Trying to be on our best behavior, it's Blowin' Smoke #140!
With a who's who of Cretins in the house, Blowin' Smoke welcomed George Rodriguez of Rodrigo Cigars to the show. It was a real pleasure to meet, herf with and get to know the man behind and the story of Rodrigo Cigars. Thank you, George, for sharing some of your valuable time with us.
With George's help, we announced the winners in the cigar store Indians naming contest, checked out some listener email, announced plans for the 6th annual Big Ass Birthday Show at Slippery Rock Cigars, and dove into our usual pool of oddball stories found on the internet. Plus, George Rodriguez was kind enough to provide our latest installment of 5 Things.
So, kick back, light up a favorite cigar and enjoy Blowin' Smoke #140!
I don't get out much. It's not because I don't like to get out much, or because society generally asks me not to...although that is sometimes the case...usually following a Taco Bell binge, but I digress. It's because work and family keep my weeks pretty full. I can't get out to the B&Ms nearly as much as I would like. The Cretins do, and they often find a new cigar or a little gem here and there, usually at the suggestion of the proprietors / tobacconists, and tell me about it afterward. Flipping one of these into a Pick It / Flick It for you seemed like a good idea, and Cretin Kevin was happy to oblige. ~ El Freako
Hence embedded in theÖoh wait, wrong person, itís not El Freako this time. Itís Cretin Kevin with my first Pick It or Flick It. Since there is no official man chair in my humble abode, I have ventured out to the back deck with a relatively new stick, the Curivari El Gran Rey.
During my last visit to Allegheny Smokeworks, Mike (the owner) introduced me to this line. He had just got it in that week and was anxious to tell me about it. He described it to me as being very Cuban-esque, which wasnít really a selling point in my mind. However, Mike knows what I like, so I decided to give it a shot. I chose the Emperadores, a standard sized 5x50 robusto. It is a Nicaraguan Puro with Cuban Seed Criollo and Corojo tobacco. Judging from the darker color on the wrapper, I am assuming that it is where the Criollo is. There is a fairly understated white, red and gold band lending more of that Cuban feeling Mike talked about.
As with most evenings where I am, it is fairly quiet out on the deck and Iíve got a ballgame playing on my iPhone. Tonightís choice is the Rangers/Indians game. The teams are kind of irrelevant to me, but I just love baseball on the radio.
I decided to go with my normal v-cut and the cigar has a nice pre-light draw. There is an initial spice hit once lit, but it does disappear kind of quickly. The cigar mellows out into a nice rich tobacco flavor. Easing back in the Adirondack chair, I prepare to enjoy my evening when the sky begins to light up with the tell tale signs of an approaching storm. Hopefully itíll hold off until I finish the cigar. The burn is almost razor sharp, with no touch-ups through the first half of the cigar. Iím picking up a little bit of cedar on the finish. Even with the wind that is picking up, there is a lot of smoke coming off of this stick. This cigar is listed as full-bodied, I would say itís more medium, but thatís just my opinion.
As I get down to the last third of this cigar, the spice has come back in a good way and the cigar is picking up a little bit in intensity, but nothing that should scare you off. One thing that I do love about this cigar right now is how it is staying firm all the way to the end, nothing disappoints me more than a cigar that feels squishy as you smoke it down to the nub.
Luckily, the cigar is almost finished, as the storm is closing in, and it looks like itís going to be one hell of a storm. I didnít pick up the flavors that their website described, but I still found it to be an enjoyable smoke. With a price point of around $6.50, I definitely say...
Hence embedded in the divine and righteous Man Chair smoking a 262 Paradigm Robusto and slurping coffee with VH1 Classics on the plasma I got to thinking. When did MY music become "classic" or (gasp) "oldies?" Oldies? That is the stuff my dad listened to...and I loved, by the way. No, I'm talking about the music that was popular when I was growing up.
Sure there is a boat load of it out there and you can find it online, on radio station time warp style weekends, specials on TV, and in a box of dusty cassette tapes somewhere in my basement. I try to expose my teenaged daughter, and soon, my son to it, but she rolls her eyes and laughs at me more than she tries to enjoy it and maybe add it to her iPod library. Left to themselves, my kids might never experience my generation of music outside of "that oldies station" on the radio...if they even listen to terrestrial radio anymore...I rarely do.
So, as a primer, I've decided to assemble a list, in no particular order, of ten songs from my youth that I think they have to know for various reasons to help them better appreciate their old man and whence he came. This list is by no means definitive and I reserve the right to add to and edit it as I see fit. Unzip your parachute pants, check the knot on your skinny tie, and see if you agree with any of my choices.
1) KISS - "Rock N Roll All Night" -- When I was a kid, I was a big KISS fan. I dressed as Ace Frehley for Halloween one year. I couldn't understand why my dad, who thought they were assholes, wouldn't let me go see them live at the old legendary Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh. I was 8 or 9, maybe. I was old enough. Their makeup, character alter egos, and concert productions were amazing. (Beats the hell out of a meat dress.) Gene Simmons should be teaching business at Harvard, and this song is an excellent first step into your air guitar career.
