Archive for February, 2013

Cold? Fix up a pot of gumbo!

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , on February 28, 2013 by 30daysout
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You think these ladies are ready for spring break?

Editor’s note: Since the cold weather has doubled down on the country, thought we’d do the same thing with our warm recipes. Today, a reblog of a recent item on Louisiana gumbo.

Ooh, baby, it’s cold outside! In Texas that means it’s about 53 degrees, and a warm front is going to blow back from the Gulf tomorrow, kickin’ everything up to about 75. Hey, we take what winter we can get. Anyway, let’s dig out a deep pot and make some gumbo today.

Gumbo is, of course, that stew-like dish popular in South Louisiana and crummy restaurants across the country. Although it apparently originated in New Orleans, gumbo is most closely associated with the Cajuns of South Louisiana – like my mother from Catahoula and my dad from Cecilia.  Those folks used to make gumbo that was thicker than Atchafalaya Basin swamp water.

Hwy AJ Crawfish GS-297x300

A.J. Judice

I don’t know how they did it – our good friend Dr. Michael DeBakey (from Lake Charles, La.) used to insist the secret to good, thick gumbo was okra. And he lived to be 99 years old and was pretty much always right …  so who knows?

And our good buddy A.J. Judice used to say “good gumbo is the secret to a happy life,” but he never told us how to make it. He knew a lot of stuff about a lot of stuff, or at least he said he did. “When you know, you know,” he used to say in his thick Cajun accent, “and when you don’t know … it’s hard to know.” But we loved him anyway.

OK, let’s get started. The important thing about gumbo is that it always needs a roux. This is made by melting equal parts butter and flour (about 2 tablespoons each) and heating it up until it’s chocolate brown.  If this sounds too hard, you can always buy a mix like Zatarain’s Gumbo Base. Or you can buy the stuff pre-made in a jar (Douget’s Rice Milling company makes a fine roux).  Once you got this goin’, the rest of it comes together like this:

Chicken, 2 1/2 to 3-pound cut up, or boneless chicken cooked

Sausage (that packaged stuff in the supermarket is fine)

1 1/2 quarts water or chicken stock

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped green pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Put your roux, water, veggies and seasonings in a deep pot.  Heat it all up to boiling, toss in the meat and simmer it for about five beers.  Serve this on hot rice.   MMMM!

If you don’t like our recipe, you can check out these tried and true sources:

Chef Paul Prudhomme’s gumbo recipe

Chicken and andouille gumbo recipe from Tabasco

Alton Brown’s shrimp gumbo recipe (Food Network)

And finally, here are a few tunes you can play while fixin’ your gumbo.

MP3: “Gris Gris Gumbo Ya Ya” by Dr. John the Night Tripper

MP3: “Gumbo” by Phish

MP3: “Casses Mes Objets (You Broke My Stuff)” by Mama Rosin

MP3: “Allons a Grand Coteau” by Clifton Chenier

MP3: “La Jolie Fleur Dubois (The Beautiful Flower of the Wood)” by The Revelers

MP3: “Fire On The Bayou” by the Neville Brothers

MP3: “Rad Gumbo” (live) by Little Feat

 

Warm Up With Some Texas Chili

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , on February 27, 2013 by 30daysout

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Editor’s note: This is a repost of a previous entry – kinda like a warmed-up bowl of chili. 

We have done this post a few times but with cold, chilly weather gripping most of the country it seems like staying home and makin’ a big pot o’ chili is a good idea.

The classic recipe, supplied by the good folks who brew Texas’ Lone Star Beer, is available above (click the picture for a larger version).  It’s pretty simple, but here is another recipe from the Austin newspaper that is a multi-meat extravaganza.  Just for fun (and, depending where you live, for ridicule) here are some chili recipes from the Food Network. One of the recipes has spaghetti!

On that last link above, you will notice of course that some of these chili recipes contain a healthy helping of beans.  As a native Texan, it is my duty to remind you that our state’s fine lawmakers some years ago passed a law outlawing the use of beans in chili.  I can’t tell you exactly when and, ah, … OK, I just made up that last part.

Just put in the damn beans if that’s what blows up your skirt.  But don’t blame me if that’s also what blows out your skirt.  Either way, keep a window open – no matter how cold it may be outside.

More stuff about chili, with a few more tunes, here.

MP3: “The Chili Song” by Gary P. Nunn

MP3: “Snow (Hey Oh)” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers

MP3: “National Chili Anthem” by Isaac Peyton Sweat

MP3: “Cold As Ice” (live) by Foreigner

MP3: “Chili Con Conga” by Cab Calloway

MP3: “Saddle Up The Palomino” by Neil Young

MP3: “You Bring The Heat, I’ll Bring The Meat” by Jonny Z and Bobby Rivera

MP3: “Crusty Rolls and Chili” by the Duhks

MP3: “Cold Cold Heart” by Hank Williams

MP3: “Millie Make Some Chili” by Steve Goodman

MP3: “White Winter Hymnal” by Fleet Foxes

MP3: “Hot Chili” by the Steve Miller Band

Video Du Jour: Matt & Kim

Posted in News with tags on February 27, 2013 by 30daysout

Today we begin the slow buildup to South by Southwest, the mid-March music madness in Austin, Texas, where thousands of music wannabes, also-rans, never weres and wish-we-coulds will gather to show off their chops. A few years ago we ran across Matt & Kim, an overexuberant pop duo who seem to have a knack for creating videos that are sometimes catchier than their songs.

