RECORD STORE TALES #1018:
Surfing the October Colours (Cottage Video)
The last cottage weekend before closing was totally maxed out! And I don’t mean Max the Axe!
Life is too short. It must be lived to the fullest. When you and I first met here at mikeladano.com, I was 10 years younger. Spending four hours on a Saturday pounding words into a keyboard was nothing back then. Today I’d rather be experiencing life. So that’s what we did. From music to food to photography, we enjoyed our last weekend at the cottage before closing, to the max!
The music for the road was top notch. Ghost’s new album Impera received another spin. It’s as good as the day it was released. Then while hanging out in the “G” folder, we rocked out George Lynch’s debut solo album, Sacred Grooves. Better than any of the Lynch Mob albums. It also enabled me to teach Jen a little bit about the mighty Glenn Hughes. His struggles and triumphs. On the road home, we rocked David Lee Roth’s Eat ‘Em and Smile and Your Filthy Little Mouth. A pretty solid selection of guitar rock.
The fall colours were spectacular. Orange, yellow, deep maroon. As you are all well aware, I am not usually a “fall guy”. This year has been a little different. I have a friend in California who finds all this Canadian weather beautiful and fascinating. For her, I enjoyed documenting the weekend with video tours and personal messages. It totally made this fall weekend a different experience for me. It was like seeing the place through new eyes. And this is now going to be part of my wellness plan for winter. She wants me to continue sending her fun videos and pictures of the Canadian landscape during the snowy months. I checked my phone — do you know how many pictures of snow I had from past winters? Two. TWO. I have photos on my phone going back to 2014, and I only have two with snow in them. With her enthusiasm and encouragement, I’m going to have fun documenting the winter of 2022-2023! I’ve never had this before — a friend in a sunny climate who has requested Canadian snow videos! On the condition that I stay safe and don’t crash my car or break my neck! This gives me a whole new project to do this winter, that I never had before. I feel very positive about going into the cold, dark winter months.
I’m recovering well from my dental surgery and ate two steaks this weekend! They were awesome! As were all the fish and mushrooms I cooked up. No A5 wagyu in stock at the butcher’s shop though. That will have to wait until next year, I suppose.
We did something else different that we haven’t done in recent years. We went into town! I took some video of the big waves, a daring surfer, and some quaint streets. Something new for this video.
Please enjoy this last cottage video before we close — all to the music of Tee Bone Erickson and Max the Axe!
I’m not posting this with the expectation that anyone will spend an hour and 45 minutes watching me drive home from the cottage. This is for me.
However, if you want to hear a live bootleg of Max the Axe playing their first gig with the current lineup…it’s here. I actually didn’t intend to use it, but I clicked the wrong music folder and it will take hours to re-save. So here you go! The track list for this video is:
MAX THE AXE
Live on the Farm Aug 4 2017
“The Other Side” (Instrumental)
“I Don’t Advocate Drugs”
“Next Plane to Vegas”
“Uptite Friday Night”
“Scales of Justice”
“Sick of Living”
“Thirsty and Miserable”
“Gods on the Radio”
Trillion Dollar Threats
“Guns To Iran”
“Daddy Was a Murderin’ Man”
“I Don’t Advocate Drugs”
“Blood Runs Red”
“Uptite Friday Night”
“Letter To Yourself”
“Livin’ the Country”
“Scales of Justice” (Remix)
Points of interest:
- Lots of passing
- Weird castle at 9:50
- Weird single-lane bridge at 12:15
I am pleased to present to you a work in progress by Max the Axe: a new remix of “Randy” by Robi Banerji. This remix veers wildly from the original album version of the song.
There are lots of dogs and cats in this video for you pet lovers.
You’ll notice we saw our UFO at the lake again on that August weekend. And weirder than ever. Explain this to me, people. See for yourself!
Enjoy “Immortal” by Max the Axe from Trillion Dollar Threats. Quick drive with lots of passing. Sped up 40x.
RECORD STORE TALES #994: An A5 Canada Day
From Jen and I here at LeBrain HQ, we hope you had an excellent Canada Day. For us, we did things a little differently this time, and it turned out aces!
