From the DEPARTMENT OF ROCK AND ROLL…
A rock and roll band invaded our house this weekend…
Loved this gorgeous photo by Tracie P…
It’s always so amazing to work with Céline in the studio… incredible voice, incredible chops…
Rock ‘n’ roll is a very serious business or so says Jean-Luc…
And the best part of having the band record its new album at our house? There’s always someone around to entertain little Georgia P. I wish yall could hear her laugh… it’s the SWEETEST thing…
From the department of “from darkness comes light”…
Above: Girls is a new show on HBO.
As the title reveals, “Les Damnés” was a track that I wrote for my band Nous Non Plus during a dark time in my life when I was living in New York and working in the restaurant industry by day and the music industry by night. It was an extremely productive time for me but a very unhappy one…
When I brought it to my dear friend and writing partner Verena (aka Céline Dijon), she brought her own darkness to the song, writing about traitorous lovers “damned” to an unhappy existence.
Her performance on the recording, superbly produced by Dan (aka Jean-Luc Retard) who forms the troika of our writing équipe, is as stirring to me now as it was that day, many moons ago, in an Eagle Rock recording studio.
For its pathos, it’s one of the songs that I’m the most proud of and it also features an amazing drum solo by our friend Joachim Cooder (who played on the entire album, Ménagerie, Aeronaut, 2009).
To listen to it now still brings chills to my marrow but it also reminds me that from darkness can come light… post tenebras lux…
“Les Damnés” will be featured on the new HBO show Girls on Sunday, April 22, episode 2, “Vagina Panic.”
“Les Damnés” from the Nous Non Plus 2009 release Ménagerie (Aeronaut) will be featured on the new HBO series Girls on April 22 (“Vagina Panic,” episode 2).
“HBO’s ‘Girls’ Is the Best New TV Show of 2012.”
Yes, hell has frozen over and the band is getting back together.
Céline Dijon and Jean-Luc Retard and I (Cal d’Hommage) have begun recording our new album in the Groovers Paradise (otherwise known as Austin).
And Tracie P has been cooking up a storm.
Yesterday, she cooked a pork shoulder for seven hours in our Crock-Pot with chiles and chocolate. They were served topped with homemade slaw, avocados, and fresh salsa and wrapped in corn tortillas from a local tortilleria. The 06 Montbourgeau made for a fantastic pairing.
Chip and dip, anyone? Please pass the grooves…
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.
Above: Nous Non Plus in June 2008. There’s no excuse for shameless self-promotion, is there? After all, it’s shameless! That’s me, far left.
New Yorkers and américains, mark you’re calendars: Nous Non Plus will be headlining at the Mercury Lounge on the Lower East Side, Monday, February 9, 10 p.m.
We’ll be hot on the heels of our France 09 Tour, including our Paris appearance at Point Ephémère, Wednesday, February 4. (Believe it or not, our tour is also taking us to do a date in Bordeaux! What in the world is Do Bianchi gonna drink there? Bored-oh?)
Click here for tickets for the Feb. 9 show.
Our new album, Ménagerie (Aeronaut Records), will be on shelves (virtual and real) on Feb. 3.
You can download an mp3 of our cover of The Unicorns’ Tuff Ghost here.
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.