Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Today's Cues: Attack of the Hair Bands

Just a quick note. As if the controller of the cosmos had decided that the universe had been without some good Hair Metal for too long....two 80's-90's iconic bands have new albums out.

Whitesnake (yes, they of the Tawny Kitaen on-the-hood-of-the-car-in-the-video fame) are back with a new album, Good To Be Bad. Quite frankly, the thing kicks ass. Whitesnake's David Coverdale always produced songs with hard, driving verses and insanely harmonious, bombastic choruses, and this offering is like taking a ride in a very welcoming time machine. Awesome.

Not to be outdone, Def Leppard, the band that set the watermark by which all other pop-metal 80's bands measured themselves, put out a new album this week. The title is lame - Songs from the Sparkle Lounge - but the music is awesome. This is as close as Lep has been to their much-heralded 80's sound since, well, the late 80's.

More to come on these two albums, but for now, follow the links for a taste.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Today's Brew: Shiner Blonde

Texas is home to a mighty fine microwbrewery - the Spoetzl Brewery. You may never have heard of Spoetzl, but you've heard of their most famous brew - Shiner Bock.

Take a stroll down Austin's 6th Street on any given night, and the Shiner Bock will be flowing. I don't exactly know how Shiner Bock became the college beer of choice in Texas in the mid 90's, but it did. And it's still wildly popular.

But Shiner Bock isn't the only offering from Spoetzl. They have a full slate of very good beers, one of which is Shiner Blonde.

Today, Shiner Blonde isn't the same beer it used to be. Seems that once Spoetzl started distributing the stuff outside the Lone Star borders, they watered it down, to make it more mass-marketable. That notwithstading, it's still a fine spring and summer brew; more taste than any American macro, but not too heavy to enjoy by the pool or lake on a hot day. In fact, this is one of the beers that I use to wean my friends off of macros and introduce them to the world of craft beer. So, call it a "bridge beer" perhaps - but pick up some for the summer, and enjoy!