Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Departure from Our Regular Programming....

I may have mentioned on here before that as well as beer and pubs, I love music.

I wish I played a musical instrument to a standard better than the ability to strum a few chords on the guitar. Mrs V on the other hand is sickeningly talented when it comes to music, a classically trained pianist, self taught guitarist, and now she is learning to play the fiddle, and seemingly doing well at it. In particular we love folk music, whether it is traditional Irish and Scottish music, stuff from the Appalachians, or even Eastern European.

A few months ago Mrs V and I went to a concert of a group called Celtic Fiddle Festival and had a great night listening to a combination of Scots, Irish, Breton, and Quebecois music. Well, this weekend is another opportunity for Charlottesville and area folks to enjoy some Quebecois folk music.

On Sunday night a band called De Temps Antan will be playing at The Haven, starting at 7pm, with tickets available at the door for $25, or in advance for $20 from the Blue Ridge Irish Music School. There will also be a workshop with the band from noon at the Charlottesville Waldorf School at $10 a pop for adults and a fiver for kids.

The band's promotional blurb from their website says:
Using Quebec's vibrant living music tradition as a springboard for musical innovation De Temps Antan forms a power trio catapulting audiences headlong into the future of French-Canadian music and culture.

It takes a special blend of musical talents to revisit and revitalize traditional music with equal measures of reverence, humor, Joy, natural ability and breathtaking turn-on-a-dime instrumental virtuosity. Welcome to the musical world of De Temps Antan!

Since 2003, éric Beaudry, André Brunet (Celtic Fiddle Festival) and Pierre-Luc Dupuis have been exploring and performing time-honored songs and melodies been fine tuned and adapted to the needs of each generation. Using fiddle, accordion, harmonica, guitar, bouzouki and foot percussion (among a number of other instruments) these three virtuosos blend boundless energy with the infectious 'joie de vivre.' With De Temps Antan you will enjoy a musical event unlike any other.

For an idea of what to expect see, their promotional video:

Friday, November 9, 2012

On The Decks

I am brewing again today, for the third time in the last seven days. Ok, last Friday was trying not to get in the way at Devils' Backbone during the second brewing of Morana, but it counts. Earlier this week I made use of the last of my extract to make an Oatmeal Milk Stout, made with oat malt, hopped exclusively with Kazbek (thanks Evan!) and is now being fermented by that trusty 1728 Scottish Ale yeast.

Today though I am brewing the second of the big winter hitters for Mrs V's uncle in North Carolina, this time an Export Oatmeal Milk Stout, I am aiming for about 1.083 according to my Hopville recipe, though given the last time I brewed I missed my gravity target, I am reticent to call it an Imperial Oatmeal Milk Stout at this point (see, I can make up styles as well!).

When I woke up this morning, I knew that it definitely wasn't a 'brewing while listening to Morning Classics on NPR' kind of brewday, so here is a selection of tunes that will feature today:

You can't go wrong with ELO really can you?

If you have never heard of Cecile Corbel, I suggest you do so...

Louis Armstrong. Nuff said.

Have a good weekend people!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Union Drinking

Some time back in the Spring I had a Skype chat with my best friend. At the time he was living in Kyiv, Ukraine and during the conversation he was drinking his homebrew pale lager which reminded him of Staropramen. Eventually it transpired that he would be back in the States for a few months, he being American, and that we should get together for a lads' weekend in his hometown of Baltimore.

Thus on Friday morning I took my first train ride in the US, to get from Charlottesville to Washington DC, where once he was finished with work for the day we would meet to make our way up to Baltimore and perhaps have a pint or two over the coming days. With several hours to kill in DC before meeting up, I hopped on the Metro (btw - I love public transport, civilised places have public transport) with the intention of going to Churchkey and sitting with my book for a few hours. Having walked for about 20 minutes from the nearest Metro station, I discovered that Churchkey doesn't open until 4pm. It being only 12.30 I headed back to Union Station to see if I could find one of the pubs I had read about. Just an aside, I know far too many pubs that don't open at a reasonable hour like 11am, I am yet to work out why such places are adverse to the capitalist notion of making money.

