Words SCOTT MORGAN
I am a lover of fine ales. This beer is a bit of a local legend and might be hard to come by outside the Pacific Northwest. It really is less of a beer and more of a barley wine despite being called a stout. It pushes brewing to its limits, usually coming in at around 14-percent ABV. A good friend of mine gave me his cellared bottle of Singularity before he left for a trip around the world with his family. While my initial intentions were to save it for his return, I decided the release of my last record Sea Island was a good enough reason to drink it. Well worth it; the dense, malty, smoky liquorice-like flavors are incredible. A beer worth savoring and a tipple worth mentioning as a highlight of 2014.
Lawrence English, Wilderness of Mirrors (Room40)
I’ve long been a fan of Lawrence’s work but this release is just really, really good. While I was en route to Decibel Festival earlier this year, I listened to this on the bus during a foggy drive through Washington State. An absolutely perfect accompaniment—rich, deep, textured, and filled with a fuzzy mixture of beauty and angst.
Motsunabe in Kyoto
I had the luxury of playing a few shows in Japan this year, a real highlight for me. Japan is well-known for its cuisine but I had never tried motsunabe before. Sometimes food is all about the experience and this is certainly the case here. You get the soup bowl filled with freshly cut ingredients put on your table on your own personal gas burner. You stir the cabbage, mushrooms, tripe, chills, etc. into the broth and essentially cook it yourself at the table. Serve and enjoy. An amazing Japanese experience shared with great company and not something I will soon forget.
Under the Skin
Not everyone loved this movie, I know. But I did. It’s obtuse and disjointed. It drops you into this strange place. The score is fantastic but the film itself is oddly musical. I found it enjoyably bleak and strange.
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
I’ve been through a bit of a crime fiction romp this year, all over the map from Agatha Christie and George V. Higgins to James Ellroy and Ian Rankin. I read Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl before it was made into a movie and enjoyed it enough to pick up her previous book Dark Places. Snappy, witty, brooding and dark with oddball characters and really vivid storytelling. Highly recommended.
Loscil’s ‘Sea Island’ LP is now available through Kranky. Stream it in full below…