Monthly Archives: April 2010

WhiskyFest Chicago 2010

I haven’t posted my thoughts on whisky in awhile, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been drinking. A friend and I went last Friday to WhiskyFest Chicago. The event is a celebration of all things grain and we spent 3 hours sampling tons and tons of delicious distillates. In all we tried over 20 different whiskies, a flight of cognacs and a curious, curious rum while gorging ourselves on a top notch buffet of food and deserts. We met a few master distillers along the way and generally had a great time.

In an effort to make the most of our time, we spread ourselves around and tried to hit new and strange things. Here are the highlights. Continue reading

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Filed under Drinks, Spirits, Tasting Notes

Terry Riley’s “In C,” performed by Grand Valley State University New Ensemble

Perhaps the most significant difference between classical music and popular is its greater capacity to offer pleasure on an academic and emotional level at once.

Resident Advisor

The work “In C” was composed by Terry Riley in 1964 and is a contemporary classical piece with quite a few quirks. The score consists of 53 phrases of various duration (from a half beat to 32 beats) which may be played by any number of musicians (32 is suggested) in the given order (though phrases may be repeated or skipped) and can last any amount of time (though 45-90 minutes is typical), all while a pianist (“traditionally… a beautiful girl” the score points out) pushes out a steady stream of eighth note C’s. Several groups have played and recorded the work in the decades since its birth, though the piece just came to my attention through a recently released recording by the Grand Valley State University New Ensemble and published by Ghostly International. Continue reading

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Filed under Music, Tracks

Would You Like Some Meat With Your Meat?

KFC Double Down

Now if only they added a fried egg...

The new KFC Double Down Sandwich is further evidence that Americans’ favourite accompaniment to any food is meat. This is daring of KFC: the Atkins diet had its fifteen minutes long ago, most fast food chains have generally embraced more healthy menu options, and the company may incur the wrath of Michelle Obama. One should not piss off a lady with guns of her calibre. Continue reading

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Filed under Food, Restaurants

Passion Pit: Round 4

My opinions on Passion Pit are pretty well known among the handful of you who might read this, so I’ll try to keep it brief.

Congress Theater: I have a love hate relationship with Congress Theater. The space is huge (capacity 4000) and every show I’ve seen there was sold out and either pure dance or highly danceable rock, so it is a constant 120 degrees inside. I guess they can’t avoid that and maybe for dance that’s ok. ($5 bottles of water is not ok, but alas…) On a positive note, this was the most prompt show I’ve seen there. Their usual M.O. is one headliner, two openers and four to six local DJs, with a 1+ hour wait in the will call line. (I wish this was hyperbole.) This time, we got first opener at 8:00, second at 8:45 and headliner at 10:10. Continue reading

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Filed under Concerts, Music