Thursday, October 18, 2012

Week 15-18: 

O'Fallon Pumpkin (5.60%)
Yuengling Oktoberfest (5.40%)
Blackstone Pumpkin (5.10%)
Leinenkugel Lemon Berry Shandy (4.20%)
Crown Valley Woodtruck Wheat (5.30%)
Crown Valley Raspberry Wheat (5.50%)
Crown Valley Black Cabin Smoked Ale (5.60%)
Sam Adams Hazel Brown (5.20%)
Four in Hand River Card Wheat (4.50%)

Beers Already Tried From This Brewery: 
O'Fallon: 5 Day IPA, Gold, Hemp Hop Rye, Kite Tail Summer Ale, 
Yuengling: Yuengling, Lord Chesterfield, Black & Tan, Yuengling Light, Yuengling Porter
Crown Valley: None
Sam Adams: Too many to mention
Four in Hand: All In IPA, Winter Brew

The O'Fallon Pumpkin beer while not the best pumpkin that I've had to date was still a solid beer. The smell wasn't overpowering like I have come to love from a pumpkin beer but the taste was good.

The Yuengling Oktoberfest that I tried is exactly what you'd expect out of anything coming from Yuengling, an incredibly solid beer. You cannot go wrong with this as your Oktoberfest beer of choice. 

Blackstone Pumpkin was a very refreshing pumpkin. Not overwhelming in flavor like I prefer with my pumpkins but still delicious. Would recommend.

Leinenkugel Lemon Berry Shandy might go down as one of my favorite beers ever. As many know, I've always considered the Leinie Summer Shandy to be one, if not my favorite beer and somehow this managed to top it. Perfect patio beer.

Both of the Crown Valley Wheats were solid but nothing out of this world. It was cool to find a brewery that I'd never heard of. The Black Cabin Smoked wasn't a great beer but went well with the cigars we were smoking.

Sam Adams Hazel Brown is probably one of the best browns that I've had. Simply a well done beer. You can find these in the Sam Adams Fall mix pack at your grocery store.

The last beer of these is the Four In Hand River Card Wheat, which I found at Whole Foods. The aroma of this beer was pretty foul for a wheat beer but the taste wasn't nearly as bad. Probably as basic a wheat beer as you'll find. Only reason I'd go back for more is that it was on sale for $5.99

Album #1: Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys (1966)
Length: 35 Minutes, 57 Seconds

Widely considered one of the most influential albums of all-time as well as one of the best albums of all-time on many a list, I finally decided to get around to listening to this one. When Paul McCartney says it's his favorite album, you have to give it a shot. 

This album starts off with one of the two songs I previously knew in Wouldn't It Be Nice. Obviously very catchy and easily my favorite on the album. The other song that I knew going in was God Only Knows, which I love as well.

I know this is going to seem wrong to many but this album just didn't do much for me. It wasn't because it wasn't a quality album, as the harmonies were amazing and the unconventional instruments used were wonderfully done but just because it didn't hit me the right way. Maybe I wasn't in the right mood to truly appreciate this album but I will give this album another shot. 

One song that I didn't know that did stand out which I enjoyed was I'm Waiting For The Day. 

Despite my review, I would suggest listening Pet Sounds to determine for yourself.

Album #2: Horses by Patti Smith (1975)
Length: 43 Minutes, 10 Seconds

Considered to be one of the greatest albums of all time by Rolling Stone (#44) and Time Magazine (Top 100), I decided to give this album a shot. Being part of the punk rock scene of the 70s, it was definitely going to be a different genre than I've done through the first 14 weeks of the blog.

I'll be honest, I didn't like this album at all. Despite hearing Joan Jett and Fiona Apple in alot of the songs, it was just something I couldn't get into at all. The guitar and keys were nice but alot of the vocals just seemed to be all over the place. A bunch of times there was just talking parts where I felt it just didn't make any sense at all.

I guess I'll chalk it up to that just not being my style of music. I'm disappointed because I was hoping I'd atleast like a few of the songs on the album.

