Saturday, August 30, 2008

McCain / Fey 08

"This race is really heating up!

In a stunning and perhaps brilliant counter-attack on the Barack Obama Democratic powerhouse, Republican Senator John McCain picked Tina Fey - of Saturday Night Live fame - to be his running-mate in his run for the Presidency.

I'll have to admit I never saw this coming, but it is a pretty crafty move. I was watching a CNN at a restaurant durring lunch yesterday. The sound wasn't on, but I got the gist of what was going on as they showed pictures of the power-couple making the announcement publicly.

Although Fey has never held public office and has no political experience, she was the very first female head writer on Saturday Night Live - which raises the question, "Why not the first female Vice President?" She's also pretty hot, so... that can't hurt. She'll also be pretty funny at press conferences and matching wits with Nancy Pelosi.

I can't say that I agree with decision to leave 30 Rock and Alec Baldwin for a much older McCain, but I do like her stance on aggressive female behavior. She has been quoted on SNL recently as stating that, politically speaking, "bitch is the new black." I think this will, as hoped, pick up a few Hillary supporters. I'll miss her budding film career, however, as I can only imagine she's been forced to put it on hold as long as she may be in office.

I can only assume, since she's involved in pretty much every Tina Fey project, that Amy Pohler will be appointed to a high-power cabinet position. Perhaps Secretary of Defense or something. It's all about bringing change to Washington.

This bold, brazen move on the part of the Republicans is definitely going to be giving the Democrats a run for their money, even with the sharp edge of the seemingly unstoppable Barack Obama ticket."

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

One Kind Favor - B B King

I have been waiting for this to come out and share it with you. Produced by T-Bone -who is on a roll, if you have not heard the Robert Plant / Allison Krauss album it's in a past post. The goes great with BBQ.

- One Kind Favor (2008)

01. See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
02. I Get So Weary
03. Get These Blues Off Me
04. How Many More Years
05. Waiting For Your Call
06. My Love Is Down
07. The World Is Gone Wrong
08. Blues Before Sunrise
09. Midnight Blues
10. Backwater Blues
11. Sitting On Top Of The World
12. Tomorrow Night

B.B. King returns to his blues roots with the help of producer T Bone Burnett on "One Kind Favor,". The legendary artist is backed on the effort by pianist Dr. John, drummer Jim Keltner and bassist Nathan East. The track list includes such blues chestnuts as Big Bill Broonzy's "Backwater Blues," Lonnie Johnson's "Tomorrow Night," Blind Lemon Jefferson's "See That My Grave Is Kept Clean" and T-Bone Walker's "I Get So Weary."

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Shock of the Lightning

Here it is, as promised, get it quickly. Also check out the video posted earlier this week -


Falling Down

Whole Foods and the Stones

I have a couple of notes here about Whole Foods Supermarket. My wife's recent plunge into organic and natural foods has required multiple visits recently, to Whole Foods (and the bank) for coconut flour and the small fotune required to purchase this gift from the gods. I should say that I love Whole Foods and the idea behind it.

Two articles from the NY Times this month on Whole Foods. One, “Whole Foods Looks for a Fresh Image in Lean Times,” covers the chain’s troubles trying to expand beyond the right-tail portion of the pool of grocery shoppers. There’s an underlying implication that this is due to the stagnating economy this year, but really, this was inevitable. Nearly every high-end brand eventually tries to move downmarket because the high-end market isn’t large enough to sustain the growth rates the company and its shareholders want to see. Whole Foods has been slowly moving left on the income curve through two efforts: one, becoming more competitive on packaged goods that are also available in other chains. Two, educating more consumers on the benefits of natural and organic foods. The media has helped on the latter front - a case of left-wing media bias of which I actually approve - but Trader Joes, also rapidly expanding, is a serious thorn in Whole Foods’ side on the former front. Think Two-Buck Chuck.

Indeed, we split our shopping among several stores, and we buy a lot of staple packaged foods at Publix, including olive oil, balsamic vinegar, organic sugar, nuts, roasted red peppers, vanilla extract, eating and baking chocolate, and even specialty items like pizza dough and Parmiggiano-Reggiano ($5/pound cheaper than Whole Foods).

