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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Best Year in Music History

Warning:  The following may be inappropriate for children under the age of 13 and those who think Justin Bieber is the pinnacle of music genius.

Happy New Years!  2013 was a great year for The Dry Rub.  We achieved 20x the site views we had in 2012, highlighted by the Sandwich and Hamburger Tournaments. Personally it was a great year as well.

But it was also a great year in music too.  In a departure from our usual culinary flair, let's look at one of the great water cooler debates.  Which year was the greatest year in music history?

Unfortunately, music is not as clear cut as wrestling.
This is not a cop-out, but music is subjective not just in taste, but as in where you are in life at that certain point in time as well.  A certain melody can take you back to childhood, college or high school.  And just like cheap perfume, it can take you back to a relationship as well.

Here is a look at the contenders.

In 2013 we saw the following Albums released:
Vampire Weekend- Modern Vampires of the City (Their best work to date)

Kanye West- Yeezus (Possibly his best work and owner of the best celebrity feud between him and Kimmel)
Arcade Fire- Reflector (NOT their best work, but a great reinvention of their sound)
Queens of the Stone Age- …Like Clockwork (Their best work and this album snuck up on me.  It's the best rock album to come out in years)

The National- Trouble Will Find Me (I like this just as much as High Violet and yet somehow it's even more depressing)
David Bowie- The Next Day (Creatively brilliant and he's 70)
Beyonce- Beyonce (I've never heard this album, but the reviews say it's her best work)

We just had a great year in music.  I lot of established bands put together some of their best work.  But a little water under the bridge needs to occur to see how this group plays out.

Nirvana- Nevermind, (The album that not only killed hair metal, but defined the decade.  As well as a morally questionable album cover)
Pearl Jam- 10 (The best work of a band that is STILL relevant 22 years later.  Who would have thought they would have a better career than Mookie Blalock?) 
U2- Achtung Baby (Their best album and maybe my favorite album.  If you haven't scene the documentary, you are missing out.  Looking back at their career, they have always taken themselves a little too seriously)

Metallica- The Black Album (Some call this their best work, it's certainly their most commercial.  I'm a Master of Puppets flag carrier)
Guns n' Roses- Use Your Illusions I & II (The beginning of the end.  This should have been one incredible album, but their self aggrandizing led to releasing two albums and eventually their break up)  
Red Hot Chili Peppers- Blood Sex Sugar Magik (This put them on the map.  Which map, I'm not sure, but they are on some type of map somewhere....)
REM- Out of Time (not crazy about this album, but since I live in Georgia, I feel contractually obligated to include it.  Automatic for the People remains one of my favorite albums to date)
A Tribe Called Quest- Low End Theory (One of my top 5 rap albums ever)

Soundgarden- Badmotofinger (Thanks to Nevermind and 10, this album gets overlooked, but it's one of the great rock albums of my generation)

Prince- Purple Rain (His best album out of a brilliant career despite his movies.  Though Morris Day makes the movie somewhat bearable.)
Bruce Springsteen- Born in the USA (His most misunderstood album that historically gets lost) 
The Smiths- The Smiths (I hated these guys back then, but have grown to be a fan)
Run DMC- Run DMC (The most groundbreaking work of the group)
Van Halen- 1984 (I wore this album out.  Apparently it wore Diamond Dave out too)

Madonna- Like a Virgin (One of the most successful all time albums)
Metallica- Ride the Lightening (eh, great album, but not their strongest)


Bruce Springsteen- Born to Run (His best Album and one of my Top 5 albums,
RIP Clarence Clemons, the Big Man could rock a sleeveless shirt though)

Bob Dylan- Blood on the Tracks (Not a Dylan fan, but I get it)
Pink Floyd- Wish You Were Here (Has there ever been better drug music?)

The Who- Tommy (The one and only "Rock Opera")
Queen- A Night at the Opera (The greatest lead singer of all time- the late great Freddy Mercury)

Led Zeppelin- Physical Graffiti (Zep's most critically acclaimed album, which basically means the critics finally got "it."  And Kashmir is their best song.)  Could we get a reunion tour?  What's the downside?  Oh yea, Robert Plant's an asshole.


Beach Boys- Pet Sounds (Sound perfection)

Beatles- Revolver (the album remains "Here, There and Everywhere.  I still am amazed by how prolific these guys were)

The Rolling Stones- Aftermath (Paint it Black is one of their best songs, but it's not their strongest album)
Simon and Garfunkel- The Sounds of Silence (Paul Simon's effort to pussify the world is continued)

Art Garfunkel's Jew Fro is one of the most underrated item's of the 70's
Bob Dylan- Blonde on Blonde (I still don't get it)

Any of these could win except for 2013.  But in 10 years, maybe we'll look back on 2013 as fondly as the others.  Only time will tell.  My favorite year?  1991.  That was when I went away to college, so that was a transcendant year in my life.  That fact knowingly and unabashedly weigh that into my decision.   

