Glory bound, glory bound!

In case the NFL hadn’t noticed, we’ve been singing and chanting “WHO DAT!” for years, and the first Who Dat song came along in 1983, basically a version of Aaron Neville singing “When the Saints Go Marching In” with a chorus of football players chanting “Who dat sayin’ dey gonna beat dem Saints? WHO DAT? WHO DAT?” … comme ça:



 

Better than that was a new song based on “The Saints” but with new lyrics, written and produced by Carlo Nuccio. I’ve got it at home on a 45rpm single but unfortunately I can’t find that anywhere in a public place where you can listen to it. Here are the lyrics, and extra points go to those who can get the references without clicking the links:

Oh when the Saints first came to town
When The Great McNutt and Morgus was around
When interest rates just had one number
That’s when that Who Dat fever came to town

Who could forget old Archie Who?
And who dat kicked twice as far with with half his shoe
And Willow Street could not believe the numbers
That came to scream and shout and whoop.

Do you recall dem Aints? Now that’s a drag
80,000 people all wearing bags
Yeah 80,000….did you hear that number
If they could just beat Atlanta I’d be glad.

Then one day along came a Bum
With some ideas that seemed to work where he come from
Well I’ll say this, he did improve the numbers
We thought for sure our day had come.

They had these rumors going round
It said dem Saints was gonna leave dat Who Dat town
But the Who Dats came out in numbers
They sure turned that idea around.

Now the Who Dats are dancing again
They do the Benson Boogie every time they win
Now everybody’s singing WHO DAT!
They know they’re gonna boogie again.

Because the New Orleans Saints are winners!
Now everybody sing along.

Oh when the Saints go marchin’ in
Oh when the Saints go marchin’ in
Oh I wanna be in dat numbah
When da Saints go marchin’ in …

WHO DAT SAYIN’ DEY GONNA BEAT DEM SAINTS!
WHO DAT! WHO DAT!

Now Carlo Nuccio has given us a new Saints song, “Glory Bound,” with the stupendously fabulous Theresa Andersson on lead vocals, with Aaron Neville once again providing the “Saints” chorus. It’s available from the Louisiana Music Factory, or via download from CDBaby or iTunes. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the song will go to the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic, providing health care for hundreds of uninsured New Orleans musicians.

Preview the song below, and have a look at the official video:

Continue reading …

Cocktail of the Day: the Eulogy

Just back from another visit to Houston (my stupendous nephew Thomas just turned 3!), and as is my wont it included a visit to one of my favorite bars, the stupendous Anvil Bar & Refuge. It was an even rarer treat this time, as my sister got to come with me — I hadn’t gotten to take her to a bar since well before the kids were born, and my brother-in-law kindly volunteered to stay home with the kids (the fact that he had to work from home that night was a factor as well). “It’s 7:15 and I’m driving away from my house with no children, and going to a bar!!” It makes me happy to facilitate the occasional boozy evening out for the mother of a two-year-old and a three-year-old.

On my previous Anvil visits I got to hang out with bartender/co-owner Bobby Heugel and have him take me through Anvil’s always challenging and exciting menu. This time Bobby was in South Africa, happily swilling Pinotage and having a well-deserved vacation, and behind the stick this was Justin Burrow, one of the other Anvil crew who I finally got to meet at Tales last year. Justin took great care of us on a busier-than-usual Sunday night, as he and his crew accommodated not only the usual locals but the entire cast of the touring production of “Miss Saigon,” who are performing in Houston at the moment and who descended on the bar en masse.

The first drink on the new seasonal menu that caught my eye was the one with the most unusual mix of ingredients — Batavia Arrack, Strega, Falernum and lime. Wow, now that’s a combination I hadn’t thought of, and I immediately ordered one. My sister said, “The only one of those ingredients I’ve ever heard of is lime!” whereupon Justin very kindly poured a little sip of each ingredient into a glass for her to taste, “a deconstructed version.”

The Eulogy, deconstructed

If you’re not familiar with these ingredients either … Batavia Arrack is a sugar cane-based spirit also made with fermented Indonesian red rice, and is a basic component of Swedish Punsch. Strega is an Italian herbal liqueur with over 70 herbs and spices (the yellow color coming from saffron), and falernum is a sweetining and flavoring syrup originating in Barbados with flavors of almond, ginger, clove and lime. It’s frequently non-alcoholic, but this particular incarnation, John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum, is 11% abv. Melissa tasted each one … “Ooh, that’s funky,” to the arrack; “Wow, that’s really complex,” to the Strega; “Um, I’m draining this – you don’t get any” to the falernum. Hmm, guess I’ll have to buy her a bottle.

Justin explained that they had been doing inventory at the end of the year and there was an excess of arrack, Strega and falernum, and they wondered what they’d do with it as none of the drinks on the Anvil 100 call for them, and the current seasonal menu didn’t either. Justin started mixing, using the Last Word as a template, and lo and behold … they worked together beautifully.

Continue reading …

New cocktail index in progress

By the way, y’all … Happy New Year! I know, January’s almost over by now, but rather than doing a special brief Happy-New-Year-post on the 1st I thought I’d just dive right in to regular posting and spit out some content. (Yes, I’m aware I didn’t get around to it until the 18th. Gimme a break.)