Having made it back to the Union Station area, I headed in the vague direction that I remembered there being somewhere to drink from Google Maps. I don't have smart phone and so the idea of navigating by phone is something I don't do. Anyway, half an hour of concerted bimbling lead me to The Union Pub, where I sat gazing in wonder at the Devils Backbone Vienna Lager tap in front of me, I had found my place. There I sat, reading the occasional snippet of David Hume's 'Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion' and feeding money into the juke box - if anyone reading this was assaulted by my choice in music - The Smiths, Rammstein, Die Toten Hosen and Gerry and the Pacemakers, then let me apologise.

Spending a few hours sat a bar, with good beer and a good book really is one of my favourite things to do, and I think whenever I head up to DC again, The Union Pub will be my first choice place to go. They have a really good selection of beer, a nice atmosphere and from my experience of one afternoon, excellent staff. I was almost tempted to get my friend to meet me there rather than at Union Station, but as he had said to me earlier in the day, if we met in a pub we would probably never get to Baltimore...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Brew Tunes

I might brew this weekend. I am working at Starr Hill tomorrow, but Sunday morning is always a nice time to break out the mash tun and kettle. If I do brew then I will make the first batch of this year's LimeLight, my annual witbier with lime peel instead of orange and hopped exclusively with Saaz.

Whenever I brew though, I love to listen to music on my Spotify account, so I though today rather than bang on about something or other in the beer world, I would introduce you to some of the new stuff on my Spotify and give you an insight into what I am listening to at the moment.

Vukovi - Schwagger

I first heard about Vukovi, a Scottish band with a Serbian name that means "the wolves", whilst listening to Vic Galloway on BBC Radio Scotland. You have to love being able to listen to Radio Scotland online! Anyway, they were on his show and did a few live songs, including a heavied up cover of Katy Perry's "Part of Me" which was fantastic. I have become something of a fan, listening to them regularly, and loving this song.

Jakil - Swings and Daffodils

One of my favourite functions on Spotify is the "Related Artists" option, and it was clicking on that from Vukovi that brought this band to my attention, and this track from their EP Swings was the stand out.

The Vatersay Boys - The Gael

Last of the Mohicans is a film that I can watch anytime, and the most distinctive piece of music from it is The Gael. The Vatersay Boys are from the Outer Hebrides and to get my brewing going of a morning there is nothing like listening to some ceilidh music from home.

Vukovi - Vincible

More Vukovi, just because.

Have a great weekend people!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sod the Words

I was planning to write a post about the politics of beer price, but I was listening to some music as I was writing and decided that some tunes would be more uplifting in preparation for the weekend.

Ben Leibrand's 1989 remix of Eve of the War from Jeff Wayne's awesome War of the Worlds.

Jeff Wayne's original - the voice for the uninitiated is Richard Burton.

Continuing the Jeff theme, you can't beat a bit of Jeff Lynne

This song has been something of a theme tune for me this week, and nobody does it better than The Corries.

Have a good weekend people!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

More Brewing Tunes

I am brewing this morning, and perhaps this afternoon as well. Mrs Velkyal is out at a work thing today so I have the flat to myself, which means I get complete control of the stereo (we differ somewhat on the definition of good music), so here are the highlights of today's brewing tunes.

Ah, The Beautiful South, enough said!

ELO, beacause you can't beat a bit of Jeff Lynne

Primal Scream - just what is it exactly you want to do?

Simple, make great beer!!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Perhaps, Perhaps Not, Perhaps Maybe, Who Knows?

I am having one of those days today. The kind of day when you look at the little rich text editor in blogspot and can't quite decide which of the many beery threads floating around your head to focus on.

Do I write about non-alcoholic beer, or should I really research that more before expending writing time on it? What about trying to find out how many people actually brewed (I know of two) as part of the International Homebrew Project? What about some of the home brew recipes to be made in the coming weeks in preparation for my parents visiting from France, and can I persuade them to bring me some French beer?

It's all enough to make you want to go and have a breakfast beer, with plenty in the cellar that wouldn't logistically be a problem, but would I end up just stood there umming and ahhing until I decided to just put the kettle on for a nice cuppa?

The old line I used to be indecisive, but now I am just not sure, comes to mind.

