May 16, 2012

"h" vs. "H" (and the Mountain Goats, Down Under)

The Mountain Goats rocking Melbourne's Toff, 9 May 2012 (iPhone photo).

Last week I was in Melbourne, Australia, for the 20th annual meeting of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. Melbourne is a great place for live music, and, as it happened, I found out in advance that the Mountain Goats would be in town! So, when I travelled Down Under I did so with a ticket for what was to be a sold-out show at Melbourne's The Toff in Town.

How eager was I to see the Mountain Goats (whose songs I've loved for years, but whom I'd never seen live)? Let's just say I went to the Toff a whole day early, to check out the venue, which is how I came to see Max Savage and the False Idols play soul-tinged country-western Rock-n-Roll:

Max Savage and the False Idols at the Toff, 8 May 2012 (camera: Ricoh GX-100).

However, dear NeuroCooking friends, my topic today may not be singer-songwriters, or rock-n-roll, or intimate venues for live music, or fantastic audiences who shout out the choruses to early Mountain Goats songs, allowing Mr. John Darnielle to sing just the verses, or even the persistent paradox of how listening to songs about self-destructive persons engaged in abusive relationships can be uplifting. No, my topic today may be beer.

I like hoppy beers, like India Pale Ales. When I visit someplace with unfamiliar offerings on tap, especially overseas, I will ask the bartender to recommend a beer. So, that Tuesday night at the Toff, I asked the bartender:
"What's hoppy? Like an IPA?"
And he replied:
"Yes. Would you like a taste?"
I did a double-take, and looked at the taps, and yes, they had a beer on tap called "Hoppy."

And yes, it was.

This "hoppy" vs. "Hoppy" reminded me, instantly, of the old "Who's on first" routine:

It's too late to see Abbott and Costello live, but, thankfully, it's not too late to see the Mountain Goats, which I recommend that you do, wherever and whenever you can!

"We love you, John!" The Mountain Goats at the Toff, 9 May 2012 (iPhone photo).

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