Monday, November 23, 2009

Deleted Star Trek Kirk Scene

Those of you regular readers know I was on the new Star Trek bandwagon well before the movie came out. The release of the DVD last week only confirmed my pick as the best movie of the summer of 2009.

Now comes CONFIRMATION of this deleted scene that contained Shatner's Kirk, What might have been...

For those who might be interested, this is from the script before shooting began. It's got Shatner in it. I can tell you that I could not imagine Shatner as Kirk anymore. He has kind of turned egg shaped. I guess they could have thinned him via computer imagery (a la the DirectTV/Star Trek VI commercial).
This begins during the scene where Spock Prime meets Quinto's Spock at the end of the film:

Then I ask that you do yourself a
favor... put away logic, and do what
feels right. The world you've inherited
lives in the shadow of incalculable
devastation... but there's no reason you
must face it alone.
And from around his neck, he removes the PENDANT that until now,
we've only caught glimpses of. Places it on the table beside
his younger self. The feeling in his eyes is profound...
This was a gift to me. Representing...
a dream. One we were unable to fulfill.
The way you can now.
And moves to the door. Stops. Offers the VULCAN SALUTE:
As my customary farewell would appear
oddly self serving, I will simply say...
good luck.
Their eyes hold. Spock turns, disappearing into the corridor.
Young Spock stares at the empty doorway a beat, his mind a
jumble of thoughts. Looks to the pendant... and realizes it's a
HOLO-EMITTER. After considering a beat, he hits an activation
button and a MOVING HOLOGRAPHIC MESSAGE materializes before him:
confident -- and SINGING:
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to
(stops, grins)
I know I know, it's illogical to
celebrate something you had nothing to do
with, but I haven't had the chance to
congratulate you on your appointment to
the ambassadorship so I thought I'd seize
the occasion... Bravo, Spock -- they tell
me your first mission may take you away
for awhile, so I'll be the first to wish
you luck... and to say...
(beat, emotional)
I miss you, old friend.
... and we're PUSHING IN on Young Spock, taking in the image of
Kirk's future self, the message, but above all -- the clear,
unquestionable friendship these two men had...
As Spock Prime walks off down the corridor, he passes right by a
man conferring with a nurse -- the man pauses, turns... it's
SAREK. Suddenly overcome by a feeling that the stranger who's
just passed him is... oddly familiar.
I suppose I'd always imagined us...
outgrowing Starfleet together. Watching
life swing us into our Emeritus years...
MUSIC BUILDING -- glass walls reveal THE ENTERPRISE at dock,
UTILITY CRAFTS floating around it, repairing. Standing at
attention in rows, THE ENTERPRISE CREW -- over four hundred of
them wearing DRESS UNIFORMS -- TRACK DOWN the faces, all proud:
I look around at the new cadets now and
can't help thinking... has it really been
so long? Wasn't it only yesterday we
stepped onto the Enterprise as boys?
That I had to prove to the crew I
deserved command... and their respect?
And we STOP ON YOUNG KIRK. Composed, focused, proud. A man.
And to every fan's delight, finally wearing his YELLOW SHIRT.
The FEDERATION COMMANDANT stands at a podium:
This assembly calls Captain James
Tiberius Kirk...
Kirk breaks from formation, pivots, marches down the hangar --
past UHURA... SULU... CHEKOV... SCOTTY. All Beaming. Notably
absent, is Spock. Kirk ascends the stairs, snaps to attention:
Your inspirational valor and supreme
dedication to your comrades are in
keeping with the highest traditions of
service and reflect utmost credit to
yourself, your crew, and the Federation.
By Starfleet Order 28455, you are hereby
directed to report to Commanding Officer,
USS Enterprise, for duty as his relief.
Kirk turns. Walks to... PIKE. In a wheelchair now, wearing an
ADMIRAL'S UNIFORM. Overnight, his hair's turned totally grey --
but despite his trauma, his pride's overwhelming. They SALUTE
each other:
I relieve you, Sir.
... I am relieved.
He opens a BOX in his lap -- glorious in repose, a MEDAL:
And as Fleet Admiral, for your... unique
solution to the Kobayashi Maru, it's my
honor to award you with a commendation
for original thinking.
Pike containing a smirk, pins the medal to Kirk's chest...
(a touch choked)
Congratulations, Captain.
Thank you, Sir.
Kirk turns to the crowd. Eyes shining. WILD APPLAUSE. OUR
MUSIC SOARS. Bones leans in to Sulu, rolling his eyes:
... Same ship, different day.
As Kirk rejoins his crew for hugs and congratulations, we go to
the BACK of the hangar... SPOCK PRIME. Watching. Moved beyond
words. He turns and leaves them to it... as he goes...
I know what you'd say -- `It's their turn
now, Jim...' And of course you're
right... but it got me thinking:
Our montage comes full circle as we END on Kirk's transmission:
Who's to say we can't go one more round?
By the last tally, only twenty five
percent of the galaxy's been chartered...
I'd call that negligent. Criminal even --
an invitation.
You once said being a starship captain
was my first, best destiny... if that's
true, then yours is to be by my side. If
there's any true logic to the universe...
we'll end up on that bridge again
Stops, grins. Because this is the part he needs to say most...
Admit it, Spock. For people like us, the
journey itself... is home.
Young Spock's face. Lost in feelings that flood through him.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Beaujolais Nouveau

Why should you care about the third Thursday in November? It's the day that Beaujolais Nouveau -- a French wine called BN for short -- arrives in stores all over the world.

This is a light-bodied, fruity, fun red, made from the Gamay grape in the region of Beaujolais. "Regular"

Beaujolais is released the year after the grapes are picked, but BN is released a few weeks after the grapes come in. So the wine you taste was made with grapes picked just a few weeks before. The tradition started when winemakers wanted to use up their Gamay grapes and realized they could make a passable wine quickly with the use of the carbonic maceration method, where the fruity quality is preserved without the bitter tannins of the skins and seeds. What began as a winemaker trick became marketing genius. French law requires that BN be released no earlier than the third Thursday of November - no exceptions.

This is not a serious wine - it's just fun and cheap and can be served chilled or at room temperature, and it pairs with virtually every food on the planet. Just don't keep it too long - it's meant to be drunk within six months of purchase. And in these financially precarious times, you'll be happy to hear that BN is one of the best values out there; most bottles are about $10. A few producers are going green and bottling their BN in plastic bottles rather than glass; it keeps the shipping weight down.

Most wine stores carry three or four types of Beaujolais Nouveau, and here are some of the better producers to look for: Mommessin, Georges Duboueuf, Joseph Drouhin, J. Arthaud, and Michel Picard.

U2 - The Unforgettable Fire Super Deluxe Edition (2009)

"An appreciable leap forward in almost every fashion from the group's first trio of albums, The Unforgettable Fire is its first with the production team of Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois. And while they take a strong hand in wrestling U2's music out of the mainstream and into a more individualistic area, it's the songs themselves that demand a more subtle approach. Moody gems such as "A Sort of Homecoming" and the entrancing "Bad" set the table for more explosive fare such as "Pride," "Wire," and the title track. This is the album that made U2 a career act, showing that their music could grow by leaps and bounds, even at the hand of another, without sacrificing its soul. "--Daniel Durchholz

My favorite album until The Joshua Tree came out.

Disc 01:
1. A Sort Of Homecoming 05:282. Pride In The Name Of Love 03:503. Wire 04:204. The Unforgettable Fire 04:555. Promenade 02:356. 4th Of July 02:177. Bad 06:098. Indian Summer Sky 04:209. Elvis Presley And America 06:2310. MLK 02:34

Disc 02:
1. Disappearing Act 04:352. A Sort Of Homecoming Live 04:073. Bad Live 08:004. Love Comes Tumbling 04:525. The Three Sunrises 03:536. Yoshino Blossom 03:397. Wire Kervorkian Remix 05:128. Boomerang I 02:499. Pride In The Name Of Love 04:4310. A Sort Of Homecoming 03:1811. 11 OClock Tick Tock 04:1312. Wire Celtic Dub Mix 04:3613. Basa Trap 05:1514. Boomerang II 04:5015. 4th Of July 02:2616. Sixty Seconds In Kingdom Come 03:15


Let It Be (UK Stereo LP - MFSL- Dr. Ebbets)


Friday, November 13, 2009

Mac and Cheese with Roasted Chicken, Goat Cheese and Rosemary

I love this book! - Mac and cheese postponed until tomorrow night but here is the recipe -

Mac and Cheese with Roasted Chicken, Goat Cheese and Rosemary

from Live To Cook: Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen

Kosher salt as needed

1 pound dried rigatoni

1 quart cream

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

8 ounces goat cheese

2 cups shredded roasted chicken

Bring a pot of water to a boil (add enough salt so that it tastes seasoned). While it's heating, pour the cream into a large sauce pan, add the rosemary and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and bring it to a simmer, careful not to let it boil over. Reduce the cream by about half. Add the goat cheese and chicken and keep cooking it till the cream coats the back of a spoon.

