Allegri’s Miserere

This post is brought to you by American Airlines and the miserable weather blanketing both the Midwest and the East Coast: a cancelled flight and the subsequent thirteen-hour limbo at O’Hare provided me an opportunity to share some thoughts on Easter music.

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Filed under Classical, Music

A Union of Man and Woman, of Whiskey and Grapefruit

Crafting original cocktails is simultaneously the most exciting and the most daunting part of this mixology hobby I’ve adopted. When you create a successful new drink – or even just a clever variation on an existing one – you can taste the synergy and magic almost right away. But, unfortunately, I’m as often (or probably more often) surprised when a drink which in my head blends together great flavors, on actual execution, simply falls flat.

Practice. Practice. Practice. Continue reading

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Filed under Drinks, Mixology, Personal

WhiskyFest Chicago 2011

WhiskyFest Logo

A good friend and fellow whisky enthusiast joined me again this year in celebrating WhiskeyFest Chicago, a gathering of nearly every major whisky brand and distillery in one spot for three hours of samples and conversation. With over 275 different spirits on hand this year and three sessions of seminars, there was a lot to take in and we adopted the pinball method of just bouncing from table to table without much plan. If my hazy memory serves me right (and it may not) we were able to smash last year’s record of about 25 pours with an astounding 34 this time around. Continue reading

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Filed under Drinks, Spirits, Tasting Notes

A Shameless Plug for “Table for Two”

In an effort to become a Renaissance man (which I always confuse with just becoming a guy who is spread too thin), this part-time author of bybe is now also a part-time author of the new Chicago dining blog Table for Two. Don’t you worry though, loyal reader. (Or readers? There might be more than one of you!) My drinking and eating and pontificating and writing will continue unabated and there will be some overlap between this blog and that. I plan to continue to write here as often as I have been; that is to say, haphazardly and not terribly often.

Table for Two is an attempt to get invitations to top chef’s tables across the city and possibly an invitation to the secret bar in the basement of the soon-to-open Aviary. (Ha! My delusions are worse than you expected.) Far more likely, it will just lead to sclerosis and high cholesterol, but bybe’s music reviews are slowly making me deaf, so why not just go whole-hog on the self-destruction? If you want to ogle some food porn or to ridicule our snobbery, please stop by.

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Filed under Drinks, Food, Mixology, Restaurants

Three for Thursday

It wasn’t my intention this time (sometimes it is), but my three choices for videos this round are a bit divisive. The first is a laid-back new release from indie rock mainstays, the second a visually exciting video for an electronic dance floor banger and the final a 1977 throwback from a legend with a voice described by music critc Daniel Durchholz as sounding “like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car.” Trudge on! It’s worth seeing this post out, I promise! Continue reading

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Filed under Music, Music Videos

Is it Due to a Deep Interest in the Afterlife?

I had a conversation with a friend recently that included the above question. When pulled from its context, it makes a great title for a blog post, don’t you think?

We were chatting about a work by Édouard Manet (Jesus Mocked by the Soldiers, 1865) and, as the conversation meandered, we spoke of Madrid’s excellent Museo del Prado and so I revealed that I really love a lot of that explicitly religious style of medieval art that characterizes Old World collections like El Prado’s. When she pressed further on what drew me to it, I fell back to an old standby of mine, Hieronymus Bosch and his work The Garden of Earthly Delights. You likely have seen the painting; Bosch is well known for his especially creative and visually exciting depictions of religious scenes, the most popular of which are his depictions of Hell and damnation.

The Garden of Earthly Delights, c. 1450-1516

The Garden of Earthly Delights, c. 1450-1516

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Two for Thursday

Instead of the usual “Three for Thursday” shtick, I’m caving and giving just “Two for Thursday.” Don’t feel you’re getting short-shrifted though! One of these almost made me cry!

Emotion! Beauty! Music! Bybe gives you all the sustenance you need for life. And we’ll make you pancakes the morning after!

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Filed under Music, Music Videos