Sunday, November 25, 2007

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes, Hot Sauce-Glazed Tempeh

Not that these are supposed to go together, but they were both pretty tasty. I made the cupcakes a few weeks ago for my friend's post-marathon dinner potluck. She's one of the most athletic people I know but inexplicably this was her first race ever. She's also a gourmand (although she's eaten fromage de tĂȘte), so the potluck was great. The cupcakes weren't as good as the maple pie but they were alright -- nothing special. The frosting was fun though.
The hot sauce-glazed tempeh, courtesy of Isa's new tome, was awesome. Apparently the secret to tempeh is to boil it before doing anything with it. All that weird fishiness gets cooked off, and when you're marinating it in Valentina you're guaranteed it's going to be delicious. It was perfect with some mashed sweet potato (de-veganized with some dairy butter).

The Go-Betweens

The Go-Betweens were an Australian pop band from the 80's that were kind of like the Smiths, but less maudlin, more varied, and even more genuinely affecting. Of course the Smiths had one of the greatest guitarists of all time, but that's another issue. Here's one of Grant McLennan's best songs, "Bye Bye Pride," from their 1987 album Talullah.

I tried to go chronologically with these guys, but Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express and especially 16 Lovers Lane are so good that their earlier albums were sort of passed over. The review of 16 Lovers Lane describes Grant McLennan's "refined yet primal emotional transference" as just one of the amazing things about the album. That being said, the Go-Betweens would still be one of my favorite bands if they had only written "Cattle and Cane" and broken up the next day.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Japan -- Adolescent Sex (1978)

Once in a while you hear a band that reminds you that there's more amazing music out there than you'll probably ever hear, and in my case, that most of it came out before 1985.

It's hard to believe that this was 30 years ago. What is it that makes this stuff so special?