Matablog

Archive for May, 2009

Ribeye

By Patrick on Saturday, May 30th, 2009

ribeye

Sometimes after a multi-course decadent Asian feast you want something simple. This ribeye came from Baczynski Brothers Meat Market in the East Village. Better known for their hams and sausages, they are also a full-service butcher. The first ribeye I got from there made me think I’d found an East Side competitor to Ottomanelli. This is the third and now I think that first one might have been flukily excellent. It had a perfect, Lugerish musty, nutty quality. This one was just very good, well marbled and about 2 inches thick, salted and seared to a caramelized crisp on the outside, rosy rare in the center, served with white rice and lemon and baby peas. And yes Fiona, the wine was a 2002 Givry from Choffelet-Valdenaire. Meals like this put the wine front and center, in this case deservedly so. $28, seek it out.

The Eternal – shots of the vinyl package

By Patrick on Friday, May 29th, 2009

Sonic Youth - The Eternal

This came out so beautifully that we decided to share a few pictures with you. (Click on the images for full-size versions.) The record comes out on June 9, and if you act fast, you can probably still score the live bonus LP as part of Buy Early Get Now.

Sonic Youth - The Eternal

Cover painting by John Fahey. Clock photo by Kim Gordon. Not Cool/Cool by John Moloney. Other artwork by Clarence Major, Gene Moore and Jutta Koether. Johnny Thunders photo by Danny Fields.

Sonic Youth - The Eternal

These pictures unfortunately can’t capture the heavy stock cover, or the special varnishes and finishes.

New Song From God Help The Girl – “Mary’s Market”

By Adam F on Friday, May 29th, 2009

In a bold marketing plan defying surprise, Stuart Murdoch has just posted a brand new song on the God Help The Girl site.  It was recorded last weekend.

It’s the b-side from the Funny Little Frog 7″ that is part of the Subscription which you can order here.

The song is called “Mary’s Market” and features a familiar friend on lead vocals.  Here’s what Stuart has to say about it:

Hi folks:

We have a new track for you. It’s called ‘Mary’s Market’, and we recorded it last weekend. It’s going to be the B-side to the ‘Funny Little Frog’ single, but we thought we’d let you hear it since the weather’s nice here, and we’re in a good mood, and it seems to match the weather!

The picture to go with the track features the stylish Scottish BBC newsreader, Mary Marquis. When I was writing the song, I wrote the lines

You showed me yesterday’s dress
The one you nicked from Mary’s Market

And it kind of sounded like Mary Marquis, so she gets to go on the cover! It kind of amuses me to think of the girl in the song nicking a frock from Mary Marquis, as it would probably be a frock worth nicking! (As you can see from the picture)

Download it here:  Mary’s Market (MP3)

To embed on your blog/myspace, copy this code:

Stuart’s full explanation, song credits and lyrics are on the GodHelpTheGirl.com site.

Roster Update : Kurt Vile

By Gerard on Friday, May 29th, 2009

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(photograph by Shawn Brackbill) 

We tend to start new signings entries to the Matablog with lines like “Matador Records is pleased to announce….”, but could we possibly be more redundant?  Of COURSE we’re pleased to announce blah fucking blah, are we gonna say  ”Matador Records reluctantly admits….”  or “we’re obliged to tell you…”?  

So with that in mind, we’re REALLY pleased to announce — perhaps more than ever before in label history — an addition to the label roster we currently consider to be one of the more important figures in American music circa 2009.  Philadelphia guitarist/vocalist Kurt Vile first came to our attention (and possibly yours as well) with the release of the 2008 CD ‘Constant Hitmaker’ on the Gulcher imprint  ( a label whose paw prints extend to dusty genius recordings by the Gizmos and MX80-Sound and contemporary stuff from Home Blitz and Magik Markers).  What the homemade ‘Hitmaker’ (recently reissued on vinyl by Woodsist) lacked in fidelity it more than made for in scope —– to dub the album “psych pop” barely scratches the surface of  a work that’s as impossibly catchy as it is wildly experimental. 

