, though there are two other full members, and Pain is all Peter Tagtgren until it's time to play live.  This music here is actually very near to what I would have expected from another Pain album, Till's vocals and lyrics are what make this album unusual.  I must say that even I was taken aback a little bit the first time I saw the video for Praise Abort, below.  Other song titles include the title track Skills In Pills, Ladyboy, Fish On, Golden Shower and Fat.  It's hard to say if he is really disturbed or just trying to shock people.  Doesn't matter, really.  Other than worrying what bad words the neighbors may hear, the album sounds great and it has a good flow to it.  Like I said before, the music is not far off from what I would expect from Pain, and I really love that project.

Below is the first video from the album, for the song Praise Abort.  NOT safe for work!

I've had the album for less than a week, but it has fast become my latest listening pleasure.  Check out all my other LLP posts below!

Previous LLP Posts...
LLP 1 - Pain
LLP 2 - Nightwish
LLP 3 - Die Antwoord
LLP 4 - Pain part 2
LLP 5 - Andrew Bird
LLP 6 - Nightwish part 2
LLP 7 - Paramore
LLP 8 - Newsted
LLP 9 - U.D.O.
LLP 10 - Nightwish Imaginaerum Movie
LLP 11 - Kiss
LLP 12 - Rick Springfield
LLP 13 - Hyrax
LLP 14 - In This Moment
LLP 15 - Faster Pussycat
LLP 16 - Sebastian Bach
LLP 17 - Cradle Of Thorns
LLP 18 - Amaranthe
LLP 19 - Lindemann

*You know the sound.  Or just do your impression of Sesame Street's Cookie Monster, right now, out loud.  Okay, now sing in that voice.  That's the kind of vocals I'm talking about.  I tend not to listen to bands that do that.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Mother F**kers Day 2015

We began MF's Day (also known as Father's Day) weekend with my in-laws.   Saturday evening all of my wife's family - 8 of us adults and 3 older boys - came over for a meal and perhaps a fire, if the weather would allow.  The weather did not allow and we had to host all inside.  And by the time it did there were only 5 of us, it was past 7, and I thought it was too late to commit to a fire when the rest would leave in an hour or so.  We do want to have a firepit for my father-in-law, but we will have to start it earlier, and right when he arrives, for maximum enjoyment for all.  My wife cooked up a spread of grilled tenderloin roast, babyback ribs, grilled shrimp, and for dessert a mixed berry crisp.  The food was absolutely amazing, I'm not sure her family realizes the time and expense she puts into these spreads - especially with beef prices these days.  She does take too much upon herself, I think.  I'm always there willing to help but she seems to want it done 'right' or something....

Yesterday, Sunday, we met my Dad and his wife Pat out for a late lunch at a nearby restaurant.  Also out for the occasion were my brother and his family and his wife's parents, they're close.  My father has had a rough time lately with his health and it seems to have aged him quite a bit.  He has had several emergency room visits recently leading to having a pacemaker installed.  I am glad he is feeling better, but he is no longer the robust man I rebelled against as a teenager.  In fact, he reminded me of his mother who we lost earlier this year.  His speech and mannerisms had slowed.  I realized more than ever that my father is actually an old man.  There is history here, my father and I have not been anywhere near 'close' for a long time now.  Well, they let me know they were in town this time, at least.  Pat tried to make it a surprise but he saw my email reply.  I'm glad I got to see them, thank you, Pat.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Craft Brew Dinner #3

20150615_200547Once again we enjoyed one of  Dexter's Pub's Heritage Series dinner events, their 5th overall - the second one was canceled and we skipped the third one (Goose Island Brewery) because we didn't care much for the menu.  It happened this past Monday evening, I just totally forgot to write about it all week.  We were once again joined by my friend Ted, and we ran into a co-worker of his and his wife/girlfriend.  They were a very nice couple, fun and talkative, easy to like.  The brewery featured this month was Alaskan Brewing Co. so the food kind of followed an Alaskan theme with salmon pate and bear sausage among the dishes.  Overall  a good 6 courses, we were satisfied and full by the end.  I wasn't even able to finish the chocolate pound cake that was for dessert!  Ted's friends had a good idea, they brought to-go containers to take some of the food home.  Of course, Dexter's Pub has to-go containers anyway but I've never thought to use them at one of these dinners.

The beers we tried were good but nothing exceptional.  There were two IPAs, one a double IPA that I just couldn't get down.  My wife and I are not hops fans normally and I found the double IPA to be very perfume-y for my taste.  There were no sour beers at this dinner (but we had a couple last night at Malt House, including an 18 dollar, 750 ml bottle of local New Glarus Brewing's Serendipity.)  I guess I'm really starting to like the sour beers.

