Minding my time

I’m not very good about my mindfulness meditation practice. I should be better given some of the stressors affecting me, but I’ll admit that I’ve gotten into a bad habit of not doing it recently.

Instead I’ve picked up an afternoon coffee habit, literally the opposite of what might be helpful at calming me, but the ritual of coffee drinking is comforting.

The Starbucks on our campus has a cool nitro-infused cold brew system that makes a drink which looks and behaves like a Guinness right down to the “fall” and the creamy head. I even had a coworker ask if I was drinking a Guinness in a meeting.

So while the coffee drinking might be (arguably) actively bad, watching the fall is pretty cool.

To that end here’s almost 20 minutes(!) – it’s a slow motion video – of a cup of cold brew from last week. I’m trying to take the time to be mesmerized by the motion and maybe get back on the mindfulness train sometime soon.

Cheers!

Craft Beer Contains Multitudes

Does craft beer contradict itself?

Can the same movement that chastises folks as “wussies” for enjoying “fizzy, yellow beer” also embrace the popularity and acceptance that those drinkers might deliver them?

If that brewer is Wild Heaven and that beer is Emergency Drinking Beer, the answer is a resounding yes. The story of their flagship beer, its striking yellow can and the success it has brought them is worth a read.

On the flip side of that argument is To ├śL out of Denmark. Their brewers actually made freeze-dried beer, which is about as crafty as you can get. Some might even say hipster-y.

So, yes, craft beer is full of contradictions. It’s full of real people making a real product they want to share with others.

Craft beer is large and getting larger, it contains multitudes.

In Bloom

Really interesting cover of Nirvana’s “In Bloom” by Sturgill Simpson.

I’m not a fan of country music – at least not what Nashville churns out right now – but Sturgill’s combination of Randy Travis baritone (to my ear) and some Chris Isaak arrangement on this song are really something.

The song appears on his current album, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, which is his major label debut.

I especially like how he changes the last line of each verse to “He don’t know what it means to love someone”.

It’s not often that an artist can transform a song by covering it and make it truly sound like there own. Sturgill Simpson’s cover of In Bloom does that and more.

Fantastic reinvention of an iconic track.

Happy Friday!

Tame Impala: Currents

I hadn’t pulled the trigger to buy Tame Impala’s latest album, Currents, until a couple of videos crossed my path this morning.

First, I watched the haunting & emotional video for the single “Let It Happen”. It might be a little heavy for a Tuesday, but there’s no denying that it left an impression.

Then I did a little clicking around to accompany my morning coffee and heard Haim’s cover of “‘Cause I’m A Man”. Billboard has a great little post about the versions of the song & video that are floating around the internet.

For my part, I’d only heard either single on SiriusXM, but hadn’t bought the album figuring it might go on sale soon. I did the same thing with Tame Impala’s previous album, Lonerism, which I love.

If you’re in to atmospheric pop music or psychedelic rock (something like a more melodic, less melancholy Pink Floyd) check them out.

The album artwork also reminds me of the cover to Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures, which is always a good cultural, musical touchpoint.

You can listen to the album in its entirety on YouTube too.

Happy Tuesday!

Earworm: King Tuff

Not sure whether I heard King Tuff‘s single Black Moon Spell, from the album of the same name, on AltNation or XMU but it was definitely one of those SiriusXM stations.

Either way, I’ve been wearing out the YouTube versions of his most recent two albums, Black Moon Spell & King Tuff.

Black Moon Spell has been out for a while now; long enough for King Tuff to make the rounds at KEXP & Conan, but it’s so terse that it feels fresh after a ton of listens. So many, in fact, that I ought to just buy both albums.

If fuzzy, guitar-driven punk-pop that dabbles in darkness like a middle schooler who’s just watched The Exorcist for the first time isn’t your thing, skip this one. Otherwise, enjoy the non-ironic rock-n-roll, black fingernail polish & turn off your brain.

Happy Tuesday!