You’ve always wondered. Now you’ll know.
You’ve always wondered. Now you’ll know.
You’ve always wondered. Now you’ll know.
My fellow Criqueteers,
There comes a time in every man’s life when, sitting to rest at the bar and appreciate a fine pour of George T. Stagg, he senses the parade of youth passing him by.
Only the parade of youth does not sense the man. For the youth is too busy traipsing around on the sidewalks, their schnozzes pixel-deep in the search of Snorlaxes and Pikachus, while trying to survive the BatteryKillusMaximus.
This being the internet age and all, it didn’t take long for my own progeny to catch on to Pokémon Go. Of course, being the fine upstanding father figure that I am (and endeavoring for the rare bout of exercise that might keep the belly from completely overthrowing the belt) I agreed to lead them on the hunt.
But as we poked around on our Pokéhunt amidst a gaggle of 20-year olds, I became acutely aware of not only how out-of-touch I was with kids these days, but also how many non-f**ks I truly gave about this state of affairs. What started with ambivalence over SnapChat had manifested itself in complete and utter nonchalance over this latest e-trend. It was then I had realized: I had reached full dad-dom. Next stop, dark socks, sandals, and yelling at the damn kids to get off my freshly-manicured lawn. (My excellent taste in vintage-style golf shirts, of course, would remain immutably classy.)
Still, this revelation – like a cold glass of Fernet – is not without its bitterness, no matter how delicious it may be. Has old age hunted me down like some Demogorgon of decrepitude?
Nowhere is non-cool and non-caring more deeply felt than in music. It’s subtle at first (“Taylor Sw-who? Eh, I’m fine with my copy of Kid A, thankyouverymuch.) But then you begin to realize how much of your canon seems to drop-off in the mid aughts. A decade ago. Sure, there’s a Tame Impala album here, maybe a Leon Bridges album there, but people look at you strangely if you’re not rushing out to buy the latest Kendrick Lamar. (Your second mistake, everyone KNOWS you don’t buy music anymore, you stream it.) My friends, you have officially become:
Your tastes have suddenly gone from daring to Dad rock. Welcome to the place where every mid-to-late 30s man eventually finds himself.
Much has been written on the subject of Dad Rock by smarter, more attuned, and slightly more sober minds than myself. But if you’ll humor me – and I assume you will having read this far – here are some of Noonan’s honorees in the Dad Rock Hall of Fame.
Before we begin, scholars are still debating the exact delineation between Dad-rock and Granddad-rock, so let’s leave aside the Zeppelin, the Stones, the Beatles, the Dead, the Who, ol’ Mr. Young, Bruce, Bowie, Iggy (and his Stooges), P-Funk, P-Floyd, Morrison (Jim), Morrison (Van), and Halen (Van), Queen, Rush, the Marvins, the Mayfields, and any and all from the more bygone eras. And yes, especially the Yes.
Now, for the list:
Yo La Tengo.
For three decades, we looked to these elder statesmen as our guides to unchartered indie greatness. Now they’re pushing 60 – yes, 6-0, and their crowds have aged right along with them. As a friend of mind put it at one recent show: “if the roof was to cave in right now, NPR Austin’s entire listening audience would be gone.” Still I say: rock on, YLT. No doubt years from now we your fans will be in nursing homes, sharing stories with other residents of how “I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One” blew our minds (and eardrums), all while we slide vegetable soup past our collective gums.
The White Stripes.
Jack White technically hasn’t aged, presumably striking a similar deal with Satan as Keef Richards did. Still, there’s no overlooking that he and his sister/wife started rattling our ribcages at the turn of the century. Which feels like a century ago.
Do not compare them to “Dave.” And God help me if I find anyone mentioning Blues Traveler, the String Cheese Incident, or any others in the same breath. Regardless where you lie on the spectrum between “hippies suck” and “I named my first kid Trey”, there’s no denying these four from Vermont have amassed an impressive following.
It’s 2016. Let’s go back a decade and a half to when Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was leaked on the web. Remember that? How alive and electrifying it was? Or maybe for you it was Summerteeth. Or A Ghost is Born. Now, Jeff Tweedy plays in a side band with his grown son. Which is awesome, yes. But let’s not pretend that these Chicagoans are not the banner bearers of all that is Dad and Rock. And I wouldn’t change a thing.
