Sounds Like Space Command, Ford & Lopatin and Land of Leland Making a Thai Barbecue Brussels Wrap

Sounds Like Space Command, Ford & Lopatin and Land of Leland Making a Thai Barbecue Brussels Wrap

Sometimes a simple cut is all you need. It is what takes my hair from a Billy Ray Cyrus trailer rave to a hipster tea party. It is what takes Peter Jackson movies from being rambling pieces of gorilla feces to, well, shorter pieces of gorilla feces. It is what took this Thai Barbecue Brussels Wrap from being ho hum to humdinger.

The first time I made it I lazily threw in whole Brussels Sprouts and there didn’t seem to be enough flavor. The more I added, the more logged down it became. A few days later, I gave it another try with one change. I cut the Brussels Sprouts into small pieces. It worked like a charm.

Thai Barbecue Brussels Wrap
(printable version)-2 cups Brussels Sprouts, quartered
-olive oil
-brown rice, cooked (I used day old rice)
-soy sauce
-barbecue sauce
-sesame oil

1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add the Brussels Sprouts and saute until softened (about seven minutes). Add the rice and continue heating until desired texture.2. Mix the soy sauce, sesame oil and barbecue sauce. I played around with the flavors but basically went with a 2 parts soy sauce, 2 parts barbecue sauce and one part sesame oil. Add to the rice and thoroughly mix.

3. Heat the tortillas. Place Brussels Sprouts mixture in the the middle of the tortilla and roll closed. Eat uncut as quickly as possible.

This dish toes the line between southern and Asian cuisine. To provide the sounds I needed bands that were familiar with a careful balance between two ends. New York’s Space Command fits this bill. They are a combo platter of electronic, dance and emo music swaddled in an astronaut robot shell.

Space Command-Graveyard Shift Mix #1

Ford & Lopatin (formerly Games) make one think retro while at the same time peering towards the future. That future could be as close as June 7th when their debut album, Channel Pressure, comes out.

Ford & Lopatin-Emergency Room via Pitchfork

Land of Leland blend that 80’s nostalgia with a spooky singer songwriter tone in their cover of “Your Love” (originally by the Outfield). It is one of the few 80’s songs that I can actually get into. If you are interested, Land of Leland also does the cooking thing. Here is their recipe for Mostly Butternut Squash Soup.

Land of Leland-Your Love via cover me songs

Food Pairing 101: What goes well with a Roast Beet Sandwich?

Food Pairing 101: What goes well with a Roast Beet Sandwich?

I was fourteen and found myself in a steakhouse where they actually asked you how you wanted your meat cooked. I, not wanting to appear uneducated in front of my new girl, blurted out “rare.” This was the only level of meat cooking that I had ever heard about because it was in some movie I had seen. When the waitress brought it out, I took one bite, and I pushed it away. I was getting lightheaded from the pink insides and the blood that was coagulating on my plate and chin. My girlfriend’s mom talked me through the meat cooking levels and I eventually decided on having it returned to me in medium well form.

This was one experience, blood dripping down my face, that I hadn’t been able to replicate as a vegetarian (not that I was really trying). That all changed tonight with this Roast Beet Sandwich courtesy of the Chubby Vegetarian. This thing dripped, dropped and stained my teeth like I had just bitten into a still living jaguar. I made some slight alterations to his recipe. First there was no champagne vinegar as I’m not that high class. I left it out. Second, I had no lemon zest so I subtracted that and added a little bit of citrus juice of the lime kind. Shallots weren’t around so I used half an onion and a clove of garlic instead. The lettuce became spinach and the horseradish became something much more tolerable, mustard. Other than that, I followed the Chubby’s take.

My “bloody” fingers.

While the Bloody Beetroots would be the trendy choice for this post, I went with something a little more American. Stuyvesant is a New Jersey band that sings about a kleptomaniacal girl that lives in Minnesota. What says land of opportunity better than that? Stuyvesant does it with stuttering guitars, rolling drums and a pop punk sensibility that doesn’t bother me one bit. That’s hard to do. “St. Cloud” comes from their album, Fret Sounds, which will be out June 14th. Stuyvesant – “St. Cloud” by dromedary

If you want something a little more colorful and British, try out “Mrs. Violet” by Joe Cave. Joe is a 23 year old singer-songwriter from London who is attempting to write and record 99 new songs this year. He is releasing the songs on his tumblr blog. “Mrs. Violet” was the first of these songs to make its way into video form.

Keep the blood running!

French Fry Po’ Boy Slathered over The Distant Sounds, Betty Airs and Poly Styrene

French Fry Po’ Boy Slathered over The Distant Sounds, Betty Airs and Poly Styrene

My co-worker Caylee and I were having a conversation a few weeks ago and I told her that “I run so I can eat.” We both had a laugh about that. While this statement was a joke there was some truth behind it. I don’t necessarily run so I can eat but I pay a lot less attention to what I eat because of the miles I log. To illustrate this, I downed two French Fry Po’ Boys yesterday and thought nothing of it.

It seems on my trip to New Orleans I missed one of their most intriguing Po’ Boys, a french fry and gravy topped version. It wasn’t until Vegan Crunk mentioned it in a post that I realized such a thing exists. Seems like you can get them here. I had to try it out for myself, even if it wasn’t absolutely authentic (which considering the gravy I probably couldn’t do anyways).

Vegan French Fry Po’ Boy
-4 potatoes, julienned
-olive oil
-garlic powder
-onion powder
vegan gravy
-4 hoagie rolls

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and slice the potatoes (I used a mandoline this time but normally make them steak cut).2. In a metal bowl mix the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika (I don’t measure these, I just play around with the taste). Place the potatoes in the bowl and flip around with your hand until they are all covered with spices and oil.3. Dump the fries onto a baking sheet. Place in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side. Continue until fries have reached desired crispiness.

4. While the fries are baking, make the gravy.

5. Toast the hoagie rolls. Top with french fries and gravy. Carb your heart out.

When making something of this nature one require music that is fast and full of energy (after all, how else are you going to burn of all those carbs). For me it started with Betty Airs. These guys are a Sydney four piece that knows how to bring it 50’s style. March saw the release of their first EP, Creepin’ it Real, which you can get at their bandcamp page. “She’s the Juan” is their lead singer. Thanks to Triple J Unearthed for bringing them to me.

Betty Airs-She’s the Juan

Next it went towards The Distant Sounds who have concocted a foul-mouthed mournful motif that takes place moments after that evil girl tramples on your nut sack. “Mon Amour” is from their new EP Blue Light. Get it for free from their bandcamp page.

The Distant Sounds-Mon Amour (via Swedesplease)

Poly Styrene once led X-Ray Spex. Now she does it on her own as evidenced by “Thrash City.” This is her second single released prior to the upcoming Generation Indigo which is due in the US on Tuesday.

Poly Styrene-Thrash City

Where we eat: The Bricks of Ybor Mortared by Terrible Feelings

Where we eat: The Bricks of Ybor Mortared by Terrible Feelings

The let down I experienced on Record Store Day has been well documented. But it wasn’t all bad. As J-Fur and I strolled around Ybor City she suggested we find some place that served drinks so that she could get an iced tea. Lo and behold The Bricks of Ybor appeared in front of us. This place looked like a coffee shop, so I figured typical trendy hipster coffee fare. But once we walked inside I realized that it wore a number of hats. Sure there was the coffee bar but there was also the alcoholic beverage counter, the live music area and even a kitchen. We sat down and J-Fur ordered her iced tea making it clear to the waitress that the iced tea was all she wanted. But that sly waitress placed a menu in front of us anyway and I couldn’t help but look at it.

It seemed like a relatively normal affair. There were appetizers, salads, sandwiches and breakfast fare. Nothing that made it stand out. But then I came to the Peanut Butter Bar section and realized how wrong I had been. There were pre-constructed peanut butter sandwiches already in place (the Elvis, the Amsterdam and the PB&P) or there was a build your own section where you could choose from a list of toppings (anything from ham to cheese to hummus to your typical nutella and jelly were at your disposal). I wasn’t in the peanut butter sandwich mood so J-Fur and I decided to start with the house made black bean dip and then follow it up with the deluxe grilled cheese.

The bean dip was right up J-Fur’s alley. She kept saying how good it was but she couldn’t place what it was that she really liked. I told her it was the garlic. That bean dip was laced with garlic. I love garlic but for some reason I don’t like garlic with my black bean dip. So I let J-Fur eat most of the dip.

The deluxe grilled cheese was made up of red onions, pesto, tomato, spinach and smoked mozzarella all smashed onto a baguette. It is served with a salad that featured a lemon basil vinaigrette (a crazy fusion of sweet and sour). The grilled cheese was good, the baguette amazing. I eat most of my baguettes from grocery stores and I could tell the difference immediately. Crispier, fluffier and with a softer inside. You could’ve probably put vomit on the baguette and I would’ve loved it, that’s how good the bread was. Not to say the insides taste like vomit. I mean pesto, red onion and spinach covered with cheese what can top that? In an incredible coincidence, J-Fur wasn’t too fond of the cheese they put on top. Guess next time she’ll eat all the bean dip and I’ll solo it on the grilled cheese. That is if I don’t get the blackstar bean burger instead.

The Bricks of Ybor is located at East 7th Avenue in Tampa.

The Bricks of Ybor on Urbanspoon

The Bricks on Foodio54

While baguettes are sandwiches best served soft, Terrible Feelings is quite the opposite. Loud, dark, therapeutic and rough around the edges. The band, first blogged here and here, have a new 7 inch that features “Tied Up” and “No Meaning.” The 7 inch is being released by Timmeheiehumme Records from Germany. Internationally it will be distributed by P. Trash. There are only 500 copies being pressed so get yours while the getting is good.

No Meaning by Terrible Feelings

Tied Up by Terrible Feelings

Tofu a la King Crowned by Transatlantic Zodiac Ensemble

Tofu a la King Crowned by Transatlantic Zodiac Ensemble

When Transatlantic Zodiac Ensemble take their Eastern European folk infused klezmer grunge rock on the road inevitably they wind up in Saint John (Canada) crashing at saxophonist Martin Davidson’s parent’s house. It is here that his mom astounds the whole band with an amazing meal of chicken a la king over homemade biscuits. As mom wouldn’t part with the recipe (OK, OK I didn’t even try) I was forced to create my own version, replacing the protein with a mother with one that is a bastard child.

Tofu a La King (adapted from Food Network Kitchens)
-olive oil
-1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
-1 yellow onion, minced
-1 garlic clove, minced
-6 Tbs. flour
-1/4 cup sherry
-3 3/4 cup veggie broth
-1 Tbs. dried parsley
-1 tsp. dried thyme
-salt and pepper (to taste)
-pinch cayenne pepper
-pinch nutmeg
-7 oz. shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
-1/4 cup skim milk
-1 block tofu, thinly sliced
-10 biscuits

1. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and 1/4 cup of butter. Saute the onions and garlic until softened and translucent. Distribute the flour evenly over the onions. Stir with a wooden spoon for about two minutes.2. Whisk in the broth and sherry. Bring to a boil. Add the parsley, thyme and tofu. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. In another saucepan, heat the remaining butter. Drop in the mushrooms and cook for five minutes. Season with salt and pepper, cayenne and nutmeg.

4. Add the tofu mixture to the mushrooms. Stir until combined. Whisk in the skim milk. Taste and adjust adding salt and pepper if necessary.

5. Make the biscuits according to the recipe. Break in half and lay out on a plate. Spoon the tofu a la king overtop. Eat like royalty.

Transatlantic Zodiac Ensemble is all I listened to as I made this dish (after all, they were the inspiration). They are a seven piece that, aside from the aforementioned fusing of many different styles of music, write lyrics that “cryptically weave descriptions of the heart with contemporary moral and social issues.” TZE has a busy few months as they are continuing to promote their debut album It’s a Mean Season for Silver Linings with a Newfoundland tour from the 20th to the 30th of April and an appearance at Evolve in July. Check out “Port Mouton Bay” and a live take on “It’s a Mean Season for Silver Linings.”

For more TZE go to: Facebook, Sonicbirds, Twitter or Youtube.

Artist’s Cookbook: Fettucine with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta Courtesy of Galapaghost

Artist’s Cookbook: Fettucine with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta Courtesy of Galapaghost

After posting Fucked Up’s last single “The Other Shoe” I was contacted by Galapaghost (aka Casey Chandler) who shared with me an experience he had at one of their shows. Seems that the band played a 10 minute set at SUNY Purchase before Damien stripped down, broke through the barricades and was escorted out by campus security. It was, in his words, the most memorable show that year (and one that I can completely relate too).

If you are not familiar with Galapaghost’s music, let me start by saying that it is nothing like Fucked Up. There is no screaming, seventeen minute punk presentations or getting naked and being escorted out by security. Think of it like this: if Fucked Up is the meat cleaver that butchers your steak, Galapaghost is the butter knife that smothers your bread. Galapaghost’s songs are laid back indie folk tunes performed on a ukelele with a smattering of guitar, keyboard and drums. They incorporate pieces of Midlake and Espers, Radiohead and Neil Young, Simon and Garfunkelwithout sounding like any of them.

Galapaghost just released his third EP, Runnin’ (his other two were released in 2009 and Our Lost GenerationNeptunes from 2010). Runnin‘ marks a shift to a more unconventional way of doing music. It is the first of the lot to be given away for free, iTunes wasn’t worth the hassle, features more outside the box thinking and required more effort than its predecessors. The EP’s standout tracks are its initial ones, “Never Heard Nothin” and “Runnin.” Originally the low-key “Never Heard Nothin” was slated to be a B-side but at the last minute, Galapaghost decided to include it on the EP. Thank goodness as the EP feels sort of incomplete without it. “Runnin” is a much more upbeat, tambourine banging affair.

To accompany his new EP, Galapaghost suggests an easy recipe that will make mouths water and heads turn. It is his famous Fettucine with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta.

Galapaghost-Never Heard Nothin’


French Onion Soup Tartines Faced with the Sounds of Daughter and Classified

French Onion Soup Tartines Faced with the Sounds of Daughter and Classified

The final scene in 8 Mile is a freestyle showdown between Jimmy “B-Rabbit” Smith (Eminem) and Papa Doc (Anthony Mackie). In this “battle” B-Rabbit chooses to go first and “flips the script.” Instead of hiding from his screw-ups he puts them out there for everyone to see. When Papa Doc’s turn rolls around he has nothing to hit B-Rabbit with because everything has already been said so he tosses the mic away in failure. This is what French Onion Soup Tartines mean to me. They are a flipping of the traditional soup with bread and croutons script into one where the bread is the main feature.

French Onion Soup Tartines (adapted slightly from Vegetarian Times April/May 2011)

-olive oil
-1 white onion, quartered and sliced
-3 yellow onions, quartered and sliced
-1 red onion, quartered and sliced
-2 Tbs. white wine
-2 cups vegetable broth
-1/2 tsp. agave nectar
-1 sprig of fresh thyme
-half loaf of country bread, sliced
-2 ounces Emmental cheese, grated

1. Heat the olive oil in a pot. Add the onions, cover, and cook until the onions begin to brown (about 25 minutes). Add the white wine and cook until the liquid has evaporated (two to three minutes).2. Add the broth, agave nectar, thyme and some salt and pepper to the onions. Stir. Place a lid on top of the pot so that it covers only part of it. Simmer the onions until most of the liquid has evaporated (15-25 minutes).

3. Preheat the oven to broil. Place bread on a baking sheet. Cover each slice of bread with onion mixture and grated cheese. Broil for two to three minutes. You will know the tartines are done when the cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown. Flip the script.

Coupling a tartine with the breathy beauty of Daughter’s “Landfill” may seem like a daring thing. I mean, for one, the lyrics revolve around the idea ofwanting someone (or something) so much that you hate their guts. It is also called “Landfill.” Not the type of chi you want to be putting on a creation as delicate as a tartine. But this is only half of the “Landfill” story. The other piece is the winter imagery. And what speaks more about winter than onion soup? You can get your hands on a free Daughter EP at here. You can buy the His Young Heart EP, which features “Landfill”, at her soundcloud page.

Daughter-Landfill (via Direct Current Music)

Classified is a platinum selling hip hop artist from Nova Scotia that, after enjoying some commercial success with his last album, has decided to take a step back with his new one (Handshakes and Middlefingers that was released by Sony Music Canada on March 22nd). As a result we get “That Ain’t Classy.” Thanks to Pigeons and Planes for turning me on to him.

Record Store Postview: A Letdown (with pictures)

Record Store Postview: A Letdown (with pictures)

My two goals with Record Store Day 2011 were to get my hands on the limited edition Nirvana EP Hoarmoaning and Fucked Up’s David’s Town (a companion compilation of fake British bands to go with their upcoming album David Comes to Life). Despite checking out three record stores, I struck out on both. In the end I settled for the Bouncing Souls Live at Generation Records while J-Fur picked up Adele and a sub pop compilation (also disappointments as she was seeking the Fleet Foxes 7 inch).

To make matters worse, J-Fur didn’t really like her cupcake (said it was too dry). At least my strawberry overload, though a tad sugary, hit the spot. Cupcakes were provided by Stephii Cakes, breakfast by Central Coffee Shop. The Devil Bunny just came along for the ride.

Here’s a track from Fucked Up’s fake compilation courtesy of Pitchfork. Animal Man-Do You Feed

Here is their second single “A Little Death” from David Comes to Life.
Fucked Up-A Little Death

Fellow record hunters what did you get?

Record Store Preview: Cupcakes and Vinyl

Record Store Preview: Cupcakes and Vinyl

It is officially go time. Record Store Day 2011 is upon us and it takes on a whole new meaning this year as Vinyl Fever, a Tampa record institution for the last twenty some years, recently closed its doors. This makes buying from independent stores today, and everyday, that much more important. What’s happening in the Tampa-St. Pete area (per Tampa Bay Online):

Daddy Kool, 666 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 822-5665. Live music, including headliner Guiltmaker, will be cranking up and down Central: at FUBAR and Local 662, plus DJs on the sidewalk. Daddy Kool will feature myriad daylong discounts plus a bounty of limited-release goodies. (Perhaps a 7-inch vinyl copy of Derek and the Dominos’ Layla? Sweet.) Starts at 9:30 a.m.

The Disc Exchange, 6712 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 343-5845. Surf-rockers the Hodaddys will play a free parking lot show. Starts at 3 p.m.

Bananas Music and Movies, 2887 22nd Ave. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 321-6814. Want more live music? You got it. This epic vinyl emporium — arguably the most impressive record shop on the East Coast — will feature gigs by such as the Dukes of Juke and James O’Neill and the Silver Shadows. Starts at 10 a.m.

Mojo Books, 2558 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. (813) 971-9717. Live in-store performances will go gown all day long, including sets by Diamond Man and Sons of Hippies. Starts at 9 a.m.

Hot Wax, 1524 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. (813) 248-6999. Ybor City artists will celebrate the big day by painting on old records and showcasing them in the store. Starts at noon.

We’ll kick off our celebration with some words from An Horse.

Chris Brown of Bull Moose Records has some suggestions:

Now it is off to St. Pete for some cupcakes and records courtesy of Daddy Kool Records.