I do believe I met Ian Moore in ’02, through an off-handed email/phone intro by a somewhat shady music attorney. We immediately connected (I have a tendency to do that with smart, funny people) and became fast friends.
I also became a fast fan. I had never heard Ian’s music the first time I met up with him in person at a show he played at the Sunset, but my jaw hit the floor pretty quickly. One of the most powerful, soulful voices I’ve ever heard, but with the skill and nuance to keep things riveting. Plus, he had a song about Abilene, Texas – my dad’s birthplace. It was like a sign from the Universe, y’know?
The first time I booked an evening show at Easy Street, I put Ian on the bill – along with Steve Turner from Mudhoney, Mark Pickerel, Jon Auer from the Posies and Sarah Shannon from Velocity Girl. It was a bunch of Seattle insiders and Ian was still a bit of the outsider. The audience was packed with folks like Mark Arm, Ken Stringfellow and Matt Vaughan (who owns Easy Street), not to mention a ton of hard-to-impress record store employees and various long-term Seattle music connoisseurs.
Ian stole the show, breaking a string in the middle of a medley of one of his own songs, “Today,” and the Carter Family’s “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” without breaking his stride. He went a cappella while he changed his string, stomping for emphasis, and came back in right at the most intense moment of the song. It was one of the most powerful performances I’ve ever seen and you could have heard a pin drop. Insider status accomplished. Here’s another version: today/circle
I’ve spent multiple Thanksgivings/Vashon hang-outs with Ian and his awesome family, not to mention countless (semi-)memorable nights in Seattle, Portland, SF, LA and Austin. I unintentionally introduced him to Matt “Hurricane” Harris and several of the characters listed below, thereby setting the stage for this post and his awesome new album/collaboration with Matt, the Lossy Coils, “El Sonido Nuevo.” I love the guy to death.
HOWEVER, he and I will never see eye to eye on the subject of Mexican food. He’s a purist; I grew up in the land of Mission burritos and migrant farm workers. If we’ve had any stress in our friendship, it’s been an ongoing debate/lecture about the topic. See below.
But as it turns out, we see pretty eye-to-eye on the subject of guacamole.
Go buy his new record, and if you’re in Seattle, come see him, Hurricane and Kyle in person at the Sunset on Saturday, April 23. They kick some serious ass, in a rockin’ pop kind of way.
May the circle be unbroken…
Tell it, Ian – tell it!!
The holy triumverate: Music, Food, and Drink. Many much greater than me have fallen hard, a dumb smile implanted in the concrete below. I find that a majority of my life is filled with these three things, and i try to keep my concentration on them lest i get pulled into wasteful thinking about money, politics, and religion.
I am from Texas. Some of you may have noticed that i have been wearing my cowboy boots again. When i first moved here i tried shifting my footwear to a more Northwest-friendly shoe after slipping too many times on rainy moss-covered surfaces. I tried all types of different gripping soles, but finally just decided to take smaller steps and go back to my boots. They put me at the right angle, slightly forward, and help me keep going.
When i first moved up here i was determined to not be a typical Texan( a theme i have failed at all over the world). Seattle is a demure place, and being a newcomer, i was determined to soften my words, and soften my actions. Texas was settled by Germans and Mexicans; Seattle by Norwegians. I’ve been to Norway, so i did my best imitation. People saw right through it, and to be honest so did I. You are who are, and whatever it is it’s best to just put on your footwear and move on..So I am.
One of my favorite pastimes is complaining about the dearth of Mexican food in Seattle. I sometimes extend this argument to ‘lack of Mexican food on the West Coast’, but this is quite upsetting to folks so I keep it more regional most of the time. Being a blog, and being on the internet which is only half real anyway, i should go all the way. This is how i see it: The West Coast, filled with lovely seafood and omelettes, great vegan options, and spots with spectacular Indian and Asian food, is above a vast desert portion of Mexico. It’s true that there are great fish tacos in Baja, but the jungles and fertile vegetable-growing areas of Mexico, and most importantly, the state of Oaxaca, are more centrally located, and closer to Texas.
Thus, as the West Coast gets burritos (an American invention), Texas gets a cornucopia of regional cooking. By the way, ‘Tex-Mex’ was invented for people coming to Texas to eat Mexican food. None of my friends – at least the ones I will claim during my rant – would ever set foot in a Tex-Mex restaurant. We, and by ‘we’ i mean the people of the state i left 12 years ago, get not only amazing Oaxacan food, but also dishes from the Yucatan, central (Cuernevaca government style), and the simple but brilliant tacos of the ‘Norteno’ region with some of my favorite salsas(check out ‘mule drivers’ salsa).