The Flaming Lips.
They are equal parts weird and wonderful, with the best live show this side of insane. Sadly, Wayne Coyne has recently hit a slightly-more-than-mid-life crisis, hanging with the likes of Miley Cyrus and all. But thank the Clouds Taste Metallic, the Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots that he and the ‘Lips made good music before things got really bizarre.
Which brings up the last (for now) on my list of Dad Rock.
There’s more mystery here with Matt Beringer and company – they’re’ still hip n’ cool. Perhaps not yet past their prime. But with their 5 CD recent release of delicious Grateful Dead covers, I can already sense their tentative steps into the Dadlands. And oh how I welcome it.
Now, this list could continue on longer than the second set of a Phish festival. And no doubt I’ve overlooked a, well, a plethora of bands.
There’s Pavement and all of Mr. Malkmus’s incarnations thereof, Beck, Nirvana, Pixies, Foo Fighters, U2, Weezer, Radiohead, Neutral Milk Hotel, the Olivia Tremor Control, My Bloody Valentine, the Strokes, whoever. Feel free to include your own list, feel slightly smug and superior about said list, and then realize someone probably has a better one and they write for pitchfork.com.
Fact of the matter is, all are one day destined for Dad Rock. A truth that will hold fast long after Pokémon is Gone. So turn up “Heavy Metal Drummer” to 11, pour some more George Stagg, and enjoy. This is our 19th hole and us dads’ll listen to whatever we damn well please.
Be the dad, be the rock, and be the ball.
On our quest to design the perfect polo, we go to extremes. Check out what happens to our Players Shirt at terminal velocity.
First off, god bless America and our own “Amexit” in 1776.
Second, I’m keeping this short as there are frothy ales to be had and meats to be cooked. So, without further adieu, I present to you: the best damned hamburger you’ll ever have in your life.
This burger is not for the faint of heart, or the clogged of artery. It is also a bit unorthodox, as it is created inside one’s abode. Of course, charcoal is a different (and beauteous) beast. However, when the summer season hangs hot and sweaty upon your brow, you’ll be glad to be cooking these amidst the blessing of air conditioning.
THE BEST DAMNED HAMBURGER YOU’LL EVER HAVE RECIPE
2 pounds of sirloin steak tips.
Do not mince. Pulse until chunky and then spread on a cookie sheet.
Melt 4 tablespoons of butter, pour on the meat, douse liberally with salt and pepper. (And if you’re not using kosher salt, God help you.)
Form patties, roughly ½ pound each.
Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour. (Crucial in allowing the butter to set and for you to enjoy a Gin Rickey.)
Now, get a cast iron skillet and place that sucker over a medium-high flame. Once smokingly hot, sear patties on both sides. Then place in an oven at 300˚ until done (about 130˚ in the middle, according to your meat thermometer). What, you’ve never used a meat thermometer for burgers? Holy St. Anthony!* I’m pouring myself another Coors yellow belly.
*Patron saint of butchers
2 Tablespoons soy
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablesppon minced chives
2 garlic cloves, minced
Generous twists of black pepper
Now. NOW. The crowning moment. Put burger and sauce together. Put inside good buns (challah, brioche, whatever). Put inside mouth parts and into your belly guts.
As to what to drink with your creation, well, that’s a whole other story in and of itself. In a pinch, my experience is that cheap canned beer cracked open at a hair above freezing makes an excellent dining companion.
Until next time, comrades. God bless ‘Murica. And be the ball.
Father’s Day is upon us. And we should begin by saying that Mother’s Day is really the important one here. They’re the ones who deserve the accolades (we all know this.) For many dads, the expectations for this day disappear as quickly my last nip of Ardbeg Supernova.
But still. It is our day. And the day of those who raised us. So I’d like us all to raise our glasses of whiskey – you do have a whiskey, don’t you? Goodness, have my ramblings taught you nothing over the years? – and give a toast to the gentlemen who’ve taught good and bad and some of the gray in between.
Dad is the one who let you get away with a little bit more than mom ever did.
