Saturday, August 19, 2017

Click (Music): Celery Root, Johnny Kills, Smash Boom Pow and SOFI TUKKER

I've been doing the celery root/white bean shuffle this week. Here's how it played out in the music I listened to (and the videos I watched):

"Pitted" by Sløtface

Happy Saturday night. Right now I'm playing "Never Have I Ever" with a group of friends. While they load up on utterly loathesome bulls**t like Coors Lite and Milwaukee's Best, my cup is full of Matthew Biancaniello inspired cocktails made of celery root. Not the best things I've ever downed from a cup but at least I'm not pulling strings from my teeth like I was during my initial celery root phase.

Last round I made the statement, never have I ever skipped going out so I could watch Netflix with the sound off while listening to a Norwegian alt-rock band get all anthemic about spirited introverts on their debut album. Everyone just stared at me. I took my shot.

I give you "Pitted" by Sløtface. The song that just cost granted me a shot made from alchoholic infused celery root.

"My Shirt Guy is High" by Johnny Kills

Johnny Kills described "My Shirt Guy is High" as summer evening slacker-psych music. I would call it unshaved bikini line in the dark pool music. Maybe the best approach is to marry the two and say "My Shirt Guy is High" is unshave your bikini line because you are a slacker in a dark pool on the summer evening...psych music.

Sorry dude, gotta run. Spin Magazine (the online version) is currently on my cell phone. They said they want to hire me because of my "nobody understands what I'm talking about" song descriptions.

"Way Too Much" by Smash Boom Pow

Smash Boom Pow is a blood brother duo from Vancouver, BC. Brother Ulysses [vocals/guitar] came up with "Way Too Much" to quell two primordial needs: therapeutic release and indie rock fanboy.

The brothers have pointed out that the chorus “you’re asking way too much of me” is not written because their mom expects them to clean their rooms (or some other unreasonable labour request) but rather a response to unfair emotional demands that can inflict some serious psychic damage. Be true to yourself, compromise for the sake of the relationship or move to a farm during rainy season and watch your prized celery roots swell, crack and brown at the heart? That is the essential question "Way Too Much" sets out to illustrate.

 "Subtitles for X, Y, Z" by Creo

Creo's new song, which is the title track from their upcoming EP mind you, is "all about getting out of your own head, fucking off agendas and accepting that those innocent quirks you try to hide need to be loved by yourself, first and foremost.” Take a page out of the celery root's playbook. Don't be afraid to let your warts, knobs, rubbery roots and meshed tentacles hang out for everyone to see. You'll be all the better for it.


"She Believes in the Devil" by Send Medicine

This video can best be summed up as Woman claims this mid-century bungalow house as her own. She then has her way with it.

"F*ck They" by SOFI TUKKER

It took a while for this song to sort of grow on me. Actually, strike that, I'm still not convinced it has grown on me. As far as the video goes, I'm way down with the bar/restaurant in it. All those crazy colors, slaughtered vegetables and freaky movements. What's not to like? Just wish the celery root could've gotten a bit of love.

"A Place to Drown" by John Joseph Brill

In case you missed last month's Food Flavored Album review of John Joseph Brill's latest EP, I said that "A Place to Drown" might be tragically romantic or it might just be tragic. Either way it is haunting. The only thing that I would like to add to that breakdown, after seeing the video, are the words celery root. I haven't quite figured out where they fit but there is absolutely no denying that they belong in their somewhere.

"Pitted" by Sløtface

Two things have occured tonight thanks to Sløtface's "Pitted." I'm getting really gøød at making the ø øn my cømputer and I'm alsø develøping a bit øf an affinity før Prøseccø as a celery røøt chaser.


Get All of 2017's Click Tracks (when available) in One Spotify Playlist:

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Taste of Orlando

As a last hurrah before heading back to work, I packed up the family last week and headed to Orlando. Here is a snippet of what we were eating (and drinking) during our three day visit.

Ethos Vegan Kitchen |  601-B South New York Avenue, Winter Park

Nothing combats the lingering effects of a late night arrival better than an all vegan brunch. Because of their relatively early opening, the family and I drove to Ethos Vegan Kitchen in Winter Park to fulfill our vegan brunch needs. For whatever reason, I had avoided this place every time I previously visited Orlando. As soon as I walked through the doors, I wondered what I had been thinking. This place was love at first sight. Big windows, interesting artwork, a high brow bar and low brow seating all flowed together to create an aesthetically pleasing restaurant. All that would be for naught if the food wasn't good. No need to worry, this place was absolutely toothsome.