Cook the rigatoni till it's al dente, about ten minutes. Drain the pasta, add it to the sauce. Toss the pasta in the sauce till the sauce resumes a simmer, then serve.

Serves 6 to 8

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Back in the Saddle

I know, it has been a while. I have been struggling lately to find a muse. A couple of things came to my attention in the past week that I did want to share -

I have been reading a lot of Michael Ruhlman and noticed that he was part of a new shopping site called Open Sky.

Here is how he describes it," Here's why I think Open Sky is such a great idea. Earlier this month, my son James was home with the flu (all's well now, thank goodness!). I scoured netflix for thrillers or sci-fi flicks that both a 10-year-old and his father would love. There was no search function for this. But I went to my local video store, VidStar, explained the situation to a guy named Joe behind the counter, who took me to his personal shelf and handed me a dozen movies that fit my requirements. I chose three, they were awesome and I went back for three more a few days later.

This is an increasingly infrequent experience in our WalMart-Amazon world, one that Open Sky hopes to make less so by asking individuals to create small "shops" comprising products they themselves love and use. There are shops for gardeners, for fishermen, for bird watchers. It's an expression of the Long Tail theory.

Just last week, a reader of my books and blog wrote to me saying she had had enough worrying over E coli and wanted to start grinding her own meat. She doesn't have a standing mixer so I sent her to the grinder I recommend on Open Sky.

This is my shop for kitchen tools—and everything in it is something I either own and use or covet myself. Want to make a proper quiche? I've got the ring mold you need. What's coolest about Open Sky, though, is that I tell my colleagues at Open Sky that I want to offer something unusual, something most people don't know about, and they find a way for me to offer it through Open Sky. For instance, I found a great magnetic knife holder to hang my knives on (they're made from gorgeous woods so are not only beautiful, they also won't ding my knives) made by a small company you've probably never heard of. Now you have. The company is Bench Crafted and the knife holder is called Mag-Blok, and if you want a space-efficient way to store your knives, I highly recommend it. It's also a really cool, affordable gift (it's not like you see these things all over the place).

Another example. Every time I returned to the Culinary Institute of America, I brought home with me 4 or 5 of the side towels they sell and which all the students use. They're really heavy duty sturdy towels, not for wiping your board! or dabbing your brow! as Chef Pardus told our class, "They're FOR GRABBING HOT THINGS!" I hate pot holders and oven mitts; I find them ugly and clunky and inconvenient. I love these side towels (5 towels per order, btw). They have many uses and I always have a stack folded and ready nearby. I used to have to wait till I went back to Hyde Park to buy more. Now I can order them from my own store! I love it. "

The prices are also very competitive, and there are other "experts" in many different vocations. Open Sky, a very good idea.

Second, Michael Symon's new book, Live to Cook! is hot. It's a chef's cookbook that doesn't talk down to the home cook but is completely home cook accessible. One of his old cooks said this, I've never forgotten it, and it remains true: "You know what I like about Michael's food? It's the kind of food you can do at home." So true. He got a Best New Chef award, and last year Best Chef Midwest from the Beard Foundation, by serving "do-at-home" food. That's what I love about his style and the food in this book. I'll post his Mac and Cheese recipe soon, I'll be making it Tuesday night.

Last but not least - new JM. Battle Studies. This is very, very good. I'll keep the link as long as it stays active.

01. Heartbreak Warfare
02. All We Ever Do Is Say Goodbye
03. Half Of My Heart
04. Who Says
05. Perfectly Lonely
06. Assassin
07. Crossroads
08. War Of My Life
09. Edge Of Desire
10. Do You Know Me
11. Friends, Lovers Or Nothing


"2009 studio album from the Grammy-winning singer/songwriter. Since the release of his hit album, Room For Squares, in 2001, Mayer has progressed from a sensitive acoustic-based performer into a full-fledged paparazzi-baiting superstar with acclaimed musical detours into Jazz, Blues and Folk. Battle Studies is yet another milestone for Mayer, containing some of his best work to date." here

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

From dusk till dawn...

Two of my favorites, Ruhlman and Bourdain...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

40 Dogs

well if I spell it out if i get it out will you hear me when I tell you about what I have to say before it gets to late its not as easy as I said it would be but there’s something right about u and me something right about u and me well you’re the color of a book you’re the color of a sideways look from an undercover cop you’re the color of the book. You’re the color storm in june of the moon you’re the color of the night that’s right color of a fight you move me you’re the color of the color part of the wizard of oz movie were like romeo and Juliet were like 40 dogs cigarettes well good times that haven’t happened yet but will i can tell you where were gonna be when the whole world fall to the sea we’ll be livin’ ever after and happily all the boys taking you for granted tell you what they want with their eyes all slanted. I don’t like the way they look at you . I don’t like the way they talk too. I don’t like the way they talk to you. I wouldn’t let them talk to you like that. put’um up high reach for the ceiling tell them to walk dammit im real’in it aint no crime its just dreams we’re stealing anything to get more of this feeling you take the high and ill take the low well get their before you know we aint got no time to waste we got too much light to taste were like romeo and Juliet and 40 dogs cigarettes with our good times that haven’t happened yet but will i can tell you where were gonna be when the whole world fall to the sea well be livin’ ever after and happily sometimes you remind me of a moonbeam on the ghost of a moonbeam out on the beach down by the coast slip into manila like the most beautiful thing ive ever seen come out tonight come out with me baby well throw the careful into the crazy turn the sky black into a sky blue turn the color shade into a hoo hoo what I say is true make fire gotta burn a few make fire gotta burn a few we can do what we want to do were like romeo and Juliet were like 40 dosgs cigaretts well good times that haven’t happened yet but will i can tell you where were gonna be when the whole world fall to the sea well be livin’ ever after and happily

The Burger - the final recipe

I admit it: my tastes are not strikingly original. I'm obsessed with the Beatles, Beethoven is my god, and I even think Bono is a pretty neat guy. Nevertheless, I've consciously tried to avoid all things at the intersection of over-hyped and New York, until a couple years ago when I finally forced myself to stand on line for a hamburger in the name of research—a hamburger that changed my life.

Yes, I'm talking about the Shack Burger from Shake Shack, of which more than enough has been written about already. I'm not here to wax poetic about what Josh Ozersky has dubbed "the platonic ideal of a hamburger"—rather, I'm here to talk about a way to skip the line that doesn't involve standing outside at 9 p.m. on a rainy Tuesday night: Just make the Shack Burger at home. Easier said than done.

There's nothing special about the burger—regular squishy bun, a 1/4-pound patty of griddled meat, lettuce, tomato, and sauce—but like all good burger experiences, the sandwich is far more than a sum of its parts. To recreate the experience at home, I had to eat it, dissect it, deconstruct it, research it, eat it some more, rebuild it, break it down again, reconfigure it, taste it, eat it one more time, and finally reconstruct it again. Here are the results of my labor, from the ground up.

The Fake Shack (or the Shack Burger at Home)
- - Posted by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, October 16, 2009 at 9:30 AM

Note: This is my favorite burger recipe - it's about quality product and technique.

- makes 4 burgers -

8 ounces beef sirloin, trimmed of gristle, and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 ounces well-marbled beef chuck, trimmed of gristle, and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 ounces well-marbled beef brisket, fat cap intact, trimmed of gristle, and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 Martin's Sandwich Rolls
4 tablespoons Shack Sauce (recipe follows)
4 leaves of green-leaf lettuce, clipped
8 center-cut slices ripe plum tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper
4 slices yellow American cheese

1. Place feed shaft, blade, and 1/4-inch die of meat grinder in freezer until well-chilled. Meanwhile, place meat chunks on rimmed baking sheet, leaving space between each piece and place in freezer for 10 minutes until meat is firm, but not frozen.

2. Combine meat in large bowl and toss to combine. Pass meat through grinder twice. Form into four disks, about 2-inches tall, and 2.5-inches wide. Refrigerate until ready for use.

