Amphoras vini aperio: the band is back in town

Nous Non Plus has been back in town for the College Music Journal festival and the sexy sixsome played three shows (a showcase and a couple of parties). And we’ll be playing a Halloween show at Rubulad (undisclosed location in Brooklyn) on Friday.

Above: Our track “Lawnmower Boy” was just used in a TV commercial in Slovenia. The spot is a lot of fun…

In other news, bassist and singer Jean-Luc Retard (aka Bjorn Turoque) and our track “Château,” a song about the Château Marmont in Los Angeles, were recently featured in The Los Angeles Times (click to read).


Last night we took time out to enjoy steak and wine chez Céline. Our friend Patrick Woodcock, a former member of the French band Air and the founder of Mellow, was in town. Patrick is always very generous with us when we play in Paris, giving us a hand with gear and transportation, etc. We always try to do something special together when he’s in NYC (and he loves steak and red wine).


Above: Jean-Luc was in charge of searing the shell steaks. Like Patrick, the band likes its steak rare (although Bonnie Day is vegetarian).

Since my living situation changed this summer and I no longer have anywhere to store my wine, there’s really nothing left to say or do but to drink the wine.

We opened two bottles of one of my favorites, 2001 Barbaresco by Produttori del Barbaresco. This wine has many years ahead of it but was drinking great nonetheless. As Patrick noted, this very traditionally made wine had a wonderful “chewy” mouthfeel and its tannins cut right through the nicely marbled fat of the shell steaks. As go I through the “cellar” (essentially a bunch of cardboard boxes), I’ve stumbled across a few surprises, like the 2002 Giusto dei Notri by Tua Rita above. I know that Patrick likes wines from Bordeaux and everyone enjoyed this opulent Bordeaux-style Cabernet and Merlot blend from Bolgheri (Tuscany).

With all this recent talk of oak vs. no oak, I thought it only right and fair to open this modern-style bottle and reflect on the dialectic from the other side of the table, so to speak. Of the many famous Bolgheri producers, Tua Rita and Grattamacco seem more reserved in their style. I’ve met Rita at Vinitaly… she’s a nice lady.


Above: Céline and Patrick on Céline’s terrace.

The tannin and the wood on the Tua Rita weren’t entirely “integrated,” but I liked the goudron, tar notes on the nose. However you feel about oak and/or international grape varieties grown in Italy, no one can deny that Tua Rita’s wines are very well made. It’s only a pity it couldn’t have laid there forgotten for another 5-10 years in the back of the closet where I used to store my wines. But then again, there seem to be no certainties in life these days and while some people might advise carpe diem, my thought is aperi amphoras vini.


Above: you wouldn’t think it but Céline is an excellent cook and made fantastic mashed potatoes, roast carrots, and wilted spinach.

In other news, the fires in California continue to burn out of control. My family is fine but the air quality is getting really bad. My brother Tad and his wife Diane have been housing some evacuees and it’s still not clear whether or not my friend Charlie lost his house. I found this map, updated regularly, of the fires and evacuation sites.

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