Ethos' brunch menu is less extensive than their typical daily one. Still, despite its scaled down appearance, I still did quite a bit of waffling. Decisions, decisions. In the end the breakfast burrito called my name. The burrito is stuffed with tofu scramble, home fries and vegan sausage and smothered in vegan sausage gravy. I loved the combination of tofu, sausage and home fries and the sausage gravy was some of the best I've had. Anywhere. Ever. The completely smothered burrito just sort of melted right into my mouth. The only downfall of it was you couldn't eat it with your hands. A small price to pay for such a delicious dish. J-Fur ordered a cinnamon bun and Ethos' newest brunch offering, the breakfast skillet. The cinnamon bun was perfect. Soft and full of flavorful cinnamon. This is how all vegan cinnamon buns should roll. The skillet seemed like it would be right up our alley considering it included tofu scramble, lots of sauteed veggies (like onions, green peppers, red peppers and broccoli) breakfast sausage, home fries and cheddar cheese. Unfortunately the skillet was a bit too oily (yes even for me). Two perfect items, one good one. I'll take that every day of the week.

Erin McKenna's Bakery NYC | 1642 East Buena Vista, Orlando

We visited Erin McKenna's Bakery a few years ago after a Walk the Moon concert at House of Blues. The show ended pretty late and we high-tailed it over to the bakery, getting in the door right before closing. We ordered a cupcake and, well, I wasn't super impressed. This is what they eat in New York? No thank you. After two visits to Brooklyn last summer, I felt that I could definitely say New Yorkers know how to eat. So Erin McKenna's Bakery got one more shot.

I'm glad it did. We ordered two cupcakes (for J-Fur), a pineapple upside down cake (for me) and a shot of frosting (for Z-Bot). The two cupcakes were both moist and delicious. Neither was saturated with sweetness. I was surprised, being a total fruit dessert fan, that I actually liked the chocolate cupcake (not pictured above because it was already eaten) slightly better than the berry one. The berry one had a lingering aftertaste of something that neither of us could place. The chocolate was wham, bam, thank you maim with nothing hanging around after. Neither cupcake could hold a candle (is that a thing people say?) to the pineapple upside down cake. Again, perfectly moist, sticky, with big pineapple rings. This cake is what all fruit desserts should strive to be. I tried to eat only a little and save the rest for later but that didn't happen. I scarfed the entire thing right then and there. #NoRegrets. I didn't eat any of the frosting shot because Z-Bot was too busy wearing it on her face like a dessert badge of honor. She loved it.

The most amazing part of Erin McKenna's bakery? Everything is not only vegan, but gluten free. Normally I can tell when things are gluten free. Erin McKenna's did a great job masking it. I look forward to my next visit to Disney Springs just so I can eat these desserts again.

Lemon Shark Poke |  7600 Dr Phillips Blvd Suite 102, Orlando 

Lemon Shark Poke wasn't on the list of places I bookmarked before going to Orlando. It was more of a whim...sical move (clang!). We wound up here because after walking Disney Springs, J-Fur said she was hungry for sushi. I Yelped sushi and Lemon Shark Poke came up with a hot and new designation and a lot of really good reviews. It wasn't too terribly far away so we headed in that direction

Lemon Poke Shark can best be described as what happens when a sushi joint copulates with a choose-your-own-food-adventure restaurant like Chipotle. You start by picking a style. You can get a bowl, sort of like deconstructed sushi, or you can get a sushirito (sushi that is as big as a burrito). Next, you select a base. This can be won ton strips, white rice, brown rice, black rice, salad or a combination of any two. J-Fur combined brown rice and the won ton strips in her bowl. After that, you pick from various proteins. The only vegetarian friendly one offered is tofu. Finally, you fill the rest of the bowl with various pickled and fresh vegetables, sauces, seasonings and seeds. J-Fur's bowl was awesome. It was full of vegetables that tasted fresh, not like they had been sitting around a while and tasty tofu. The crunch of the won ton chips and the soft, chewiness of the rice offered a pleasing food dichotomy. She ate her bowl quickly and was very satisfied. If they story ended there, we would've left and thought man, Lemon Poke Shark was a fine place to eat. But it didn't end because J-Fur was so satisfied with her meal that she decided to take a sushirito to go. She wasn't quite as pleased with it because she didn't put any won ton strips in so they sushirito lacked the crunch that she so thoroughly enjoyed from the bowl. I thought the sushirito was really good. So good that I started researching Tampa sushirito places before I pulled out of the parking lot.

