Sunday, February 13, 2011

Genoese Minestrone shelled by Moksha, If They Ask, Tell Them We're Dead and the Twilight Singers

"You say that we've got nothing in common, no common ground to start from and we're falling apart."
-Deep Blue Something "Breakfast at Tiffany's"

My family does not share the love of Breakfast at Tiffany's like the main characters in Deep Blue Something's 1994 one hit wonder. Our common ground is Olive Garden. It is here that red meat devouring carnivores can sit side-by-side with lettuce munchers in gormandizing merriment. Call me boring or a creature of habit but every time I eat at Olive Garden it is the same thing: salad; minestrone; bread sticks; and water. After our last visit, I decided that Minestrone was too good to only eat once a year. So, I made my own.

Genoese Minestrone

-olive oil
-1 onion, small dice
-2 celery stalks, small dice
-2 cups baby carrots, cut into rounds
-1 cup water
-1 cup vegetable broth
-1 can diced tomatoes (28 ounces)
-2 cups spinach
-1 can cannellini beans, rinsed
-1 can kidney beans, rinsed
-2 cups fresh green beans
-Parmesan Cheese rind
-4 ounces shell pasta
-3 Tbs. pesto
-salt and pepper (to taste)

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions, carrots and celery and saute for seven minutes (onions should be translucent).

2. Add the water, vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, spinach, beans and Parmesan rind to the onion mixture. Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat to a simmer and heat for forty-five minutes.

3. Turn the heat up to medium. Add the shell pasta and cook until pasta has the desired consistency. Remove from heat.

4. Stir in pesto, salt and pepper. Gut it.

Nothing says Genoese Minestrone as boldly and proudly as Moksha. The band should represent the things I hate. The lyrics leave a little something to be desired, I would love whispers that were about something much cooler than "do you try to get high," and the rhymes sound like my third graders could write. But oddly enough it is the music and the female back up vocals that keeps me coming back to "Take This Smile." Moksha is trying to get themselves a record deal. If you are interested, like their facebook petition page and see if it helps.

I heard "Komba" by If They Ask, Tell Them We're Dead over at Swedesplease and it didn't do much for me. But at the bottom of the post there was a link to the entire EP and I clicked on it. My feelings were somewhere in the middle until "Bow & Arrow" came on. I instantly liked this song which mixes speed and distortion with an intense wall of sound and muddy lyrics. It is like a trip through the swamp minus the disgusting heat and smell. It also makes me think of Primus minus the long winded art swag and consistent letdowns.

Also Minestrone friendly is the Twilight Singers. "On the Corner" is just as big as "Bow & Arrows" but it offers a much cleaner sound. You can see (and hear) right into Greg Dulli's vocal chords. The track comes from the band's new album, Dynamite Steps, which is set for release on Tuesday. A tour to support the album follows.