Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The Last Word


Seattle Times - "Prominent Seattle bartender Murray Stenson dies at age 74"

"Stenson’s legacy, though, will likely be tied to The Last Word, the obscure cocktail that he made famous.

A collector of rare cocktail books, Stenson was leafing through the 1951 bartenders guide “Bottoms Up” by Ted Saucier, when he came across a pre-Prohibition-era gin drink that had originated at the Detroit Athletic Club.

Made with gin, fresh-squeezed lime juice, maraschino liqueur and green Chartreuse, The Last Word is a balance of sweet-and-sour, with a robust herbaceous tone.

The drink became a cult classic in the Seattle area around 2005, then made its way to the Portland bar scene and was eventually picked up at cocktail dens in New York City. The Last Word then started to appear on drink menus in Chicago and San Francisco and spread to several cities in Europe — especially around London and Amsterdam — and beyond.

Jim Meehan, the co-founder of PDT in New York’s East Village, one of the world’s most famous cocktail bars, called Stenson not just a Seattle star but an international figure.

There is a worldwide shortage of Chartreuse now, and the drink that’s most associated with this French herbal liqueur is The Last Word, Meehan said: “The Last Word put Chartreuse on the map. That is a good barometer of Murray’s reach.”

The cocktail resurgence that started in 2004 helped turn Stenson into a rock star in the industry, as mixologist wannabes sat at Zig Zag Café, taking copious notes in their Moleskine notebooks, while watching Stenson stir drinks and quizzing him about lost classics.

“Murray was a mentor, before we ever talked about mentors,” said Paul Clarke, executive editor of Imbibe magazine. “Bartenders would come to his bar to listen, and to taste, and to watch, and to learn. He never sought the spotlight, but he knew what he meant to other bartenders in Seattle, and he took that role seriously. The Last Word may be Murray’s most lasting gift to the cocktail world, but the contributions he made to Seattle’s bar culture run much deeper than any drink.”"

The Legend of Notre Dame's Green Jerseys

Phone Calls with Usher

Friday, September 22, 2023

Nike's Floating Court in Slovenia for Luka Doncic


Timberwolves 35th Anniversary Retro Uniforms


NBA.com - "Timberwolves Celebrate 35th Anniversary Season; Unveil Classic Edition Uniforms, Court and Logo"

How Good Was Multi-Athlete Deion Sanders?

The Story of Multi-Athlete Charlie Ward


ESPN - "Inside two-sport star Charlie Ward's Heisman season, 30 years later"

How Streaming Has Changed the Music Industry


Wall Street Journal - "Streaming Is Changing the Sound of Music"

"In 1972, the Temptations hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, winning three Grammys, with a seven-minute version of the song “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone.” Before the Temptations sing a word, an instrumental introduction featuring organ, guitar, bass, and a hi-hat cymbal ebbs and flows for more than four minutes. If the group were in the studio today, the title chorus would most likely have been featured much earlier in the song. That’s because music streaming services pay artists based on the number of plays each month, and to count as a play, a user must listen to the song past the 30-second mark. If a song you’ve never heard before takes a long time to get to the hook or simply has an extended intro, there is a good chance that you may simply hit the button to go to the next song.

To keep the “skip rate” as low as possible, musical artists are increasingly moving a song’s hook or chorus to that initial 30-second sweet spot. Nate Sloan and Charlie Harding, the hosts of the “Switched on Pop” podcast, have coined the term “Pop Overture” to describe a new trend in which a song “will play a hint of the chorus in the first five to 10 seconds so that the hook is in your ear, hoping that you’ll stick around till about 30 seconds in when the full chorus eventually comes in.”

Creators are modifying more than just the introductory sections of tracks for optimal performance on streaming. Every track that is listened to for more than 30 seconds counts as a play, but whether a listener makes it all the way through a song helps to determine whether a streaming service like Spotify will recommend similar songs in the future."

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Why Americans Are So Awful to Each Other


The Atlantic - "How America Got Mean"

By David Brooks

Movie Matte Paintings


The Killer

Directed by David Fincher
Starring Michael Fassbender, Arliss Howard, Charles Parnell, Kerry O'Malley, Sala Baker, Sophie Charlottem Tilda Swinton


Directed by Michael Mann
Starring Adam Driver, Penélope Cruz, Shailene Woodley, Sarah Gadon, Gabriel Leone, Jack O'Connell, Patrick Dempsey

Nebraska's 92,000 Volleyball Fans


New York Times - "A Record Crowd Shows Buildup of Nebraska Volleyball and Women’s Sports"
ESPN - "How Nebraska volleyball plans to pack Memorial Stadium"

Cover Songs


GQ - "What’s Cool Right Now, According to Stylish People With Great Taste"

Cover Songs
Don’t pad out your playlist with cover songs, make a new one stuffed with them, and celebrate the bold act of putting new spins on old ideas. “It’s a beautiful art,” Urrutia says, “to reinvent something.”

1. Peter Gabriel covering the Magnetic Fields’ “The Book of Love”
2. The White Stripes covering Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”
3. The Beachwood Sparks covering Sade’s “By Your Side”
4. Stereo Total covering Salt-N-Pepa’s “Push It”
5. Divine Comedy covering David Bowie’s “Life on Mars” (above)

Raiding Mines for $100K Vintage Denim


NY Mag - "The Realest Pair of Jeans"