“1234” by Feist currently has in excess of 101 million plays on Spotify (generating fistfuls of Canadian bucks in royalties, too, I hope). It’s a simple song about an innocent love in the rear-view mirror, but it’s hard-coated in the sweetest of pop candy shells. The song caramelized itself onto the brains of millions of listeners after it appeared in this eminently danceable iPod Nano commercial, and even if you maybe started to hit ‘skip’ on your brand new Nano after about the 40th time hearing it, there was still plenty of nourishing sustenance remaining on the rest of Leslie Feist’s acclaimed 2007 album The Reminder.
Take “The Park”. Set in an outdoor space in snow-covered London (complete with chirping birds filling the arrangement), this is a crushingly sad song about a relationship that couldn’t endure the harsh darkness of winter and it withered and died. A thematic line could be drawn from “1234” to the “The Park” but the emotions dripping from each song couldn’t be more disparate.
The album is chock-full of gems, including another fav of mine, “The Limit to Your Love”, a tender piano ballad about unrequited love with an emotionally unavailable partner that got ripped into this dark, soulful jam by James Blake (I love when he sings “like a wat-uh-fall in slow motion!”). So many good songs! Anyway, it’s no wonder the New York Times’ Kalefa Sanneh named The Reminder the number uno album for all of 2k9.
So when Feist teamed up with my favorite band in the whole goddamn universe, Wilco, on 2009’s “You and I” off of Wilco [the album], well I was beyond ecstatic that two of my beloveds were joining forces, even if it was for just three minutes and twenty-five perfect seconds, to create something that bottled each of their best in one collaborative mini-miracle.
Surf days back at Bolsa Chica State Beach used to conclude with lunch at the OG Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach, and when they opened the larger Beachwood BBQ and Brewing spot in downtown Long Beach, well the best brewery (and fried green tomato sandwich) in town was now just a bicycle ride away from my Belmont Shore apartment. Countless evenings having pints of Amalgamator IPA, Udder Love Milk Stout, and the James Brown Ale are some of my fondest memories of gritty and gorgeous Long Beach.
So as a native New Mexican who called the LBC home for 16 years but is once again a Burqueño, a collaboration featuring Beachwood Brewing from Long Beach and Albuquerque’s own La Cumbre was, for me, like Wilco and Feist getting together one more time, but to make beer. I would have let TicketMaster gouge me for $65 bucks plus applicable ‘convenience’ fees to watch these guys brew live and in person.
For me, when I hear “tropical”, it evokes images of palm trees and maybe even Long Beach’s vocal, wild parrots, but a tropical stout is still the dark, roasty stout we know and love, but with a subtle charge of sweet and sometimes fruity esters. The Endless Horizon tropical stout (to this shitty, novice palate anyway) is mostly the former – shadowy, rich and roasty with coffee on the nose, but I do get a slight nectar on the back end, which triggers “tropical” and evokes memories of those beautiful green parrots making all that racket above the Vons on Ocean Boulevard.
The Endless Horizon poured slow and thick like all the crude (what up, Belmont Brewing) being sucked from the ground by the steady, synchronized Long beach oil derricks bobbing for unrefined black gold. The head was frothy and thick and conjures a crumbly wave on a blown-out Bolsa Chica afternoon. This beer is a very drinkable late summer stout but also says to the now arriving autumn, “Hey, where ya been? We’ve been waiting for you.”
Endless Horizon is still available in 4-packs at La Cumbre. Get it before the sun dips and the horizon is no more.
You and I, we might be strangers
However close we get sometimes
It’s like we never met
But you and I, I think we can take it
All the good with the bad
Make something that no one else has
Post-script: I got to see Feist perform “You and I” live with Wilco in LA in June, 2009. I couldn’t find a video of that particular show online, but it was probably something like this minus dear ol’ Dave.
Hoppy Gilmore is a lover of buzzbands and beers. Engage with him if pics of doggos and hot USL soccer takes are also your thing.