Whiskey, New Music & Curing the Hangover

Posted in Uncategorized on May 12th, 2011 by Babs

You’ve gotta admire fate (or the universe, or whatever you choose to call it) – sometimes it causes you to cross paths with people you probably never would have met on your own.

My pal Ashley recommended that Kris Orlowski get in touch with me about doing press on his album. He needed help promoting his new album and that same blasted fate (or universe, or whatever) likes to let me think I’m getting out of the publicity business and then cackles and pulls me back in.

Since Kris cares more about crafting great songs than being hip, him making it into the Stranger would be as weird as Steel Pole Bath Tub getting into Rolling Stone — but I pulled off the latter and I’m determined to keep trying on the former because his songwriting is so damned good. No, he’s not The Head And The Heart, but I have a feeling he’ll be putting out stellar albums of smart, emotionally resonant pop-rock long after this choral folk-pop thing is as dated as my high school perm.

I asked Kris to contribute because he’s awesome, and also because he’s releasing a new EP, which you should check out. Record release show is Thursday, May 12 at the Columbia City Theater in Seattle

Heeeeeeere’s Kris (and a little preview for the show!)

 

Being from Bellingham originally, Seattle was a bit of a change when I first moved down.  As I started touring, I got to see quite a few places and a few years back I had the privilege of taking a trip to a killer studio in Asheville, NC to record at Echo Mountain Studio.  I was really excited to record at the Echo Mountain, partially because I was really into a Seattle group, Band of Horses, at the time and they had recently recorded their last album at Echo Mountain.

Needless to say I was salivating when got a tour of the place before our session began.  Our producer for the album was the likeable, talented Steven Heller, who had an awesome Carolina accent and accompanying personable, laidback demeanor.  With that laidback demeanor (or maybe because of it) came a love for whiskey — and not just any whiskey:  Basil Hayden.

I was just young buck, with big brown eyes and shaggy hair, when I walked into that studio, but after sipping Basil Hayden every night for a week after our studio sessions, I basically became a man – or at least hair started growing more consistently on my chest.

After that experience, I was on a quest for a good bourbon whiskey, but I haven’t found another like it since.  I don’t recommend mixing it with anything (no rocks, no coke, no lime).  All you need is the bottle and maybe a glass.

I still listen to Band of Horses, but my playlist is always changing and lately I haven’t been able to stop listening to a few bands; James Blake, Fleet Foxes, James Vincent McMorrow and an old favorite Sufjan Stevens.   James Blake will actually be in town on the 19th of May at the Tractor and James Vincent McMorrow will be here on the 22nd of June at the Triple Door.  I saw the Fleet Foxes at the Columbia City Theater in April, thanks to a friend, and was pretty blown away.  Too bad Robin is moving to Portland.

As I’m sure all musicians know, the good and not so good part about being a musician is you are surrounded by booze all of the time at shows and usually drink for free.  After a late night show with some festive “celebrating”, I often wake up the next morning liberated, but super hungover – and in need of a kick start.  There is one dish that is my go-to for hangover mornings; it is the quintessential breakfast of champions.

 

3 eggs

¼ can of black beans

1 small fistful of spinach

1/2 Avocado (you can do a whole if you’d like)

1 tbs. balsamic vinaigrette (this is just a guide)

(optional) – pico de gallo.

(optional) – some SHARP cheddar…do yourself a favor, don’t use medium.

Add three eggs to a heated skillet and scramble them.  As they gain substance add spinach and black beans.  Once the eggs are done, put them on a plate, adding avocado and balsamic (might need a sprinkle of salt and pepper).

Enjoy and hope to see you May 12th for our release at Columbia City Theater!

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Look out – it’s JAWS!!!

Posted in jaws, music, seattle on April 29th, 2011 by Babs

Let me just say this up front – don’t ever get into a dance-off with Mike Jaworski.  I got coaxed into a) retrieving a forgotten laptop; b) delivering it to a hotel room during last year’s SxSW; c) polishing off a bottle of bourbon with Jaws and fellow Seattle booker/musician/friend Greg Garcia upon delivery and d) judging a dance-off between the two of them. No contest. Jaworski will kick your ass every time.

