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Jul 10 2014
Reader Submission: Sturgill Simpson’s Metamodern Sounds In Country Music

Editors Note: Beer & Pig reader Rich Cicci, a music reviewer for the Weekender (out of Wilkes-Barre, PA), takes a look at one of Beer & Pig’s favorite artists, Surgill Simpson and his new album, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music. 

thThere are a lot of country artists out there who try to obtain that classic sound of the genre. Some are able to do so easily, while others just aren’t able to hit the mark.

Sturgill Simpson, whose second solo album, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, was only recently released, is someone who has that skill. The songs on this album mix modern sounds with soulful country music expression.

The album opens up with “Turtles All the Way Down.” It’s a slow track, but it showcases the emotion of Simpson. The next track, “Life of Sin,” brings the tempo up with some exceptional classic guitar play. The sound is exactly what could have been heard in the classic honky tonks of yore. And actually this entire album would fit in well with that era.

One notable track is Simpson’s cover of “The Promise,” which was originally performed by the English new wave band When in Rome. He took an upper-mid tempoed, synthesizer-filled track, slowed it down, and turned it into a proper country ballad. By slowing it down, Sturgill was able to bring the emotion and weight of the lyrics out for the listener, thus making it his own (which is what the purpose of covering any song should be).

While Sturgill’s sound may fit that classic country genre, he isn’t afraid to progression. The album ends with “It Ain’t All Flowers.” It’s filled with distortion and psychedelic rock notes, and it’s just as stellar as the more traditional country tracks that have come before. Does it stand in complete contrast to the other tracks musically? Yes, but not lyrically. This track ends the album perfectly. This album is about sounding traditional while still being modern, or “metamodern” in this case, and it does so exceedingly well.

Sturgill Simpson “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music

Rating: 4.5/5

Jul 3 2014
Never Enough Hands: The Go Plate

go plate can

Editors Note: Beer & Pig reader Billy Hanley is back with another submission! This time he’s looking to help you solve the age old problem of holding your beer and stuffing your face at the same time. 

BBQs always make me wish I was Doc Ock.  I never have enough hands for everything.  It is inevitable, you are out enjoying the Beer and Pig season, the party is going full bore and as soon as you grab a beer and some food–you meet somebody new, there is nowhere to sit, your dog starts being an ass, or someone yells “hey grab me a …” but you already have both hands full with a frothy beverage and a plate of awesome.

We have all tried to balance a plate on top of a can or the much “easier” red Solo cup, but none of us are foolhardy enough to try a bottle (ribs always outweigh potato salad).  Now?  All of those beer acrobatics are a thing of the past.  The Go Plate is here to make carrying food and beer a cinch.

Go Plates are specially designed to fit over your beverage.  Measuring 10” in diameter and sectioned into 2 large and 2 small compartments, the Go Plate is designed to balance evenly on most consumer bottles, cans, 16oz and 18oz cups, and some wine glasses (you know who you are) while holding a real portion of food.  No more awkward juggling when there are no seats or feigning the urgency to get to the picnic table when you need a free hand.  The Go plate is dishwasher safe and recyclable if you don’t want to keep them around after too many uses.

Available through the The Big O and Dukes Amazon tab (search Go Plate) in mini packs of 7, small packs of 10, large packs of 21, or jumbo packs of 42, Go Plates are a must for any true Beer and Pig enthusiast.  Imagine having the uncanny ability to meet someone new, shake their hand, then stand there and eat while talking to them.  With great power comes great responsibility…… remove the plate before trying to drink.

May 27 2014
Reader Submission: Now You Can Cook EVERYTHING on the Grill

Stok Quattro pizza _ skillet

Editors Note: Disappointed with your grill after the Memorial Day Holiday?  If you’re looking to upgrade, Beer & Pig reader Billy Hanley has submitted this article on a sweet grill that you may want to consider. Enjoy! 

Grilling season, also known as Beer & Pig season, is here and as the days get longer cooking outside is more and more of a must.  If you are like me you have been yelled at many times for using pans or other cook wear on the grill. However, if I am cooking steak and eggs letting one get cold while the other cooks is not an option, and I am not running back and forth.  Finally the geniuses at STōK have come to the rescue.

The STōK Quattro is a four burner grill with interchangeable grill inserts.  The grill insert system allows you to change half of your grill into a skillet, smoker/infuser, & kabob & rib rack.  They even have a chicken roaster insert that you can fill with The Maneuver and make your chicken taste the way it was intended to taste all these years.

Go to the site and check out the Quattro and the full line of inserts so you never have to go back inside and cook while grilling ever again.  Then go to The Big O and Dukes Amazon tab order one and have it delivered to your door.

May 21 2014
This is a Backpack Cooler Chair. All other chairs deemed irrelevant.

backpack_cooler_chairSitting.  It’s better than standing.  And you never know when you’ll be standing and realize that it would be better to take a seat.  With hundreds of crappy, portable chairs available at every sporting goods or beach shop, one has to be careful one is not buying a chair that is incapable of also enabling your drinking problem.  Enter this beauty to the right.

With a detachable cooler that holds up to 24 cold, adult beverages, flip out table with beverage holder with a padded seat & back for your fat ass, THIS chair has all of your vices covered.

While your dumbass friend is snapping 20-dollar beach chair after 20-dollar beach chair, you’ll be comfortably sitting and binge drinking at your favorite beach or camping location.

You can purchase your backpack cooler chair on Hammacher’s website.  At 140 clams, it’s a bit on the pricey side, but you’ll be drunk & lazy on the beach.  You can’t put a price on that now, can you?  While you’re on the site, you might as well pick up a flying bicycle or a fire-breathing dragon.  Summer is only here for so long.

Jan 29 2014
Pastry’s Corner: The Croissant Donut

croissant donutThe croissant donut, if you’ve paid attention to pastry related news you’ve no doubt heard about this hybrid concoction that combines the flakiness of a croissant and the sweetness of a donut.  (Author’s note: Cronut is trademarked by the inventor, so that’s the last time I’ll use the term to avoid any pastry related lawsuits.)  I’m a donut connoisseur, so a new spin on the perfect pastry is a hard thing to pass up.  On one of my weekly Pastry Patrols through the bakery section of my local Safeway (don’t judge, grocery stores often have great bakeries and they are convenient places to grab donuts) and what to my wondering eyes should appear but a glorious display showcasing croissant donuts.  They had two varieties- glazed and cinnamon-sugar.  Naturally, I grabbed both styles because I’m a journalist dammit, and the complete croissant donut story must be told.

cronut 2At first bite the croissant donut did not blow me away, but then it hit me: how great is a fresh and warm Krispy Kreme?  Thinking on my feet, I threw the croissant donut into the microwave for 10 seconds and BAM, a whole new experience. Look at the picture to the right, see all those little pockets of air?  Those are layers of dough and between each of those layers is butter. After warming the donut, all that butter remelts and you get a buttery soft, sweet pillow of deliciousness the likes of which you’ve never experienced.  This thing just melts in your mouth.  I cannot recommend these enough and I’d love to try them fresh out of the fryer.  Maybe I’ll have to start stalking the bakery ladies to get some fryer intel. Between the two types of croissant donuts Safewway offered, I found the glazed  to be superior to the cinnamon sugar; the glaze provided a better cover while the cinnamon-sugar tended to fall off.

So the moral of the story here: get you’re ass to Safeway and grab some croissant donuts.  You can pick these up at the price point of $5 for a 4 pack, a bargain at twice the price, and  is not bad considering the croissant donuts you read about in NY are $5 a piece.  Grab a box, throw them in the microwave for a bit, and get ready for a bite of heaven.