Thursday, July 31, 2008
Today, we take a look at Declan MacManus, or more commonly, Elvis Costello and that punchy little single he put out in 1978 that got a bunch of people (especially the United States) all hot and bothered, "Radio Radio."
Although it hadn't made the cut on the UK version of his landmark album This Year's Model, Columbia Records decided to tack it on the US version that came out 2 months later. Columbia didn't, however, want Elvis out there on US television doing a song that openly criticized major broadcasting and payola.
Kind of an obvious thing for Columbia to request, really, but why they thought Costello and the Attractions should instead perform "Less Than Zero," a song about Oswald Mosely on "Saturday Night Live" is less apparent. Famously, Elvis stopped the song a few bars in, told the audience there was no reason to do the song here and, in very punk fashion, ripped into "Radio Radio." Infamously, it got him kicked off the show for 12 years.
Then in very non punk fashion, he bought into the nostalgia and kitsch of it and recreated the moment for "Saturday Night Live"s 25th anniversary special. Still, pretty good performance.
If there's any problem with the infamy of the song, it's that it serves as people's first intro to Elvis Costello and therefore, what to base your first impression on. Not that it's a bad song to take that mantle, but you gotta feel kinda sorry for the kids that hear it and go, "No thanks," and miss out on the likes of "Pump it Up," "Big Tears," "Shipbuilding" or even "God Give Me Strength."
Elvis Costello & the Attractions - Radio Radio
There was something to be said for young Elvis, who could spit out songs as politically confrontational as this with as much as ease as he could a song like "Alison." Say what you will about the crop of young artists that came out of the late 1970s British punk movement, but few (even Weller) were dropping words like "anaesthetise" onto A-sides of potential Top of the Pops material. The byproduct of its punk flagship status is that every young up and coming garage band inevitably learns the song and now you got kids with frosted tips and iPods singing about how their radio dial broke 'cos it's old. Really? Nevertheless, whatever miserable byproducts iconic songs bring with them, it still is an iconic song.
Elvis Costello & the Attractions - Tiny Steps
A charming enough song that works as a nice yang to "Radio Radio"s yin, even if mellowness is only found in the song's music. The entertaining part of this song is that it folds right into almost every other song recorded during the This Year's Model era. You listen to this and it really doesn't sound so far off from another B-side from the era, "Big Tears." Thank God Elvis was the lyricist he was -- few people can pull about 20 songs from the same musical idea.
The A-side can now be found on The Very Best of Elvis Costello and the Attractions while the B-side recently showed up on Rock and Roll Music.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Creating the perfect sauce for barbecue often involves some sort of syrupy sweet ingredient that can make of break the secret flavor. I just saw Pat Neely of the world famous Neely's BBQ on TV and he had a great trick for measuring heavy syrups and thick liquids like honey or molasses (two common sauce staples).
The next time your measuring corn syrup, honey, or even maple syrup just give the measuring cup a good spray of PAM or a similar non stick oil spray. Not only will it keep your measurements consistent... there's less waste and it makes post sauce clean-up a bit less sticky!
Here's a great side that's guaranteed to entertain at your next cook out.
This is a great way to grill onions without worrying about losing the veggies between the grates. Simply skewer the onions and create what looks like an onion lollipop. It's fun to serve, helps the cook, and taste great. The trick is to skewer the whole onion (kinda like a mohawk porcupine) BEFORE slicing. Soak the skewers first to keep them from burning on the grill. Space the skewers so that you'll have a little less than one half an inch between the sticks. You'll want thick slices to hold up to the heat.
Carefully slice the onion into pops by using the sticks as guides. Next marinate the raw pops with a combination of lite soy sauce and liquid smoke (or choose you favorite liquid marinade or bbq trick rub. When the grill is hot (medium to high heat) brush each pop on both sides liberally with oil and set them on the grate for about four minutes each side (rotate 90 degrees after three minutes for show-off grill marks). One final brush of oil and CAREFULLY remove with spatula and plate immediately (pops are fairly soft when cooked). For best results find the fattest sweet onions (Vidalias) available
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Recipe courtesy Dan Brown at Leonard's BBQ, Memphis,TN
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 heaping tablespoons white self-rising corn meal
5 cups 2 percent milk
8 cups plain all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons yellow food color
4 jumbo yellow onions
Vegetable oil, for frying
Using a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients until no lumps remain. Use jumbo yellow onion rings and slice about 3/4-inch thick.
