f 7inchSlam.com: September 2006


What are they feeding those kids in Cleveland? Definetly not anything this good.

When you live in Pittsburgh like I do, you get bummed about it from time to time. Our economy sucks, our football team is 1-2, and you can't even buy booze in a gas station. Our music scene has some gems, but there's always some dork on the internet who's gonna post about how it sucks. Every now and then, Pittsburghers get bummed about being from Pittsburgh. So what do we do to cheer ourselves up?

Drive to Cleveland.

Pittsburgh is like that girl at the party who's not the best looking, but compared to her terrible little sister named Cleveland, she starts looking pretty damn good. So after a trip to Cleveland, I'm proud to sport my black and gold and put Heinz ketchup on absolutely everything. Even on our worst day, we're so much better than their best day. Here's why:

On my worst day, and I have a lot of them, I'll wake up at 10 even though I could've slept till noon. I'll stumble into the living room and watch Roseanne DVDs and be lazy. Eventually, I have to eat. On my worst day, I never know what to cook and it always ends up being veggie dogs and potatoes. I eat this meal a lot, its easy and doesn't require me to think very much. Plus I'll eat a veggie dog any chance I get. And, when this is what you make when you can't think of anything else, you're doing pretty well, because this is a great meal.

Start out by heating up some olive oil in a pan. Slice up a potato into thin slices. Fry 'em up. Let them go for ten or fifteen minutes, and don't forget to stir them up so they don't burn. Drop in some sliced onion, garlic, peppers, and whatever else you've got in the vegetable crisper. This is something that anybody can do, and everybody should do, but none of those yabbos in Cleveland ever will do.

After the potatoes are almost done, toss in a couple veggie dogs. Roll them around with the garlic and onions and let all the flavors meld together, while you toss a couple hot dog buns in the toaster oven. You also need a green vegetable to go with the potatoes and dogs, but I'll leave that up to you. Grab a plate and be happy that even when you can't think of anything to cook, you're still eating really, really well.

Even when you aren't imaginative enough to cook up new and exciting food, you still want delicious food, right? And when you're in the mood for a record but don't have anything new to play, you still want a hot record, right? The Black Lips are like veggie dogs and potatoes to me. I'll throw on the Black Lips a couple times a week, when I don't have any new or exciting records that I feel like experimenting with.

Last weekend I had the opportunity to go see the Black Lips for the second time. The only problem was that their show was in Cleveland. So I piled in a car with three other dudes, threw on some Reigning Sound, and talked about chicks. Before we knew it, we were at the Beachland Tavern, about to see one of our favorite bands. These In the Red rockers brought a fog machine, a strobe light, a bunch of hot jams, and a fairly new 7". The 3 track release was recorded at a party in their hometown of Atlanta, and sounds way better than a live record from a party should sound. The A side is clearly the better of the two, with their song "Oh Katrina". Opposite the catchy jam about a hurricane is a live version of "Sea of Blasphemy" from their Let It Bloom LP and a Link Wray cover that I already forgot. This is a hot record, and you should definetly pick it up. There's probably tons of them left, because none of the kids at the show in Cleveland cared about the Black Lips. The majority of their fans at the show made the drive from Pittsburgh, and the majority of their merch made the drive back to Pittsburgh.

If you live in Pittsburgh, its inevitable, you'll drive to Cleveland for a show. You'll see a great band, and you'll be the only one that cares. Then you'll sit at the bar and wonder why all these dorks are there to see some garbage like Be Your Own Pet. At least you can drive back to Pittsburgh, stop and get a few Sparks on the way, and make veggie dogs the next day. Life in Pittsburgh ain't so bad after all.

EDIT 12/13/06 -- Lil' Vinnie just posted the entire Black Lips Live at Rob's House set on Sendspace. Its the entire set, not just the songs on the 7". I have no idea how long this will be available, so grab it while you can!

