Yesterday was rough, in a good way. A long day for a great cause but I was wrecked by the end of it and the drive home was daunting so I needed something to listen to that was going to perk me up, keep my eyes open and conjure my inner Terry Crews as I sped down the freeway. For me, this situation always calls for Ween and lots of it. Live at Stubbs is a great live album for all the right reasons: the set-list covers the band's entire career (to that point anyway, but they were 16 years deep by this point so that's no mean feat), everyone sounds like they're having a great time performing and it's long enough (2 hours and 40 minutes!)to completely suck you in and make you forget that you weren't actually at the show (the gold standard outcome of any live album). I only managed to listen to half of the album during the drive, so I put the records on when I got home (I'm not really into unofficial releases but these sounds pretty good and look nice). I gorged myself on macaroni and cheese and remembered when I first bought Live at Stubb's on CD and how exciting it was to listen to it for the first time. I'd been a Ween fan for 11 years before I finally got to see them play, so for a long time Live at Stubb's was the only way to experience their live show (before I discovered browntracker and weenradio). It's been almost as long since Ween finally came back to Australia, hopefully, they return one day, but at least I have these bad boys to fill the time and YouTube has every live performance imaginable, so until then life is good.
Sunday Sip&Spin, offering up a tune and a taste as we end the week; this pick: Sufjan Stevens - “The Avalanche” (2006). Today’s #SundaySipAndSpin is the addendum album to a classic from multi-instrumentalist Sufjan Sevens. This album received the tag line of ‘Outtakes and Extras’ from the “Illinoise” release, coming a mere 13 months after its commercial success. Thematically and geographically the listener is still transported to the Midwest, sounding much like its predecessor. However, using an analogy of a butcher: if “Illinoise” is the prime rib, these tracks on “The Avalanche” are the tasty little bits and morsels that are often ignored and yet often leave you more satisfied. Excellent songs such as “Henney Buggy Band” “Adlai Stevenson” & “Dear Mr. Supercomputer” are intermingled amongst one of the wildest guitar solos on “Springfield, or Bobby got a Shadfly Caught in His Hair.” Sufjan can be seen at the peak of his percussive capabilities, hitting a slurry of bells and trills, short trumpet blares and flutes. Every song builds and builds until it’s set to burst. ‘Avalanche,’ you were aptly named. (And this is saying nothing of the Chevy Avalanche that graces the album cover). This same cover inspired today’s #sipandspin cocktail. Specifically, its bold orange colored vinyl release. It recalls a Hare Krishna in hue. Also I found it reminiscent of the sweetened iced teas served at various Thai restaurants. I couldn’t help but notice how the pouring down of the sweetened condensed milk into this tea cocktail resembles an Avalanche in descent. Drink it down and allow the warm Rhum agricole to wash down over you.