Coat the onion rings evenly in batter and deep fry at 350 degrees F in vegetable oil just until batter sticks to the rings. Remove the rings from the vegetable oil and drain well, then refrigerate the rings for 2 to 4 hours. You can keep refrigerated for 1 to 2 days loosely covered.
When ready to serve, drop the onion rings into 350 degrees F vegetable oil until golden brown.
A great, productive weekend and I'm headed home late tomorrow. I can't wait to see the boys..anyhow catching up on my reading tonight I came across this in the NY Times last week. The world has finally caught up with my love for soft serve..
BRUCE HILL has tasted caviar and Château d’Yquem, but he still gets a thrill from the thought of a swirl of soft-serve ice cream.
I was about 6 and one of my first memories is of my first bite of a soft serve with a chocolate shell,” said Mr. Hill, owner of Pizzeria Picco in Larkspur, Calif., a destination for Bay Area pizza connoisseurs. “If you get your first lick before the shell completely hardens, you get the chocolate and vanilla melting in your mouth at the same time, and it was really special.”
Now Mr. Hill makes his own soft-serve ice cream at Picco, with a shell of chocolate from El Rey of Venezuela.
For Don Tillman, soft serve was a treat he couldn’t get enough of growing up in Hershey, Pa.
“When I was a kid, there was a Mister Softee which came pretty much every day, and I ran behind the truck,” Mr. Tillman said.
So at their ChikaLicious Dessert Club in the East Village, Mr. Tillman and his wife, Chika, have been making vanilla soft serve that they pair with a shot of espresso and crunchy Valrhona chocolate beans for a refreshing affogato. They also mix it with iced cappuccino and lattes, anoint triple-chocolate cupcakes with it, whip it up into a strawberry smoothie and use it to top a vanilla apple pudding cake. Beats whipped cream.
Young chefs around the country, with fond memories of Dairy Queen stands and Mister Softee trucks, are remaking soft-serve ice cream, with epicurean takes on traditional ingredients as well as some things never before seen spiraling out of an icy nozzle, like saffron, bourbon and jalapeño flavors.
At Sketch Ice Cream, a shop in Berkeley, Calif., boysenberry, balsamic Bing cherry, white peach and strawberry are the soft serves of choice this month; vanilla is always available.
They are all made from scratch with organic milk, sugar, pure vanilla extract and sea salt in small batches for freshness. One of the most popular versions is half granita and half soft serve. One offering: a creamsicle of white nectarine granita and jasmine tea soft serve.
“I grew up on Dairy Queen,” said Eric Shelton, who owns the shop with his wife, Ruthie Planas-Shelton, “and in some self-conscious way, maybe I’m going back to my childhood.”
Christina Tosi, the dessert chef at the Momofuku restaurants in New York, remembers soft serve as something “lowbrow” she got to eat only on summer vacations. But now, she said, “Eating soft serve has become what you do when you are in your Manolo Blahniks.”
On a recent night at Momofuku Noodle Bar in the East Village, where most customers carry out soft-serve cones covered in paper decorated with an American flag or biodegradable cups, Ms. Tosi had peanut butter and Cracker Jack flavors. She makes the latter by simmering popcorn in milk. She uses half the strained milk to make the soft serve and the rest to deglaze melted sugar to make caramel.
For soybean fanciers, Kyotofu, the dessert restaurant and bakery in Hell’s Kitchen, has introduced chocolate black soybean, green tea and white sesame soft serve, which sell for $3.85 for 5 ounces and $5.85 for 8 ounces, with topping. Whether you think they are as good as the cow’s milk version depends on how you feel about soy.
A co-owner, Michael Berl, said he has had the soft-serve machine since the restaurant opened in October 2006 but was too busy to develop the recipes.