-- John

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Growing up food stamp rich in western Pennsylvania’s Fayette county, nutrition wasn’t exactly a top priority in my shitbox of a family. Amongst the destroyed Christmas trees, broken windows, welfare cheese, wrecked cars, shotguns, broken noses, small time weed dealing, Pechin’s cheeseburgers, cigarettes, Satanic Heavy Metal mayhem, dirty denim, wood’s porn, junkyard dogs, comic books and thousands of gallons of cheap beer it wasn’t too hard for a well balanced meal to get lost in the shuffle.

The majority of my young diet consisted of “free lunches”, JR Simplots microwave French Fries, generic “nacho flavored” chips, TV dinners and lots of high fructose corn syrup. Not to say that my mother couldn’t whip up a lovingly prepared, down home fried pork chop, mashed potatoes with greens and a side of cornbread type meal when she was so inclined. It’s just that she was rarely ever, “so inclined”. One of her easiest outs was the sandwich that I’m going to make for this entry.

Thanks to good ole Isaly’s, chipped ham has long been a Pittsburgh (and by extension Western Pa.) favorite. Making due with what you’ve got is often the law of the land when times are tough and we made due with chipped ham a little too much. We’d have it cold for lunch with white bread and ketchup (this hillbilly concoction still sends shivers up my spine) hopefully garnished with some chips and then we’d have it fried for dinner with a dollop of Velveeta-esque welfare cheese and mustard on toast, maybe a side of baked beans. I’m gonna make my version of the latter only slightly embellished, not to fancy up this not so classic recipe (I’ll save that bullshit for those kitsch loving dorks who think things like the Spam cookbook are quaint) but to clean out the leftover items in my fridge.

So what I started with was the basic ingredient, a quarter pound of Isaly’s chipped ham. Then I broke out what I already had, one egg, a slice of pineapple, bell peppers, chopped onions, a slice of American cheese and a sausage roll. Fry ‘em all in one large skillet, starting with the egg (with lots of pepper is the recommendation)…toss the peppers and onions on the egg and after they’ve set a little, flip, flop and fry. The chipped ham, bun and pineapple will cook quickly and can be added at the same time, don’t forget to toss a slice of cheese on the egg. Add spicy brown mustard and the sides of your choice. Pictured here are Doritos, Mountain Dew (for the childrens) and a Black Label.

My musical selection for this garbage sandwich entry is a man who should really need no introduction but I’ll give it a go anyway:

Long haired redneck, Ohio born shit kicker, Mormon, ex-con, David Allan Coe’s music has probably been talked about way more than it’s actually been heard. His filthy “party records” filled with sexual misadventure and hillbilly bumfuckery have long been the stuff of under the counter legend. However, DAC is no one trick filth pony and his solid 70’s records are some of the best outlaw country ever produced. At times boastful, angry, sad and happy he covers a lot of ground that should make anyone with a refined hillbilly, chipped ham eating taste happy. I’d especially recommend digging up the “Human Emotions” LP. The country boogie gutwrench of the track “Suicide” is itself alone worth the price of admission. Lots of false rednecks (Kid Rock, Pantera) have jumped on Coe’s bandwagon for some sort of outlaw credibility, so be sure to steer clear of anything that involves those morons. Also be wary of some of his 80’s output as Coe took a real shine to the hero of middle aged frat boys everywhere, Jimmy Buffett.

Now that your ears enjoying the sordid country waxings of David Allan Coe and your gullet is stuffed with hillbilly concoctions of mind bending proportions it’s time to settle down for some light reading. In true Fayette county fashion, I acquired these little artifacts in the great 1989 Christmas “Weed for Comics” debacle. Now DC may have had your Matter-Eater Lads, Rainbow Batmans and Arm Fall Off Boys for shear insipid four color enjoyment but those turgid characters have nothing on the psychotronic madness of the Comics Code approved SON OF SATAN!

