Wednesday, April 29, 2009

THIS WEEK ON LOST: "I AM FROM THE FUTURE, AND I CRY........ A LOT."

That's right, I skipped a week of doing Lost reviews. Just like the creators of the show, sometimes I just up and skip a week without any reason or apologies. That's how I keep you hooked. I enjoyed the episode from two weeks ago, the "Miles Chronicles." He's a compelling character and it was interesting to learn his back story. And I love Hurley bragging that he "hears dead people too." Awesome. This weeks episode was equally interesting, touching on a lot of different things, but focusing on nutty old Faraday. Things started heating up back in the 70's. Jack finally got off his ass and moved around a bit. It was so nice to see Kate and Jack both in the jungle again, but sadly still in the non-flattering Dharma jumpsuits. All the Losties were just floundering around on the Island being all "Initiativey" and then kooky-old Faraday comes back and whips everyone into action. "Dr. Chang, Miles is your son." Awesome. Anyways, things seem to be getting more and more exciting leading up to the finale. More and more exciting and more and more confusing. Derek, a relative newcomer to the show was asking me questions after the episode and I thought my brain might explode. If Daniel's mother new that she was going to shoot him and had shot him before then why is he there to be shot in the first place? Um, I don't know. All this time travel, changing the past to effect the future stuff really makes my head swim. Plus, apparently it makes you cry, A LOT. Like constantly during all conversations, especially with adorable, little Charlotte. Anyhew, I am behind excited for the next couple episodes, I think we are finally going to get some answers and no doubt a few new questions.

NEW VINE-YL POST! WARREN ZEVON AND CORRALEJO TEQUILA!


CHEAP-O WINE REVIEW: 2006 DURIGUTTI BONARDA

Ah, Bonarda, one of my favorites. It's originally an Italian grape, but they also make some nice ones in Argentina. The Durigutti is a stunning example that comes in at under $10 a bottle. Bonarda is fantastic for many reasons, but to me its most stunning attribute is that it manages to be dark and juicy and manly but light at the same time. This is because the tannins are rather mild on a Bonarda, making it great with everything from grilled meat to roast chicken to pizza. It doesn't dry you out and the way a heavier wine might. It's a red for those of us that love red but might need a bit of a change every now and again. That being said I went through a period of time when I drank this wine every night, it's that good. It's purpley and (as I said before) juicy, with dark berry fruit and a nice earthy, coffee finish. A great buy.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

NEW VINE-YL VIDEO!


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NEW VINE-YL POST!

Monday, April 20, 2009

RECORD SURPLUS: THE BEST RECORD STORE?


This past Saturday was National Record Store Day, a holiday of supreme importance but unfortunately just below Arbor Day on the average American's radar. I celebrated by heading out at the crack of dawn (10am on a Saturday) to Record Surplus a three decades old music store in West L.A./Santa Monica that specializes in vinyl, CDs, and DVDs for every taste.

The store is famed for its "Attic," a cavernous upstairs room where every record is .99 cents (and there is a lot of good stuff to be found), but I go for their voluminous collection of hard-to-find and super collectible vinyl LPs downstairs. On special days like this one and during their twice-yearly sales events, they comb their inventories to a farthing, putting out records from deep in the vaults, and it is a first-come, first-served treasure hunt. The kind of place where vinyl junkies wait in a long line outside for the doors to open. Where the most common sight is a dude shuffling fast through records with one hand while calling his buddy with his other, telling him to get his butt down there.

There is a spirit of fun, of celebration to the way the whole staff treats their customers and their business. On this day, a sales clerk was dressed in a ridiculous super-hero costume with mask, as Captain Vinyl. Another guy had brought out a special collection of long-aged original John Lennon "Instant Karma" singles, in honor of Phil Spector's just conviction.

I walked away with over $100 of sick albums, some of which you will see paired on VINE-YL in the coming months. All in all, a great day at a truly classic L.A. enterprise. Long may Captain Vinyl live!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

REASON #103 THAT L.A. IS AWESOME: S.K. DONUTS

Los Angeles, April 15th 10:30pm (just in time for the hot kruellers), image via me

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

NEW VINE-YL POST!

NEW VINE-YL VIDEO!

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Friday, April 10, 2009

THIS WEEK ON LOST: I'M SORRY, WHAT?

