Mason’s Brewing Company (The Maine Place)

FSCN1618_794     Building a new business is never a simple task, especially in this days economy. Without a formula you may as well invest in underwater sand castles. It takes a bold step forward with a dream, followed by a vision to attract, enhance, and sell such a venture to the world at large. This formulatic equation has been realized in the form of Mason’s Brewing Company. The idea combined with a million dollar waterfront viewRSCN1719_793 has created the very essence of what a loudly proclaims Maine. They brew their own beer through a most complex and intricate series of careful steps in which we’ve seen on a tour of its innermost workings.FSCN1605_803 Being primarily a brewery first, the food has been delegated to surround its precious liquid masterpieces. Enjoy a fully loaded battery of beer flavors in a journey from the pale to the dark, alongside some hefty pulled pork, a burger that will bite you back with its tantalizing flavor, and desserts that will tell you it’s alright to gain a pound. Whether you land upon a lunch during the sunlit hours or enjoy the quiet surroundings of the evening, you will not be disappointed. As so many other establishments are eager for success, Jake the manager has taken that ambition to an even higher level with his enthusiasm to continually develop and pursue different foods and brews to allow Mason’s to expand its task to be better all the time and to provide a comfortable experience for its patrons. Enjoy a Rye Pale Ale, a slightly more robust Hefeweizen, a hearty, almost beefy Roggen, or even bordering the dark side with a Black IPA.FSCN1611_799 The choice is yours. The mastery of the time spent at Mason’s will open up a moment you’ll always remember. Your experience will be even more special with Ashley as your server, sporting a vast knowledge of the menu, excellent suggestions, and kindness.FSCN1616_796 Mason’s is a Maine experience you need to taste for yourself. Cheers!

King Llama/Return to Ox

king llama  At long last, a band who has emerged from the modern day ash heap to boldly and fearlessly put together a plethora of sound that engages all of the dimensions into one general theory of relativity. This band has the courage to approach such a project in an instrumental fashion without a net of saving grace. They have interpolated the best portions of rock that are the more than essential to the lost art that has long been forgotten. There are heavy lines of progressive rock ala Yes, King Crimson, and dare I say beyond original conceptual thought. Feelings of jazz, both experimental and even in the style of Pat Metheny with Ryan Tanner and his six string razor at the helm touching both the melodic as well as the bombastic. A most interesting note is that Nico Staub plays some of most intricate and tasteful bass lines ever to come along in recent music. Instead of surpressing the bass he unleashes it to its full potential. Drummer Luis Briones designates his percussive devices in seven ten time along with the styles of Bill Bruford and the like but simulates his own mixture of the aforementioned musical styles. A refreshing burst of musical flavor makes them kings of the wild frontier.

Jethro Tull/ Too Old to Rock and Roll, Too Young to Die (the tv special edition)

tull too old These assorted compilations that find their way through the stones of years are some of the most wonderful collections ever assembled. How else would we truly delve headlong into the inside world of a band that has been more than a multiple milestone in the realm of music (especially if that band were your favorite). For example, the short career of one John Glasscock and his ever ready bass guitar, the countless recordings and outtakes of certain songs popular or reclusive. I always wanted to hear an instrumental version of Salamander, thinking the rapid acoustic duel between Ian Anderson and Martin Barre (which incidentally Martin Won) is a hidden jewel. The photographs included in the eighty page book are warm and telling of the company Tull has had walk through their door. Strange how certain songs can connect to others and yet have separate albums assembled. Strip cartoon is pretty much a lost soul of a tune but found its way onto this set. An early version of One Brown Mouse, originally found on Heavy Horses gives way to an incomplete sound as well. The video aspects are on the DVD’s with TV specials, surround sound capability, and remasters. This collection is a most interesting assortment of Jethro Tull at a time when they weren’t too old then and certainly the music is not prepared to die.

Jethro Tull Aqualung 40th Anniversary Adapted Edition

aqualung   This would be a separate installment from the previous double CD Anniversary issue of the famed Aqualung album which held many interesting connections to other albums during the recording sessions of its time. A remix of the album in its entirety guides us through the first disc, remixed by Steven Wilson. Disc two holds the lost and yet found bits of Tull’s alternate universe with a quite different perspective of their masterful songs prior to the ones that made it onto the the master cut. The more seriously diverse being the version of My God with an unconventional choral interpretation and flute solo. Throughout this passage of time and music, a most elaborate friend will be your guide in the form of a book chocked full of photos, information, and all things Tull. Hearing the actual thoughts and discussions of band mates is a most fascinating area since most of the time they have remained silent through those musical years. Continuing through this Passion Play we’ve arrived at the DVD portion of our illustrious journey. Once again we encounter the esteemed Aqualung album in 5.1 surround, treating the ears to a musical candy storm. In some ways Disc two has the potential to be the most interesting stop in this chronicle. It holds its songs within the caption of simple, yet intriguing little videos the way they once were before we entered the world of multi-thousand flashes of undecipherable images. A classic album with a soon to be classic read. Perhaps you too may someday find yourselves sitting on a park bench with Aqualung…

The Collins Center for the Arts Presents Gaetano Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux from The Met

roberto    Queen Elizabeth is forced to sign the death warrant of a nobleman who she is in love with. Yet, if he pledges his absolute loyalty and devotion it may be able to be dissuaded. After all, he is an influential member of the court of the Queen of England. The opera carries it own brand dramatic conviction as each character is unique in their plight. Sadness overwhelms the performance as the Queen’s demand for unshakable allegiance spirals her into a jealous rage, near frenzy, for she realizes Roberto’s love for Sara as her own maddening anger becomes bitter resentment. Death of lovers shrouds the stage with confrontation and allegations as the Queen is haunted by a headless corpse screaming for vengeance. The opera is raw and emotional with an extraordinary musical accompaniment. What a way to end this wonderful series at The Collins Center for the Arts. See you all next season.

The Collins Center for the Arts Presents Elektra from The Met…

elektra   Once again the milk of human kindness is utterly depleted as the incorporation of tragedy predestines the outcome of an early twentieth century setting deep in the chasms of Greece. This is a most psychological thriller in its rarest form delving into the inner doldrums of the human mind. The story engages a primal scream for vengeance, murder, and the breaking of ones mental state, enough to enter into such a realm. Strauss elaborates this mythological masterpiece with an overwhelming onslaught of orchestral musical power, enticing the scenes and interpolating the unleashing of the masterful voices loosed within this entrancing tale which encompasses Elektra’s very soul to the brink at the edge of the world from where there is no return.

Puccini’s Madame Butterfly at The Collins Center for the Arts from The Met

MadamaButterflyThumb   A naval officer determined to marry a Japanese girl whom he has never met is determined to make such an event work in his favor. However, not everyone is in a true accord with such a premise. A trail of broken hearts as wide as the sea assaults the senses in this masterful opera by Puccini. There is a stroke of imperialism within the boundaries if one may read between the lines making this piece almost controversial in its time and even somewhat in present day. The lyrics are especially impressive, delving deeply into the human heart and the situation at hand. Love appears as an idiosyncratic illusion in this mighty tale almost devoid of love as one would think. But the nature of opera either balances the scales of love or replicates its own justice.