3. Open buns but do not split hinge. Brush lightly with butter, then place under broiler or in toaster oven until golden brown, about 1 minute. Spread 1 tablespoon Shack Sauce on top half of each bun (for true authenticity, squirt out of squeeze bottle into three lines, three passes on each line). Place 1 leaf lettuce and 2 slices tomato on top half of each bun.

4. Using wadded-up paper towel, rub inside of heavy-bottomed 12-inch skillet with vegetable oil, then place over medium-high heat until just beginning to smoke. Season beef pucks on top side with salt and pepper, then place, seasoned side down, in skillet. Using back of heavy, flat spatula, press down on beef pucks firmly to form 4-inch round patties, being careful not to let it stick to bottom of spatula. Season top side with salt and pepper. Cook until crisp brown crust has formed, about 2-minutes.

5. Carefully scrape patties from skillet, and flip. Top each patty with 1 slice American cheese. Cook until cheese is melted, about 1 minute longer. Transfer patties to burger bun bottoms, close sandwiches, and serve.

The Sauce

- makes about 3/4 cup sauce -

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
4 slices kosher dill pickle
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
pinch cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in blender until smooth, scraping down sides of blender with rubber spatula as necessary.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Beatles - Revolver

GEORGE 1980: "'Taxman' was when I first realized that even though we had started earning money, we were actually giving most of it away in taxes. It was and still is typical."

JOHN 1980: "I remember the day he (George) called to ask for help on 'Taxman,' one of his first songs. I threw in a few one-liners to help the song along because that's what he asked for. He came to me because he couldn't go to Paul. Paul wouldn't have helped him at that period. I didn't want to do it. I just sort of bit my tongue and said OK. It had been John and Paul for so long, he'd been left out because he hadn't been a songwriter up until then."

PAUL 1984: "George wrote that and I played guitar on it. He wrote it in anger at finding out what the taxman did. He had never known before then what could happen to your money."

GEORGE 1987: "I was pleased to have Paul play that bit on 'Taxman.' If you notice, he did like a little Indian bit on it for me."

PAUL 1966: "I was sitting at the piano when I thought of it. The first few bars just came to me, and I got this name in my head... Daisy Hawkins picks up the rice in the church. I don't know why. I couldn't think of much more so I put it away for a day. Then the name Father McCartney came to me, and all the lonely people. But I thought that people would think it was supposed to be about my Dad sitting knitting his socks. Dad's a happy lad. So I went through the telephone book and I got the name McKenzie. I was in Bristol when I decided Daisy Hawkins wasn't a good name. I walked 'round looking at the shops, and I saw the name Rigby. Then I took the song down to John's house in Weybridge. We sat around, laughing, got stoned and finished it off."

JOHN 1980: "Paul's baby, and I helped with the education of the child... The violin backing was Paul's idea. Jane Asher had turned him on to Vivaldi, and it was very good."

PAUL 1984: "I got the name Rigby from a shop in Bristol. I was wandering round Bristol one day and saw a shop called Rigby. And I think Eleanor was from Eleanor Bron, the actress we worked with in the film 'Help!' But I just liked the name. I was looking for a name that sounded natural. Eleanor Rigby sounded natural."

JOHN 1980: "It's got backwards guitars... that's me dreaming my life away."

PAUL circa-1994: "It was a nice idea-- 'There's nothing wrong with it. I'm not being lazy, I'm only sleeping, I'm yawning, I'm meditating, I'm having a lay-in.' The luxury of all that was what it was all about. The song was co-written but from John's original idea."

GEORGE 1966: "I play sitar on another track. I don't care if everybody is using 'em, you know. I just play it 'cuz I like it."

GEORGE 1980: "'Love You To' was one of the first tunes I wrote for sitar. 'Norwegian Wood was an accident as far as the sitar part was concerned, but this was the first song where I consciously tried to use the sitar and tabla on the basic track. I overdubbed the guitars and vocals later."

JOHN 1972: "This was a great one of his."

JOHN 1980: "That's Paul's song completely, I believe. And one of my favorite songs of the Beatles."

PAUL 1984: "I wrote that by John's pool one day. When we were working together, sometimes he came in to see me. But mainly, I went out to see him."

PAUL circa-1994: "'Here, There and Everywhere' has a couple of interesting structural points about it... each verse takes a word. 'Here' discusses here, Next verse, 'there' discusses there, then it pulls it all together in the last verse with 'everywhere.' ...John might have helped with a few last words."

PAUL 1966: "It's a happy place, that's all. You know, it was just... We were trying to write a children's song. That was the basic idea. And there's nothing more to be read into it than there is in the lyrics of any children's song."

JOHN 1972: "Paul wrote the catchy chorus. I helped with the blunderbuss bit."

JOHN 1980: "'Yellow Submarine' is Paul's baby. Donovan helped with the lyrics. I helped with the lyrics too. We virtually made the track come alive in the studio, but based on Paul's inspiration. Paul's idea. Paul's title... written for Ringo."

PAUL 1984: "I wrote that in bed one night. As a kid's story. And then we thought it would be good for Ringo to do."

PAUL circa-1994: "I was laying in bed in the Asher's garret, and there's a nice twilight zone just as you're drifting into sleep and as you wake from it-- I always find it quite a comfortable zone. I remember thinking that a children's song would be quite a good idea... I was thinking of it as a song for Ringo, which it eventually turned out to be, so I wrote it as not too rangey in the vocal. I just made up a little tune in my head, then started making a story-- sort of an ancient mariner, telling the young kids where he'd lived. It was pretty much my song as I recall... I think John helped out. The lyrics got more and more obscure as it goes on, but the chorus, melody and verses are mine."

GEORGE 1999: "Paul came up with the concept of 'Yellow Submarine.' All I know is just that every time we'd all get around the piano with guitars and start listening to it and arranging it into a record, we'd all fool about. As I said, John's doing the voice that sounds like someone talking down a tube or ship's funnel as they do in the merchant marine. (laughs) And on the final track there's actually that very small party happening! As I seem to remember, there's a few screams and what sounds like small crowd noises in the background."

JOHN 1968: "That was pure. You see, when I wrote that I had the 'She said she said,' but it was just meaning nothing. It was just vaguely to do with someone who had said something like he knew what it was like to be dead, and then it was just a sound. And then I wanted a middle-eight. The beginning had been around for days and days and so I wrote the first thing that came into my head and it was 'When I was a boy,' in a different beat, but it was real because it just happened."

JOHN 1980: "That's mine. It's an interesting track. The guitars are great on it. That was written after an acid trip in L.A. during a break in the Beatles tour where we were having fun with the Byrds and lots of girls. Peter Fonda came in when we were on acid and he kept coming up to me and sitting next to me and whispering, 'I know what it's like to be dead.' He was describing an acid trip he'd been on. We didn't 'want' to hear about that. We were on an acid trip and the sun was shining and the girls were dancing, and the whole thing was beautiful and Sixties, and this guy-- who I really didn't know-- he hadn't made 'Easy Rider' or anything... kept coming over, wearing shades, saying, 'I know what it's like to be dead,' and we kept leaving him because he was so boring! And I used it for the song, but I changed it to 'she' instead of 'he.' It was scary... I don't want to know what it's like to be dead!"

JOHN 1972: "Paul. But I think maybe I helped him with some of the lyric."

JOHN 1980: "'Good Day Sunshine' is Paul's. Maybe I threw in a line or something."

PAUL 1984: "Wrote that out at John's one day... the sun was shining. Influenced by the Lovin' Spoonful."

PAUL circa-1994: "'Good Day Sunshine' was me trying to write something similar to 'Daydream.' John and I wrote it together at Kenwood, but it was basically mine and he helped me with it."

JOHN 1972: "Another horror."

JOHN 1980: "Another of my throwaways."

GEORGE 1987: "I think it was Paul and me, or maybe John and me, playing (guitar) in harmony-- quite a complicated little line that goes through the middle-eight."

PAUL 1995: "One of my favorites on the Anthology is, 'And Your Bird Can Sing,' which is a nice song, but this take of it was one we couldn't use at the time. John and I got a fit of the giggles while we were doing the double-track. You couldn't have released it at the time. But now you can. Sounds great just hearing us lose it on a take."

JOHN 1972: "Another of his I really liked."

JOHN 1980: "Paul's. One of my favorites of his. A nice piece of work."

PAUL 1984: "I wrote that on a skiing holiday in Switzerland. In a hired chalet amongst the snow."

PAUL circa-1994: "I suspect it was about another argument. I don't have easy relationships with women, I never have. I talk too much truth."

JOHN 1972: "Me. I think Paul helped with the middle."