“Basically we were using it as an expensive display piece, but finally got around to launching it this June,” he said. “Now it’s the most popular item in the restaurant, even more popular than tofu cheesecake. Our inspiration was from Japan, where they also have soy milk soft serve.”
Even the most ordinary soft serve is popular. When going out for an afternoon or evening snack, Americans are about twice as likely to have a soft-serve swirl than a scoop of the harder stuff, according to Harry Balzer, a vice president of the NPD group, a market research firm. (Until recently you couldn’t make soft serve at home.) While sales of hard ice cream have been fairly stable, according to NPD, soft-serve sales are growing.
The appeal of soft serve lies in part in a bit of science. Taste buds respond better when they’re not well chilled, so ice cream tastes creamier and richer when it’s not frozen solid. Hard ice cream is served at about 5 to 7 degrees, while soft serve comes out of the nozzle at 14 to 25 degrees.
At those warmer temperatures, soft serve needs less fat than regular ice cream to taste rich. Some premium ice creams are 17 percent fat, yet Picco’s soft serve is 10 percent fat, Sketch’s is 7 or 8 percent and Ms. Tosi said her Cracker Jack flavor is 11 percent fat.
Warmer temperatures also mean a drippier cone. Other than Mr. Shelton, all the soft-serve makers interviewed use some form of natural stabilizers, like carageenan, guar gum, lecithin, agar agar or invert sugar (equal parts glucose and fructose) to inhibit melting and thicken the mixture.
Either J. F. McCullough or Tom Carvel deserves credit as the first soft-serve maker. Mr. McCullough made soft serve in 1938 in Moline, Ill. One August day, he offered it at a friend’s ice cream shop in Kankakee, Ill., and 1,600 people paid 10 cents for all they could eat of his newfangled treat.
Two years later, Mr. McCullough and his son, Alex, teamed up with Harry Oltz, who had invented a machine that could produce a continuous flow of the frozen mixture. They opened the first Dairy Queen in 1940 in Joliet, Ill.
Mr. Carvel appears to have stumbled on soft serve about the same time. When his truck carrying ice cream broke down in Hartsdale, N.Y., he sold it from the truck over two days as it softened.
While these old-time brands might leave New Age soft-serve creators feeling nostalgic, some of them use ingredients that have less appeal. Along with milk and cream, sugar and corn syrup, you might find artificial flavors, emulsifiers and stabilizers, like mono- and diglycerides, polysorbate 80, and tetrasodium pyrophosphate.
(The commercial versions are cheaper, though — about $1.80 for three ounces, while the newest versions are as much as $5 for four ounces.)
“I don’t know what they are putting in it today but you can walk from the East Village to Central Park and it will maintain its form like a beehive hairdo,” said Mr. Tillman, who opened ChikaLicious Dessert Club five months ago, across the street from the ChikaLicious Dessert Bar. “It tastes like a bunch of oil sprayed over something white.”
For his soft serve, he said: “It was such a hassle to get vanilla back to the flavor of what I recalled as a child. A lot of trial and error, a lot of money thrown away. It took two months.”
At the Fort Greene branch of the Mexican restaurant Bonita in Brooklyn, hibiscus, tamarind and vanilla-bean soft serve have been on the menu for two months.
The chef, Juventino Avila, began to work on his own after he saw the chemicals in a soft-serve mix that came with a machine.
“I was very unhappy when I looked at the list of ingredients because I didn’t understand any of them,” he said. “Now we have come up with our own recipes and only use one chemical, a little lecithin as a stabilizer. We like to serve ice cream the way we serve our food, without chemicals.”
He’s working on a version flavored like horchata, the Mexican rice drink with cinnamon and cloves. The soft serve, which sells for $5 to $7 for about 8 ounces, is so popular, he said, that sometimes they run out.
Mr. Hill, at Picco, is using an unflavored organic frozen custard from Straus Family Creamery. (Frozen custard has eggs, while most soft serves don’t.) For chocolate, he adds Scharffen Berger cocoa to the base; vanilla uses vanilla beans. The toppings include gold, black and red raspberries, butterscotch caramel or extra virgin olive oil and sea salt.
