Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Vol. 4 - Food


Suggested by our very own Jason Walton, this mix will get your mouths waterin'! Nine fresh (ha!) cuts about one of life's best activities, eating. And look next week for a curveball of a theme, our reactions in trying to "answer" it with our contributions, and a new addition to the team!

Hasan: Tom Waits - Eggs and Sausage

Normally, I'm not a breakfast person, but that changes when I go to a diner. There's nothing like getting a nice plate of eggs, chicken sausage (I don't dig on the swine), home fries, and toast early in the morning or in the middle of the night. I always end up getting either a burger and fries or eggs and sausage whenever I go to a diner, it seems like they just can't mess up the two, so that's what I always end up getting. Seriously, I'm not trusting your clams or fillet mignon Double T's! "Eggs and Sausage" is much more than a song about food, this Tom Waits classic captures everything about diner people and its atmosphere. See? I can pick something non-metal! Enjoy!

Chris: Toadliquor – Tenderloin

Apologies to all the vegetarians, but I love meat. Rare meat. Meat on the bone. Whatever. Eating it makes me feel fucking primitive, like a hunter-gatherer who’s just killed a mastodon with just a spear. This song definitely evokes that feeling of a successful primordial hunt for me, followed by roasting and eating a slab of meat. Slow-cooked, bloody, primordial meat, expressed through sludgy riffs, tar-flow tempos, and inhuman howls.

Aesop: Slim Gaillard - Potato Chips

Nobody wrote songs about food better than Slim Gaillard (1916-1991). The Cuban-Born singer, multi-instrumentalist, linguist, tap dancer, composer was an absolute hedonist with a voracious appetite for dames, dope, drink, and food. This epicurean zeal is well documented within his massive body of work, but of all Slim’s mouth-watering food songs, my favorite has to be "Potato Chips." The unfettered enthusiasm of his vocal delivery and that raucous saxophone make such a mundane snack seem like a decadent indulgence. I don’t even like potato chips, but this song just makes me think that I perhaps missed something.

Asa: Alice In Chains - Rotten Apple

Opening with a beautifully gloomy bass melody, "Rotten Apple" is a metaphorical soundtrack to something that once tasted sweet now degrading. "Innocence is over," sings Layne Stayley, later adding that "Confidence is broken." I used to listen to this on the bus to school on fall mornings in eighth grade. Life wasn't really gloomy then, but that bassline sounds like how I feel when I get up. I didn't eat apples too much at the time, but I love'em now. My writeup is quickly getting irrelevant...NEXT!

Jason: Dead Kennedys - Soup Is Good Food

I bought this album and Cannibal Corpse's "Butchered At Birth" at the same time. I had not heard either band at the time. When I brought them home, I hated Jello's vocals, and Chris Barnes's vocals. The perfect pairing of disappointment.

About a year later, I tried them both again, and loved both. The perfect pairing of satisfaction.

Here is one of my favorite Dead Kennedys songs, topic appropriate.

Adam: Qui - Freeze

I love ice cream. I also really love riffs. When combined, the potential for greatness is unrivaled. "Freeze" by Qui reminds me of sexy ice cream and has a monolithic riff. David Yow of the Jesus Lizard spews out more of his whacked, semi-unintelligible prose while two shirtless dudes wank off on their instruments. Probably the only great Qui song, this is song makes me air guitar almost every single time I hear it. That's just a little ice cream!

Quinn: Pretty Girls Make Graves – If You Hate Your Friends, You’re Not Alone

This comes from one of my favorite albums of all time: Good Health. The first time I listened to it, I was entirely captivated by the interplay between the guitar parts of J Clark and Nathan Thelen. The only thing I had heard beforehand that was anything like it was the relationship between the riffs of Jim Ward and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez of At the Drive-In. The riffs sound disparate but work really, really well together. They are frenetic but razor-sharp in their focus.

Once again, my choice doesn’t actually deal in literal terms with the week’s theme. I was racking my brain for a good pick when I remembered the chorus to this song where singer Andrea Zollo mentions a “girl with an ice cream cone” in a metaphor to express jealousy, selfishness, and the general pettiness of some people. I was thinking about choosing Be Your Own Pet’s “Food Fight!” but that just seemed to easy and definitely a bit lazy on my part.

Bitsy: Iron And Wine - Bird Stealing Bread

Come 3AM Thursday morning, my racked brain was ready to surrender to this theme. Shortly after that moment of defeat, Sam Beam softly crooned the answer into my little sleep-deprived ears. “Bird Stealing Bread” may have little to do with the actual idea of food itself; however, its reference to food makes for an excellent metaphor. Lyrically, Beam recalls a time when a seagull got the best of him and his bread at the beach. He openly compares that feeling of being used to his own personal woman troubles. Food? Sam Beam? It's an amiable combination. Beautifully constructed and performed, Beam’s “Bird Stealing Bread” is an easy listen, but not half as satisfying as a midday Chipotle run.

Jess: The Food - Oxbow

With trying new food, there comes a level of hesitance. I think skepticism is rather appropriate when it comes to popping a bite of some foreign specimen in your mouth. Sure you don't have to take the bite, instead letting it level with your taste buds for several seconds with the option of pitching the chunk in your napkin. That's not necessarily the most polite maneuver, although I have to say it's happened several points throughout my lifetime. But when it comes to noise rock, my upchuck rate is still grounded at zero. Then again, my 'buds could use many more meetings with the noise rock. The Food proves that instinctual acceptance once again. There's no doubt a resurgence of early '90s Amrep tribute is reviving tongues with tasteful substance. That said, The Food's "Oxbow" is a new flavor that's worth having at least one night a week. But if you're like me with a limiting income, used to brewing angel hair and marinara three nights week, you'll probably be spinning this tune more frequently.

Download the Food mixtape HERE.


  1. Ween - Pure Guava

    Seriously one of the most significant "alternative" records of all time. Distorted vocals, psychedelic instrumentation, and lots of lyrical inside jokes make for a mush of sound that's both hilarious and intellectual. Really? Intellectual? Boognish knows how many times I strapped this record on in life study drawing class. Somehow the sloppier the playing, the better it is. And "Touch My Tooter" was probably the first punk song I ever really enjoyed.

  2. I would like to see some sort of Freaky Friday type situation where Jello and Chris Barnes switched places. I imagine that it would only make the DKs and CC that much more awesome.

  3. Ben, I will eventually make a plae for Ween in one of these mixtapes. Hahaha. I'm glad you thought of that one, though. I always think of Ween as a Blumensheid band...