Friday, September 23, 2011

The Pig Roast is Tomorrow - Music Lineup!

Here's the Music Lineup!

Elephant Gun – 3:00pm
Chicago Stone Lightning Band – 4:00pm
The Record Low – 5:00pm
Bully in the Hallway – 6:00pm
Secret Colours – 7:00pm
Mannequin Men – 8:00pm

This event is rain or shine! 

There is a parking lot, beer garden with covered performance/hangout areas, as well as an interior restaurant, so even if a blizzard hits we'll be all good. See you there!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Feature: Chef Ronald Murray + Ethyl's Pig Roast Menu!

I've known Ronny (Ronald) for years now, dating back to high school that we attended (ironically?) just a few blocks from where the Rock and Roll Pig Roast will be held. I've tasted his food more than once at our Pig Roast Planning meetings, and I can't wait to try this menu!

How and why did you become a chef?

Food is always in demand. Good food is always celebrated. The ritual
of the dinner has remained a constant since the dawn of time. I have
always been fascinated by people, especially the way they eat. Anyone
who takes time to make sure even the simplest food is perfect will
understand why I choose this line of work. If you have ever taken two
hours to make something that should only take thirty minutes, you realize
that cooking is a process of trial and error but most of all
discovery. It shares a common ground with any craft, one must labor
incessantly, make choices and deal with the results, good or bad. I
have tried my hand at several crafts, yet the ceremony of dining
really pulled me in. I moved to New York when I was twenty years old
and needed a job bad. I got full time work running a bakery in
Tribeca. The bakery was part of a company that had three fine dining
restaurants all on the same block. It was not long before I was
hanging out with the bakers, the pastry team, the butchers and the
chefs. I was inspired.

I know you cooked in New York, and now Chicago. What's the main
difference in restaurant/kitchen culture, or are there any?

The kitchen is the kitchen no matter where you are. New York,
especially Manhattan, is really crowded with all walks of life. You
can eat foods from ten different cultures and not walk more than two
blocks. Chicago is the melting pot of America and is currently in a
culinary revolution. A lot of food trends start in New York and find
themselves reinterpreted around the country. Chicago is reaching a
level where what we do here will have just as prominent an influence
in the restaurant world.

You roasted a pig just a few weeks ago. What are your plans for the
menu for the Rock and Roll Pig Roast?

Yeah last month was sort of a test run for the real deal. This
Saturday everyone had better come hungry.

Rock and Roll Pig Roast Menu
•       Three whole roast pigs
•       Smoked Pork Shoulder
•       Southern Fried Chicken
•       Vegetarian Mac & Cheese
•       Pancetta Potato Salad
•       Coleslaw
•       Warm Green Bean Salad w/ roasted peppers
•       Sweet Roasted Corn w/ truffle oil
•       Late summer Green Salad
•       Ham Hock & Smoked Gouda Biscuit
•       Chocolate and Bacon filled Beignet (doughnuts)
•       Bourbon and Honey Glazed Bar Nuts
•       Hand-Cut Chips with Blue Cheese Dip
•       Deviled Eggs
•       Watermelon

Our kitchen will also be making at least four different BBQ sauces.
One will involve Templeton Rye Whiskey, one sweet, one spicy and one
with a whole lot of mustard.

What's your favorite band/musician (alive or dead), and if you could
cook for them what would you make?

 I tried to invite Pink Floyd to the Rock and Roll Pig Roast but they
have not responded to the Facebook invite yet.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Artist Feature: The Record Low

I had the pleasure of playing with The Record Low twice, once at the Empty Bottle and once at The Hideout. I am always surprised and delighted by their unique style and tone; a song that could start out at nearly a whisper could end with (literally) firey, fuzzed out guitars swinging and dangling by their tuning pegs, tangled with Christmas lights hanging off the ceiling. Keep your eyes and ears open for a new Record Low album coming out.

Turns out southern native and lead guitarist Robby Haynes is no stranger to pig roasts. Here's an interview

Have you ever been to a pig roast? If so, when and what your experience like? Any vegetarians in the band?

I've been to, no shit, 20 or 30 pig roasts in my life (seems like a lot, but seriously, in North Carolina someone is cooking one of those fuckers every weekend...whether it's to celebrate a graduation or a birthday or wedding (read: civil union)...more than anything, it's a great excuse to drink a case of shitty beer, play horseshoes, listen to steve miller and puke in a ditch...and actually I believe the proper term is "pig-pickin".  A barrel (trash) fire is always a nice touch and a great way to dispose of the napkins, plates, and plasticware...

You have a new record coming out. I like to listen to music while cooking and this is partially a food-driven event. which track would make the best kitchen soundtrack?