His soft serve has become so popular that the original machine, which made about six portions before it had to be stopped to let the mixture re-freeze, has been replaced with one that can dispense 700 portions an hour.
“We sell close to $100,000 a year in soft serve, and our pizzeria has only 11 seats,” Mr. Hill said.
Anne Quatrano, an owner and a chef at Floataway Café and the store Star Provisions in Atlanta, was looking for a simple, nostalgic dessert and came up with what turned into a runaway best-seller, a vanilla soft serve that she says “tastes like fresh dairy.”
“It’s wildly successful,” she said, “because it’s kind of retro but it’s still all natural.”
At Floataway, at least half of the desserts ordered are soft serves, topped with extra virgin olive oil and Maldon sea salt, caramel with fleur de sel, bittersweet chocolate or seasonal fruit (at the moment peaches macerated in lemon juice and sugar).
One of the first of the new soft servers in New York was Shake Shack in Madison Square Park, which, like Picco, makes a frozen custard, with daily choices that include raspberry jalapeño, strawberry shortcake, coffee and doughnuts, and fig ricotta.
“Soft serve is a really a satisfying textural, tactile and visual experience,” Mr. Hill said. “Like instant gratification. We have a lot of people joking about lying down and having the soft serve dispense right into their mouths.”
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Check out the psychedelic sounds of Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd by listening to Early Singles and The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. The one track that you must download most is Floyd's second single "See Emily Play" (b/w Scarecrow).
Released in 1967 at the Sound Techniques Studio in Chelsea, "See Emily Play" was a Barrett masterstroke-a cosmic fireball full of psychedelic flash points and kinetic energy. The track was included on the US The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, but was left off the UK release in favor of "Astronomy Domine". ("See Emily Play" was originally called "Games for May")
It was during the sessions for “Emily” that David Gilmour has said, "I'll go on record as saying, that was when he changed." Gilmour was invited to the studio by Barrett but when he arrived, Syd had a different personality and didn't even recognize Gilmour. As many of you out there know, Barrett’s troubled acid visions drove him to severe mental illness and was kicked out of the band during Pink Floyd's second album A Saucerful of Secrets.
Side A: "See Emily Play"
Side B: "Scarecrow"
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Back in April, I came across Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill recipe and loved the Honey-Ancho Chile Glazed Salmon. I wanted to reproduce the dish at home while making it at least partly “my own,” so I decided to make a few enhancements.
Maple Ancho-Glazed Salmon
1/3 cup pure maple syrup (darker is better)
1 Tbsp ancho chile powder
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
2 lbs salmon, cut into four 8-ounce fillets
1. Preheat your grill for direct grilling. If you’re cooking indoors, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and set a heavy, oven-proof saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Season the salmon with salt and pepper.
3. To grill: Place the salmon over the coals/flame, seasoned side down, and cook until a nut-brown crust has formed, four to five minutes depending on your heat level. Turn the fish and baste the cooked side with the maple syrup mixture. Cook with the skin side down until cooked through to your desired level, three minutes for medium, five for well done.
To cook indoors: In about 1 Tbsp of vegetable or olive oil, sear the seasoned side for two and a half minutes. Flip and cook the skin side for two minutes. Baste and place in the oven until cooked to the desired level of doneness, around three minutes for medium and around six minutes for well done.
Also, if you decide to make his side sauces, you can cheat on the black bean sauce and use canned black beans, simmering them for about fifteen minutes with the aromatics. I’ve made the jalapeño crema by placing heavy cream and the roasted, seeded pepper in a cup and whizzing them with my stick blender. The blade’s action will partially whip the cream, creating a crème fraîche-like consistency for a significantly lower price
Monday, July 21, 2008
Here is a fantastic recipe for Corned Beef Hash…perfect for brunch!
Corned Beef Hash
Time: 30 Mins
HASH AND EGGS
1 lb medium red potatoes, skin on, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup chopped onion
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp RED HOT & BLUE DRY RUB
1 lb cooked corned beef, sliced into thin strips
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
8 large eggs
HASH AND EGGS
1 Preheat oven to 350°F.
2 Sauté potatoes in butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 mins.
3 Add onion, bell pepper, tarragon, parsley and RED HOT & BLUE DRY RUB, sauté over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, about 3 mins.