Now that we’ve had our break, Wesly and I hope to charge into 2010 (or “oh-ten,” as we’ve heard some people say, to our mocking delight). With Marleigh’s help I’ve gotten started on another new feature. Note that there’s a new link up in the header that says Cocktails — it’s a work in progress at the moment, and when complete will be a compendium of every cocktail recipe I’ve ever posted on Looka!, going back to 1999.

I’ll be importing the old cocktail recipe posts into WordPress and backdating them so that the index can add them, and for the most part I’ll be leaving them more or less intact. This means that I’ll be keeping in the embarrassing shit like “I’m not a big fan of gin” and “I don’t like vermouth” in posts from 10+ years ago, plus embarrassing drinks like the Velvet Hammer. I will be updating recipes for clarity and accuracy, however, plus fixing dead URLs as I can and throwing in an annotation here and there. All original posts (plus the rest of the old content) will still be there in the stone-knives-and-bearskins section of the archive.

So far I’m about halfway into 2002, and I’ve got along way to go. It’ll likely take a couple of weeks, but by the time I’m done importing we’ll have a very handy and convenient index of cocktail recipes here on the ol’ blawg, and future cocktail recipe posts will be automatically added to the index.

Whoever of y’all that have been nagging me to do this for years (Barry? Chris?) … good things come to those who wait!

WHO DAT!!!

Oh my God. The Saints are in the Super Bowl.

WHO DAT!!

I never thought I’d live to say those words.

Thing is, I don’t give a half a crap about football. I don’t follow sports. I couldn’t be any less interested. But the Saints are different. They’re not just a sports team — they’re part of the soul of the city.

We’ve been through a lot. Losing seasons in which we only won a single game all year, the “Aints” and paper bags, contentious team owners, threats to move the team out of the city, then a glancing blow from a hurricane, the failure of the levees and all that came after. Now the Saints are in the Super Bowl. It’s been such a long road, and will be so great for the city no matter what. I’m in tears here, and I don’t even give half a crap about football. 🙂

You want to see some unbridled joy? Have a look at the moment the game was won, and the reaction from one of my favorite writers and her husband, one of my favorite chefs.

Pessimists said they’d believe the Saints would get into the Super Bowl when pigs could fly. I think I just say a pig fly by my window … on its way to be turned into cochon de lait and fed to a WHO DAT NATION!

Here’s a great piece about the city and its team that ran on ESPN — you’ll have to click to watch it in another window, since for some reason they won’t let us embed it.

The Saints are in the Super Bowl. Yes, these are strange and beautiful days.

Cocktail of the Day: The Robert (Bobby) Burns

Happy Rabbie Burns Day!

Or specifically, “Burns Nicht” if you’re going to be holding the traditional celebration for the Bard of Scotland tonight, in honor of his 214th birthday.

Robert Burns

(Quite a handsome bloke, wasn’t he?)

If you were hoping for that most traditional of Scottish dishes, always served on Burns Night by those celebrating the poet’s life, prepare to unleash a joyous shout of “Gie her a Haggis!” The USDA is going to relax its ban on the importation of the real MacCoy, made of the heart, lungs and liver of a sheep, mixed with beef suet, onions, oats, black pepper and stuffed into the stomach of the animal. (Mmm.)

Gie her a Haggis!

This is great news! See, thing is, though … haggis is good. I’ve had it, in Edinburgh, Scotland, no less. If you’re a Louisianian or a lover of Louisiana food who’s eaten and enjoyed boudin, then you’re pretty much there — it’s a very small leap from boudin to haggis. Think sheep instead of pork, oats instead of rice, stomach instead of intestinal casing (and the stomach is just that, a casing — you don’t eat that bit). It’s a big fat sausage, basically, no big deal, and as a waiter in a Scottish restaurant in New York said, “If you can eat a New York hot dog and not ask what’s in it, you can eat haggis.” It’s particularly good when served with the traditional accompaniments of “neeps and tatties” (mashed turnips and potatoes), some strong Scots ale, a wee dram (or four) of whisky … and, um, in my case in Scotland, a few dashes of Tabasco that I snuck out of my bag and applied when no one was looking. Untraditional but yummy nonetheless.

Of course, you’ll be needing plenty of guid Scots whisky tonight, whether you’re having haggis or not. There’s a huge world of it that I’m still only just beginning to explore, but these days I’m enjoying the maritime flavors of Islay whiskys — the wonderfully smoky Laphroaig 10-year (“like drinking bacon”), the intense “Band-Aids, sweat, leather and iodine bouquet” of Lagavulin 16-year (seen below) or the delightfully earthy, smoky, spicy, almost chocolatey Ardbeg Supernova, if you can still find it. Find a good blend too — don’t discount blended whisky, as there are many superb blends. Compass Box Asyla is a favorite, Famous Grouse is our regular mixing Scotch, and I loved the complex, nutty, spicy, fruit-and-toffee flavors of the Chivas Regal 18-year I tried recently.

Lagavulin

If you’re a cocktailian, though, how about something (presumably) named after the Bard himself?

Continue reading …