Wednesday, February 15, 2017

All Hail Jens & Hannah

Some people say they were the British Simon and Garfunkel.  Others say they were the dry-run for Steeleye Span. Jimmy Page once claimed that the members of Led Zeppelin listened to Jens and Hannah almost continuously, alternating with Howlin' Wolf.

But the truth is, Jens Eastgate and Hannah Holbein, the star-crossed lovers whose torrid romance and subsequent flameout were the talk of the 60s London folk scene, made a music all their own. Rooted in the traditional tunes of the Lake Country, but borrowing influences from as far afield as Brazilian jazz and Kazakh experimental percussion, they were an inspiration to listeners and musicians alike.

For our money, this was their masterpiece:  Shrove Tuesday Coming, a 1967 studio album that chronicled the rise and fall of their relationship.  Already on the rocks, they would only perform live a half-dozen times after STC was released, and release two decidedly anticlimactic albums.  But this one -- this one was and remains a classic.  Whether you're swooning with new love, or gently drinking yourself through a breakup that came too late, this has probably been the music you turned to.

Sadly, it was only released on one lo-fi CD in 1992.  It is in urgent need of a digital remaster, but the lawyers for Hannah's estate have tied it up in court.  That's okay -- we'll always have vinyl.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

God is Dead

Nietzsche killed him.  Or Dawkins.  Or maybe it was the Klingons.  Yeah, that's the ticket:  it was the Klingons.  

God was  a tough old bird.  He'd long since kicked the asses of  Dagon, Baal, Zeus and Thor.  He'd pretty much conquered the world at one point.  No question he was tougher than a syphilitic Kraut or a narcissistic Brit.  But Klingons ... well, they're an ugly bunch.

Anyway, God is dead, Christianity is dying, religion is a sham.  You can read about it in the papers every day.  Which left those neurasthenic chancel-prancers at Magdalene's Egg with nothing much to write about.

So they gave me their blog.  And now we're gonna talk about stuff that never dies.  Manly stuff.  Like killing animals.  And sports.  Tough sports, like, um, squash.  Don't laugh -- you ever look at a squash player in the locker room?  Those guys are buff.  Not that I look at other guys in the locker room.  What  are you suggesting?  Anyway, stop interrupting me when I'm ... what was I saying?

Right.  Manly stuff.

Like Hemingway.  And sailors.  And maybe the Mongols.

Oh, and naked ladies because, well, who doesn't like naked ladies?  Even other ladies like 'em, which is why they put them on the cover of the fashion magazines.  It's a little weird when you think about it, but nothing sells clothes as fast as nudity.  Not that I actually read fashion magazines, because I gave that up when my wife found my stash.

Anyways, if you came here looking for your daily dose of religion, sex and politics, you're out of luck.  Cry me a river, pally.  The only resemblance this blog has to the Egg is that they're both hard-boiled.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

He's the Cook, Man!

Steven Seagal may not be the most important actor in America today, a title that surely belongs to the immortal Chuck Norris.  But Seagal clearly knows greatness when he sees it:  he has been busily defending Vladimir Putin from some recent bad press.

Seagal was invited onto Russia Today, where viewers were reminded that both Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwartzenegger had been Hollywood stars -- just like Seagal! -- and that the star of Pistol Whipped and Mercenary for Justice is "no less popular or authoritative in the world today."  He's also done a 2,000 word interview with the Rossikaya Gazeta, further explaining why Putin is Da Man and Obama is, as we all know, a limp-wristed sissy.

The Moscow Times sums up the interview:

Seagal, a Republican who is thought to be a relatively close acquaintance of Putin partly due to their shared love of martial arts, said that Putin is "one of the great living world leaders" and that he "would like to consider him as a brother." Earlier this month he helped Putin promote the relaunch of a physical fitness program discontinued after the fall of the Soviet Union. 

And there you have it.  Steven Seagal is a true manly man, as popular and authoritative as Ronald Reagan, spiritual brother of one of the world's greatest living leaders.  If you don't believe it, just ask him.  Or, if he doesn't return your call, ask Putin's state-run media.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Eating Beaver

By the great Bradford Angier:

Beaver was something I had very much wanted to eat ever since I was a boy and had read Horace Kephart's regretful observation:  "This tidbit of old-time trappers will be tasted by few of our generation, more's the pity."  It was a lean black-haired trapper, Dan Macdonald, who first gave me the opportunity, some years later, and as beaver are one of the principal fur animals along the upper Peace River, I've been fortunate enough to be able to enjoy amisk many times since. ...
Beaver quarters seem almost incommensurately delicious when you're hungry from outdoor exertion .... The meat has a distinctive taste and odor somewhat resembling that of a plump turkey.  ... A beaver tail looks surprisingly like a scaly black fish whose head has been removed. ... The beaver tail is so full of nourishing oil, incidentally, that if set too close to a blaze it will burn like a torch.  The meat is white and gelatinous, and rich enough that one finds oneself not wanting too much of it at at time.

-- from How to Stay Alive in the Woods

The Sailor and the Monkey