Food and Music.

Gawker wrote a fantastic article in response to the NY Times saying chefs are the new rock stars.  First off, fuck you if you even use the phrase rock star.  Duff McKagan has a great passage in his book about that term, and once confronted a friend who said he “partied like a rock star”  Duff asks what he did (he drank a six pack)  and responds “yeah?  did you shove entire unground rocks of cocaine up your nose?  did you have unprotected sex with hundreds of women?  did you drink until your liver literally exploded?  Did you ruin your life but live to tell the tale?”  That’s not how he responds at all, but his point is, he doesn’t use the phrase rock star, its fucking stupid.

Food as music….well, I’m not going to repeat the points they made in the article, but I agree whole heartedly with them.   The joy I take in eating though, is very different from the joy I take in music.  There is one negative effect you experience in both worlds, which warrants discussion.

I know some people, who don’t really enjoy eating exotic foods.  They love delicious food (I mean, who doesn’t? Not a single person enjoys bad tasting food)  But they don’t eat anything particularly out of the ordinary.  They won’t eat garlic.  They ask for their chicken well done.  They get the dressing on the side.  They ask for the meat sauce without meat (this is a real one I experienced) but still, they go to all the restaurants.

They just want to be there.  To be part of the party.  They travel the world.  They go to Russia and don’t drink vodka.  They go to Spain and don’t eat pork products.  They go to Wine Country and only drink white wine.  You can’t escape them.

But every one of us has been to the show, where the group of people spend the quiet intro to a song discussing the bar they will go to after.  Or the girl who texts the ENTIRE time, or the dude updating Facebook, illuminating several square feet around him through the dramatic dim lighting.

These people will get in your way at any type of event.  Food, music, sports, art, botanical gardens.  The common thread shared by the chef of the week and band of the week, is that more irritating people now flock to their events.  Food is not the new music, it’s merely something we do for enjoyment.

But just for fun, lets break down a few public figure chefs into the musician they would be, shall we?

Mario Batali




He’s a jovial character who clearly has chops, but is a little comical based on his media presence.

Bobby Flay

mur.mur - Borgata - Atlantic City

John Mayer


Known as kind of an asshole, again clearly has chops, but still no one likes him.

Anthony Bourdain


Late Period Keith Richards


Do I really have to point this out?  Well, he’s not so much famous for his cooking abilities, so lets say they he’s post Some Girls Keith.  More famous for his use of substance, than musical substance.

Guy Fieri


Dude From Smashmouth


No explanation necessary for this one.

One final thought, the Googa Mooga festival, put on by the Bonnaroo crew Superfly, is a wonderful idea in theory, but could be a dangerous clusterfuck in action.  Have you been to a music festival?  It can be a beautiful experience, or it can be hell on earth from a crowd perspective.  Without a doubt, the worst part is the lines, the waiting, the giant crowds.

For music, this can be a minimal issue.  You can be a thousand feet back, and still hear the band, see the screens, enjoy the atmosphere.  But when you’re waiting for food, which you clearly will be doing if the food is not prepackaged, it can get dangerous pretty quickly.  Just some thoughts, proceed with caution!

Steve Liveblogs Lady Gaga

Today dear reader, lets take a journey together. A journey into uncharted territory. I will now attempt to liveblog a Lady Gaga Album.


Who is Lady Gaga? Chances are you know better than I do. I have no idea. Her name is thrown around by pop culture fanatics and esoteric hipsters alike. She apparently is the new Madonna? I don’t know, you don’t come here to hear about Lady Gaga. In all this hubbub, I feel the need to be in on the action. Steps have been taken to clear my mind of all preconceived notions, I’ve done some stretching exercises, my subscription to has been created (this site seems absolutely kick amazing, thanks to Eric Tarn for the recommendation). I will listen to 30 seconds of each song from whichever album I find first, then do about a minute of stream of conscious writing. Ok, the album will be Fame Monster. Ready? GO.

BAD ROMANCE: This seems like the opening of a meatloaf album. I feel like some giant guy is going to descend from the ceiling in a cage carrying a red rose and pluck a woman from the top of the empire state building. After that fog will fill up the stage and various scantily clad dancers will come out until suddenly the action stops and that song “Ya’ll Ready For This!” comes on and Lady Gaga appears in an 18th century ball gown, which is being carried at the ends by various doves, all dyed different colors and glowing in the dark. NEXT SONG.