Z-Bot also ate at Lemon Poke Shark and this is my only complaint about the place. She is very picky and only wanted some rice, carrots and corn. The employees kept asking are we sure she doesn't want some type of protein. We said no because she doesn't eat meat and she isn't really a tofu fan. Unfortunately that left her bowl rather small and yet she was charged full price. I know the employees felt bad, that's why they kept asking if she wanted more. Maybe a way to do some rice and veggies a la carte for the picky eaters might be something to consider.

The District at Mills 50 1221 N Mills Ave, Orlando

After spending some time at My Little Town, an indoor play area that Z-Bot absolutely adored, J-Fur and I wanted to track down some kombucha on tap. We could've gone to Market on South, but I was still full from breakfast and I couldn't bear going there without eating. Most of the other places I bookmarked that had kombucha were already closed. That meant a visit to The District at Mills 50.

I bookmarked this place because it was a store that was full of various vegan items. When we arrived I was quite pleased to find they had a lot more vegan food items than I thought they would. I perused the coolers, checking out the various nutmylks, pizzas and drinks that they had for sale. I approached the bar and asked the barista about the tapped kombucha. He said it was a watermelon mint one. Unlike Market on South, which taps Humble Bumble kombucha, the District serves the Orlando City Kombucha brand. This was our first experience with Orlando City Kombucha. Both J-Fur and I were pleased that the watermelon mint was light and refreshing and not overburdened with mint (in fact, I wasn't even sure the mint was in there). Definitely a pleasing kombucha.

I didn't plan on eating anything but the giant peanut butter brownies on the bar looked fabulous so, I ate dessert. Again. After ordering the brownie, the extremely friendly barista asked if I wanted ice cream on it. Sure, it's vegan, why not? He then asked if I wanted homemade caramel on it. And that, my friends, is how my simple brownie became an elaborate dessert. But boy was I glad I did it. All three of those food components played off each other nicely. The ice cream, which has a coconut base, didn't even taste like coconut. The chocolate and peanut butter of the brownie were, well, a match made in vegan heaven. The caramel sauce was a great finishing touch.

Lazy Moon Pizza | 11551 University Blvd, Orlando 

Lazy Moon Pizza came about because Z-Bot said she wanted pizza. This place was extremely close to the District, so we rolled into the parking lot and pulled up the menu. J-Fur asked for the Asian tempeh salad with ginger dressing (pictured above). Z-Bot said she was super hungry so we ordered two slices for her. I almost got myself a slice because Lazy Moon offers vegan cheese but the brownie had down me in.

Boy, two slices was a mistake of gigantic proportions. These slices are not your typical Papa John sized slices. One slice was the size of Z-Bot's torso (I guess that is why their website says you have to eat their pizza slices with two hands). No wonder slices cost four dollars each. Needless to say Z-Bot could only finish one slice so J-Fur ate the other. That meant her salad went untouched. No worries, I ate it the next morning for breakfast.

Drunken Monkey | 444 N Bumby Ave, Orlando
Our final stop on the trip (only because the Humble Bumble taproom we visited afterwards wasn't open despite the sign that said it was open on Sundays) was Drunken Monkey coffee shop. This place offered numerous vegan coffees, pastries and sandwiches. It also has some non vegan and meat items as well. I wanted a flavored latte. I looked at the list of Drunken Monkey flavorings that they had right by the counter. This was quite an extensive list. Flavors like cherry, lavender, chocolate, etc. I would estimate there were about 25 plus different choices. I love that the coffee shop lists right on the flavoring card, which ones are better when paired with chocolate and which ones are vegan. That saved me from asking a ton of questions. I ordered a cherry and dark chocolate iced latte with hemp milk. Yep, you read that right, hemp milk. First coffee shop ever that had hemp milk as a dairy alternative.

Whoa. For those of you that love coffee, this is probably not the place for you. I couldn't even taste coffee beneath the cherry and chocolate flavorings. I do love a good coffee but even more than that, I love a good drink. This latte was a great drink! My only regret was that I had but one latte to give to my body. If I could've handled the caffeine, I would've gone down that latte list trying multiple flavors. I guess I know where I will be getting my coffee fix next time I am in Orlando.

