Posted tagged ‘five out of five’

Let’s Have a Patrick Swayze Christmas…and other MST3K X-Mas fun!

December 16, 2010

Christmas on the Satellite of Love!

Being a Minnesotan, I’ve had the tremendous fortune to grow up surrounded by the unhinged awesomeness that is my state’s contributions to the arts. Believe it or not, my Midwest abyss is home to Prince, the Replacements, Louie Anderson, The Mighty Ducks and X-Pac. I’ve also been lucky enough to grow up at the perfect age to have my entire cognoscente understanding of the world around me shaped by a show called ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000.’ If you aren’t familiar, it’s a program about a guy and his two robot pals who make fun of actual movies while you watch them in their entirety. A brilliant concept, I came for the puppets and stayed for the web of pop culture references I’m half-certain only I get. Also catering to me is their delightful Christmas specials where they hurled insults at the Mexican film where Santa Claus fights Satan known as Santa Claus (available to watch RIGHT NOW on Netflix streaming by clicking here or anywhere in this sentence) as well as the self-explanatory Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. Along with the fun in the theater were the host segments that featured some of my new favorite Holiday standards.

Let’s Have a Patrick Swayze Christmas

Having seen Road House twice in the past week, this song is particular relevant to my topical interests. It’s catchy, fun and uplifting, everything a seasonal carol should be.

Merry Christmas (If That’s OK)

Like I mentioned, MST3K hit its stride as a product of the 90s, a time of overbearing political correctness. Now, I know the past decade has seen the backlash to “political correctness” become tied to people who want to feel justified in any xenophobic comment or unfounded argument they would like to believe as an undisputed fact, but let’s remember that the mid-90s had things getting really out of hand. For example, and I’m not making this up, my grade school was worried the red checkmarks by incorrect answers on tests were hurting the student body’s self-esteem so they were replaced with red “L’s” and the motto “we don’t make mistakes, we make learnings.” Wretched, eh? Well, this sentiment is perfectly captured and made the best of with a Seasonal romp that’s sure to delight you no matter what you celebrate, which I fully respect and support.

MST3K Christmas Essays

I’m convinced this one sketch where the everyone shares their Christmas essays is the precursor to Tumblr.

It’s always good to spend Christmas with some guys in space!

We give Mystery Science Theater 3000’s Christmas Endeavors a Five Out of Five

So until next time…let’s agree to agree!

R.I.P. Fatbeats (J.I.L.S.)

August 25, 2010

The Last Stop for Hip-Hop

As you’ve probably noticed, there was only one update to our site last week. That’s because I’ve honestly been dreading having to write the following post. Continuing our series of Journeys in Liquidation Sales, it’s my sad duty to cover the closing of a very specific beloved hangout and record store known as Fatbeats. I have a lot of emotional investment in this place, so please pardon any diverting from our standard Popular Path.

On September 4th, 2010, the world famous record store FatBeats will close its door for the last time and Hip-Hop will have lost another Mecca. Granted, Hip-Hop is a youth culture whose consistant vibrancy has always come from new kids always doing something completely different from those who came before them, but FatBeats held the distinction of being one of the few locations that would acknowledge the past by looking to the future through the spectrum of a genuine love for the culture. With the ceiling covered with authentic first-run promotional posters of classic albums, the walls lined with classic and current vinyl releases and a special section devoted to autographed promo 8 X 10 of rap’s most celebrated icons and beloved unsung heroes, it was something of a living museum of rap music. The closest thing we have ever had to a Hip-Hop Hall of Fame, it became everything from a tourist destination to a regular hangout for just about everyone that passed through its doors.

Part of me still can't believed this happened. The instore, not the broken nose.

Many are citing its closing as a “sign of the times” and playing all sorts of blame games from the most prevalent “nobody’s supporting record stores” sentiment, to the bitter few complaining FatBeats “didn’t support independent artists.” The latter is a complete and utter fabrication as FatBeats carried plenty of local/underground Hip-Hop, but I’ll get into that in a bit. Most importantly, I want to address the former, and if you take nothing else from the rest of this article or don’t want to hear someone lament the loss of a place that meant a lot to them, please take the next paragraph as the definition of what FatBeats meant.