First, I awoke early and began work at 6:00 AM on two separate projects. Musically: the hinted-at, overdue Kiss project that I have been working on and must be finished! This is a collaboration with new contributor Jonathan Lee. We have taken on the challenge of ranking all 24 Kiss albums, and we (coincidentally!) wrote about 3650 words each. We were in synch with verbosity, but not rankings! The final lists will be dropped simultaneously in two posts on July 5, next week! It was Jonathan who challenged me to take him up on this project and I think you will like what we both came up with. It took a few hours to format everything right, but by the end of the morning, I had the lists ready to rock.
In conjunction with this, I was seasoning my new cast iron pan. This had to be done in preparation for our Canada Day dinner’s main course: a genuine Japanese A5 wagyu steak from the Miyazaki prefecture. This expensive piece of meat is unlike I have ever cooked before, and I had something of a sleepless, anxious night overthinking it.
By morning, I had a plan. The wagyu was going in the cast iron pan with some butter, garlic, onions, peppers, portobello mushrooms, and asparagus. Therefore I needed to season the pan in the oven beforehand, and I spent several hours on that while also working on the Kiss lists. For never having done it before, I think it turned out pretty well. Its surface became smoother, and water beaded off.
In the afternoon we headed over to my parents house to use their new barbecue. You see, having never cooked wagyu before, we decided to bring some backup steaks. I was going to cook them on the barbecue the normal way, while doing the wagyu in the pan. Meanwhile, Jen was roasting veggies in the oven with enormous amounts of butter and hand-diced garlic. The garlic was intense, but to die for. Her potatoes, carrots and asparagus were amazing.
Timing was everything. We started at 4:00 PM with the veggies. By 4:35 the barbecue was warming up for the backup steaks. Meanwhile, the cast iron pan was warming up in the oven.
Finally, the moment I had been waiting for all week. The moment that kept me up the previous night. The moment of truth! The wagyu was, as all the Youtube videos promised, delicate to the touch. The fat began melting as soon as I touched it. Although everyone seems to have different rules about it, I elected to keep the wagyu in the fridge as long as possible to minimise the premature melting of fat. Then I seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. In hindsight I could have gone a teeny tiny bit heavier on the salt and pepper, but you can always add that after the fact as well.
The cast iron came out of the oven and onto a hot burner. Into the pan went a generous amount of butter and my veggies including several cloves of garlic. A few minutes later, things were smelling wonderful and I flipped the steak – not before touching the handle of the pan with my bare hands though! Fortunately it had cooled enough that I didn’t burn myself. These new cooking techniques take some getting used to. After a couple more minutes I removed the wagyu from the pan, and let it rest. When sliced, it was somewhere between rare and medium rare, which was what I was aiming for. Meanwhile our backup steaks were also ready at a perfect medium rare. It was 5:00 by the time everything was done and rested.
A wagyu steak is a sharing steak. It is simply too rich to eat like a normal steak. I served up some portions for each of us, and we delighted in eat bite. Some went with carrots – Jen’s favourite combination. I enjoyed the wagyu with the portobello mushrooms, or a clove of garlic. Because it is so rich, we tended to pair it with other things on the plate. The cast iron did a nice job of creating a beautiful caramelizing on the vegetables. The wagyu had a great sear. The pan also cleaned up easily afterwards. No stick. I must have seasoned it right?
We barely touched the backup steaks (they will go into another meal) and we finished just over half of the wagyu. This is what I expected. I wonder what that wagyu will become tomorrow? A stir fry, most likely. Wagyu stir fry. Looking forward to it — and many more meals with my new cast iron pan.
Having enjoyed wagyu at one of the best steakhouses in Toronto, my own steak stacked up well. I would rank them just about equally. Theirs had more seasoning, but our side dishes surpassed theirs by far. Miles. No comparison. Our sides were incredible. Modesty? This is me being modest! And all told, our meal was about a third of the price of the steakhouse. With more steak and more leftovers. Jen and I both worked hard Canada Day, and it paid off. Best meal we ever made, and we did it as a team! She picked up all the meat, veggies, and even the pan. We timed everything perfectly. It went so well that we determined we don’t need backup steaks next time.
