Suck Yer Booty (wait, that came out wrong)

So Facebook has been feeding me an ad lately for FinalStraw, a really cool company that makes collapsible straws so you can suck your mojitos without harmful side effects to sea turtles. Their spokesperson is even a mermaid, so you know they’re serious. But the ad wasn’t just for FinalStraw in general – it was for their new limited edition color, Pirate’s Booty (black, for the uninitiated).

Now, I know what you’re thinking – carrying around a reuseable straw is hardly piratey. I mean, Blackbeard was a notorious litterbug afterall. But it’s time we fearsome men and women of the sea thought about the long-term damage we’re doing. Case in point, consider this famous passage from Moby Dick:

“The whale, the whale! Up helm, up helm! Oh, all ye sweet powers of air, now hug me close! Up helm, I say- ye fools, the jaw! the jaw! My God, stand by me now!”

But lo! At that the mighty beast did keel over and die, its blow-hole having jammed tight with a nigh fistful of plastic straws cast aside by careless fast food patrons. Ahab looked down as the whale gave a piteous death rattle. “Egads,” said he, “that was anticlimactic.”

See my point? So go buy a Pirate’s Booty FinalStraw before they run out. And use it. If you’re not into black, that’s cool. They also have plenty of other colors like Sea Tur-Teal and Shark’s Butt Grey.

Review: On the Scalding Sea

On the Scalding Sea
Buy Now from Amazon

Genre: Contemporary Pirate Folk
Rating: PG

For seeming so mellow, Marooned has always been a band willing to stir sh!t up, albeit in their own, off-kilter and generally understated ways. Their early albums, Marooned and Better than Live, were upbeat releases that covertly delighted in songs of death and misery. Dance McCaw took a more cheerful approach in tone and content alike before sinking deeply into full on depression with the darkest version of The Mermaid known to mankind. And now they truly shake things up with On the Scalding Sea – because where most pirate albums take place in the mythological world of the “Caribbean,” this album takes place in the mythological world of “Elfwood,” complete with Dwargs (dwarves), M’raak (orcs), and Drey (bee people, apparently. Not bee keepers, but actual bee people. I think.)

The album begins with Revels of the M’raak. The song begins slow and deep. As is their usual style, Marooned comes across authentic and clear with measured male vocals before the ladies chime in to add a more melodious (and decidedly less orc-like) overtone. This song is a tale of longing and wandering, although it also contains a line about “refusing elvish revisions” which I assume is a dig on AD&D 4th Edition. Continue reading

Review: Bail Money

cd-bmI’ll never forget my first meeting with the Bilge Pumps. It was in a seedy back alley pub – more of a shack, really – in the red light district of the Philippines. These were the closing days of the cold war, and the Bilge Pumps had made quite the name for themselves amongst the covert circuit as NATO’s very best choice for freelance maritime demolitions. Their preferred method was to infiltrate targeted boats from beneath, hence the team’s codename, The Bilge Pumps.

Continue reading

Review: Greenbeard the Pirate Pig

20140204-1Rating: ★★★★☆
greenbeardthepiratepig.ca

All educational and child-rearing specialists agree on the importance of reading to your kids about pirates from an early age. But they sometimes forget to mention that sharing the true exploits of François l’Olonnais with an impressionable toddler can lead to less-than-desireable results. This is why we need books like Greenbeard the Pirate Pig to ease our youngsters into the basics of high seas shenanigans without prematurely exposing them to more advanced subjects (like cannibalism.) Continue reading

Review: Caliche Rum

Rating: ★★★★☆
Caliche Official Site

calicheA sippable white rum – rare, but not unheard of. But even on the shelf, Caliche stands apart from its pale brethren with its mottled glass bottle, neck wrapped in hemp. It gives a rustic, tropical appearance usually reserved for aged rums, and makes this the only white rum I can think of that indeed looks piratey (a necessity for those of truly distinguished taste.)

While white rums generally equate to un-aged, Caliche is in fact a blend of aged rums using the Solera system. This results in a rather layered flavor profile. To the nose you’re met with fruit, while on tasting a creamy vanilla sensation dominates. The finish lingers and warms with alcohol burn that’s surprisingly gentle yet persistent.

Caliche is a class act, no doubt. It’s quite excellent straight up, and when sipped in moderation is damn near refreshing (not a quality I generally equate with rum.)

Review: Dance Macaw

Rating: ★★★½☆
Buy it Now
Dance MacawIn the world of pirate music, Marooned has always seemed to me a band apart. Neither in-your-face pirate-core (too soft and subdued in nature) nor background easy listening (too stand-out in its sharply contrasted male and female vocals), their music is at once understated yet domineering – somewhat like a passive-aggressive pirate captain with a penchant for morbidity. Continue reading

Review: Kinectimals 2 (a.k.a. Farcry 3)

Rating: ★★★★½
91bgUBn5VML._AA1500_Buy at Amazon.com

Kinectimals is perhaps one of the most overlooked pirate games around – mainly because you probably didn’t know it was a pirate game. True, the basic idea is “pet the tiger” or “pet the leopard” or even “pet the bear” through the magic of Xbox Kinect, but it also involves the search for pirate treasure on a tropical island filled with ancient ruins. See? Piratey.

Of course, it was also pretty heavily targeted at kids, which is why it was such a bold move when they announced the sequel, Farcry 3. Continue reading

Review: Pirate Santa CD

Rating: ★★★★☆
www.piratesanta.com

Having reviewed the children’s book Pirate Santa nearly one year ago, it seems a fine time to introduce the companion CD. Yes, it features a booming voice reading the story. And yes, it includes weird and wonderful sound effects. These you expected. What you might not have expected would be the additional music thrown in for good measure.

For those unfamiliar, Mister Mac is a pirate. A pirate, and a children’s singer. Approximately 37 feet tall, his shiny bald head has sometimes been mistaken for the sun, and the adoring children gathering at his ankles appear no more than two apples tall. Yes, much like Smurfs, only less blue.

Where was I? Continue reading

Review: Raiding Parties Card Game

Rating: ★★★½☆

www.raidingparties.com

We live in a glorious age. There was a time not long ago when, if you wanted to enjoy some piratey fun, you couldn’t simply fire up the computer or break out the smartphone. There was a time when you had to use wooden swords, or perhaps some books with dice and mounds of scratch paper. Of course, there was another time not so long ago when many of the tabletop adventures took place in card form. I mostly missed out on those days – just a tad too old to get into Magic the Gathering or Pokemon. And this is why I shiver in fear whenever a pirate card game comes along – it’s not their fault, but I’m somewhat mentally stunted when it comes to card games. Continue reading