More posts about food (if not buildings). And the Bottle Rockets.
Let me start with that second part: The Bottle Rockets, because it segues into the theoretical reason I’m here typing just now. Their new album came out August 11 (on Bloodshot). I’d add in the title, but it’s out in the truck and it’s hot as blazes out there, which doesn’t mitigate the utter laziness (or unrestrained primitiveness) of not looking it up online…OK…Lean Forward, it’s called. Now, this is a band which graced the cover of ND twice, who were signed to (and had their career short-circuited by) a major label, who were featured in our very first issue — we left off final production of the magazine to drive down to the Tractor Tavern and show them the layout of the article, wretched though it was, and who presently record for one of the most storied labels in the small world I once wrote almost exclusively about. Now, granted, I disagreed with Peter’s push to put them on the cover the second time (and it didn’t sell all that well), but…
…I actually thought the record had been out for months, and that I was just getting to it. That, I figured, explained why nobody seemed to be talking about it. Or maybe I missed the discussion.
Briefly, then, it’s an uneven record, to these ears, but it has two or three songs that remind me why they were and are a band I always looked forward to seeing and listening to. One of which I’ll probably play on the radio whenever I actually start doing that, and, no, I haven’t hinted at this before, and, no, it’s not going to be a big deal, but if and when it happens I’ll come across with a URL and some streaming info or whatever the paradigm is.
But I came here to talk about food. Partly because one of my favorite writers from before ND just resurfaced through the miracle of Facebook, reborn as a chef. And I’ve spent the last weeks helping to open a new coffeeshop. I should probably add, for those who actually don’t know me but read this stuff anyhow, that I am not now nor have I ever been (except for a period of about a week when I was in second grade, home sick and in the thrall of Garner Ted Armstrong) a Christian, and that the coffeeshop is inside a Baptist Student Center.
We’ve hired nine very nice kids to work for us, and they keep asking about playing music. The shop’s a little small, the acoustics are very hard, and we have no desire to pay ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC what they think it’s worth to have music playing, but we do let the kids have music back in the kitchen. All the sudden I find myself inundated with praise music, with contemporary Christian acts, with “hallelujah” coming out the side of my consciousness. This is part of why I didn’t really want them to have music in the place, because I don’t want to be stuck listening to this. But I am curious, in a distant kind of way, to see (or hear) if there’s any great talent languishing in that world which will embolden me to write a word or two or buy (hah!) an album or two, or whatever.
Which is enough of a digression before I mention that the other reason for my periodic absences here is the harvest, and it’s gone tolerably well despite the weather. We’ve exceeded last year’s score of 125 quarts of greasy beans put up (we made it to 131, and will stop there). The roma tomatoes have proved fine canners, and we have enough of the other heirloom breeds for as many tomato, basil, and feta cheese salads as we wish to eat. It’s been a lousy year for peppers, I’m not sure we’ll get more than a meal or two of okra (it would’ve helped if I’d hoed that part of the garden, but…), and the corn did right well.
That’s it from Appalachia. Y’all be good.