YouTube Preview Image 

Subsequent exposure to Kurt’s live shows in a variety of settings, both on his own and with crack ensemble The Violators, made it abundantly clear that we’d either have to sign this guy or find someone else who sounded exactly like him.  Since the latter task proved impossible, here we are.  Having signed a worldwide, multi-album pact with Matador, Kurt Vile’s first full-length for the label, ‘Childish Prodigy’ will be released on LP/CD and digital formats in Autumn 2009.  Watch this space for more  news & music to follow.

WFMU to broadcast Fucked Up, Sonic Youth, others from Primavera

By Robby on Friday, May 29th, 2009

[photos of Fucked Up and Sonic Youth grabbed off Toni François' and Ryan Muir's flickr sites, respectively]

New Jersey’s freeform radio giant, WFMU, has plugged into the Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona bringing streams of sets from Matador acts Fucked Up and Sonic Youth to the airwaves in the tri-state (90.1 FM) and online at www.wfmu.org.

Along with Fucked Up and Sonic Youth, WFMU will air sets from Wooden Shjips, Crystal Stilts, Vivian Girls, Sunn o))), Dan Deacon, Deerhunter, Ariel Pink, Magik Markers,Oneida, th’ Faith Healers and others to be announced.

Tune in at around 3:00 PM EST on Saturday (5/30) to hear Fucked Up and at 9:00 PM to hear Sonic Youth. As is the case with these kinds of things, all times are subject to change so keep up with WFMU’s Twitter for updates.

If you are lucky enough to be attending Primavera as you read this, be sure to catch the following:

Fucked Up – Ray Ban-Vice Stage – Friday 29th May 00:30

Sonic Youth – Estrella Damm Stage – Saturday 30th May 01:00

Shearwater – Pitchfork Stage – Saturday 30th May 18:15

Q: How Tough Were Things On The L.E.S. During The Early ’90′s?

By Gerard on Friday, May 29th, 2009
YouTube Preview Image

A : NOBODY COULD AFFORD LIGHTBULBS! The Duane/Delaney/Ibold/Reid Dustdevils, if not the band’s classic lineup,  certainly the only one with a clip (or two) on the YouTube.

Chicken biryani with minted aloo chat, masoor dal and yogurt with peas

By Patrick on Thursday, May 28th, 2009

biryani

Another recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s An Invitation To Indian Cooking, and a daunting one with a huge list of ingredients. However, it’s really no more complicated than making a chicken dish and one of her stepped-up rice dishes. It’s incredibly delicious, on the sweeter, more aromatic Mughal/northern/Afghani/Persian tip.

The chicken is marinated for at least two hours in a mixture of about 10 spices blended with onions, garlic, ginger and yogurt. Oh, and fried onions. They are extremely important in this dish. For some time now, I’ve noticed that Jaffrey and her main competition, Julie Sahni, estimate different lengths of time for “brown-frying” onions (something you frequently need to do in Northern Indian cuisine). Jaffrey tends to think you need 10 minutes; Sahni thinks 35. Sahni is correct. You get your ghee very hot, then add the sliced onions, and then stir, constantly for the next half-hour plus. You cannot allow them to stick or burn. Sahni describes several “states” the onions pass through during this time. It’s fascinating from a molecular point of view, and you will need something to occupy your brain. First they sizzle, then they eject their water, then get shrink rapidly, and finally, at the very end, they brown.

Having squeezed them dry, decant two-thirds of the browned onions into the marinade. The other third goes on paper towels. You reserve the onion-flavored oil.

Now the rice. The recipe specifies “long grain,” but having been burned once by a rice recipe in this book, I knew that it probably required basmati. The basmati needs to be washed and soaked as usual, and then cooked for only 5 minutes so that it is not cooked through.

Once the marinated chicken comes out of the fridge, you boil the mixture, simmer for 15 minutes, remove the chicken pieces, and reduce the marinade to paste. Chicken goes into the pot (I used a heavy enamel Le Creuset) with the reduced marinade on top, and the parboiled rice on top of that. You decorate the rice with stripes of saffron that has been soaking in warm milk for an hour, producing lovely orangey-red striations. On top of this, you pour the reserved onion oil, and the whole spices that flavored that oil – bay leaves and black cardamom. This is covered and baked for an hour at 300 degrees.