JOHN 1980: "Another of mine. Mainly about drugs and pills. It was about myself. I was the one that carried all the pills on tour... later on the roadies did it. We just kept them in our pockets, loose, in case of trouble."

PAUL circa-1994: "John and I thought that was a funny idea-- the fantasy doctor who would fix you up by giving you drugs. It was a parody on that idea."

GEORGE 1980: "...about the avalanche of thoughts that are so hard to write down or say or transmit."

JOHN 1968: "We were doing our Tamla Motown bit. You see, we're influenced by whatever's going. Even if we're not influenced, we're all going that way at a certain time."

JOHN 1972: "I think George and I helped with some of the lyrics. I'm not sure."

JOHN 1980: "Paul. I think that was one of his best songs, too, because the lyrics are good and I didn't write them. You see? When I say that he could write lyrics if he took the effort-- here's an example."

PAUL 1984: "That's mine-- I wrote it. It was the first one we used brass on, I think. One of the first times we used soul trumpets."

PAUL circa-1994: "I'd been a rather straight working class lad, but when we started to get into pot it seemed to me to be quite uplifting. It didn't seem to have too many side effects like alcohol or some of the other stuff, like pills, which I pretty much kept off. I kind of liked marijuana and to me it seemed it was mind-expanding, literally mind-expanding. So 'Got To Get You Into My Life' is really a song about that. It's not to a person, it's actually about pot. It's saying, 'I'm going to do this. This is not a bad idea.' So it's actually an ode to pot, like someone else might write an ode to chocolate or a good claret. I haven't really changed my opinion too much, except if anyone asks me for real advice, it would be stay straight. That is actually the best way, but in a stressful world I still would say that pot was one of the best of the tranquilizing drugs. I have drunk and smoked pot and of the two I think pot is less harmful. People tend to fall asleep on it rather than go out and commit murder, so it's always seemed to me to be a rather benign one."

JOHN 1968: "'Tomorrow Never Knows' ...I didn't know what I was saying, and you just find out later. I know that when there are some lyrics I dig, I know that somewhere people will be looking at them."

JOHN 1968: "Often the backing I think of early-on never comes off. With 'Tomorrow Never Knows' I'd imagined in my head that in the background you would hear thousands of monks chanting. That was impractical, of course, and we did something different. It was a bit of a drag, and I didn't really like it. I should have tried to get near my original idea, the monks singing. I realize now that was what I wanted."

JOHN 1972 "This was my first psychedelic song."

JOHN 1980 "That's me in my 'Tibetan Book of the Dead' period. I took one of Ringo's malapropisms as the title, to sort of take the edge off the heavy philosophical lyrics."

PAUL 1984: "That was one of Ringo's malapropisms. John wrote the lyrics from Timothy Leary's version of the 'Tibetan Book of the Dead.' It was a kind of Bible for all the psychedelic freaks. that was an LSD song. Probably the only one. People always thought 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' was but it actually 'wasn't' meant to say LSD."

JOHN 1972: "Paul. I think I might have helped with some of the lyrics, Yes, I did. But it was mainly Paul's tune."

JOHN 1980: "'Paperback Writer' is son of 'Day Tripper' ...meaning a rock 'n roll song with a guitar lick on a fuzzy loud guitar."

PAUL circa-1994: "I arrived at Weybridge and told John I had this idea of trying to write off to a publishers to become a paperback writer, and I said, 'I think it should be written like a letter.' I took a bit of paper out and I said it should be something like, 'Dear Sir or Madam, as the case may be...' and I proceeded to write it just like a letter in front of him, occasionally rhyming it... And then we went upstairs and put the melody to it. John and I sat down and finished it all up, but it was tilted towards me-- the original idea was mine. I had no music, but it's just a little bluesy song, not alot of melody. Then I had the idea to do the harmonies, and we arranged that in the studio."

JOHN 1966: "After we'd done the session on that particular song-- it ended at about four or five in the morning-- I went home with a tape to see what else you could do with it. And I was sort of very tired, you know, not knowing what I was doing, and I just happened to put it on my own tape recorder and it came out backwards. And I liked it better. So that's how it happened."

JOHN 1980: "That's me again-- with the first backwards tape on record anywhere... I got home from the studio and I was stoned out of my mind on marijuana... and, as I usually do, I listened to what I'd recorded that day. Somehow it got on backwards and I sat there, transfixed, with the earphones on, with a big hash joint. I ran in the next day and said, 'I know what to do with it, I know... listen to this!' So I made them all play it backwards. The fade is me actually singing backwards with the guitars going backwards. (sings) 'Sharethsmnowthsmeanss!' That one was the gift of God... of Ja actually-- the god of marijuana, right? So Ja gave me that one."

RINGO 1984: "My favorite piece of me is what I did on 'Rain.' I think I just played amazing. I was into the snare and hi-hat. I think it was the first time I used the trick of starting a break by hitting the hi-hat first instead of going directly to a drum off the hi-hat. I think it's the best out of all the records I've ever made. 'Rain' blows me away. It's out in left field. I know me and I know my playing... and then there's 'Rain.'"

PAUL circa-1994: "It was nice. I really enjoyed that one."

GEORGE: "We spend more time on recording now, because we prefer recording."

JOHN: "And we've done half an LP in the time we'd take to do a whole LP and a couple of singles. So we can't do it all, you know, but we like recording."

BRIAN MATTHEW: "Alright. When is it going to be finished?"

JOHN: "In a week."

GEORGE: "It should be finished in about two or three weeks time... because if it's not, we'll never be able to get another holiday in before we go away again, you see."

PAUL: (joking) "If we don't get it done soon, gov, we'll lose our jobs."

JOHN 1966: "Sometimes they say, 'Now you must write,' and now we write. But it doesn't come some days. We sit there for days just talking to each other, messing 'round not doing anything."

GEORGE 1966: "John and Paul's standard of writing has bettered over the years, so it's very hard for me to come straight to the top, on par with them. They gave me an awful lot of encouragement. Their reaction has been very good. If it hadn't, I think I would have just crawled away."

PAUL 1966: "I don't know whether poets think they have to experience things to write about them, but I can tell you our songs are nearly all imagination-- ninety percent imagination. I don't think Beethoven was in a really wicked mood all the time."

JOHN 1966: "It's too easy to put it off if we just meet without any plan and say, 'Shall we write something today?' If you do that then you feel as though you're losing a free day. What we're going to do is make dates beforehand and sort of say, 'Right, Wednesday and Friday of this week are for songwriting. And Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week.' Then we'll know it's something we've to keep to."

JOHN 1966: "One thing's for sure-- the next LP is going to be very different."

PAUL 1966: "I don't think we ever try to establish trends. We try to keep moving forward and do something different... and if in the meantime it starts a trend, that's ok. But we never try consciously to start them."

GEORGE 1966: "We all put alot of suggestions in after we've recorded a take. That's why we take so long to record a number. We've always cooperated with one another. Paul might come into the studio and say, 'Do this' if he has worked out the chords beforehand. But they always need changing."

JOHN 1972: "We'd had acid on Revolver. Everybody is under this illusion-- even George Martin was saying, 'Pepper was their first acid album.' But we'd had acid, including Paul, by the time Revolver was finished."

PAUL 1988: "George Martin would be saying, 'Can you turn the (guitar) amps down please? And John would look at George (Harrison) and say, 'How much are you going down? Let's go down to Five, alright?' John would go down to Six-- 'OK, I'm at Five!' 'You bugger! You're not. You're at Six!' There was always this terrible rivalry. You just wanted to be louder. But it's nice to listen to the Beatle records now. There's more guitar than you'll ever hear on a record these days."