4 Stir in corned beef. Add salt and pepper to taste and place into oven while preparing eggs.
5 In a separate nonstick skillet, prepare eggs to your desired doneness; sunny side up is recommended.
Remove hash from oven, distribute evenly on 4 plates, place two eggs atop each portion.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
In the mid‑seventies, when he was red‑hot, Waylon played Memphis, and his one‑time rhythm guitar player and road manager, Curtis Buck, a/k/a Jerry McGill, came to the show in drag. McGill, who had a Memphis rock and roll band in the fifties and recorded for Sun Records, was eluding prosecution for various federal crimes. He had developed a problem traveling with Waylon when they put the metal detectors in airports. But there had been times when McGill's guns—he normally carried three, counting the one in his girlfriend's purse—had come in handy, like the time the cop had McGill's boss under arrest at the Hyatt House on Sunset Boulevard, and McGill talked him out of it. It's a scene we'll save for the film version.
- Stanley Booth,
from Hands Up!
Gadfly, November 1998.
and then there's the film version...
In one scene, the camera follows (Randall) Lyon into Jim Dickinson's backhouse studio, where assorted people are sitting around ... Some of the musicians are jamming - Dickinson is playing an electric guitar, (Jim) Lancaster, is at the piano. McGill, his gaunt and tapered face resembling a cobra's, takes hold of an acoustic guitar and performs a song. When he's done, Lyon starts spouting a soliloquy, holding a bottle of champagne in his hand. The camera surveys the room, but his words are clear. "This is a dis-ass-trous period in our time. We got to respond to what's going ahn or else we got to hang it up with kinder-goddamn-garten." Dickinson accompanies with apocalyptic feedback from his guitar, and it all becomes too claustrophobic for McGill. The camera whips around at the sound of gunfire - McGill has drawn and fired his pistol. He smashes the bottle with the barrel and then puts the gun against Lyon's head. The voices that squealed when the bullets caught them off guard have suddenly stilled. The guitar continues, a soundtrack like the Wild West saloon player who knows it's best to never stop. The camera remains focused on the gun, the gun always, because whoever may say whatever, the subject in that room is the gun.
"I'm gonna whip you with this gun barrel," says McGill, whose eyes shine like B.B.'s. "Be nice, be real nice." Lyon is doubled over at the waist, his head, his life, in McGill's hands. Then McGill, he is no longer McGill, he is Pancho Villa, he is Jesse James, he is completely and totally Lash LaRue - turns to the camera, sees that it's pointed right at him (he's still holding the gun), and he says, for the camera's benefit, "I don't care nothing about that." He'll do it for the world to see! In an instant, the pistol is waved, smashing the bottle in Randall's hand, and following the instant, smashing the light. The guitar feedback stops with the sudden darkness and the scene, take one, the only take, is over.
from It Came From Memphis,1995.
The above is a description of Jerry McGill's scene in William Eggleston's video-verite Stranded In Canton shot in and around Memphis and New Orleans in 1974 with a Sony Porta-Pak that was rigged to shoot in low light situations. It's a remarkable foray into early video by a great photographer. For years, it sat in a vault at MIT, until Eggleston and Gordon edited the thirty hours of footage into a film in 2005. When I saw a screening of it at Lincoln Center a few years ago, I asked Robert who the guy playing guitar with Dickinson was. His response, "Jerry McGill - the original Rock and Roll outlaw." Below is McGill's entire recorded output - a lone single on Sun from 1959. Billy Lee Riley is on lead guitar. These days McGill's whereabouts are unknown. He is rumored to be serving time in Florida for murder.
by Jerry McGill and The Topcoats, 1959.
out of print
"I Wanna Make Sweet Love" mp3
by Jerry McGill and The Topcoats, 1959.
out of print
William Eggleston is the subject of a major retrospective coming to the Whitney Museum in November.
Standed In Canton will be available as a Book/DVD by Twin Palms Publishers this Fall.
