Go ahead and admit it. You missed me. I was MIA last week, but only because I've spent the last week and a half traipsing across the eastern part of the U.S. That's not an understatement at all. A little over a week ago, I left Englewood, FL and headed up to Pensacola for a night of baseball land drinking with some good friends of mine. We left Pensacola and flew down I - 10 to spend the day eating and drinking through New Orleans. Then, it was off to Baton Rouge for poboys at Dempsey's and a good nights sleep. From there it was off to College Station, TX for a wedding, but not before a pit stop in Houston. While in Houston, there was a hamburger incident. I refer to it as an "incident" because the burger I ate at Burger Guys in Houston literally changed the way I view hamburgers now and as long as I live. It was basically an entire pound of pure, unadulterated LOVE, stuffed between two perfectly absorbent buns. With each bite, I simply thanked the world for allowing this burger to exist and as the love dripped off my hands in the form of bloody grease, I smiled a bigger and more ridiculous grin (and simultaneously wondered how in the hell anyone could possibly be a vegetarian). In all honesty, I cried as I took the last bite and, as of this very moment, I'm still in mourning. Just above, to the right, is the Jesus Christ of burgers. As a testament to the sheer genius of this little nondescript burger joint in Houston, TX, we witnessed the invention of a new menu item as we finished up our little slice of heaven between two buns. The geniuses at Burger Guys invented, as we sat there, a new burger. It was a lump of lust that included a Cheetos Hollandaise topping. These guys invented their own Hollandaise sauce made from Cheetos. There were even Cheetos on the burger. CHEETOS ON A DAMN BURGER! That's just good living, man . . .
Anyway, after the burger incident and the wedding we headed north through Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio on our way to Philadelphia. We parked it in Pittsburgh for the night and headed out the next morning. Upon our arrival to the Philly area, I was reminded that you can't just walk into a store and buy a six pack. Oh no, you have to go to special stores where you can only buy beer by the case. This, boy and girls, is a completely foreign concept to me. But, there is reprieve . . .because you can buy a six pack at just about any bar in town and, as we were in Telford, PA, we stopped in at the Greenhouse Tavern for a few pints and some wings. We eventually made the genius purchase of Rolling Rock pounders, and they were divine. Oh yeah, and I ate some scrapple. From there, we had breakfast in a dive diner in D.C. then headed back down south for a pit stop in Savannah, GA, where we absolutely devoured a large platter of seafood and washed it down with my favorite beer, Red Stripe.
The next day we wandered through historic Savannah and found Vinny Van Go Go where we murdered a pizza and downed a pitcher of Yuengling. Here's an odd fact about Yuengling . . .if you order a "Yuengling" in Pennsylvania, people will look at you like you have a three foot personal massager growing out of your forehead. You have to simply order a "lager." Write that down. Just a tip from me to you so you can't say I never taught you anything. Enough about me, let's get to the music.
It's safe to say that, since I've been traveling I haven't been keeping up with the world of music. I made it a point during this trip to reconnect with some older stuff or stuff that I hadn't heard in awhile and being on the road is the perfect excuse to reacquaint yourself with great music. The only new stuff I really swam in was the new Beastie Boys album. Other than that, a lot of stuff was played. Titus Andronicus, Les Saavy Fav, Pete Yorn, Wolf Parade, Pearl Jam anniversary reissues, Bon Iver, some old school hip hop like Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul and LOTS of MMJ. I may have said this before, but there really isn't any song that comes quite as close to "At Dawn" when you first hit the road in the morning. It's, for lack of a better word, perfect. I'm not going to go on and on about that song for two reasons, 1.) i could go on forever about it, and 2.) that's the responsibility of fellow contributor, Gabrielle and although I have no regard for most people, she's a fan so she gets mad, nasty, stupid props in a totally gangsta way. But I digress . . .
I had every intention of talking about Okkervil River's new album, I Am Very Far, but I woke up this morning to an email from a friend that directed me to an Irish band that, for the most part, is basically unknown here in the states. Director is an Irish export that toes the line somewhere between the sounds of Joy Division or Interpol and early Pixies stuff with a stiff splash of the Smiths for good measure. The band, Michael Moloney (vocals/guitar), Eoin Aherne (guitars), Shea Lawlor (drums) and Rowan Averill (bass) produced their first album, We Thrive On Big Cities and within a week earned a #2 spot on Irish charts (losing out to the disappointing "Sam's Town" by The Killers at #1). Director's second album, I'll Wait For SoundMoloney said, "You can expect a much harder sound than the first album, but mixed with some of the softest, most delicate tracks we've ever recorded. I think we've captured more of the live essence of Director on this album."
I like this band. I like this band a lot and fans of Interpol or Joy Division or any other band that's remotely similar will like this band, too. If you're at all interested, let me know and I'll send you a few songs so you can decide for yourself.
Just FYI, the new Okkervil River album is really good. It seems like they've found the perfect balance between Will Sheff's powerful lyrics and the expansive music for which the band is famous. Check the album out ASAP because it's definitely worth it.
Until next week, boys and girls, keep the music loud and your drinks strong. . . .