Sausage and Bourbon Extravaganza!
I first came across the All For Nots at SXSW 2007. They had just launched their web show (also called The All For Nots) and were playing a big live show at the Club DeVille. I invited them to be guests on my show… a sort of merging of podcasts, if you will.
Lucky for me, they said yes, and even luckier, Erica Harsh (the drummer) agreed to do some cooking in her kitchen and large backyard in Williamsburg. Erica was the real super-star of this episode. I want to note that she is nothing like the anti-social character she plays on the show. She’s warm and gregarious, not to mention a fantastic cook and hostess. She really knocked herself out for the show… prepping food all day and going door-to-door in her neighborhood in search of the sausage that FedEx delivered to the wrong address (it was quite a story… beginning with panic and her family yelling at her on the phone, and ending with a hug for the FedEx guy who was overly tired due to his wife having a baby the night before!).
In fact, every member of the band turned out to be warm, friendly, and extremely quick-witted. I don’t think I’ve laughed so much at any of my shoots. The skies were black, lightning was flashing, and a torrential downpour seemed imminent, but thankfully it held off long enough for us to have our backyard barbecue, eat copious amounts of sausage, broccoli, bruschetta, and mushrooms, and polish off a whole big bottle of Woodford Reserve.
A fine time was had by all. I think that comes through in the interview (now if only you could taste the food!).
Last spring, I had the pleasure of spending a day cooking with Daniel Lorca, the bass player and resident gourmet of Nada Surf. Daniel blew me away with his laid-back production of a multi-course sit-down meal for 28 band members and various friends. We left that night with full stomachs and 5+ hours of video footage.
Although I'm not proud of how long it's taken to get it edited and published (there was a long queue of previous interviews ahead of it), I'm thrilled that the first installment of the Nada Surf interview--and the first all-cooking episode of Cooking with Rockstars-- is now online.
In this episode, Daniel prepares a salad of arugula, smoked tomatoes, tomato jam, and grilled avocado (it's as good as it sounds!). I jokingly called it "6-hour Salad" because that's how long he worked on it, but I wrote up a streamlined adaptation of his recipe that requires far less time and serves 6 people instead of five times that amount.
If you are taking advantage of this bountiful tomato season, I can think of no better treatment for in-season tomatoes.
The Soundtrack of Our Lives
There's a little story I like to tell about The Soundtrack of Our Lives (TSOOL), and since I just posted the interview with their keyboardist, Martin Hederos, I think now is a fine time to tell it here.
I first saw TSOOL play live in Providence, RI in 2003. Because they had just played a show 50 miles up the road in Boston the night before--and because it takes some unknown amount of arm-twisting to make the Providence kids get off their couches and go to a live show-- there were very few people at the venue. I'd say 30 or 40 in a club designed for 300. Tumbleweeds.
Some bands might see the poor turnout, turn the amps to 2, and phone it in. Not The Soundtrack of Our Lives! NO! They rocked as though they were performing to an arena of 10,000! Absolute, total professionals!
Lead singer Ebbott did have some fun with the "unique" crowd dynamic, enticing the entire audience to follow him in a little pack from the left side of the stage to the right. The rest of the band held nothing back. The guitarists strike every epic rockstar move ever created. And I have to say that Martin has the coolest (or should I say hottest?!) moves of any keyboard player, ever!
After the show, I hung around to see if any of the band members were into cooking (this was in the heady early days of my Cooking with Rockstars project), and when word got to Martin, he came bounding over enthusiastically saying how much he loves to cook and eat and that he'd love to be on the show. If only I had brought my camera.
It took five years for TSOOL to make it back to the US and for me to get my interview with Martin. The band's live show that day at La Zona Rosa was just as huge as I had remembered. The band and their keyboardist did not disappoint.
This is James Holland. He does the lion's share of the camera work and editing for Cooking with Rockstars, but his contribution to the show far exceeds these tasks.
It was James' brilliant idea to shoot the show in a limo to solve the problem of having enough light/time/quiet to do a video shoot near rock clubs at sound check time. In addition to the practical advantages, the limo has been a lot of fun for us and for the bands.
James has also raised the overall quality of the show dramatically, thanks to his fastidious eye for lighting and careful attention to the audio. He also brings real editing skills to the mix. Just compare recent episodes to early ones such as Rilo Kiley or Interpol and the improvements are clear.
James has his own video production business, Dutch Angle Films, based out of Brooklyn, NY, and I highly recommend him to any bands looking for someone to create a music video. Here is a sample of his work, a video for "1st Day of Summer" by my friends, The Fly Seville. More examples of his work (at better hi-res quality) are available here.
You can reach James at firstname.lastname@example.org
Where Jenville Meets Lynchland
Hey everybody! I finally realized my dream of being on my brother's music & comedy podcast, Lynchland. He was nice enough to have me on a Viewer Mail episode (#10) to talk about Cooking with Rockstars. We had a good time chatting in front of the green screen, and I asked him to surprise me by putting something in my hand. You'll have to watch it for yourself to see what he came up with (naturally, it's something I never could have predicted!).
All content copyright © Jennifer Robbins and Jenville Productions