My favorite song right now is Mastodon’s “The Last Baron”

Call of the Mastodon

Something in me needs metal. The seed was planted at 16 when my friend Aaron inexpertly rocked the Metallica “Four Horsemen” riff in his basement, forever melding my young energy to the driving force of its dorky power.

This is the kind of orchestral, explosive metal that makes me want to listen to it over and over and over.

Just take a deep breath and let it wash over you.  Who cares what it’s about?  The album is a concept album about like, Rasputin and astral travel and gnarly stuff like that, like metal should be.

But… wait.  There’s more to it than that.  Is that some strange rockabilly lick?  Is he teasing us with some kind of LA hair metal shit?  Why does he sound so much like Ozzy?  Is it wrong to let Heavy Metal caress you?

If you don’t find yourself saying “whoa” at sometime in this 13 minutes then pack it in.  You have no metal in you.

this blog post is now over, thank you for reading.
as a reminder, it was called: My favorite song right now is Mastodon’s “The Last Baron”
it's categorized as: _ My Personal Classics, Reviews, Songs
link to it, please: Saturday, April 18th, 2009

A Two Night Stand at “How to Cook a Wolf”

How to Cook a Wolf

How to Cook a Wolf is the trendy Upper Queen Anne restaurant I wanted to hate, but I have failed.  Turns out that not only does it have a sexy decor that packs the place until late, but they really know how to serve a good, human meal that leaves me feeling nourished and excited.

I went in once about a month ago for drinks (it’s very close to my house).  Queen Anne is a kind of fancy neighborhood, but not the kind of place where a trendy restaurant would normally go.  It’s a bit of a credit to the ‘hood that you can even get a drink at 11pm.  They made us some kind of crazy pear margarita and, even though we were already full from dinner, we got some olives, just because the place looked so cool.  

The olives were Castlevetrano… a rich, meaty bright-green kind that my girlfriend loves.  They seriously are some of the best, and we vowed to make it back.

A month or so later, we did.  We got the Octopus Salad, the Baked Polenta, and the Spaghetti.  Japansese food has honestly soured me to octopus, but this was thick slices tossed with some kind of crisp bean (Controne) and parsely.  It was meaty and nourishing and… we ate it with the gusto it was clearly designed for.  The polenta was a super moist, milky polenta.  Two rounds of it, baked crisp on the outside and sitting in a kind of rich, cheesy soup.  My girl and I don’t use serving plates, we just scoop out of the serving dish and it felt totally natural here.  The spaghetti was simple and hearty with a huge pile of cheese on top.  It was tossed with anchovy, garlic and chili.  When we were done, the last few noodles were swimming in olive oil, which, although good, was a little much and discouraged us from eating every last noodle.

When I was there, I saw that they serve dinner every night until midnight.  In my neighborhood, there’s nothing else I know of that serves dinner after 10, and I don’t have a car.  So last night, after I was done with everything else I needed to do… I got a great idea.  Why not grab my book and walk up to Wolf?

It was such a good idea.  I got there just as the last of the dinner rush had cleared out, and I had the nearly full attention of the bartender.  I didn’t get far into my book.  He picked my courses, poured me “half glasses” of wine to pair with everything, and generally made me feel like a king.  I had the Escolar Crudo, the Treviso Salad, and the Meatballs.  God knows what the wines were.  Escolar is a really buttery fish I’ve had several times before as sushi.  Here, though, they served it with an avacado puree and a little chopped grapefruit on top!

This is what you want to see in a restaurant like this.  They’re going to take chances, and more often than not, it’s going to work.  The salad was Traviso (something like radiccio) tossed with wine-soaked golden raisins.  The meatballs were just a hot metal oven dish of four hearty meatballs cooked in sauce.

Look, I’ve been to plenty of fancy restaurants.  I’ve been to plenty of trendy restaurants.  How to Cook a Wolf is a place that sits me down and feeds me, goddamnit.  That’s what I like.

this blog post is now over, thank you for reading.
as a reminder, it was called: A Two Night Stand at “How to Cook a Wolf”
it's categorized as: Restaurants, Reviews, Seattle
link to it, please: Thursday, April 9th, 2009

P.O.S. – “There’s no auto-tune in grunge music.”

I’ve been listening to the new P.O.S. album Never Better for a few months now, and Pearl Jam‘s recently reissued Ten for a lot longer than that.  Why Go? has always been a song that strangely caught me back in the day, and I find myself involuntarily beginning to sing the song while I walk alone down the street.

She scratches a letter / Into a wall made of stone
So maybe some day another child / Won’t feel as alone

It’s just got that feeling to it like you’re about to start singing something serious or something, and it’s well within my comfortable singing range, so a dozen years later it’s well burned into my neural pathways.

That’s why I’m so impressed to see P.O.S. knock out a quick loop on a synthesizer and effortlessly sing this song much better than I ever could.  One thing I love about his version is how much more he enunciates the punchline to this bitter little song about a kid in a mental institution:

What you taught me, put me in here.  Don’t come visit.

There’s a no-commercial version on YouTube but the sound and video quality on this one makes it worth sitting through the commercial:

Then, just to remind you… don’t underestimate the power of the scrawny, apoplectic young Vedder himself doing the song in his heyday:

And lastly, if you’re curious what kind of music P.O.S. really makes, it’s kind of smart, ascerbic rap.  This is the track I’m really impressed by from Never Better called Savion Glover:

this blog post is now over, thank you for reading.
as a reminder, it was called: P.O.S. – “There’s no auto-tune in grunge music.”
it's categorized as: Reviews, Songs
link to it, please: Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Dan Deacon – Bromst

Dan Deacon - Bromst

Bromst is pretty sweet.  I know that the first couple of songs might freak you out, but it’s not going to bore you.  It’s kind of hard core and tender at the same time.  I love the cover, a lot like the Dept. Of Eagles cover, it’s just one little scene highlighted in the dark of night.

Plus, they have a song called Woof Woof with a lot of meowing sounds, but even in the two songs I’m featuring here, you might not be able to get how weird the album really is.  If you like this kind of thing, then there’s a lot to love in Bromst.  Even if you don’t… listen to each song once, close your eyes, and let the weirdness overcome you.

I hear that when Dan Deacon performs live, he performs in the audience instead of up on stage, and has the audience participate in making the music.  That sounds cool.



Woof Woof:

this blog post is now over, thank you for reading.
as a reminder, it was called: Dan Deacon – Bromst
it's categorized as: Albums, Reviews
link to it, please: Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Early Impressions of Homegrown


So when a new restaurant opens in Fremont, land of the upscale tech worker, it’s a big deal.

And when it’s a “Sustainable Sandwich Shop”, that’s even a bigger deal.  The also brand new and next door Phở place, Lucky’s Phở , was packed with people from day one.  There’s already a gourmet sandwich shop in the hood, so the bar is set high.  But I think Homegrown really has legs.  

I had a half sandwich of the Chicken Thigh Sandwich with: bacon, lavender pear butter, goat cheese and mixed greens on whole grain.  It was kinda tiny but it was also under six bucks.  I got a cup of their soup of the day, a chicken chili with hominy and delicious in it.  And a soda… under ten dollars.  This is a lunch place.

It’s all wooden and friendly inside.  The feng shui could use a little love but this is good stuff.  There’s beer, decent coffee, they compost everything… and they stay open until seven so you can go get an early dinner after work.  

I’ll update you when I’ve tried half the menu.

this blog post is now over, thank you for reading.
as a reminder, it was called: Early Impressions of Homegrown
it's categorized as: Restaurants, Reviews, Seattle
link to it, please: Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

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