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Heirloom BBQ- Korean Style Barbeque

Warning:  The following may be inappropriate for children under the age of 13 and those like to sit while they eat

Heirloom BBQ is where Georgia meets Seoul (not the James Brown type Soul either).  It's a unique concept that has been lauded by many different folks.  Fox News, the Huffington Post and Food & Wine all sing their praises. And they are all very well deserved.  These guys do great work, but it's a different type of place and may not be for everyone.

Your first impression (if you can find parking), is it's one of the most understated store fronts you will see.  It shares a space with a convenient store in the shadow of I-285 (and the soon to be new Braves Stadium).  Parking is VERY limited so, if you can, go during "off peak" hours.

Bill and I got the meat platter with pulled pork, brisket and sausage with the Kitchen- Spicy/ Fresh sauce and of course the KB sauce.

The brisket was excellent, the pork was good, not great.  But what makes Heirloom great is the sauce.  Their KB- Korean Style Sweet Heat is the best BBQ sauce in Atlanta.  It's just a touch sweet and there is a hint of peanut in there as well with just enough heat to keep it real.  I could do shots of this stuff.  Seriously, don't tempt me.

I also had the Texas Beef Sausage, which was my 2nd favorite meat.  And it needed no sauce, just the sauteed onions it came with.
"Insert 70's Porn joke here"
Their Mac n' Cheese was pretty good too and packed a nice little punch.

Overall, Heirloom was great.  If you are into smoking your own meat, do yourself a favor and pick up some of their KB sauce.  If you want to try their meat, I would recommend the brisket.

I completely understand their strong presence in the Atlanta and National culinary landscape.  This truly is something you can't get anywhere else.  That being said, your dining "in" option is standing room only outside.  They do have a covered area with heating lamps, but you do have to stand while you eat.  So maybe you don't want this to be your first date place.  There are also a bunch of folks that get it to go.  There are plenty of short term parking options.

The view from the porch.
So Korean BBQ, who would have thunk it? I'll tell you who.  This guy!
I sleep like a baby knowing Dennis is on that wall
Apparently, he's the Modern Day James Baker.  Can we change "Jumped the Shark" to "Rodman'd?"  This can't end well, can it?

Today's Footnote:

The Dry Rub has unearthed a meeting in the Los Angeles between Dwight Howard and Dennis Rodman regarding basketball (apparently last spring) that went like this.  It surprisingly is reminiscent of a Nicholson's scene from A Few Good Men:

Dwight Howard: Dennis, did you execute the Triangle Offense?!

Phil Jackson: You don't have to answer that question!

Rodman: I'll answer the question. You want answers?

Dwight Howard: I think I'm entitled!

Rodman: Dwight, your entire career shows that you are entitled, but you want answers?!

Dwight Howard: I want the truth!

Rodman: You can't handle the truth! You idiot, we play in an NBA that needs rebounds, and defensively those baskets have to be guarded by men with guts. Who's gonna do it? You? You, soft ass Dwight Howard? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep because Kobe won't pass the ball and Pau Gasol has better ball skills. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know, that my threesome with Madonna and a midget, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, wins championships! You don't want the truth, because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me rebounding that ball. You need me rebounding that ball. We use terms like "team defense", "taking charges", "playing the lanes". We use these words as the backbone of a life spent supporting Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Isaiah Thomas and Joe Dumars . You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps on the coattails on the defense that I provided through film sessions and conditioning, and then question the manner in which I play! I would rather you just said "thank you", and keep taking horrible 12 foot jump shots. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up some ball skills and learn to play in the post. What are you known for? Coming out of a phone booth and dunking the basketball? I averaged 19 F*CK%ING rebounds per game in 1991-2. I averaged 15 rebounds per game on the GREATEST TEAM in the HISTORY of the NBA and only averaged 5 points for the good of the team! Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to!

Dwight Howard: Did you execute the triangle offense?

Rodman: I did the job that—-

Dwight Howard: Did you execute the triangle offense?!!


And we wonder why he's lost his mind.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Community Q- BBQ Meat Perfected

Warning:  The following may be inappropriate to children under the age of 13 and definitely vegans.  In fact vegans need to hit the back button immediately.  Don't Pass Go, Don't Collect $200

On the east side of town near Decatur resides Community Q.  These guys do some great work and have perfected the meat and sides.

Previously, we have stated before that Fox Bros is our favorite BBQ joint, and that's still holds true.  The innovation they bring to the table in terms of their original and unique offerings is unparalleled.

Community Q is a completely different animal.  In fact, I wouldn't really consider them competitors.  They perfect the meat process and their pork is slow cooked to perfection.  Great pulled pork is the benchmark for great BBQ.  It truly almost melts in your mouth.  Then you add their Carolina Vinaigrette Sauce and it is pork perfection. I will say, it is very difficult to find a good Carolina style sauce south of the Queen City, but CQ has it!  The Queen City is Charlotte, NC for the geographically impaired.

The meat trifecta!
The sausage was great.  Nice smokey flavor, but not overpoweringly spicy either.  For the sausage I used the more traditional molasses based sauce which was a better match. Also pictured was their special chili.  The manager recommended it to us and it was well worth it.  It was unique because the meat was their brisket giving it a very hardy flavor.  So on this plate, I had pork, brisket and sausage.  I should be a cardiologists dream.  Thank god for my Asian genetics.

