Archive | March, 2016

Getting What You Pay For

31 Mar

South By Southwest jumped the shark years ago, but now it has come to the point where if you don’t have access to a badge (good luck tryna buy one. You better start saving up now), then you can almost forget about seeing half the acts that you like.

The festival has become a bigger deal each year since I started going back in 2006. There was still a fringe element to it back then, where things were clogged, but the streets were still fairly navigable. I could not buy a wristband or badge, and still see plenty of the shows from anywhere in town. Now the major acts almost triple the unsigned ones, and you have to venture east of Red River to see anything resembling a DIY artist.

What is crazy to me is how much you must think ahead for everything during SXSW week (month?)–needing just as much of a game plan for avoiding the cluster as you’ll need for joining the fray.

Lines for every popular coffee shop, or food haunt become longer, and trying to hit up the famed BBQ spots is almost unthinkable. So imagine my surprise when a friend and I were able to just pull up to Micklethwait Craft Meats, ten minutes before they opened, and just get in line. We were fifth to get our order taken when things popped off, and let me tell you, it was legit.

The analogy I like to make about barbecue is along the lines of being an herbal connoisseur. Growing up, I smoked a lot swag because it was all I knew. occasionally, a friend would luck into some White Widow, and it wasn’t until I smoked that where I learned the difference in quality of buds.

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BBQ is similar in that regard. In the late 90’s and early 2000’s, places like Hardeman’s, Rudy’s, Poke Jo’s, Sonny Bryant’s, Gates, and Dickey’s were considered to be really good. Nowadays these chains are like the swag of good barbecue. They’ll do in a pinch, but once you’ve had the really good stuff, it is difficult to not think about what you could be consuming.

Places like Salt Lick, Kansas City Joe’s (formerly Oklahoma Joe’s), and Micklewait are what my college friends would refer to as “BC Nugs.” Pretty good quality, but ultimately mid-grade stuff.

I actually really liked Micklewait. I’d rate it as a high quality mid grade–the 2015-16 Cleveland Cavaliers of Austin barbecue. Their beef rib (18 dollars a pop) are as good of a beef rib as I have ever had. It came right off the bone (a big ass bone at that–probably half of what you pay for when you are paying by the lb.) and was tender and delicious. I just salivated thinking about it.

The jalapeno cheese grits (yeah I know that I don’t normally fuck with side dishes) are otherworldly. I wouldn’t call myself a grits fan at all, but I don’t see anyway that you could improve the taste of these grits.

Their sausage is on point as well. It has just as much flavor as Smitty’s sausage, but not nearly as greasy. My only real complaint was that the brisket was a little salty. That being said, it was extremely tender. Apparently they also offer goat on Saturdays, which is something I love eating. I’m certainly going to back on a Saturday and give it a run.

There aren’t too many bells and whistles at Mickelwait. It’s just a trailer over in east Austin that is right down the street from East Side Pies. But I’ll vouch for it. If you don’t feel like hitting up the long ass lines at La Barbecue or Franklin’s (spare me), and you’re not in the mood to drive out to Lockhart, then this is your spot.

It is getting increasingly hard to rate all these bbq joints. When you start getting top-tier quality meats from places like Franklin’s, La Barbecue, and Smitty’s, it all tastes the same in its own wonderful way. Anyone who has been to a weed dispensary on the west coast, or in Amsterdam, can relate. Its only when you get the lower grade stuff that you can actually tell the difference. I guess what I’m saying is that Texas is quickly becoming the Amsterdam of barbecue, and that ain’t a bad thing.

 

 

 

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Spring Break Mini Playlist

29 Mar

Doomstarks- Victory Laps (Madvillains Remix)

Madlib-Fallin 

Tame Impala –The Less I Know The Better

Nujabes- Love Sick pt.2

Talking Heads-Warning Sign

Easy Star All Stars-Lovely Rita

Deerhunter- Hazel St.

DJ Shadow –Ghost Town

Lykke Li- Little Bit (Autoerotique bootleg Remix)

Radiohead- Bloom (Jamie XX remix)

St!ler-Down

 

 

Been that Kind of Day

23 Mar

Cuz you never know………

An American Werewolf Screening in Tulsa

16 Mar

When I texted my mother that I’d be taking in a screening of the 1981 classic, “An American Werewolf in London”, she texted me to “stick to the roads, be aware of the moon, and stay off the Moors.” No I’m just kidding. She told me that it was the first movie she and my dad had ever taken me to.

This text revealed to me what all the sessions of therapy had not, and I finally understood why shadows and werewolves scared me so much growing up. I still to this day can’t be in the same room if the Thriller video is on television (the Vincent Price part especially creeps me out).

I hadn’t seen “Werewolf” since I was a kid, and hadn’t even thought about it, until I saw an advertisement for it on Facebook somewhere (Actually thats a lie. This chick and I rented it from Blockbuster one night after our shift at Red lobster. But she thought it was cheesy, so we mugged down instead of watching it.). I figured if there was a movie that was made to be seen on the big screen, then this was it.

If you ever have the chance to see it at the theaters, you should do it. It is hilarious, it is spooky, and it is in a way sad.

For those of you who’ve never seen it, it is about two American college students from New York, Jack and David, who are  backpacking across Europe. They start in England with the intention of finishing up in Italy.

Jack starts the movie off stating his reservations about being in a cold, and spooky part of England, when they could be in warmer weather with better chances of meeting women. Jack,a smart aleck, with a typical New York sense of humor is both easy to like and loathe. His inability to pick up on social cues indirectly causes the two of them to be forced out into the moors, on a wet and chilly night.

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It is only after they hear the howling of a wild animal, that they realize that they didn’t heed the advice of the local townspeople, and see they did not keep to the road, and that there is a full moon.

The results are disastrous and David wakes up to find that he was in a coma for 3 weeks, his best friend Jack was “killed by a madman” (as David may or may not have been running away from–leaving Jack behind), and that he is in London, having bad dreams about Nazi monsters killing his Jewish family (scenes which are both terrifying and darkly humorous)

There is a heartbreaking scene of the main character, David going into a phone booth, and calling his little sister in New York to tell her that he loves her before he tries to unsuccessfully off himself. It sets up an epicly weird scene that turns into an unforgettable 25 minutes of cinema.

For such a hokie movie, it really forces the audience to feel an assortment of emotions. The gags are really dark, but extremely funny. The dialogue is loaded with Jewish humor that can be easy to miss if you know nothing about the culture. There is even a classic Knock Knock joke sprinkled in the script for good measure.

I don’t think a movie like this would see the light of day in this era. The 80’s were a riskier time for movie making. People were not afraid of making bad movies where the mistakes could be just as fun as the highlights. Gore and humor aren’t exactly synonymous in this day and age. There is a self awareness about this film that isn’t around in a lot of “scary” movies.

The final scene in the movie is the biggest payoff, and when the credits roll, you don’t really know what to feel like. It was so good, I went back the next night; knowing I wouldn’t have a chance to sit in a theater and see it on the big screen again. Believe it or not, it was just as good the second time around.

Thanks Mom and Dad for hipping me to this film so early in life. The therapy, high electric bills, and sleepless nights finally paid off. This might be my new favorite movie. Now if I can somehow talk the Circle Cinema into screening the Warriors movie…..