Subways, Sidewalks, Dude Talk
The first BBQ of the year passed recently over at my humble abode. With a group of goons consisting of Slam stalwarts including HONE, Cla$$y Chris, fan favorite Ciggy, and newcomer Eric Courtney, we grilled and jammed and eventually all had to be chauffeured away from the general public that night to mask our drunken loutish behavior which would have put even El Duce or any other Chief's Cafe patron to shame. But while we took over the courtyard on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon wiling away the hours with assorted HONE mixtapes, HEAVY ROCK percolated in our veins, ready to blast through our skin and unleash itself violently, painting the walls with manly aggression while simultaneously setting back progressive politics about forty years.
I wanted to prepare something new for this BBQ, so I took a trip down to the seafood counter down at the grocery store. I picked up a lot of seafood, only some of which I would share with my foolish brothers-in-stomach. I decided that since we had an abundance of skewers in the apartment that belonged to Suzz that I would prepare scallops wrapped in bacon and fresh shrimp on the grill. This turned out to be one of my finest BBQ creations yet, and I have only the loving birthday gift from Momma A and Johnny Rando last year: How to Grill: The Complete Illustrated Book of Barbeque Techniques by Stephen Raichlan to thank.
Here is the grill getting its first use since Pittsburgh became a sopping-wet, snow-covered wintertime muck seven months ago:
I also purchased some tuna steaks and oysters, but those were for me, not my yutz friends, so they will be in a forthcoming entry. After lugging the charcoal back up the street, I dove into the case of Wolaver's Pale Ale that Rob Henry and I had purchased the day before and waited for the guests to shuffle into sight.
The beauty of grilling scallops with bacon is that while scallops normally turn chewy and difficult to manage after a few minutes, the bacon exterior seals in moisture and flavor and keeps the scallop dripping with smoky, delicious (not to mention free) seasonings. The shrimp was left on its own after being skewered and squirted with fresh lemon and dusted with spices. Which one proved to be the winner is difficult to say. Folks like bacon, but I can also respect going sans red/white meat and just enjoying some light but hearty seafood. My own personal tastes drift farther and farther towards our oceanic inferiors as time moves on, but I believe that truly great seafood can overtake most meats when stacked side-by-side.
And naturally, in an effort to piss off some of the sloppier and more pedantic meat-eating readers out there and make myself feel superior simultaneously, I prepared some grilled vegetables which turned out delightfully. Thanks to How To Grill, I spent some of my prep time putting together some eggplant and tomatoes with some fresh basil finally culminating in what became grilled eggplant and tomato with caprese "salsa".
Here is the finished product:
This turned out to be a great idea, since not only could this combo of fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil, and tomato stand alone as a vegetable topping, but it also held up its end of the bargain when Eric Courtney returned from the store and slapped some chicken breasts on the grill afterwards and I took it upon myself to create a Frankenstein monster of a chicken sandwich with all the previously mentioned ingredients. As someone who has been lukewarm on many types of chicken in my life, this hit the spot and provided a nice counterbalance to the upcoming foodstuffs.
After making some burgers and dogs, we decided we needed more ridiculous food. Cla$$y and Cigs headed off to procure more silly meats and then returned with a pile of sausages, lamb chops, encased tubes filled with meat-like puddings, and basically whatever else they could shove into their baskets.
So now we were stocked to the gills with all the chorizo, andouille, blood sausage, spicy garlic knockwurst, kielbasa, garlic ring bologna, liver pudding, kiska with beef blood, and sausage rolls that five diseased minds could cobble together in a quest to further pollute ourselves.
After all this was cooked, it began to rain, so we brought the party back inside and took turns stabbing at plates of sausage in my kitchen like the ravenous ghouls we had become.
If you noticed the secret filet of salmon hidden in the back of the sausage orgy, it's because you're on the ball. Eric Courtney and I made short work of it.
This hot little number is still in my fridge being slowly eaten away, but I thought I'd post a picture of it to let you know that the bologna you hated as a kid is still as delicious as ever and that you are a fool. Someone get me some rye bread and spicy mustard, stat!