CD 1

Apr 6th 1966 - Studio 3, 8:15pm-1:00am
1. Tomorrow Never Knows - take 1 - backing loop
2. Tomorrow Never Knows - SI onto take 1 - drums & vocal
3. Tomorrow Never Knows - take 3 - bass & drums rhythm track

Apr 7th 1966 - Studio 3, 2:30-7:15pm
4. Tomorrow Never Knows - tape loops
5. Tomorrow Never Knows - SI onto take 3 - loop track

Apr 7th 1966 - Studio 3, 8:15pm-1:30am
6. Got To Get You Into My Life - take 5 - rhythm track
7. Got To Get You Into My Life - SI onto take 5 - vocals

Apr 8th 1966 - Studio 2, 2:30-9:00pm
8. Got To Get You Into My Life - take 8

Apr 11th 1966 - Studio 2, 8:00pm-12:45am
9. Love You To - take 6 - guitar & vocal
10. Love You To - SI onto take 6 - sitar & tabla
11. Love You To - SI onto take 6 - 2nd sitar & fuzz bass

Apr 13th 1966 - Studio 3, 2:30-6:30pm
12. Love You To - SI onto take 7
13. Love You To - mono mix

Apr 13th 1966 - Studio 3, 8:00pm-2:30am
14. Paperback Writer - take 1
15. Paperback Writer - take 2 - rhythm
16. Paperback Writer - SI onto take 2 - lead vocal
17. Paperback Writer - SI onto take 2 - 2nd lead vocal

Apr 14th 1966 - Studio 3, 2:30-7:30pm
18. Paperback Writer - SI onto take 2 - bass

Apr 14th 1966 - Studio 3, 7:30-8:00pm
19. Paperback Writer - mono mix

Apr 14th 1966 - Studio 3, 8:30pm-1:30am
20. Rain - take 5 - rhythm
21. Rain - SI onto take 5 - lead vocal

Apr 16th 1966 - Studio 2, 2:30pm-1:30am
22. Rain - SI onto take 5 - bass & tambourine
23. Rain - SI onto take 5 - 2nd vocal (chorus)
24. Rain - backward vocal reversed
25. Rain - SI onto take 7 - backing vocals
26. Rain - mono mix

Apr 17th 1966 - Studio 2, 2:30-10:30pm
27. Doctor Robert - take 7 - rhythm
28. Doctor Robert - SI onto take 7 - harmonium

Apr 19th 1966 - Studio 2, 2:30pm-12:00am
29. Doctor Robert - SI onto take 7 - lead guitar & vocals



CD 3

May 12th 1966 - Studio 3, 1:45pm-3:30pm
1. Doctor Robert - US mono mix
2. I'm Only Sleeping - US mono mix
3. And Your Bird Can Sing - US mono mix

May 16th 1966 - Studio 2, 2:30pm-1:30am
4. For No One - SI onto take 10 - lead vocal
5. For No One - reduction mix take 13

May 18th 1966 - Studio 2, 2:30pm-2:30am
6. Got To Get You Into My Life - SI onto take 8 - stereo brass overdub (partial)
7. Got To Get You Into My Life - SI onto take 8 - brass overdub (complete)
8. Got To Get You Into My Life - vocals, organ, tambourine

May 19th 1966 - Studio 3, 7:00pm-11:00pm
9. For No One - SI onto take 14 - bass
10. For No One - SI onto take 14 - French horn

May 20th 1966 - Studio 1, 11:00am-12:30pm
11. And Your Bird Can Sing - US stereo mix
12. And Your Bird Can Sing - UK stereo mix
13. Doctor Robert - US stereo mix
14. Doctor Robert - UK stereo mix
15. I'm Only Sleeping - US stereo mix
16. I'm Only Sleeping - UK stereo mix

May 26th 1966 - Studio 3, 7:00pm-1:00am
17. Yellow Submarine - take 4 - rhythm
18. Yellow Submarine - SI onto take 4 - lead and backing vocals
19. Yellow Submarine - SI onto take 4 - second vocal

June 1st 1966- Studio 2, 2:30pm-2:30am
20. Yellow Submarine - SI onto take 5 - sound effects
21. Yellow Submarine - intro

June 2nd 1966 - Studio 2, 7:00pm-3:30am
22. I Want To Tell You - rhythm + vocals and piano

June 3rd 1966 - Studio 2, 7:00pm-2:30am
23. I Want To Tell You - bass + vocals
24. I Want To Tell You - RM4
25. Yellow Submarine - RM5

June 6th 1966 - Studio 3, 7:00pm-12:00am
26. And Your Bird Can Sing - UK mono mix
27. I'm Only Sleeping - UK mono mix
28. Tomorrow Never Knows - RM11

June 6th 1966 - Studio 3, 12:00-1:30am
29. Eleanor Rigby - SI onto take 15 - end vocal

June 8th 1966 - Studio 2, 2:30pm-2:30am
30. Good Day Sunshine - take 1 - rhythm
31. Good Day Sunshine - SI onto take 1 - vocals

June 9th 1966 - Studio 2, 2:30-8:00pm
32. Good Day Sunshine - SI onto take 1 - piano, percussion, handclaps, vocals
33. Good Day Sunshine - end vocal overlays


CD 4

June 16th 1966 - Studio 2, 7:00pm-3:30am
1. Here There and Everywhere - take 7
2. Here There and Everywhere - SI onto take 13 - backing vocals I (partial)
3. Here There and Everywhere - SI onto take 13 - backing vocals II (partial)
4. Here There and Everywhere - SI onto take 14 - lead vocal

June 17th 1966 - Studio 2, 7:00pm-1:30am
5. Here There and Everywhere - SI onto take 14 - 2nd lead vocal & 2nd lead guitar
6. Got To Get You Into My Life - SI onto take 9 - guitars

June 20th 1966 - Studio 1, 6:00pm-8:30pm
7. Got To Get You Into My Life - RM8

June 21st 1966 - Studio 3, 10:00am-1:00pm
8. Love You To - stereo mix, edit of RS1-3
9. I Want To Tell You - RS2
10. Here There and Everywhere - RS2
11. Here There and Everywhere - RM3

June 21st 1966 - Studio 3, 2:30pm-6:30pm
12. For No One - RM8
13. Doctor Robert - RM6
14. Taxman - mono mix, edit of RM5-6
15. For No One - RS1
16. Taxman - stereo mix, edit of RS1-2

June 21st 1966 - Studio 3, 7:00pm-3:45am
17. She Said She Said - take 3 rhythm
18. She Said She Said - SI onto take 3 - lead and backing vocals
19. She Said She Said - SI onto take 3 - organ and lead guitar

June 22nd 1966 - Studio 3, 7:00pm-1:30am
20. Eleanor Rigby - RM5
21. She Said She Said - RM4
22. Good Day Sunshine - RM7
23. Eleanor Rigby - RS1
24. She Said She Said - RS1
25. Good Day Sunshine - RS1
26. Yellow Submarine - RS2
27. Tomorrow Never Knows - RS6
28. Got To Get You Into My Life - RS1


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Grilled Steak Tips

This is going to be a little quicker and dirtier than most of my other recipes, but it really wasn’t planned – I just bought the steak tips on a whim and made up a recipe the next day, so I’ve made this a grand total of once. Reviews were positive, though.

My friend tells me Publix (at least the ones around my house) currently has sirloin steak tips on sale for $4 a pound, which is a steal for some pretty good quality beef; using a marinade and rub based on stuff you probably have in the house and a simple side or two like a rice pilaf, you’ve got dinner for 3-4 adults for under $10. The store at which I usually shop has them in packages of 1.5-1.75 pounds; this marinade will take care of the lower end of that range but you may want to boost the juice and olive oil for the higher end.

Juice of one small lemon
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 small dried chile pepper (e.g., arbol), crumbled
Pinch of salt
Ground black pepper
Roughly 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil

Combine all ingredients but the oil in a measuring cup, and add enough oil to double the total amount of marinade. Cut the steak into skewerable chunks and place in the marinade in a ziploc bag or other sealed container. Refrigerate at least four hours and up to 24 hours.

Heat your grill and about five minutes before it’s ready for the meat, remove the beef from the marinade and rinse briefly under cool water. Pat with paper towels until thoroughly try. Rub the outside with a mixture of kosher or coarse sea salt (2 parts), ancho chile powder (1 part), and cumin (1 part). Grill over direct heat until the outside is well browned and the inside has reached the desired degree of doneness.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Where the Buffalo Roam

As I hurtled down the highway, a pair of golden arches crept over the horizon, and the proverbial lightbulb smacked me in the forehead. To gauge the creep of cookie-cutter meals, void of thought or passion, there’s no better barometer than McDonald’s – ubiquitous fast food chain and inaugural megacorporate colonizer of small towns nationwide. My children love it. Damn.

Ok, on the road again, not so bad but the choices of where to eat? They are awful. Please allow the map below to illustrate - good night.

