Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Recommended Posts, April-June 2012

To keep in sync with brother-blog Froogville, where I've just added a similar rundown, here are some of the highlights from The Barstool earlier this year.

Guided Tour - recommended posts from the 2nd quarter of 2012

1)  Great Drinking Songs (32)  -   8th April 2012
Harry McClintock's hobo song Big Rock Candy Mountains, which I remembered fondly but dimly from my distant childhood, and was happy to rediscover a few years ago when the Coen brothers used it in the soundtrack to their Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

As I near the date for my (possibly final) departure from China, I reflect on some good times past and list those Beijing bars where I have seen the sun come up.... and/or fallen asleep.

3)  Great Love Songs (31)  -  14th April 2012
Hoarse-voiced Norwegian dynamo Ida Maria's infectious shoutalong I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked.

4)  Cocktails in the afternoon!  -  17th April 2012
A private tasting at MaoMaoChong introduces me to some interesting new drink recipes.

In the week of the centenary of the loss of the Titanic, I find myself reflecting on a number of metaphors inspired by the disaster - and their disastrous significance for me.

6)  Haiku Bar Haiku 282  -  20th April 2012
I suffer a case of End of the World blues.

7)  Top Five Things We Miss From JK's Playlist  -  21st April 2012
My favourite bar owner had been back in Oz for 6 months, and down at the bar I found I was starting to miss some of the classic slices of cheese that used to come up particularly often on his iTunes playlist.

8)  Bon mot for the week  -  23rd April 2012
A particularly good one, from Friedrich Nietzsche.

9)  Haiku Bar Haiku 283  -  27th April 2012
Some thoughts on the shortcomings of 'happy hours'.

10)  An extreme 'Unsuitable Role Model'  -  28th April 2012
Perhaps the most unsavoury entrant ever in this series: blathering Glaswegian drunk Rab C. Nesbitt - a fabulous comic creation by writer Ian Pattison and actor Gregor Fisher.

11)  Seasonal drinking  -  1st May 2012
Some cocktail ideas for May Day.

12)  The beauty of statistics  -  3rd May 2012
Where is the highest concentration of bars - per capita, or per square mile - in America? Someone can show you.

13)  Memories of the SARS summer  -  8th May 2012
A long overdue post on my (mostly rather joyous!) recollections of my first summer in Beijing.

Reminiscences of my long affection for Queen, and a video of their anthemic singalong (Japanese chorus and all!) Teo Torriatte.

15)  The price issue (AGAIN) - 15th May 2012
A follow-up to this post from a little over a year earlier, decrying the outrageous overcharging we are increasingly being asked to accept in Beijing's bars.

16)  Haiku Bar Haiku 286 - 18th May 2012
On the brink of saying goodbye, I reflect on the handful of bars here that have inspired something like love in me.

17)  Junk food heaven!  -  19th May 2012
I find myself looking forward to some unhealthy eating 'treats' when I get back to the UK.

18)  Taking my leave  -  23rd May 2012
To mark my departure from Beijing after nearly 10 years, I could think of nothing more appropriate than The Wailing Jennys' beautiful a cappella version of The Parting Glass.

19)  Generic expat bars, and why I hate them  -  29th May 2012
A particularly undistinguished new bar opening in the (expat-frequented) Lido area of north-east Beijing leads me into an analysis of what invariably seems to be done badly about this sort of place, and why I could quite happily live without any of them.

20)  Caipirinha!  -  31st May 2012
I celebrate being back in the old country by having cocktails at home - oh, the decadence!

21)  Haiku Bar Haiku 288 - 1st June 2012
The delights of the traditional British 'lock in'.

22)  A song for the Euros - 9th June 2012
I celebrate the kick-off of the European Football Championships by posting a video of Neil Innes' One Thing On Your Mind, a great C&W pastiche about the eternal incompatibility of the sexes. (This post became my discussion thread for chatting about the tournament.)

23)  Does Nanluoguxiang have a future? - 11th June 2012
NO. I predict the inevitable implosion of Beijing's most overhyped, overcrowded bar & shopping street. A great pity - it used to be my favourite place in the city.

24)  A decade of change:
Part 1 - 12th June 2012
Part 2 - 14th June 2012
Part 3 - 19th June 2012
This three-part series on the evolution of the Beijing bar scene during my ten years living here has already been given permanent links in the sidebar.

Another entrant in my new-ish series on great bass playing, this time focusing on bass parts that are a little more sinuous and sophisticated than my previous roundups of 'hooks' and 'chuggers'.

26)  Last call - 30th June 2012
Semisonic's Closing Time and Tom Waits's I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You: two great songs about the poignancy of the bar's closing at the end of the evening - and the danger of romantic entanglements forming at the bar!

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