Album #3: Songs In The Key of Life by Stevie Wonder (1976)
Length: 1 Hour, 25 Minutes

Known as one of the most influential albums to the likes of Elton John and many others and often listed as one of the greatest albums of all-time, I knew that I had to check this album despite the fact that it was a daunting 21 songs spanning almost an hour and a half in length.

After checking this album out, I can safely say I completely agree with it's consideration as one of the greatest albums of all-time. What's even more incredible is that other than Isn't She Lovely and I Wish, I didn't know any other songs.

Seriously, Stevie Wonder's voice is pure gold. One of the best songs that I heard was Sir Duke. By the time this was written, I listened to it three times on its own. One of the best songs to dance to, bar none.

I feel bad not breaking this album down song by song but it's pretty overwhelming. However, I will say with confidence that if you've never checked this album out in its entirity that you absolutely should do so. Not doing so would be damn foolish.

Album #4: The Afterman: Ascension by Coheed & Cambria (2012)
Length: 39 Minutes, 29 Seconds

The 6th studio album from Coheed & Cambria, The Afterman: Ascension is the first of a double album. The second will be released in February of 2012 and will be named The Afterman: Descension.

As many know, I'm a huge Coheed fan but was highly disappointed with their last effort, The Year of the Black Rainbow. My expectation, while high because of the band were slightly tempered after YOBR.

However, after hearing the almost 8 minute single "Key Entity Extraction I: Domino the Destitute" a few weeks prior to the album being released, I got incredibly pumped. The original drummer Josh was back after replacing the very talented Chris Pennie and I felt the overall sound of the band was returning to its greatness. 

The first track is The Hollow and has a very eerie feeling to The Ring In Return off their 2nd album. The next track was the single I mentioned Key Entity Extraction I: Domino the Destitute and simply kicks ass. This one is probably my favorite on the album. It definitely has a feel of The Willing Wells off their 3rd album.

The third track on the album is The Afterman, which has a very unique guitar riff. It's a soft and slow song with Claudio's vocals shining here. I can honestly say that there's never been another Coheed song like it.

The fourth track is Mothers of Men, which felt like a song straight off their album "No World For Tomorrow". Very good song. Next up is Goodnight, Fair Lady which is Coheed poppiness at its finest.  This one is probably my 2nd favorite song on the album.

The sixth track on the album is Key Entity Extraction II: Holly Wood the Cracked. This one is probably the closest song on this album that comes to Year of the Black Rainbow. However, the 1:30-1:43 part, it was some of the best Coheed I've heard in a while. It's a shame there wasn't more of it. Also, this song is about a crack Coheed fan that actually sent videos to Claudio and his wife saying all sorts of crazy stuff on it. Very creepy.

The seventh track is Key Entity Extraction III: Vic the Butcher which is probably the closest thing to classic Coheed that you'll find on this album. The riff on this shreds and I love the line "Hang your secrets, hang em up, hang em up now." If they play that live, that song will get the crowd going so hard.

The second to last track is Key Entity Extraction IV: Evagria the Faithful. Solid song, not a whole lot to add to it.

The final track is Subtraction. Another slow song that Claudio does so well.

Overall, this album is really really good. I don't know if it's enough to overtake the first four albums for my favorite but certainly Year of the Black Rainbow. I really can't wait for February to get the 2nd half of this double album.

Movie #1: Bernie (2011)
Length: 1 Hour, 44 Minutes 
Main Cast: Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey, Shirley MacLaine

Easily the best movie that I've ever seen starring Jack Black and that's including School of Rock. Clearly different movies so I won't try and compare but the performance he, as well as Matthew McConaughey put was spectacular.

This dark comedy was indeed dark. While the first half of the movie was dark, it certainly had more laughter than the back half of the movie. Not knowing this was based on a true story until after watching made me say WTF?

Overall, this movie is an absolute no brainer MUST WATCH for anyone.