U2 9/20/09 Foxboro Stadium

01 - Breathe
02 - No Line On The Horizon
03 - Get On Your Boots
04 - Magnificent
05 - Mysterious Ways
06 - Beautiful Day / Blackbird (snippet)
07 - Elevation
08 - I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For / Stand By Me (snippet)
09 - Unknown Caller
10 - New Year's Day
11 - Stuck In A Moment You Can't Get Out Of
12 - The Unforgettable Fire
13 - City Of Blinding Lights
14 - Vertigo / She Loves You (snippet)
15 - I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight
16 - Sunday Bloody Sunday / Rock The Casbah (snippet)
17 - MLK
18 - Walk On
19 - One / Amazing Grace (snippet)
20 - Where The Streets Have No Name

21 - Ultra Violet (Light My Way)
22 - With Or Without You
23 - Moment of Surrender


Friday, September 18, 2009

Genesis - Live Birmingham 1984


01. Abacab
02. Story Country and Western
03. That's All
04. Mama
05. Story Fugitives From Justice
06. Illegal Alien
07. Story Audience Participation Time
08. Home By The Sea/ Second Home By The Sea
09. Keep It Dark
10. It's Gonna Get Better
11. Band Introduction
12. In The Cage Medley / Afterglow
13. Drum Duet
14. Turn It On Again (Motown Medley ) Turn It On Again


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

jackson browne - the criterion demos

Unreleased Criterion Music Demos
Recorded April 6, 1970 in Hollywood


Last Time I Was Home
Jamaica Say You Will
Song for Adam
Doctor My Eyes
Low Road
Door into the Morning
Another Place
The Birds of St. Marks
Mae Jean Goes to Hollywood
Gone to Sorrow
Hot Like Today
A Child in These Hills
The Top
My Opening Farewell
The Times You've Come
From Silverlake
Some Kind Of Friend
There Came a Question
Have I Seen Her?
Colors of The Sun
Dancing Sam
Taking So Long

All songs written by Jackson Browne and
copyrighted 1970 by Jackson Browne and Criterion Music

Jackson signed a co-publishing agreement with Hollywood's Criterion Music in the fall of 1969, so the demos from that time are just prior to his hooking up with David Geffen, which took place later in 1970 and the recording of his first album which took place in 1971.

In fact, it was a demo of "Jamaica Say You Will" from the recording session at Criterion Studios -- which Jackson sent to David Geffen -- that attracked Geffen's attention. The track included backing by J.D. Souther (on drums?), Glenn Frey, and Ned Doheny.

This was not an official album, nor was it ever intended as an official release. It was merely Jackson Browne making some demo recordings in his role as a staff writer for Criterion Music. These recordings were intended to be used to promote Jackson's songs to other artists for recording.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q White Sauce

Big Bob Gibson was well-known for many reasons. First off, he was a big, friendly guy—six-foot-four and around 300 pounds, hence the nickname. Secondly, he had an unsurpassed gift for making some pretty amazing barbecue. But if you ask any of the residents of Decatur, Alabama, they'll tell you that Big Bob Gibson is famous for his white sauce.

Big Bob's serves countless racks of ribs and perfectly cooked brisket, but the real draw is the barbecued chicken. The chicken itself isn't that complicated—just whole butterflied chickens rubbed with salt, pepper, and oil, and grilled over hickory until golden. The magic lies in the white sauce the chickens are submerged in once they've finished cooking.

The Gibson clan has tried to keep this unique white sauce recipe under wraps up—until now. Chis Lilly, heir to the Big Bob empire, has generously decided to share his family's secret barbecue sauce recipe in Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book.

The white sauce is a creamy, rich, and mayonnaise-y concoction with a kick of lemon, vinegar, horseradish, and cayenne. If you're a fan of ranch dressing with Buffalo wings, this is right up your ally.

Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q White Sauce
- makes 4 cups -

Adapted from Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book by Chis Lilly.

2 cups mayonnaise
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup apple juice
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In large bowl, combine all the ingredients and blend well. Use as a marinade, baste, or dipping sauce. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

J Geils Band 6/27/71 - Fillmore East NYC

Soundboard mp3@320)

01 - New York City Breakdown
02 - Wait
03 - First I Look At The Purse
04 - Whammer Jammer
05 - Homework
06 - Pack Fair And Square
07 - Cruisin' For A Love
08 - Serves You Right To Suffer
09 - Hard Drivin' Man
10 - It Ain't What You Do (It's How You Do It)


Friday, August 21, 2009

The Wolfman 2009

"the trailer for THE WOLF MAN remake starring Dr. Gonzo, Hannibal Lecter, Agent Smith and... Emily Blunt. Give it a view!"

Not bad, right? I have give Joe Johnston credit for the look of the film. Very sharp, very detailed. I'm not crazy about the CGI transformation scenes, especially knowing that Rick Baker designed a practical transformation that was scrapped, but the overall look and tone of the trailer is pretty sweet. I hadn't given this film too much thought until now.

so - what do you think?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Huevos Motuleños / Risotto

1-1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced (divided use)
3 serrano chiles, cut into strips

1 ripe plantain, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices (optional)
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 to 2 cups black beans and their liquid
3 oz ham, cut into matchsticks or small dice
1/2 cup fresh peas, blanched or quick-braised
1 oz (about 1/4 cup) crumbled queso fresco or firm feta
8 eggs
4 corn tortillas

Roast the tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet, 4 inches below a very hot broiler, until blistered and blackened, flipping to cook both sides. Cool tomatoes in a bowl, then peel while catching all the juices over the bowl. Coarsely puree the tomatoes and juice using a stick blender or in a food processor.

In a medium saucepan, heat 1T oil over medium heat. Add about 3/4 of the onion and saute, stirring regularly, until onions golden, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and chile strips and simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes or so, stirring often, until the sauce is beginning to thicken but is still juicy. Season with salt to taste, and remove from heat to let the chiles steep.

(At this point, you can cool and refrigerate the sauce overnight.)

Pour a 1/2-inch depth of oil in a shallow skillet or frying pan. Warm the pan over medium heat until the oil shimmers. Add tortillas, one at a time, and cook until golden; flip with tongs and crisp the other side, then drain on a wire rack over newspaper or over a cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas until all are toasted.

Pour off most of the oil, reserving some (2T or so) for frying the beans, and leave about a tablespoon in the pan. Return to the heat, and lay the plantain slices in a single layer. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side until richly browned. Sprinkle with salt as soon as you take them out of the oil, then drain on paper towels and hold in a warm oven.

Add the reserved oil to the pan, and saute the remaining onions until golden and soft. Add the diced garlic and cook for another minute or two. Add the beans and a spoonful of their cooking liquid to the pan. Mash with a potato masher until beans are soft but some texture remains. Add more liquid as needed to achieve a spreadable texture, and keep warm, covered, over very low heat.

Mix together the ham strips and the peas in another small pan or dish, and warm gently over low heat. Crumble the cheese into a small bowl and set aside. Remove the chile strips from the tomato sauce, and set the pan of sauce over low heat to rewarm.

Finally, fry the eggs using your preferred method. (Traditionally, you want a runny yolk, so sunny-side up or over easy.) Spread some of the beans over each tostada, slide an egg on top, drizzle the tomato sauce over and around the eggs, letting it run off the tostada and on to the plate. Sprinkle each portion with the ham, peas and cheese. Serve immediately

- adapted from Molto Italiano

2T extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 oz prosciutto, cut into in 1/8-inch dice
3/4 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice
1 quart chicken stock, warmed
1 cup shelled fresh peas
2T butter
1/4 cup grated hard cheese, such as dry Jack or Parmesan
salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a tall-sided 10-inch skillet or saucier pan. Saute the shallots, celery, and prosciutto over medium heat until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the rice and stir for 2 minutes, until the grains become opaque. Add enough stock to just cover the rice, and stir until stock is absorbed. Continue to add stock a ladleful at a time, waiting until most of the liquid is absorbed before adding the next bit. Taste the rice, and season with salt and pepper. Add peas and cook for 4 minutes, until peas are just tender. Remove from heat, add butter and cheese, and stir until just melted. Serve in warmed shallow bowls.

Christmas 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

Funny Guys the Music

Tracklist :
1. Paul McCartney - Great Day (2:08)
2. Coconut Records - Wires (2:27)
3. Robert Plant & The Strange Sensation - All The King's Horses (4:19)
4. James Taylor - Carolina In My Mind (Live) (4:58)
5. Warren Zevon - Keep Me In Your Heart (3:29)
6. Adam Sandler - Real Love (Live) (4:56)
7. Neil Diamond - We (Early Take) (4:12)
8. Wilco With Andrew Bird - Jesus, Etc. (Live Summer '08) (4:03)
9. Adam Sandler - George Simmons Soon Will Be Gone (2:16)
10. Coconut Records - I Am Young (3:08)
11. Maude Apatow & Larry Goldings - Memory (From "Cats") (3:55)
12. Warren Zevon - Numb As A Statue (4:08)
13. Ringo Starr - Photography (4:00)
14. John Lennon - Watching The Wheels (Acoustic) (3:06)

Download :

Pass :

Perfect Summer Drink Recipe

Bourbon Mint Iced Tea
Makes 2 Quarts

1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup mint leaves
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (4 ounces)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (4 ounces)
1 cup bourbon (8 ounces)
Ice cubes
1 quart plus 1 cup unsweetened iced tea (40 ounces)

In a two-quart pitcher, muddle or mash the lemon wedges, sugar and mint leaves with a large wooden spoon until a thick syrup forms. Add the orange juice, lemon juice and bourbon and stir to combine. Fill the pitcher with ice cubes and add the iced tea, then stir to combine.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Macca Mania

A couple years ago at this blog’s old space, I did a week-long review of Paul McCartney’s Off the Ground album and the singles and B-sides that came out in its wake.