That's it. That's our weekend in a vegan nutmylk shell.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Food Flavored Song of the Day: Caffeine on an Empty Stomach by Tattoo Money

Current Initiatives held their Christmas in July event at Hidden Springs Ale House last night. I took Z-Bot and a box of Legos, thinking it would be a good time to teach her about the importance of caring for other people. Once we were at the bar I decided I didn't want to be that lame guy that just downs water, so I looked for something non-alcoholic on tap. The only thing they had was Commune and Co.'s Nitro Brewed Coffee. Even though I had already had coffee in the morning and hadn't eaten much during the day, I ordered one anyway. I knew I was going to die. I texted as much to J-Fur. The drive home from the bar was one of the roughest I've had. I alternated between thinking I was going to puke and feeling like I was having a heart attack. When I did finally make it home, sleep was not in the cards. Weird dreams kept me up half the night, cold sweats kept me up the other half.

When I left the bed this morning my first thought was I know exactly what Tattoo Money means when he says "Caffeine on an Empty Stomach." Based on the video and the rest of the lyrics, I don't think Tattoo Money is talking about drinking too much coffee at the bar. The video depicts everyone's desire to put Tattoo Money in a box. He is an African-American that plays guitar and owns records by Avenged Sevenfold, Arctic Monkeys and Cold War Kids. The white guys in the video want to deck him out in gold chains, Jordans and have him shot baskets. The African-Americans in the video want him to choose between Elvis and Notorious B.I.G, the white girl pop star or the African-American one and take a swig of Hennessy. There is, however, a happy ending. The end of the video finds all the haters in a field where Tattoo Money starts putting on a show. To their surprise, both the white guys and African-American guys enjoy themselves.

The video:

Just the sounds:    

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Food Flavored Album Review: I'm Not Alright by John Joseph Brill

My 13th favorite song last year belonged to the "brandy-warm baritone songsmith," John Joseph Brill. This year, JJ Brill has been hard at work on his brand new EP, I'm Not Alright, which was released about two weeks ago. I decided to give I'm Not Alright the Food Flavored Album treatment alongside a Chickpea Indian Bowl I whipped up the other night (except I was out of chickpeas so it became a Cannellini Indian Bowl).

JJ Brill spent his early 20s as lead man in the London based heavy rock outfit Burning Beard. In 2013 he wanted to explore a more confessional and honest form of songwriting. He left Burning Beard and went out on his own. It was here, as a solo artist, that he began writing and performing songs about heartbreak, death and friendship. "I'm Not Alright," the EP opener and the one the EP is named for, explores the former. The track was born out of a breakup that left Brill out of both money and home. The more he put into "I'm Not Alright" the more it transitioned into something more than just a breakup song. It is about people who are hurting or scared or not well having the right to just speak up and say "I'm Not Alright." The music for the track has a relaxing and comfortable 80's feel to it.

"I'm Not Alright" exists on this EP in the same space that the beans take up in the Indian Bowl. For one, the chickpeas being replaced by cannellini (can this still be an Indian bowl then?) is definitely something that traditionalists will claim is not alright. More than that, beans are a comfort food, something that can turn a mood because they remind you of something in your past that was positive. Beans are also super cheap. They are the kind of meal that you eat when you are broke and/or broken.  

"Smoke," the second track on the EP, is an atmospheric electro-pop ballad that slowly builds in passionate intensity. It seems to be about escapism and turning to vices to forget the pain of meeting someone that fulfills everything you've ever wanted and then losing them ("You were all I wanted...wrapped up in smoke").

In the Indian Bowl those vices would be symbolized by the chickpea sauce. This sauce is created by combining all kinds of powders (curry, cumin, cinnamon, ground ginger, coriander), tomatoes and coconut milk. These items, when put together just so, can deliver you from your least for a little while. Then, like all vices, that feeling fades and you are back chest deep in broken-hearted suffering.

"A Place To Drown" is another ballad, although this one is steeped in piano. If "Smoke" seemed like balladry that would be found in a Future Islands discography, "A Place to Drown" is more Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. The theme of "A Place To Drown" is one that I waiver back and forth on. My first take was that JJ Brill was pouring his love out in a strangely dark way. I mean "If you need a place to drown, I'll be the water" is tragically romantic. But on repeated listen it became clear that the subject wasn't ok. He was suffering from violent outbreaks, a silent phone, a former partner's laughter and ghosts of the relationship that crumbled. So this idea of drowning, was that just another way of signifying the violence felt? Like literally, if you need to die, let me be the one that helps with that?
Whatever the case, "A Place To Drown" is haunting. It is also, in my opinion, the strongest track on the album because of its staying power.

The staying power of the Indian Bowl (and the piece that "drowns" and appears "ghostly") would have to be the coconut milk. It is also the ingredient that ties the whole recipe together.