The second article, of course, covers Whole Foods’ response to their recent recall of ground beef. I do cook my burgers at least to medium, which helps. More importantly, however, I was unaware that Whole Foods sold any beef that wasn’t ground in the store. Why would I assume that they were buying ground beef made elsewhere? And, as the Times article points out, why on earth are they doing business with a processor with a history of safety issues?

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Rolling Stones

Chess Records Outtakes, 1964
01 High-Heel Sneakers
02 Tell Me Baby
03 Down In The Bottom
04 Looking Tired
05 Stewed And Keefed

Saturday, August 23, 2008

NEW OASIS! I don't wanna scream out loud and wake up

So, the new Oasis single is hitting airwaves, and the video has leaked online. I'm quite pleased with it, but then... I'm an Oasis fan, so I go into it with my own prejudices. Actually - it's very, very, good.

Plus, it's the latest in that trend started by "Go Let it Out" in 2000 of "comeback" singles after nearly 2-year long droughts, so fans always rush toward it like a literal oasis in the desert, and critics sharpen their teeth and start deciding how best to again turn the phrase, "same sh*t, different day."

Hotpress quickly dismissed it, although their reviewer lost severe points for trying to look well versed in the band's back catalogue but being unable to distiguish the 1994 "Fade Away" from the Be Here Now track "Fade In/Out." Sure, the titular similarities are there, but when you're talking about one song's merits using the other one's title... you look really stupid.

Anyway, the review closed with this potshot at the Oasis comeback singles of the decade thus far:

"It should sound good live, but it's not a good song. As far as Oasis comeback singles go it's up there with 'The Hindu Times'. Indeed this could be their worst comeback single yet....nah, 'The Hindu Times' was pretty poor wasn't it? (I digress, I must have blocked out 'Go Let It Out')."

I always thought "The Hindu Times" was a decent enough song, although I also think it would've been better had it retained the drum loop that anchored the song's demo. But worst comeback single?

Them's big words, because Oasis singles (maybe to a lesser extent this decade) have always been pretty special affairs in terms of quality B-sides. By the looks of it, "The Shock of the Lightning" actually looks to be the worst Oasis single ever. One B-side. And they've crossed the rubicon -- it's a f*cking remix. Le sigh.

Thoughts on "The Hindu Times" aside, the fact of the matter is the single's two B-sides were both pretty great songs, and showed a side of Noel that he hadn't (up until that point) really touched before.

Oasis - Just Getting Older
An almost identical demo of the song had trickled out to Oasis fans and bootleg hoarders when the pile of demos for songs that constituted 2000's Standing on the Shoulder of Giants found their way out of the vaults. Noel's reflective, post drugs side really came into blossom on that album and it's B-sides -- "Gas Panic!," "Where Did it All Go Wrong?," "One Way Road," "Carry Us All" etc. But to hear the guy who wrote lyrics to "Rock and Roll Star" and "Cigarettes and Alcohol" drop a line like "Staying in / I can't be bothered / Making conversation / With the friends that I don't know" less than a decade later was still kind of jarring. Nevertheless, it's still a pretty song and bucks standby references like the Beatles and Paul Weller in favor of a little more celestial Pink Floyd vibe.

Oasis - Idler's Dream
People always take potshots at Noel's lyrical ability and while inane couplets run rampant in Oasis back catalogue, too few are willing to concede that once inwhile, Noel can write a really beautiful lyric, and if you go back to "Hey Now!" or even further to "Slide Away," you know he's been able to do it for awhile. I've always felt that "Idler's Dream" is one of the most severely underappreciated things ever released by Oasis, and I also wonder if it'd been released in their mid 1990s heyday, it'd be just as legendary a B-side as something like "The Masterplan." Sure, it's just a slow ballad, but listen. No guitars, beautiful harmonies, a light touch of orchestration. It's almost Oasis doing the Smiths' "Asleep." Just a little less suicidal. I think...

And considering these two self reflective moments, backed THIS song... it's hard to say "The Hindu Times" package was bullheaded or one-dimensional, isn't it?

I have the new Oasis single and will post it in the next couple of days - here is the leaked new video!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Award Winning Potato Salad

Emeril just wrapped up a big contest/feature on "Good Morning America" where he named the "Best Potato Salad Ever." Obviously they did not test the potato salad at Red Hot & Blue.

The recipe they chose broke from tradition for us at Barbecue Tricks. We're not used to much bacon in the mix. But when it's there most BBQ lovers DO like the flavor.
Here's the recipe followed by the runner up with a bit more tradtional and creamy salad. The third runner up was different too... she oven roasted the potatoes... neat idea.

