This month:

  • Chicago: Feelin’ Stronger Every Day
  • Black Sabbath: Planet Caravan
  • Simple Minds: Don’t You (Forget About Me)
  • Judas Priest: Parental Guidance
  • Joe Strummer: Ramshackle Day Parade
  • Dave Mathews: Everyday
  • Unlimited Dream Factory: Open & Close
  • E.S.T: A Picture Of Doris Travelling With Boris
  • 24-Spyz: Earth And Sky
  • DJ Shadow: Erase You
  • Rush: Sweet Miracle
  • Arthur Loves Plastic: I’ll Be There
  • Aquabats: Danger Woman
  • Joe Strummer: Burnin’ Streets
  • Alexi Murdoch: All My Days
  • Washed Out: All I Know
  • Public Enemy: Revolutionary Generation
  • Lemon Jelly: ’75 aka Stay With You
  • Rush: Making Memories
  • e.s.t. – Esbjorn Svensson Trio: The Left Lane
  • Aquabats: Waterslides!
  • Peter Gabriel: Us
  • MCAB: Smiling for my honey
  • Emmylou Harris: Michelangelo
  • Rush: Out Of The Cradle
  • Tom Cochrane: Life Is a Highway
  • Lemon Jelly: Closer
  • Butthole Surfers: Jet Fighter
  • CAKE: Shadow Stabbing
  • The Roots: Web
  • Tino: Tino’s Beat
  • MCAB: The second page
  • Tino: D-U-B Dub
  • Michael Franti & Spearhead: Sometimes
  • Aimee Mann: Phoenix

The winners:

I’ll be deleting the following files around the end of July:

It also occurs to me that I’ve been skipping out on some of the video slugs from my Drink Time Faves😦
I’m gonna correct this!

  • Earth and Sun and Moon (Midnight Oil):
    • A live recording for “Outbreak of Love”:
    • A video for “My Country”:
    • “Truganini”:
    • “In the Valley”:
  • The Sound of Sunshine (Michael Franti and Spearhead):
    • The Sound of Sunshine
    • Say Hey (I love you)
    • Hey Hey Hey
    • I’ll be waiting

midnight-oil-16785-earth-and-sun-and-moon
For this month’s offering, I decided to go with a drink and a meal that both is as inspiringly straightforward as the recording that I selected and (like the recording) harkens a bit back to my days in the Navy. The drink that I am going with is none other than Boddington’s Cream Ale, a drink that I actually enjoyed during my first visit to London back in 1997.
boddingtons
I’m eating along with it a pretty simple homemade lamb vindalu, another dish that I had during my first visit to London. It’s not the prettiest dish to look at, but that, Midnight Oil, and the Boddington’s are hitting the spot right about now:)

  • Artist: Midnight Oil
  • Recording: Earth and Sun and Moon
  • Year / Label:1993 / Sprint / Columbia
  • Track Listing
    1. Feeding Frenzy
    2. My Country
    3. Renaissance Man
    4. Earth And Sun And Moon
    5. Truganini
    6. Bushfire
    7. Drums Of Heaven
    8. Outbreak Of Love
    9. In The Valley
    10. Tell Me The Truth
    11. Now Or Never Land
  • FromWikepedia:

    Midnight Oil’s Earth and Sun and Moon album, produced with Nick Launay, was released on 20 April 1993 and peaked at No. 2 on the ARIA Albums Chart, top 20 in Sweden and Switzerland, Top 50 on Billboard 200, and top thirty in the UK albums chart. The single “Truganini” referenced multiple issues, including the ‘last’ Tasmanian Aboriginal, the treatment of indigenous artist Albert Namatjira, the Australian flag debate, and republicanism. Liner notes for the single claimed “Truganini was the sole surviving Tasmanian Aborigine, the last of her race, when she died in 1876.” The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, representing over 7000 contemporary Tasmanians, called for the single to be boycotted as it perpetuated a ‘white’ myth about the extinction of Tasmanian Aborigines. Their Native Title claims hinged upon establishing links with ancestral lands. Gary Morris, their manager, responded with, “My suggestion to these people is to stop shooting themselves in the foot and let a band like Midnight Oil voice its appeal to White Australia on behalf of Black Australia”. Critics contended that Morris disparaged Indigenous Australians’ ability to represent themselves and overestimated Midnight Oil’s ambassadorial powers while diminishing their errors, while some indigenous activists saw benefit in Midnight Oil’s highlighting of the issues. Nevertheless, “Truganini” released in March peaked at No. 10 on the ARIA singles charts, No. 10 on Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks and No. 4 on their Modern Rock Tracks charts, and top thirty for the UK charts.[4]

