It 's impossible to review everything, so forgive my misses. Don't say I point high - my average over the week sits around 70/100. Plus (+++) indicates wines which will improve with proper cellaring. Prices vary from you know to wherever... I list Aussie Dollars.
Sunyatawent to a concert that reminded him of a band we played in. We played Dead and ZZ and Allmans thrash on everything in 1974. The concert he saw was LucyW and Buick Six:
Obliged to say I saw Lucinda Williams last night, and that her band Buick Six opened unannounced with a set if their own, in which no words were sung except a short bit of Beck-like chorus-ey vocalisation at one point, and, that they used the same methods and gags as we once did, and I don’t say that lightly. Good for them, but I was taken a bit strangely by it all. There is obviously a context, but I am finding what bands do lately just uncanny. They started with randomly directed perverse noises evolving into Dead-like meanderings building to a proper hard working riff like the Allmans, breaking into Apache from the The Shadows several times as a cop this chorus, then back to the scrabble, ending in an elevated freak-out with underlying structure. Then they did it again, several times. The sound of two Gibsons being played very loud and frantic in that piping voice they have is primal. On the last tune, the drummer came forward to play an odd assortment of deep percussion objects and then one of the guitar players put down his little black guitar and went back up to the standard kit and sat down to join in with what turned out to be a very Allmans one big slam per bar hard drive as the guitarist left playing went so close to climax choruses of One Way Out it didn’t matter. The whole time I did not know what to feel. I was impressed and pissed off, no, more like frustrated, all at the same time. Why is that? Not nostalgia. Partly because they did not break into a sweat to do any of this. We may have been rough at times, but there was passion. Doesn’t matter though, they have learned to keep it all in the head. I felt strange because these were extremely accomplished players and what they were doing was so mannered and labelled and clever, but of course ultimately irresistible. The museum of white straight ahead rock music without black affectations. Not one of them looked like a professional musician - more like cheaply dressed science undergraduates whose mathematical minds allow them to navigate fretted instruments. Having torn the place (Hamer Hall, which is an opera theatre with a very good sound) to shreds for about twenty minutes, they stopped. They then came out and played behind the diva with great electric country accomplishment, as the tunes worked their way back to the Crazy Horse playing Beethoven level. There gave really good, transcendent playing for her. Four people did all this damage. Lucinda was in good shape. According to her intro, the band was so interesting to listen to at sound checks she started getting them to open, which probably explains the lack of sweat. She closed with what visiting American acts are prone to do lately, a respectable in the aisle homage of It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Want To Rock and Roll). Saw Gillian Welch close with that in Melbourne, introduced as an old Australian folk song she had found. The third encore was a Jimi Hendrix song.
How can I live with this burden?
And yet they call her The Muse.
They say: "You and she by the meadow..."
They talk of a "Divine Murmur..."
She pulls you around worse than a fever,
Then for a whole year, not a word!
The Last Toast
I drink to home, that is lost,
To evil life of mine,
To loneness in which we’re both,
And to your future, fine, --
To lips by which I was betrayed,
To eyes that deathly cold,
To that the world is bad and that
We were not saved by God.
Anna Akhmatova 1937
“I only drank professionally", Leonard Cohen says of his more absorbent days. "I found this wine: it was Chateau Latour. The experts talk about the bouquet and the tannins and the fruit and the symphonies of tastes. But nobody talks about the high. Bordeaux is a wine that vintners have worked on for 1,000 years. Each wine has a specific high, which is never mentioned.”
“Recently we were quoted in the City Beat Summer Guide as saying that we call Moscato d’Asti ‘the Zombie Detector’ because if you don’t like it you are probably dead. What the editor cut out (and what made the reporter do a spit take and nearly fall off his chair when we said it) was that we also noted that ‘neurologists will tell you that there are receptors for crack cocaine and marijuana right in your brain...well, the one for Moscato d’Asti is right between them’
WINE EXPO, SANTA MONICA
You have to be always drunk.
That's all there is to it
—it's the only way.
So as not to feel the horrible burden of time
that breaks your back
and bends you to the earth,
you have to be continually drunk.
But on what?
Wine, poetry or virtue, as you wish.
But be drunk.
And if sometimes,
on the steps of a palace
or the green grass of a ditch,
in the mournful solitude of your room,
you wake again,
drunkenness already diminishing or gone,
ask the wind, the wave, the star,
the bird, the clock,
everything that is flying,
everything that is groaning,
everything that is rolling,
everything that is singing,
everything that is speaking. . .
ask what time it is and wind,
wave, star, bird, clock will answer you:
"It is time to be drunk!
So as not to be the martyred slaves of time,
be continually drunk!
On wine, on poetry or on virtue as you wish."
Translated by Louis Simpson
I only find within my bones
A taste for eating earth and stones.
When I feed, I feed on air,
Rocks and coals and iron ore.
My hunger, turn. Hunger, feed,
A field of bran.
Gather as you can the bright
Eat the rocks a beggar breaks,
The stones of ancient churches' walls;
Pebbles, children of the flood,
Loaves left lying in the mud.
Beneath the bush a wolf will howl
Spitting bright feathers
From his feast of fowl:
Like him, I devour myself.
Waiting to be gathered
Fruits and grasses spend their hours;
The spider spinning in the hedge
Eats only flowers.
Let me sleep! Let me boil
On the altars of Solomon;
Let me soak the rusty soil,
And flow into Kendron.