Top photo: by Randall Lyon from It Came From Memphis by Robert Gordon.
Howard's old FM show featured many great musical guests and performances over the years. An FM station that aired the Stern show, WIZN ("The Wizard") in Burlington, Vermont, played 45 previously taped Stern Show musical performances over four hours during the afternoon following the final 2005 broadcast. A friend recorded the WIZN "Musical Memories" tribute broadcast using a Sansui TU-9900 FM tuner directly to hard disc and then edited out the commercials and as much of the between-song DJ banter as possible. What is left are nearly three hours of classic performances in stellar FM sound quality, thanks in large part to the legendary Sansui super tuner.
The relaxed vibe of the Stern Show always seemed to bring out the best in musicians who were not used to waking up and performing so early in the morning!
Some of these tracks have circulated previously as substandard MP3 files sourced from a low-bit-rate Sirius Satellite Radio broadcast, but this FLAC file set, which has not circulated previously, is the genuine lossless FM high-fidelity article. Listen to James Taylor's guitar on "Woodstock" or Alanis Morissette's voice on "Ironic" for examples of the Sansui's incredible combination of analog musical warmth and detail, which somehow managed to survive largely intact despite the necessary evil of the FM > WAV > FLAC digitization process.
These tunes were either performed in Howard Stern's New York City FM studio or in front of live audiences at remote Stern Show broadcasts. The in-studio tunes include several great acoustic versions of electric favorites (e.g., "Pour Some Sugar On Me" by Def Leppard). There are also some outstanding cover tunes, including Kid Rock doing the Charlie Daniels classic, "Long Haired Country Boy" and Train performing a rocking Led Zeppelin medley. One Stern Show inside joke is Blues Traveler's version of "This Is Beetle." 'Beetle' is Stern Show "Wack Pack" member Lester "Beetlejuice" Green, who wrote the song spontaneously one day on the Show. NOTE: The WIZN broadcast also included Staind's version of "This Is Beetle." The Staind version, which was the seventh song of the broadcast, is omitted because it was released officially on a limited edition version of Staind's "Chapter V" album.
There are so many highlights in this set that it would be tough to pick a favorite. Aerosmith's raucous "Bacon Biscuit Blues" is hard to top, though, I must admit!
I do not know the dates these songs were performed / first aired. If anyone can shed some light on the performance dates, that would be great.
01 - "Dancing Days" (Stone Temple Pilots)
02 - "Bacon Biscuit Blues" (Aerosmith)
03 - "Kryptonite" (Three Doors Down)
04 - "Dream On" (Train)
05 - "December" (Collective Soul)
06 - "Learn to Fly" (Foo Fighters)
07 - "This Is Beetle" (Staind) [OMITTED due to offical release]
08 - "Woodstock" (James Taylor)
09 - "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" (Green Day)
10 - "Long Haired Country Boy" (Kid Rock)
11 - "Here Comes the Sun" (Bon Jovi)
12 - "I'm So Happy I Can't Stop Crying" (Sting)
13 - "Pour Some Sugar On Me" (Def Leppard)
14 - "Slither" (Velvet Revolver)
15 - "Runaround" (Blues Traveler)
16 - "Wanted Dead or Alive" (Bon Jovi)
17 - "Sixth Avenue Heartache" (The Wallflowers)
01 - "Slide" (Goo Goo Dolls)
02 - "A Long December" (Counting Crows)
03 - "Ironic" (Alanis Morissette)
04 - "Pink" (Aerosmith)
05 - "Beverly Hills" (Weezer)
06 - "It's Been Awhile" (Staind)
07 - "Jump" (David Lee Roth)
08 - "Revolution" (Stone Temple Pilots)
09 - "Shine" (Collective Soul)
10 - "Are You Gonna Go My Way" (Lenny Kravitz)
11 - "It's My Life" (Bon Jovi)
12 - "The Jack" (AC/DC with Artie Lange)
13 - "Another Brick in the Wall > Goodbye Cruel World" (Korn)
01 - "Jealous Again" (Black Crowes)
02 - "Ramble On" (Train)
03 - "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" (Jet)
04 - "Mr. Jones" (Counting Crows)
05 - "What Is and What Should Never Be > Whole Lotta Love > Ramble On" (Train)
06 - "Blowin' In The Wind" (Leslie West)
07 - "Help" (Bon Jovi)
08 - "Hash Pipe" (Weezer)
09 - "Desperado" (Joe Walsh)
10 - "Let Love Rule" (Lenny Kravitz)
11 - "The Reason" (Hoobastank)
12 - "Plush" (Stone Temple Pilots)
13 - "Meadows" (Joe Walsh)
14 - "Lifestyles Of the Rich And Famous" (Good Charlotte)
15 - "This Is Beetle" (Blues Traveler)
Monday, July 14, 2008
Hot on the heels of my birthday tribute to Ringo Starr, I learned that Neil Young has recently been playing a stunning version of the Beatles' "A Day in the Life" as an encore.
