Sunday, January 10, 2010

Taste of Savannah with Kylesa, Baroness, Black Tusk and more

Savannah, Georgia is a beautiful city that is inundated with history. From the squares that celebrate famous people in American history to Juliette Gordon Low's birthplace (the founder of the Girl Scouts) to the St. Patrick's Day celebration to Bonaventure Cemetery (where the likes of Oscar Wilde and Jack Leigh have gone for inspiration and Johnny Mercer and Conrad Potter Aiken now rest) Savannah seems to have left a footprint (or at least an artistic smudge) on pop culture, music, film and literature. (Photo at the top by Dutchnatasja)

J-Fur and I have been drawn to the city ever since we stopped for a visit five years ago. But because of the distance from Tampa we constantly convinced ourselves that we weren't drawn to it (if that makes sense). This week, both of us still on break from our jobs and schools, we decided to go back for a day.

Our first stop, upon arrival, was Back in the Day bakery for a sugary breakfast. The bakery had an old school flair to it, though not one of great wealth but one that you might've found in a common man's quarters. But the cupcakes were anything but common. My first bite found the cake and icing to be slightly crusty and I feared the worst. But the outer crust served to protect the moistness and taste and neither of us were disappointed. Because of our recent holiday break seconds were out of the question but both of us were tempted.

Bake in the Day Bakery's Red Velvet Cupcake

After breakfast we visited the shopping district and walked along the North historical district. It was a cold day so Jennifer stopped for some hot chocolate at a corporate behemoth. After a walk through Forsythe Park we stopped at the Sentient Bean for lunch.

Everything I read about the Sentient Bean told me that the place would be a hipster haven and I wasn't disappointed when I walked in. The dark coffeehouse was lit by Macs, iPods, and ironic t-shirts. But the shop was more than this, it mixed politics, recycling, art and living wages amongst the toys and t-shirts. I was hesitant about the food because coffeehouses, to me, equal so so fare, stuff I could make better in my kitchen. But the Sentient Bean didn't disappoint. After a few strikeouts (they were out of vegetarian french onion soup and green dip) I settled on a crostini with three dips. Fresh, warm and thick this was some of the best bread I ever had. Jennifer went with the Zesto Pesto which was also very good.

Three Dips at the Sentient bean: Hummus, Red Pepper, and Garlic Cheese

The Thick Crostinis for dip dipping.

We spent the afternoon wandering around cemeteries and walking through the Historic South district of the City. I tried to convince J-Fur to visit Leopold's Ice Cream but it was too chilly for that. When dinner time rolled around we ate at the King and I Thai Restaurant (another blog post about here). The exterior of the restaurant, which is located in a strip mall, leaves a lot to be desired. The interior was completely empty except for the people that were working. If food was based on the building it is served in then this place was certainly poised for a letdown. But it is not and we were pleased with what we ordered.

Drunken Noodle with Tofu
Savannah's music scene is currently dominated by metal music. One of the bigger bands is Baroness (also talked about this post) whose album Blue was met with a lot of favorable reviews. Here is "A Horse Called Golgotha" from that album.

Another band making people pay attention to Savannah is Kylesa. From their album Static Tension released in March of 2009, "Scapegoat."

Black Tusk recently signed to Relapse Records after putting out splits on No Idea (with Holy Mountain), Brutal Panda (with Fight Amp) and Hyperrealist (with ASG). They expect a new album in the spring of this year. "Fixed in the Ice" comes from the album Passage Through Purgatory released in 2008.

Other Savannah Metal Bands to Check Out (if you are into that sort of thing):
Pig Heart Transplant

Bite Itself