I moved to New York in August, 2004 where I lived in Washington Square Park. A Sam Goody has just closed, but there were 19 other music stores within a ten minute walk of where I lived including a Tower Records, a Virgin Megastore, a FYE and countless Mom-and-Pops. Six years later, FatBeats has outlived ALL but ONE. Now, think of these large record stores with billion-dollar conglomerates behind them who couldn’t stay afloat in the highest-priced rent area of the most expensive city in the country and realize that this comparatively hole-in-the-wall store that ignored what was popular to ONLY CARRY MUSIC THEY LIKED outlived ALL OF THEM by AT LEAST A YEAR. If that isn’t a sign of unbelievable support from a community, I don’t know what is. They followed an insane business model, which was to follow their hearts, and not only did it work, but it made them the last man standing. As sad as it is that all things must come to an end, the Last Stop for Hip-Hop is going out with the honor and respect that it deserves.

Now, if I may switch things up a bit, I’m going to spend the rest of this post sharing some of my favorite FatBeats memories, in chronological order.

– As I mentioned earlier, I first moved to New York in August, 2004. I moved here for school* and had my first day at NYU on September 7th. That evening, immediately after class, I set foot into FatBeats for the first time for a Rob Sonic instore. It was the release of his album Telicatessen at the height of my 18-year-old indie-rap fandom. Seeing how many artists I had spent so many years listening to back in Minnesota just casually walking through the front door and sharing the same breathing room blew my mind. Not only did I get to meet many of my heroes, I got to know many of the local rap enthusiasts and other NYU students that, to this day, became some of my closest friends. This is also where I met NYC favorite Creature who considered Fatbeats’ storefront his “office” as he educated me on everything there is to know about the scene.

Oh, hi me!

– Soon Fatbeats became the both my hangout as well as the place I would show whenever I would walk near it with anyone. I remember pointing it out during a first date with a girl on Valentine’s Day that year at a pizza place within eyeshot of it, describing it as “a hangout.” She said “It’s a record store, what do you do there?” “You know…rap things.” Those rap things would include two months later when I got to freestyle over an original Evil Dee beat at a Beatminerz instore. There’s somethings you don’t expect to do as an 18-year-old from Minnesota, and that one was pretty high on the list but FatBeats made it a reality.

– Unlike other record stores, Fatbeats didn’t really have a stage or artist area so in-store performances took place right in the middle of the store, allowing for a real one-on-one interaction with artists you really couldn’t get anywhere else. Over the years I got to watch ToneDef autograph my copy of his album by un-ironically filling up the entire cover art with his five-step plan/instructions for how Hip-Hop is to be evaluated and elevated over the next decade, hear first-hand about X-Clan’s Brother J’s admiration of the Kottonmouth Kings, see Brother Ali’s face light-up with the news his album was debuting on the Billboard 200 at #69, enjoy stories from Evil Dee about what a bitch it was to clear samples from overseas artists, pass along a message to Sean Price from the security guard at my dorm that referenced very specific people from the Brownsville project he grew up in, Pack FM demand that I leave the store for referring to a shot he took at Ja Rule’s ‘Blood in My Eye’ album as “disrespecting the g.o.a.t.,” witness C-Rayz Walz give an entire radio interview over the phone with his answers in the form of freestyle rhymes, have one-time Fatbeats staple Percee-P give me his phone number “in the event I ever become a blogger or music journalist and want to do an interview,” out-of-towners Zion-I being unintentionally super-early for their instore by getting there on time, and countless others that either are skipping my mind or that I could never print. (ask me sometime)

– But what I’ll most remember FatBeats for was when I had an instore there. Like I mentioned earlier, there’s a smattering of belly-aching from a few in the scene who think that because FatBeats never stocked them or their boys that they never supported independent artists. Truthfully, it’s because Fatbeats had pretty high standards and through its 16-year existence, you only really made it in the indieground when Fatbeats carried you. It took me three releases until they finally stocked me, and my instore on April 30th, 2008 I’ll always remember as one of the proudest moments of my life. I came to New York four-years prior with no friends, worked really hard and had finally achieved a lifelong dream. The turnout was the third-biggest of that year (only behind Q-Tip and Immortal Technique) and really felt like a graduation or a validation of what I had done over the past decade.