"The Leaving Song" focuses on just that, leaving. It is about the ending and the confusion that comes along with it. The pain of hearing those words you never thought you'd hear and wondering why it had to happen ("Why'd you'd have to go and say a thing like that, such a dreadful thing as goodbye"). This song utilizes more indie rock techniques than the others. If we are considering it a ballad, which it still comes off as, it would be more of your power ballad. This song is the yin to the EP's yang. There are the backup vocals that are distant and screamed, there's also the sparks of musical elements at the end which seems like it could've come from the Postal Service.

"The Leaving Song" is like the lime in the Indian bowl. The lime is the acidic spark that ignites the dish, the yin to the coconut milk's yang (or the sour to the sweet).

John Joseph Brill's I'm Not Alright EP wraps multiple takes on ballads around painful, introspective lyrics of violent heartbreak. Most of us have been there before and can immediately relate to what Brill is dishing out. Immerse yourself. It will hurt and painfully remind but it will also perform a function that vices cannot. I'm Not Alright will help put you on the track to being alright.

Do it with an Indian Bowl of replacement beans and you'll get there twice as fast.*

*Not scientifically proven, testing is in the early stages.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Food Flavored Album Review: Recharge by the Tambo Rays

The first time I experienced Larabars was at the finish line of a half marathon. The company sent someone to hand out samples. I grabbed a handful, scarfed them down, remember liking them and then moved on. Years later, those little bars began showing up in grocery stores. Every time I thought about purchasing a box, I'd look at the price and head the other direction. Those bars, in all their plant based and gluten free glory, were definitely not cheap. To combat the drain on my wallet, I did what most adventurous kitchen types would do, I started making my own version..

Then Larabar brought out a new line of products called Larabar bites. These were essentially the bars rolled into truffle like bites. So, I started making them too. Recently I've become enamored with the double chocolate brownie bites. These bites consist of just six ingredients: dates, cocoa, dark chocolate chips, coconut flour, almonds and sea salt. In my kitchen I added a seventh, coconut shreds. To make the bites just stuff all these ingredients into a food processor and pulse until they become tiny bits. Then add a little water, pulse a few more times and voila, start rolling chocolate snowballs. While working out the logistics of this recipe, I listened to the new Tambo Rays EP, Recharge (released on July 17th via OIM Records). Both the bites and the Tambo Rays EP had a lot in common.

Recharge kicks off with the upbeat, sun soaked, pop rock of "Yes and No." According to the band it is a song about letting go of old habits, the uncertainty of wandering through new territory and confronting the difficulties that arise from leaving behind the safety net of the status quo. Hmm...sun soaked, letting go of the status quo, releasing old habits. Sounds a bit like coconut flour if you ask me. Coconut flour is born and bred from a fruit that hangs out on a tree that is found in tropical, sun soaked climates. In the bites that I created, the coconut flour took the place of traditional flour. It can be tough to let go of white flour, and it certainly is the road less traveled, but sometimes it can be so worth it. These bites were one of those times.

Recharge's second track, "Always Down" embraces the same sort of glimmering pop as "Yes and No" but the lyrics hint at something a bit more melancholy. "Always Down" was written about being there and supporting a friend who is dealing with some dark days. The necessary support is most apparent in the lines "And I'll always be there for you, situations unknown, and I'll always be there for you, to take you where you want to go to." These lines are ambiguous in the sense that they allow the darkness to remain unnamed. When a friend says they need you, it doesn't really matter what the situation is, you go. And if they need you to take them somewhere, again, the destination isn't relevant, you drive until they are satisfied. Satisfaction, underlying darkness. Not only do these words describe, "Always Down" but they could just as easily represent the chocolate chips and cocoa powder found in this recipe.

"Wrong Turn" takes the adage go big or go home and makes it reality. This isn't just a pop song. It is a sonic, tilt-a-whirl of wavy synths, moody percussion and sexy guitars. These elements provide a stylized base to prop up Sara DaMert's emotive lyrics. "Wrong Turn" is the second most evocative track on Recharge. Long after the EP fades to silence, the lines and sounds of "Wrong Turn" remain in your brain like little earworms of enthrallment. The Medjool dates used for these bites are every bit as enthralling, moody and evocative as "Wrong Turn." Medjools, because of their elevated status in the date world are often referred to as kings, diamonds or crown jewels. Not sure you can get more enthralling than that. They have a rich, sweet taste that brings to mind differing food moods like caramel, honey or cinnamon.

