Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rare Quaff on Auction

On a pointless Gaborone Thursday evening Distell kindly afforded my wife and I an invitation to go sample some soon to be hard to find wines that are the star attraction of the Nederburg Rare South African Wine Auction. This annual oenological shopping spree is a blood sport really, but sitting in a conference room at Phakalane Golf Estate with great examples of the grape a thousand kilometres away from the high rollers and supermarket chain dominated auction action, who gave a damn.
Maybe it’s a thing I picked up in Cape Town, but the whites were not very interesting, they only earned a sniff and pour from me. Partially pacing myself I launched into the reds that came around with more reserve than broke ladies at a fashion sale. I never got the chance to honestly find a red I could quaff with reckless abandon for the rest of the evening, the somewhat dry somewhat witty wine master Bennie Howard was too skilled a director of the tasting and kept things moving along briskly. With a good mix of clever wines, accessible wines, and a few that needed to grow up a little before they would be useful the wine sampling was a great example of what could soon be lurking in local wine aficionados’ wine cellars.

Stand out favourites included the Le Bonheur Prima 2001, pretty much a steal at a reserve price of R1200.00, however being a wine auction and only 40 cases of 12 bottles each being the only stock available this year, its gona be war. The Nederburg Private Bin R181 Merlot 2002 is another smooth criminal that will surely bring out the gangster in a many of the wine hunters at the auction in September. Another Nederburg nca was the Private Bin R172 Pinotage 2003 a total obscenity at the case reserve price of R900.00 for 12 bottles... actually one could just imagine what was going to transpire at Nederburg in the Western Cape come the 16th and 17th September... Anyway in Gaborone the subdued crowd of mainly journalists, secret wine lovers and one or two total worshippers of the vine came alive when the first red gurgled out of the bottle. Wine Master Bernie had a hell of time keeping order by the final drop of two totally unnecessary desert wines, Nederburg’s Eminence 2005 and Edelkeur 2006, both sourced from private bins. The sweet finish left a couple of ladies looking intensely annoyed, murmuring about, “This was what wine should taste like, pity about the small bottles...” Errm yes, well...

To keep Botswana wine lovers from feeling like they are being teased unnecessarily, a local bottle store chain, Liquorama (+267 7504 1145 - Ronald), offers to bid on the behalf of the willing and able. After tax and everything else, it should still be a good wine buying session, with many of the wines deemed “too rare to taste” in the Anthony Barne MW (celebrated wine drinker) authored tasting notes. If anyone is thinking of getting their share, they best make arrangements quick as the whole world is invited to the auction in September. The finest of elixirs from Alto to Zonnebloem will be in attendance, right alongside underappreciated beauties like Chateau Libertas and relative unknowns to the main stream such as Nuy, Fryer’s Cove, Joubert-Tradauw. It promises to be a heady two days of high stakes wine auctioneering, wine-lands hospitality and well earned elegant hangovers at the Nederburg Wine Auction 2011, on September the 16th and 17th.

Back to the quaff of the night, the Le Bonheur Prima 2001, it was last seen being poured to the brim into two glasses by the marketing manager of a casino chain with very much an air of contented relief. Ugh, hated her!

Nederburg Rare South African Wine Auction 2011 Catalouge
Big willy wines

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I am back.

The times they have changed... as they do. Many broken promises and many missed deadlines later I have turned over a whole new forest of leaves and will now be broadcasting on this blog (...or another just like it!) like a Madlib metronome, regularly but irregularly. The backed up items will issue forth hopefully still relevant but still worth our collective attention. OK, mea culpa over lets whip this biyatch.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Kenzhero, still my Hero



There used to be this small guy in a Cape Town bar called Marvel. The small guy could always be found behind big decks, playing big songs. The songs were even bigger because they were sandwiched between a cool European electro soundscape all week. The slim and clever sounds of duelling heart monitors that constituted electro music mid 2000 had established a beachhead on Long Street, the “Las Vegas strip” of the Western Cape, minus the gambling and neon lights but pretty much everything else. Within that glitch beat heaven one commando was quietly starting a return to the Real.