When it comes out, you decorate with garnishes: the remainder of the fried onions, hard-boiled egg slices, golden raisins (sultanas) that have been fried in oil, and blanched slivered almonds. It is divine.

masoor_dal

I accompanied this dish with masoor dal prepared to the recipe I used for moong dal. I don’t know much about dals, but moong is yellow and masoor is orange-red, and my masoor had more flavor. It might be because the pulses were fresher.

aloo_chat

In addition, I prepared an aloo chat from Julie Sahni’s Classic Indian Cooking. Sahni is nice to have as a counterpart to Jaffrey, and not just because she admits how long it takes to brown-fry onions. She is altogether more sober, if more boring, and gives more reasons why you should do the things you do. Some of her recipes are just not that exciting compared to Jaffrey’s, but this is still an essential reference work.

black_salt

Aloo chat is potato salad – this one uses fresh mint. I was able to grab some from the garden as a final garnish to supplement the thick bunch I bought at the supermarket. My main interest in making this dish was because it uses BLACK SALT. I bought some a year ago, and have been looking for a way to use it. Be warned: it is extremely sulfurous! I didn’t read the package thoroughly and was amazed when I broke it open. I didn’t quite add the full half-teaspoonful. Fortunately, when combined with the other spices in the dish (roasted cumin seeds, chili pepper, black pepper, salt, mint, lemon juice, not to mention cucumber) and after marinating in the fridge, the sulfurousness had diminished to a slight, unidentifiable tang that definitely adds to the dish. This compares well to the aloo chat at my local taxicab favorite Curry & Curry, if not quite scaling the heights of the one at Lahore Deli near the old office in SoHo.

black_salt_2

Finally, I whipped up a yogurt with peas as a cooling refreshment to all the spiciness. Not that this lacks spice – it’s an adaptation of yogurt with spinach from the Jaffrey book. The key is good yogurt. The presence of Arabic, Greek or Turkish on the label, or the words “home style” or “from the home country” is a good start. This one was Turkish. You mix in roasted ground cumin seeds, cayenne and black pepper, and then about a half-cup of cooked green peas per 8 oz of yogurt. The sourness of the yogurt is offset nicely by the sweetness of the peas.

yogurt

I also served Jaffrey’s excellent tomato chutney.

Sonic Youth Buy Early Get Now – limited extra cache of bonus LPs found

By Patrick on Thursday, May 28th, 2009

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We thought we’d run out of Sonic Youth bonus LPs for our Buy Early Get Now campaign, but we discovered we had 200 extra! ACT NOW to make sure you get this fantastic live LP of their July 4, 2008 concert at Battery Park in New York.

At Buy Early Get Now, you get:

- the limited live LP
- instant stream of the new album, The Eternal
- your choice of double LP or CD of The Eternal
- exclusive limited-edition poster
- early access to tickets (East Coast already announced, but the West Coast exclusive presale is still coming up)
- exclusive bonus MP3s – one is already available, the next one comes out on Tuesday, and we can now announce that a third will be available after release

Go to the Matador Store to place your preorder and get your instant code to log in at Buy Early Get Now and pick up your extras. Album, bonus LP and poster will be mailed to you to arrive on or before release date, June 9.

(If we have run out of bonus LPs by the time you place your order, you will not be charged.)

Coming August 18 : Jay Reatard’s ‘Watch Me Fall’

By Gerard on Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

ole-800-watch-me-fall

(sleeve photo by Ruben Cox)

On August 18, Matador will be releasing the long-anticipated new LP/CD/digital album from Jay Reatard, ‘Watch Me Fall’.  Excepting last year’s pair of singles comps for Matador and In The Red, this is Jay’s first album since 2006′s ‘Blood Visions’,  and it’s a self-produced full-length that more than lives up to the sky-high standards previously set.  Earlier this year, Jay described the making of ‘Watch Me Fall’ to labelmate Andrew Earles  :