For your studies:

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Stolen Pierogies Just Taste Better

When I was trying to decide what food to cook and what record to review for you guys, I couldn't come up with anything. I had plenty of ideas, but none of them were working out. I already wrote about my favorite thing in the world -- being sleazy, so I had nothing to talk about.

Then I remembered that I could just steal all my ideas off other people. I'm a white male, and if there's one thing we know how to do, its steal. First we stole America from the Indians. Then we populated it with a bunch of laborers that we stole from Africa. Then a couple hundred years went by, and we white males started stealing presidential elections from each other. So in the grand scheme of things, my theft of a recipe isn't too big of a deal.

Earlier this summer Steve, Suzi, and I went to a potluck barbeque in the half-college half-ghetto neighborhood of South Oakland. The Pittsburgh punx were all there, and they all brought food. Amidst the sea of black t-shirts, I spotted some buffalo pierogies that our friend Paul brought. I slammed a bunch of them then got drunk and forgot about them until today. So with my hazy memory of buffalo pierogies, and the help of google, I decided to steal the recipe and recreate them.

Homemade pierogies are great, but they're way too much work for a Monday afternoon lunch. So you can feel free to use some frozen Mrs. T's pierogies, I used potato and onion. Put some olive oil, hot sauce, and cayenne pepper in a bowl and mix them all up. Use whatever kind of hot sauce you want, I used Frank's Red Hot. Toss the pierogies in the bowl one at a time, still frozen, and get them covered with the oil and hot sauce mixture. Make sure you spray a baking sheet with Pam, because these things will definetly stick. Put the pierogies on the baking sheet and give 'em 20 minutes in the oven. Flip them over after ten minutes, and add more sauce if you want, I did.

These pierogies are gonna come out of the oven a little crispy on the outside, with a nice soft mashed potato inside, just the way a traditional pierogie should taste. But a traditional pierogie never took a bath in hot sauce and oil. These things have some punch to 'em, and you don't even notice it until after the first one. After two or three of these you'll be wiping the sweat out of your eyes with that Ramones t-shirt that your girlfriend told you not to wear anymore. Who could ever argue with combining pierogies and buffalo wings? Definetly not me, especially when you pair them with a vegetarian bratwurst and some green beans. These pierogies were definetly at least as good as I barely remember them to be.

Not only am I gonna steal my food idea for this article, I'm gonna steal my music idea too. At the same backyard barbeque where I first discovered buffalo pierogies, I also rediscovered some great music. Local ragers Pyramid Scheme opened the show, but most of the bullet belted punk rockers were there to see Oakland, California's Annihilation Time. The long haired punk rockers probably all already know about this band, but I need to make sure that everybody gets into these guys. They're usually described as Black Flag meets Black Sabbath. If you're gonna combine two bands that go as well together as buffalo wings and pierogies, then Annihilation Time are the buffalo pierogies of punk rock. You want riffs? They've got it. Tasty licks? They've got that too. They're also pretty into drugs and chicks from Pittsburgh, so they've got all their bases covered. The aptly titled second LP, II, is out on Six Weeks Records. They only pressed a thousand of 'em, so make sure you pick one up before they sell out, which may have already happened.

When you take two things that are great in their own right and combine them to make something greater than the sum of their parts, you know you've got a winner. Buffalo wings are great, pierogies are too, but together they are unstoppable. The same goes for ass kicking hardcore combined with stoner riffs and long hair. You guys should keep combining two good things to make one great thing, and I'll steal the ideas and write about them three months later.

- Posted by John.

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Pittsburgh rules!

Yesterday was the first regular season game of our beloved Pittsburgh Steelers. John-Boy and I took a trip across the river to inspect the whos, wheres, and whats of the tailgating community these days. It turns out Pittsburgh's football fans have also come up with some excellent culinary ideas that will please any palate.

First off, you need some Steelers gear if you're going to attempt to talk to anyone. John-Boy's Persuaders t-shirt caused someone to look at us and say "Are you going to put a negative slant on tailgating?" Jesus fucking Christ, lady. I know we're degenerates and all, but we still like Steelers football. Luckily, I had my shirt .and was ready to go. However, I was not as ready as I thought for the endless avalanche of food and booze that was soon pushed upon me.