He’s the one with the unique Dad-power to embarrass his kids in front of friends, dates, strangers. This Dad-hazing is a time-honored tradition that fathers pass down to their sons who pass it down to their sons. Been around since the first cave-dad clubbed the cave-boyfriend who came to take his cave-daughter on a mammoth hunt.
Even the toughest dads have tender moments.
But they still know how and when to kick ass, as necessary.
Dads teach us the ropes. They pass on their passions. Often, in our own eyes, we can never measure up to them.
Dads are the ones who taught us all how to throw a ball. Or in special cases, how to hit one with a long metal stick and keep it in the fairway.
They are the ultimate life caddies. Carrying us through tough spots, offering guidance when we can’t see what’s beyond the dogleg, helping us get out of the hazards we often find ourselves in…okay, the metaphor is getting a bit belabored. But damned if that pic of Jack and his boy has gone and put a little dust in my eye. Nice shirt too, I might add.
And no, dads aren’t always perfect. Heaven knows my own progeny drew the short club out of the bag – especially with me not being Bob Dylan and all. But I suppose it’s in the daily trying and the showing up that matters. And I like to think that every family dinner and every tee-ball game is a small investment in preventing my daughter from telling some customer in 2032, as she yells to be heard above the strains of Dr. Feelgood: “Yeah, my dad never made it to the recitals…so I dance here now.”
Let’s all pause for a moment to hum the official Dad anthem and try not to get even more misty-eyed while doing so.
Anyway. Back to the task at hand. Father’s Day and expectations.
The missus Noonan inquired what I might like to commemorate the day. Hmmm. What do I want? What does my old man want? Hell, when was the last time I got him something?
But then, as quickly as the question arose, I knew the answer. All fellow dads know the answer, deep down in the bottoms of our souls and whiskey guts.
It’s not a long weekend in Ireland on a golf bender with the boys. Not entirely.
It’s not whatever pasta and glue abomination our children have concocted at one of their summer camps – though bless ‘em for doing so.
And it’s not even to return to the halcyon free-romping days with the missus, before our heirs burst on the scene. Although a brief, ahem, re-visit after said heirs go to bed wouldn’t hurt.
Really, truly, verily, what more do dads want than a good chair and just some peace and f’ing quiet. Peace. And. F’ing. Quiet.
And perhaps a cold one. Or a whiskey. Or both.
And not the 4 minutes in between sibling squabbles quiet. Hours of quiet. Where we can reflect on the men we’ve become, the men who helped us become that way, the families we have, and all those people who love us. Oh, and also – for once – the commentators on the US Open.
So this Father’s Day, raise a glass to dads (you have a glass NOW, right? Good.) If you’re a dad yourself, here’s to you. If your own dad has gone to that great 19th hole in the sky, here’s to him. If you’re lucky enough to still have yours on the back nine with you, be sure to give him a call and let him know you were thinking of him. And then hang up, and kick back in the easy chair. Just like your dad is doing, just like your sons will do one day too.
Have a good one. And be the ball,
It’s been a tough couple of months.
The dark winter days of February, the ides of March, the interminable wait before Game of Thrones begins anew (winter has been coming for-f’ing-ever, has it not.) It’s enough to drive a fellow to drink the middle-shelf whiskey.
But to grow, one must face the pain of the past. So let’s recap, shall we?
March began with the passing of British prog rock pioneer Keith Emerson – a story which gained scant national press, but I feel worthy of mentioning here. Granted, there’s not much sexy in the ways of King Crimson, Jethro Tull, or Yes. Progressive rock is where an artist goes when they give in to every vain and vapid notion they may have, talented as they may be. But who among us has not blissed out to 21st Century Schizoid Man at 2am, or read the 10-page liner notes of Thick as a Brick after (accidentally) mistaking their roommate’s pan of brownies as a sign of generosity? Perhaps this ‘80s supergroup put it best:
Surely any man of the 19th hole can hold a certain level of respect for those musicians who take their talents to the logical extremes— even when those extremes might be a 14-minute keyboard solo in 11/9 time followed by a spoken tone poem. It is the witnessing of a master of his craft. Like watching Nicklaus win the Masters in ’86.