So instead, I will leave you for this week with some tunes and my heartiest wishes for an excellent weekend to one and all, and most of all for a minor miracle - Scotland to win a 6 Nations match, given though it is Italy this week, I am taking nothing for granted.

Love her or hate her, her voice is divine, almost the vocal version of the uilleann pipes in my world.

Something for punks.

This was on an advert for the Palm Pre, musical love at first listen.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Driving Mrs Velkyal

Today is a momentous day in Velkyal World, and one that Mrs Velkyal has been eagerly anticipating since the day we arrived in Charlottesville. Today I got my driving license, at the ripe old age of very nearly 34! People have looked at me with incredulity for years because I couldn't drive, but when you live in Prague for 10 years with its phenomenal metro, tram and bus system, there really is no need to burden yourself with the expense of a car, insurance and petrol (that's gas, and at current prices it is about 4 times as expensive as here in Charlottesville!).

In honour of my passing the test, first time round as well, here are a couple of songs to take you in to the weekend.

By the way - I am now on Twitter, so come follow me!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Brewing Tunes

Once again I am brewing today, for something like the third time in a month. I bottled the Machair Mor yesterday and this morning, while waiting for UPS to deliver a case of beer from Vintage Cellar, I will be making Biere d'épices - my spiced Christmas ale.

While I am brewing, I will of course be listening to some of my favourite music, so here is my selection of brewing tunes for each stage of the process.

1. Steeping the grains: Hope Street - The Levellers

2. Boil: Amerika - Rammstein

3. Hop Additions: Uprising - Muse

4. Chilling The Wort: Obsessions - Suede

5. Pitching the Yeast, Fermentation: The Sun and the Sky - The Violet Burning

Friday, October 9, 2009

Lads Among Heather

I seem to be an eternal expat. I haven't lived in the country I call home in any meaningful sense since 1995 (sure 3 years of that time was living in Birmingham in England, but it counts in my mind). Part of the expat experience is that occassional hankering for something from home, whether that takes the form of haggis on Burns Night, a nice single malt scotch, preferably Talisker, or one the beers that you always held a soft spot for; being the stout drinker I am, I still miss Gillespies. One of the beers I like to drink when these almost melancholic moods hits me is Fraoch, a beer I tried and loved long before I knew anything of beer beyond the megaswill.

Thankfully I have found a supplier of Fraoch, and the other beers that the Williams Brothers make in Alloa, although I still need to find somewhere to get my hands on one of the anniversary bottles - whisky aged Fraoch sounds like a dream to me! So I was really pleased to see that the recent International Beer Challenge awarded the WIlliams Brothers a slew of medals, and in order to mark the occassion I though what between song from the Corries to post here on a Friday than The Lads Among Heather?!

Enjoy the song, and have a good weekend people.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Beer and Cheese

When I read around beer blogs, I find that I am in minority when it comes to things such as music in a pub, in that I like a pub to have either a decent sound system and the occasional band. Having said that, I don't like pubs where the music is so loud that it gets in the way of talking with whoever I am there with. I am yet to reach that point where my sole purpose in going to a pub is to drink, I go primarily to meet with friends, or because I know the bar staff and am happy enough to drink at the bar and chat with them. If you ever see me in a pub drinking alone, it is because I am waiting for someone, or because everyone else was busy and so I brought a book with me - downing pint after pint by myself is just not my thing.

Because I like a pub with music, I have recently been wondering if there is any correlation between what is coming through the speakers and what I feel like drinking, so below are different songs and the beer styles (in some cases specific beers) that they put me in mind of, call it a soundtrack to Friday!

  • Sweet and Tender Hooligan (song is important here not the "video") - Wychwood Hobgoblin
  • Yesterday's Men - a nice pint of mild, ah lovely!
  • Dignity (yeah right after 15 pints!) - Gillespie's Scottish Stout, I used to love that stuff
  • Disarm - Budvar, a beer and music you don't need to think too much about, just plain good all round
  • Folk Police - too much of the imperial stout and I am soon getting homesick, the Peatbog Faeries stoke that fire quite easily

So there you have it, some nice cheesy tunes and beery pairings! have a top weekend people, do good things, like buy calendars! ;)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Porter's Life

This is one of my favourite songs, makes me wonder sometimes how the human race survived so long without all our modern "health" pre-occupation?