This is “It’s Alright,” from their 2012 album Lightning.

Matt & Kim official web site

Video Du Jour: Iggy & the Stooges

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , on February 26, 2013 by 30daysout

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After about 40 years, the second album by Iggy & the Stooges is coming out – Ready To Die, the new studio album from the band under this name (the first was, of course, the 1973 masterpiece Raw Power), is coming out April 30.

The band is Iggy Pop with guitarist James Williamson and drummer Scott “Rock Action” Asheton, with Mike Watt filling in for the late Ron Asheton on bass.

For a bit of context: they were the Stooges first, with the great Ron Asheton on guitar, and released the punk classics The Stooges (1969) and Fun House (1970). For Raw Power, Iggy and producer David Bowie hired Williamson on guitar and relegated Ron Asheton to bass.

Williamson rejoined after Ron’s death in 2009; as Iggy put it then “although ‘the Stooges’ died with Ron Asheton, there is still ‘Iggy and the Stooges’.”  As far as the decision to record and release a new Iggy and the Stooges album for the first time since 1973, Iggy recently commented:

“My motivation in making any record with the group at this point is no longer personal.  It’s just a pig-headed fucking thing I have that a real fucking group when they’re an older group they also make fucking records.  They don’t just go and twiddle around on stage to make a bunch of fucking money…”

Bonus video: Iggy Pop interview

The What If? Files – Fantasy Rock Team-ups

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2013 by 30daysout
Gary Clark Jr.

Gary Clark Jr.

I love those new apps for the smartphone, especially the ones that let you listen to terrestrial radio anywhere in the world. Lately I’ve been digging WDST-FM, Radio Woodstock, operating out of the New York town that shares its name with the festival.

WDST is one of those rare stations whose DJs will say something like “Boz Scaggs has a new album out …” and they will actually play a song from that new Boz Scaggs album. Amazing – you don’t usually hear that on those big-box corporate radio stations. It’s an awesome radio station.

Janis+Joplin

Janis Joplin – a teamup with Gary Clark Jr.? Hmmm …

Anyway, the other day a Radio Woodstock DJ on the morning show – Ron VanWarmer, I believe – said something intriguing. He’d just spun a song from Texas guitar wonder Gary Clark Jr. and after giving the background info on the tune, added: “Wish we could pair him up with somebody like Janis Joplin … that would be so cool.”

He never explained what would make this particular fantasy pairing so great, aside that they’re both Texans and represent a certain authenticity in the music from different eras, but it was a provocative thought nevertheless.

So today we thought we’d carry Ron’s idea a bit further, and suggest a few more fantasy team-ups that would most certainly result in some great music. If only …

Levon Helm with Mumford & Sons – A father of modern folk music and one of America’s greatest singers (and drummers) fronting a foursome of English folk strummers and pickers would be a happy experience for fans on both sides of the Big Pond. Levon in his prime would anchor the Mumford boys with his Arkansas accent on vocals – and Helm’s steady backbeat on the drums would give Marcus Mumford’s right foot a serious break, not to mention a run for the money. If Levon had held on for just a few more years, this dream pairing may have actually taken place. Ah, Levon – we miss ya.

YouTube: “Ophelia” by Levon Helm

Stevie Ray Vaughan with Bruce Springsteen – This could have happened, but sadly never did. They both recorded for the same label, and both worked with the legendary producer John Hammond Sr. Such a New Jersey-Texas connection could have blown anyone else off the stage, and once Stevie Ray warmed up on guitar he probably would’ve left even the Boss in the dust.

Iggy Pop with the Sex Pistols – Another one that might have taken place had the stars been right. Hell, the Pistols even covered the Stooges’ “No Fun.” How much fun would it have been with Iggy on vocals for that one?

YouTube: “Search and Destroy” by Iggy and the Stooges

Jim Morrison with the Flaming Lips – Two different departments of the psychedelia branch, surely this matchup would make heads explode. Or implode – guess it depends on the drugs.

MP3: “When The Music’s Over’ (live) by The Doors

Pee Wee Herman with the Beatles – Think about it. Some of the Beatles’ best songs were so simple as to be nearly childlike, and how cool would it be to hear Mr. Herman warbling along to “Yellow Submarine” or “Octopus’ Garden” or “I Want To Hold Your Hand”? OK, maybe that last one would be really creepy.

Jim James with the Jefferson Airplane – Never thought about it till now, but possibly Mr. Yim Yames is this generation’s Marty Balin.