And to pile on to my (or into my) arteries, we had their famous Mac n' Cheese.  Their recipe includes rigatoni, cheddar, Monterrey Jack, Parmesan, and heavy cream.  This may be my favorite Mac n' Cheese in the ATL and this heavy, yet creamy side could be a meal within itself.

If you are craving straight ahead BBQ, I couldn't give a higher recommendation than the Community Q.

Today's Footnote:  Famous "Q" people.  Queen's do not count.  Yes, even you Queen Latifah.
Whatever happened to Bamboo Earrings and a bad attitude?
There aren't too many choices here.  But there are some keepers.

Quincy Jones (one of the great music producers.  His artists are the whose who of music)
Quentin Tarantino (incredible director who may be doing his best work now)
Dan Quisenberry (an all time great reliever and possibly the best side arm pitcher in history)
Dan Quayle (a former Vice President for those under 30.  Prediction, in 5 years we have a cage match between him and "Smokin" Joe Biden for the most inept VP of the last 50 years).  Sorry Al Gore, you are ineligible for inventing the internet and making people believe Richmond will become beachfront property in 20 years.
Q-Tip (the second concert I ever went to was a Tribe Called Quest at the 930 club in DC.  Unbelievable show, then these guys blew up.  Literally and figuratively if you've seen this incredible documentary)

And I'll leave you with this classic music video.  For those under 30 MTV used to stand for Music Television and they played something called music videos.  It was kind of cool.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Com, Vietnamese in Dunwoody

Warning:  The following may be inappropriate for children under the age of 13 and those unfamiliar with Pho

I don't often eat Vietnamese, but when I do, I eat at Com
Vietnamese cuisine may not be as popular as Chinese, Thai or Sushi, but it's an Asian staple that need not be ignored.  And in Com, you have a restaurant that won't make the suburbanites brave the murky waters of Buford Highway.  Their Facebook Page says it's a vegetarian restaurant.  It's not at all.

Aesthetically, it's not Nan or Chopstix (RIP), but it is pleasing to the eye.

The dining room is very spacious and the service is great
Today I had the Lamb Bourguignon Stew Garnished with crispy onions & Asian herbs Vietnamese Baguette.  The lamb was tender and the broth was tasty.  Accompanied with it were both the egg noodles and baguette.  A perfect compliment to a chilly day.

Good luck pronouncing Bourguignon
The Rice Vermicelli "Bun Nuong (as they call it on the mean streets of Ho Chi Minh)" is cooled thin rice noodles over a Vietnamese salad of lettuce, pickled daikon & carrots, cucumbers. And its topped with scallions, roasted peanuts & crispy onions.  I had it with pork.  I'm looking forward to trying it with shrimp next time.

My favorite dish at Com
The Banh Mi is the perfect lunch companion, a toasted Vietnamese baguette sandwich, stuffed with savory filling & enhanced with creamy Vietnamese mayonnaise & soy sauce. Topped with pickled daikon & carrots, cucumbers, cilantro, tomatoes and jalapeno slices. Served with soup or salad.  I would highly suggest the creamy coconut soup.

The Vietnamese lunch staple
There is no question the French Indochina cuisine is unique and delicious.  Com gives you a choice to try it in the burbs and it delivers in spades.

Footnote #1:  Vietnam the country.  I never have been there, but I have close Vietnamese relatives that tell me it's both beautiful and fun.  I've been told you could almost retire there on $20k.  I seriously doubt that, but for $30k if I'm willing to try to be the Nino Brown of Indochina!

Am I your brothers keeper?
New Jack City should have been an all time classic.  It framed for the first time in cinema, the effects of crack cocaine on inner city society.  It was pretty good, but was wildly miscast with "B" actors that all thought they were "A" actors at the time. Wesley Snipes, Mario Van Peebles and Judd Nelson?  They are basically the homeless mans Denzel, Terence Howard and John Cusack.  When Ice T is carrying your movie, that's just embarrassing.  It also was a little too close to Scarface in story and King of New York in its release.

Frank White is one of the most underrated characters in 80's cinema
Footnote #2:  The Vietnam War movies are a high water mark in our cinematic history.

To me "Apocalypse Now" still holds up and is the best film of this group of movies.  Francis Ford Coppola used to make great movies before he started selling mediocre wine.  You had the two craziest actors of their time, Marlon Brando and Dennis Hopper, doing what they do best, playing criminally insane characters.  I can see Coppola telling Brando during his village scene, "Just act like it's a typical Saturday at your house, but with a few dozen Asian kids running around with guns."

The other great Vietnam movies are Platoon, Full Metal Jacket and The Deer Hunter.  Somehow The Deer Hunter gets lost in this crowd.  The film stars Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, John Savage, John Cazale, Meryl Streep, and George Dzundza.  A once in a lifetime cast.  It won 5 Academy Awards and the Great Christopher Walken got the nod for best supporting actor.  It's a two mention Christopher Walken blog!  We all win.

Tom Berenger gave the performance of his life in Platoon and somehow couldn't turn this into what should have been a much better career.  He should have been the Christian Bale of the 80's.  Warning:  this scene is disturbing.