A very good feeling.

So thanks FatBeats for being the perfect idealized record store.

We give FatBeats a Five Out of Five

So until next time…let’s agree to agree!

*and stayed for the pie.

Tay Zonday’s Top Ten Moments: Volume 2 – Tay Harder (C.A.T.T.L.E.)

July 22, 2010

**we move away from the mic forever and ever.

Tay Zonday Week here continues with the Top Five lesser-known item in the Tay-ography. Consider these his Diet Chocolate Rain. Zondaylight has broken, so let’s get right to the Taypole!

That isn't manna you're tapping...

5 ) Start Me Up
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1223151/start_me_up_rolling_stones_karaoke_by_tay_zonday/
(Sorry, Metacafe won’t embed. More like Lamecafe, amirite?)
After the tremendous success of ZonDay, YouTube tried its hand at honoring other important musical icons by designating April 4th, 2008 as “Rolling Stones Day.” They invited the site’s biggest stars to cover their favorite Stones songs, the most popular being Tay’s cover of “Start Me Up.” With the industrial vocal effects turning his trademark deep voice into a robotic growl, Tay’s muppet-esqe dance moves and proper prop use are only upstaged by hearing him snarl “you make a dead man come.”

4 ) Musicolio

The most recent addition to this list is “Musicolio,” a return to form for ‘Tay-bone.’ Having no real formal training in any style of music, what made much of his early work so endearing is how he would try his hand at countless genres at once, often sounding like the collective blaring radios of a ten-car pileup. “Musicolio” recaptures that ambitiousness while spotlighting the Stick Stickly-swagger of his live performances.

3 ) Never Gonna Give You Up

Many attribute Tay’s status as the internet’s ultimate trump card to how heavily he was shuffled into our decks by sites like 4Chan and Encyclopedia Dramatica. As an acknowledgement of those who helped bring him to the dance, Tay stuck his Chocolate Reign into Rick Astley’s peanut butter resulting in hot meme-on-meme action!

2 ) The Only Way

Debuting at the peak of his popularity, “The Only Way” was removed within weeks after Tay suddenly became self-conscious over it “sounding too much like a brag track.” While there’s still a message or two in the lyrics, you can tell Tay really thought/knew he was the biggest star in the world. “Staccato mulatto, everyday a new motto” indeed.

1 ) Get It Back (Turbotax Rap)

Prior to “Chocolate Rain,” Tay was a runner-up in a Vanilla Ice judged songwriting contest for popular finance software TurboTax. Eating ketchup to save for a “Hummey” never sounded so good.

We give Tay Zonday a Five Out of Five.

So until next time…let’s agree to agree!

WATCH ‘LIONHEART’ WITH ME!

June 18, 2010

This is what an awesome movie looks like.

So here I was, sitting down to write another blog entry when I discovered that Lionheart, starring Jean Claude Van Damme, was available in its entirety on YouTube. Ecstatic, I started making telephone calls to everyone in my parish only to discover the majority of them HAVEN’T SEEN LIONHEART! What sorcery is this? Well, as a public service, I’m going to now introduce you to one of mankind’s greatest achievements.

I’m sure I’ll flush out a full review at a later date, but for right now believe me when I tell you this is one of my favorite movies of all time. JCVD, the greatest actor crotch-puncher of our generation, stars as Leon, an A.W.O.L. French Legionaire who returns to America in order to support his brother’s widow’s family through the organized underground fight circuit. The script was co-written by Van Damme, so the flagrant broken bones and broken english go hand-in-hand. There’s action, honor and awesomeness.