ALEJANDRO: Ok this one i had to extend to 35 sec since the first 30 is all intro. She puts on a french accent, some violins are playing. We’re on a dark street corner (not an actual corner, but some type of film set) and the fog machines are once again blasting. Meatloaf, who is still in the cage from the first song is the subject of her desire, after a wardrobe change, she makes various hand gestures, maybe in Kabuki style makeup perhaps? When she tells our beloved Loaf that she just can’t be with him anymore, the cage explodes in a fantastic pyrotechnic explosion of glitter, and Loaf is now her dance partner, in some type of tuxedo with a rose in his teeth. Lady Gaga is in some type of S&M getup (ok, shes basically Madonna, even after 1:05 of music I have come to this conclusion) and various backup dancers each dressed as a different historical figure shadow their every move. There is Napoleon, Einstein, Patrick Ewing, and Andy Warhol…NEXT!

MONSTER: How is it that every song so far fits into my idea that Meatloaf is a constant character on this album? Meat is now back in a different cage…a jail cell! He has been re-incarcerated after his glittery escape from captivity, at least he got to enjoy a night on the town with his lady, Gaga. He sobs, as she looks on longingly, yet with an heir of confidence, that her life will now be free and easy without a giant Meatloaf/gorilla shadowing her every move, preventing her from getting in taxicabs, things like that. As the auto tune of “He Ate My Heart” comes in, the prison guards turn out to be her backup dancers, the dramatic lighting kicks in, you know where it goes from here.


SPEECHLESS: Oh my god, its a meatloaf album. Seriously, this song is like Rocky Horror Picture Show. Loaf remains in the cell as Gaga has run off, and left him a single red rose. A spotlight appears and a piano is rolled out next to him. As the power ballad drums come in, he dramatically switches back to tuxedo, the single rose in a vase atop the piano. I’m only listening to 30 seconds of each song, but I’m willing to wager that this one ends with a dramatic piano/vocal outro, which in our imaginary live Broadway production, Loaf would remove the rose, give it a dramatic sniff, and a single tear would run down his cheek. (again, the fact that Lady Gaga is singing is irrelevant, this song clearly belongs to Jim Steinman and Meatloaf)

DANCE IN THE DARK: Gaga now begins her dark descent into the seedy underworld as her one true love has been taken away. The intro carries her through various back alleys, with our trusty fog machines working full force (they really are helpful with this album) She becomes more and more disheveled as these first 30 seconds of the song continue. By the end she looks like one of those heroin chic models from the mid 90’s, with that crazy black eyeliner. Shes in a bad part of town with a sketchy clientele as the music kicks in, and the various vagrants once again become her backup dancers. When this goes to broadway, we’ll save a lot of money by just using the same 5 backup dancers, but dressing them as prison guards, historical figures, homeless junkies, you get the idea.

TELEPHONE: She is in the midst of embracing her 2nd act life struggles. Shes in the club, as the lyrics state, blocking out memories of one Meat Q. Loaf, remaining alone in captivity, for reasons we do not yet know or understand. The lyric “I Got No Service In The Club, Sorry I Cant Hear You I’m Kinda Busy” is clearly a metaphor for her running away from her problems and embracing a life of crime and substance abuse. She has various visions of scary things, maybe theres even a guy in some type of demon suit (a la that scene in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas in the hotel lobby) Yet in the midst of all this, there is a sure to be classic dance sequence on the club floor. This will rival both Travolta in Saturday Night Fever and Jackson in Thriller. I’m willing to bet the next song will be some type of ballad….lets see.

SO HAPPY I COULD DIE: Ok, i should really look at titles before I predict the next song. But this is truly live, no preparation or extra time has been taken. Lets call this one Conflict Resolution. Shes getting her life back together. This could be where the Training Montage comes in, various scenes of her becoming independent and powerful, taking life by the horns. Buying expensive clothes, having high powered meetings, volunteering with young children, shes on the path for success. She passes by some of her old associates on the street who are not doing well, she doesn’t even stop to look. She has business to attend to. And that business sang Paradise By The Dashboard Light. NEXT!

TEETH: Man, Whats with this last track? It just doesn’t make sense with the rest of the album. There is no conflict resolution, no final romance, no triumphant ending (well at least in the first 30 seconds) I Hate to leave this unfinished, so maybe we can come up with some type of ending? Maybe its a really artsy film where the end doesn’t have to make sense? Or like Kubrick where he says “you won’t understand this for 20 years” I don’t know. Gaga, I mean, its a catchy track, but you’re really not working with me on this one. Mabye Jim Steinman who seems to have wrote most of the previous material we have discussed took a lunch break, and while he was having a sandwich she finished up the album. That’s what I’m sticking to.


Whew! Well that was grueling. I guess after a look back (I made no edits, that was truly live) this was less of a live blog and more of a “Live Dramatic Interpretation.” As a closing thought, I would agree with the Madonna comparisons that are so present in her media criticism. But I really think they’re missing the boat with her Meatloaf influence. The obviously put on drama, the introductions, its all there.