8 large red potatoes

6 hard boiled eggs, chopped

1 lb. bacon

1 large white onion, chopped

2 c. mayonnaise

1 c. sour cream

3 tbsp. milk

2 ½ c. shredded lettuce

2 large tomatoes, chopped

2 c. Shredded cheddar cheese

1. Wash and boil potatoes until tender. Let cool.
2. Chop and cook bacon and onion together, until bacon is crispy. Drain grease into a bowl and reserve.
3. In a small bowl mix mayonnaise, sour cream, bacon drippings and milk. In a large bowl, combine potato, eggs, and the onion-bacon mixture. Add mayo mixture to potato mixture and toss. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
4. Served topped with lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

AC/DC: The $11.88 Blunder

Earlier today I saw the press release with details on the new AC/DC album, Black Ice and one part of it immediately jumped out at me:

’Black Ice’ will be sold in the U.S. exclusively at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club retail locations at the special price of $11.88.

$11.88? Seriously? Back when AC/DC made the announcement that the album would be sold exclusively through Wal-Mart, many people criticized them, but I chose not to. I didn’t see the point, because as much as I may hate what Wal-Mart stands for, it makes business sense. Exclusives sell better…plain and simple. Would anyone imagine that Journey would have a Gold record without Steve Perry? They do now and it’s all because of an exclusive deal with Wal-Mart. However, where Journey and the Eagles succeeded, (led by Irving Azoff), AC/DC may fail. You see, what made the Journey and Eagles discs so revolutionary is that you got great bang for your buck. The Eagles disc contained 28-songs for $11.88. The Journey package included 2 CD’s and a live DVD, at that point it was so cheap (less than $4 a disc) that it’s not worth stealing as the blank media you would buy may cost almost as much.

Now, this AC/DC album is unique as that their record label Columbia is bartering this deal in partnership with AC/DC, a first for the major labels. Surprise, surprise, it’s the most expensive exclusive so far and there does not appear to be any added incentives to buying the disc. Why? When I heard about this deal, I was expecting the album to sell somewhere between $6 and $8, as it would be a price point figure where Wal-Mart would potentially lose money on it, but use it as a draw to lure people into their stores. The price point of $11.88 is basically asking people to download the album illegally. A number of years ago I basically stopped buying discs that were more than $10 unless there was bonus feature (concert DVD, bonus disc, etc.) attached to it. I found it down the line used and I still stand by that stance today. One thing the music industry has continued to not grasp hold of is that people want to buy music, but only if it’s priced reasonably. In a day and age where I can open the Sunday circulars and see recent DVD’s priced as low as $3.99 and in the same ad, classic album’s from AC/DC, Metallica and Led Zeppelin are selling for $11.99, you see why DVD’s have thrived in the last decade and CD sales have dwindled. It’s no wonder this industry is failing, these CD’s could be bought for $11.99 back in 1989. While the film industry (which has its fair share of problems as well) has smartly continued to reduce the price of their product in hopes it will increase sales, the music industry has done the opposite. You would think that after eight straight years of declining sales, they would start to embrace a cheaper model in hopes of selling more product. Why not make all catalog albums $5? Why isn’t every album download available for $5.99 and less, there’s no cost in packing? As Garth Brooks, the Eagles and Journey have proven, people do not mind paying for their music, but it has to have value. This AC/DC release doesn’t have value. Bryan Adams released his latest disc via Wal-Mart for $10 with no added features and well, you haven’t seen any articles about the sales of that disc have you? What makes the Journey disc fascinating is that this is a band viewed as a “has-been” by most people and their newest disc has scanned nearly 500,000 copies. They offered great bang for the buck!

The industry is being spun on their head and it’s one thing to not want to sign up with iTunes (as Kid Rock is proving that you don’t need to be on it to have a album that sells well), however, you have to throw your fans a bone, which AC/DC isn’t doing here. What it will boil down to is that Black Ice will sell well, but not as well as if it was priced at $6. Which is a shame as any AC/DC is worth hearing and should be in your collection. But with no iTunes release, a $13 price tag (the final price after tax) and no bonus features, they are practically begging people to steal their music and ultimately, far more people will download it illegally than will ever buy it. My question to AC/DC and Columbia is would you rather sell 5-6 million copies priced at $6 or 1-2 million priced at $12? As Radiohead proved last year, making new music is not about how much money can be gained from the sales, but by whether or not people have the music, listen to it and know it.