For whatever reason, this is the overseas theatrical release but don’t let the alternate title ‘Full Contact’ fool you, it’s still Lionheart and still arguably the finest motion picture ever made.

Tonight on Chazterpiece Theater…

We give Lionheart a Five Out of Five

So until next time…let’s agree to agree!

The Top Ten Richard Dunn Moments (C.A.T.T.L.E.)

June 9, 2010

RIP Richard Dunn 1935-2010

This is a special installment of Chaz’s Arbitrary Top Ten List Extravaganza where we focus on the late Richard Dunn‘s body of work. If you would like to join me in donating to his funeral and memorial services, you can do so HERE.

Last Friday was marked was the sad passing of comedic actor Richard Dunn. Most famous for his work on Adult Swim’s “Tim & Eric Awesome Show: Great Job,” Dunn was a one-of-a-kind charismatic geriatric who always seemed more than happy to go along with whatever absurd exercise his cohorts were engaging in. It’s somewhat of a challenge to give the man a proper eulogy as his presence our lives were in such entertaining short bursts that defied their own explanations. Yet, the vacuum they exist in succeeded in exactly what Richard Dunn set out to do, and that was to entertain us. In that tradition, I’m going to refrain from commenting on each clip as Dunn’s work largely speaks for itself. In short, here’s ten examples of why it was awesome sharing planet Earth with Richard Dunn.

#10 Encouragement from Pep-Pep

#9 Dunn’s Message for Jackie Chan

#8 Dunnions – Gettin’ It Dunn

#7 Parks and Recreations and Dunn

#6 She Has No Grace

#5 Dunn Needs Your Bones

#4 Tim & Eric Awesome Tour 2009 Intro

#3 Dunn-Prov

#2 World’s Most Handsome Man – Finals!

#1 Dunngeon

We give RICHARD DUNN a FIVE OUT OF FIVE

BONUS BEAT: Dunn’s Debut in Diddy’s “Bad Boy 4 Life”

So until next time…let’s agree to agree!

Chaz’s Best of Rap-A-Lot Compilation – FREE DOWNLOAD & HISTORY LESSON!

June 7, 2010

A Symbol of Quality

As I’ve stated many times on this site, rap music is awesome. It’s a subject I’m passionate about and will gladly discuss for hours on end. Among my favorite topics of that of Houston’s Rap-A-Lot Records. Formed in 1986 by then-car dealer James “J Prince” Smith, it has honed Hip-Hop to some of its highest heights. Along with breaking the regional glass-ceiling that plagued southern rappers throughout the 80s, the label’s been home to some of the genre’s most respected and beloved artists such as Scarface, Devin the Dude and UGK’s Bun-B. It’s a label whose catalog is deep with a roster full of artists that each bear a distinct sound while maintaining the label’s standard of quality output.

In recognition of VH1’s Hip-Hop Honors acknowledging the label tonight, I’ve decided to share my Best of Rap-A-Lot Compilation I made back in 2007 at the height of my Rap-A-Lot fandom. I’ve always felt the Houston sound is perfect for this time of year, with the entire country being baked by a brutal sun the label provides the perfect soundtrack for anything from backyard barbecues to after-hours antics. I tried to not include more than one song from each album and I know there are some glaring omissions whose albums I didn’t have at the time as many of the label’s releases are either out-of-print or inaccessible depending on where you are, so I’ve decided to add the five most regrettable cuts at the end.

His awesomeness, J. Prince

I know there’s also some of you who never have/wanted to give any rap music south of the Mojo Nixon line a chance. This mix and entry is also for you to hopefully provide some context and level with you as to why these artists are praised and why their music is dope. Enlighten yourself, fool.