As the towering masterwork of popular song in the 20th century, "A Day in the Life" is most intimidating, but it's amazing how naturally it fits into Neil's sonic wheelhouse: the plaintive homespun melody and open chords of the first two verses gives way to the raging cacophony of the bridge and final coda with a little mid-tempo bit in the middle.
It's as if he merged "After the Gold Rush" with Arc, his 1991 feedback/noise collage, and threw in a verse of "Everybody Knows This is Nowhere" to hold it all together.
Neil, of course, replaces the London Symphony Orchestra's part - and the crashing final piano E chord - with the howling feedback of Big Black, his trusty Les Paul.
As the clip below from the Rock in Rio festival demonstrates, Mr. Bernard Shakey has brilliantly, angrily recast the ultimate 60s freak-out for the 21st century - the "holes in Blackburn Lancashire" might as well be bodies in Bagdhad.
Neil Young, "A Day in the Life" Rock in Rio Festival, Madrid, 27 June 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
What can I say? If you download nothing else. If you comment on nothing else. It all starts HERE -
01 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
02 With a Little Help from My Friends
03 Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
04 Getting Better
05 Fixing a Hole
06 She's Leaving Home
07 Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
08 Within You Without You
09 When I'm Sixty-Four
10 Lovely Rita
11 Good Morning Good Morning
12 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise)
13 A Day in the Life
This would be dinner on Saturday night. I can't wait to get home.
Grilled Margarita-Marinated Chicken Breast
Time: 20 Mins (6 Hrs to marinate)
4 chicken breasts, pounded
1 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup tequila blanco
1 cup triple sec
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 jalapeño pepper, sliced
(remove the seeds for a milder marinade)
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1. Mix all marinade ingredients in large nonmetal bowl.
2. Place pounded chicken breasts in the bowl and marinate for 6 hrs in the refrigerator.
3. Remove the chicken breasts from marinade and place on grill pan at medium heat.
4. Turn the breasts over when half cooked (about 4 mins each side).
5. Remove from pan and slice or cube.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
01. Hard To Imagine
02. Severed Hand
03. Hail Hail
04. Do The Evolution
05. Small Town
08. I'm Open
09. I Am Mine
10. I Got Shit
12. Light Years
13. Even Flow
14. Green Disease
15. You Are
17. Who You Are
18. Why Go
19. Encore Break 1
22. Given To Fly
23. Come Back
27. Encore Break 2
28. No More
29. Last Kiss
30. Crazy Mary
32. All Along The Watchtower
33. Yellow Ledbetter
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Debates on what songs we could cut off a the double LP with over 93 minutes of sonic sounds.
The Beatles guru, George Martin has had saddled up these same thoughts.
"They came in with a whole welter of songs - I think there were over thirty, actually - and I was a bit overwhelmed by them, and yet underwhelmed at the same time because some of them weren't great...I thought we should probably have made a very, very good single album rather than a double. But, they insisted. I think it could have been made fantastically good if it had been compressed a bit and condensed. We can only wonder what songs he woulda left off."
That's why I have decided to do it myself. I have taken out my stethoscope, scalpel, otoscope, glitter 'n laser to twiddle the double-LP White Album into a single LP.
