BurgerADay Seeks new writers

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Hi all, over the summer, you probably know that I started my website/blog, BurgerADay.com.  The original goal for BurgerADay was to post some form of content at least once a day, but due to my new job, it’s become increasingly difficult to regularly post to BurgerADay.  For 2017, in addition to finding a way to continue my original goal, I have 2 new goals: 1. I want to get more visitors for BurgerADay (maybe monetize it, somehow?), and 2. Get more writers for a variety of topics.

I feel the second goal is necessary in order to reach goal one and continue the original one, thus I’m searching for writers.  I’m seeking people who are passionate about any of the following: movies, TV, politics, fitness, food, books, beverages, celebrities, restaurants, pop culture, tech, comedy, theatre, music, sports or anything that can be of interest to others.  If you can write competently about one or more of these topics and you’re looking for a place to showcase some writing, BurgerADay is the place for you.  The ideal BurgerADay writer has a wide knowledge of pop culture, a sense of humor and interesting, original ideas.  Submit the Google form below and send an email with 2-4 writing samples to burgeradayofficial@gmail.com.  Currently, BurgerADay is unable to provide payment to writers.

 

Google Form

Coffee Date: Starbucks’s Cascara Latte

Coffee Date is a new column that features discussions of beverages stemming from leaves and beans.  Whether you brew your own or need a hip barista pouring it in front of you, we’ve got you covered for brands to try at home, coffee shops with some personality, and what you should try or avoid from your regular coffee chains.

 

For our inaugural column, it seems fitting to write about the latest from our coffee overlords, Starbucks.  Living in a suburban town, I drink a lot of Starbucks.  It’s the McDonalds of coffee, except I would bring a date to Starbucks.  The only difference between the two is that I’m willing to try the new drinks at Starbucks, where I normally stay within what I know at the Golden Arches, and some of The Bucks’s latest goodies have fallen in my favor.

Last night was the first time I’d been in Starbucks during 2017, and I couldn’t help but notice the Butterscotch latte.  It was nice, but the Green Mermaid gave top billing to something called the Cascara Latte.  “Cascara” isn’t the most inviting word, and I had no idea what it meant.  Armed with the task of listening to AFI’s The Blood Album, the Cascara latte is a surprisingly subtle drink.

Doing a bit of research, Cascara is actually a tea-like drink made from the skin of coffee beans.  Often referred to as “coffee cherry tea,” it’s made from a part that’s usually thrown away from coffee beans.  It’s slowly gaining popularity, and Starbucks seems to have jumped on the trend just as it’s on an upward tick.

Like so many Starbucks beverages, the first few sips are scorching hot, too much so to get a taste more than burnt, which is also the note you get on the nose, but the drink sweetens as it goes down.  The flavor of the coffee is very light and a little smoky, like a freshly extinguished tea candle.  It also seems that the drink has some of the cherry coffee tea leaves rested on the top, which provide a suiting texture atop the foam.  Cascara is easily sweeter than a latte, but not obnoxiously so like a vanilla or pumpkin spice latte.  The sweetness is actually very pleasant compared to a regular old latte.  This isn’t the type of drink that Starbucks’ younger Frappuccino demographic will be craving, but it can be something refreshing to brighten a morning commute for those with softer taste buds[1].

Perhaps, the Cascara Latte belongs in the same category as cappuccinos or espressos.  It isn’t the best choice to have with breakfast or on the way to work, but it’s calm and light enough to have after dinner.  Not something to return to regularly, but it’s there when it needs to be.

 

 

James Crowley is on Twitter.

 

[1] This may be influenced by my decision to switch my music from AFI to Japandroids.

Dropkick Murphys-’11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory’

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Tons of great bands subscribe to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy.  AC/DC is a great example of this.  AC/DC’s most recent two albums sound exactly the way AC/DC albums should sound, and they’re not terrible.  Some would argue that there’s nothing special about them, but “Rock ‘n’ Roll Train” certainly could go toe-to-toe with a number of songs off of Back In Black. Boston’s Dropkick Murphys have always been viewed as a band with an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude.  That doesn’t mean that their formula is unbreakable though, and 11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory is certainly broken.

It’s not so much that Pain & Glory is a terrible album, but it is a disappointing one to say the least.  At its best, it sounds like a collection of Dropkicks songs that got left on the cutting room floor.  At its worst, it’s a terrible corny caricature of how the Boston punks should sound.  The best of the album can be heard during the first four songs, but each has its own mountains that it fails to climb.  The album opens with “The Lonesome Boatman,” which sounds like a classic Murphys song, but a minute and fourteen seconds in, it becomes evident that the only lyrics the song has are “oh’s” and “whoa’s,” which on an album that promises eleven short stories, seems like a cop out.  Nonetheless, this will probably sound great live.  “Rebels With A Cause” isn’t terrible, but the premise of the story is two young misfits falling in love, and it doesn’t bring anything new to the table.  Blink-182’s “The Rock Show” works better for the premise, because it at least sounds genuine.  “Blood” sounds fine, but the chugging, mid-paced riff isn’t the mosh-inducing Dropkick anthem that has come to be expected as a first single.   The chorus of “If you want blood, we’ll give you some” is unbearably dull.  “Sandlot” is the album’s best song, but lyrically, it just sounds like your dad reliving his glory days, talking about how much fun he used to have with little money, for the ninth time over Sunday dinner.  Then Papa Ken Casey and the gang just get lazy.

The rest of the album just sounds like lackluster stadium-rock.  Most of the songs just blur together to the point that they’re just unlistenable.   It’s like listening to a sad, tired version of Springsteen.  “I Had A Hat” could be fun, but the premise is, for lack of a better word, dumb.  The verses are composed of verbal diarrhea, and the chorus is lyrically lazy.  Lyrics aren’t necessarily what people tend to remember from the Dropkicks, but it’s downright disgusting how lazy they are here.  “First Class Loser” and “Kicked to the Curb” are both sad excuses.  “Loser” tells the story of “a bully, a jerk…that you just can’t tune him out, cause he’s too loud to ignore,” and once again, it sounds like some corny crap your dad would say after a bad day in the office.  “Kicked to the Curb” is a break up song, with all the clichés of losing money, begging to be brought back, and being wound up over it.  There’s a difference between keeping a winning formula and sounding formulaic.

The album’s penultimate song is a bit of a saving grace.  “4-15-13” is a folk song that references those lost and affected by the Boston Marathon Bombing.  Casey sings about the loss of innocence, but also the unity that a tragedy can bring.  It’s a solemn moment that sounds incredibly vulnerable, and it shows when the Dropkicks fully put their guts in a song, it works well.  That being said, the album closes with “Until the Next Time,” which sounds like a bad showtune, telling how they’ve “had a good time and are sad to see it end.”  Al Barr sounds bored as he howls the notes, and this may be the best moment to sum up the whole album.  If it ain’t broke, you may not need to fix it, but it doesn’t mean you should just repeat it either.

James Crowley is on Twitter.