Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cheese, Glorious Cheese!

Dancing across the Stilton wall, Neal's Yard Dairy.
Snapped by semiotheque

Hello Dearest Friends, remember me?? You do??? How good of you!!! Right, it's time to (re)start this party right, it's time to (re)start it cheesy! Yes, Dearest TiM was gracious enough this week to turn this week's Contrast Podcast over to my favourite foodstuff, le fromage. I can't get enough of the shizz- mind you, I'm talking about tha good stuff, not your waxy Kraft slices toilet paper or Velveeta toejam. No, I mean the molten pungency of Stinking Bishop, the essential goatiness of a log of Golden Cross, the creamy prickle of a slab of Cashel Blue, the better-than-sexness of an Epoisses....

Findings songs about cheese seemed to pose a challenge for the CP Nation, but rose to it they did, and there was some excellent lateral thinking, such as Kevin's choice of the well matured Barry Manilow. You can dowload the whole cheeseboard here, or have a peek below at what's what:

(00:00) The Evaporators - (I’ve got a disease) I’m addicted to cheese
FiL from Pogoagogo
(06:20) Dick ‘Two Ton’ Baker - I like stinky cheese
The In Crowd from I’m learning to share!
(09:13) Chenard Walcker - Cream cheese
Eiron from The S+7 Method
(11:51) The Mouldy Peaches - Cheese
(13:40) The UMCs - Blue cheese
Greer from A Sweet Unrest
(18:00) Gong - Dynamite / I am your animal
Chris from Phosphorous.net
(23:09) Heartless Bastards - Done got old
Tart from Love Shack, Baby
(27:13) Cheeseburger - Tiger
Andy from How Marvellous
(30:49) Exploding White Mice - Let the kids dance
Dirk from Sexy Loser
(34:40) Monty Python’s Flying Circus - Cheese shop
Tim from The face of today
(39:20) Bear Hunter - My nemesis the cheesegrater
Linda from Speed of Dark
(45:17) Lyle Lovett - Here I am
Jeremy from Fingertips
(50:00) Stark Effect - Bunnyrabbits, satan, cheese and milk
(53:02) +44 - Make you smile
James from Appetite For Distraction
(57:48) Richard Cheese - Rape me
Stuart from The Accies Blog
(01:00:31) The Photographic - Millie rode to heaven on the back of an orca
John Q.
(01:07:37) Barry Manilow - Can’t smile without you

My pick this week was obvious, I must admit; on top of it being about a cheese addiction, it's served up by local garage band Thee Evaporators, which is fronted by Vancouver's very own madcap, musical savant, Nardwuar the Human Serviette. Nardwuar's become something of a fixture in Vancouver, and indeed nationally in Canada, for his goofy guerrilla interviews with musical luminaries. Rather than explain, have a look at his pisstakey chat with Hilary Duff. Yes, I said Hilary Duff.

I wasn't always a cheese addict, you know. Though I was fond of the curd, it wasn't until I moved to London in the mid-1990s that I became exposed to the full panoply of fantastic fromagery. It started with an epiphany: a visit to Neal's Yard Dairy in Covent Garden. I fell in love instantly with the stacks of Stilton truckles against the wall and the deep, rich smell of dozens of fine British cheeses that suffused the tiny shop. Several years later we moved to southwest London, and my local train station happened to be right next to The Teddington Cheese, another tiny Tardis packed with cheeserifficness from across Europe. I lost my virginity to Stinking Bishop in that shop. I fretted that my move to Vancouver would strip me of ready access to decent cheese, but Providence smiled when She gave me a job within walking distance of Les Amis Du Fromage, and then did so again when two brothers named Benton opened up their labour of love within striking distance of home.

But my Dearest Friends, it is rather paradoxical that this podcast has come out during a time when I am off the cheese and will be so for the next few weeks. You see, as I have begun my journey past the big four-oh, I decided the time had come to take matters corporeal in hand and get myself fit. So I started this running lark (about which more soon) and decided to pay closer attention to what and how much I was stuffing in my gob. With Dearest Mentok as my bodhisattva, I embarked on the unthinkable and started a diet, the South Beach one. I tell you, it's working a treat; I feel miles fitter, have dropped a waist size, and shed around 15 lbs so far. Yes, I miss the cheese, but the regime offers enough diversionary food to allow me to power on through. And I know it'll be waiting for me soon...

But back to the music. Had it not been for Nardwuar, I would have had to think laterally. And this is where my mind would have gone:

Fatima Mansions - Blues for Ceausescu (buy here)
Perhaps he would have fancied a nice gorgonzola, or maybe a sharp Picos blue. BTW, I have been known to run around shouting in falsetto: "I am Nicolae Ceausescu and I want my country back!!" Long story.

Jenn Grant - Blue Skies (buy here or e-here)
An antithesis to the previous song, performed by the wonderfully ethereal, PEI-born Jenn Grant. I really took a shine to her when she played last year's Vancouver Folk Music Festival (more about 2009's fest coming up soon). I think she'd like a more subtle Beenleigh blue.

Stereolab - French Disko (buy here)
I like French discotheques, cos they dance around to synthy pop while noshing on fromage. I think I could quite happily bop to this while enjoying a Mimolette Vieux.

Deen - In The Disco (buy here if you are loaded)
Speaking of discos, let's face it: nothing smells more strongly of cheese than this, Bosnia and Herzegovina's dancetastic entry for the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest. Finished in 9th place - they wuz robbed!!