“The fun part is closing circuits through vegetables.”

This excels even by my high standards for internet-distributed vegetable-based music. I wonder if you went on tour, could you rely on local supplies, or would you have to bring your own? Could you freeze and then thaw some of the instruments? There’s no way eggplant, for example, would hold up to that kind of treatment. You hit town, your drummer disappears to score, and the carrots go soft…

Via Dangerous Minds

The Listen! Watch! Eat! Year-End Wrapup 2012

Here at Listen! Watch! Eat! we’re so excited for the end of the year roundup that we can hardly type. Thanks to all our audience for being around for the roller coaster ride of 2012, and we know you love the list as much as we do, so let’s get right to it.

MUSIC

Real talk: Pig Leg owned this year. Topher T.’s rich, growling vocals never sounded tougher, and the twin-guitar assault of the Laughlin Twins dropped a Television-quality buzzsaw all over Leggsy and Bags’ rolling unguent beat. No one could have predicted than an offal joke band could go from food truck to headliner in such a short time, but the ‘Leg won our hearts long after they’d left the giblets behind. We’ve heard an advance copy of their upcoming “Uncured” album and you already love it. Trust us.

Anyone who spent as much time as we did at the Rusty Rooster knows how much Garry Turgenev ruled this year. If we said “it’s just slap bass and spoken word” there wouldn’t be many takers, but anyone who goes just once understands. Garry’s branching out, too. The few of us who caught him jamming with Uncle Aloha at the Sausage Festival know he’s got a few more tricks up his sleeve. Stay tuned closely to this station—and to Garry—for a kick-ass year.

This isn’t a big Krautrock town, but we have a treasure. You know who we mean. It’s Leverkühn, who ripped us all a new one this year when we least expected it. Thursday nights at Balder’s was a pop-up temple of the Teutonic. Hissing backbeats and unexpectedly laminated malignancy oiled the groove for some Faustian noodling and snapped-down wrenching worthy of Neu! Don’t be intimidated by Euro-styled hair and apparent ennui. Grab this schnitzel next year.

FILM

And by film we mean indie film, and by indie we mean local. You know what that means: Gazpacho. The single-named soup-named auteur made his usual 24 short films this year, each one a lapidary gem. “Thirty Minutes at the Drive Through” rocked our world the hardest, with an intense focus on commerce and boredom that hit us right here. Nobody didn’t like the Egg Cycle, either: four films d’oeuf in four locations in four days is a record even within the highly competitive Alimentary School. Not every town has a film scene, much less a powerhouse savant like the G-Man. Honor that shit!

The Elephant Leg Collective continues to hold it down with their film happenings at Sammy Peep’s. A late Tuesday night means two things: Irish Coffee and the Elephant’s Leg Collage on the wall outside. Despite the heavy hand of the law, the proud pachyderms screened four films at once eight times this year, to the delight of a well-warmed crowd. Our personal vote goes to the “Four Die Hards of Christmas.” Let’s hope for a less litigious year for the trunksters.

FOOD

When it comes to local and sustainable, there’s no tastier activists than the Food Bike Posse. Going where trucks cannot, these intense but charming young men have powered the Bunny Bacon BLT, Big Balut Burger, Boston Baked Bones, and everyone’s favorite Bat Balls dessert all over town. They won’t admit who the top chef is in their strictly egalitarian collective, but those in the know point to the guy they call Big Nacho. We hear with sympathy the controversy about their “No Dames” policy, but maybe the kerfuffle will give us a posse of Grrl Pastry Cyclists or even a Lunch Lady ride!

Boy, what a storm we had this year over Konys! Owner/chef Topher Ian is the first to admit his concept invites controversy. His international humanitarian focus has a laser-like intensity that shows in everything from the décor to the award-winning menu. You don’t know food in this town until you’ve had his small plates under photographic documentation of ethnic cleansing. The contrast makes a tremendous point, and the tofu/pretzel “hot wings” compete with the artisanal walnut-wrapped pork fat for piquant, energizing snap. Word has it that the atrocities video loop over the bar may give way to soul-searching documentaries, but the barberry Old Fashioned will keep flowing.

Gackers! We all say it at once after a long day or a long night. There’s no better restorative than Manny T.’s nouveau churrascaria, and since he went 24-hour it’s the only place in town past midnight. Our favorites include the toasted snout wrap, “deviled egg” of shaved kidney, and the Tuesdays-only Maw Pie Skewer. Word has it Manny is planning a Pan European Smoked Meat drive-through that might just get us over to the East Side after all.

