Friday, December 09, 2011

Recently, on The Barstool...

What's been happening over on my drinking blog over the last 6 or 7 weeks?

Well, not that much, since I've been too preoccupied with moving house to go out very much, and The Barstool was particularly constrained by my frivolous experiment with a narrow word-limit on every post during November.

By way of compensation for the relative lack of witty commentary on Beijing nightlife recently, we have had a rich run of musical posts: versions of You'll Never Know by Alice Faye (the original appearance of the Oscar-winning song in an obscure '40s movie) and the great Ella Fitzgerald; Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now sung in the Khmer language (it's still good, but weird); British blues maestro Peter Green playing Need Your Love So Bad (with a link in the comments to another performance of the song by Gary Moore); the Cowboy Junkies covering Bob Dylan's If You Gotta Go, Go Now (no video, unfortunately; but it's a superb version of the song); and a farewell tribute to Beijing's favourite blues-rock band Black Cat Bone, who have just announced their retirement (this post includes a list of links to other excerpts from the same gig - a mini festival focused on blues harmonica, with all of the city's finest players joining in).

I've also indulged in a wistful reverie over proper bars, prompted by my discovery of the Powers Irish whiskey manufacturer's online poll on Ireland's best snugs: there are hundreds of gorgeous pictures - it fair brings a tear to the eye.

A rather alcoholically excessive birthday (it was my first day drinking again after four weeks of sobriety) goaded me into doing one of my 'Top Five' lists on the other most memorable (or most memory-loss inducing) celebrations of the event I've enjoyed while living in China. 

More recently, I did another 'Top Five' on disappeared landmarks of the Beijing drinking scene.

I rehashed an old article I'd written ages ago for a travel website, warning against one of the world's nastiest drinks.

I have commented bitterly (but briefly: this is a topic that merits expansion at some point) on the oppressiveness of Chinese drinking culture in its insistence that you can't just take a sip whenever you're thirsty but must always share a toast with someone else.

And some pondering on trivia quizzes led me to post a particularly taxing question - which roused the competitive instincts of a few of my regulars.

Quite a bit to keep you entertained there, if you missed any of this the first time around.

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