I think we need to start looking at Lost objectively. Let's say we're just outsiders tuning in by chance last Wednesday. So we begin watching and we see this guy, Ben, a little beat up, a little odd. He's heading into the jungle to go to a temple to be judged... by a smoke monster. He alerts the smoke monster of his presence by pulling the plug on a seriously stopped up and dirty bath tub. He then enters the temple and the smoke monster emerges from an ancient hand drier, covered in hieroglyphics. The smoke monster engulfs him in a Wizard Of Oz-esque smoke tornado in which he sees his life with his daughter pass before his eyes. And then somehow, the smoke monster deems him worthy of living. Oh yeah, and then his dead daughter comes back to life and smacks him around a bit. Okay. Strange yes, I mean I can accept it because I'm a Lost fan. I don't know why Ben is more worthy than say, Ecko, but I'm not the Island so what do I know? And please Lost writer's, did you learn nothing from Paolo and whats-her-face? We don't want any new Losties! We'll deal with a few new Dharma guys or a couple of Others. But we've had enough of plane-wrecked people on the beach. Let them find a weapons cache and have their little Lord Of The Flies moment. We don't care. "What lies in the shadow of the statue," who knows? I guess we'll find out one of these days. So, anyhew I appreciate the Ben-centric storyline, but I gotta say, it got a little weird last Wednesday. A little weird.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

NEW SPECIAL EASTER DOUBLE VINE-YL VIDEO!

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NEW VINE-YL DOUBLE POST!


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

UNC TARHEELS 2009 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!


Congratulations to the Tarheels and the Carolina faithful. This tournament run was truly epic. It's not often a team sets out with a determined goal in mind and sees it through to the very end in such blisteringly convincing fashion. Just look at the 18-1 Patriots. This championship was inspiring and phenomenal, and a boon to the integrity of the college game.

I had planned to blog all through the tourney, but fate derailed me in the desert after the Sweet Sixteen. Oh well. Guess my sports blogging career is off to a bumpy start. Now I'll have to go back to writing about 12" vinyl records (as we do every week at VINE-YL.com).

100 or more of us L.A. Heels watched in awe last night at Hollywood Billiards. Joining the thousands of other enraptured clusters all over the country and around the globe. As soon as the rush died down and the alcohol started to metabolize the phone calls started coming in from all over. As I've tried to tell many friends, the tourney for Carolina fans isn't just about basketball; it's a family reunion. Last night was our lovefest.

Thank you Tyler, Ty, Wayne, Danny, Deon, Bobby Frasor, Ed Davis, Coach Williams and all the rest. It was an unforgettable night. May its traces brighten my veins like stardust for many days to come...

CHEAP-O WINE REVIEW: THE 2008 ROSES ARE IN (YAY!)

It's finally Spring time and nothing says spring like a nice bottle of rosé. Last week we went to Joshua Tree for my birthday and took a few bottles of rosé with us, this guy to the right, the Chateau Saint Pierre 2008 Cotes-de-Provence Rose, was particularly pleasant. In general, the rosés from Provence tend to be a bit lighter in both flavor and color. They are crisp and refreshing and great with grilled seafood and garlicy sauces. We drank the Chateau Saint Pierre with oysters on the half shell filled with butter and garlic. It was perfect! And, at around $14 it tastes as elegant as some rosés twice the price. It is light with a softly perfumey nose and crisp tart fruit. A great way to celebrate spring!


Monday, April 6, 2009

LAST WEEK ON LOST: SOME STUFF HAPPENED, WHICH APPARENTLY ALREADY HAPPENED, I THINK...

So here it is, Tuesday and a new episode of Lost is happening tomorrow and I haven't even written about last week. I know, I know, it's horrible. But, unfortunately last week's episode didn't really inspire me to write anything. Sure, there were a few nice reveals. I had wondered what had happened to Aaron, and why Kate seemed so non-chalant about the whole thing. We learned some crazy mind-boggling stuff that alluded to the fact that Kate, Sawyer, Jack et al were actually in the 70's before (somehow) and made Ben the man he is today. It still makes my brain hurt trying to figure out how that's all possible. I guess the episode was just a little too soap-opera-y for me. Kate and her crying and her buddying up to Sawyer's ex, and telling her everything, which can't be good. I don't like the new Jack either, all that pill popping and drinking has left him a little dim. I don't know, maybe it was just me, I was a little tired last week after an epic trip to the desert. I hadn't quite re hydrated and needed a bit more craziness in the episode to get me going, you know, more Richard and Ben. The highlight was of course Miles and Hurley's conversation in which Hurley referenced Back to The Future which I totally referenced last week in my review. Further proof that the writer's of Lost are the only people who read this blog? Maybe.

Friday, April 3, 2009

REASONS WHY CALIFORNIA IS AWESOME #29: JOSHUA TREE

Joshua Tree, March 31, 2009, image via me

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

NEW VINE-YL VIDEO!

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NEW VINE-YL POST!