DOWNLOAD THE ENTIRE MIX HERE: http://www.4shared.com/file/USpWvM1G/Best_of_Rap-A-Lot.html

Tracklisting:

1) Seagram “2 For 1”
– Starting things off we have the late Seagram. A Bay Area favorite, Seagram is most known for being the first in rap to use the “Double Dutch Bus” ‘izzle’-speak, predating E-40/Snoop Dogg/Missy/Fran Drescher with 1992’s “Straight Mobbin.” I opted instead to open this collection with “2 For 1,” to help ease in those of you not familiar with country rap tunes by having Seagram utterly destroy a medley of classic breaks (re: samples) for five minutes. Welcome to Rap-A-Lot

2) Convicts “Peter Man”
– One of the most sought after records in the RAL catalog is the debut of (future-Geto Boy) Big Mike and (future-Blac Monk) 3-2 as The Convicts. Their self-titled release is a concept album from two, you guessed it, Convicts behind bars. An industry favorite, it’s constantly eluded to on several certified rap classics. One listen to “Peter Man,” and many moments of Dr. Dre’s The Chronic are going make a lot more sense.

3) Geto Boys “Mind Playing Tricks on Me”
– The label’s biggest hit and an canonical rap song, “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” is truly one of the genre’s biggest triumphs. It also lead to a popular viral Star Wars video and one of the best St. Ides ads of all time.

4) Poppa LQ “South Central Soldier”
– In the early 90s, the label expanded with Rap-A-Lot West and one of the best releases from the imprint was Your Entertainment, My Reality by Poppa LQ. Under-appreciated even in Rap-A-Lot circles, this reinvention of the one-time “Native Son” Laquan was one of rap’s most dramatic metamorphosis resulting in the perfect implication of the Rap-A-Lot aesthetic in the West Coast soundscape.

5) Geto Boys “Crooked Officer”
– When Willie D left the Geto Boys, he was replaced by aforementioned Convicts member Big Mike. The result was the trio’s darkest album Til Death Do Us Part. A midst a much more brooding production, one of the album’s highlights was the scathing “Crooked Officer,” one of the best corruption songs ever recorded.

They know how to play 'em.

6) OG Style “Catch ‘Em Slippin”
– Dearly departed duo OG Style consisted of ‘Original E’ Eric Woods and producer DJ Woods (UGK’s “One Day”). The first single off I Know How to Play ‘Em,, it features my favorite usage of that Meters sample ever. Love this song.

7) Geto Boys “Gangsta of Love”
– The ORIGINAL version that appeared on their 1989 Grip It on that Other Level album is among the most savagely “ig’nant” sex songs ever recorded. Steve Miller caught feelings and had the sample replaced (with “Sweet Home Alabama”) when it reappeared a year later on their 1990 Rick Rubin produced self-titled American debut.

8 ) DMG “Psycho”
– The FIRST Minnesotan rapper to break national*, St. Paul’s DMG put the Twin Cities on the map with 1992’s Rigormortiz. Short-but-sweet, “Psycho” at first listen sounds like the best Scarface song that Face didn’t make. Midwest represent.

9) Geto Boys “Do It Like a G.O.”
– Label president J.Prince does the intro on this jump off that expresses the frustration of being a Southern voice that gets largely ignored by the media at large. This features the infamous DJ Ready Red “at’cha/statue” line Mr. Lif referenced in the Revenge of the Robots documentary, as well as arguably the absolute angriest Willie D ever sounded.

Bushwick Bill AKA Dr. Wolfgang Von Bushwickin the Barbarian Mother Funky Stay High Dollar Billstir

10) Menace Clan “Kill Whitey”
– Perhaps the most famous obscure rap group, made highly Googled by unintentionally hilarious white-supreamicist websites for their leading examples that rap music as a whole is racist, Menace Clan’s 1992 album Da Hood features some of the glossiest production in the label’s catalog. Yes, it’s possibly the most explicitly racist rap song you’ll ever hear, but if you can listen to Wagner, you should be able to divorce the message from the music and appreciate Menace Clan too.

11) Odd Squad “I Can’t See It”
– Off Fadanuf Fa Ery’body, the album Scarface considers the label’s best, comes Devin the Dude’s first group the Odd Squad. Tied for my favorite rap album all time, it features “I Can’t See It,” the solo-cut from member Blind Rob Quest that remains rap’s best anthem for the vision impaired.