Nowadays, that album gets slated (along with many of his) as a lesser effort, another case of “pizza and fairy tales” — if you will — that may have produced a few nice tunes, but was ultimately unmemorable. That always irks me because I was just starting to appreciate music when that album came out, as well as submerging myself in absolute Beatledom, so anytime someone speaks ill of that album or era, I come out barking like a goddamn Doberman.

But watching Macca sing “Sing the Changes” a couple weeks ago on David Letterman, I couldn’t help but think, “What a fantastically pedestrian and unremarkable song.” It’s not bad – few McCartney songs truly are — but that doesn’t mean it’s particularly good.

Then it kind of hit me. I’m older now. I’m a bit more jaded. I’ve a bit sharper tooth when it comes to music these days. I wonder what I would’ve thought if I was 11 years old and first falling in love with the Beatles and heard that? I probably would’ve thought it was f*cking awesome. And there probably is some 11 year old out there who does.

And there was probably an 11 year old in 2005 that thought Chaos and Creation in the Backyard was the dog’s bollocks, and an 11 year old in 2001 that thought Driving Rain was pretty damn amazing. Meanwhile I’m sitting here spitting as much bile at those album as I hear people give Off the Ground.

But the thing about it all is that even though I don’t like Driving Rain on the whole, I love “Your Loving Flame.” Even though I don’t like Chaos and Creation on the whole, I love “Jenny Wren.” Even though the Fireman album already isn’t aging too well, I’ll still have a good bounce around to “Light From Your Lighthouse.” Macca always gives you one or two all-time keepers.

So I’m glad he’s not retiring.

But for anyone who still wants to argue that the “Off the Ground” period was generally fruitless, I once again point this song out. Arguably the most regal ballad Macca’s ever written — an obvious golden-era Brian Wilson pastiche to be sure — but in his own canon, right up there with “Maybe I’m Amazed” or “Mull of Kintyre” for my money. And what’s more, it’s a sad, pained song — something you don’t often get from Mr. Thumbs Aloft.

The real kicker, of course, is that barely anyone outside hardcore McCartney fans know it, because he buried it on the B-side of a single that only reached #18 in his native country. Seriously, do yourself a favor and check this out. Play it loudly and then think again about slating McCartney.

McCartney – Kicked Around No More

Wings at the Speed of Sound (1976)

The initial release of "Wings At The Speed Of Sound" in April 1976 benefited greatly from a massive world tour undertaken by Paul McCartney and band. The "Wings Over The World" tour would include Paul's first U.S. concert appearances since The Beatles' 1966 concert dates. To say it was the hottest ticket in town would be an understatement. The North American leg of the tour, dubbed "Wings Over America," sold out within minutes in every city it played. The publicity generated from this tour was enough to keep "Wings At The Speed Of Sound" at #1 on the Billboard album charts for an astonishing seven weeks. It also spawned #1 and #3 singles in "Silly Love Songs" and "Let 'em In," respectively.

For "Wings At The Speed of Sound" McCartney followed the same pattern he had established with "Venus and Mars" and allowed other band members to sing their own songs. Wife Linda even gets in on the fun by singing "Cook Of The House," her first lead vocal. "Silly Love Songs," "Let 'em In," Time To Hide" and "Beware My Love" were all part of the tour set list. The other album highlight was "Warm and Beautiful."

This remaster includes several bonus tracks. A single issued under a fake name by Paul and band (billed as "The Country Hams"), the A-side of which was a song written by Paul's father, James. "Sally G" was the flip side of the "Junior's Farm" single in 1974. Paul's seventh post-Beatles album. The last of the DCC remastered gold CD reissues from Paul McCartney. Booklet scans. 320kbps.

1. Let 'Em In
2. The Note You Never Wrote
3. She's My Baby
4. Beware My Love
5. Wino Junko
6. Silly Love Songs
7. Cook of the House
8. Time to Hide
9. Must Do Something About It
10. San Ferry Anne
11. Warm and Beautiful
12. Country Hams-Walking in the Park with Eloise
13. Country Hams-Bridge on the River Suite
14. Sally G


Monday, August 3, 2009

Top 10 Anthony Bourdain Insults On Food TV

Ah, to be Anthony Bourdain: He can say that your TV show is "a war crime on television" (coughSandraLeecough) but he's so goshdarned likeable, with his cigarettes and his earring and his snarky smile, that you just can't hold it against him. Thus emboldening him to be even less shy in his opinions about the current crop of food shows on TV -- as he was with MSN TV -- thus making him somehow even more likeable! It's the neverending circle of Bourdain, and we heart him dearly for it. It was hard to pick just 10 nuggets from his tirade, and we encourage you to read the whole thing (nicely excerpted from MSN).

1. On Semi-Homemade Cooking With Sandra Lee: She makes her audience feel good about themselves. […] All you have to do is waddle into the kitchen, open a can of crap and spread it on some other crap that you bought at the supermarket. And then you've done something really special.

2. On Rachael Ray: My wife watches her, I hate to admit it. […] I think people respond to her because of her personality and not her cooking, which is pretty damned awful. She's very nice, and I base this on no inside information: She's big now, like Oprah big; the sooner she stops cooking, the happier we'll both be.

3. On Hell's Kitchen: There's no cooking. It's just a bunch of dimwits -- the lame, the halt and the delusional -- and [Gordon Ramsay] pretending to be angry. There's no suspense. None of these idiots would be qualified to work a Fryolator at a Chuck E. Cheese much less ever work in any Gordon Ramsay restaurant.

4. On Kitchen Nightmares: I love [Gordon Ramsay]'s restaurants. I like him. I wish him well. If having to be a caricature of his former self is going to get him bazillions of dollars, then why not?

5. On Paula Deen: I like her Southern-based shows, but I don't know if I want to see her in a muumuu cooking a Hawaiian luau. That makes the blood run cold.

6. On Spain ... On the Road Again: There's nothing worse than seeing a genius like Mario -- he's the smartest, funniest guy I know -- waste his talent.

7. On Mark Bittman: I don't think he adds value to anyone's TV show. He doesn't come off well on TV. Let's put it that way. I saw him make paella once on a TV show; he's been dead to me ever since.

8. On Iron Chef America: I have a soft spot in my heart for this show. But the judges, man. Have they had Richard Grieco on yet as a judge? I think they had Criss Angel on, for chrissakes. Who are these douchebags they put on there? […] to have [the chefs] judged by the likes of Mo Rocca makes me want to vomit in my mouth.

9. On Top Chef: Toby Young, what's up with that? He's an egregious add-on. They were looking for a snarky British guy, and Toby wrote a successful book that made a good case for his uselessness. He's lived up to that promise.

10. On Emeril Lagasse: … I've told him to his face many times, "I love you and respect you. I just hate your shows."

Venus and Mars

Paul replaced the drummer and guitarist that had quit on the eve of recording "Band on the Run" and in November 1974 released the final record bearing the name "Paul McCartney & Wings" -- the single "Junior's Farm," which peaked at #3. The b-side was "Sally G."

Starting with this album Paul McCartney became a lot more diplomatic with regard to other band members singing songs. Previously, all or most of the songs had been written or co-written by McCartney and of those only one song, the "Live and Let Die" b-side "I Lie Around," had been sung by anyone but Paul. That was about to change. Newly hired guitarist Jimmy McCulloch of Thunderclap Newman fame brought his original composition "Medicine Jar" to the table. Denny Laine was allowed to sing Paul's "Spirits of Ancient Egypt." The album, recorded in New Orleans, featured the #1 hit "Listen To What The Man Said." Paul's sixth post-Beatles album. The bonus tracks are not much to write home about and strangely don't include "Junior's Farm" or "Sally G." "Sally G" would be a bonus track on 1976's "Wings At The Speed Of Sound." "Junior's Farm" would appear on "Wings Greatest." Note: The DCC Gold CD reissue erroneously lists "Paul McCartney & Wings" as the artist. Booklet scans. 320kbps.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Driftwood-Grilled Lobster Tails

Prep time: 15 minutes
Grilling time: 7 to 11 minutes
Special equipment: 8 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
4 Maine lobster tails, about 10 ounces each
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 lemons, cut into eighths

1. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat or, if you happen to be at the shore, light dried driftwood or charcoal in a hole dug in the sand. Push the driftwood or charcoal to one side of the hole and place a cooking grate on top.

