30 Jun 2010
in 70's Music, Music
Tags: Linda McCartney, Paul McCartney, Wings
Is it odd that this song is aspirational to me? Linda McCartney is an aspirational figure to me. Not because of the whole marrying a Beatle thing, either. Paul and Linda, they were smart enough to know that the kitchen is where the heart lies. While everyone else was jetting around the world hoping to find personal fulfillment in the arms of a guru or inside a fancy car, or on a therapist’s couch, or in the form of a chemical, those two knew the secret all along. The answer that everyone eventually came to, usually after stints in jail and in rehab and possibly a blood-transfusion or two, is that they’re only happiest at home with their pets and children. When Paul McCartney started loudly espousing the joys of domestic bliss with dogs and children everyone thought he was soft in the brains. Then they had to admit he was right all along, enjoying his happy life in the heart of the country. And when I say ‘they’ I mostly mean Lennon, but everyone else it applies to as well.
29 Jun 2010
Crispy Fried Shrimp with Green Herb Sauce
- 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup strong Belgian-style golden ale, such as Duvel
- 1 large egg, separated
- 2 tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
- 1 quart plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 24 large shrimp, shelled and deveined, tails left on
- Green Herb Sauce
- In a medium bowl, mix the flour with the sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients; stir in the ale, egg yolk, ginger and the 1 tablespoon of oil. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Let the batter stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large, heavy saucepan, heat the 1 quart of oil to 360°. In a small bowl, whisk the egg white with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg white into the batter. Dip the shrimp into the batter, one at a time, letting any excess batter drip back into the bowl. Fry the shrimp in batches over moderate heat until golden and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to paper towels to drain. Serve hot with the Green Herb Sauce.
Green Herb Sauce
- 3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced chives
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- In a small bowl, mix the parsley with the lemon juice, water, oil, shallots, chives, thyme and cayenne. Season with salt.
So, all I can add to this is, it’s good, but Duval ale is stupidly expensive and nobody will say anything if you use something else.
29 Jun 2010
in 80's Music, Music, world music
Tags: Brian Jones, The Master Musicians of Joujouka, the Rolling Stones
In the late sixties, Brian Jones became fascinated by the hypnotic sounds of Morocco’s Master Musicians of Jajouka. He dreamed of incorporating their trance-like rhythms into the Rollings Stones’ sound and thereby introducing it to the world at large. He desperately wanted the others to share this interest. While they did enjoy tripping the picturesque beauty of Morocco, and they freedom to trip that Morocco provided, they weren’t very motivated to learn more about the musical heritage. One planned road trip to Morocco resulted in Brian having a nervous breakdown while his girlfriend traipsed off with Keith. Their intermusical relationship wasn’t the same after that. It didn’t take long for Brian to become such a drug-sodden wreck he was barely allowed to enter the studio, let alone contribute ideas. Shortly, he was fired and shortly after that, he died. He did succeed in making several recordings, but the album he produced wasn’t released until after his death. It wasn’t until many, many years later that the Glimmer Twins decided to play him a small tribute and record a song with the Master Musicians. The result is Continental Drift (Steel Wheels, 1989) one of the Stones’ most exotic offerings. In the end, by opening the minds and ears of his friends, Brian did help to popularize the native music of Morocco.
28 Jun 2010
in 80's Music, Music
Some people search for the holy grail
Run round in circles and chase their own tails
But you can’t really blame them for clutching at straws
For weeding some truth in our morals and laws
Some people say that revolution will descend
On this madness end this confusion
But we’ve all heard the privileged boast and preach
And the promised land we want is still out of reach
I once knew a man who wore self-righteousness
Like a medal on his inflated chest
He hated all people for breaking his rules
Looked down with distaste on the cowards and fools
He lived like a king in his castle of stone
And sneered at the man who worked hard for his home
He knew all the right words and who to defend
And would be with conviction the working mans friend
Contaminated minds play judge and jury too
But contaminated minds are blind to truth
Contaminated minds speak with loudest voice
But not everybody has the luxury of choice
27 Jun 2010
in 10's Music, Music
Tags: Jack White, The Dead Weather
These photos are by Me, from the two times I saw the Dead Weather. Both times fabulous, need I say. They did, last month, put out their second album, even better than the first. Horehound was good, but it sounded a bit chaotic to me. It felt that most of the tracks were more of the “we were having fun jamming in the studio and here’s what it sounds like” kind of song, and not so many were the “we’re pulling together something really good here” kind of song. On Sea Of Cowards all the songs are that second kind. There’s more coherence throughout and the band sounds tighter. Think of the first one as a getting to know each other project. Now they all know each other a little bit better and they’ve gotten more comfortable playing together. Stronger songs follow stronger bonds.