“This new album has been challenging. It’s the first time I’ve written and recorded an album specifically because a label wants to release it. I’ve never made a record for a record label. I’ve always finished my recordings and then a label is decided on. When I made ’Blood Visions’ I had no idea that it was going to see the light of day. And I’ve never made a record in which the label heard the songs, or anyone heard the songs, before the album was finished, so that’s kind of intense. That’s what singles are for; I always considered my singles as a glimpse between the albums. Labels always had the previous single as an example of where I was going at the time, or of what the next album might sound like. In this situation, people at the label are hearing the songs before the album has been finished, but I try not to let it distract me, I’m trying to go about this process in a way that’s the closest to how I would have done an album in the past. A lot of bands these days, they approach the making of an album like it’s collecting songs, they don’t think about how all of the songs are going to work together. They sequence their albums on iTunes, wondering what songs sound best next to each other rather than putting them together as they were written. That’s not an album.”

“It Ain’t Gonna Save Me” is the first MP3 from ‘Watch Me Fall’, and provides only the slightest hint of the album’s depth. A stronger hint = giving away the store,  but you’ll be hearing the new songs this summer when Jay visits the following places :

  • Thu May 28 - Barcelona @ Primavera Festival
  • Thu June 11 - San Diego @ Casbah with The Oh Sees + Earthmen and Strangers
  • Fri June 12 - Los Angeles @ The Echo with Thee Oh Sees + Earthmen and Strangers
  • Sat June 13 - San Francisco @ The Independent with Thee Oh Sees + Earthmen and Stangers
  • Mon June 15 - Seattle @ Crocodile Cafe with Thee Oh Sees
  • Tue June 16 - Vancouver @ Biltmore
  • Wed June 17 - Portland @ Dante’s with The Oh Sees + Nice Boys
  • Fri June 19 - Long Beach, CA @ Alex’s Bar with Digital Leather
  • Fri June 26 - Chicago @ Bottom Lounge with TV Smith of the Adverts
  • Sat June 27 - Detroit @ Magic Stick with TV Smith of the Adverts
  • Sun June 28 - Cleveland @ Grog Shop with TV Smith of the Adverts
  • Mon June 29 - Toronto @ Mod Club with TV Smith of the Adverts
  • Tue June 30 - Montreal @ La Sala Rossa with TV Smith of the Adverts
  • Wed July 1 - New York City @ Stuyvesant Oval, FREE
  • Thu July 2 - Brooklyn @ Music Hall of Williamsburg with TV Smith of the Adverts
  • Fri July 3 - Allston, MA @ Harper’s Ferry with TV Smith of the Adverts
    Sat July 4 – Philadelphia PA  @ Johnny Brenda’s with TV Smith of the Advert
  • Sun July 5 - Washington DC @ Black Cat with TV Smith of the Adverts
  • Tue July 7 - Asheville @ Orange Peel with TV Smith of the Adverts
  • Wed July 8 - Knoxville @ Pilot Light with TV Smith of the Adverts
  • Thu July 9 - Nashville @ The End with TV Smith of the Adverts
  • Fri July 10 - Memphis @ Hi-Tone Café with TV Smith of the Adverts
  • Sat July 11 - Oxford MS @ Proud Larry’s with TV Smith of the AdvertsIn addition, Jay will be making his first South American appearances on June 2  (TD Eventos, Sao Paulo, Brasil) and June 2 (Excursionistas Athletic Club).

Matador Takeover Primavera Sound

By Judge on Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

matabarce

Now that’s what I call a beach party…

Tomorrow will see the start of this year’s Primavera Sound festival, in Barcelona Spain.  Set on the sea front on the edge of Barcelona, the festival has stages curated by Pitchfork, ATP and Vice amongst others.

This year Matador has a total of 6 bands in attendance at the festival.  Surely a record? If you’re attending, be sure to Sharpie these times on your hand now:

(in alphabetical order)

Dead Meadow – ATP Stage – Thursday 28th May 00:15

Fucked Up – Ray Ban-Vice Stage – Friday 29th May 00:30

Jay Reatard – Ray Ban-Vice Stage – Thursday 28th May 00:30

Shearwater – Pitchfork Stage – Saturday 30th May 18:15

Sonic Youth – Estrella Damm Stage – Saturday 30th May 01:00

Yo La Tengo – Estrella Damm Stage – Thursday 28th May 21:45

A prize will be awarded to anyone that manages to get a photo of all of the above in the same place at the same time.

