Friday, April 30, 2010

2 Pints of Lager and a Pack of Rizzla!

New mix from the Midnight Mongo Sound is right on time and in tune. Skinhead reggae, punk dubs, whiteboy skanking. Perfect tunes for an anglophile afternoon watching football, sipping lager and feelin' irie, innit?

2PintsOfLagerAndAPacketOfRizzlas by MidnightMongo
Symarip-skinhead girl
The Clash-Robber Dub
x-ray spex-Germfree adolescents
The Ruts-Love in Vain
scientist -The mummy's shroud
jennifer lara-My Man
Shane Macgowan & the popes-B&I Ferry
Patti Smith-redondo Beach
bad Brains-Stay Close to Me
Splodgenessabounds-Two Pints (dub)
P.I.L.-Careering (peel sessions)
the Mighty Two-Baldhead Brigade
Mikey dread-Problems
WayneJarrett & Rankingtrevor-Money Problem-Only jah can solve it
Stiff Little Fingers - Johnny Was (peel Sessions)
Thin Lizzy-half caste
The specials-Longshot Kick de bucket (live @moonliteclub)
New Age Steppers-Love forever
The Slits-Instant hit
Jah Wobble-tales from outer space
Doctor Pablo & dub Syndicate -A taste of honey
The Terrorists & LeePerry -Guerrilla Priest
sham 69-the reggae pick up pt.II

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dinner in Prison

Now we check in with Animal Blanco's resident food Vlogger, Henry Hill. This week's report is a reminiscence on dinner in prison, with an important tip for garlic lovers:

"In prison, dinner was always a big thing. We had a pasta course, then we had a meat or a fish. Paulie was doing a year for contempt and had a wonderful system for garlic. He used a razor and sliced it so thin it would liquefy in the pan with a little oil . It's a very good system."

Tomorrow, we eat sangwidges. You gotta go on a diet!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lagos Disco Inferno

Last week Mike from Academy Records gave me a copy of his label's newest reissue compilation, Lagos Disco Inferno, so I thought it would only be right to give it a bit of shine here. Not that it needs it, apparently this thing is selling out all over the place. Academy's label seems to happily be finding itself right in the center of the dovetail of several trends in NYC that have been going strong for a few years: the eclectic African sound being bolstered by things like Awesome Tapes from Africa, The Very Best and indie bands like Vampire Weekend, the resurgence of all things disco, especially the reissue/re-edit variety, and the record collector scene in general, which never really goes away but seems to be enjoying a strong push in New York lately thanks to the rarer-is-better mindset of the "weird punk" scene.

This video gives you an idea of what this comp. is all about: one man's quest in Nigeria to do some seriously adventurous digging and unearth rare, scorching afro-disco records for your ass-shaking enjoyment! Big ups to Academy, and to this record!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Peep Show and In the Cut

I've been rewatching the BBC comedy Peep Show (watch), and it occurs to me that as over-the-top as it's internal monologe voiceovers are, they also can be horrifically accurate representations of what it's like to be male.

Peep Show has a POV camera style which puts you inside the heads of it's hapless male leads as they try to cope with the baffling loveliness and irresistible irrationality of the females in their world. I think most guys would have to admit at any given moment our perspective in dealing with the opposite sex hovers somewhere between the helpless, desperate cluelessness of David Mitchell's Mark (left) and the unearned self-confidence, entitlement and essential cluelessness of Robert Webb's Jeremy. These two characters come to represent in miniature the duality of the male psyche in our dealings women, like a highly reductive, extra-horny version of the cast of characters in The Brothers Karamazov (or "Herman's Head", LOL).
Appropriately reductive, I should say, as the show seems to stick to portraying the diminished, distinctively male mindset mostly experienced when badly needed brain blood is occupied elsewhere. There is a wincingly familiar moment that occurs in the third act of most the episodes where either Mark surveys his abject romantic failure and says to himself "You. Fucking. Idiot.", or Jeremy appraises his unfounded, inexplicable romantic success and says to himself "You fucking bastard."

On the other side of the chromosomal scale, my friend Lilah recently showed me Jane Campions' (In the Cut (watch)), the romantic thriller starring Meg Ryan. While I can't declare that In the Cut was a complete success as a film, it did seem to me to be perfectly successful in transporting you into the female mind. The difference between this movie and most other serial-killer thrillers is analogous to the difference between mainstream Silicon Valley grindhouse porn and the soft-focus story driven lesbian variety they make for women. Everything here: the over-saturated colors, the disconcerting sound design, the grotesque and lyrical images seem designed to conjure a particular sensuous and hormonal female mindstate. From our heroine's perspective, all of New York, all the people and things in her world are imbued with Eros and muted, strangely alluring menace. Blood, murder, sex and romance swirl around her in the thick sweaty air of a Summer in the city. Even the way the film is plotted seems to transmit a feminine sensibility, eschewing the linear, implicitly masculine thrust of the average thriller's plot development for a languorous, organic pace more attuned to our main character's indecisive, overheated state. Oh yeah, and it has some hot, hot sex, which I think is something that we can all appreciate no matter our gender perspective.

Javelin and KaraokeCrime @ Santos Party House

The New York Times did a review of a show by Providence-boys-gone-bigtime Javelin that also served as big-upping of their openers, Worchester friend Holmes Wilson's KaraokeCrime project and local Providence favorites The What Cheer? Marching Band.

The reviewer describes Holmes' interactive performance as "a boisterous one-man spitfire", "inspiring a mix of enthusiasm and revulsion" in the crowd. I'm sure this notation is going get Holmes a lot more opportunities to bring his subversive sing-along Ableton insurgence into a lot more faces, which I think is overdue.

Javelin "Vibrationz"-


This is hella sick tight rad:

Skateboardanimation from Tilles Singer on Vimeo.