27 Jun 2010
in 70's Music, Music
Tags: Blondie, Debbie Harry
There’s not enough pop songs about the cold war, is there? Next time you think about it, imagine Miss Deborah Harry as a well armed spy. Positive visualization makes history easier to learn!
26 Jun 2010
in 00's Music, Music
Tags: Stephen Coates, The Real Tuesday Weld
Speaking of supremely artistic videos…The Real Tuesday Weld deserve a lifetime achievement award for outstanding contributions to the fine art of video making. Has anyone else thought to make a video with singing maggots in it? Didn’t think so. Maggots aside though, how many other acts have produced such an excellent series of videos in a relatively short career span? Not too many. Stephen Coates takes seriously the possibilities of the music video as its own artistic statement. As for writing lyrics? I’m pretty sure he’s singing “life is good when you’re filled with blood.” A truer statement was never made.
26 Jun 2010
in 60's Music, Music, Sexy, Style
Tags: Brigitte Bardot
Hotness. The song is a wisp of nothing, just a vehicle for Bardot’s star power. She’s no singer, but that was never the point. The point of the video is the video. It’s highly artistic, in a swinging sixties way. The theme appears to be clockwork, to judge from the ticking sounds and wheels turning imagery. Golden gladiatrix costume earns full points. A celebration of beauty for beauty, shall we say.
25 Jun 2010
in 80's Music, guilty pleasures, Music
Tags: Michael Jackson
Guess who died a year ago today. Yeah. That makes it the first time in over two decades that admitting you like Billie Jean is not a humiliating embarrassment. Funny how that works. Michael Jackson had to die and stay dead for a while before everyone could just admit that his whole life was a gigantic trainwreck which anyone with a little decency should have averted their eyes from, but nobody did, because it was ghoulishly entertaining, and as a direct result a poor fucked up kid got the life sucked out of him in front of a schadenfruede-happy world. The moral lesson is, among other things, sometimes having unlimited material resources does more harm than good. It’s no revelation that Jackson had a traumatic childhood. If only he’d had some incentive to try and fit the mold and become a productive member of society – i.e. someone with a regular job, a boss to answer to, a circle of non-sycophant acquaintances, etc – perhaps he would’ve sucked it up, gone into therapy, and dealt with it like normal people do. Instead of having the freedom to disappear so completely into a world of his own making that he was naive enough to think it was ok for a middle aged man to have sleepovers with other people’s children. Just saying. Anyhow, it is now officially safe to stop treating your Michael Jackson’s Greatest Hits cd like it was porno and bring it out from wherever you’ve been hiding it all these years.
25 Jun 2010
Tags: Anouck Lepere, Models
Anouck Lepere, a member of that special coterie of women who A) possess beauty that makes mere mortals weep and B) is way fucking smarter than those same mortals will ever be and C) super cool on top of all that. Before the runway irresistibly beckoned, she was a student of architecture in Antwerp. Then she got discovered and singlehandedly brought eyebrows back into fashion. The fantastic crystal-palace glamor of girls like Karen Mulder has allure, undeniably. But more intriguing is the un-glamor glamor of a girl like Anouck, whose hair and eyebrows are her own, who looks even in couture like she just happened to stroll in dressed like that, and who seems like somebody you could (and would want to) cross paths with in real life.