In fact when I saw the name on the Marvel weekly listing I was sure this was the Electro King with a name like Kenzhero. I imagined some weirdly pale half Asian/half American guy with Harajuku hair who probably had an Akira poster on his living room wall overlooking his home studio. He probably wouldn’t say much and drink a weird concoction as he played electroed the shit out of Marvel. The (as I eventually found out) black dj was a disappointment in terms of how stereotypical I was becoming; But it was plain crazy reconciling the reality of a Motown, Blue Note, Rhino, Hip hop, deep soul, funk playing Dj... eish yo... to the name on the list. Actually, even after seeing him several times it still didn’t click that uKenny was who he was... so there isn’t a specific moment when I remember actually meeting this musical giant in a laid back afroed DJ’s body.

In the original Marvel, with the orange and yellow light panels glowing warm over a long black leatherette couch running along one wall all the way to the back room, it was hard to miss the only black on the decks that Dj Kenzhero was. In paleface heaven that Cape Town tended to be after sundown early in the millennium you sort of acknowledged the other darkies... after you found out they came from Limpopo not Lubumbashi. Hello Xenophobia! Nice to meet you. It was easy to imagine Kenzhero - My Hero was some sort of improbable import from England or New York, he didn’t say much, but he looked you in the eye and gave you the peace sign (or a headphone crowned nod) when you waved at him from across the room. The other thing which made Kenzhero was when he had you on your feet feeling exactly as your parents did when they heard the same exact old-skool track (and dancing in a style your children will come to ridicule you for) he never gave you a withering look when you stumbled up to him to give him a sloppy high five in abject gratitude. That was Dj Kenzhero.

So life did its thing, and I was starved of a nice and small live Kenzhero set for a hot minute until by chance in 2007 I attended what I think was (and I could be wrong) a precursor to Party People at 44 Stanley on a weekend escape from Cape Town. My then boss, Kgomotso, took me there and I find none other then Kenzhero and several other escapees from Cape Town (before it became an full blown exodus actually) in a cool place playing real music. That was the moment I started thinking maybe I can do Joburg after all... but that’s another tale for another time. So then skipping through the insanely memorable ?est Luv decks lecture to the year 2011 Long Street, Zula Sound Bar I attend my first official Party People...finally. Ratex were raw and live and Mr Koolout himself Ryko was neck deep in it... I had to step out for a minute to breathe. When I got back it was Kenzhero, on one deck, with a laptop... I am damn sure I made a comment about that (and the amount of Lauren Hill he was playing that night). The one deck thing just didn’t look right... but it still sounded right and more importantly felt just like home. The musical home I discovered many years ago at Marvel... most importantly I was with some of the people that made Marvel feel like home. This was my first official Party People.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

My Favourite Pisser Offer











Montle Morosi has been at it again...this South African should be allowed to go places espousing the virtues of South Africa. Anyone that gets anyone to write something like this moan (detailed below) is doing something right.


ricky says:

wts his email add?

why does he have to go write such a horrible peice about afrika burns?

this is what i amlost posted

first off i would like to share with people that montle came with us as his girfreind was part of our”family” and we welcomed him with open arms into our camp at the very last minute,

if you were interested in afrika burns you would have got a cheap tcket,

big point here is that montle in fact tried to sneak in and i had to insist that he didnt,i caught him hiding in the back of my bakkie as we drove in,,,he obviously didnt understand the point of afrika burns,,karma .gifting etc,,,wich fuking works !!! and montle experienced it,i know i saw!!

but then karmicly or whatever you want to call it,i got a spare ticket as there was confusion on AB part when sorting out our camps tickets,so in fact montle didnt have to pay anything,,!!
his first gift of afrika burns ,and you would of thought he learned a lesson,,and he did,
he was nice to everyone,he was smiling and it seemed to all of us that he loved every second,in fact i know he did he told me several times,
but then he goes and writes another one of his fluff pecies,????
why?
what for montle?
why do you like pissing ppl off and hurting ppl?
and dont say,,ahh bru its just writing,
cos if it is just writing for you,,,then pls stay the fuk away from me
cos this is not the first time you have acted like a brat and offended me,
at the festival he expressed his hippie inside by expressing his complete love for everyone and everything to me (even though he was high!) it doesnet matter
this pecie is bullshit its another bullshit mahala sensiliation for haters to hate on
andy,again youve added another peice of crap out,,
i mean crap because its made up,not triue and superficial

montle why didnnt you investigate and interview a organiser ,as you would of then found out all of the above
in fact montle we got some money as an art grant for “we like it here” wich means montle you got some money!!
and montle the hippies cleaned and worked more then you,i saw you a few times pretending to be doing something,

montle youre a nice person in real life, why do you do this stuff over and over,?
youve offended ppl i love and me,for the last time!

