Sunday, December 30, 2007
My husband has always been involved with one band or another (or two or three) for the past couple of decades, playing the guitar and bass. Crash Smash Explode was one such band. Every once in awhile he does a Google search to see if any one has uploaded any photos that were taken during past out of town tours. Tonight we found this review on Interpunk.com and I thought it was pretty cool. Mike says- "who knew we were so relevant?" Ha! Can 'The Winds' (his new project) live up to it?
"Crash Smash Explode/Secret Life Of Machines - Split
Crash Smash Explode/Secret Life Of Machines
Bifocal Media 7
Released on September 18, 2001
CRASH SMASH EXPLODE delivers a whirling, dense, masterpiece of sonic devastation. They somehow manage to stay catchy while playing some of the most eclectic, neurotic, andchallenging rock music in the underground today. This split LP is a stunning follow up to their SOLD OUT 7" on Amendment Records. Crash Smash have also appeared on the WHISTLE OF THE MISSILE video and the KAMPAI compilation; both available on Bifocal Media. More recently crash smash appeared on the highly successful TROUBLEMAN MIX TAPE compilation making this limited split LP a highly sought after recording. SECRET LIFE OF MACHINES steps to bat with a crushing wall of sonic manipulation. Combining the moody melancholy of early 80s bands such as BAUHAUS with the complexity and angst of mid 90s bands like UNIVERSAL ORDER OF ARMAGEDDON. Huge tribal drumming, dissonant keyboards, complex noodly guitar, pained screaming vocals, and jazzy bass lines. This release follows an overwhelming response to their appearance on the WHISTLE OF THE MISSILE video and the KAMPAI compilation."
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Finally, it really feels like Christmas around here. The photos above are a bit murky, but you get the idea. I was a bit worried about how we would do our tree this year; what with a curious toddler bounding around ready to touch and taste everything in his path. We selected a shorter tree than usual, and sat it upon a pedestal. Henry hasn't chewed on any mini lightbulbs... yet.
Tonight I spruced up our porch with some garlands, a living wreath, and a living swag above the door. The parts that are "living" include pine, acuba, and other various evergreen foliage with nandina berries and fruit. I constructed them using Oasis, or florist's foam, which provides a constant source of water for the plants while keeping them tightly arranged. I'll include a daylight photo of them this week, and maybe provide a little tutorial. It is so easy, and less expensive than buying these things readymade from your local nursery.
Mike's mom had her annual holiday party at her restaurant this weekend. Every year her waitresses beg me to make some fudge, so I was up to my arms in chocolate for the past couple of days. Many batches later, I can already feel the expansion of my ass. What, I had to do a little taste test to make sure it was suitable for giving away. The recipe is so unbelievably simple, and so outrageously good. And fudge is just so sweet and rich, when giving it as a gift, a little goes such a long way. And really, I get requests for this stuff every year!
Foolproof Fudge-y Goodness
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips (you can do a variation of semisweet with milk chocolate, peanut butter, dark chocolate, or butterscotch chips)
1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk (do not use evaporated- it won't work)
1/2 cups walnuts coarsely chopped (or not, if you don't like nuts)
1 1/2 tsps. PURE vanilla extract (don't even reach for the imitation stuff)
1/4 cup butter (unsalted sweet cream)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (what, I warned you about the expanding ass part... but hey, just run a bit harder and farther in the beginning of the new year)
Once you've made a few batches you can experiment with add-ins such as peanut butter, or miniature marshmallows for a rocky-road type fudge.
Melt all together in a medium saucepan over low heat, constantly stirring. No candy thermometer needed. You will know the desired consistency is achieved when you start humming theme songs from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the original, not the remake). Pour mixture into a wax paper-lined pan (8X9). Cover, and refrigerate for 4 hours, or overnight. Enjoy!! Even the tiniest bite will satisfy the largest chocolate craving. I swear.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
I am still plugging away at trying to create a handmade Christmas for all of my favoritos. Some fabric I ordered from repropdepot just arrived, and I have to say, I am in love with these patterns. I have been working on some little porcelain pretties, but I'm really not sure how these are going to turn out. College ceramics was a looongggg time ago. Nonetheless, it has been a whole lot of fun re-exploring that medium. There is nothing like that sense of "flow" I get from kneading, sculpting, designing with that earthy goodness. I suppose it is the same great feeling I get while painting, collaging, etc. I've been needing more flow in my life...
I have been slowly creating my little Christmas vignettes around the house. I'll leave you with a picture of a little tree I put together for my beloved blown glass ornaments and crystal icicles. It is so easy to do- find some attractive branches in the yard, anchor in an urn using river rocks, and voila. I'll post some pictures of our big tree and my mantle later.
I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season!