With the Kiss project, Stranger Things, and a massive dinner taking up my time, it was the end of the Canada Day before I realized, “Hey, I haven’t listened to any Canadian music today”. So my friends, here’s some Max the Axe. Turn it up.
RECORD STORE TALES #992: Long Weekend of Lizards, Water, and Max
We rolled in Thursday night and it was so hot that we cranked open all the windows. And that was it with any kind of warmth! The rest of the weekend was cold, windy and required long sleeves! Regardless of the hot and cold reception we received, I watched Brent Jensen and Alex Huard discuss Appetite for Destruction on Thursday Night Record Club outdoors as planned.
The music on the road up was, as always, good! We started with Saigon Kick’s The Lizard, in anticipation of Friday night’s big interview. It was tremendous fun to listen to such a great album, 30 years young, in the car. Upon conclusion we played a tape of Max the Axe’s first gig with the present lineup, recorded August 4 2017. Five years of Meat, Dave, Mitch and Max creating music together. While the years have made them better, the live cassette of the first gig is good enough that we hope it will form the basis of their first live album. The setlist consisted of eight tracks from the then-unrecorded Status Electric album, a Black Flag cover later finalized for Oktoberfest Cheer, and the Max classic “I Don’t Advocate Drugs” with Meat singing lead for the first time.
All Friday and Saturday, music took over the cold front porch. It is hard to type with frozen fingers. I am working on a major Kiss project that I will not reveal yet, but in preparation I played a ton of old Kiss on the porch. Lick It Up, Creatures of the Night, Hotter Than Hell, Paul’s solo album, and plenty more. When the Kiss was concluded, I moved on to Judas Priest (Point of Entry). As always, it was a magical retro soundtrack that acted as a mental time machine. I would have been playing those same albums back in ’87-’88. The big difference being – I was stuck in my room! Now the porch is my room.
One thing for certain. I would have loved it if I had the technology to do stop motion animation in 1987. All I had were my Transformers toys, comic books and imagination. Now I have that plus cameras and computers. I spent several hours working on animation. Let’s face it: It’s just an excuse to play with toys as an adult! There’s nothing wrong with that and it was damn fun, especially with Judas Priest blasting in the background just like they would have in the 80s.
Saturday night we went for some nice walks and I shared stories of the old days. No phones, no cable, no digital music back then. The only way to was to haul all my physical music, and associated players, up to the lake to enjoy. And enjoy we did. Nothing has changed there except convenience and sound quality. Playing the music that I bought at the cottage originally sure brings the memories back. White Lion’s Big Game and Jon Bon Jovi’s Blaze of Glory were two such albums that I spun again in the old original setting. I bought ’em both in Kincardine on cassette. Hanging out with Bob Schipper and picking our favourite new tunes…great memories! I remember putting the sticker for the JBJ cassette on the bottom of the top bunkbed. Jen and I talked a lot, and perhaps there’s a number of stories there to tell in the future.
Three days came and went as quickly as a cool summer breeze. All I have left now are the photos and videos to keep the memories fresh. You can watch them now too, all edited together to the sound of a new remix of “Scales of Justice” by Max the Axe! I think it’s the best cottage video I’ve ever made. What more could you want?
Amazing weekend at the lake once again, and you can see it all right now, to the tune of “Space Marine” by Max the Axe from Trillion Dollar Threats! This short metallic blitz of a song is a condensed and concentrated rewrite of “Hard Drive” from their 1995 EP Bodies of Water. It’s a fantastic tune from Max with another killer riff.
This year represents the earliest “first swim of the year” on May 13, a record. A sign of a hot summer to come.
In this video you will see my new Fender acoustic bass. This originally belonged to Don Simmons of Helix and I am fortunate enough to have bought it from his sister Donna. This will provide many hours of summer entertaining at the cottage as I slowly become acquainted with this lovely instrument. Tomorrow you’ll get the full story of the weekend in Record Store Tales #987: The Summer Awakens.
Visual accompaniment to Record Store Tales #985: Do You Know How Quickly a Pair of Glasses Melts in a Fire?
Music: “I’m Glad Now” by Max the Axe, from Max the Axe (2004)