Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A rare surprise - The Alabama Shakes

I have been doing the music thing for a long time. I think this was my 23rd year of the CMJ Music Conference. Add to that numerous times attending SXSW, New Music Seminar, Foundations Forum and so many more now long gone it is rare that I see anything that excites me, let alone surprises me. Then last week I saw The Alabama Shakes.

My friend Jason mentioned he was going to see them and sent me a link to a live performance. That was enough to get me out and what I saw and heard was tremendous.

This is music I didn't think any one could make anymore. At least not anyone under the age of 65. This is old school rock and roll, R&B and blues, but it is not retro. Not a throwback. This is not Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings. This is clearly the music they grew up with and they have made it their own.

And the songs are great.

They are a five piece band from Alabama. Brittany Howard is the singer and guitar player. If you saw her on the street, you would think maybe she was your school administrator, maybe she worked with you in your office. Turns out she is a guitar playing second coming of Otis Redding. No Joke.

Here are some links. Google them. Devour them. Find what you can. Most importantly, find when they are playing near you. Find out fast, because the word is out. This is the rare occasion of a band building quickly because they are actually great. And get me a ticket.

This is how they get you - follow up

It seems like their plan is working. "Why?" you ask. Because I am giving you a link to the recipe for my friend Catherine's buckeye's. I tried not to, but she is so nice, and they are so good.

It also happens to be on her food blog "Healing Comfort" that is wonderful. Great recipies for the keeping the body and soul healthy (and since we already know they include peanut butter and chocolate, they can't be bad).

That said, Go Blue!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

This is how they get you.

The first two things you learn when you become a student at the University of Michigan is that there is no worse place on this earth than Columbus, Ohio and there is nothing more loathsome than a Buckeye. While we all know how to get to Columbus (South till you smell it, East till you step in it), no one knows exactly what a Buckeye is. Rumor has it it is some type of deformed acorn.

Over the last few years a strange thing has happened. I have made a number of good friends here in NYC that are originally from Columbus, Ohio. They are all, despite what I had been told, lovely, smart people. It has made me re-think all I have been told. But now I wonder.

My friend Catherine, born and bred in the Columbus area, and a graduate of OSU, made me a batch of Buckeyes. Whatever they are in real life, Catherine's are, essentially, the greatest peanut butter cup you have ever eaten. A mound of smooth, rich peanut butter goodness enrobed in chocolate heaven. They are incredible. As I was eating one and thinking that maybe Columbus wasn't that bad after all a terrible realization creeped into my head. This is all part of their plan.

Clearly, they pick the best of the bunch and send them into the world to corrupt weak minded Wolverines. Not to worry though. I promise, as I eat each and everyone of these Buckeyes, I am thinking "Go Blue!" in my head.