YouTube: “Know Til Now” by Jim James

Otis Redding with the Roots – A no brainer. These guys share the stage, and it could make heads explode AND blow the roof off the sucker. For that matter, wouldn’t you like to hear Janis Joplin wail a few with Questlove and company? Somewhere up in snowy New York state, Ron VanWarmer’s head is exploding.

MP3: “I Can’t Turn You Loose” (live) by Otis Redding

YouTube: “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” by Otis Redding

Video Du Jour: Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , on February 22, 2013 by 30daysout

Robison Willis

Austin singer/songwriters Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis have been husband and wife for a while and have popped up on each others’ records, but only now they are officially putting out a full album of collaborations. Cheater’s Game, the first in their careers credited to Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison, is a nice mix of originals and well-chosen covers.

Here’s one of them – “Border Radio,” originally done by the Blasters.

Bruce and Kelly Show official web site

Video Du Jour: Girl In A Coma

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , on February 18, 2013 by 30daysout

Let’s start the week with Texas-homegrown Girl In A Coma, the rockin’ trio from San Antonio. Led by the fiery voice and guitar playing (not to mention good looks) of frontwoman Nina Diaz, and anchored by the rock solid rhythm of bass player Jenn Alva and Phanie Diaz (Nina’s sister), the band has been paying its dues since about 2005.

Signing with Joan Jett’s Blackheart Records was a big step for Girl In A Coma, and they’re fixtures on the concert circuit nationwide now. “One Eyed Fool” is off their latest studio album Exits And All The Rest.

 

Girl In A Coma official web site

Get Down in H-Town

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , on February 15, 2013 by 30daysout

NBAASlogo2013

Lots of fun stuff going on this weekend in our hometown, Houston. The NBA has its all star game on Sunday, and there are all sorts of celebrities and tall people walkin’ around the streets of H-Town.

There are some free things goin’ on with all the NBA stuff, but that’s nowhere near as interesting as the shindigs and soirees they’re tossin’ for the high rollers, slam dunkers and playas who are descending upon our fine city.

Sir Michael Jordan Air’d his way into Houston yesterday – on a baby blue private jet with his logo on the tail, no less – for a big birthday party someone is throwing for him and rappers like Sean “Diddy” Combs, Drake, Brian “Birdman” Williams, Fabolous, Rick Ross and Meek Mill all have events scheduled for the weekend.

WILLIE-D 0214

Willie D, advice columnist.

But what are the locals doing? If they’re like me, staying away from anything NBA related.  Sorry – I don’t think I’ll be able to scrape up the $100,000 admission to get me and my posse into Jay-Z’s Celebrity Bash. We had some tickets to see Ellie Goulding and the recently reunited Fall Out Boy perform on Saturday for live TV, but they’re only doing one song each so it wasn’t worth the five-plus hours of time it will take to get herded in and out of the venue.

Maybe most locals will just watch all the events on TV. We might turn to the city’s newest advice columnist, Willie D, for some wisdom. Yeah, Willie D … Geto Boys, “Fuck Rodney King,” … that Willie D. He writes an advice column for the Houston Press now: as it says, “got some real-life shit bothering you? Ask Willie D!”

If you watch any NBA stuff this weekend, have a good thought for Houston. It ain’t so bad here (hint: it’s not fucking snowing!) and most of us who live here kinda like it. You can read more about our fair city at this blog post, it may even have some music downloads that still work. Come visit us when ya’ll get a chance!

YouTube: “Houston, the Action Town” by Juke Boy Bonner

Video Du Jour: Paul McCartney

Posted in Rock Moment with tags on February 14, 2013 by 30daysout

Happy Valentine’s Day. Let’s celebrate with Paul McCartney, who is perhaps best known for his mellow, romantic hit “My Valentine.”

Uh, maybe that’s not what he is best known for. So let’s do this one instead, from 1970, “Maybe I’m Amazed.”

Paul McCartney official web site

Fat Tuesday Video Du Jour: Dr. John, Earl King & The Meters

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , on February 12, 2013 by 30daysout

Did you catch Dr. John’s freaky getup during the Black Keys’ appearance at the Grammy Awards? Mac Rebbenack, in his guise as “Dr. John the Night Tripper” has always been one sorta strange cat – his records in the late 1960s were pretty bizarre and when you consider the period, that’s saying a lot.

DrJohn

Dr. John at the Grammy Awards.

But Dr. John is probably the king of New Orleans piano players (Art Neville notwithstanding) right now. In this video Dr. John, the Meters and Earl King lay down a funky slab of Crescent City, in the form of “Big Chief,” the tune popularized by the former king of New Orleans piano players, Professor Longhair.

Fun fact: Earl King (the dude in the yellow doing the singing) actually wrote “Big Chief.” King is also the composer, of course, of New Orleans standards “Trick Bag” and “Come On,” which he recorded, as well as Lee Dorsey’s “Do-Re-Mi” and Willie Tee’s “Teasin’ You.” King died in 2003, and Professor Longhair died in 1980.

Happy Mardi Gras, ya’ll! Don’t forget: Check out our Mardi Gras playlist from last week.  And, you can tune in to real-time live webcams for a ringside seat to the madness and Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans.  NOLA webcams