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Saturday Night Tunes & Food

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Matt talks about music and BFD talks about food to make up for the lack of football tonight.

Presumably dreaming about BFD's wing recipe.
Presumably dreaming about BFD's wing recipe.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

It's Saturday night, and there's only one football game on. To make sure things don't get covered in dust and drowned in dust bunnies, I open my soul, and BFD opens his stomach, to give you some music to listen to and a recipe to try out.

Matt Weston:

There's a difference between something being your favorite and something being the best. This is true for any type of pop culture we consume: movies, television, sports, books, podcasts, video games, music, et cetera, et cetera. For example, J.J. Watt is the best player on the Houston Texans, but he's not my favorite.  That honor belongs to Cecil Shorts III, of course.

Of all the forms of media we pull into our lives, I find the largest gap between best and favorite to be in music. This is because music is abstract to most people. The majority of the population doesn't play an instrument or write songs. They don't know why they like a song or how it works. They don't give a damn about the way a guitar solo masterfully bounces between minor and major pentatonic scales, or the rhyme structure, or how the cymbals accent the bass drum.

I know nothing about music, but of all the forms of culture I plug into, it's the one that I have the strongest emotional connection to. This goes back to the abstraction of it. For most people, myself included, music is all about feeling and enjoyment. That's it.

This all started when I bought my first CD, Bush's Sixteen Stone. I only listened to songs I had already heard before, though. I didn't bother to listen to "Monkey" or "Testosterone." Only "Machine Head," "Comedown," "Everything Zen," and "Glycerine" would buzz through the speakers. My old man did some teaching and instilled in me not to do this. He taught me to listen to the entire CD because that's how the musician meant for it to be played; the best songs aren't always transmitted through airwaves.

So here I am. Now when I listen to music I'll have few albums I'll consistently cycle through. They'll get played incessantly until the sponge is sucked dry when I gain a complete understanding of it and I find something else. I'll still gnaw on them occasionally, and they'll still be there, but the music won't be repeated like it had been once before.

Because of this, music acts mostly as a bookmark for the different sections and times of my life. I can play one of these albums, and I'll remember what I was doing at that time, and it will reawaken feelings that I once felt. It's a transportive sort of thing. I can leave this place, revisit a part of the past for a little bit, and then come right back.

Of all the albums I've listened to, these are the ones that aren't the best, but my favorite.  By favorite, I mean the ones that I enjoyed the most and made me feel the most things at the time.

Honorable Mention:

Weezer's Pinkerton: I still listen to emo music made for 15 year olds sometimes. This album is the best one, and the one that created the genre.

Run the Jewels' RTJII: The most fun you'll ever have listening to music. Blockbuster Night Part One just makes my brain bleed.

The LIst:

10.) Pianos Become the Teeth's Keep You

I enjoy screaming in music as a way to accent and to add to what is being said. I don't enjoy music that is only screaming. To me, this constant loudness is unbearable. Pianos Become the Teeth used to be one of these bands that hollered every word behind a clashing of guitars.

When I was in DC this fall, they opened for Joyce Manor. Because of the past, I opted to drink a few beers in an alley instead of hurrying my way to see them. Later that week, I was writing and was looking for new music. I saw they had a newer album out, so I gave it a try.

And guess what? There was no screaming. None of it. Every word on this album is sung beautifully.

This album sounds like introspection. The lyrics are poetic, and there's a few lines in here that break my heart.

9.) Freddie Gibbs' Cocaine Pinata

Like most 19 years old white males, I had a phase where I listened to a lot of gangster rap while doing calculus homework. Freddie Gibbs is the only artist to emerge from that pile of garbage I used to listened to. He has classics like "Murda on My Mind", "Live from Gary, Indiana", "National Anthem", and "Straight Ballin'", a classic take on a Tupac song. All of which are a blast to shut your brain off and enjoy.

Unlike most of his music and mix tapes, Cocaine Pinata is a real, well thought out album. It's the one that turned him from a novelty to a real musician and put hundreds of people at his concerts, instead of the fifteen that were there the first time I saw him a few years back. The beats are made by Madlib and are just fantastic.  The storytelling is superb. Additionally, my favorite rap lyric of all time comes from the song Deeper on this album.

All to someone that don't got nothin that I ain't got,
Only difference is he tryna be a f'in astronaut.

8.) The Horrible Crowes' Elsie

The first time I listened to this one, I had just moved into my favorite place of residence I've ever lived at. I checked the mail after putting my room together and found it in the mailbox. Quickly, I uploaded it a pre-iPod Touch iPod and went for a run. I ran about five miles, through hills, and around this new neighborhood of mine.

What this album is about really doesn't matter. It just makes me think about the fall and running around in September air.

7.) Rage Against the Machine's Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium

I can understand if you don't like the political message these guys push out into the universe. But that shouldn't dissuade you. They rock. It's loud. It's fast. It's aggressive.

This is a recording that came from their last two concerts they played before they broke up in 2000. It's the best collection of their music (it's just missing "Down Rodeo"), and they sound the exact same live as they do recorded.

If you ever saw me in 2001, I was probably listening to this and playing Diablo 2 while I summoned wolves and transformed into a Werebear.

6.) Bomb the Music Industry!'s Vacation

I get really sad when the sun disappears. Every year, for different reasons, I end up bummed out all winter as I sit inside to get away from the shivering gray cold and wait for the sun to boil my blood again.