As soon as we walked up to the parking lot, we walked over to the first RV we could find with a buffet table setup outside and large coolers. This indicated to us that these people not only had food and beer, but most likely plenty of it. Anyway, we sauntered over, and I put John-Boy on the case in talking to folks first, as I was surveying the scene and mentally mapping out a route for us to take through the parking lots. We were greeted by a woman named Jenny (who was really nice and had a sweet rack, too). She was with three toothless weirdos who were cooking hot sausage sandwiches with meatballs. As a rule, I generally eat hot sausage at any chance I can get. She was kind enough to offer me one after we explained what we were doing, and also set us up with our first beers of the afternoon, because they had a shitload of it. We thanked her and moved on, but I definitely got the impression she was into ol' Schleep-O. Sweet.

Moving on down the line, we came to an extremely impressive tailgate featuring the following: a giant inflatable Steeler on top of a painted Steelers van with a keg system run through it; a deep-fryer doing not only wings, but provolone sticks, fried shrimp, and anything else you could think of; a large grill with steaks, chops, wings, etc., the list goes on and on. We started rapping with the folks milling around and were given a guided tour of everything and offered, once again, beers and food. It was too crowded for us to get around the grill, but I didn't want to blow my wad so quick in the preceedings, stomach-wise. We happily sampled a beer and explained this website to them. Everyone either though we were crazy or made dirty jokes about the name.

We got dragged by these people (a woman who wanted to be indentified only as Lynn, and some other lady who kept talking about her son's college golf career) to another tailgate run by a dude named Hector. Hector was really nice and had some good-looking stuff. Check this out:

I definitely took part in some of that. Hector had a keg, and by now I figure we had hit three different tables and had four or five beers. So as we resolved to keep being as polite and nice as possible, we were slowly getting more full and more drunk as things went along (which would probably explain my sweaty, drunken, horrible hair in EVERY SINGLE PICTURE).

Moving on down the lot, we met a dude named Tim. Tim was nice enough to show us the spread at his vehicle, and he had some stuff that was actually vegetarian for John-Boy. I enjoyed a great pulled pork sandwich, some wings, pizza rolls, and plenty of Iron City:

Tim also had desserts for those with a sweet tooth (AKA: NOT ME), Here's a shot of Tim's primary stuff. Very classy. We sampled the dips, cheese, etc. There were also stellar meatballs at this table. And this one was extremely clean, which I always find to be a plus:

By now we'd scoured a lot of the parking lot. PBC was giving out free beer, so we had some of those. All you had to do was give them a fake email and get a wristband. They had Augustiner, which I never drink, but I figured I'd sample as much as I possibly could. By now we were just being handed beers, which then went directly into my backpack. Things were heating up and it was getting more and more fun as we walked. Game time was closing in, so we tried to make a final run through both lots, so as not to miss anything.

Moving along, we ran into the grandfather of all tailgates. I say this because these very nice ladies and gentleman had an RV painted black and gold the size of a fucking PAT bus. This place had the largest bar that didn't employ a CO2 system. The guy was very nice, but he didn't believe for a second that either of us were 21, he then ID'ed us and made us go eat food before we could have any beer. Can't say I blame him. We look like we have a combined age of 28 between the two of us. However, he did hook me up with an awesome steak sandwich. John-Boy went straight to the pasta salad and vegetables.

After crossing through the lots (more pictures can be found HERE [for food only] and HERE [for everything]), the game got closer and closer, and eventually we had to split so we could watch it on TV (tickets ain't cheap). As I started to make the walk back downtown for the bus, I could only reflect on how much Pittsburgh loves its football and takes even the biggest party very seriously. Quite inspiring. I'll leave off the food portion with this, our only attempt at a Steelers art photo (where's Icki when you need him?):

All in all, a beautiful Pittsburgh afternoon. We went on to beat the Dolphins 28-17 that night. Go Steelers!

