f 7inchSlam.com: February 2008


Playing Ketchup on 2007

Great pun, eh? I kill me. I must say, I do believe I've hit the point in my life where the concept of putting ketchup on any food significantly repulses me. Even when treading back to the fried potato and its many uses, I would prefer hot sauce, Heinz 57, or even a more vinegar-based thinner ketchup like Momma A cans back home in West Virginia. But enough about that. Seems people were quite stoked to see us back yesterday. Luckily, I still have a hard drive full of food pictures, so let's get down to it with a quick wrap-up of the end of the year. There should be some more fun posted later today as well.

Do you have a favorite sandwich that you make? I've invented a few in my day. I've even prepared some here on the blog. But I've decided in the last few months that I have one true sandwich love: the tuna melt. Never before has a deli food captured my flitting attention span like this one. My old man taught me how to make tuna salad back when I was a young man, and I've held onto his version ever since. For starters, here is the recipe:

You need to start with the following, I'm basically making these measurements up:

1 medium onion, diced (I prefer the yellow ones, but any kind will do, red ones look great)
2-4 cans of Chunk Light tuna in water (I like Star-Kist, but whatever works)
2 stalks fresh celery, diced
Heinz Spicy Brown Mustard
Mayonnaise (probably three tbsp.)
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1/4 cup dill relish
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the tuna, onion, and celery. Add the relish and mayo while stirring. Squeeze two lemon wedges over the mixture. Add salt and pepper. Put it in the fridge for three hours or so. When it's cold and mixed and all that, slap it on some bread and melt with colby-jack, cheddar, whatever yellow cheese you dig. Add tomato if you're a boss like me. This is so simple and tastes so fucking awesome. You'll know when it's good. Just keep adding more of the ingredients till you get what you want. With olive oil bread, tomato, and colby-jack, you get something like this:

I would recommend going heavier on the pepper than the salt. I don't dig sodium that much, know what I mean?

So since I've been eating false "healthy" sandwiches like that, you may as well see the other stupid thing I eat when I'm broke that no one else ever touches. This, however, is not dripping with mayo and cheese, and it's vegetarian to boot. So whatevs, I'll tell you about this one. This dish came from an idea Lil' Suzz got from our family friends The Sofskys back in WV. Cook some macaroni, throw some Bragg's Amino Acids on it, and you have a cheap meal that will fill you up. And while that tastes good and all, I was spending most of my food money on fruits and vegetables and other stuff at the super-market and I figured this dish could be improved upon.

So what I did was prepare and chop up a bunch of normal vegetables: garlic, carrots, celery, tomatoes, onions, zucchini, and mung bean sprouts. Boil your macaroni, dump all this stuff in a pan with a tiny bit of olive oil (and a secret pat of butter), then slowly add the cooked macaroni a little at a time and keep squirting it with Bragg's. Add the tomatoes last. Add some spices (whatever you like, I don't care), then top it off with Sriracha and mix it together. Cook it for about ten minutes and you're gold. So if you're one of those shitty "foodie" punks who spends your parents' money getting Thai food every night, fuck you. When you've almost shot your wad and spent your last dollars on records and booze, you can spend eight dollars, cook this, and eat reasonably well for about four days. So I'm adding this to my Best of 2007, and since it doesn't have a name I'm going to christen it: "Hey, I'm Fucking Broke" Pasta. It got me through a lot of rough times concerning my financial situation, and now that I'm back in the game and HAVIN' THANGS, I still cook it anyway.

You can post all the food porn you'd like on YOUR food blog, but these pictures probably aren't great and I'm sure you think this dish sucks. Let me be the first to assure you, it does not. Moving on...

Finally, on the food front, Lil' Suzz has also taken to baking muffins around the house. When I came home last week, she pulled these banana-nut muffins straight from the oven. Eating these while they're hot is an intense and passionate sensation. I try to stay away from sugar as much as I can, but life isn't worth living if you deprive yourself everyday. For those with a sweet-tooth:

And to top off my Best of 2007, let's get to some records. Well, let's get to a band who put out some records. Say hello to The Lamps.

The Lamps are one of my current favorites and along with the likes of Cheater Slicks, Goodnight Loving, Sonic Chicken 4, and some other great bands, their second LP released on In The Red wormed its way into my brain with plodding Cro-Magnon drums and gritty, over-worked, mashing guitar noise that coagulate to form a slime that seeps all over the pronounced bassline that is the glue of every track. No wonder Lamps bassist Tim Ford has an eponymous song written about him on their new 7" on Hook or Crook.