Be sure and share your year-end favorites and opinions on ours! Hit up that comments section and join the conversation. Here’s to a great 2013 from Topher L. and the whole gang!

My War with Indie Rock

I started to write this thing and did it all wrong. There was a long-winded history of how “indie rock” happened, an examination of my own part in that, and then a whole list of reasons why “indie” gives me a headache. Dumped.

I know what I can’t stand “indie,” and it’s because “indie” is me. Indie rock has all my generation’s vices and even worse, all of my personal artistic crimes. I list these below:

Narcissism. False naivete. Excessive pastiche and homage in place of creativity. An aristocratic disdain for the popular. Rigidity. Excessive irony. Warmed-over modernism. Obscurantism. And no goddamn songs.

I keep having these Emperor’s New Clothes moments where I hear a breathy little girl voice over some feedback, or someone dropping a Velvet Underground quote into ten minutes of detuned guitar wiggling. I know what you’re doing there! You don’t have any songs or any substance, and you know your audience won’t care as long as you follow the style guide! You suck!

I like strange, challenging sound. My favorite artists include industrial bands that sound like a broken dishwasher, jazz that goes SKWONK, scary insane singer/songwriters, medieval European music, Central Asian wailing. No way do I want everyone to sound like Tom Petty.

And I still love pastiche, and quotes, and irony. And I still love Dada and the modernist revolt, 100 years later.

And I can’t fucking stand Klosterman and his celebration of everything popular for the sake of its popularity. That’s just this same attitude turned inside out, with extra patronizing.

I just want people to make good art instead of following rules. And this is especially true when the rules are the ones I rigidly clung to when I was 18 and a shining knight of the avant weird. At least two generation of musicians have looked to the “indie” of 1985 and duplicated it exactly, from the square glasses to the narcissism. Stop! Make a different thing!

So in conclusion, my war on indie rock is a war on my own failings as well as my generation’s. My appeal to indie rockers is: Please stop being me. I’m tired of me. Be more surprising.

They’ve come to take my music.

I heard today that the Pogues were used in a Subaru commercial. Haven’t seen it. I hope it’s “Sally MacLennane.” This isn’t quite as bad/good as “Blister in the Sun” advertising fast food (BLURGH!) but it’s a little surprising.

My generation (I’m 45) is now the target of semi-random generational marketing. Many of us are established and have extra money (note: if you are in this group please contact me). We’re also dominating the marketing business itself right now, so the lazy ad person will remember what lit up the night in 1986 and think “that’s what will nail it!”

In this spirit I offer some suggestions to those who want to reach the semi-lucrative market of Gen X middle-aged people, those of us who aren’t $20K in debt with no house and chronic medical problems. For instance. Let’s move on.

Shipbuilding,” by Elvis Costello. A couple dancing slowly in the sunset on the deck of a ship somewhere in the Caribbean. “Is it worth it?” he sings, as he swings her around in his arms and she smiles upwards. V/O describes selling points, ad ends with Elvis returning to sing “we should be diving for pearls.”

Lost in the Supermarket,” by the Clash. Song plays as mopey 40ish housewife pushes cart around drab yet overlit market, looking at identical cans. Red tag catches her eye, prominently featuring supermarket loyalty card logo. She picks up a jar and smiles: it’s Goober, a delight of her childhood. Outro with slowing fading bassline and slogan on screen: FOUND.

I was going to put some reggae in here but that’s all been heavily prepped by Caribbean Vacation Culture and marijuana. On we go.

I Need Love,” LL Cool J. Middle-aged African-American professional guy driving his upscale SUV through traffic, frustrated. Everything goes wrong, traffic, drink spills on him, phone rings and it’s his jerk boss, etc. Finally arrives home to wife and kids who open door both holding Cokes, and handing him one. The three enjoy the beverage on the porch. Slogan on screen, “COKE” fades into “LOVE.”

Senses Working Overtime,” XTC. Attractive woman of a certain age clearly plagued by multiple allergies. Sneezing shot, eye rubbing shot, pulling back in terror from plate of food. OTC medicine introduced. Closing shot with happy woman enjoying some if not all of her sensuous experience in life.

“The One I Love,” R.E.M. Flower delivery. Not much else to say here.

I Will Dare,” The Replacements. Parallel shots of hopeful-looking man and woman of a certain age looking at computer screens, reading emails, on the phone, meeting. Clearly some sparks in the air, shared laughter, fade into new couple walking down the street away from camera. Logo and url of dating service.

and finally,

Debaser,” Pixies. 2015 Hyundai Andalusia minivan.