Pittsburgh is known for a lot of things. One that most in the know recognize is our excellent hardcore punk scene. They say if you do something, do it well. This will most likely be the outstanding DIY underground achievement Pittsburgh is known for (the Swamp Rats notwithstanding). New bands like Brain Handle, Warzone Womyn, FLAK, and Kim Phuc are all recording, touring, putting out records, and playing lots of shows. But the most well-known and most respected band in the current Pittsburgh DIY hardcore scene would have to be veterans Caustic Christ.

Caustic Christ arose from the ashes of Aus Rotten in 2000-2001. They've been a fixture here in the Pittsburgh punk scene ever since. While Aus Rotten focused on a heavier-than-the-norm UK peace-punk style similar, in my opinion, to a band like Crucifix, Discharge, or Rudimentary Peni, Caustic Christ has taken classic American hardcore and whittled it down to some of the most crushing tunes ever put to wax. They've released most of their records on Havoc Rex, aside from two splits (one with Pittsburgh's Intense Youth and one with Philadelphia's R.A.M.B.O.).

With quite an extensive discography so far (an LP/CD, three EP's, two splits), Havoc has now recently released what I consider to be their best record yet: the LP/CD "Lycanthropy". I was lucky enough to catch the record release show here in town with touring punks Direct Control and Strung Up. Needless to say, it was a pretty vicious display of pummelling hardcore, but Caustic Christ stole the show.

Caustic Christ has truly come into their own on this LP. The most obvious reason is easily heard in the first track "The Caustic Curse". This mid-paced pounder is easily my favorite tune of theirs live and simply grinds along with throaty vocals from Eric Good explaining his plight of turning into a werewolf. I, for one, relish lyrics like this in hardcore. It's always nice to turn away from the evils of young teenage punks everywhere sometimes and hear a band play something completely wacked and deeply personal. The stops and starts for short instrumental breaks in the tune are great to rage along to in your living room.

Moving along, the record picks up even more steam with a recognizable tune from their recent out-of-print tour EP "Doesn't Anyone Want to Impress Jodie Foster Anymore?" After that, seven more standouts until the final instrumental. A nice surprise, in fact, and when coupled with the guitar work of Bill Chamberlain on this record (hell, the rhythm section of Corey and Greg is unstoppable as well, I shouldn't be splitting hairs here) you get a driving record that can send chills through you when played at the proper volume and with the right mindset.

You should be thinking: Poison Idea, Negative Approach, Flipper (all three of whom I've seen them cover), bands that weren't afraid to stick to the tried-and-true of what makes hardcore great but weren't afraid to bring something new to the table at the same time. I think Caustic Christ's most unique feature is the attitude and feeling you get from these guys when they play, especially from the lyrics. They're more personal than most, and when I say that, I mean, they will sing about punching mirrors until they collapse on the floor because they can't handle society when your band is in your cousin's van talking about smashing the state and rolling your windows up in the ghetto on tour. They know what hardcore punk is supposed to be about. They're not here to kowtow to the current trends. They will show up in their van, set up, tear the place apart, and you'll know what you've seen means something. You've seen a band full of four dudes who turned up all the way, stared you in the face, and condemned your world right in front of you.

I can't say enough great things about this band. They define Pittsburgh punk today, they're still going strong, and they still care enough to book great HC shows, give young bands a chance, and pound you into the dirt if you let them. I can also say they're all extremely great guys, which is a compliment you normally reserve for shitty bands; not in this case.

Pick the record up from the band on their upcoming European tour (if you're out that way in November), or go here to the Havoc webstore. There is a limited pressing of 300 of these on red vinyl with screened covers of a wolf with blood-spatters on it. Havoc says 150 are available for mailorder, while us lucky folks in Pittsburgh got first crack at the other 150. I picked one of the limited ones up at the release show and it looks and sounds great (note: The limited version is priced at $15.00 through Havoc, but the normal version with different cover is set at the normal price of $9.00), but I would assume it's probably long gone by now unless you act fast.