2) Don McLean - "American Pie" -- To many, that's all that needs to be said. Hardly. When this song came out, I was 5, and I always knew the "Chevy to the levy" line, but it wasn't until years later that I realized the song told a story and, thanks to my dad exposing me to HIS music, the story moved me. Every kid needs to know, at least the basics, of what "American Pie" is all about. Plus, it's a great song to sing when you are drunk...not that I condone that.
3) Buggles - "Video Killed The Radio Star" -- A long time ago, MTV, which stands for Music Television, actually played music videos. In some ways, it changed the world when it debuted at midnight, August 1, 1981 with the music video for this song. To see MTV, you needed cable. To get cable, you had to convince your parents to pay for TV which, up until that time, was free with four to six channels (if you were lucky) and required an antenna on the roof of your house. MTV was the smartphone/iPad of today...you were addicted to it.
4) A Flock of Seagulls - "I Ran" -- Just making sure you're paying attention. Look, there are two redeeming qualities to this song...more specifically, the music video. The dude's f'ed up hair, and the intensity with which he plays one, sometimes two keys on his synthesizer. Both are hysterical. There will be at least one time in your life when you will be presented with the opportunity to whip out a Flock of Seagulls reference to a friend's hair or some freak making your french fries...don't waste it...and the keyboard playing is just too damn funny.
5) Meatloaf - "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" -- When I started college, my tastes in music were expanded greatly and, I'm embarrassed to say, I had never heard this one before. I was turned on to this tune and the entire Bat Out of Hell LP...that's a record, a long play album...vinyl disk thing...never mind. The important thing is your old man was exposed to this song by a very cute girl from Erie who, upon hindsight observation, used me for sex. (Diane, do not EVER EVER do that. Sam,...wear a condom.) Anywho, the more important thing is this song is great to sing at the top of your lungs, drunk in a bar, with your significant other on your arm. Memorize the words and impress your friends. Sam...pay close attention to the words. Always listen to the head on your shoulders.
6) Dion & The Belmonts - "I Wonder Why" -- OK, before you think I am way older than I am, I'm including a couple songs in here that, thanks to my dad, were in my ears growing up. Dad turned me on to HIS music when I was a kid. A lot of his music was doo-wop, and this is my favorite doo-wop song. Sorry, no boy band can match the sounds that rose from the street corners without digital processing, big fat booties, and bling. This music paved the way for that stuff with snapping fingers and voices. Appreciate the past.
7) The Vogues - TIE - "You're The One & "Five O'clock World" - Another one from my dad...The Vogues. I can't decide which of these two are my favorite so, a tie. Not only are The Vogues from Pittsburgh, but I had the opportunity to introduce Chuck Blasko and The Vogues on stage during my days in radio and I would have given my left nut to have remained on stage with them pretending to sing back-up. Over the years, several groups have toured as The Vogues with original members split between some of them, legal battles and trademark issues. All that aside, the original The Vogues were great and they were from Pittsburgh...as well as many others. Great stuff. Thanks, Dad, for sharing your music with me.
8) AC/DC - "You Shook Me All Night Long" - Here's another one that you can flex your air guitar muscles to. Master the Angus Young head shake, leg work, and constipated face, and you'll be the hit of the keg party...or on the fast track to Ritalin.
10) Queen - "Bohemian Rhapsody" - I can't explain most of the lyrics and I don't care. This song has charted a number of times for a number of reasons over the years, but at the end of the day, it's a lot of fun to take the ride through this a cappella, ballad, opera and hard rock opus from Freddie Mercury's head. Bonus points if you know what Scaramouche is.
Again, your results may vary. Share them with me by clicking the "contact" link above.
Another Big Ass Birthday is upon us again as we turn 6! That's six years of the Blowin' Smoke Podcast, smokin' cigars, making friends and enjoying those friendships with laughter and good times. Join us as we do all of the above in one day!
We'll spend the afternoon eatin', drinkin' and herfin'! El Freako will bring along another Big Ass Birthday Cake, and we'll record the Big Ass Birthday Episode of Blowin' Smoke right there at Slippery Rock Cigars. Please join us!
Joe and the gang at Slippery Rock Cigars will have the humidor stuffed, as usual, and some great deals too. We look forward to seeing you on November 12, 2011 for the 6th Annual Big Ass Birthday Show!
Pre-game herfin' with a full house Council of Cretins and a brand new Cigar of the Day...the Fausto from Pete Johnson. Could there be a little redemption after a lackluster review a few shows back? How will it pair with the latest Oreo cookies? These are the questions that keep us up at night...but we're weird that way. Find out what the Cretins had to say.
There's a brand new 5 Things that will come in handy if you like bonnets and buggies. Plus, cigars in a blender, grandma's implants, a real hot beef injection, and ladies going commando...yea or nay?
That alone is worth the price of admission...which is free, of course!
So grab your granny panties, fire up a big fatty and check out Blowin' Smoke #141!