Song Of The Day: Molly Tuttle – Take The Journey

Posted on by Paul in Song of the Day | Leave a comment

From the opening notes of Molly Tuttle‘s “Take The Journey”, one of the first things you notice is the impressive guitar picking – not a surprise when you take into account that Tuttle was named the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Guitar Player of the Year in 2017 and 2018 (the first woman to be awarded that honour) and that she’s been playing since she was 8 years old and performing live since she was 11. So yeah, she can play.

“Take The Journey” is taken from Tuttle’s debut full length album When You’re Ready, released on April 5 on Compass Records. Check out the video below:

Ricky’s Soup Noodle Rankings

Posted on by Ricky in Everything | Leave a comment

Bowl noodles are all the rage. They come in different forms, depending mostly on nationality or language. In the end, it’s the same concept – a bowl of broth, filled with noodles made from rice, wheat, egg or whatever, and then a variety of flavors. What annoys me is how everyone loves ramen and thinks it’s the best when in my opinion, there are many bowls of noodles that are much better. Don’t get me wrong, ramen is amazing, but let’s look at my favourite type of soup noodles … because this is a music blog.

1. Bun Bo Hue
Screen Shot 2019-08-13 at 10.12.11 PM

A Vietnamese dish, this magnificent bowl of noodles comes from Hue, which is in central Vietnam. A beef broth heavy with lemongrass and other ingredients, it’s a flavour bomb that hits all the right notes of sour, savoury and spicy. The rice noodles are refreshing given the strength of the broth and it’s usually paired with all sorts of meats, mostly beef shanks and even cubes of congealed pig’s blood which is not as gross as you think.

Best place I’ve had it – Orange County
Favorite place in Toronto for it – Pho Linh

2. Dan Dan Noodles
Screen Shot 2019-08-13 at 10.19.05 PM

This one is less soupy but more dippy I guess, and a lot of different countries have a variation on this. However the Dan Dan noodles from the mainland are absolutely delicious. This is one of those bowls where the noodles don’t matter as much as the sauce. The sauce is amazing, usually a combination of sesame, sichuan peppers, chili mixed with ground pork, preserved veggies and green onions. It’s a hella thick sauce and basically you coat the noodles with the sauce before slurping it down in a tasty package. The mix of sesame and sichuan pepper is an amazing taste and this bowl has the exact combination of flavours to leave you wanting more.

Favorite place in Toronto – hard to tell, sometimes Asian Legend is good, sometimes not. Probably other places in Markham are better but I never know their names

Best place I’ve had it – Hong Kong. There’s a restaurant in Whampoa that specializes in it.

3. Beef Brisket Noodle Soup
Screen Shot 2019-08-13 at 10.26.25 PM

You are probably thinking I only love complex flavors but the simplicity of the beef brisket noodle soup is what makes it amazing. A Hong Kong staple, it’s a taste that simply defines what home is for me. A simple beefy broth with a bit of anise taste, paired with spring noodles and brisket that has been cooked for hours and hours, the combo is just hard to beat. The texture of the brisket is usually offset by the crispness of some lettuce that’s included and it’s just a great bowl of noodles. People in Hong Kong are obsessed with it. Sometimes you can get tripe and tendon in it, although that’s often just called beef tendon noodle soup. The broth is similar flavour.

There are some variations on this from other places, you can make an argument that Taiwan has a similar beef noodle soup, but I think that’s a different flavour.

Places to have in Toronto – Any HK syle cafe in Markham is good.
Best Place I have had it ever – Hong Kong

4. Thai Boat Noodles
Screen Shot 2019-08-13 at 10.33.49 PM

I’ve only had it a few times in my life but it is delicious and unfortunately really hard to find in Toronto. Frequently sold from boats in the Canals of Thailand, this bowl of soup is absolutely packed with flavour. The broth is dark, rich and complex, it typically includes pig or cow blood which, as you could probably guess, adds to the richness of the broth. As with all southeast Asian dishes, the heaviness of the broth is balanced out by an assortment of fresh herbs and the dish is usually complemented by variety of meats, fried pork skin and meatballs. It’s got this tangy richness to it that I really enjoyed.

Best Toronto place: ???
Best place I’ve had it – Sapp’s Coffee Shop, Los Angeles

5. Laksa

Probably the most iconic noodle dish from the Malaysia-Singapore-Indonesian area, Laksa is a rice vermicelli dish that’s broth is a curry-coconut flavour. The ingredients for Laksa are much different than most of the other noodle dishes, as it is comprised mostly of seafood, fried tofu
and an egg. The broth for this noodle smells amazing and the taste is equal to the smell.

Favorite in Toronto – Gourmet Malaysia
Favorite ever – Probably some place in Hong Kong

Song Of The Day: Shannon Lay – Nowhere

Posted on by Paul in Song of the Day | Leave a comment

Shannon Lay’s “Nowhere” opens up with lyrics that sound like either some kind of nonsense riddle or some super deep philosophy. Or maybe a bit of both:

Nowhere soon
Soon we’ll get to nowhere
And we’ll talk to no one
And not meet them

The trippiness of the lyric is well matched by the music behind it. In “Nowhere,” Lay offers up the perfect piece of mellow, folky psychedelia to soundtrack this trip to nowhere. Lay has described the track as being about “the importance of enjoying the journey” and one wonders whether that journey is a physical one or one of a more metaphysical nature. Or maybe a bit of both.

Shannon Lay’s August is out August 23 on Sub Pop Records. Check out the video for “Nowhere” below.

Song(s) of the Day: Cross Record – Licorice, PYSOL My Castle

Posted on by Gary in Song of the Day | Leave a comment

Cross Record is a project from the Austin, TX artist Emily Cross. To call her new self-titled album experimental would be besides the point. It seems more a visual and psychological demonstration than musical exploration. Cross seems determined and resigned all at once: determined to stick with nearly monotonic trajectories, and resigned to the fact that her determination is the far stronger demon than any other on her shoulder. It makes the odd flourishes of the music almost joyous, even though you consciously recognize that they too are short and seemingly prosaic.

This artificially created contrast seems a consistent theme in her new video: “PYSOL (put your shoes on leave) My Castle” literally has Emily crawl into a sensory deprivation chamber. Yes, one of those contraptions that 4 kids from an ’80s monster show managed to replicate so they could dim out this miserly plane of existence to have a seance with aliens. I care not whether this was a purposeful design – it really does work. “Licorice” is a particularly good example of the heightened senses one acquires when the baseline is nearly a flat line. At 2:54, it doesn’t bore you with repetitions of the same idea. It is a surprisingly wonderful test flight. Now that this piece is done, IYDM I am going back to solitary.

Cross Record is out now on Ba Da Bing Records.