Pittsburgh can be defined by many terms, but I like this: we're no bullshit. We love the Steelers. We love Caustic Christ. Watch out, or we'll roll right over you. A friend of mine once said to some wack-ass hasbeen Homestead Records character: "Bow down to Pittsburgh hardcore punk, washed-up indie rock losers". He was right. I'm sure if Joey Porter knew what that meant, he'd say the same.

*Posted by Steve-O

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Home Cookin' from Both Homes: A Labor Day Special

It's nice to get home and see the folks whenever possible once you've been out of the house for a few years. But while you can not only enjoy yourself at home catching up and spending time with some admittedly badass folks, one should never overlook the comforts you can enjoy on your own when you return. This September 2nd-4th weekend coincided with not only Labor Day, but also Momma A's birthday. So when I got to my lovely old home of Glen Dale, West Virginia on Saturday evening, I knew I was in for great food, drink, and possible shenanigans.

Upon arriving, I was greeted with the excellent surprise of my old man "Johnny Rando"'s marinated flank steak. A fresh piece of flank steak marinated just right definitely can hit the spot over the T-bones and Porterhouses one can purchase at your local butcher shop. My old man has perfected his craft over a number of years, and I must say I can rarely find a leaner, more zesty and flavorful cut of meat.

Top this off with sauteed portabella mushrooms, seasoned slightly too salty for my taste (but hey, nobody's perfect, I rarely salt my food) and the old man's patented homemade Caesar salad.

This salad has gone through remarkable recipe overhauls in the years past. One suitable addition I found was the salty combination of either fresh diced anchovies or anchovy paste to the dressing. The dressing is always homemade and can either take more a more vinagrette consistency, or in tonight's case, a more creamy, thick texture. I find both to be equally suitable. But tonight was nice, since our other side dish was a little more dry.

Top this off with a glass of merlot (my wine of choice for this meal is cabernet sauvignon, but unfortunately my parents switched over after years of CS consumption), and you have an excellent well-rounded meal which will leave you quite full and ready to commiserate with your family about nonsense such as who's married, who's dead, who just got in a car accident, and what the neighbors think of us (addendum: our family is known as "those people"... can't complain about that).

The next day, your BBQ can move into full effect.

Eventually, things start to get moving since company is coming. Parents can generally throw excellent low-key BBQ's, mostly because your tunes are going to be something more along the lines of Leonard Cohen instead of Career Suicide, and you may be having wine with lawyers and teachers and your parents instead of Jacob's Best with the rest of your hoodlum friends; but either is fine by me in this setting.

To start things off, wine and cheese... I know what you're thinking: "This isn't a BBQ, Steve, you're an asshole." You'd be half-right. But anway, we sampled an excellent merlot while I alternated between Rolling Rock pony bottles [a favorite of the old man's] and Pabst. Nothing wrong with that. Andersons aren't little bitches. But we had a fine assortment of cheeses as the afternoon got underway, including muenster, a sharp cheddar, some excellent brie, and Swiss (if memory serves). I was chilling extremely hard and rapping with the old man and other adults, and eventually the conversation turned to the politics of "independent radio" (as in shit like Pittsburgh's WYEP vs. a real indie station like NY/NJ's WFMU), Tom Waits, Sonic Youth, the merits of Bob Dylan (talking about this with a bunch of people over 45... no fun.) in this day and age, and surprisingly, "Bummer Bitch" by Freestone. I think enough people know this tune, so I won't go into too many specifics, but we'll just make sure it's known that this became famous from KBD#2, it's classic snotty punk with one of the world's catchiest choruses, and it will offend any square at any party, no matter where you are. Here's a link to download the tune.