I tried to cook some corn this weekend.  Corn is the bane of my existence. it's just corn right?  How do you fuck that up? Don't know, but it happens every time, undercooked, overcooked, or "look out!" it's on fire.  I knocked it out of the park once though.  It was fantastic, I did it on the grill...but only once. I really don't listen to music when i cook, and I don't cook often.  In fact, I just ordered to go food from this Jamaican place next door.  It's 28 bucks, and it'll be ready in 20 mins.  I think the Soft Boys were playing when I called it in, which is pretty cool I guess.  My Itunes was on shuffle though, so maybe I just got lucky. Soul Popcorn by Doc Oliver is on now. "Soul Popcorn, Alright, It hits the spot, a little salt and butter, soul popcorn, alright, it's gonna be out of sight, soul popcorn, Do your thing"  Never heard this song before, but I dig it.  Now he's telling me to put some hot sauce on my soul popcorn.  That's a metaphor.

Your from North Carolina - What's an example of a North Carolina staple dish or meal?

Petey Pablo, Bojangles, and a pack of Winston Lights in a Winn-Dixie parking lot. If your feeling lucky, you can seal the deal with a McFlurry and a D.U.I.

What are The Record Low's plans for the fall? Tour, SXSW 2012?


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Artist Feature: Bully in the Hallway

For full disclosure, I'm a member of Bully in the Hallway. I objectively can't say much about us other than we're my favorite band that I've ever been a part of. Bully has been around for a while now, and has always wanted to play outside. So, with the upcoming pig roast consisting of old friends and bands we admire, we couldn't be happier!

Listen to Bully in the Hallway's music here and NEW music here.

Here's an interview with John Matthew Simon, our singer.

Have you ever been to a pig roast? If so, when and how was it? Are any members of the band vegetarian?

Unfortunately I have only attended one before in my life… It was a few years back. It was incredible, nothing like the crispy skin of a freshly roasted swine. Haha, no way! I would be hard-pressed to even imagine a time or place where our quintet has gone sans-animal. I stand with Anthony Bourdain.

A fact that I know, that other people may not is that you have somewhat of a culinary background, working in a restaurant in Germany. What was that like? Can you see you’re self-returning to the fire?

Yeah, I spent a summer cooking at Le Petit in Horn-Bad Meinberg, Germany… The chef I cooked under was a maniac like most, if not all chefs. I learned an incredible amount about life, food, and everything in between. Cooking, like music, is one of the few and ultimate therapeutic experiences. One gets to break down and recreate… I would love to return to the kitchen and restaurant experience… It’s a vivacious and wild time. 

photo by justin watson james

If you could cook for any artist (living or dead) what would you cook and to whom?

Tough question… I want to say Kurt Cobain, but with all his stomach issues I’m quite sure the meal would be rice and water… And Ian Mackaye is a vegan so the cooking would be mundane… So I would make Mick Jagger a Thomas Keller style Roast Chicken with some different veggies, potatoes, and some great Loimer Lois Gruner... Which is an incredible vino!!

What are Bully in the Hallway's plans for the fall and 2012?

Our plans are to put out our second LP “Crooks and their Castles” … Set-up some tours, play SXSW, get signed, and expedite our music… Dream big or go home!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Artist Feature: Chicago Stone Lightning Band

I first heard of/saw the Chicago Stone Lightning Band (or "CSLB") when one of the first Giant System videos was circulated online. I was impressed by what I saw to be a new take on an old style; just about as authentic of a beefy blues tone as you could imagine in today's digital era. Their self-titled album delivered the cold, hot and pure fuzz that I gravitate to as a guitar player, as well as the whomp and swing that I love as a musician in general. I saw them play this summer and wasn't disappointed, and neither will you!

Listen to their album here.

Here's an interview with lead singer and guitarist Ben Pirani.

Have you ever been to a pig roast? If so, when and how was it? Are any members vegetarians?
Sure, Just two weeks ago the Windy City Soul Club threw a Pig Roast with Longman & Eagle. I didn't get a chance to sample the swine but folks seemed to be enjoying it. I hate saying I am a reformed vegetarian because it stinks of the last soya morsel of my youthful idealism evaporating.

I know that you are a member of the Windy City Soul Club, a DJ group that spins rare/old soul records. Do you ever find inspiration from your WCSC records creeping into the CSLB sound, or is that a separate beast?
More so with the newer material, yes. A lot of times we grab aspects of all types of music that the four of us are, or have been into without really realizing it. In the studio we were listening to the instrumental playback of  "Gray Lady" and it dawned on me that it's equal parts Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, Blind Willie Johnson and Converge. Funny how that happens.

Who's the best cook in the band, and what's their best dish?

Gabe makes a mind blowing double espresso! 

You mentioned that Templeton Rye is the official beverage of the CSLB - how did that come about?

Well, we experimented exhaustively with various top shelf bourbons seeking the one that invites the Spirit Of The Boogie. It turned out that the magic elixir was a prohibition era rye.

What are your fall plans for the CSLB? Any new music on the horizon?
Yes, many new tunes to premiere! Mostly we're focused on getting our album out on wax. We spent a great deal of time and money to record the album the old fashioned way. It's really a shame it only currently exists as a download.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Behold: The Rock and Roll Pig Roast FREE Mixtape!

Featured here are the artists of Chicago's first Rock and Roll Pig Roast. Feel free to download and enjoy this music, and don't forget to come to the event on September 24th, 2011!

