Friday, April 27, 2012

Neon Trees - Everybody Talks

This song has been out since December, but I have just recently been listening to it on repeat.  It's just so happy and bouncy.

Neon trees is touring this summer.

Song poster via.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Evans the Death - I'm So Unclean

I first heard about this song here and have been loving it ever since.

Their album just came out April 6th, and you can stream the whole album here.

Album cover via.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

White Bean & Chorizo Soup with Greens

We've been getting a produce bin every other week for the last couple months and have had varying success getting through all the produce. We had leeks, carrots, celery, and a bunch of assorted greens sitting in the fridge, so I decided to make a big pot of soup earlier this week.

This recipe is easily adaptable, and would actually be really easy to make vegetarian by omitting the sausage and using vegetable broth. It's also super fast if you have a can of beans around as opposed to having to cook the beans yourself. I kind of borrowed from this recipe and this recipe, making adjustments for what we had in the house and for personal preference. Seeing as it was designed as a clean the fridge kind of meal, I was pleasantly surprised with how good it was, and now I've been eating it for lunch all week.

Recipe Notes: I stole the trick of adding your spices in with your onions/carrot/celery mix and letting them fry a little from Indian food, but I do it now in almost all my cooking because I think it really helps meld the flavors, even with a short cooking time. The general idea of this soup is to add the things that need some browning/the most cooking time first, then de-glaze your pot with the wine and/or diced tomatoes, before finally just wilting your greens and re-heating the precooked beans after adding your broth right at the end. Feel free to substitute up the wazoo on this recipe. I had leeks but no onions, but you could use either or shallots for that matter. I always have Basque chorizo in the house, but an italian sausage would be good too. The greens we had in the house were a bunch of collard greens, a bunch of broccoli rabe greens, and then I love the flavor of celery leaves in soups, so I threw those in with the greens at the end as well. If you're using collard greens, kale, or chard, make sure to de-rib the greens before chopping up the leaves, but you can dice up the chard stems and throw them in with the onion/carrot/celery mix at the beginning too.

White Bean & Chorizo Soup with Greens
Serves 4-6

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 leeks, white and light green parts, rinsed and cut into half-coins
2 carrots, rinsed and cut into half coins
4 celery stalks, rinsed and chopped
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
salt & pepper
2 chorizo sausages, cut into coins (optional)
1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes
4-5 cups broth or water
3 cups chopped greens (i.e. collard greens, kale, chard, spinach, celery leaves, broccoli rabe, etc)
1 can (14 oz.) white beans, drained and rinsed

In a large pot, add olive oil and heat on medium high. Add the chopped leeks, carrots, and celery stalks, as well as all your spices plus salt and pepper to your preference, and cook until softened, about 5-10 minutes, stirring every so often. Add your sausage (if using), and cook for another 5 minutes or until your sausage is cooked through.

De-glaze the pan by adding the wine and tomatoes (with their juices) and giving the whole pot a good stir, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Then add your broth or water and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer for 5-10 minutes and then add your greens and beans. Simmer long enough to wilt the greens and re-heat the beans, about 3-5 minutes.

Taste for salt and pepper and acid. (A couple of tablespoons of vinegar added at the end can really zhush up a soup if you feel the flavor is lacking - I would have used red wine vinegar here, but forgot to.) The soup is done when all your vegetables are cooked through and the greens are wilted.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Alex Clare - Too Close

So let's talk about dubstep. I think lots of dubstep music is great, and it's certainly having a moment right now. But to that point, it almost seems like artists are now throwing in heavy, thrumming bass lines to jump on the bandwagon, and brands are using dubstep songs in their advertisements in some pretty non-intuitive ways, like the Internet Explorer commercial "A more beautiful web."

I think the song "Too Close" by Alex Clare is a good example. It's the one used in that Internet Explorer commercial, and was one of the first songs where despite liking the song, I really didn't feel like the bass or dubstep qualities of the song really fit.

The official video for "Too Close" is below, and while the video seems to fit the dubstep qualities of the song, it doesn't match the message of the song. And the video itself feels a little cliched to me.

Luckily, there is a live unplugged video of "Too Close" on youtube, embedded below for your viewing pleasure.

While I still like the unplugged version, I don't know that I prefer it, so maybe I'm buying into all the dubstep hype.

For further interesting reads, I really enjoyed this article from earlier this year, "Why Does America Love Skrillex?" and this slideshow about how the Inception trailer created a trend of heavy bass-soundtracks for movie trailers.

Album cover via.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

tUnE-yArDs - My Country

I've posted about tUnE-yArDs before, namely how cool Merril Garbus is. She just released a new music video today, which you can see on her website. It is for "My Country," which came out on her album w h o k i l l about a year ago. Her website also has her spring and summer tour schedule which is all over the place. I'm super excited to see her at Sasquatch in May.

This video is pretty stinking cute, with her very effective deployment of kids once more. They are in fact so cute, that it got picked up by Vulture, NY Magazine's pop culture blog.

Video image via.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Young the Giant - My Apartment

I went to the Young the Giant concert here in Portland at the Roseland Theater last night, and they put on a great show. Their song Cough Syrup is also really great and is actually in the top 40 of the charts in Italy. They're just finishing up their tour here in the US before heading over to Italy and Holland for a few shows. My roommate Kasey is friends with Sameer from college, so we got to meet the band, and they could not have been nicer.

Their album came out back in the fall of 2010, so most people have probably heard of it, but I thought it was worth the reminder. Also, they just released a new video for My Apartment.

Crowd image from the 4/5 show at the Roseland Theater via.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Lumineers - Ho Hey - take 2

I've already posted this song once before, but it's good, and the full-length album just came out today. I also really like their song, "Classy Girls."

I also just saw them live at Mississippi Studios in Portland last Friday, and they put on a great live show. They are currently touring all over the US, and a bunch of their shows are already sold out. They recently released an official video for "Ho Hey," which is below.

Album cover via.
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