Coming To A Multiplex Near You : The “Walk The Line” Of Movies That Feature A Ton Of Church-Burning

By Gerard on Monday, May 25th, 2009

vikernes_0preview

There have been reports of a dramatic interpretation of Michael Moynahin and Dirk Soderlind’s “Lords Of Chaos” hitting the big screen someday, and perhaps adding a mainstream movie star to the mix will help with the financing.  You’ve thrilled to Shane West as Darby Crash, tried to get your head around Elijah Wood as Iggy, perhaps you’re even psyched to see Jamie Foxx as Frank Sinatra.  But unless you’ve been reading Metal Underground.com (or whoever they’ve been reading), you probably didn’t know that “Twilight”‘s Jackson Rathbone has been tapped to play the part of Varg Vikernes (above). 

Much as I respect the opinion of those who made this casting decision, I feel compelled to protest.  Who exactly does Kenneth Branagh have to fuck to get a look in?

Sweet tomato chutney…

By Patrick on Sunday, May 24th, 2009

chutney2

… otherwise known as ketchup. OK, not quite, but I didn’t put two and two together and realize that this is where ketchup comes from.

This is another recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s Invitation To Indian Cooking, and is extremely easy and delicious. Just don’t lose faith while making it, since the aromas are extremely strong.

Blend an entire head of garlic (peeled and coarsely chopped), a fresh piece of ginger (2 inches long, 1 inch by inch wide, peeled and coarsely chopped) and 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar in a blender until smooth. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, bring to a boil the entire contents of a 12-ounce can of tomatoes, 1 cup of red wine vinegar, 1 1/2 cups white sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon hot chili powder (cayenne pepper). Add the puree from the blender. Lower heat and simmer gently for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until the chutney becomes thick. Stir occasionally during this time. Finally, add two tablespoons golden raisins and two tablespoons blanched, slivered almonds. Simmer, stirring, for 5 more minutes. Allow to cool, decant into glass jars, and refrigerate. Once chilled, the chutney should have the consistency of honey. It will keep for months.

This chutney goes with almost anything. It’s delicious just with plain basmati rice. I’ve served it with kheema, and more recently with Jaffrey’s recipe for chicken in light sauce (from the book above). Excellent, toothsome chicken, but even after reducing the sauce by half, it was still thin. I have a suspicion that it’s supposed to be thick like the khorma you get in a UK restaurant. However, decanted into a bowl and sipped with a spoon, it was really good – reminiscent of the curry chicken noodle soup at Bo Ky.

I also served moong dal. I had never made dal successfully before (aside from a terrible recipe from the absolutely to be avoided Lord Krishna’s Cuisine, a cult-y Vedic book by an American ashram transplant)… as always, Jaffrey’s recipe was eye-opening. “Since people like to squeeze lime or lemon wedges on their dal, serve some wedges separately.” Who knew? Not me, going to Indian restaurants all my life and not knowing what the point of the dal was. It also seems unlikely that those restaurants rapidly fried asafoetida and cumin seeds in ghee and poured them over the dal just prior to serving, but who knows.

chutney

Matmos – European Tour (Right Now)

By Gerard on Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

Not sure exactly how we spaced on this one, but as always, the Matablog is to roster news what Tom Scholz is to Boston albums.  VERY LATE BUT WELL-INTENTIONED.    From Brainwashed.com

up-matmos2_001

It may be a bit short to call a tour – a “tourette”, perhaps? – but our European friends will be happy to know that Matmos will be over there very soon for a few performances:

MAY
22 – Paris, FR @ Cafe de la Danse
23 – Bergen, NO @ Bergen International Festival
26 & 27 – London, UK @ Village Underground (see below for details)
29 – Verona, IT @ Interzona
30 – Bologna, IT @ Locomotiv
31 – Foligno (Perugia), IT @ Young Jazz in Town Festival

JUNE
1 – Zagreb, HR @ Kset Club
2 – Beograd (Belgrade), RS @ Rex

MATMOS AND LONDON CONTEMPORARY ORCHESTRA
Hugh Brunt, Conductor
Supported by Sarah Nicolls and Micromattic
Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 May 2009, 8.00pm
Village Underground, Shoreditch

