Friday, May 13, 2016

May 13th, 2016 - A Passionfruit Play

Good afternoon!  The Meista here today pairing the wonderfully challenging "A Passion Play" by Jethro Tull and a Passionfruit Sour Ale from Breakside Brewery! 

Album Info:
  • Artist: Jethro Tull
  • Title: "A Passion Play"
  • Recorded: December 1972 through January 1973 at Château d'Hérouville in Val-d'Oise, France and March 1973 at Morgan Studios in London, England
    Release date: July 6th, 1973 (6th studio album by Jethro Tull)
  • Record company: Chrysalis Records
  • Production: Ian Anderson and Terry Ellis
  • Album cover art: Brian Ward
  • Personnel: Ian Anderson (flute, acoustic guitar, soprano and sopranino saxophones, and lead vocals), Barriemore Barlow (drums, timpani, glockenspiel, and marimba), Martin Barre (electric guitars), John Evan (piano, organ, synthesizers, and backing vocals), and Jeffrey Hammond (bass guitar and narrator on "The Story of the Hare Who Lost His Spectacles")
  • Additional musicians: David Palmer (orchestral arrangements)
  • Musical style: Progressive rock with elements of hard rock, classical, and folk
  • Sound: When I purchased "A Passion Play" back in the mid-1980s as a teenager, I didn't really know what to make of it.  I found it almost sonically overwhelming.  Upon further listens, I found it to be almost mesmerizing.  It has been described as a "dazzling mix of old English folk and classical material, reshaped in electric rock terms".  I couldn't agree more!  The delivery and musicianship is utterly amazing!
  • Major themes: "A Passion Play" is a concept album comprising individual songs arranged into a large, continuous musical journey.  The story tells of the "spiritual journey" of Ronnie Pilgrim into the afterlife.  In a nutshell, the overall theme seems to be in regards to the absurdity of life, death, and religion.
  • Tracks:   
  1. "A Passion Play, Part 1"
Act 1 – Ronnie Pilgrim's funeral – a winter's morning in the cemetery.
  • I.  "Lifebeats" (instrumental)
  • II.  "Prelude" (instrumental)
  • III. "The Silver Cord"
  • IV.  "Re-Assuring Tune" (instrumental)
Act 2 – The Memory Bank – a small but comfortable theatre with a cinema-screen (the next morning).
  • V.  "Memory Bank"
  • VI.  "Best Friends"
  • VII.  "Critique Oblique"
  • VIII.  "Forest Dance #1" (instrumental)"

     2.  "A Passion Play, Part 2"
Interlude – The Story of the Hare Who Lost His Spectacles.
  • IX.  "The Story of the Hare Who Lost His Spectacles"
Act 3 – The business office of G. Oddie & Son (two days later).
  • X.  "Forest Dance #2" (instrumental)
  • XI.  "The Foot of Our Stairs"
  • XII.  "Overseer Overture"
Act 4 – Magus Perdé's drawing room at midnight.
  • XIII.  "Flight from Lucifer"
  • XIV.  "10:08 to Paddington" (instrumental)
  • XV.  "Magus Perdé"
  • XVI.  "Epilogue"  

Brew Info:
  • Brewery: Breakside Brewery (Portland, Oregon)
  • Website:             
  • Brew: Passionfruit Sour Ale
  • Style: Berliner Weissbier (100% Sour Fermented Wheat Ale) 
  • Serving: 22 ounce bottle
  • ABV: 5.0%
  • IBUs: 3
  • Ingredients: Hersbrucker hops with Two Row, German Wheat, and Light Crystal malts and passion fruit
  • Pour: It pours a very hazy orange-amber with a foamy white head that dissipates quickly leaving a slight ring and only trace lacing.
  • Nose: The nose of the Breakside Passionfruit Sour Ale is very fruity, tart, and wheaty.  There are aromas of  freshly sliced passion fruit, lemon zest, lime juice, and soured wheat. 
  • Taste: The taste is tangy, tart, sweet, and biscuity.  There are big notes passion fruit and lemon juice, lime, guava, and maybe a hint of mango along with sourdough bread and light biscuit.
  • Mouthfeel: Light-bodied with good carbonation, the mouthfeel of the Passionfruit Sour Ale is crisp, refreshing, and exceptionally tart with a clean finish.

Overall pairing: The wonderfully complex and fruity flavors of Breakside Brewery's wonderful Passionfruit Sour Ale is a perfect companion to the somewhat insane progressions of Jethro Tull's "A Passion Play"!  The lip puckering tart notes of the brew go wonderfully well with the sarcasm and irony of the lyrical content!


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