but yet ,last time i forgave you,in fact more then that ,you came to afrika burns with me!
we all weant out of our way to make you have a special time and be part of something beutifull
if you cant see that…

then fuk off!

(unique spelling all Ricky's own)


CLICK here for the gushy stuff live and unadulterated on Mahala. Watch how the comments just keep going and going and going... Montle gets South Africa talking.


Pic jacked from Queen Piimp, her Webface
here.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

You & Me & Everyone We Should Know

Gaborone's #1 Ladies Opera House has gone through several reincarnations in order to stay relevant and make a meaningful contribution to the Gaborone social scene. The most recent being the introduction of a Farmer’s Market of sorts. The affair is rustic and laidback, it allows for artisan makers of foods to come share their wares in a loosely arranged bunch of tables. The atmosphere is chummy as everyone casts a lazy eye over their neighbour’s wares while chatting to a customer or two.

This is exactly what the night market, called You and Me and Everyone We Know, is like. The difference is that this market is all the way in Cape Town and that it features an arty serving of wares. You might run into social and youth lifestyle journalist Maria McCloy with her collection of vintage clothes mainly for women, and some accessories and African print hats and caps by Babatunde, or Yang Zhao serving Chinese dumplings, with Dj Soulo Starr gracing the decks with an eclectic set of breaks from jazz standards that fuelled a thousand Hip hop songs you probably never heard of. The venue is in the courtyard of an independent cinema called The Labia Theatre on Orange Street in Cape Town’s City Bowl. The whole deal is a real Voltron of art, music, friends, strangers, niche lifestyle choices and recycling of many clothes and accessories that need a new pretty young thing to pimp out.

Malibongwe ‘Mali’ Tyilo, originator of fashion blog site Skattie, What Are You Wearing? is on hand with a cocktail (from Rudie’s bar set up next to the Piiimp Dumplings cooking on hot plates one and two) a camera and a quick smile to snap interesting stuff for his blog or inspiration towards his other job a fashion buyer for Woolworths South Africa. “You know... things happen,” responds Mali to a question about a dinner he was supposed to host that evening. Another fashion stylista is Zolita Mangele the former fashion buyer is now making fresh for Danish publications on the regular, ”I’d love to come to Botswana to do story!” she says seriously in response to an idle query about doing just that.


Back at the Piiimp dumpling stand Yang laughs, “Oh I just sold them, for ten rand more!” She had promised me her last dumplings but chose to make a profit instead. Yang then buys a round of tequilas from Rudie to soothe the issue. “Capitalist shit babes!” Yang says again something her piimp in crime Maphuti Morule backs up. Besides hooking up the only hot snacks table at the night market the ladies (along with Anthea Knows Best Poulos – don’t ask) make up Pii-imp Rap Crew, real designation unknown but consider them rappers and they are hot.


“The night market is a space to feature some fashion and art and to get people talking to stimulate some debate... while also making some money,” said market organiser Adel Snyders earlier in the day when the trestle tables and fashion racks were being assembled. The adoring public all find something to get into with one excited trio of young black and fabulous twenty something’s squealing, “This is SO Martha!” when they picked up some vintage shades; just to clarify, they meant Martha their friend not the international queen of middle class American genteel entertaining and dinning accessories, Martha Stewart. That would just be too good, but go on tell You and Me and Everyone we Know all about it.

