Peacock show, new Andrew Bird, the origins of the 'albatross' idiom

Only one new article since last time, but I just posted a reminiscence of Les Paul, for one of the items below. That sort of counts, right? The new, new post:
:: events ::
  • If you've been too busy to make it to Litquake, take heart: you can still catch an afternoon's worth of East Bay events tomorrow, thanks to the Berkeley Ramble. View the full Saturday schedule for all locations here.
  • Charlie Peacock plays Hotel Utah Thursday (Oct. 18). If you haven't heard him before, he's worth making time for.
:: tunes ::
  • Among other probably un-hip music styles, I've long had a fondness for gypsy swing, as popularized by Django Reinhardt. Not surprisingly then, I enjoyed every track on this look at Django's legacy, which includes a song from the (local) Hot Club of San Francisco. Django even played a part in my brief meeting with Les Paul, early on in my New York Days. I'd gone to hear a Mark O'Connor show, thanks to a free ticket from a friend, but when I heard that Les was there that night, I had to go say hello afterward. I confess, I wasn't quite sure why I knew he was sort of a big deal (that fact I googled later), but we actually had a nice, brief chat that was utterly free of the worshipful fan/celebrity dynamic I so despise. A class act, he was.
  • Andrew Bird covers Townes Van Zandt's "If You Needed Me" from his new album Hands of Glory  So, so love the direction he takes on this song. I always love his forays into the Americana catalog.
  • Philip reports on Buddy Miller's recent set at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass and reflects on Christian liturgy.
  • If you like the new Avett Brothers CD, check out this song-by-song video commentary on The Carpenter.
  • Jack Black has a new video out for the song "I'm Shakin'" off his recent album Blunderbuss (via Paste). 
  • Paste has a stream of Death Cab frontman Ben Gibbard's new solo album, which features at least one Aimee Mann guest vocal, if my ears don't deceive me. 
  • Morrissey does the Colbert Report (via Paste). I haven't actually watched this yet, but it's said to be very funny. I wish I could share a good recollection of the Morrissey show I once saw at the Apollo, but that's a story for another time.
  • I'm not sure I've ever viewed or shared footage/reporting from Al Jazeera before, but this story and 47-minute video on Mongolian rappers looks pretty interesting. 
:: visual art ::
:: reading ::
  • This piece on Americans' increasing fondness for Britishisms was a right spiffing read, and gave me hope I might yet start dropping some latter-day phrases from Wodehouse into the mix, without causing complete confusion.
  • Stray remarks can lead down the most interesting alleys. The other day I was discussing my brother's birthday with my mom, and remarked that an afghan I began for him quite some time ago was a real "albatross." After she joked about seeing a bird fluttering near me, we discussed the phrase, I turning to my dictionary of idioms (yes, I have one), which cited a Samuel Coleridge poem as the origin of the phrase. Sharing this on Twitter later, a discussion of memorizing poetry commenced, which prompted John Wilson to share this piece on poetry memorization as a physical act. I've thought for a while now that I might like to memorize Dana Gioia's "Summer Storm," so I could always have it at the ready for quoting when I wanted. Maybe this is just the push I needed to do it.
:: food ::
  • Inside the wooly world of buffalo mozzarella: apparently, getting authentic milk is more difficult than it seems. (I will say, though, that living in New York all but cured me of using anything besides the buffalo version except in the odd baked pasta dish called for grated mozz.)
  • Last weekend, Berkeley Bowl's excellent bargain bin had bags of dill of scallions. Naturally I couldn't resist, which led to the problem of how to use three whole bunches of dill, when most recipes call for a mere tablespoon or two of the herb. Part of the solution was trying the dill variation of this Mark Bittman lentil soup, which proved exceedingly delicious. I even forced samples on coworkers several days later, and they all agreed it was delicious. With a leek substituted for the onion, it was surprisingly hearty, too.
  • What I'd really like to make this weekend, though, is a batch of ginger liqueur. Yum.

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