I missed being sad in a weird way the first time I broke this cycle and was happy during the dreariest time of the year . It was just something that always happened, and it was unusual when it didn't arrive.

I found out about this album thanks to the lists Punknews.com releases at the end of every year. This thing was on everyone's top ten list, so I gave it a listen. It's about trying really hard to change things, fighting depression, and becoming happy again, but failing anyways. I listened to this that entire winter and the following spring. It filled the void of that old, sad friend during that strange spat of happiness I had.

5.) Band of Horses' Infinite Arms

Every one should get their heart absolutely ripped out from inside of them. It's an experience everyone should get to enjoy once in their life. When it happened to me, I listened to this CD a lot. Before I went to bed, whenever I went for a run. Instead of drinking, smoking cigarettes, or chewing gum to act as a crutch when the brain became overwhelmed of the present situation, I would listen to this.

4.) Joyce Manor's Never Hungover Again

For me, this one acts as the second part to Infinite Arms. Never Hungover Again came out once I started feeling good again. It's loud and fast and melodic and beautiful. It's 10 songs in 19 minutes, says what it needs to say, and then gets out of there. It was the perfect pairing for when that sad, miserable time turned into wild mania.

3.) The Menzingers' On the Impossible Past

Do you remember being 21 years old? Do you remember being drunk all the time and having no idea what you're doing? That's what this album is.

2. Kendrick Lamar's Good Kid m.A.A.d City

It's not as good as his new album, To Pimp a Butterfly, but I enjoy this one more. It's more accessible, the songs are more fun to listen to, and the album flows into one cohesive narrative about growing up.

When I graduated college, I opted to suck on my savings and take some time off before I started working. I spent that summer writing classic articles here at BRB like this, this and this, playing a lot of basketball, and traveling. I listened to this album that entire summer--while I drove to backpack the Grand Canyon, or to help coax out words, or when I saw Lamar LIVE in New Braunfels.

1. The Gaslight Anthem's 59' Sound

At the time I found out about his band, I didn't know there was music that existed outside the limits of radio. I didn't know that there was great music out there that wasn't played on 99.5 Kiss. A friend of mine I recently made put gigabytes of music on my iPod that I had never heard of. As I was driving to school, this album came on, and it was just perfect for my impressionable 18 year old self. Taking my eyes off the road trying to see who it was, I almost crashed my Oldsmobile Bravada.

Since then, they've become my favorite band. I've seen them live five times or so, and there were countless nights where we'd howl these songs at 3 a.m.. It's not the best music, but it's a perfect companion for when you want to go for a drive, sing as loud as you want, and think about youth.

bigfatdrunk:

In about 1983 or so, there was a huge Buffalo wings craze in Houston. Hot wing restaurants sprouted all over the place, and over the course of the next year or so, all but a very small handful disappeared just as quickly. Hot wing themed restaurants joined previous crazes such as baked potato and fajita specialty restaurants (RIP).

It was at this time I really started discovering how much I liked spicy food. I don't mean just spicy, though, I mean sweating out of your earballs spicy. Hot wings were one of the first foods I found aside from Mexican and Vietnamese that could do this to me.

But, let's be honest here: chicken wings suck. First, they're white meat. They're also difficult to eat, messy, and there isn't even much meat there. Did I mention it's white meat? Also, for those of us who count our calories, eating a bunch of breaded and fried in oil chicken isn't exactly a turn-on.

Over the years, I've experimented with making the classic "hot wing" experience not suck, and I'm really happy with where it's evolved to today. This is one of the items I made for Big Matt Weston and his brother when they came over for the Clots game a couple weeks ago, and the three of us put away almost four pounds of chicken. Enjoy!

6 pack boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Bottled wing sauce. I used half a 12 oz bottle of Stubb's wing sauce because Austin.
3 Tb garlic powder
2 Tb paprika
1/3 cup butter
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
Big pinch chipotle seasoning (you can also use chipotle in adobo sauce)
Bigger pinch cayenne (depending on your spice tolerance)
3 Tb corn starch

Slice the thighs into three pieces. If you work with thighs a lot, you know where to slice to best remove the two big fat packets in thighs. You want to remove these pockets even if you leave the rest of the fat, as these don't render well. You are basically creating chicken thigh strips.

Place the chicken in a sauce pan. Add the wing sauce and broth, more than enough to cover the meat comfortably, but you don't need to drown it. Add garlic powder, paprika, butter, chipotle, and cayenne. Bring to just before a boil, and then simmer for two hours.

Yes, really.

Clearly, the chicken in done at this point. BUT WAIT! There's more!

Put your broiler on high, pull the chicken out of the liquid, and place in a single layer on a cooking sheet. Place under the broiler, as you just want the chicken to start to brown and edge close to black. As that's going, remove enough liquid from your sauce pan and combine with the corn starch in a mixing cup. ALWAYS COMBINE CORN STARCH WITH LIQUID BEFORE ADDING TO THE SAUCE PAN ALL CAPS!!!! Mix well and add the liquid back into the sauce pan. Crank the heat to high and let it boil for a minute, stirring frequently.

At this point, the corn starch does its magic and starts to thicken. Place the chicken in a serving bowl and cover with your thickened sauce. Die of hedonism.

Let us know if you would like for this type of post to be a more regular occurrence since the offseason is slowly creeping its way here.

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