Curtis Marsh - Guest DJ Wine Writer and Commentator
Guest DJ Wine Writer and Commentator, The Wandering Menace, Curtis Marsh.
One of the Great Men of Wine, Curtis Marsh, has been based in Honkers and now in Singapore for many years now, and when he's not clubbing here at the Dayglo, he devotes his time to exploring the world of wine. He is a sound critic and a terrific commentator, and we highly recommend his website thewanderingpalate.com for top info on wines and sheer pleasurable reading. Look him up -- we will spare you the bio -- but suffice it to say he's been everywhere in the pursuit of excellence and a decent beverage -- they know him in Burgundy, in Central Otago, in California ... he's out there in your vineyard, he's interrogating your winemaker, he's keeping you up all night with hilarity and more of the good stuff. In other words, a major liability. The Wandering Menace ...
So, give it up Clubbers, iPhones in the air please, do a little stretch before maxing the boogie, hit the flloor, and DANCE! Here he is, our pal and yours -The Wandering Palate himself ... CURTIS MARSH!
The Wandering Palate Cure for Writer's Block Top 10
Like all great talent, there are days when it flows and days when it don't. Most of the time it's simply lack of motivation and lethargy of the brain and what one needs is to energise the brain cells and neurons. To which I find a good dose of hard rock and heavy metal turned up loud enough to make our old colonial house windows rattle and the neighbours give me dirty looks whenever I see them.
So here it is; The Wandering Palate's menacing selection of predictably nauseating head bangers that is guaranteed to cure writer's block, or at worst lose the whole day chilling out!
Top 10 Tunes
Even Flow - Pearl Jam
Always the first track I play to for inspiration, thought provoking and brings back all the disordered thoughts and intoxications when I bummed out of school at 14...and when I went troppo for a while in 2001, “Even flow, thoughts arrive like butterflies.” And it's definitely a pinot noir gig; complex, nuanced, great rhythm and flow yet full of vitality and rebellious, just like pinot.
Fuckin Up - Neill Young and Pearl Jam
Sobering song/lyrics highlighting a strong personal trait I have, constantly brought to my attention by the wife. I find consistency is the key to mastering this and something I have not only maintained but seemed to have perfected. Oh, and great guitar riff!
Smells like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
Well, it goes something like if your brain is apathetic feed it something that is completely unintelligible yet powerful (power guitar riff from Coban and incompressible lyrics) and uplifting and has you start jumping around the room air-guitaring, volume at the max blowing out the cobwebs... and I just want to be a teen again... nothwithstanding this is possibly one of the great rock songs of our time.
Woman from Tokyo - Deep Purple
The first album I bought at 12 years-old, when my brother and I purchased a PYE Isotronic Stereo, much to the displeasure of our neighbours for the surrounding 5 kilometres. I find it very useful when I have to write a note on a cabernet sauvignon, as I get so caught up in the music I forget to write up the cabernet, which is the perfect result.
Hey, Hey, My My - Neil Young
If the music score is not inspiring prose by this stage then it's probably time to take more direct action open up a bottle of Champagne or a good Fino Sherry and see if a glass or two gets the onboard thesaurus going, besides the high notes in the guitar riffs of this little tune remind me of invigorating acidity in Champagne or cut of Fino Sherry... drink more of the Fino if you are really stuck.
Rock n Roll - Led Zeppelin
Time to move things up in beat and decibels and add some jam session spontaneity, as John Bonhom did with his drum fill and Jimmy Page coming in with the guitar riff that took all of 15 minutes to get the song down... and this was the second and moist cherished album I ever bought... Stairway to Heaven.
Not Fragile - Bachman-Turner Overdrive
By this stage you're probably pissed on Sherry and cursing deadlines and editors. This little tune actually reminds me of editors or how much I hate them and equally deadlines and constraints of word count. It's the sort of song that puts you in a bad arse "go get fucked" mood and I usually end up writing a piece that's way to long and straying off the brief, and telling the editor to go - well you know what - and the piece invariably ends up on my website and the list of medians gets more exclusive.
Thunderstruck - AC/DC
I would suggest you get off the Sherry by this stage and liberate a good bottle of pinot noir, not so good as to be distracting, but enough to add warmth to the inner olfactory and spark that chip in the onboard computer. Besides, it might be time to take a break from the keyboards and whack on Black in Black.
Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd
By this stage you are totally back in the saddle and have banged out your best work ever, or the bottle of pinot noir is fast disappearing and you're horizontal... “Hello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone at home? ...and most likely becoming “Comfortably Numb”... “There is no pain you are receding.”
All Along the Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix
Well, it all over by now, whether you have cured the writer's block or not, it's now all a haze... "There must be some way out of here," said the joker to the thief”, and anyway what do those editors or anyone for that matter know, they don't appreciate my talent... “Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth, none of them along the line know what any of it is worth”... as the second bottle of pinot noir opens and you fantasizing about writing like Dylan and playing the guitar like Hendrix; and if only wine writers had this much talent ... “Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise ye princes, and prepare the shield. /For thus hath the Lord said unto me, go set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.”
Thanks, Menace, and we only regret we took your drinking instructions there a tad too literally. Speaking of music and a glass of something tip top, Curtis is married to on of The Great Women, Lee Leng, a formidable but utterly glamorous figure in the world of high finance, and together they are generous and delightful hosts in their Black-n-White in Singapore.
Footnote - "Swampy Marsh" served his time in the NZ Army -- artillery -- in the days before ear plugs, so it's a wonder he can hear music at all, let alone conjure up a Top 10 as good as this one. A medal on that man!