An adventurous collaboration between musical worlds is headlined by one of the giants of the electronic music scene, Matmos, performing with members of the LCO on material from Supreme Balloon arranged by the young composer Anna Meredith. In the hands of pianist Sarah Nicolls, that most familiar of instruments becomes augmented and reinvented for the 21st century, a bespoke contraption pushing at the boundaries of performance. LCO’s first commission of the season comes from Howard Quin and Micromattic, a thrilling audio-visual installation integrating live performance, electronic soundtracks and fractal animation.

Tickets available online or via Barbican Box Office: 020 7638 8891

Sonic Youth – Free St. Louis Show

By Gerard on Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

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(above : the Arch.  not shown : St. Louis’ Strangulated Beatoffs)

Sonic Youth will playing a free concert underneath St. Louis’ famed Gateway Arch on July 17 as part of the LIVE on The Levee Summer festival.  There’s more details here but please rest assured the 7/17 bill does not feature a performance by Mother 13 Train. You’ve gotta read the fine print. Thank you.

The Eternal NYC – Listening Event

By Claire T on Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Please join us this Friday as we celebrate Sonic Youth’s The Eternal with a special listening event in NYC.

Friday, May 22 at Envoy Gallery (131 Chrystie, NYC)

6PM – 8PM / 21+

RSVP here  (admission based on capacity)

Hope to see you out!

syfinal24

Upcoming Mogwai DJ Set on Viva-Radio

By Matt on Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

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While on their recent US tour, Mogwai’s Barry Burns had a chance to pop into a few places to flex his DJing muscles. He made it over to Viva-Radio’s Brooklyn studio on the day of the one of the band’s Music Hall show to record a DJ set and have a chat with Ted Shumaker. The results can be heard in all their glory next week.

Viva-Radio

Naked Fridays Pt. 27

Friday June 5th 4-5PM (Eastern Standard Time)

Support Acts Confirmed For Sonic Youth’s Summer Shows

By Gerard on Monday, May 18th, 2009

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(Awesome Color, right after asking “how do you get to the House Of Blues?” and being given the most predicatble of answers)

Sat-Jun-27 Chicago, IL  Vic Theatre  w/ The Entrance Band
Sun-Jun-28 Chicago, IL  Vic Theatre w/ White/Light
Mon-Jun-29 Royal Oak, MI Royal Oak Music Theatre w/ The Entrance Band
Tue-Jun-30 Toronto, ONT Massey Hall   w/ The Entrance Band

Thu-Jul-02 Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory  w/ The Entrance Band
Fri-Jul-03 New York, NY  United Palace   w/ The Entrance Band

Mon-Jul-06 Washington, DC 9:30 Club w/ Endless Boogie
Tue-Jul-07 Washington, DC 9:30 Club  w/ The Entrance Band
Wed-Jul-08 Richmond, VA The National  w/ The Entrance Band

Fri-Jul-10 Knoxville, TN Bijou Theatre  w/ The Entrance Band
Sat-Jul-11 Nashville, TN  War Memorial  w/ The Entrance Band
Sun-Jul-12 Birmingham, AL Sloss Furnace   w/ The Entrance Band
Mon-Jul-13 Atlanta, GA  Variety Playhouse   w/ The Entrance Band

Wed-Jul-15 Dallas, TX House of Blues  w/ Awesome Color
Thu-Jul-16 Tulsa, OK Cain’s Ballroom   w/ Awesome Color
Fri-Jul-17 St. Louis, MO Live on the Levee  w/ Awesome Color
Sat-Jul-18 Kansas City, MO  Uptown Theatre   w/ Awesome Color

Mon-Jul-20 Milwaukee, WI Turner Hall   w/ Awesome Color
Tue-Jul-21 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue   w/ Awesome Color

Thu-Jul-23 Boise, ID Knitting Factory – Boise  w/ Awesome Color
Fri-Jul-24 Spokane, WA Knitting Factory -  Spokane  w/ Awesome Color

(pre-order Sonic Youth’s -’The Eternal’ CDLP/ ;  ‘The Eternal’ – Buy Early Get Now)

Kheema with fried onions / rice with spinach

By Patrick on Saturday, May 16th, 2009

kheema_rice

For Indian cooking, my main source has always been Madhur Jaffrey’s rather esoteric, regional book A Taste Of India. However Nils recently gifted me with An Invitation To Indian Cooking, noting that no recipe he’s ever tried from it has ever been less than stellar (epic?) so I decided to give it a try. The book is devoted to the sophisticated Delhi cooking with which Jaffrey grew up.