The Lamps hit the gut like watching a treasured knick-knack hitting a hardwood floor in slow-motion. Those afraid of raw harsh screams, guitar tones that threaten to pin your ears open, and debased weirdo lyrics look elsewhere. While not as vile or misanthropic as a peer like Brainbombs, the Lamps present a more modern take on testicle-wrenching noisy punk. And when you can shake the riff of opener "Eliseo" on the new S/T LP (with the lion artwork up above) from your brain, you are blown back again with the next cut. Much like a good yoga class, the Lamps leave you feeling exhausted. And sometimes I need that the most.

I have more written about this record for my Top 10 coming soon on Terminal Boredom (hopefully this week, so when that happens I'll link you there). Pictured above you can see the Lamps discography, minus the V/A split on Borox. All these records are necessary purchases if you can find them (the foreign stuff may be tough, especially the SSLD 7" - limited to 256 or so; and I believe the first 12" is OOP as well), so start digging on eBay. Those are some of the things I really liked last year. Hope you can handle it.

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Eleven Months Later

Welcome back. What have you been up to, there, pallie? Hopefully you re-read over these posts again and again drooling over calories long burned off and grooves since worn thin on our turntable, because obviously no one wrote anything at all. But I've decided to begin the slow and painful update process that I labored over so many moons ago. And now that I've invested the twenty-five dollars it costs to get an unlimited Flickr account, I've written myself into at least a year of servitude for you, my loyal readers. And yes, this means that the records sent my way will be reviewed in a timely manner, and I'll take a lot more pictures of the stupid things I've been ingesting. So hold on for the ride. Let's begin. Rot Shit Tour Food, January 2008. Go.

First thing's first. I love Memphis. This is going to sound crazy, but one look at a supermarket there while I slipped away as the rest of the drones were getting the van fixed was enough to tell me that I needed to try something new and delicious here, given the variety of fresh ingredients even a lowly Kroger (still a far sight better than most slop n' shop supermarkets) can possess:

I'm not sure if they have a farm in back of the building or not, but look clean and fresh and well-aligned everything is! As someone who will organize his silverware on his plate to make a server's job less stressful, my pre-OCD brain got quite stoked when I laid eyes on the tantalizing collection.

Here's another:

I purchased an apple, a Naked smoothie (tour requires vitamins that no gas station can provide), and a piece of this very tasty chicken. No sense overdoing it right away:

And before you raise your hackles at me for not going to Gus' for chicken or Payne's for BBQ... A) Payne's was closed. B) I got to sit in a Midas for five hours with a nonsensical redneck couple and four mentally challenged travel companions. I spent my time drawing aliens until I couldn't take anymore. Then I began to walk down Summer Avenue, but with no jacket on, I ducked into the first interesting eatery I saw. And this one actually happened to be in a gas station. Say whazaaaap to my main man Clyde. Welcome to his spot, appropriately named Clyde's:

I wandered into a gas station to find a very clean and very hospitable lunch counter. And this place happened to be what my black friends would term: "The Spot". Things were buzzing. Clyde called one his boys to see about fixing our van, but after learning that our vehicle was being held for ransom by a major corporation, I decided to just sit down and order something I'd never had before in lieu of trying a favorite. I tried Clyde's Plate Special and ordered liver and onions with mashed potatoes and cornbread.

I know what you're thinking, and I can stop you there. Liver and onions tastes great! My mother makes an amazing meatloaf, but liver and onions has a similar texture to a skirt steak or something a little tougher than your average crumbled beef. The trick is the gravy. Clyde makes a gravy that is chunky without being lumpy and delicately flavored so that the beef flavor doesn't overpower anything. It also goes GREAT with his mashed potatoes. They were some of the finest I've ever had, and I have no qualms with letting y'all know. And I'm sure even the veggies out there can show some quiet reverence when discussing real Southern cornbread: quite frankly, one of the most delectable culinary standards available.

Count Drugula happened to show up and ordered some chicken and dumplings. Since I thought this was only an item included on Chinese menus, I figured I may as well try this, too. I'm also quite glad I did, because this was another great dish I inexplicably have never eaten, either. Good look, Clyde. If you're down in the Dirty, head over. Tell them the white boy with a camera sent you. I'm sure you'll get the hookup.

There were lots of sandwiches on the menu, too, and not much pork, which one of the dudes sitting next to me said "Don't play roun' heah". But they had sausage on their breakfast menu, so that didn't make much sense. They did sell all-beef hot dogs instead of the pork kind, though, so who knows what I'm saying. We said our goodbyes and headed off to our gig. Quite a fun time. Give Clyde's a go.

