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More Crust, Please


Count BassieCount BassieOn the night that I learned (from the famous artist Andrew Neumann) that the esteemed Davis Square nightclub Johnny D’s would be closing its doors to make way for a four story apartment building (whut?!), I had the singular privilege of being treated to a set of the good ol’ Rocque and Roll by My Lords “The Upper Crust,” those genteel old fahts, in the very same (doomed) Somervillian eating and rocquing venue.

Though reputed to be gentlemen of leisure (as well as friends of friends of the working class), the crusty gents on stage worked a fair bit harder than much of the rabble in attendance (my friends and I), cranking out the hard rock in powdered wigs, buckled platform shoes, frilled shirts, and knicker-esque leggings.

Memories of past Upperly Crusty shows are of the turned up noses and hilarious inter-song banter, but this show reminded me yet again that these transplants from the 18th century are rather expert hard rockers (hear, hear!).

Alas, there were bona-fide rabble rousers in the crowd who forced the night to end early by starting a melee, but fortunately that happened at the very end of the night, within a song or two of the natural end of the evening, when we should have been non-violently shouting “encore!” It meant the unique synergy of Johnny D’s and The Upper Crust ended on a sour note. Alas, not every member of our citizenry is of proper breeding.

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My Goal: More Precise Programming


As part of my plan to deliver ultra-pure television programming to American audiences, completely cleansed of unnecessary and extraneous information, I’ve taken steps to establish a production company that will create the very first of several television “micro-series.” Each micro-series I develop will appear on your television set in five-minute bursts, so don't arrive late.

Here’s the structure: first there’s a 30-second intro that inextricably draws you in (via brief flashes of nudity, say) and introduces the series’ main conflict or situation; then we’ll “pay the bills” by bombarding you with micro-ads that last 3 seconds each (10 micro-ads per 30-second bombardment, each of which is a micro-subliminal-ad utilizing the most forward-thinking, data-driven marketing schemes, or simply nudity); then we’ll have a 3 minute episode in which plots and subplots, character development, exposition, etc., will be delivered with remarkable efficiency; then come 10 more sexually-suggestive micro-ads; and finally the micro-episode cliff-hanging finish. Each series is 5 episodes long, such that the whole microseries is delivered over the course of a week.

Do you love it? Stop with the “five minute bursts just screw up the timing of television.” Don’t you think this has occurred to me? This is why I’m developing the first 5 micro-series at once! I can fill a half-hour space that way (with the remaining five minutes taken up with 100 additional 3-second micro-adlets, subliminally selling you insurance and the latest mobile device that enables you to watch television on your false pinky nail).

Kick-starter campaign to begin in five, four, three…

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In the late 1980s, a couple guys I knew from Brighton formed a punk band called Bulkhead (though on their Facebook page they refer to their genre as “swarming bees rock.”) The logo I recall from one of the band’s early posters (or was it a bumper sticker?) was a crude drawing of a teenager with an oddly outsized head. I thought it was hilarious!

Until that time, I had never heard the term bulkhead, believe it or not. That’s how sheltered I was. Our family’s basement wasn’t accessible through a bulkhead, so appliances like the furnace entered and exited via the front door of our house in full view of the neighbors and all the girls who were chasing me. Embarrassing! Of course, the neighbors and their daughters didn’t have bulkheads either, hence the nonexistence of “bulkhead” as a term in my young, suave life, and how amused I was at the band’s clever name and that apt depiction of the pimply lad with the bulky head.

I saw Bulkhead several times – notably at Green Street Station (the nightclub, not the subway station) in – where else? –Jamaica Plain on Green Street. The band specialized in dissonance and achieved that sound with startling reliability. I was never bored at a Bulkhead show, but on the other hand I could only listen for so long.

As with everything these days, Bulkhead lives on in cyberspace. They even played a show at the Middle East nightclub last year. Besides their Facebook page (where you can see the Middle East show) you can visit their website to get some good images of yesteryear, and even contact them (maybe they’ll play your wedding).

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Secret Recipe


MSN is currently running a list of “best beer recipes," culled from Epicurious. I’m immediately sucked in. I want to know how to make these beers! (And by the way, why didn’t anyone contact me about my newly-perfected saison recipe?)

The first recipe is not what I'd call a beer recipe at all. It’s a steak recipe that calls for beer in the marinade. Well how do you like that! The next recipe is for “Beer-Can Chicken.” Then “Mussels in Lager,” and “Fish and Chips with Malt Vinegar mayonnaise.” I get it. So I'm not actually going learn a new beer style. I thought this represented a watershed moment for Epicurious, wading into the crowded brewing waters.

This turns out to be only a minor disappointment. With my own considerable experience creating delicious and refreshing bubbly beverages and innumerable websites out there offering recipes and techniques galore, consulting a mainstream food website to get a beer recipe is for mere novices.

Did I tell you about my book idea, pairing homebrews with artisanal lardons? More on that after I take an in-depth course on "Lardons of the World."

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Produce This Audio Play!

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