Right before our meal was served, a drunken Schleep-O was cajoled by drunken adults to download and produce the song "Bummer Bitch" on the family Mac. With my folks moving into the 20th century and finally getting cable internet, it was a snap. However, I don't know who among us would want to sit there in the den as that song played, so I hit play and left the room. The adults shuffled out about 1:30 later, and the old man says "Keep that song on the computer." "Bummer Bitch" is now his only iTunes file. I'm waiting for the day when he says that to Big Momma. I will laugh.

Moving back onto the food. Momma A and Johnny Rando outdid themselves with a very nice spread.

In addition to your burgers and dogs, Momma A had whipped up her famous potato salad. There were also deviled eggs (which were out of this world), a fine giardiniera vegetable salad, and a homemade relish tray. Fried chicken was discussed but ultimately not picked up by a certain bum son who got too drunk to drive by 1 PM. Note to readers: Wheeling, WV has an excellent fried chicken procedure: pressure-cooked fried chicken. All this entails is covering your fryer with a large screw-on lid, a technique normally employed by mad scientists or something along those lines. As a nogood teenage punk, I worked as a butcher for four years. One of my other duties was preparing fresh pressure-cooked chicken in the back of the shop. Look into this. I'm sure Southerners have seen this and slammed it. But anyway, Yankees, let's get back to the point. The folks did a fine job, and I thank and commend them (especially for sending me back with a bottle of vino, case of Pabst, two packs of ciggies, and plenty of leftovers.

Finally, it's time to head back to the Big City where I get some much needed pipes and schleep. Waking up on Labor Day is usually pretty sweet. You've generally had a relaxing weekend, and you're probably still full of food. Well, I was, and we decided to have another cookout up here in the city.

Big Suzz and John-Boy helped take part in the preparations today. The first order of business was Suzz was going to make her exquisite guacamole. However, the grocer bummed her out with the quality of their avocados, so Suzz decided to make avocado salad. This was a delightful treat and very simple to prepare. With just some tomato, onion, avocado, a little oil, and some spices you can create a heart-healthy salad that can fill you up and make you forget about dipping things ever again.

Up next, we had plenty of veggie burgers, REAL burgers (vegetarians can suck it today!), and veggie dogs for the grill. But I had an idea to do them one better and marinated some eggplant we picked up from the Farmer's Market. After about half an hour, these were ready to be tossed on the grill with everything else. So we had something for everyone, which is what this blog is all about, isn't it?

The beauty of this is, after grilling the eggplant (which was marinated with olive oil, vinegar, and spices), it was put ON BURGERS.

I did my burger up with provolone, eggplant, sliced onion, tomato, and Momma A's homemade tomato ketchup (the only kethcup I'll ever eat). Quite a delicious burger, and hopefully, first of its kind. Leftover potato salad also got knocked out of the park and back into our stomachs.

So what jams do you rock at the BBQ? We didn't have a million people there, so it was a low-key chill affair in the afternoon. What record just came out recently that would work just right in this context? Well, if you said Reigning Sound's "Live at Goner Records", I'd give you a burger and maybe even a beer.

So far we've written about stuff that people who are not indoctrinated to the rock n' roll lifestyle should be listening to for those certain situations in life. Want some babes in striped shirts? Exploding Hearts. Need solid rock n' soul? Deadly Snakes. Need dumb punk FUN? Sneaky Pinks. Now here's the question... you wanna rock out with your people, hear some of America's best songwriting, great covers, a stellar recording, and just an all-around perfect band? Reigning Sound.