  • From AllMusic:

    If Earth and Sun and Moon isn’t Midnight Oil’s best effort, it’s certainly close. The band still sticks to themes that are close to its heart — the environment, native peoples, and other social causes — but rarely has it managed to fashion an album full of songs that are as musically intoxicating as on this 1993 release. “My Country” is full of jangling guitars and keyboards; the punchy title track has an infectious singalong harmony; and “Bushfire” adds some mean wah-wah guitar. The Oils managed to score some radio play on AOR and modern rock stations with the bracing “Truganini,” the dramatic, piano-tinged rocker “Drums of Heaven,” and the grinding shuffle of “Outbreak of Love.” A satisfying release for longtime fans and new converts alike.

  • From me:This is probably the most consistent CD that Midnight Oil has released to date. No gimmicks, no fancy production techniques, no experimental instrumentation, and nary a weak spot in the collection. This entire CD consists of well-written songs expertly performed and fervently sung.
  • Impressions:

    All I can say is that Earth and Sun and Moon has held up very well for me over the past 20+ years since I first heard it. I love it just as much – even more so – now as I did back then.

Since this past Friday, Carrie has been in Utah spending time with her family and the kids, who have been at their grandparents for the past 2 weeks and some change. I’ve been taking this rare me-alone-at-home time to catch up on some writing and a hobby that I have not had a chance to indulge in for far too long- homebrewing!:

  • Every so often I brew a “kitchen sink” batch of beer that serves to use up some old ingredients that I’ve bought during the past year  or so  (or longer) but for various reasons have never gotten around to using. Case in point: I was going to attempt making a sake, but never did, and therefore have wound up with a vial of Sake yeast and five ounces of rice solids, and I have a half-packet of champagne yeast from when I was making cider and ginger beer a couple of winters ago. After some consultation, I went to Sound Homebrew Supply and bought the following for the mash:
    • 4 lbs 2 row
    • 1 lb Rice flakes
    • 1.5 lbs Crystal Malt
    • 1.5 lbs Honey Malt

    I also bought a vial of old Belgium Whitbier yeast, figuring that the three old yeasts together should be potent enough together to form the basis of a decent starter culture. I’m planning on stirring in my rice solids right at bottling time. I  am using some old  hops that we have been keeping in our freezer. If  this recipie does not work out, at least I’ll only be out $18:)

  • I’ve taken to brewing Kumboucha! I obtained a scoby from a friend and have so far made about a half-dozen or so batches. Every batch gets flavored a bit differently – so far I’ve experimented with lemon-ginger, straight ginger, prunes and golden raisins. Today, I am trying dried cherries.
  • One of my coworkers and I are trying our hand at distilling. We are making an eastern European drink called Rakia using 40+ pounds of frozen plums that I harvested last year. Today I made a simple syrup from 10 pounds of raw sugar and poured that over a bucket containing the plums. In about a month and a half, it should be ready for  the next stage.

 

journey_inwards

For the better part of 2001 this dual CD-Set was my main go-to material for most things chillout and downtempo. I first heard “Sunrain” as part of a sampler and was intrigued enough to go out and buy the physical CD from a store in Aiea, Hawaii. Years later, some of these tracks I still view as being essential to my overall active collection.

In coming up with a drink for this recording, I wanted something that, like much of “Journey Inwards”, exemplified a sense of low-key yet vibrant coolness. I also wanted something that was a bit playful and joyful.  Then, in a fit of nascent Whovian inspiration, it came to me:

May I introduce to you –  the Tonic Screwdriver (recipe mine):

In a cocktail mixer, shake together 1 cup of ice, 1 part Orange Juice and 1 part quality Gin (I’ve had this with Endeavor Pink from The Liberty Distillery in Vancouver and Seattle’s own Batch 206 Counter Gin); pour into a highball and add tonic to taste (I recommend 2 parts for each part of Orange Juice and Gin).

  • Artist: LTJ Bukem
  • Release: Journey Inwards
  • Year / Label: 2000 / Good Looking Records
  • Track Listing
    • Disc One
      1. Journey Inwards
      2. Watercolours
      3. Rhodes To Freedom
      4. Our World
      5. Undress your mind
      6. Point of View
      7. View Point
    • Disc Two
      1. Sunrain
      2. Deserted Vaults
      3. Inner Guidance
      4. Close to the source
      5. Suspended Space
      6. Unconditional Love
      7. Feel what you feel
  • From Wikipedia:
    • Journey Inwards is the first full-length release by drum and bass artist LTJ Bukem which is composed entirely of his own music. It was released in 2000 as a double-CD and a quadruple-LP on Bukem’s own Good Looking Records label.