12) Scarface “I Like P***y”
– If “Gangsta of Love” was notable for its brash explicitness, “I Like P***y” off Face’s solo debut stands out for its Epictetus-level stoicism. Off a haunting bassline, Face flexes his storytelling ability to almost-realtime describe an average sexual encounter.

13) Big Mike “Havin Thangs”
– Produced by UGK’s Pimp C, Big Mike’s debut solo single is one of the most revered cuts in the RAL catalog. The sleeper hit off the Dangerous Minds soundtrack, it’s also the song a girl I dated in college believed should be McDonaldland character Grimace’s theme music when the fast food chain decides to finally toughen up their image.

14) The Terrorists “F**k the Media”
– One of the earliest recorded responses to how rap is viewed in the media, this song off the duo’s impossibly titled Terror Strikez: Always Bizness, Never Personal makes the argument that rap shouldn’t be subjected to such particular scrutiny and that the music should stand for itself, best articulated with the line “Ask why I rap about violence and not peace, ho get out my face before I burn you with some hot grease.”

"Come and take a ride with the Bradster."

15) Scarface f/ Ice Cube & Devin the Dude “Hand of the Dead Body”
– Off my other favorite rap album of all time The Diary, Scarface’s “Hand of the Dead Body” sees him joined by Ice Cube to offer the best response from an artist perspective to the critiques of rap’s violent nature. What makes “Hand of the Dead Body” special is that it’s a reactionary record that by-passes the media itself to speak directly to the listeners as to why these allegations are frivolous. It dissects the arguments from both sides and stands the centerpiece of one of the most honest albums ever released.

16) Devin the Dude “Do What You Wanna Do”
– Alleviating the pressure is Devin the Dude’s “Do What You Wanna Do,” a relaxing smooth cut that oozes cool. It’s as uplifting as laid back gets.

17) Geto Boys “Damn, It Feels Good to be a Gangsta”
– Yes, the song from Office Space, implemented into cinematic immortality by fellow Texan Mike Judge. Enough’s been written about this song, so instead I’d like to use this time to stress how awesome Face was in Judge’s follow-up Idiocracy, stealing the show in the greatest post-credits scene in movie history.

18) Devin the Dude f/ Snoop Dogg & Andre 3000 “What a Job”
– Closing things out is the recent cut from the Dude that celebrates the realities of the rap life instead of bemoaning it. The passion on display here really captures what later-RAL releases have been about – a love for the craft doing whatever possible to offer something fresh and unique to the Hip-Hop nation. At a time when it’s been easier than ever for music to become homogenized in oversaturation and a career in the field seems as unstable as ever, “What a Job” is a testament to the label’s passion and quarter-century of quality.

We give Rap-A-Lot Records a Five Out of Five

Oh, and here’s another live five –

(also noteworthy – Do or Die, Ganksta Nip and UTP)

For further reading check out Andrew Noz’s Top 25 Rap-a-Lot songs and his 2004 Rap-A-Lot Week coverage.

So until next time…Let’s Agree to Agree!

*MC Skat Kat DOESN’T COUNT!

Jimmy’s No. 43’s Evening of Bacon, Chocolate, Cheese and Beer – Food Review

May 26, 2010

Photo courtesy NYMag, used without permission.

I’ve been in living in New York City, New York for almost six years now. During this time not only have I aged chronologically, but I’ve developed the types of tastes for things one has after trying a whole bunch of them. Since my 21st birthday in 2007, my favorite bar in the city and corresponding whole world has been Jimmy’s No. 43. Located on 7th street between 2nd and 3rd Ave in the island of Manhattan, Jimmy’s offers the city’s best beer selection in generous goblets at affordable prices. It’s always been the first place I suggest people check out when they come to the city, and it’s become the first place they mention on every return visit. When people tell me that they aren’t a “beer person,” I assert that they just haven’t had what’s commonly referred to as “good beer” and thus haven’t found the right one. Jimmy’s is where your proper beer type can be found. With such a history of being the best at what they do, imagine my delight when I was offered a chance to take part in their Bacon, Chocolate, Cheese and Beer Festival. Finally, I was going to have the same discerning taste from Jimmy’s beer selecting the best from the other three food groups. As you can imagine, this was all kinds of awesome.