2. In a small saucepan, off to the side of the charcoal, heat the butter until just melted. Add the chives.

3. Using a pair of kitchen shears, cut each lobster tail in half lengthwise through the hard top shell and the meat, keeping the shell attached to the meat. Skewer each split tail with a soaked bamboo skewer to keep it from curling as it cooks. Brush the lobster meat with some of the chive butter and season with the salt.

4. Brush the cooking grate clean. Grill the lobsters, flesh sides down, over direct high heat (450° to 550°F), with the lid off, for about 3 minutes. Turn the lobsters over, brush with more chive butter and continue grilling for 4 to 8 minutes, basting with butter occasionally. Swap their positions as needed for even cooking. When the lobster is done, the shells will be a rich reddish-brown and the meat will be firm, juicy, and coral-white. Squeeze the lemons over the lobster and serve immediately with the remaining butter.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

James Taylor at the Fillmore East 1/25/71


01. A Little Help From My Friends
02. Long Ago And Far Away
03. Something In The Way She Moves
04. Blossom
05. Tubros Snuff
06. Greensleeves
07. Sunny Skies
08. Diamond Joe
09. Things Go Better With Coca-Cola
10. Carolina On My Mind
11. Riding On A Railroad
12. Fire And Rain
13. Highway Song
14. Lo And Behold
15. Machine Gun Kelly
16. Hey Mister, That’s Me Up On The Jukebox
17. Steamroller Blues
18. Night Owl
19. You Can Close Your Eyes
20. Sweet Baby James


Monday, July 20, 2009

I have to admit that every drama that comes along on television, I compare to "The West Wing". I don't think I'm alone out there. If you haven’t watched the show, I can only say spend the pretty penny and get into the series now, or at the very least, fill up your Blockbuster / Netflix queue.

As far as the debate goes about which direction the show headed after Aaron Sorkin left following the 4th season, yeah a lot of the humor was traded for heavy drama, but don’t tell me you weren’t loving following the Santos campaign.

Of course, the one thing that kind of stunk following Sorkin’s departure was the flair for really good music to back comedic and dramatic moments. Sorkin’s always seemed to boast a good ear for a tune — it was “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” that introduced me to Corinne Bailey Rae and has forever implanted “Trouble Sleeping” deep in my mind.

With “The West Wing,” Sorkin had a good go-to guy in “Snuffy” Walden (who wrote the show’s majestic theme song) to provide proper musical accompaniment to tense or funny moments. But that didn’t mean he shied away from dipping into his own CD collection to make things just a bit more salient, either.

Usually I hate the use of pop music in television and movies (particularly the way people like Adam Sandler use's it in rehashing old 80's tunes in every one of his "romantic?comedies". Maybe that’s the same thing that Sorkin does, really… but I love Aaron Sorkin, so there.

Here I've compiled the best musical moments from “The West Wing.”

Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms
Song can be heard on: Season 2, Episode 22: “Two Cathedrals”
Song can be found on: Brothers in Arms

Poignant as all hell. Bartlet has just lost his faithful friend and secretary Delores Landingham in a car accident. He also just disclosed to the country that he’s suffered from multiple sclerosis for years, but never let the American people know while on campaign or in the White House. Staff is trying to perform damage control, but all the press wants to know is if he’s going to have the stones to try running for re-election. C.J. plants a doctor in the audience to try to get the first question to be a medical one and try to control the press conference. Bartlet brushes off the plant and takes the re-election question instead. And the second season ends. What you don’t get from this clip is a flashback from earlier in Bartlet’s life — where Landingham points out that whenever he puts his hands in his pockets and smirks, it means he’s made up his mind to do something. Mark Knopfler’s poor man Bob Dylan impression blends in perfectly.

Best exchange:
Bartlet: “I’m sorry, Sandy, there was a bit of noise there. Could you repeat the question?”
Reporter: “Can you tell us right now if you’ll be seeking a second term?”
Leo: “Watch this.”

Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah
Song can be heard on: Season 3, Episode 22: “Posse Comitatus”
Song can be found on: Grace

Yes, I know, Buckley’s reading of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” has become a staple for almost every quasi-emotional season finale out there, and maybe it’s my preference for both Jeff and “The West Wing” that led me to include it in this list, but it’s hard to argue with the emotional weight the song adds to the scene. After learning that her stalker has been apprehended, C.J. realizes she can finally start seeing the special agent assigned to her, Simon Donovan, socially. C.J. has to join the President and staff to see a performance of the “The War of Roses,” and Donovan patiently waits outside, then drops buy a convenience store to buy her flowers. What he thinks is an unlucky twist of fate for a mugger ends up being an unlucky twist of fate for him as the mugger’s partner jumps out from hiding. C.J. is told the news, Shakespearean dialogue reverberates, Josh costs Amy her job and Bartlet is pressed to make a decision on whether or not to covertly kill a known terrorist. “Hallelujah” somehow makes beautiful sense.

Best exchange:
Josh: “You can’t win the White House while the middle class thinks you disdain work and responsibility!”
Amy: “I would hope not. And I congratulate you for punishing poor women as a symbol of the strength of mainstream values!”

Ronny Jordan (feat. Dana Bryant) – The Jackal
Song can be heard on: Season 1, Episode 18: “Six Meetings Before Lunch”
Song can be found on: The Quiet Revolution

Perhaps one of the show’s most defining moments — to celebrate the confirmation of Mendoza as the Bartlet administration’s first appointment to the Supreme Court, C.J. breaks out an old lip-synching act she used to do on the campaign trail, much to the delight of the rest of the West Wing — particularly her male counterparts. The cut was originally pulled from Ronny Jordan’s 1993 album The Quiet Revolution, and apparently both Allison Janney and Richard Schiff used to lip-synch and air-guitar (respectively) to this song in Janney’s trailer. Sorkin popped in on them once during a performance and got such a kick out of it, he wrote it into the show. Millions were gratified.
Best exchange:
Josh: “There’s a little speed bump with Jeff Breckenridge. Leo gave it to me ’cause he thinks you’re burned out on Mendoza. I told him I thought that was ridiculous. What do you think?”
Toby: “You’re talking to me during ‘The Jackal’?”
Josh: ”I was just –”
Toby: “Never talk to me during ‘The Jackal’!”

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday Morning View - The Fray

The Clash - London Calling Limited Edition Japanese Import

The British punkers' third album gets the royal treatment with a 2-CD limited edition Japanese pressing. Booklet scans. 320kbps.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Just give it a shot -

Boots in the Oven

Sweet, sweet, sweet corn. So delicious, so in season.

But you can only eat so much of it on the cob. Even if it’s grilled, spritzed with lime juice and served with chile and salt. At some point, it just calls out to be cooked up into something awesome.

The most recent recipe to catch my attention was this batch of fresh corn pancakes from Gourmet magazine.

Anyway, check out this recipe. Not only does it rock for dinner, but you can have the leftovers for breakfast with thick drizzles of maple syrup and fat pats of butter. What? Not sayin’ you have to- just throwing it out there.

This is supposed to make 12 but I halved it and it worked quite nicely.

Fresh Corn Pancakes:

1 cup all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
4 ears corn
3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Cut enough kernels from cobs to measure 2 cups. Using back of a knife, scrape pulp from cobs and transfer to a blender with milk and 1/2 cup corn.

Purée until smooth, then strain through a sieve into another medium bowl, pressing on and then discarding solids. Whisk in eggs, oil, and butter.

Add to flour mixture with remaining 1 1/2 cups corn and whisk until just combined. Heat a griddle or heavy skillet over medium heat until hot, then lightly brush with oil.

Working in batches, pour 1/3 cup batter per pancake onto griddle and cook until bubbles appear on surface and undersides are golden-brown, about 2 minutes. Flip with a spatula and cook until undersides are golden-brown, about 1 minute more. (Reduce heat if pancakes brown too quickly.) Lightly oil griddle between batches if necessary.

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