Saturday, April 20, 2013

April 20th, 2013 - Rosa Is Out Surfing The Whitewater

Good afternoon/evening friends!  I definitely do not want to trivialize the events that occurred in Boston this past week, but today's pairing is for the people of that resilient and great city.  I'm pairing two Bean Town originals: The Pixies' 1988 album, "Surfer Rosa" and a Samuel Adams Whitewater IPA from the Boston Beer Company.

Samuel Adams Whitewater IPA "draws inspiration from two distinct styles, the white ales of Belgium and American IPAs. But while a fusion of the two, it’s far more than the sum of both, exhibiting a harmony of crisp wheat, bright pine and citrus flavors, & just a hint of orange peel"  (from the Samuel Adams website).  It is brewed with Topaz, Chinook, Cascade, Simcoe, and Citra hops, and two-row pale malt blend and white wheat.  They also throw in some apricots, coriander, and orange peel for sweetness and spice.  Being an IPA, the Whitewater is a bit more bitter, coming in at 61 IBUs and measures at 5.8% ABV.  The Whitewater IPA pours a hazy, light-colored gold in a pint glass.  The 1-finger head is white and frothy with good retention and lacing.  The nose is bright and piney with notes of citrus and meadow grass.  The mouthfeel is crisp and dry with solid carbonation.  The flavor is pure grapefruit, wheat, and bitter hops.  The sweet apricot and orange linger on the back of the tongue.  I wasn't sure what to expect with the fusion of a Belgian-styled wheat with an American IPA, but this is a damn refreshing beer!  It goes down smooth, but has a nice bitter kick that fits perfectly with the music style of the Pixies!

An incredibly original and heavily influential post-punk/indie-pop album (cited by the likes of Billy Corgan, PJ Harvey, and Kurt Cobain to name a few), "Surfer Rosa" is the first full-length studio album by Boston-based The Pixies.  Combining low-fidelity production and recording methods with dark imagery (including voyeurism and mutilation), the album set the standard for late 1980s and early 1990s alternative rock with the band's trademark quiet-loud dynamic.  Upon release, Spin Magazine proclaimed "Surfer Rosa" to be "beautifully brutal" and the Village Voice called the band "by consensus the Amerindie find of the year."  The album's topless flamenco dancer was the idea of singer/guitarist Black Francis.  He reportedly came up with the idea for the cover as he wrote songs for the album in his father's topless Spanish bar and lends itself well to the voyeuristic themes of the album.  Songs like "Bone Machine," "Break My Body," "Gigantic," "Where Is My Mind?," "Cactus," and "I'm Amazed" are resonant, sporadic, engrossing, and richly textured in a highly spirited kind of way.  This album is pure energy... bittersweet and refreshing! 

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