Opening image from Mali.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Jou mas se Kaapstad

Dropping into Cape Town has always been emotional for me, even the first time I ever went there with a bus load of strangers. We were confronted by a drug sniffing police dog at a rest stop in one of the mountain passes about an hour out of Cape Town. Where we come from we have never used dogs against people (unless the person jumped over your fence when we were sleeping at night) so it was quite a rude awakening to have an animal be a potential accuser. Where we come from, an animal has never accused a human being... it’s always the other way around. Welcome to Cape Town.

Be that as it may that MILF, Cape Town, had taken my nesting virginity soon after I got there, this was the city where I had first decided to break my nomadic tendencies; got my first creative job; worked for the first time in a service industry; experienced institutionalised racism where people where so unaware you’d think they considered it their privilege; fought the system in a long sustained war...and lost; almost met my wife; fell in love again and again... and again.

The good the bad and the fuckin’ ugly all visited me in Cape Town in equal amounts. I lived to tell the tale, not totally unscathed even though I smiled through most of it. Boy did I pay, if trading in all the notebooks documenting your life and next generation ideas count as payment. A huge blue trunk with my sister’s name is lurking around that city somewhere, in it there used to be books from my grandfather’s study, books from different parts of the world that had made the journey with me to the Motherless City, film negatives spanning my life until I was 12 or 13 years old... I could go on, however I’d rather not since I am trying to feel like it wasn’t too big a price to pay.

But you know I got some change back from the Cape Town... so I really shouldn’t feel too badly about the difference. What was the change...? That’s about 60 rolls of undeveloped film documenting my life from when I was barely legal to when I was old enough to know better. Who knows what has survived the decade long storage, it will be interesting to find out. That was the coins, as for the notes... I got to keep friendships that have survived the distance, the different paths our lives have taken... and now, new friendships as well. One in particular stands out, something began in cyber space and finally “consummated” in Cape Town with a physical meeting after a year or so.

One more fantastic bit of priceless is just the old Cape ways, they don’t seem to have left after all despite the flashy new buildings. The community spirit which just wells up and sprouts selflessness, or botho in the Tswana way not the oft dissected but never quite defined ubuntu. I spent time with Maria Podesta just doing “manly things” like setting up her trestle table and randomly filling her vintage clothes on her rack for the You Me & Everyone We Know night market. It turned out to be a good thing too since she hooked me up with a Babatunde trilby, something I had always wanted since I saw it on Tiisetso’s blog yonks ago. There it was that thing that kept me in the Cape for all those years, something I wondered why a gang of people wanted to exploit in the most negative way possible. That feeling that you could actually work for fresh air because it felt good doing it and the fulfilment couldn’t quite be paid for in cash... though a Babatunde did the job quite nicely thank you.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

One last one



Incident. Some health nut was knocked over by a car when I turned the corner into Kloofnek. It seems the cyclist was belting down the hill at an amazing pace, and the inevitable happened. Some one turned into the road and its all history now. He survived, the cyclist I mean. He was writhing feebly on the road as I walked past. The faces were amazing, such still-lifes. At accidents its pointless looking at the centre of attraction, that is boring and all too real. Look at the different perspectives surrounding the mess, there you see it all.

Shock, obviously.

Relief, I often wonder why, is it because they don't know the person, or the person has survived, or it wasn't as bad as they hoped it was...?

Sadness, again obviously.

Glee, kids are just plain sick.

Anger, so futile in most cases and an inappropriate emotion. Accidents will happen, circumstance or our own stupidity, why get angry I wonder.

Stoicism, this one is the best. The know-it-alls, as if they have foreseen this exact thing. I got stopped by a shop owner wearing this one very well. He told me all about it, where he was when it happened, what he was doing and the time exactly. He even kindly pointed out the angry looking American customer who ran out of his shop to go see what was going on. He gave me a history of speeders down that stretch of road, and ejaculated an indignant "Something must be done about this!" I made all the right noises bid him goodbye after a decent amount of time and shuffled off home.

That cyclist just might ride again, people are built a lot tougher then we suspect that and fact that the medical people took only seven minutes to get to him.

I do go on at times especially when I can't decided what it is I should be doing. Hope it made your day shorter, that way I will know I did something positive today.

Another Time and Space hit...


Pic from Zapapedia (click! you will like this)