What ties these chocolate bites together is the almonds. The "almonds" of Recharge is the closer, "Get It Right Now." This track is the most evocative of the lot because it combines aspects of each of the previous tracks. "Get It Right Now" features some of the same sonic elements as "Wrong Turn," the upbeat, sun soaked pop of "Yes and No" and the underlying melancholy of "Always Down." Its chorus seems to say that despite the fact that you are going through or have previously gone through some tough moments, time will heal those wounds ("To fall in love it just takes time"). Same with those pesky almonds. Pulse a bit and try to roll these bites and you'll be met with the tough almond exterior. But give it some time, pulse a bit more and you'll wind up with an easily moldable nutty treat.

Recharge by the Tambo Rays and Double Chocolate Brownie Bites have a number of things in common. Ultimately what stands out is the staying power of each. This staying power is created in both of these by combining catchy immediacy with a subtle and brilliant nuance.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Food Flavored Song: Bear Claws by The Academic

Let's take a nostalgic look over our shoulder for a few moments. Look over there, I see the 1980's. Ah and the 50's, they were pretty sexy in a completely harmless way. Here we are, the 1920's. That's where we want to be. It was here, in the roaring 20's, that the sweet, yeast-raised pastry, known as the bear claw came into being. A bear claw, for those not in the know, is a pastry filled with almond paste (and sometimes raisins) that is shaped like a semicircle with slices along the curved edge. As the dough rises, it separates evoking the shape of a bear's toe. Thus the name, bear claw.

Just twelve days ago Irish indie rock band the Academic also decided to send a nostalgic glance over their should. They too saw "Bear Claws." But in their world bear claws are not pastries, they are themselves, as teenagers, trying to navigate their way through the "minefield that is youth socializing." The song is, according to the band, about all the stupid things that they did during their youth. It is about thinking only in the short term, not worrying about long term implications. It is also asking people to be honest and open rather than holding back. Something that is much easier said than done.

You want honesty? Looking nostalgically over my shoulder to my youth, I realize that I only ate a bear claw once. I didn't like it all. Thankfully the Academic version of a bear claw is so much easier to stomach.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Artist's Cookbook: What's Cooking With Swine Tax?

Vince Lisle likes to cook Italian food. Well, maybe likes isn't strong enough of a word. Vince Lisle is passionate about cooking Italian food. He is so passionate about it that every day for two years he would cook (and eat) a different dish of risotto or pasta. He collected his favorite recipes, notes and stories about Italian cooking and published them on his blog Cibo Di Chenzo.

Aside from cooking, eating and blogging, Vince is also the lead vocalist and guitarist for Newcastle upon Tyne alternative rock trio, Swine Tax. These guys make music that is well structured and warmly laid down. Lyrically they deal with personal themes like social alienation, uncertainty in love and chronic pain (something that Vince suffers from).

Swine Tax's second single, "Brittle," is hot off the presses. The song instantly struck me as something I would be listening to on the regular. First there's Vince and his vocals. He presents the lyrics in a variety of fashions throughout the track. There's the high pitched siren, not a grating siren that is blaring right next to you, but a more restrained one shooting off in the distance. There's the hypnotic choir like sounds. And the pogoing chorus. All of these surround the frenetic verses that border on losing control but never quite do. Then there is the lyrics themselves. How the hell can you not find yourself relating (and singing along) with introspective lines like, "Please don't love me, I'm not worth it, please don't love me I don't deserve it"? Backing (and sometimes fronting) the vocals are spirited guitars which roam around distorted and garagey in places and clean shaven singer-songwriterish in others. Sometimes they shake fast, sometimes they move slow, other times they just make you wonder if the dreaminess you are experiencing is a sign that you are asleep. The song's drums play out in a similar manner. They slow down, they speed up, they hypnotize. Swine Tax's "Brittle" is indie rock at it's finest. All those changes in timing, vocal deliveries and style lead to a truly unique and scrumptious listening experience.

After blasting through "Brittle" about a dozen times, I asked Vince which of his recipes he would suggest pairing with it. He said the Pasta with Sardines, Almonds, Olives and Blood Oranges. Hmm... I thought that comparison made total sense to me. I mean you have a pasta made up of a number of distinct elements, including crunchy almonds and salty olives. Just like the music in "Brittle." Then you throw in something as stand out, complicated and subtly brilliant as a blood orange and you've got a meal that is off the charts. Or, as Vince says, "seriously scrumptious." That's the vocals and lyrics in "Brittle."

Scrumptious meal, scrumptious music.