  • From AllMusic:
    • Ten years on from the beginning of his mixing career, and following the release of literally dozens of compilations focusing on tracks and producers from his Good Looking/Looking Good empire, LTJ Bukem finally released an album of his own. As any listener who’s heard a single from any label headed by Bukem will probably be able to guess, his focus here is not quite standard drum’n’bass, but a set of earthy breaks inspired by the smoother end of ’70s jazz and fusion. Compared to the other jungle pioneers who’ve recorded expansive double-disc albums (4 Hero, Roni Size, Goldie), Bukem’s is most similar in concept and sound to 4 Hero’s Two Pages, an organic LP with midtempo breakbeats and earthy workouts for instrumentalists (not programmers). Even more than 4 Hero, however, Bukem’s focus on non-commercial, non-vocal productions is both confident and exemplary. Though it’s been easy (and perhaps, necessary) to fault Bukem in the past for aping his influences, Journey Inwards makes it practically impossible — especially in the context of these productions, so beautiful, so detailed, so precisely imagined they sound as though they’ve come straight from Heaven’s recording studio. From the shimmering waves of Rhodes keyboards and the undeniably upright bass on the title-track opener (which might be a bit too expansive in its own right), Bukem moves into true drum’n’bass with a sleek, excellent two-stepper called “Watercolours” which features a downplayed, honking sax. He often returns to the Rhodes (it must be his favorite instrument), perhaps a few times too many, but every occurrence is used with the balance just right. The breaks programming isn’t next-generation, but for each song Bukem finds a pattern that works perfectly with the effects to support it. The second disc is reportedly the downtempo disc, though it’s only marginally different from the first. It does indeed concentrate more on influences and genre exercises, from the blaxploitation bliss of “Sunrain” (one of the few vocal tracks on the album) to the soul-jazz strut of “Deserted Vaults.” Taken as a whole, Journey Inwards is an album of pure brilliance, a work that trumps many of Bukem’s past productions, and signals, for what may be the first time, that his production talents are actually growing and developing. Truth to tell, there’s never been a drum’n’bass double-album that shouldn’t have been pared down. With Journey Inwards, it’s nearly impossible to know what to cut.

  • From me:
    • As with most of the 2-disc sets in my collection of 300+ Cd’s, “Journey Inwards” is actually 2 discs masquerading as a cohesive product. Not that the end result is not one of the finest recordings ever made, but a little consistency of vision would have helped. Disc one is very mellow, very jazzy, with as much fusion flavor as drum’n’bass. Disc two is much more ambient and smooth. The production levels are pretty consistent, although I did find the transitions of some of the loops not quite up to snuff on some tracks. As long as LTJ Bukem remains on a more jazzier groove, the individual songs are fine; when he strays too far from fusion, and launches straight into his more ambient variety of D-n-B, the results, while initially engaging, become a little tedious after the first three minutes. Still, this set, as a whole, is very relaxing, mellow, and contains some classic grooves.

Notes:

For me, this is a tale of two CDs. LTJ Bukem clearly set out  to make a recording full of purposeful, carefully thought out collection of Jazz and Hip Hop influenced Downtempo. For the most part, on the first disc, he did just that; the overall direction of each and every song, from the tempo and chords and keys and thoughtfully selected self-recorded samples, is on point. The songs on this side can be long (6 minutes plus), but they never feel like it, being wonderfully edited so as to stick around just long enough to make the intended statement.

Things kind of fall apart on the second disc, however. Sunrain, the first song – the only non-instrumental on the entire recording-  feels like an obligatory stab at a charting effort. With the exception of Suspended Space and the closing Feel what you feel, the rest of this disc feels quite disjointed from the first, the songs overlong and giving the impressions of B-side fillers.

Michaelfranti-thesoundofsunshinealbum

  • Artist: Michael Franti & Spearhead
  • Recording: The Sound of Sunshine
  • Year / Label: 2010, Capitol / Boo Boo Wax
  • Track Listing
    1. The Sound Of Sunshine
    2. Gloria
    3. Hey Hey Hey
    4. Anytime You Need Me
    5. I’ll Be Waiting
    6. Only Thing Missing Was You
    7. Love Don’t Wait
    8. The Thing That Helps Me Get Through
    9. Headphones
    10. The Sound Of Sunshine Going Down
  • FromWikepedia:

