Björn Türoque emailed me the photo above last night after he emceed the 2011 Air Guitar Championship regional finals in Chicago at the Double Door (he took the photo in the men’s room). We played there about 5 years ago, touring in support of our first album under the new name.
You probably already know the story of how and why we changed the name of our band to Nous Non Plus (and if you don’t, here’s the link).
We’re going to begin mixing our new album week after next and our record label is talking about a November release. I can’t wait: it’s our best record yet…
NOUS NON PLUS FOREVER!
Folks often send me images of what they’re eating, cooking, or drinking. I call them idioblogs, “blogs intended for one reader and one reader alone.” Here are a few recent notables.
Welcome back trotter, from SnackBoyJr aka Jean-Luc Retard Björn Türoque aka Dan Crane.
Brother Tad’s killer chili. “first batch was a little bland. Enhanced the recipe with some ortega chiles, green pepper, extra chili powder, a bay leaf, a little Cholula hot sauce and a little garlic. taste test is tomorrow. it is pretty good!”
Alfonso’s “Killer Lambrusco.” Hopefully Alfonso will start posting about his recent and most amazing trip to Emilia.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary (online edition), the earliest documented occurrence of the term air guitar in print dates back to 1980:
1980 Hartford (Connecticut) Courant 24 Apr. 2/5 (caption) Roy Charette displays his prize-winning form at playing the ‘air’ guitar. 1980 Mountain Democrat (Placerville, Calif.) 19 Dec. A6/1 The fans whip out their air guitars to catch all of Mick Taylor’s licks. 1982 N.Y. Times 21 Feb. XXIII. 15/4 (heading) Her performance almost convinces the audience that she holds a real guitar and not a tennis racquet… ‘Air guitar’, the art of miming musical performances, has caught on around the country. A New Haven nightclub..held the Connecticut air-guitar championships. 1995 Guardian 30 June (Friday Review section) 18/1 Whole venues full of people..playing air guitar and moving their heads in an exaggerated side-to-side motion. 2002 D. AITKENHEAD Promised Land xiii. 139 We did our best to look impressed, but really it was just Armien, standing outside a shed, playing air-guitar on an imaginary AK-47.
That sounds about right to me: I started playing air guitar when I was around 13 years old. Doesn’t everyone?
I indulged in some very public air guitar last night, as well.
Last night we joined Björn Türoque (aka Jean-Luc Retard, my bandmate in Nous Non Plus, aka Dan Crane) and his lovely wife Kate for one of the regional editions of the US Air Guitar Championship at the High Ball in Austin. Björn and Kate travel around the country, emceeing these super-fun events.
Tracie P didn’t join me on stage last night (she’s more of air drum person and man, don’t let this woman loose in the Abba and/or Xanadu karaoke room!).
I couldn’t resist the Chicken Fried Hanger Steak at Lambert’s before the event (probably not the best idea, unfortunately, in the wind-up to an air guitar competition). Lambert’s allows corkage and so we paired with an awesome bottle of 2006 Le Ragose Valpolicella, one of my favorite expressions of the appellation, earthy and grapey, a superb barbecue and southern cooking pairing.
That’s all I have time for this morning as I’m headed out the door. You’re not going to believe where I’ll be tonight… Stay tuned… and thanks for reading!
Above: They crowd last night was like putty in our jazz hands.
It’s still not clear to me why our manager booked us at an all-ages show at a video arcade in San Jose but he did. The other one of life’s little ironies last night was the fact that technically we were in “wine country” California (a stone’s throw from Santa Clara and Santa Cruz) and despite the abundance of wine bars revealed in a google maps search, there was very little wine I could find to drink. The venues closest to the video arcade where we played (who knew video arcades still existed?) were Barra di Vino (a would-be Italianate temple of Cabernet Sauvignon) and UnWined, a cleverly if perhaps inaptly named but clean and smart operation nonetheless.
Above: The domestic charcuterie plate at UnWined wasn’t bad and the very reasonably priced Vocoret 2006 Forêt really hit the spot.
Somehow we ended up at UnWined (don’t trust Google maps to get you there, btw) where I found an impressive list of big, bold barriqued California wines and two bottlings I could actually drink: the Vocoret 2006 Forêt Premier Cru and the Venica 2006 Collio. We opted for the former because it was already chilled since they are also currently serving it by the glass. (Check out Eric’s article on Chablis. I wish Raul at UnWined would take Eric’s advice: “Because good Chablis is subtle, it is crucial not to serve it too cold, which will mask the flavors. Barely cool is just about right.”)
Feeling compelled to drink something local, I also asked for the “least barriqued” Pinot Noir by the glass on the list and was served a Candela 2006. The staff at UnWined was very friendly and knowledgeable about the list (they told me they decant nearly every red wine served by the bottle, the “Cabs” and “Zins” needing extra time to open up, said our server).
Above: Céline Dijon (aka Verena Wiesendanger) did the dance of the Momie last night. For a change, I played Jean-Luc Retard’s (aka Dan Crane’s aka Björn Türoque’s) killer 70s-era SG instead of my John Carruthers custom Sunburst Tele with mint-green pickguard.
It was just one of those nights: the gig was strange but fun and we ended up back at the hotel drinking beers and laughing too loudly. I’m lucky to be in a band with folks whose company I really enjoy sharing. Ryan (aka Morris “Mars” Chevrolet) reminded me that — on stage and off — the music is ALWAYS fun.
You might have heard I run with a dangerous crowd
We ain’t too pretty we ain’t too proud
We might be laughing a bit too loud
But that never hurt no one
Tonight at Spaceland in LA is sure to be a fun one, too. I can’t wait to see all my old friends and be reunited with that gorgeous lady of mine.
This morning, one of my favorite wine bloggers, Brooklynguy, stopped by Do Bianchi and inquired about Movia’s Puro (yesterday, I posted a photo of Jon Erickson of Jaynes Gastropub disgorging a bottle of the traditional method sparkling wine).
The unusual thing about this wine is that Aleš Kristančič of Movia does not disgorge the wine before release. If handled properly, the wine is stored upside down so that the sediment settles in the neck of the bottle. In order to disgorge it, you place the bottle upside down in a vessel filled with water (ideally a clear punch bowl or similar), you hold the cork in one hand as you gently twist the bottle with the other, and when the sediment is released into the water, you turn the bottle right side up. As long as the sediment has settled entirely in the neck before disgorging, the wine will be clear (not cloudy).
Earlier this year, I found this YouTube video of an Italian sommelier disgorging a bottle (note that he has another bottle positioned upside down in a black cardboard tube that Movia now ships with the wine):
It looks like it’s hard to do and the first time you do it, your instinct is that the bottle is going to “backfire” toward you. But it’s actually really easy and while Nous Non Plus was staying at Movia in April, Aleš had each of us disgorge a bottle (even the girls and the drummer). I know that at least one NYC retailer of Italian wines sends out erroneous instructions about disgorging the wine: despite what the so-called “Italian wine experts” claim, you DO NOT NEED TO FREEZE THE SEDIMENT IN THE NECK of the bottle. You simply need to store the bottle upside down at your preferred serving temperature (I like my Puro at “cellar” temperature, not overly chilled).
He makes it look easy (and it is): Jean-Luc Retard (vox, bass) aka Dan Crane aka Björn Türoque disgorges a bottle of Movia Puro Rosé during a break from our recording session in May. We didn’t have a punch bowl so we used the sink in the studio’s kitchen. Björn is a veteran Air Guitar champ: check out his website.