When i was a kid we spent a ton of time in Mexico, mostly in Tepoztlan and Cuernevaca. My parents had fallen in with a group of amazing thinkers, part of the ‘El Grito’ literary scene that was a major shift in the literature/culture in Mexico in the late 60’s. I have some amazing memories from that time, most of them revolving around food. My brother’s godfather was a bullfighter, Fernando Corral, or “El Corralito” as he was known. He was also a lover of the holy three, and passed this recipe for making guacamole onto me.
The most important ingredient doesn’t go in the guacamole, but is what you grind everything up in. Its called a Molcajete, and it is a pumice-based grinding tool that goes back to the Aztec and Mayan people.
-avocado–(4-5)you want them almost too ripe, they get a nutty flavor right at the end that is pretty key (here is a pretty interesting story about the history of them and why they Haas aren’t the best)
-serrano chile–1-2 minced
-tomato- 1 chopped (believe it or not, the romas are often the best choice up here, unless you have access to some great heirlooms)
-garlic- 1-2 cloves minced
-white onion 1/4 minced
– cilantro- around 2-3 tbl minced
The first, and most important step, is to grind up the serrano, onion, garlic, cilantro, a bit of salt, and juice of one lime into a paste in the Molcajete.
Mash up the avocados into the paste. It can get kind of messy, but just eat whatever spills over. it’s your right.
Put in the chopped tomatoes and mix.
i then taste it and add more lime and salt as need.
The most obvious thing to drink would be either a Negro Modelo (with lime) or a real margarita.
I used to drink a virgin version of a Paloma, as a kid, running around Las Mananitas, chasing peacocks and raising hell. This is a fun drink and fits well with the 2 months of summer we get up here. Plus your stomach won’t be as acidic when you wake up after a long night of drinking and arguing.
SO music..We just came back from SXSW, where we just released our new record ‘El Sonido Nuevo’. We saw some amazing bands like Smoke and Feathers, the Jim Jones review, and the Lost Brothers, as well as many of our good friends from Austin/Seattle like the Black Angels and Cobirds Unite. Quite frankly, though, SXSW is less about music and more about hanging out with your friends. We had an A-team this year with our Brits (Jonno and Mark), lala Lydia, myself, Hurricane Harris, Tangborn, and an often expanded group of miscreants. If you don’t know these people your liver is better off, but your soul is wanting. Every night was an adventure in depravity and the inevitable spiritual renewal that came in the form of breakfast tacos and bloody marys. Matt and I, as well as our drummer Kyle, have spent a bit of time backing up Roky Erickson. I knew him as a kid as well, because he spent a ton of time in my dad’s store, Anableps Anableps. My dad, a Buddhist scholar, sold eastern artifacts, focusing largely on Tibetan/Indian art, and Roky spent a lot of time around the Tibetan sacrificial skulls. Roky sometimes had to leave when he would frighten the less open of his customers. Roky, and his music, are deeply woven into my being, like Doug Sahm, Townes, and the countless other people that we grew up with. I had been hearing stories about the Elevators and their exploits since i was a kid, and i had grown to despise the idea of Harvey Gant. One of the famous Elevator stories was about their trips to hide their weed from Gann, who was prone to break in during the middle of the night to bust them. they were so paranoid that they would bury it outside of Austin by the electrical towers. To get their they had to drive down 2222, which was a windy, hilly road, that wound west from Austin towards lake Travis. They called this the rollercoaster, and eventually like all good psychic travelers, the journey became the destination, and the Rollercoaster was an event in itself. The Elevators typically would do the drive under the influence of Psychedelics, but then again they did most things like that. They recorded a song about it, of course called “rollercoaster’. On Friday night, after a long night of music and too many people, we grabbed the Brits, and Jegar(Roky’s son). Lydia was driving, and Hurricane was watching from the back. Here is how we did it and how to do it if you are so inclined:
*You take Balcones north from 45th. Don’t take Mopac as that is a highway, wasn’t there in the 60’s, and won’t prepare you properly
*Do whatever you need to do the get your mind right. someone has to drive and the world is a stricter place with more people these days
*When you get to the light to turn on 2222 cue up the song.
*Turn, turn up, turn on..
*The song is a perfect length, and gets you to about 360 where you can turn and head back south if you want..If not continue on through the darkness towards the lake. From there you are on your own…