My dad used to make a Middle Eastern kheema, and ground meat always appeals, so I decided to try that. I didn’t have enough onions, so the fried onions of the title ended up being shallots. The standard onions-ginger-garlic mix gets fried in oil that’s been infused by a quick saute of cinnamon stick, bay leaves and cloves. When the onions are done, you add freshly ground coriander, cumin and turmeric, then yogurt and finally a small amount of tomato sauce. You fry the meat in this soffrito, add nutmeg, mace and salt, bring to a boil with some water and then simmer for AN HOUR. At the end you stir in the fried onions (shallots in my case). It’s divine. And it goes divinely with…

… rice with spinach. Like many Indian dishes, the name implies something simple, but the actual recipe is hard work. I think in this early book Jaffrey was trying to get Americans to make the leap so she recommends Carolina rice, which is what I used, but basmati would definitely have been better. Apparently basmati was hard to find and expensive back then, in the years of the license raj. Anyway, you clean the spinach, have a big pot of boiling water, and wilt the leaves quickly in small batches, remove them to a colander with a stream of cold water, then press the spinach between your hands to remove the moisture. Then chop it very fine. Chop an onion and saute it in oil for 5 minutes, then add the spinach and some garam masala, and saute for 30 minutes. This produces an intoxicating mix reminiscent of those sag dishes in restaurants that you always thought were drenched in butter. Wrong. Now you add the rice (which has been washed and soaking for two hours in salted water), mix it together, and put it all in a casserole with tin foil that has a half-inch hole cut in the top for steam to escape, which goes in an 300 degree F oven for 30 minutes. The combination of the fresh-smelling spinached rice with the rich, aromatic kheema is just right.

The Freewheeling Yo La Tengo – Taking The Acoustic, Conversational Show Overseas

By Gerard on Saturday, May 16th, 2009

Following the  wildly successful Freewheeling Yo La Tengo U.S. dates of 2007 and 2008, Ira, Georgia and James are bringing what was previously billed as “an almost-acoustic set” of career-spanning material & covers to other parts of the whole wide world.

Sunday, May 31- Ferrera, Italy – Sala Estense- Doors are at 8:00 pm. Tickets are €20, and are available here.
Thursday, June 4 -Paris, France- L’Alhambra – Tickets are €25, and are available here.
Sunday, June 7 -Hamburg, Germany – Imperial Theater – Doors are at 8:00 pm. Tickets are €16/21, and areavailable here.
Monday, June 8 – Berlin, Germany- Babylon – Doors are at 7:00 pm. Tickets are €16/21, and are available here.
Thursday, June 11 – Amsterdam, Holland – Bimhuis – Tickets are €16, and are available here.
Friday, June 12- Brussels, Belgium – Botanic, Orangerie – Tickets are available here.
Monday, June 15 – London, England – Southbank Centre, Queen Elizabeth Hall Part of the Ornette Coleman’s Meltdown line-up. Tickets are available here.

In addition, Yo La Tengo will revert to more amplified fashion at the following outdoor events ;

Thursday, May 28 – Primavera Sound Festival, Barcelona, Spain (tickets)
Monday, July 13 – Keyspan Park, Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY (supporting Wilco) (tickets)
Friday, July 17 – Pitchfork Music Festival, Union Park, Chicago, IL (with Built To Spill, Tortoise) (tickets)

Julian Plenti: Fun That We Have MP3

By Patrick on Friday, May 15th, 2009

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photo by Matthew Salacuse

The first MP3 from Julian Plenti Is… Skyscraper: “Fun That We Have.”

Fun That We Have (160k mp3)

Album in stores August 4.

julianplenti.com