Hellbent for Cooking

I was visiting Armageddon Shop in Providence a few days ago, soaking up the unintentional comedy and genuine graphical genius you can find in equal measure on the LP covers in the metal section, when I noticed this book from Bazillion Points books out of Brooklyn:

The idea of a metal cookbook definitely seems like a joke and one would guess that even if you got the concept off the ground, the actual book would turn out worthless either to cooks, metal fans, or both. But, this book seems to have been put together with the perfect balance of humor and dutiful respect to both food and to the musical culture of metal. More than that, it has nice graphic design and food photography and a great glossy feel to the pages.

Asking metal bands to submit recipes also seems like a terrible idea, opening yourself up to getting dumb, jokey recipes like "Bacon and American cheese and Beer and Cigarette Butts" or something. And although some of the American bands' recipes approach that level of stupidity, the book's real strength lies in the global nature of metal. Many of the bands featured here hail from far-flung countries with strong culinary traditions and they seem adorably eager to share them with you. Probably all the contributors, who include members of Amebix, Brutal Truth, Budgie, Electric Wizard, Eyehategod, Judas Priest, Mayhem, Nuclear Assault, Obituary, Pentagram, Possessed, Saint Vitus, and Sepultura, were excited to be a part of a project that would highlight the lesser-known, improbably friendly side of metal that is typified by the sharing of local foods and imbibes between international touring bands and their hosts.

One disappointment here, though is Annick “The Morbid Chef” Giroux's curatorial Chef's notes. She seems hesitant to criticize the recipes of any of her contributors, legendary or not, and so we are left with mostly fawning notes on every dish that invariably end with an exclamation point. This has her coming off as more of a metal cheerleader than the clever editor she was in compiling this book.

One of the most touching recipes here is from the mother of Phil Lynott, the late frontman of Thin Lizzy, who tells us that her Irish Roast Leg of Lamb was her son's favorite. Isn't it an interesting bit of revisionist history that Thin Lizzy have become so embraced and beloved by the metal community in recent years when during their career they were regarded as more of a groovy, heavy-rock band that was probably held at arm's length by metalheads? In hindsight I agree that musically and stylistically Thin Lizzy do belong in the pantheon of proto-metal godfathers like Sabbath and Hawkwind, but that's probably because I come from the same generation as the young metal fans who have brought this view into fashion: the crusty punks, travelling kids, scensters, stoner audiophiles, and skater dirtbags. These neophytes have have swelled metal's ranks in the past 20 years, bringing DIY ethics and energy from the punk scene and shaped it's new sophistication. One might argue that without that injection metal would just be the overblown commercial joke you see in things like Rock Band and on VH1 specials, and there would be no shops like Armageddon (owned by Ben, formerly of the hardcore crusty thrash band DROPDEAD) and no books like Hellbent for Cooking.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jamrock, and Welcome to it

Animal Blanco, Jamaica.

Thug Life.

King of Tandoor, Brooklyn

They don't call him the King for nothing:

I went to King of Tandoor, a newish North Indian restaurant, in the very Caribbean neighborhood of Prospect Heights which I stayed in and used as a kind of decompression chamber just before my descent into Jamaica. As it was, the place was not making any concessions to the thrifty Carribeans or time-pressed Muslim cab drivers who frequent the other spots on their block: there were no steam trays or sneeze guards visible, no chicken wing specials, no "Tropical Rhythms" juices being offered.
The place is just a direct port from India of the kind of pseudo-fancy Punjabi restaurant that upper-middle class Indians go to on a Friday night. They have the too-numerous, over-eager waitstaff clad in ill-fitting tuxedos, the wonderful homemade chutneys and pickles served with papadams to start, the DVD of Hindi romantic musical comedy playing in the background. Just as it would in India, my request to slightly modify a non-veg thali took multiple attempts and clarifications, worried looks, other servers being called over, and finally a managerial executive stamp of approval before it could go to the kitchen. The thali was not super cheap, something like 12 or 14 dollars, and it took a bit of time to come out, but this was a good sign: they were actually cooking things to order.
When it came out, the portion was huge and the Tandoori chicken was royal. Like the best Tandoori chicken it was slightly charred on the outside and so tender on the inside that it seemed slightly undercooked. This texture is slightly disturbing at first and then blissfully sensual when your mind reconciles the fact that your are in no way risking salmonella by enjoying it. It's just the yogurt and citrus that have gone to work enzymatically on the chicken flesh and left it all limp and tender like raw veal. And as you can see in the photo, the cooks also put the bird through the ritualistic red food-coloring bath, which to me needs about as much explanation or over-examination as the yearly colored-powder fights in the streets of India at Holi- it just kind of looks cool.
Big ups to the King!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Jamaican Journalism

These were the headlines on the day I arrived in Jamaica:

Which of these stories do you find the most surprising/gripping: The angry man crapping on a woman's lawn, the chef who was beaten after confessing to serving dog soup, or the cops charging Barrington Levy? Let's just say it wasn't a slow news day.

Probably the only headline I saw down there that rivaled these ones was "Baby Falls into Pot of Soup!".

Monday, April 5, 2010

Until the End of Time

New mixtape from the White Animal Sound cartel: Until the End of Time (March 2010). Recorded in Jamaica and Miami, this one is some of the more laid-back stuff I was listening to all last month. Lots of content from the Hollerboard here, plus two exclusive White Animal blends (available as separate downloads below), herbalist tunes, a bit of DnB, dubstep, and starin-at-candles hip hop. Thanks to my friends who were putting my broke ass up in tropical paradises while I worked on this!
Until the End of Time (March 2010) by whiteanimalsound

Click the Down arrow icon to download the continuous mix, or Click here to download a .zip file of the separated tracks.