 

While he and Greg wouldn’t join me in polishing off SxSW by leaving to see the legendary Zeros (it was pretty freezing/blustery outside, but c’mon – I offered to pay for the taxi!) he’ll always be one of my favorite Seattleites. His old band The Cops kicked (and re-kick) some serious ass, and his newest outfit Virgin Islands continues that kick-in-the-ribs post-punk immediacy of amazingness.  They, too, will kick your ass every time.

 

Jaws (I will never cease to be amused typing/saying that) also books the incredible Sunset Tavern, where he curates great music.  No one is more perfectly suited – the guy CREATES great music. He also runs an incredible label called Mt. Fuji that has released records by The Maldives, amongst others.  Dude KNOWS good music.

 

Oh – he also bartends!  And calls Devi’s Apricot contributor/good pal Ian Moore out on PNW Mexican food!!

 

So here he is, weighing in on my favorite topics. Go see Virgin Islands’ record release show on Friday, May 13 at the Columbia City Theater. Just don’t get into a dance-off with him – and if you make me judge it, just know in advance that I already know that you will TOTALLY lose.

 

Let’s party with the good stuff, with JAWS!!!!

 

 

I suppose it goes without explanation that one of the many occupational hazards of being a touring musician (and tending bar) is access to plentiful amounts of booze. Throughout the years of both aforementioned endeavors, I’ve seen my tastes and habits in both food and drink change. Thankfully, mostly for the better… my early years of touring were spent guzzling as much beer as possible, all while taking any free shot given to me. As a younger man, I seemed more resilient to these long nights and late mornings of over consumption. The hangovers in the long van ride the next morning seemed much easier back then, or maybe I was just more tolerant to feeling like shit all day long. Either way, as the years passed, I gradually started listening to my body and refining what booze and food I could eat, and how much was enough. The years of shoveling any kind of fast food and cheep beer down my gullet are thankfully over. I really don’t profess to be an uber-pretentious foodie or booze snob. I just know what makes me feel good, and I just happen to like good booze and food. The act of consumption is one of the most holy things we can do to our body, so why fill our earthly temples with toxic crap. Let’s party with the good stuff!

 

Fortunately for me, my experience taught me that one of my favorite types of alcohol is also one that agrees with me physically and mentally. That lovely libation is tequila. Like a lot of people, my first tequila experience was tarnished in my early twenties after downing a few shots of crappy Cuervo Gold, and I paid the price. It was many years later on one of the early tours my band The Cops were on, when my bandmate John Randolph introduced me to Cazadores Reposado. He convinced me it was much better than the previous offender. I tried it and I was hooked. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing many more high-end tequilas (Casa Noble anyone?) but I will always come back to Cazadores as my go-to, mid-priced tequila. This tequila possesses a degree of smoothness with enough of a peppery bite to alerts the senses. Yes please, and thank you.

 

The aforementioned tequila is the tequila of choice in a shot I concocted called the “Caca del Toro” which is named after Paul Newman’s erstwhile fishing boat. It’s a simple and delicious shot that resembles a little margarita, but with more kick (as a shot should). I’m sure I didn’t invent this, but my version is good enough to pass on. Have at it:

 

Caca del Toro (r.i.p. Paul Newman)

2 fresh lime wedges, muddled with ice

1 ½ oz. Reposado tequila (Cazadores preferred)

½ oz. Gran Marnier liquor

 

Pour the tequila and Gran Marnier float in a pint glass full of ice and the muddled lime wedges. Shake and strain into a rocks glass. Enjoy!

 

My next drink invention is in the works. I call it the Lion Tamer. The three main ingredients are scotch, a pith hat, and a whip. I still haven’t found a bar willing to put this one on the menu. I guess it’s time to look into opening my own.

 

Lastly, Ian Moore is a wonderful, intelligent, talented and handsome man. However, he needs to look a little harder to find some quality Mexican food in the Northwest. I generally agree with him, but there are a few places worthy of praise. Ian, are you up for dinner? You’re buying, right?
Michael Jaworski

Mt. Fuji Records

mtfujirecords.com

206.949.1698

 

Coming Soon:

– Point Juncture, WA – Handsome Orders – LP / CD / Digital – May 2011

– Follow That Bird – Wooden Bones – 7″ / Digital – spring 2011

 

Out Now:

– Wow & Flutter – Equilibrio! – LP / CD / Digital – October 19th, 2010

– Spiral Stairs / Long Winters -split 7″ / Digital – September 21st,  2010

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