If you want your child to grow
Your child to grow, your child to grow
If you want your child to grow
Give him a jar of porter

Chorus:Sing too-ra loo-ra loo-ra-la too-ra loo-ra loo-ra-la
Sing too-ra loo-ra loo-ra-la; give him a jar of porter

When I was young and cradle cake
No drop of milk now would I take
My father up and had his spake
Give child a jar of porter

Chorus:Sing too-ra loo-ra loo-ra-la too-ra loo-ra loo-ra-la
Sing too-ra loo-ra loo-ra-la; give the child a jar of porter

And when I'm dead and in my grave
I hope for me a prayer you'll say
And as you're passin' by
That you'll throw in a jar of porter

Chorus:Sing too-ra loo-ra loo-ra-la too-ra loo-ra loo-ra-la
Sing too-ra loo-ra loo-ra-la; throw in a jar of porter

And when I reach the holy gates
I hope you'll not have long to wait
I'll call St. Peter aside and say
Brought you up a jar of porter

Chorus:Sing too-ra loo-ra loo-ra-la too-ra loo-ra loo-ra-la
Sing too-ra loo-ra loo-ra-la, brought you up a jar of porter

Monday, November 10, 2008

Pub Music

I do most of my drinking in the pub like most beer drinkers, though I am yet to graduate to the elevated status of a “ticker” – the very phrase brings to mind twitchers, who on hearing that a Lesser Spotted African Warbling Tit was blown of course and is now pottering around on Rockall think this is a perfectly good reason to hire a boat to find said tit and hang around with implausibly large binoculars. So while I have a collection of beer in both the fridge and in my Little Cellar, I am not much of a home drinker.

Last week Tandleman posted a link to a report by the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford entitled “The enduring appeal of the local”, essentially a report about what makes a good pub. Given my plans for a business when Mrs Velkyal and I have decamped across the Pond, the report was rather interesting and is proving very useful in formulating my business plan, naturally having to take into account the differences between an American audience and a British, slight though they may be. The report has stimulated a lot of thinking around the question “what is a good pub?” and thankfully confirmed some of my own plans as being on the right track.

The most interesting thing for me was the difference between genders regarding particular reasons for going to a given pub. Both genders main reason was that it has a “warm welcoming cosy atmosphere”, however for the ladies, the second main reason was that it gave them a sense of being part of a community, thirdly that it was lively. The men on the other hand look for places that serve great beer, and then tie third place with the sense of community, serving great beer and having a great landlord.

One thing that I think about quite a bit is the role music plays in pubs, and the range of options that exist. My own preference in pubs I go to is to have background music, but not at a level where it impedes conversation, although Pivovarsky klub has no music at all, this in spite of the fact that they have a decent sound system as well as a piano in the downstairs bar, I have only heard rumour that the piano ever gets played. On the other extreme is Zlatá Hvězda, which quite often has music so loud to just end up staring at your friends.

I am a big fan of the juke box, although few pubs in Prague take the bother to keep them up to date – which is probably just as well for me as I am really so far out of the loop on what is popular these days, one of the joys of living a life without television and only the World Service for radio, part of that is laziness because I can’t be bothered to tune to the radio to a Czech music station and then back again in the evening. I am also a fan of live music in pubs, and would love to have reasonably regular nights with bands in my place, in particular local bands with the occasional semi-famous band with a cult following.

One of the things I want to avoid though is for my musical tastes to become a dictatorship in my pub, unless of course the regulars don’t mind an eclectic mix of The Smiths, Wolfstone, The Chieftains, Nirvana and of course Starflyer 59 – who in my dream world would be the live band on opening night. I am acutely aware that the style of music a pub plays regularly affects the kind of customers that it attracts, thus I wouldn’t play lots of Rammstein, even though I enjoy their music, neither on the other side would I play the overtures to Mozart’s operas.

Old Friends: Joseph's Brau PLZNR

I have to admit that there really are not that many things that I miss as a result of this pandemic. I am sure that comes as something of a ...