I forgot to mention here that I woke up to a lovely real-life breakfast courtesy of Ms. Alicja Trout that consisted of a tasty omelet, home fries (which everyone else missed out on because they were too foolish to lift the lid of a pan on the stove), and butter and jam toast. Not only was she nice enough to mail my Blackberry charger back home to PGH, but this! Thanks Alicja! Alright, that's it for Memphis. Let's get colder.

Welcome to Minneapolis. This is what you drink there:

This is the restaurant any aspiring punk should attend:

Oh, hey, look, a bunch of assholes:

Welcome to the Triple Rock Social Club. One of the dudes in Dillinger Four either owns this place or runs it or something. All the servers there were PUNK ladies that you generally see knitting their own tampons and riding around on tall bikes and other dumb bullshit like that, but they're sweethearts and provide great service (at least to us at 6 PM on a Monday). There is a huge venue at this joint, two huge well-stocked bars, and enough vegetarian options to make even the most hoity-toity veggie wimp take notice and hail the joint as a godsend.

Since I am quite boss and fear nothing, I ordered the Cook's Revenge. This means that the kitchen just makes up something and sends it out. I wasn't sure what to expect, but they invented some kind of crazy Mexican vegetarian chili salad with tofu and fresh spinach and orange wedges. And you know what? You may be insecure and hide behind eating MEAT AND ONLY MEAT with your perforated colon and high blood pressure, but I am a man of the world who eats only the best/worst out there; and on tour, you need all the vitamins, fiber, and veggies you can get. So I fucked that salad up and it tasted great.

Count Drugula stepped up to the plate and ordered the Po'Boy. This tasted better than almost anything under the sun. He almost finished it. I took over with three or so bites left.

Vinnie had a chicken/bacon/swiss number. Looked good:

John K. was one of two actual vegetarians with us. He ordered the mock duck sandwich. Good look. I have now decided to cook real duck at some point very soon, because the veggie option was much better than any of that Boca/Morningstar whatnot.

Wild Bill would not shut up about going back to the Triple Rock so that he could eat the vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner (which is always on the menu). Here's that:

They've got LOTR pinball, too:

Hey, what's up Columbus? Sure, you know this place now because of the Feelers and Psychedelic Horseshit and Times New Viking and Pink Reason, but I've been entranced by this burg for years now, and the Blue Danube Restaurant is only one reason why. I stopped in there and ordered one of the filthiest things I've ever eaten, besides that time I forgot to wash a mushroom and ate soil... the Reuben Dog.

Yeah, that is a huge all-beef dog on a hoagie bun with corned beef, Swiss, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing. Yeah, I ate the whole thing. Yeah, it fell apart and had to be eaten with a knife and fork:

I had it with some great mac n' sleaze and peas were the vegetable that day:

Rich from Psychedelic Horseshit had the fish sandwich. Looked good to me:

Yes, you will ultimately look like shit on tour. It happens:

Also, if you take a look over at bigoleschleep.com, you'll notice that I got to go hang out at some swank rock show in the backstage area. Wanna see what people get to eat back there? Sure you do. They get:

Fruit, booze, and cake...

Fancy vegetable trays where cut-out peppers hold the dip...

Paul Newman Chocolate Bars... wha....?

Million dollar kettle-cooked chips... and some dumbass taking pictures of all of it. Hello rock superstardom!

Don't forget Waffle House. Vinnie ate this:

Finally after nine or ten days, we rolled back into Pittsburgh. The excitement I felt towards the prospects of taking a shower, sleeping in my own bed with clean sheets, changing out of the awful sweatpants I'd been wearing under my jeans in the Midwest the whole time, and eating a healthy delicious meal cooked by none other than Lil' Suzz was palpable. Thanks Suzz!

Tofurky sausage (as high in fat as a burger and therefore the tastiest fake meat around) with asparagus and red and green peppers:

And linguine:

And beers. This is the only one Ciggy did not drink while I was gone. He owes me about twenty-five dollars for fancy beers now. Motherfucker.

That is how to relax when you're home.

More coming up. Please comment/write in/anything. Let me know what you want to see. I'm happy to be back. This was cathartic. And now I need lunch. So I have definitely done my job!

To buy Rot Shit records, go here.
To read more from me about tour or whatever, go here.
To see my favorite thing on the internet, go here.

Get at us!

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