There's a Messi on the Field

 "Pick up on Field 5"                                                                                                                           Pup Tipper


Day Eight: The Games
Croatia's win over Argentina puts a brighter spotlight on tomorrow's Nigeria-Iceland game. An Iceland win may sent them on, but it's going to come down to the last games no matter. Denmark and Australia's draw today sets up a tasty Group C lineup next Tuesday morning. If France, who is through, beats Denmark and Australia beats Peru, who are out, it comes down to at least the second tie-breaker. According to these tie breakers total goals scored would probably be the decider. These scenarios are my favorite part of the tournament and I'll be looking forward to the Monday-Thursday drama next week.  


On to the beer
Foster's Premium Ale. This is the green oil can, not the typical blue lager. It's rare to open a brewery website today and see a total of two beers. Most of the comments on BA are that it's not as bad as they expected. Still a low performer. I actually have a can of this in the fridge and plan to drink it with the appropriate low expectations. 


53-rd minute Goalie clanker

Thomas Beck Black IPA from Confluence Brewing in Des Moines, Iowa. An American black ale from one of Iowas best breweries. Give it a try if you're in the area. 


Warming Up
Brazil is ready to feast on Costa Rica tomorrow so what pairs well with roasted Tico? Imperial is the factory beer of Costa Rica and among the few available in the U.S. Not worth seeking out as this poster describes: "Strong aromas of hand soap are backed by mild car exhaust, boiled cabbage, and white rice aromas along with subtle aromas of sweet bread and spicy hops." Best to be a lucky traveler and try one of CR's budding craft breweries. Lake Arenal Brewery sounds like a good bet. 


 Heaven Nor Hell

Artist: Volbeat

Nation: Denmark 

Album: Beyond Hell / Above Heaven (2010)


You have to love those little moments of discovery that happen during the big tournaments. The serendipities, the adjacencies, the side stories.


On Thursday I enjoyed getting to know about the incredible and instantly legendary support that Peruvian fans brought to their side’s valiant effort to get through to the knockouts. No points, no goals, but a memorable appearance and one last chance to make an exhibition dent against Australia. I think that story will stick with me longer than most of the wins. 


The thing to do, I suppose, would be to bring you some valiant Peruvian music. But I’ll level with you — before I do that, I need to get a little smarter about the world of valiant Peruvian music. Perhaps later, before we’re done here. 


And sorry, Willy Caballero, we covered Argentina back in installment three. 


But I do know a very small something about, say, Danish metal. So given that Denmark’s tournament so far has been along the lines of the so-so — neither heaven nor hell, some might say — and given that these daily  deadlines Peter imposes seem to be accelerating, and given we haven’t hit Europe yet, let’s go there.


This band was a serendipitous find for me a few years ago. I found it in a way almost no one finds anything anymore — while switching between stations on a car dial. One day my finger stopped on 93X in the Twin Cities — “active rock” as the radio industry would call it; the rest of us would call it the metal or headbanger station. A niche listen for me, but not without its charms. And this song happened to be playing.


So speaking of niches, I’d classify Volbeat as “Danish American-roots-rock-inflected alt-metal.” Yes, there are the requisite tattoos and black t-shirts and aggressive stances par for the genre. But I find their sound more melodic and accessible than most headbangy fare, with an interesting lashing of echoes of the American West. See also the music of Californian Mike Ness and his band Social Distortion, of whom I bet these guys are fans like I am. 


I’d love to see them — they opened for Metallica in Minneapolis a while back but I missed it. Another day. Much of Volbeat’s catalog is sung in English, a choice non-native English-speaking artists face and one that this blog project is making me wonder about generally. Also for another day. Back in Russia, Denmark and France are assured to qualify in their final group match on a 0-0 draw. That’s making me wonder, too. 


A lot to ponder while you enjoy this video, with its infectious singalong chorus and entertaining “why not?” setting of already-wrecked cars on cranes bursting inexplicably into fresh flame amidst a shower of spent car tires falling from above. If DEN-FRA won’t deliver spectacle, at least this will.



Nat's Kitchen

Nigeria face Iceland late morning Friday so it's time to plan your early lunch. Jollof- One pot—is a staple of West African cuisine and the recipes of this one-pot rice dish differ from one region to another. It’s a pilaf style rice containing palm oil, onion, tomato paste, pepper paste (scotch bonnet), stock cubes (Maagi brand exclusively), and spices (cumin, ginger, nutmeg). It is traditionally served with fried plantains and a protein of choice (beef, chicken, eggs, goat, fish/seafood, or moi moi (a spicy black-eyed pea based pudding). The origin of Jollof and “who makes it best” is a huge debate between Nigerians and Ghanaians. More details. Recipe



Iceland nips Nigeria 1-2 and Fox only spends 20 of the 90-minute game cutting to the viewing party in Reykjavik. 



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