Unfortunately, on the scale of awesomeness, prog rock ranks somewhere between LARPing and ardent unicycling. Neither is going to win one many dates. In fact, if there were ever any dates to a prog rock concert, they were always last dates. And let’s go further – being in a band like Emerson Lake & Palmer is like being the top food scientist in your field. Other scientists no doubt appreciate and admire your work, but you’re not going to impress a lady at a bar by telling her you invented yellow dye #5, which just so happens to be in in the margarita mix she’s drinking right now and – hey, where are you going?
Then, THEN, as if April didn’t – as the kids say – suck enough, Merle Haggard got called up to join Heaven’s gospel choir. News of which sent yours truly straight down to the local watering hole for a glass of misery & gin. And make it a double. This leaves us here with only Guy, Kris, and our elder Austin godfather of whom I shall not even name for fear of reminding the good Lord that not all the greats have yet shuffled off the mortal stage. What more could be said of a man who lived so well, and so miserably, and wrote so many good songs about it all? Hag, we shall miss you.
America needed some good news. Last week the Masters looked poised to deliver. Now, let me pause right now and say two words.
Jordan Motherlovin’ Spieth.
My friends, I am not one usually given to extreme hyperbole but Spieth has the strength of a bear that has the strength of ten bears. He has the fortitude of Apollo Creed, the humility of the Pope, and the deft touch of…er, Keith Emerson? It’s fair to say that all of America was rooting for him. Going into Sunday, no doubt the clubhouse tailor was making plans to cut the green cloth to Spieth specifications once again.
And then. AND THEN. That blasted back nine on the Masters. Hole 12. Water. Quadruple bogey. Curse you, Golden Bell. Curse the swirling winds that mercilessly bat golf balls from the pin. Curse every one of your 155-yards of hell. Curse the golf gods that sent Mr. Spieth’s tee shot sploshing into the water.
Spieth handled the fall with a grace and courage that belies his 22 years on this planet. The win went to Danny Willett (a Brit, with admirable perseverance and the shared last name of a rye whiskey I enjoy. So at least there’s that.)
Well, as they say, on the other side of every water hazard is a straight shot to the green. So despair not my fellow carriers of the Criquet banner. Spieth will no doubt return victorious. Merle will still sing forth from speakers everywhere (ELP’s Brain Salad Surgery slightly less so, but still.) Spring is coming, the sun is shining, and the 19th hole beckons us with open arms, not to mention freshly-made old fashioneds. Pick up your golf bag, crank up the music, and swing your lucky iron for the pin. There’s fine times ahead.
Last week we partnered with The Invitational – the greatest golf party in the world – to host The 19th Hole Party. Held during the week of the WGC Dell Match Play tournament, this epic event celebrated the past, present, and future of golf in Austin. There was a great turnout (with a special guest appearance from Ben Crenshaw) to build awareness and raise funds for Save Muny, a non-profit organization working to preserve the course for generations to come.
Lions Municipal Golf Course is Austin’s oldest and most beloved public golf course, a treasured urban green space recently recognized as a nationally significant civil rights historical site. Our city is in danger of losing this invaluable property to development, but Muny can still be saved with your support. Here are the photos from the event.
Big and special thanks to all of our generous sponsors who made this party happen: Dell, Do512, theCHIVE, Golf in Schools, GSD&M, Strait Music Company, Real Ale Brewing Co, Hay Group PLLC, Worldwide Golf Adventures, Briggle & Polan Trial Lawyers, Dulce Vida Organic Tequila, Gossett Jones Homes, Edel Golf, Touchstone Golf, Deep Eddy Caberet, Maudie’s Tex-Mex, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Birds Barbershop, JuiceLand, Vintage Innovations, and Party Holster
With the Olympics coming this year, our Spring/Summer 2016 collection is ultimately inspired by the bold, vibrant, and lush colors of Brazil. And with golf returning to the Summer Games for the first time in over 100 years, we’re celebrating with a full spectrum of color. Deep sea blues, rainforest greens, and bright yellows dominate the collection, and these colors complement each other in the next-level, sporty, and bold combos of our new stripes.
We’ve spiked the party punch with Brazilian spirits, if you will. Get ready, because even though the water isn’t safe to swim in, this collection is taking home gold. Booyah.
So, without further ado, take a glimpse of just a few of the shirts we’ve got in store (no pun intended):
So stay tuned. We’ll be officially launching these shirts in the next few days.