While in England I picked up a copy of Ruth Rogers’ book on pasta. Rogers is the wife of Richard Rogers, the architect of the Pompidou Center and the Lloyds of London building, and she owns the River Cafe in Fulham (not to be confused with the restaurant of the same name in New York). It’s one of the best Italian restaurants I’ve eaten at, and I especially loved the pasta there.
This spring dish combines fresh peas, mint and prosciutto. Unfortunately Rogers’ book, while gorgeously illustrated, is poorly copy-edited. The recipe casually instructs you to use half the butter in the opening saute, but then never says what to do with the rest of the butter. The hard to follow text then somehow convinced me that I needed to put half the peas, raw, into a food processor with half the prosciutto. In reality I was supposed to use half the cooked peas with a third of the prosciutto. I ended up cooking the processed peas and ham in a separate pan and combining them, but really, if any books need good copy editors it’s cookbooks.
The result was still excellent, the mint’s slight bitterness nicely offsetting the salt of the prosciutto and the Reggiano. I have since cooked another recipe and will be blogging that one shortly.
For those of you who haven’t cottoned on to the gorgeous, powerful sound of the Mission Of Burma Definitive Editions yet, here is another extract.
“OK/No Way” was originally released in 1982 as the non-album B-side of their second single “Trem Two.” The remastered version is on the album Vs.: The Definitive Edition double vinyl, CD and digital album (MP3 or FLAC). A Clint Conley composition, it is one of my favorite Burma songs ever. At the time, it was taken as a nod to hardcore, though in fact Clint wrote it two years before hardcore existed. Rarely performed these days, you will have a chance to see it at the upcoming shows where the band will perform ‘Vs.’ in its entirety (see dates below).
Thu – 6/12 – Boston MA- Paradise – Playing “Signals” in its entirety
Fri – 6/13 – Boston MA – Paradise – Playing “Vs.” in its entirety
Sat – 6/14 – New York NY – Bowery Ballroom – Playing “Signals” in its entirety
Sun – 6/15 – New York NY – Bowery Ballroom – Playing “Vs.” in its entirety
Fri – 6/27 – Philadelphia PA – First Unitarian Church – Playing “Signals” in its entirety
Sat – 6/28 – Washington MD – Black Cat – Playing “Vs.” in its entirety
Fri – 7/18 – Chicago IL – Pitchfork – Playing “Vs.” in its entirety
Sat – 7/19 – Detroit MI – Bohemian National Home – Playing “Signals” in its entirety
I hate breakfast. Actually, I like breakfast food – I just don’t like eating in the morning. I generally have a cup of coffee and nothing else in the first two hours of waking. Only then does my appetite come to life. This is obviously not an ideal state of affairs because everyone says you do better over the course of the day if you eat breakfast. Hence grits, a subject that has always fascinated me because I never had them growing up (in the North). An article by John Thorne in his latest book, Mouth Wide Open, persuaded me to give it a try.
I ordered 4 bags of artisanal, stone-milled white grits from Anson Mills in South Carolina, and a cheap slow-cooker from Rival. Real grits require soaking and then an hour of cooking, which obviously is not going to work in the morning, and Thorne discovered that you can put them in the slow cooker overnight and they will be ready the next day. A half cup of grits takes 2 1/4 cups of water, a teaspoon of kosher salt and a tablespoon of butter.
This morning they turned out to be ready, with a nice crust that could be scraped off and stirred back in. I grated some fresh Reggiano in and now I’ve eaten them. They were good, subtly corn-flavored, a bit salty. Though it still feels weird to have eaten this early. I’ll report back and how it affected my day (if at all).
For those of you who want some higher-bitrate Jonathan Meiburg in the Falklands action, we now have the entire Searching For Johnny Rook series available in shimmering, vibrant Quicktime. The videos are now even more stunning!
Matador’s rusty brains brain trust were amongst the lucky throng observing the kick-off of Jaguar Love‘s U.S. tour in Pomona, CA this past Sunday night. We’re still trying to figure out how to repair the synapses that were snapped like twigs. The new Jaguar Love quintet are already so scary-good this early in their existence, venues oughta bar patrons from entering during the final 30 minutes of the performance. That’s the only William Castle gimmick we’ll suggest this time — no 3D lenses are necessary when this band is on stage. They’ve got dimensions to spare.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008 San Diego, CA Beauty Bar
Thursday, May 29, 2008 San Francisco, CA Popscene
Friday, May 30, 2008 Modesto, CA Fat Cat
Saturday, May 31, 2008 Eugene The Indigo District
Monday, June 02, 2008 Vancouver, BC Richards on Richards
Tuesday, June 03, 2008 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theatre
Wednesday, June 04, 2008 Seattle, WA Neumos
Saturday, June 18 2008 Coney Island, NY Siren Festival
Hey, we’re actually getting these out at a somewhat regular clip. Like we’re supposed to. The 3rd 7″ single in Jay Reatard‘s series of 7″ 45′s for the Matador label will be released on June 24. The a-side, “Always Wanting More” has been in circulation for a while via Matador’s Intended Play compilation, but we’re pretty confident the song is good enough that you’ll want to own a proper vinyl version. B-side “You Mean Nothing To Mean” is previously unreleased.
The sleeve design is by Lindsay Shutt, with a package our Mr. Amory describes as “a clear plastic sleeve with Dangerhouse-style paper half-insert; the disc is clear one-sided vinyl with both tracks on the a-side and a silkscreen design printed directly onto the b-side.”
Information on how to preorder this 7″ directly from us is forthcoming.
On a separate tip, here’s Aquarius Records’ assessment of ‘Just Farr A Laugh, Vol.’s I & II’
For this review, we recruited AQ pal Cliff Hengst, artist and co-editor of “Good Times: Bad Trips”:
I love me some good prank phone calls. A great prank call can be the most devastatingly funny thing ever – it’s just you and the caller, and of course, the poor sap at the other end (who never seems to get the clue to just hang up). Of the many prank-call cds we’ve listened to, this one stands out as among the most brilliant and repeatedly played. It’s perfect for those long road trips to stave off the urges to cause injury to your traveling companions. Reissued as a double cd with 25 extra pranks (the original, released in 2002 was fine enough), it’s packed with some of the most memorable and pathetic characters you’ve ever heard. The middle-aged and recently divorced Barbara, who loves the “stanky blues” of Bonnie Raitt, trying to join a band to spite her ex-husband; Barbara’s ex-husband in turn calling the same poor dude warning him about his ex-wife and her “buffet of psycho-tropic drugs”; Bedroom ETA , a “quiet storm” band that involves a hilariously sung Jermaine Stewart song; and of course, Bleachy, a fat black sad-sack who harangues army recruiting offices, worker’s comp centers and fast food chains with his miserably petty requests and complaints – so awesome! It’s really no use reading a review of something like this; you miss the timing, the phrasing, all those embarrassing awkward pauses, and out of left-field cultural references. So listen to the clips. An original and hilarious collection that you will listen to again and again and will make you “shit your pants”. Comes with a prank-by-prank analysis booklet by Andrew Earles and Jeffrey Jensen. Shattering.
Writes Jonathan Meiburg, “had I not seen this with my own eyes, I would not have believed.” Hey, we were pretty confident ‘Rook’ would introduce Shearwater to new audiences, but until now, we were pretty unaware of how ‘Palo Santo”s “Red Sea, Black Sea” had touched some of you.