PLease allow me some time to upload the AC/DC I have and I will make it available soon. Not because I am so angry - because we have all bought this music in many formats before.


Messing up my afternonn, Fay.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

Radiohead - House of Cards

As they did with rock itself, Radiohead has breathed precious life into a dying medium. This time, the music video.

The clip for the In Rainbows track "House of Cards" is made without the use of a single camera.

"What?" you say. "Why, Ody3, everyone knows one needs a camera to shoot videos - just ask Lionel Richie and Duran Duran."

But that's not how Radiohead rolls. To quote, "No cameras or lights were used. Instead, 3D plotting technologies collected information about the shapes and relative distances of objects. The video was created entirely with visualizations of that data." In English, the video was basically shot with lasers.

The effect is mezmerizingly creepy or eerily hypnotic - I'm not sure which. The same may be said for the song itself - "House of Cards" has already taken its place as one of Radiohead's most beautiful tunes, a torch ballad for the post-Estelle Getty era.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Stuck looking for the Beatles

I'm stuck at the airport in Greensboro, NC. Yes, it is as bad as it seems. We will probably (I think) get out tonight. I am a week away from home and miss everyone terribly. I have to get home for "Meet the Teacher" tomorrow! I turn to -the old stand by- to get me through, The Beatles. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

The Complete Home Recordings 1968-1969 / The Beatles

Great Cheese Biscuits

Need a quick side to cap off a BBQ feast? This is a quick cheese biscuit recipe that has an emphais on quick. You could roll the dough and cut into neat rounds (trick: use an old clean soup can with both ends out for perfect round cuts) but these "drop" buscuits are a bit rustic and taste just as good. (Garlic butter not shown in photo).

2 cups bisquick baking mix

2/3 cup milk

1/4 Sour Cream

3/4 cup Kraft Mexican Cheddar Jack with Jalapeno

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

pich of salt

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Heat oven to 450. Mix baking mix, milk, & cheese until a soft dough forms; beat vigorously for 30 seconds. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto an ungreased cooking sheet. Bake 8 - 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Mix butter & garlic powder. Brush garlic mixture over warm biscuits before removing from cookie sheet. Serve warm. Makes 12.
Serving Size: 4

Friday, August 8, 2008

All Things Must Pass

Sunrise doesn't last all morning
A cloudburst doesn't last all day
Seems my love is up and has left you with no warning
It's not always going to be this grey

All things must pass
All things must pass away

Sunset doesn't last all evening
A mind can blow those clouds away
After all this, my love is up and must be leaving
It's not always going to be this grey

All things must pass
All things must pass away

All things must pass
None of life's strings can last
So, I must be on my way
And face another day

Now the darkness only stays the night-time
In the morning it will fade away
Daylight is good at arriving at the right time
It's not always going to be this grey

All things must pass
All things must pass away
All things must pass
All things must pass away

George Harrison - All Things Must Pass
The Beatles - All Things Must Pass (River Rhine Tapes)
Paul McCartney - All Things Must Pass

Lemony Pesto Potatoes

1 lb waxy potatoes, halved if large (I used Yukon Gold)
1 small red onion, halved and sliced
200g bag spinach leaves (I did a rough chop)
3 tablespoons olive oil (I doubled the potatoes, but kept oil at same amount)
2 tablespoons pesto
juice of 1 lemon

Boil the potatoes for about 15 minutes or until tender. Drain, then return to the pan and roughly crush with a fork.

Tip in the onion and spinach leaves. Pour over the olive oil, pesto and lemon juice, season to taste and toss to coat everything in the dressing. Serve warm with sausages, chicken or steak.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Peanuts tossed to the monkeys

"I don't seek the presidency on the presumption I'm blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save my country in its hour of need. I seek the office with the humility of a man who cannot forget my country saved me."
Sen. John McCain

"We the people" tell the government what to do, it doesn't tell us. "We the people" are the driver, the government is the car. And we decide where it should go, and by what route, and how fast. Almost all the world's constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which "We the people" tell the government what it is allowed to do. "We the people" are free.
Pres. Ronald Reagan

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Beatles Revolver Purple Chick Volume 2

01 - Tomorrow Never Knows - Take 1
02 - Got To Get You Into My Life - Take 5
03 - Paperback Writer - Take 1
04 - Paperback Writer - Take 2
05 - And Your Bird Can Sing - Take 2
06 - And Your Bird Can Sing - Take 2 + Overdubs
07 - Taxman - Take 11
08 - Eleanor Rigby - Strings Overdub
09 - I'm Only Sleeping - Rehearsal
10 - I'm Only Sleeping - Take 1
11 - For No One - Rehearsal
12 - For No One - Take 1
13 - For No One - Take 2
14 - For No One - Take A
15 - For No One - Take B
16 - For No One - Take C
17 - For No One - Take 10
18 - For No One - Take 14
19 - Yellow Submarine - Take 5
20 - Here, There And Everywhere - Take 7+14
21 - Here, There And Everywhere - Take 14
22 - Got To Get You Into My Life - Take 5
23 - And Your Bird Can Sing - Take 2
24 - And Your Bird Can Sing - Take 2 + Overdubs
25 - Tomorrow Never Knows - Take 1
26 - Tomorrow Never Knows - Take 3
27 - For No One - Take 10 Monitor Mix
28 - For No One - Take 10 Monitor Mix
29 - For No One - Take 10 Monitor Mix
30 - For No One - Take 14 Monitor Mix
31 - Here, There And Everywhere - Take 14 Monitor Mix
32 - Here, There And Everywhere - Take 14 Monitor Mix
33 - Here, There And Everywhere - Take 14 Monitor Mix
34 - Here, There And Everywhere - Take 14 Monitor Mix
35 - Rain - Take 7 (octaner's bonus track)



The Beatles Revolver Purple Chick Volume 1


01 - Paperback Writer (Stereo)
02 - Rain (Stereo)
03 - Taxman (Stereo)
04 - Eleanor Rigby (Stereo)
05 - I'm Only Sleeping (Stereo)
06 - Love You To (Stereo)
07 - Here, There And Everywhere (Stereo)
08 - Yellow Submarine (Stereo)
09 - She Said She Said (Stereo)
10 - Good Day Sunshine (Stereo)
11 - And Your Bird Can Sing (Stereo)
12 - For No One (Stereo)
13 - Doctor Robert (Stereo)
14 - I Want To Tell You (Stereo)
15 - Got To Get You Into My Life (Stereo)
16 - Tomorrow Never Knows (Stereo)
17 - I'm Only Sleeping (US Stereo)
18 - And Your Bird Can Sing (US Stereo)
19 - Doctor Robert (US Stereo)
20 - Paperback Writer (Ant Vid Mix)
21 - Rain (Ant Vid Mix)
22 - Eleanor Rigby (Yellow Sub Songtrack)
23 - Love You To (Yellow Sub Songtrack)
24 - Yellow Submarine (Yellow Sub Songtrack)
25 - For No One (Ant Dvd)
26 - Paperback Writer (Ant Dvd)
27 - Rain (Ant Dvd)
28 - Anthology Medley




CD 2

01 - Paperback Writer (Mono)
02 - Rain (Mono)
03 - Taxman (Mono)
04 - Eleanor Rigby (Mono)
05- I'm Only Sleeping (Mono)
06 - Love You To (Mono)
07 - Here, There And Everywhere (Mono)
08 - Yellow Submarine
09 - She Said She Said (Mono)
10 - Good Day Sunshine (Mono)
11 - And Your Bird Can Sing (Mono)
12 - For No One (Mono)
13 - Doctor Robert (Mono)
14 - I Want To Tell You (Mono)
15 - Got To Get You Into My Life (Mono)
16 - Tomorrow Never Knows (Mono Matrix Ii)
17 - I'm Only Sleeping (US Mono)
18 - Doctor Robert (US Mono)
19 - Tomorrow Never Knows (Mono Matrix I)
20 - Yellow Submarine (Alt Band Mix)
21 - Yellow Submarine (With Announcement)




Friday, August 1, 2008

Is the "W" for Wreck ? Oliver Stone at his worst

Saturday Night Live skit or new Oliver Stone film? You make the call.

I'm still curious about this one, but maybe in that gawking at a train wreck or "so bad it's good" (especially when I see Thandie Newton as Condoleezza Rice) fashion.

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