Sunday, October 02, 2016

Eleven Years of Mental Masala

Mental Masala at eleven years

While updating my post list the other day, I realized that it had been almost exactly eleven years since my first post on Mental Masala. My first real post was The Indian Restaurant Menu, in which I tried to understand why almost all Indian restaurant menus in the U.S. are nearly identical. 

For the remainder of 2005, I went in many directions (as usual), with the following posts being my favorite from the first few months of Mental Masala, eleven years ago:
My ersatz editorial calendar is full of great ideas, so stay tuned for the return of "Unusual Greens," new charts, some posts about food in ancient Rome, and much more.

To close, here's a song by Fairport Convention with an appropriate title, "Who Knows Where the Time Goes?":

Composted and sung by the great Sandy Denny, the song was first released on Fairport Convention's Unhalfbricking. (1969). Richard Thompson was a founder of the group and provides superb guitar work on this track (I'm a big fan of his long post-Fairport Convention career). Outside of this amazing song, the album is only OK, with some weak tracks.

For a Fairport Convention album that provides much better examples of Sandy Denny's amazing talent, Liege and Lief (1969) is the one to grab:  "Reynardine," "Farewell, Farewell," "The Deserter," "Crazy Man Michael" are all outstanding. Another Sandy Denny high point is the epic 10+ minute "A Sailor's Life" on the early 1990s compilation of Richard Thompson's work, Watching the Dark. It starts with a dreamy somewhat a capella introduction, and at about 3:33 the pace quickens as we hear the story of a search for a missing sailor, building to a few minutes of a stormy instrumental (with Richard Thompson on lead guitar, I presume).

Random link from the archive: Revenge of the Orchard

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