The Alaskan Brewing Company's representative was a young woman, Megan, who had her two kids there to 'help' and her parents showed up late as the dinner was beginning.  It actually wasn't terribly annoying, but in my opinion I would have liked a bit more professionalism.  We were spending 45 bucks a head for dinner, after all.  I enjoy when they give you more history of the brewery and the beers they serve you.  One brewery even had a slide show of the brewery and such playing on a nearby TV and the rep would point out certain things as he discussed them.  There was no free pint glass for us like the other dinners, but she did do some trivia and gave away some brewery swag and Dexter's gift certificates.  Overall another very nice dinner.  Probably ranks third of the three we have been to, but still a very good time.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Vinca and Mrs Scoakat Blogs!

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My wife had this past week off for vacation and - among lots of other things - she has weeded the hell out of the stump area.  You see the hostas around the stump, and all the other green stuff in the picture, left, is a ground cover called Vinca.  She has been trying to get the stuff to cover the area for a year or two now.  In fact, there are nine more plants out on the porch right now waiting to be planted.  The soil has been a bit wet recently, but they will be in the ground very soon.
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I'm also quite proud to announce that she has begun posting recently on our garden website.  I am the Sco, and she is the Kat, after all.  My posting over the years there has mainly been to keep a record of the happenings of the garden.  Sometimes diary-like, and not very exciting.  She brings a refreshing view and personality to the site that I didn't.  She's off to a great start and I can't wait to read more.
Visit the Scoakat's Garden website and check out her posts!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

6 Doors 1 Wall

...and a creaky wood floor.

Email readers click here to see the video.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Spring Party 2015

Art provided by the neighborhood kids
We had our annual spring party on Saturday.  We missed last year due to personal reasons but otherwise have had a spring party every year since we bought the house.  Again we invited friends, neighbors and some co-workers to come by for Bratwurst, apple baked beans, several salads and this year we got a quarter barrel of beer - Wisconsin Amber from the local Capital Brewery.  I grilled up 60 brats as usual and had the garage all cleaned and set up for the food line and tried to make as much space as I could in case we all had to huddle there.  The weather was not ideal, up and down in the 50's, and while it started out pretty damp it did clear up as the party went on.  It was nice to see all the people that did show up, despite the weather.

We actually were not sure what to expect this year.  We had skipped the year before and all week the weather was looking iffy for Saturday.  We had ordered the 1/4 barrel of beer the weekend before, then I got a call mid-week saying they could not get a 1/4 barrel of this amber beer but they could get a 1/6 barrel, 56-12 oz beers.  I agreed readily with the weather on my mind.  Then on Saturday I went to pick it up and they said 'good news, we got your 1/4 barrel!'  Well, I was thinking, I was happy with 1/6 barrel and did not appreciate the switch back without being informed, but I took it.  Turns out that even with the less than ideal weather we would have run out with the smaller keg.  I also thought it odd that we went through all that beer but only half the brats.  I'll chalk that up to better beer and to the ever-growing vegetarian population of the neighborhood.  As one of the cute little neighborhood girls told me, it's not that she doesn't like meat but she doesn't like that it comes from animals.  I can't argue with that.
Beer Drunk and Disappointed

It was only after the party when it was down to me and Kate with only two other people that I realized I had not taken a single picture all night.  I was drunk on beer and very disappointed in myself.  Bridget caught my disappointment on her phone and emailed it to me, right.  Oh well, I'll have to try to remember next year.  And I honestly cannot remember the last time I got drunk on beer.  I'll taste beer and even have a beer, it's been happening more and more lately, but beer is not my first drink of choice.

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Next day, killin' the keg!
The next day we finished off the Wisconsin Amber, there were only a half dozen or so glasses left in the barrel.  I got a picture of Kate, left, getting one of those last glasses.  And I got a picture of one thing that we have not had at our home yet, sidewalk chalk!  Some of the neighborhood kids created art on our driveway, picture above, and sidewalk during the party yesterday.  For some reason I felt almost honored, happy they felt comfortable enough to do so and not worry about the big scary man getting angry.  I did have to joke with a couple of the neighbor dads about reporting the vandalism, we laughed and got another beer.

Everyone seemed to have a good time even if it was a bit chilly and windy.  I would have liked to talk to each a bit more but that is hard when your are the host, you are the one thing that all those invited have in common.  We did not have a firepit afterwards like we have always done in the past because it makes for such a long day.  Still, we had plenty of fun and enjoyment to last until next spring!  Or at least next weekend!

On a personal note I would like to send out my best wishes to my father who just had a pacemaker installed and, separately, to my mother who is recovering from knee replacement surgery.  See, it's not just me, the whole family is falling apart!