    The inspiration for the title ‘The Sound Of Sunshine’ came from when Franti was on tour in 2009 and ruptured his appendix. As, in March 2011, he told noted UK soul writer – and Assistant Editor of Blues & Soul – Pete Lewis: “Because the doctors weren’t sure what was wrong with me, seven days actually passed before they were able to diagnose it was my appendix – by which time I’d just completely fallen over and was DYING! So, after they eventually did the surgery on me, while I did feel a huge amount of gratitude to be alive, at the same time every moment of the day I was CRYING! Like someone would walk in the room who I hadn’t seen for a while, and I’d just look at them and CRY! And when they’d go ‘What are you crying about?’, I’d be like ‘I don’t KNOW! I’m just really glad to be here, to be alive and to SEE you!’… It was like I was seeing everything with new EYES. Every day I’d go to the window to see if the sun was shining – and if it WAS, I’d have this feeling of OPTIMISM! Like ‘WOW! I’m gonna beat this infection and I’m gonna get BETTER!’… And so for this album I wanted to put that feeling into words and into MUSIC.”

  • From AllMusic:

    With a chorus that’s bubbly, a hook that’s infectious, and a title that’s “Hey Hey Hey,” the key track on Michael Franti’s 2010 effort is wide open for ridicule, but on the cut, the man who once seemed like Gil Scott-Heron for the techno generation makes an excellent argument for happiness. “Hey, hey, hey/No matter how life is today/There’s just one thing that I got to say/I won’t let another moment slip away” it goes, and while that’s coming from a man who just had his first hit — and in the U.S., his first beer commercial — with 2009’s “Say Hey (I Love You),” it is also coming from a man who ended up facing his own mortality when his appendix ruptured around the same time. The Sound of Sunshine is the “seize the day” result to a reggae-pop, jam band beat, filled with bliss and gratitude plus a bit of swagger and some pointed political moments that remind you this isn’t Jack Johnson or John Mayer. That dynamic duo certainly couldn’t trade lines with dancehall diva Lady Saw as well as Franti does either, and the great “Shake It” winds up “Say Hey”’s worthy successor, perfect for adding some solid songwriting to your next pool party. “Only Thing Missing Was You” and “Headphones” both fit the bill for when the sun sets and good friends gather round the beach bonfire, and you couldn’t ask for a better closer than “The Sound of Sunshine Going Down,” which executes its heartwarming day exit strategy flawlessly, from its mood to its title. To say the record isn’t “challenging” is an understatement, especially when looking at his early work, but it’s easy to overlook how skillfully the man crafts positive music that’s sunshine, and yet not sugary. Don’t let the wide smiles or welcoming music steer you away, because there’s as much meaning and heart here as there is anywhere in Franti’s discography.

  • From me:I’ve long been a fan of Michael Franti ever since I hear him as one half of The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, which in my mind is probably the best example of socio-political industrial hip-hop to date. I first caught up with his solo offerings about 16 years ago, and proceeded to eagerly snap up all of his post-DHHH works. I had pretty much been used to thinking of him as being a singer / rapper with a distinct social and political message; I was therefore surprised when I heard this recording that pretty much didn’t contain any such obvious messages. It’s a break, but it’s not an unwelcome one, nor is it one that is entirely out of place, considering the artists. There are a lot of things that are wrong in our world that need artists to bring them to the fore. But there is also a lot of love, and room for love, in our world, and I like it when those same socially aware people joyfully brings that to the fore as well.It occurs to me that, if you listen to this in its proper order, this recording follows the course of a day; I’d like to think that it’s Friday. Wake up, kiss your loved one goodbye, head into work, maybe catch up in the middle of the day. Come home, head out to the bar or club with your honey, come home, catch up, then fall asleep in each other’s arms.Such a light and uplifting recording deserves an equally light and uplifting drink to go alongside it. Seeing as how it’s a Sunday morning, I decided to indulge in a Mimosa while typing up this post:)IMG_0908.JPG
  • Impressions:
    • The Sound Of Sunshine, Hey Hey Hey: This pair sets the tone for the entire release – upbeat, light, and pretty much just a sheer joy to listen to.
    • Anytime You Need Me: Sorry to say that this one sounds a bit like filler to me.
    • I’ll Be Waiting: This song is – amazing. It manages to have both a slow groove and a perfectly anthemic feel to it at the same time. I can’t help but to just close my eyes and go with it when I hear this song.
    • Love Don’t Wait, Shake It: What can I say? I just want to dance along with these:)
    • The Thing That Helps Me Get Through: A straight-through rocker in the spirit of ‘Yell Fire’- almost time for the Mosh Pit of Soulfulness.
    • The Sound Of Sunshine Going Down: The perfect quiet outro for this recording. It’s the end of the day, go to sleep, and have pleasent dreams.
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