Eric Friedl's Goner Records has dropped a few stellar records in our laps over the past year, and this record and the Knaughty Knights 7" are at the top of the pile for me. From the choice covers of Sam the Sham and Carl Perkins to the souped-up originals and touching ballads, we get an excellent setlist that covers all the Reigning Sound's bases, even down to something like "I"m So Thankful" from "Break Up, Break Down" (most of the vinyl copies of this were damaged in a flood, I don't even have one!). Every song is a killer, even "Two Thieves" (Greg's song from the Compulsive Gamblers "Crystal Gazing Luck Amazing" LP... another gem)which is cut short in the middle due to an electrical problem. And while this band has their praises sung all over the net and in print, when there is a perfect BBQ record (not Mark Sultan, ya mutts), you rock it and you tell everyone about it. Pick this up from Goner, and seek out the other Reigning Sound releases on labels like In The Red, Slovenly, Norton, and Sympathy. Reigning Sound will continue to be the one band in my head that everyone can get together and dig on, and this is a great introduction if you're not sure what to pick up first.

Just to tie this all together, here's a picture taken by yours truly of your man Big Greg C. destroying a hot dog here in our lovely city at the Original Hot Dog Shop.

*Posted by Steve-O


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The Art of Being a Gentleman and a Sleazebag

Are you into being sleazy? Slamming greasy food? Listening to punk records? Getting chicks? Being wasted? Of course you are. You're a grade-A sleazebag.

So am I.

But its also important in life to be a gentleman. Show some class, you punk rockers! There's nothing wrong with putting down the Pabst from time to time and enjoying a nice bottle of wine. Get a haircut, read a book, be an adult for christ's sake!

These two extremes aren't mutually exclusive of one another. They can exist in perfect harmony. You can be a classy, cultured, sleazebag. Here's how:

Start off with something sleazy, like a giant sub and french fries. College kids slam subs and fries all the time. But this isn't delta delta daterape, so we'll class it up a little. Put the Steak-Umms back in the freezer.

Cut up some eggplant and zucchini and saute them in olive oil. While they're cooking slice up some onion, garlic, and peppers. I used some green bell pepper and half a jalepeno, you can use whatever you want, a red pepper might be nice for color. Stir in all the veggies with the eggplant and zucchini, and keep them moving because they burn easily.

If you're gonna want fries with this sub, and trust me, you are, then do them the way no fast food joint ever will. I sliced up three kinds of potatoes, a sweet potato, a yam, and a russet, into thin strips. Toss 'em all in a bowl with a little olive oil. Add some spices, I used red pepper flakes and oregano, and mix them up to make sure everything gets coated. Bake them at 375 or so. I could've deep fried these, but remember, we're being civilized, classy, sleazebags. We care about our health, and basicly we don't wanna get fat.

Forget about the fries for about a half an hour, they'll do their thing. After you saute the veggies for the sandwich, slice up a couple tomato slices and put them on a fresh baked roll. Top that with the sauted eggplant and zucchini mixture, and top that with some fresh cheese. Kraft American Singles aren't gonna cut it here, buddy. I used a nice slice of provolone, and added a little more red pepper and oregano. Put the sub together and put the whole thing in the oven for just a couple minutes. This is so much better than anything any college kid ever walked out of Subway with.

We made a sub and fries go from frat boy classic to something you'd serve your parents, if you ever even bothered to go see them, which you don't. We need a record that's a punk rock classic, but something that Henry Rollins didn't write while lifting weights. We need something fun, a little poppy, definetly nothing political, we need a classy record to go with this classy meal.

The Exploding Hearts first and only LP, Guitar Romantic is what I'd call a classy record. You guys already know that, you probably already love this band. And you should love them, they've got everything a poppy record should have. This record is incredibly catchy, and while it is a poppy record, its not more than you can stomach. This is powerpop, the way the Paul Collins Beat meant for it to be done. This is the record you give to somebody when you wanna get them into good music. This is the record you give to chicks. This is just... the record. And not only is this a hot record that you probably already love, Dirtnap Records is gonna reissue Guitar Romantic on vinyl, as well as a CD with some more rare songs, and video footage. Look for that this Halloween.

So be a sleazebag, its a lot of fun! But be a gentleman at the same time. All your friends are probably passed out on the couch with porn mags and cigarette butts strewn about the house. You can easily outclass them with a little eggplant and a hot record. Get to work!

Posted by John

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