So where does this all lead on the great cosmic train of nourishment and pleasure? Well, as I mentioned before, HEAVY ROCK (and the concept of) is here this spring in a big way over on the turntable and especially in this Termbo thread I started. There are two records right now that are blowing the windows out at my house with their constant plays. Hard, grinding, brutal, mean-spirited HEAVY ROCK is the order of the day!
Pictured above is the new 7" by Sacramento, CA's Mayyors. There is literally no web presence to link you to. Mayyors don't do it. No Myspace, no site, no email, no nothing. The band is made up of Sacramento folk including FM Knives' Chris Woodhouse providing his unhinged guitar histrionics in addition to manning the 8-track for the production duties here and also contributing a scalding recording full of the tangential fringe psyche-punk touches that bands like Monoshock mined to great (or not-so-great) success back in the 90's. But here we find the dirges more pronounced and bass-heavy, the guitars and effects panning from speaker to speaker with little regard to the listener, and vocals that David Yow would be proud to spit through a blood-spattered megaphone.
The Gordons "Future Shock" EP may provide a good example of the grinding and hissing that permeates the record's veneer, while filtering the churning murk through any of the modern noise-rock heavies that are experiencing a rejuvenation and rebirth right now (basically what I am saying here is that I don't want to make another Brainbombs comparison that a lot of lazy descriptors have already, because I don't find it applicable). Variety lurks in every revolution of this platter and there are twists and turns a-plenty for those who want to investigate.
While my description is limited, since this record appeared in a pressing of 300 copies issued by the band's own Waste of Oil records that instantly sold out, I suppose you have full license to cop a download of it from your preferred source and form your own opinions. I've had my copy spinning pretty regularly thanks to a quick Paypal finger and S-S listing the last few on his site before the stock dwindled, so unfortunately today I gloat and tomorrow you eBay. Hate to do it to you. There's supposedly another 7" on its way from the band, so keep your ear to the street.
Here is a photo I swiped of them in action from 7inches.blogspot.com:
Speaking of HEAVY ROCK and S-S Records and all the finer things in life, since there are 300 copies of the Mayyors EP and 600 copies of the Billy Bao "Fuck Separation" 10"(pictured above) out there, at least 900 people in the world can own a piece of a brooding, teeth-gnashing scene that grows bigger and bigger everyday. Before the metal chumps take over and buy and sell your band (and they will... do you remember what happened to hardcore?), here is how to get in on the ground floor.
Billy Bao's story is probably one of the more intriguing in modern punk. A Nigerian named Billy Bao ends up having his life saved by punk rock, hurdling cultural walls to the Basque Country in Spain, and then hooks up with like-minded Spaniards to form a juggernaut producing one of the most hypnotic 10" EP's of all time. Here is what he says about himself on his website:
When I came from Lagos (Nigeria) to San Francisco (Bilbao)
life was tough here or there.
I did not mind, I had a purpose in my life:
to fight the system that fucks up everyday of our life. Back in my hometown,
I was an unknown songwriter
but, as soon as I arrived to the streets of Bilbao, I discovered Punk Rock.
It had energy and attitude and was exactly what I needed.
Inspiring, eh? The two songs on this record breathe sonic hate and perilous torture and humankind's descent into the flesh-melting inferno of our own self-awareness and selfishness and greed. The music cross-fades back and forth, confusing and startling the listener, while the grinding riff each song is built upon are played as loudly and strongly every single second of the record. However, the lyrics take on a whole different set of stripes. Instead they tackle European border control and racism on one track and the ghettoization of punk's ideals on the flip. With a curve like that, I began to appreciate this record even more than I did previously. Add to that some exquisite white screened packaging on white vinyl (a direct counterpoint to the Mayyors black on black on black aesthetic) and you have a must-own record that you still have a chance of owning in these heady times that one must navigate with an adventurer's courage and a ready bank account (which is obviously not what it's about, so forgive me while I hold my nose). Fans of anything heavy would be pleased to know that Billy Bao has a few other releases out there, including an LP on Parts Unknown, so do some digging, and I would say check with S-S first.
Also, those sausage sandwiches turned out great the next day: