Friday, January 15, 2016

January 15th, 2016 - Baba Blackstar

Good evening!  Your pal the Meista here tonight paying tribute to the late, amazingly great David Bowie with a pairing of his latest album, "Blackstar" with a Baba Black Lager from Uinta Brewing Company!  This pairing is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Bowie along with my two late friends, Dov and Scott, all of whom were taken far too early from us by the evil that is called cancer. 

Album Info:
  • Artist: David Bowie
  • Title: "Blackstar"
  • Recorded: 2014 through 2015 at The Magic Shop and Human Worldwide Studios in New York City               
  • Release date: January 8th, 2016 (27th and final studio album by David Bowie.  It was released on his 69th birthday, two days before his death.)
  • Record company: ISO / Columbia Records
  • Production: David Bowie and Tony Visconti
  • Album cover art: Barnbrook
  • Personnel: David Bowie (vocals, acoustic guitar, mixing, production, string arrangements, and "Fender Guitar" on "Lazarus") with Mark Guiliana (drums and percussion), Tim Lefebvre (bass), Jason Lindner (piano, organ, and keyboards), Donny McCaslin (flute, saxophone, and  woodwinds), Ben Monder (guitar), James Murphy (percussion on "Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)" and "Girl Loves Me"), Erin Tonkon (backing vocals on "'Tis a Pity She Was a Whore"), and Tony Visconti (production, strings, engineering, mixing engineer)
  • Musical style: Avant-garde jazz, art rock, experimental rock
  • Sound: Richly textured, dark, beautifully executed, "Blackstar" is what you would expect (and more) from a true artist creating art in the shadow of a terminal disease.  The album explores electronic and Avant-garde jazz sounds reminiscent of some of his Berlin-era work with Brian Eno while still sounding completely fresh and original.  Bowie's vocals are honest, emotional, and sometime pained.  McCaslin's saxophone is wonderful tribute to Bowie's vast work as a horn man over the decades.  Monder's guitar work seems to echo Bowie's wonderful vocal tone.
  • Major themes: According to Visconti, "Blackstar" was intended to be Bowie's swan song or "parting gift" for his fans before his death.  Abstract and dark, much of the album's lyrics seem to focus on mortality, impending death, and coming to terms with a terminal illness.
  • Tracks:  
  1. "Blackstar"
  2. "'Tis A Pity She Was A Whore"
  3. "Lazarus"
  4. "Sue (Or In A Season Of Crime"
  5. "Girl Loves Me"
  6. "Dollar Days"
  7. "I Can't Give Everything Away"
Brew Info:
  • Brewery: Uinta Brewing Company (Salt Lake City, Utah)
  • Website:
  • Brew: Baba Black Lager
  • Style: Schwarzbier
  • Serving: 12 ounce can
  • ABV: 4.0%
  • IBUs: 32
  • Pour: It pours a dark mahogany (almost ink black) with a frothy and monstrous mocha head that leaves lots of sticky, spider web lacing throughout.
  • Nose: The nose of the Baba is earthy, rich, chocolaty, and smoky.  There are aromas dark chocolate, heavy roasted barley, liquid smoke, and smoked bacon.
  • Taste: The taste of the Baba, like the nose is earthy, robust, smoky, chocolaty, and rich.  There are big roasted barley notes, notes of roasted malts, coffee bean, with a hint of cocoa, and soil.
  • Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, medium carbonation, smooth, and some really nice smokiness in the finish.
Overall pairing: Brewed with a organic barley and hops, Uinta's Baba Black Lager is a wonderfully sessionable, but deliciously robust dark lager that works great with the haunting melodies and poeticism of David Bowie's final musical journey!  The drinkability of the Baba is great for the amazing voice of the Thin White Duke while the smokier, earthier, more bitter flavors go well with the more melancholy subject matter. 

Cheers!!  Rest in peace Mr. Bowie!!

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