You’ve probably already heard about Jay-Z’s mock tribute to Oasis’ “Wonderwall” at the Glastonbury Festival this past Saturday night. While rock blogs across the globe are showing the same YouTube clip from the BBC3′s footage of the event, I’m pleased to say the Matablog editorial staff have discovered secret video of the former Marcy Projects product leading his all-star band through an early morning rehearsal.
Archive for June, 2008
Times New Viking perform live on WFMU tomorrow (Tuesday, July 1) . Tune in to Brian Turner’s show from 3:00 – 6:00 PM EST, located on the radio dials of those in the NY/NJ areas at 91.1 FM and online for the rest at www.wfmu.org. If you miss it, the broadcast will be available in perpetuity on WFMU’s online archives.
It’s been a John Thorne weekend again. First, I cracked open a cloth sack of artisanal grits from a new (to me) producer, Nora Mill Granary in Helen, Georgia. I had been using Anson Mills grits, and am looking forward to doing an A-B shortly. (Yes, that is an original Sprague Tel-Ohmike capacitor bridge in the background of the photo.) While on the Nora Mills site I took the opportunity to order a jar of old-fashioned candy sticks and a jar of their homemade chow-chow. The grits are almost ready; I’ll be eating these shortly:
Secondly, I fulfilled a long-held ambition and made corn chowder last night. The section on chowders in Serious Pig is just as long and in-depth as the section on chili (which is what got me food blogging in the first place). The absolutely key ingredient for any chowder is salt pork, which is fatty pork meat that has been brined (so it’s similar to corned beef). Ideally you get salt pork belly, but this is a very New England ingredient and is tough to find in New York City, so I had to make do with salt pork from fatback. I could use more lean, frankly. The second thing to know is that real chowder is not thickened – any body comes from the crumbling edges of potatoes cut “thick-thin” (like small axe-heads). Milk – not cream – is used. No corn starch of any kind! Thorne’s philosophy exactly resembles that employed by the great Maine chowder makers I’ve encountered, of which the king is the Maine Diner in Wells, ME. Any trip to Maine should include a stop at this place for their fish chowder.
I made the corn chowder with canned corn, a favorite of my childhood. And it was good, but it tasted of, well, canned corn. Next time I’m going to use fresh corn (though it pains me not to just boil it, which is all that really fresh corn demands). In this recipe, after scraping off the grains, you boil the cobs in the water that will be used for the potatoes… naturally I was unable to do that with the canned version. Look for an update on this, sometime.
As promised, I am here to do some blogging about the tour we finished a couple of weeks ago in support of Mr. Jamie Lidell. I’m just beginning to feel recovered from it -we covered a lot of ground in a short amount of time. Going in to the tour, I thought we were different enough as musical acts (Jamie and I) to make for an interesting (albeit, perhaps slightly odd) show. I was actually really excited about doing something different instead of just touring with another singer-songwriter/song-oriented band. I thought it would be really cool to have two pretty disparate acts on the same bill. Today, having been through the experience, I’m not sure if it worked or if it can work. It was truly difficult at times, but completely spectacular and revelatory at others. In all, I’m really glad we did it and I feel like I learned a lot.
As a music fan, I love it when I go see a show and there are really different types of music on the bill. It keeps me on my toes and keeps me from being a complacent listener. But these types of shows happen so rarely. Why is that? And why are people so resistant to it?
In any case, I had a great time playing the new songs with my band and getting to meet some new folks (Jamie and his crew were some of the nicest peeps ever) and especially, playing the fucking 9:30 club in Washington D.C. I really should do a whole blog post just about this place. I have never played a better venue. Better in every way. Good sound? Check. Great staff? Check. Treated like a human being and not just like the the opening act slime? Check. God, the people that run that place deserve to be knighted or something. When we were leaving, Jon Langmead who plays drums in my band said….”I wish I could live here.” Seriously, that’s how great this place and the people who run it are.
Ok, so here’s some of my fave photos from the tour. If you’d like to see (many) more, you can go to my myspace page where I just uploaded way, way more than you’d probably ever like to see.
Me and Michael Brodlieb (bass) in the van en route to Chicago:
Lidell & crew soundcheck at Bowery:
Set list, big and little:
The back of Chris Lombardi (and us on stage at Bowery):
Ladies and gentlemen, Jon Langmead on drums:
That’s it! More soon….
….and with apologies to Jon Landau, it doesn’t look a fucking thing like these guys. The Independent’s Rhodri Marsden calls The Trons, “the most magnificently stupid collision of geekery, music and technology I’ve seen for quite some time”. Hey, I’ll admit they’re more charismatic than the Kooks, but that’s not saying much. However, I will confess the Trons might be the ultimate Tony Victory wet dream : a band that won’t bolt for a major label or ever request an audit.
The only thing better than roast chicken may be the cold chicken left over the next day. I usually eat it in sandwiches of toasted white bread with lettuce, salt, pepper, and a slathering of the jellied juices.
But since the weather has been so stinking lately I decided to take Elizabeth David’s suggestion from Is There A Nutmeg In The House? and make chicken salad. Not the usual mayonnaisey thing (though I love that too), but a Provençal inflected thing. The sauce consists of two shallots, chopped, with a handful of flat-leaf parsley, whatever appropriate herbs you have lying around (I used tarragon), salt, pepper, two teaspoons of dijon mustard (I used Maille) and six tablespoons of olive oil. Beat in the sliced chicken pieces. Garnish with hard-boiled egg… as well as cold shrimp, pickles, capers, cucumbers, or whatever else is in the fridge. I served it with the very un-Provençal Levy’s Jewish Rye, as well as a big bowl of steamed asparagus.
(I made the hard-boiled eggs using Julia Child’s recipe, very involved – the boil, the 17-minute coddle, the 2-minute chill, the 10-second reboil, the 15-20 minute chill etc. Much concern with not darkening the yolks.)
This is a great summer meal. I washed it down with a rosé from the Touraine.
(photograph by Debora Francis)
The most gratifying thing about our feverish preparations for the August 19 release of Jennifer O’Connor’s masterpiece ‘Here With Me’ (LP/CD)? With the possible exception of the chef Chris had flown in to prepare company lunches*, the best part so far has been the reactions from the lucky few who’ve heard the album. If I had a nickel for every person who has called or written to say “wow, you guys were right. Jennifer is a world-class, pop songwriting powerhouse”…well, I still wouldn’t have enough money to buy a copy of Entertainment Weekly. But keep in mind, they keep raising the prices of these magazines and you can read ‘em online, anyway.
“Here With Me” is the 2nd MP3 we’ve chosen to leak from the album. Between this and the previously sneak-peaked “Valley Road ’86″, we’re hopeful you’ll have a better idea why we’ve only gotten started making noise about Jennifer’s crazy reservoir of talent.
July 11 – The Slowdown, Omaha, NE
July 12 – Box Awesome, Lincoln, NE
July 13 – Record Bar, Kansas City, MO
July 14 – Mojo’s, Columbia, MO
July 15 – Schuba’s, Chicago, IL
July 17 – Vaudeville Mews, Des Moines, IA
July 19 – Aquarium Dempsey’s, Upstairs, Fargo, ND
July 20 – Nuttys’ North, SIoux Falls, SD
August 10 – Grand Opera House, Wilmington DE
August 13 – McCarren Pool, Brooklyn NY
August 25 – Mercury Lounge, NY NY
(July 11-15, July 19-20 supporting Son Ambulance)
(August 10, 13, supporting Wilco)
(preorder ‘Here With Me’ on LP or CD)
* – sorry. I hallucinated that we’d done an office swap with Revolver Distribution.