Movie #2: Airplane! (1980)
Length: 1 Hour, 27 Minutes
Main Cast: Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Robert Stack, Kareem-Abdul Jabbar

Simply put, this movie was a one liner classic. So many there, it's hard to list them all.

I absolutely loved this movie and would definitely recommend this to anyone! 

Movie #3: Scott Pilgrim vs the World (2010)
Length: 1 Hour, 52 Minutes
Main Cast: Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kieran Culkin, Chris Evans

All I have to say is that I have a new crush and her name is Ramona Flowers. Oh my goodness, she might be one of the most attractive girls I've seen in a really long time. I couldn't stop thinking about how adorable she was during this entire movie. Pretty sure I never want to date a girl that has generic hair ever again. Pink, blue, green...doesn't matter. She pulled it off in this movie.

Oh yeah, I guess I should probably talk about the movie. Well, I thoroughly enjoyed it even if I'm not a gamer of sorts with that nerdy side. It was refreshing to see a movie so unique and had never been done.

Michael Cera did a great job in this movie and honestly, I liked his character even more in this movie than in Superbad.

I would definitely recommend this for people to see.

Movie #4: National Lampoon's Animal House
Length: 1 Hour, 43 Minutes
Main Cast: John Belushi, Tim Matheson, John Vernon, Donald Sutherland

Known as one of the original fraternity comedies and considered by many to be the best as well, I knew I had to see it.

This one, while funny, wasn't nearly as funny as I was expecting. I guess maybe the hype behind the movie was more than what I got out of it. Of course, I absolutely loved Bluto's "Pearl Harbor" speech, the end with the parade was hilarious and the line "You fucked trusted us" so I don't want to make like it seem like it was a dud but I wouldn't tell anyone that this is a must-see movie like many others I've seen to date.

Food #1: Very Berry Strawberry Yogurt from TCBY (Midtown)

After having tried ice cream already, I knew that me trying yogurt for the first time wasn't going to be as big a deal but I knew that I wanted to try something other than vanilla.

Picking out my flavor was probably the hardest part of the whole process. I'm pretty sure I annoyed the ever living hell out of the manager with my indecision but oh well, she can get over it.

Finally settling on scooped Very Berry Strawberry, I got to the part I knew I'd enjoy which was the adding of the toppings. I decided to add gummy bears, sour gummy worms, M&Ms and some rock thing that said manager decided to throw in without my knowledge.

Just like with the ice cream, I took incredibly small bites because the texture of ice cream/yogurt is still so foreign to me. I probably sat there for over 45 minutes only to finish about half of it.

Overall, I would try it again but I have a feeling that it's not something that I'm going to rush out and eat on a daily basis. Also while there, I did try pink lemonade sorbet which was delicious.

Food #2: Subway Seafood & Crab between Krispy Kreme Doughnut

Another horrible decision made between three friends on this one. Somehow I got roped into a bet gone terribly wrong where all parties involved regretted it tremendously.

Similarly to the chickenstrips between a cut up doughnut, we just replaced it with Subway Seafood & Crab. That flavor alone for me was pretty gross but you combine it with the sweetness of the Krispy Kreme doughnut and it took it to whole other level of nastiness.

Needless to say, I would never recommend this to your worst enemy.

Food #3: Hummus from Flying Saucer (Cordova)

This is one of the few items I've tried that I didn't order for myself. I simply took a bite from a friend of mine while sitting on the patio at the Flying Saucer in Cordova.

Not much to write about this. It was okay, nothing spectacular though. I'd try it again but I'd never actually order it for myself.

Food #4: Philly Cheesesteak from Lenny's (Lakeland)

Having never been to Lenny's before, pretty much anything I tried was going to be new to me. I decided to go with the recomendation of one of their finest employees and get the Philly Cheesesteak, which I learned is what they're most known for. 

Pretty simply sub with steak, onions and provolone cheese. I decided to take the onions off for my first time. 

I have to say, this was a pretty tasty sub. I would definitely eat this again. 

Also: I tried some jalepeno chips, which I wasn't a fan of. Not surprising though. 

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