Along with boasting beers brought by Brian Ewing of Twelve Percent Imports and Chocolates by Rhonda Kave of Roni-Sue’s, the evening was co-hosted by some of the foremost experts on these four building blocks of life. Handling the beer, chocolate and cheese side of things were NYCDAT members and world-reknown beer experts Mary Izett and Chris Cuzme. Both have judged countless beer competitions around the world and really know how to simultaneously entertain and educate even with the distraction of flavor perfection in front of us. Also hosting was meat mastermind and star of the Mr. Cutlets Show Josh Ozersky. Ridiculously charismatic, his bacon communication skills made each course especially galvanizing to the point where the vegetarian who accompanied me dropped her years-long meatless streak in the name (and taste) of the bacon excellence. Mr. Ozersky is the David Koresh of Cold Cuts and in one night made me feel like I had a BA in Baconology*.

The Four Elements of Awesome

Beginning the night was an explanation of what makes beer, bacon, chocolate and cheese great. Seeing as most of us would merely answer that question with “they’re awesome,” the hosts laid the basics out to understand what to look for and appreciate exactly what makes them so “awesome,” which was awesome. We started with the basic, familiar non-threatening Oscar Mayer Hearty Thick Cut. The Talib Kweli of bacons, it acted as a great control to test the variable bacons (variabacons?) over the course of the evening. Chasing it with the Detroit’s delightful Atwater Maibock beer (ABV 7%) it cleansed our pallets and set them up for more increasingly-perfect perfections. I know that may read like grammatically incorrect hyperbole, but this was a night of sampling the best examples of the best things in the world. It was the Met, the MoMa, the Guggenheim and Wrestlemania all rolled into one, converted to food form, and spread over the course of one enchanted evening.

Having been in New York for so many years (the majority of which I was a vegetarian) it was a nice surprise to revisit Iowa’s Vande Rose Farms Applewood Smoked Bacon. A midwest staple, the news of them recently going national should ring an alarm for anyone even remotely interested in waking up to a delectable “edible animal**.” This arrived with the first cheese of the night, France’s Saint-Andre Triple Cream and the Toria Tripel (8.5%). Each course was matched together exquisitely with beer, bacon, chocolate and cheese the complimented each other flawlessly. I awoke that morning not expecting to learn that traditionally the best bacon comes from a pig’s jowls, but after having Burgers’ Smokehouse Country Pork Jowl Bacon with Farmhouse Cheddar and Jevel Pilsener, I’m not only agreeing to agree but full blown testifying.

My favorite pairing of the night was Benton’s Smoky Country Hams Hickory Bacon (Tennessee) with Roni-Sue Chocolates’ Portly Fig Truffle and Hopfenstark LouLou Porter. The richness in all three was an amazing cornucopia to savor. After six wonderful combinations, the night came to a close and between the hosts, the atmosphere and the wonderful edibles, Jimmy’s has continued its standard of greatness through three more mediums. While I always recommend the intelligent unpretentious atmosphere (where else in New York can you affordably get the finest beers and enjoy them surrounded by wonderfully mediocre crayon drawings of elks while listening to Outkast’s ATLiens?) to everyone I can, this evening of Bacon, Chocolate, Cheese and Beer was truly something special. They announced plans to make this a monthly event, and I’d HIGHLY suggest you do what you can to be there.

We give Jimmy’s No. 43’s Evening of Bacon, Chocolate, Cheese and Beer a Five Out of Five

So until next time…let’s agree to agree!

*Something I would have majored in had I gone to NYU’s Galletin School of Individualized Study. Alas, the closest Tisch had was Cinema Studies.

**Josh’s words that I had to reuse. FUN FACT: This is what’s known as a “quote!”