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just so you know

February 18, 2008

after it’s all said and done GWB will be remembered as the president responsible for $15 six-packs.

The amount of corn it takes to produce 75 litres of ethanol– roughly a tank of fuel– is enough corn to feed one person on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet for a year

Sam Adams spreading the wealth a little 

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Best chords evar

December 26, 2007

So My buddy Andy asked me what I thought the best three chords on the guitar are. I have been considering what I might do to get back into a little writing on this here blog, so I thought this general list concept might work for awhile.

Although I have been having discussions recently about the folly of top ten lists and such, i think it does seem easy enough to get started. Andy asked for the 5 best chords, but I only feel like writing about three.

1st is what i think of as the hendrix chord – i think it is the Eaug9, but I am horrible at math. What I do know is that is that this chord is so killer and awesome that I do not currently play it in any of my bands ever — I have played it tons, and at some point I hope to use it again, but only when I can build it a home worthy of it’s awesomeness.

        E  A  D  G  B  E 
        NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN 
        O  ~  ~  ~  ~  O
5thfret ----------------
              1
        ----------------
           2     3
        ----------------
                    4

This chord is the basis for Hendrix’s first song ever (as I recollect) Stone Free, as well as Purple Have and Voodoo Chile. Move it down to C# and you have Spanish Castle Magic laid out before you. There are other ways of playing this chord, but this is the classic voicing IMHO.

Why does it rule?

Well, it creates the maximum amount of musical ambiguity. From this here chord there is enough tension to safely resolve anywhere. (again horrible at math, but i recall once figuring out that there are stacked tritones in this chord – 1 tritone is good for dischord, why not use two.) Also, if you can get any sort of groove hovering around it you will guarantee that everything will be nice and funky.

photo.jpg

2nd is the i want you/she’s so heavy chord. I think it is a flat 9th, but it is that work of beauty that stitches i want you into she’s so heavy. I use this in the lick lick song rolling pin, and as a hinge for a fair amount of purely improvisational sections. It moves up and down the neck well and creates a very down tension.

        E  A  D  G  B  E
        NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
        O  ~  ~  ~  ~  O
5thfret ----------------
              1  1  1
        ----------------
           2     3
        ----------------

Finally is the almighty G with no third up high.

        E  A  D  G  B  E
        NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN
        ~  ~  O  O  ~  ~
1stfret ----------------

        ----------------
           1
        ----------------
        2           3  4

Always good. Try this: move your first and 2nd fingers anywhere else and strum. Then move your first and second fingers anywhere else and strum. Then go back to the original G and repeat. See what you did there? You just wrote a passable Wilco song.

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RIP Alan Eames

March 6, 2007

Beer Archaeologist.

Two great things that go great together. My kith and kin are filled with expertise on both subjects, and it is a shame we never met Alan.

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Sorry for the long pause

February 7, 2007

I should be back up and running with the vlog here shortly. I had some very cool beer experiences that I had been hoping to capture, but in both cases I ended up just enjoying the beers.

I had the privilege of going to the brickskeller in Washington, DC in December. They typically have over 1000 varieties of beer, and so I had the opportunity to hit a couple of world classics. I had my second ever Berliner Weisse, which is a very intriguing beer from Berlin. It is made with a high percentage of wheat, and brewed at a relatively low specific gravity. The low alcohol makes for a bad traveler (hence it is very rare in the states) and it is also very much an acquired taste due to a lactic fermentation. They served it with a little side of woodruff for sweetening, and I enjoyed it thoroughly — very much similar to a lambic, but definitely it’s own unique beer.

I also had a Carnegie Porter.During my years as a homebrewer I had used the swedish porter yeast a number of times, and it was great to finally get some closure on exactly what the beer from whence it came is like (excellent).

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why no ‘stache?

November 5, 2006

Almost ¬£500,000 worth of Ireland’s world famous stout is lost each year in the moustaches and beards of imbibers of the creamy headed black stuff.

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Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2006

Pumpkin Ales are increasingly popular year after year (ever since buffalo bill…), and today I am tasting the dogfish head punkin ale. Typically these beers might have a small percentage of pumpkin in the mash, but the keynotes are from the spices one typically uses in pumpkin pies.

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Lesson II-3 Belgian Tripel

October 29, 2006

Belgian Tripels are the celebratory beer from the trappist monastic tradition. Unibroue makes a variety of belgian styles in Canada and their quite good. Today’s beer is Fin Du Monde.

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