Pot De What?

Today I’m thankful for fancy French desserts.

After choir rehearsal most weeks a group goes to a local French restaurant.  I can’t often go as I wake ludicrously early for work, and I just get home too late if I go with them.  This week I was finally able to join them.  The restaurant has an extensive selection of alcohol so most of my fellow singers ask for lager or wine.  I don’t consume alcohol but I don’t want to sit and appear bored.  I’ve learned that desserts are a workable option.  They’re small, relatively inexpensive and can be nursed for as long it takes the rest of our party to finish their wine.

This week the option was chocolate pot de crème.  It was wonderful.  The custardy bit (I’m not fluent in culinary French so am probably not using the correct terms) was dense and just a little bitter to balance out the cream.  It was deliciously rich so the small portion was more than enough.  I enjoyed making my mouth happy while spending time with people I like.  It was a pleasant evening.

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Metal-er Than Thou

Today I’m thankful for the Angry Metal Guy.

I’ve mentioned being a bit of a metal head.  I lean more toward older stuff (RIP, Ronnie D.).  I’m a power/prog metal weenie and like some doom and math metal.  The NWOTHM is absolutely my thing.  I prefer clean vocals.  I’m not a fan of black metal.  I’m not offended by the antireligious aspect.  It’s mostly that the world is already so screwy that I don’t need to be any more nihilistic.  I enjoy learning about emerging artists and ludicrously specific subgenres (technical death slam, really?).  I’ve listened to this nonstop for the past several days.

The site manages to be informative and occasionally hysterically funny – see the comments on any Jorn Lande post.  This beauty is a good example.  Sourced via the Angry Metal Guy.  I do not own the video or song, and material on the Angry Metal Guy website is protected by copyright.

I think Monster Magnet may be my new favorite band name.

 

Sassy Sings

Today I’m thankful for Sarah Vaughan.

I don’t remember how I first heard Sarah Vaughan sing.  I was transfixed.  Her voice is like silk.  On occasion she would forget the lyrics, or be in disagreement with her band, and she never let it get to her.  Recordings that include such incidents showcase her fairly wry sense of humor.

She started with Chick Webb’s band.  Her broad range and warm voice are what made her stand out from her peers.  She performed almost continually for almost 40 years.

I have no rights to the song or video.

 

Whoosh!

Today I’m thankful for gongs.

They have a fascinating history and appear in cultures around the world.  Mostly I like them because they produce such a great clashing sound.  I’ve always been more partial to brass and percussion instruments.  It’s reflected in some of the pet names my family gives me (like “Lights and Noise).  Gongs are both percussion and metallic so they’re the best combination of both.  My mother made me laugh uproariously when she gifted me a tiny version for my desk.  It produces more of a “tink” than a full size one but it still makes me smile.

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Groovin’

Today I’m thankful for dancing.

Growing up I was fortunate to be able to try many different sports.  I was bad at most of them.  My parents encouraged to find one I enjoyed.  They hoped skill might follow with enthusiasm.  It didn’t.

I am very reserved in public situations.  I’ve gotten quieter with age.  With that reserve came a reluctance to do any sort of “dancing” where others could see, as I was likely to not be very good at it, and I would feel self conscious.  It wasn’t until I was cast in a musical several years ago, in a part that required a great deal of dancing, that I finally stopping giving heed to what others thought.  I learned the routines and performed for the sheer joy of the movement.  I will never be a born dancer, but I didn’t stand out as incompetent.  I was satisfied.

Lite Metal

Today I’m thankful for DragonForce.

I’m a bit of a metal head.  I love crystalline guitar solos and machine gun drums.  I prefer clean vocals but can appreciate growling. It’s usually when I’m pissed (angry, not drunk) or in the middle of a tough workout.

With that, I most enjoy bands that don’t take themselves too seriously.  They seem to perform out of sheer enjoyment.  DragonForce is technically accomplished.  They also are just as likely to include chiptune riffs and sing about ridiculously wizard-y things as they are to write lyrics about ripping off faces.  All song rights belong to the artist.

Full of Soul

Today I’m thankful for Motown.

I speak only as a listener.  In my admittedly biased opinion, music as a whole package doesn’t get much better.  The vocal talent was astounding, the arrangements drew from multiple influences and the work ethic was intimidating.  I dare you to sit still while listening to I Heard It Through The Grapevine.  Not my video or song.

Central Heating and Electric Guitars

Today I’m thankful for Eric Johnson.

Johnson is a virtuoso guitarist from Texas.  He was a child prodigy who managed to gracefully transition to adulthood and professional musicianship.  This particular song is truly important to me.

I grew up in a house built in the 1940s.  It had iron grates that covered the heating vents.  During the winter I would always sit with my back facing one particular grate.  My father would come and sit with me and we’d listen to this song.  I was 5 or 6.  Dad played guitar in a number of bands, which is probably why I had eclectic taste for a primary school student.  I still have broad taste but I have always loved this song, and this specific performance of it.  All rights belong to the musician.

Schnitzel and Strudel and Spätzle

Today I’m thankful for strudel.

I am visiting family.  Traffic on the drive here was heavy and chaotic.  As soon as I arrived the news announced a number of new disasters that I’m not even sure how to deal with anymore.  The world is starting to feel a bit unreal.

We were all a little stressed so we went to a local Germanfest that happened to be going on.  Vendors were selling every sort of “-wurst” imaginable.  I went for the potato pancakes.  They were tasty but a bit small.  I was still hungry.  Then I saw the strudel tent.  They had cheese strudel!  I don’t eat meat but I love a good cheese.  The pastry was light and flaky but substantial enough to contain the cheese without crumbling.  The cheese was creamy and rich but not acidic.  The serving was generous.  It even made the polka music was more tolerable.

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She’s Scottish

Today I’m thankful for Emeli Sandé.

I’ve loved everything this woman has released.  I first heard her during the Opening Ceremonies of the London Olympics.  She sang “Abide With Me.”  I wasn’t a fan of that particular performance but I was intrigued enough to seek out the rest of her music.  Boy am I glad I did.  All rights are attributed to the artist.