Archive | 8:00 pm

Exhaustive Jan & Dean Collection Long Overdue

8 Aug

This wonderful new collection from Collector’s Choice Music is slated to be released on August 26th. Fortunately for us, we don’t have to wait that long. Our friend Cary Baker at Conqueroo was kind enough to send us an advance copy. I have always been a fan of Jan and Dean — their approach was innocent and fun-loving, although their own personal story was not always sunshine and surf’s up.

This 2-disc compilation includes all the massive summertime hits plus a good number of rarities. In all, some 42 tracks make for an ocean full of wonderful memories. The versatile duo of Californians took a stab at many different genres of music including doo wop (Linda), surf (Surf City, Ride the Wild Surf, etc.), country (Tennessee, Fiddle Around), car songs (Drag City, Schlock Rod Pt. 1, etc.) folk (Folk City) and novelty tunes (Popsicle, Batman, Submarine Races). They had a tender side as well — which is on display on tunes like You Really Know How to Hurt a Guy, When It’s Over, and It’s a Shame to Say Goodbye. These well-constructed ballads are cuts that Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys would have been proud of in their prime.  

If you’re into the oldies or if you just want to better understand the evolution of ’60s pop music, this collection is definitely worth checking out. Thanks to Collector’s Choice for not forgetting an era that is close to the hearts of many of us aging hipsters (aka baby boomers).

This is the product description provided by Collector’s Choice: A big part of our job here at Collectors’ Choice Music is to survey the pop music landscape (or in this case, seascape) for artists whose collections don’t really do them justice, and we think there’s a strong case to be made that Jan & Dean are at the head of the line. Sure, their classic Liberty recordings have been anthologized, but never comprehensively, and almost always in re-mixed stereo, NOT in their original mono. Well, not this time. We’ve gone back to the original mono single tapes of EVERY one of Jan & Dean’s Liberty singles, both their A and B-sides, then checked and checked again to make sure they were the RIGHT tapes, to bring you the ORIGINAL MONO SINGLE VERSIONS of these songs, exactly as they were released and exactly as they sounded when they climbed the charts and blared out of your Woody’s car radio. The package includes extensive liner notes by Ed Osborne and David Beard featuring interviews with those close to the action, like engineer/producer Bones Howe, Jan Berry friend/co-writer Don Altfeld and Dean Torrence himself, plus photos of Jan and Dean and shots of some of the single’s label and jacket art.

We suggest you pre-order from Amazon today at:

Sonny’s BBQ Gets the Job Done

8 Aug

I had lunch today at Sonny’s Real Pit BBQ in Sarasota. OK, I know it’s a pretty big chain of eateries throughout the Southeast. But there are simply not many good BBQ choices in this part of Florida. I needed a BBQ fix — it had been a while — and I’m happy to report that Sonny’s really hit the spot.

It smelled really good as I entered the dining area. Smoky as all get out … that’s a really positive sign. I also noticed they were offering an All You Can Eat BBQ chicken platter for just $6.99. Sounded like a winner to me. The first thing to hit my table was a heaping mound of freshly made cole slaw. It was served at just the right temperature (cool) and tasted just fine. Next to arrive was my entree, which included 3 pieces of smoked bird (back, breast and drumstick), 2 slabs of garlic toast, and a bowl of baked beans.

The chicken was very nicely done — smoky and quite meaty. I even asked for an extra piece. My server was attentive and pleasant. The atmosphere is pretty much what you would expect from a Southern BBQ joint. Wood paneled booths, red and white checkered table tops, license plates on the wall, oldies playing quietly in the background. The beans were tasty (sweet with just a faint hint of spice) and the toast came in handy as I soaked up all the stray BBQ sauce. Sonny’s offers 4 kinds of sauce — Mild, Sweet, Sizzlin’ Sweet, and Smokin’. I opted for the Sizzlin’ Sweet, which tasted like a Memphis style sauce with a good splash of hot sauce.  

You’ll need a whole mess of these babies once your belly is full.

Don’t pass these guys by just because they are a massive chain (tons of locations in Florida). The grub is pretty decent and the price is right.

SFA’s Potlikker Film Fest

8 Aug

sfa logo 

A Southern Foodways Alliance and Oxford Film Festival Thing
Presented by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
Friday, August 22, 2008
6-9 p.m. @ The Powerhouse

University Avenue, Oxford, Mississippi 38655     

EATS: Potlikker Shots from Mama Jo’s of Oxford.  And three catfish riffs, from across the South:
· Catawba River Salt and Pepper Catfish, Dan Huntley of the Carolinas
· Arkansas Rice-Crusted Catfish, Lee Richardson of Little Rock, Arkansas
· Thin-Shaved Catfish, the Ladies of Middendorf’s of Manchac, Louisiana
FILMS: King Corn, that muckraking take on our nation’s newfangled grain addiction. Plus an homage to muscadine wine. And Greek hotdogs. And a short Joe York biopic, on Lynn Hewlett of Taylor Grocery fame. And more.
MUSIC: Dent May DJ’s the Blount Box, a collection of food songs compiled by Roy Blount, Jr.
DRINKS: Expect Jack Daniel’s Tea Punch and more from Lazy Magnolia.
ADMISSION by advance reservation, is a measly $35. 
To REGISTER download a registration form here, fill it out, and fax to (662) 915-5814. Events sell out quickly, and early registration is encouraged. Please do NOT use a cover sheet when sending your fax.  Registrations will be confirmed via e-mail. If you have questions email or call 662-915-5993.

Too Big for Big Boy?

8 Aug

A super-sized lad in Kentucky was told that he can’t work at a Big Boy restaurant because he is just too big. What’s next? Clowns not being able to work at McDonald’s? Colonel’s not working at KFC? Little dudes in togas not working at Little Caesar’s? No cows serving up fried fowl at Chick fil A? You’ve got to be kidding me!

Alden’s Organic Ice Cream

8 Aug

We tried Alden’s Ice Cream for the first time yesterday. I picked up some of their Blackberry at Whole Foods Market here in Sarasota. The ice cream is made in Eugene, Oregon, so I figured it must be special if they were shipping it all the way across the USA. It is an all-organic ice cream – something I have never seen before. Organic egg yolks, organic cream, organically grown fruit, organic cane juice for sweeteners … you get the picture.

Other Alden Ice Cream flavors include Vanilla Bean, Cookies n Cream, Strawberry, Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Mint Chip, etc. As for the flavor, I found the Blackberry variety to be extremely creamy and delicious. It had a fresh and fruity flavor more similar to homemade ice cream with small pieces of real blackberries in every spoonful.

Fresh blackberries make some tasty ice cream

Alden’s Ice Cream may not be available in your area, but if it is … I recommend you give it a try. It’s not as expensive as you might think – about $4.99 for a 1.5 quart container.