It was a tough task...I removed some of the quirky songs, did some minor rearranging, added an excellent outtake and abracadabra - we have the single album version of the White Album. Any thoughts?
Which songs would you put on your very own single LP version of the White Album? Let the debate begin...
Back In The USSR
The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except For Me and My Monkey
Happiness Is A Warm Gun
Cry Baby Cry
Monday, July 7, 2008
Great article in the LA Times on aguas frescas.
I’m a huge fan of agua fresca - blended fruit that’s mixed with sugar and water and strained.
EDIT: Eh, why not.
Watermelon Agua Fresca
2 cups cubed watermelon plus any juices that have seeped out
1 Tbsp simple syrup or 1 tsp agave nectar
1/4-1/2 cup water
Puree the watermelon with the juices. Strain through a medium-meshed strainer to remove the solids. Combine with the sweetener and water and pour over ice. Drink immediately. A quick squeeze of lime juice is optional.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
“Lost Without Your Love” by Bread, Elektra single 45365
“Innocent Times” by Eric Clapton from No Reason to Cry
“Blinded by the Light” by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Warner Bros. single 8252
“Got To Get You Into My Life” by the Beatles, Capitol 4274
“Smokin’ ” by Boston from Boston
“Night Moves” by Bob Seger, Capitol single 4369
“Turn the Beat Around” by Vickie Sue Robinson, RCA single 10562
“More, More, More” by the Andrea True Connection, Buddah single 515
“Lost Without Your Love” was the title song to Bread’s last album, a reunion album released in 1977. (The album was the group’s first since 1972.) While this single’s hook didn’t sink in quite as deeply as those of earlier hits -- I think of “If,” “It Don’t Matter To Me” and “Baby I’m-A Want You” in particular – it was still a nice piece of popcraft. “Lost Without Your Love” entered the Top 40 in the first week of December and peaked at No. 9 in early 1977. It was Bread’s twelfth Top 40 hit and the group’s fifth to reach the Top Ten. (“Make It With You,” the group’s first hit, was its only single to reach No. 1.)
No Reason To Cry was an album that saw Eric Clapton surround himself with lots of prominent friends: Bob Dylan, Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Billy Preston, Ronnie Wood, Jesse Ed Davis, Carl Radle, Georgie Fame and more. Sometimes it sounds more like an album by The Band than it does one by Clapton, which doesn’t bother me too much. Dylan takes a vocal turn on his own song, “Sign Language.” The lead vocal on “Innocent Times” came from Marcy Levy, who co-wrote the song with Clapton.
I’m certain there’s a story behind Capitol (not Apple) Records releasing the Beatles’ “Got To Get You Into My Life” as a single in 1976, six years after the band’s last release and seven years after the four Beatles last recorded together. But I don’t know what the story is. Anyone out there? The single went to No. 7 that summer. (That wasn’t the Beatles’ last Top Ten hit, though; “Free As A Bird,” the “reunion” single that some thought ghoulish, went to No. 6 during the winter of 1995-96.)
“Night Moves” might be the greatest single ever written and recorded about growing up in the age of rock ’n’ roll. If it’s not the greatest, it’s pretty darn close to the top. Nominations, anyone? The song’s best line – “Strange how the night moves . . . with autumn closin’ in.” – is probably not the line I’d have chosen thirty-two years ago.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Disc 1: The Beatles gathered at George's house ("Kinfauns", in Esher, Surrey) around the third week of May 1968 to record demos for the forthcoming "White Album" on George's four track equipment. The tracks were mixed to mono by George. John, Paul and Ringo each received copies of this reduction tape. This first disc comes from John's copy and, actually, it is the best sounding version to date of these demos.
Disc 2: A mixing session happened on June 4th, 1968 for the "White Album" slow version of "Revolution", "Revolution 1", which was recorded on May 31st. Disc two features the unedited, offline recording of this EMI mixing date, made on John's portable tape recorder. The disc is called "Chaos" and is actually messed up by Yoko Ono continuously talking all over the session and pontificating on any matter that crosses her mind. Unbearable. Or was it "Revolution 9" ???
FROM KINFAUNS TO CHAOS: