- On Monday, we had one of those evenings when we remember why we live here. The Shelebration, a tribute to Shel Silverstein was held at Millennium downtown. The weather was perfect. We brought a picnic and jug of vodka and juice. The band was Bobby Bare Jr, Nora O'Connor, Patrick from My Morning Jacket, Chris Scruggs and others. Guests included Sally Timms, Will Oldham, Bobby Bare Sr and Jon Langford. Check out the video Jon's version of the Shel-penned A Boy Named Sue here.
- What do YOU think of when you add up Salt Lake City and a Metal record store? That's right: WAYNE HANCOCK! Turns out the dudes dig themselves some Wayne at our new buddies The Heavy Metal Shop store in SLC. Check out these videos from an in store performance he did with Joe Buck Yourself here.
- Some Great tour announcements this week for our overseas buddies: Deadstring Brothers will be in the UK in September behind their new album SÅo Paulo and Justin Townes Earle announced some Austrailian/New Zealand dates ("down under" I believe it is called) also in September. So, that's plenty of time to make your plane reservations...
- Rob's Recommendation of the Week: Gale Street Inn on Milwaukee. Every year, several friends and I congregate SOMEWHERE for strong drink, meaty meats, conviviality and the All Star Game (for BASEBALL, you Visigoths). The AL won in part due to the triple by Tigers' outfielder Curtis Granderson. Oh yeah. The ribs are of the meltinyourmouth variety. Not smoked. Just tender and addicting. It being Chicago, our appetizer for the table (actually the horseshoe part of the bar near the TVs) was a FRIED CHICKEN. Yes, a whole fried chicken. Pass the toothpicks. Say hi to the owner George, he's got the classic Chicago-Belushi-ish vibe. By the way, the leftover ribs are one of the only things that heat up well in a microwave. And Go Tigers!
[Insert Clever Headline Here]
- AMERICA! What's wrong with you? Exclaim Magazine, the Rolling Stone of Canada recently declared Scott H. Biram's new disc "Album of the Month!" Yer not gonna lie around and let THEM be cooler than US, are you? Get down with the Biram sound, people. I mean, really.
- Minneapolis and Madison Anniversary Beer-B-Q lineups finalized. Those of you in the Upper Midwest (or those of you willing to travel there) have more to celebrate than the ripening lingonberries and waterslides in the Dells. Our Anniversary festivals in your fair cities are all booked and confirmed and they are, I must say, a couple of killer lineups. More cities to follow. Get the updates here.
- Michael Jackson is still dead
- Rob's Recommendation of the Week: Balyeat's Restaurant in Van Wert OH. While driving back to Chicago from our Pittsburgh Beer-B-Q last weekend, I eschewed the grimness of the Ohio Turnpike and took US 30, the Lincoln Highway, instead. After gassing up on the outskirts of this town near the OH/IN border I noticed a faded billboard with the words "homemade" and "pie" in consecutive order. I was sold. I'm easy that way. I drove the 1/2 mile to town and there it was, next to the courthouse. Serving since 1923 or so. Excellentness #1: When the waitress asked me if I was ready for supper, I said I hadn't seen a menu. Her reply: "Oh honey, it's Sunday, we don't have menus" and listed my choices. I opted for stewed chicken with homemade noodles over mash(ed potoatoes). Excellentness #2: It came with soup or salad, I said salad. Her reply: "tossed, potato or JELLO." Oh, baby. It was all very, VERY good. Excellentness #3: There were about 12 or 14 pie choices on the counter. I went for Butterscotch Creme and almost sobbed with joy when I ate it. Excellentness #4: The whole shootin' match cost me about 8 bucks. SO, the next time you're on the road between Fort Wayne and Toledo (and who DOESN'T make that drive all the time?) stop in. RUNNER UP: Primanti Brothers in Pittsburgh. In an effort to streamline the lives of their patrons, they put the french fries IN the sandwich. Lord, have mercy.
Thanks for tuning in and let us know where we need to eat during our upcoming travels.
Your weekly or semi-weekly peek into the swirling vortex of weirdness that is life in the Bloodshot Lane. So, stop tweeting about the King of Pop for a few minutes, relax (the boss ain't watching) and catch up. All items guaranteed to be Sequined Glove Free.
- Wayne Hancock on Sirius/XM. The Train is performing and being interviewd on the fancy satellite radio. Show will on Tues June 30th @ 9pm eastern and Thursday July 2nd at 11pm eastern time. Outlaw Country on Sirius 63 and XM channel 12.
- Justin Townes Earle's new, arty and beautiful video of "Midnight at the Movies" is up on Vimeo and YouTube. Have a gander. It's keen, as the kids say (or said).
- What music do musicians listen to? This age-old question was posited to Ha Ha Tonka's Luke Long at SXSW this year and our friends at Rhapsody. Check out the answer here. Personally, I do not think his answer could be more wrong. It's a BAD album. I'll take it up with him later.
- While the blogosphere has its up sides, one glaring downside is the crappy writing. "Reviews" of records that are more half-cocked diary entries like "oh dude, i was up all night doing Jager bombs and watching The Wire on Hulu and was, like, no way was I up for listening to this band" that have precious little to do with the music. Thus, we are pleased when lengthy, well-crafted critiques come across our desks, like this one from Cheeky Chicago regarding Ha Ha Tonka's new one. Read it, but beware, you may gain some actual insight on the music.
- Rob's Recommendation of the Week: Nhu Lan Bakery. Everyone's got that place (or, pity if you don't) in their 'hood that is just so good, so cheap, so GO TO, that you kinda take it for granted and, POOF, one day you are reminded, scolded almost, to NOT take if for granted. Today, I atone for this and sing its praises. Proving that not all colonialism was bad (ok, settle down, it's a joke), this Vietnamese sammich shop on Lawrence Ave in Chicago combines the fish sauce of the east with the crusty baguettes of ol' France. They are cheap, very tasty, very filling. The owners are super nice, the coffee nerve-endingly strong. The flat screen TV over the drink cooler (lemon grass soda, anyone?) alternates between CNN and Asian Lingerie shows. Some swear by the pate and head cheese sammiches, but they're a little rich for me. I go for the BBQ pork. Lots of cilantro, daikon radish and hot peppers. Check it out, but don't neglect your own GO TO spot in your hood in the process. Never forget those.
Next week, we'll be coming at you from the first of our 15th Anniversary Beer-B-Q's in Pittsburgh. Got any suggestions for excellent breakfast places?
Q: What gives?
A: Here's a few tidbits to chew on over the weekend.
Scott H. Biram's new album out this week. Yes, the news is a little Biram heavy, due to the release of his new album. The word is out and the the word is good.
- Currently #5 on the Billboard Blues Chart!
- Currently #18 on radio powerhouse KEXP!
These folks must know something.
- In this brave new internet age when anyone with a keyboard and wi-fi can call themselves a "music critic," the quality of writing has gone down the sewer. Thus, we are always tickled when something gets published that actually shows some insight and thought. For a couple of lengthy interviews and reviews containing well written and incisive content about Biram's new album from Austin go here or Canada. It's nice when people put a little effort behind it, don't you think? Can i get a "CHICKEN?
- Live in Chicago? Hey, us too! Here's a quick rundown of all the fab BS stuff hitting our city limits in the month of June brought to you by the good folks at Beachwood Reporter
- Rob's Recommendation of the Week: Pho 777 on Argyle Street in Chicago. If you love Vietnamese food as much as I (which would be hard to do), then you know about the strip of joints on the Northside. I was treated to a dinner there this week, and it gets a big thumbs up from me. The #32 was a fantastic sampler platter disguised as just another humble entree. It had that magical animal the pig prepared in about 8 different ways--BBQ sausage, marinated loin, etc etc. And there was a shrimp cake. It all came with an egg on top. I was dizzy afterwards. Oh, it's BYO and their selection of Asian pop techno on the stereo was suitably appalling.
JP's appendix: I agree w/ Rob's rec, but would like to expand: Holy moly, the 7's pork chop is the best, THE BEST, in the city -- and on Pho Row, 7's broth is hands down the tastiest. It's got a nutmeggy flavor that the other neighborhood pho joints just cannot compete with.
All for now!
Semi-weekly, quick links to interesting Bloodshot things.
- The Deadstring Brothers are returning in 2009 -- and have JUST ANNOUNCED new US summer tour dates in support of their upcoming long player, São Paulo. The album's not out for a minute, but we can't wait for you to hear it cos it's hot. And, I mean, SMOKING HOT. Just check out that artwork, folks.
- Word's out! Justin Townes Earle's show in McCabe's in LA this weekend sold out! Check out an interview he did with the LA-based blog, When You Awake, here. And while we're talking JTE, here's your reminder that for just TWO MORE DAYS, we have Midnight at the Movies on super-sale for $10 LP/CD. Why, you ask? Well, as we reported last week, Midnight is nominated for THREE AMA awards -- Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Emerging Artist.
- If your looking for some new, free music, please check out The Free Music Archive, which is spearheaded by the great freeform radio station, WFMU. Besides the dipping yr toes into Free Music Archive's Bloodshot catalog, there's A TON of other great (legal) music to check out there.
- And finally, our gastronomically intrepid Radio guy, Swank, showed up to the office on this fake Monday morning with samples of his Bacon pizza. Nope, not pizza with a bacon topping -- a pizza where bacon has REPLACED THE CRUST. The sample had my arteries hardening with just a whiff, but it's tasty! Atkin's friendly, too!
Here's a few interesting tidbits as you set out on this holiday weekend (and by holiday, we mean Bloodshot Rob's Birthday):
- Justin Townes Earle was snagged three nominations from the Americana Music Association: Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, and Emerging Artist.
- BASEBALL HATS are back in! Just in time for summer, and due to popular demand, we've re-stocked on our fabulous black caps.Check 'em out here!
- To whet yer appetite for Ha Ha Tonka's new album coming in June, they did a video interview at SXSW with our pals over at PopMatters. See it here. They're cute, so enjoy!
- Bobby Bare Jr interview on this week's edition of the Beechwood Reporter. He talks about Justin, his dad, and the upcoming Shel Silverstein tribute in Chicago. Read and see videos of Bobby when he performed at the Opry when he was 5.
- Rob's recommendation of the week: Since the warmer weather is upon us, it's time summertime drinks. Since there is only band with a drink named after them, we thought it would a good place to start. Thus, we give you the Ha Ha Tonka:
1 oz vodka
1 oz amaretto
1 oz sloe gin
1 oz southern comfort
Use 16oz cup, fill ice, pour in alcohol, then top with orange juice. Skol!
Til next week....
Shovel ready Bloodshot tidbits for a stimulus-seeking appetite:
- Andre Williams (with guitar help from Jon Langford) tore up the local PBS TV studio this week and brought some welcome bluster to a show more known for CTA fare hike stories. It's archived here
- Champing at the bit for the new BOTTLE ROCKETS album? Us too. August 11th, but here's a first peek at the killer cover art. Now, just imagine how it's going to sound.
- Sitting at home this Sunday the 17th with no one to talk to? Why not ask the ever chatty Justin Townes Earle some questions on the No Depression community blog. Talk music, his new mustache, or why Leadbelly should be carved into Mount Rushmore.
- Scott H Biram's new release "hits the streets" next Tuesday, but the raves are already rolling in. Here's one, and another. Pre-order and get some free goodies.
- Ever wonder what might be on a jukebox owned by an owner of Bloodshot? Us neither, but the Beechwood Reporter thought it might be interesting. Read about it here.
- Rob's Recommendation of the Week: If smoking a pork roast, I suggest a rub of paprika, cayenne powder, ground black pepper, and sugar. Leave overnight. Smoke over apple wood at 185 degrees, basting every hour with a mixture of the above mixed with some apple cider vinegar. After 6 hours (for a two pound roast), you will enter a heaven of porky delight. ENJOY!
Welcome to the inaugural edition of Deano Recommends, where ask Dean Schlabowske of the Waco Brothers and Dollar Store for some wine pairings. What makes Deano the man to ask? Well, besides being a rock-and-roller, he's also the proprietor of the Cellar Rat Wine Shop in Chicago, IL.
This week, we ask Dean about the best wines to pair with the greatest part of springtime -- firing up the grill for the first time:
My feeling is that there's no point in getting to "fancypants" with wine
for BBQ. So, in cheap and cheerful mode, here are a few favorite matches -
Burgers - Juicy, spicy reds work nice. Try Shenandoah Zinfandel from Amador
County. Organically grown and only $9.99!
Ribs - If you're just using a dry rub, not a sweet sauce, dry Rose works
great. From Provence, try Figueirasee Gris de Gris for $10.99. With sauce,
a really fruity Aussie Shiraz like Raw Power is great at $14.99.
Brats - While the Milwaukee boy in me would drink beer, a nice off-dry
Riesling is a natural. I have a really tasty German bottling from Kloster
for only $9.99.
Shrimp - Something with a bit of weight but not oak works best. A fantastic
Pinot Gris from Emerson Vineyards in Oregon at $16.99 would be a winner.
Salmon - Bright, clean citrusy white Bordeaux works great. Pick the Chateau
Haut Rian, a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon, at a mere $12.99.
Happy Grillin' and Swillin',
You can download the new Deano / The Meat Purveyors album for free at deanowaco.com!