Rock and Roll Pig Roast MixTape by RockPigRoastChi

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Artist Feature: Mannequin Men

I first saw the Mannequin Men play their record release of "Fresh Rot" at Cobra Lounge a few years ago. Since then I've seen them open for the Black Lips, as well as headline a Vitamin Water: Uncapped concert series show at the Viaduct Theatre (see VIDEO below!). Needless to say, we are very excited to have these guys play this roast. They are on the verge of releasing a new album this fall, so the Pig Roast should be a great opportunity to hear their raw rock and roll sound.

Mannqeuin Men Featured Video (with footage from Viaduct Theater Show in Spring, 2011) on NOISEY.COM

Mannequin Men on Facebook.

Here's an exclusive interview with guitarist/lead singer Kevin Kujawa.

Have you ever been to a pig roast? Are any band members vegetarians?
None of us have been to a pig roast, actually. Miles is a vegetarian so you should try to reserve some pig shaped grilled zuke for him. EDITORS NOTE: There will be vegetarian items available :)

Alive or dead, which musician would you invite to a BBQ (or pig roast…)
Whoa. Hard question. I'd have to say Bob Darin. Just because it'd be nice to talk to him. 

You've got a new album coming soon that I believe you recorded in Michigan. Aside from the location, was there anything different in the recording/song writing process from your previous albums?
Recording this album was quite different from how we'd done it in the past. Key Club is like a rock and roll dorm in the sense that you live there with Jessica and Bill and their dogs. It's nice to not have the temptation to go out and do shit and just focus on making a record. It was also nice to just be somewhere with your best friends making a record that wasn't Chicago. Chicago's our favorite t-shirt in the closet but sometimes you have to put it in the washer and wear something else. 

After the pig roast, you're playing a halloween show at the Empty Bottle with Football, the Outer Minds and Coffin. Can you divulge any details?
Ok, yeah, we can. We're playing as the Cure (1980). 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chicago's Hungry Hound Steve Dolinksky Talks Rock and Roll, Pig Roasts.

John Burks, one of the Rock and Roll Pig Roast co-organizers recently had the pleasure of speaking to Chicago's own "Hungry Hound," Steve Dolinksy, about music, concerts and pig roasts. John attended a pig roast held by Steve this summer.

Steve Dolinsky is an award-winning food and lifestyle journalist that you may recognize from ABC7 here in Chicago. Steve is re-launching his website on September 20th, and he is hosting a cooking class "How to roast a whole pig Cuban-style" on October 1st. In the meantime, you can keep up with Steve on Twitter or Facebook.

John: Hi Steve, thanks so much for the invite to your last pig roast.  It was one of the best events I’ve been to in my time in Chicago.  We wanted to get your perspective on our event since you are the unofficial Pig Roast master of Chicago.  So, my first question: What was the first rock concert that you went to, and what were your impressions?

Steve: I believe it was The Police, during the Synchronicity Tour, in Minneapolis.  I believe Ministry opened for them.  I loved it.

John: Fantastic.  Next question is, what album could you not live without?

Steve: Hmm, I would say Tears for Fears: Songs in the Big Chair.  Very big in High School.

John: Oh, I love it!  I love Tears for Fears.  Obviously, their peak was a little early for me, but I DJ from time to time, and I love playing them.  People always give me a weird look like “Oh wow, did you just break out some Tears for Fears”.  Ok, moving on, because I know you have a flight to catch, last question.  When you’re cooking at home, what’s playing in the background?  Are you listening to music? The news?  Silence?

Steve: Right now, we’re listening to a lot of Arcade Fire.  We’ll either have it playing on our outside speakers on the deck, or on the stereo inside.  Yeah, my whole family...we’re really liking Arcade Fire right now.

John: Nice.  We’ll I know you have to run Steve, so thank so much for taking a few minutes out of your....

Steve: Wait, I thought you were gonna ask me about pig roasts???

John:  Umm, yeah, we’ll I guess I can.  Our event is so much about the music, but yeah I should include an actual pig roast question....hmmm...ok, pig roasts seem like a passion of yours.  Why are you so in love with Lechon?  Why do you love pig roasts?

Steve: I guess it all started when I was a child, and not being able to have pork, since I grew up Kosher.  So it was a bit like a forbidden fruit type of thing.  There’s something special about roasted pig.  There’s nothing like it, from the spectacle of it all...the crispy skin.  And now it’s so easy with roasting boxes, that cuts the cooking time to 4 hours.  Like I said, it’s just such a great spectacle.

John: Yes, I totally agree.  I’ve been to 3 pig roasts this year, and everyone is having a blast.  Nothing beats the one of your house, but I think our Rock & Roll Pig Roast will be a great annual event where Chicagoans can enjoy some great music, delicious pig, and our last glimpse of summer.  I hope you can come by.

Steve: Sounds great, I have some other events to attend that day but I'll be sure to stop on by.

John: Thanks so much Steve.  Have a great trip!  See you in a few weeks.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Artist Feature: Elephant Gun

We're thrilled to have Elephant Gun kick off the music for the first annual Rock and Roll Pig Roast. Here's an exclusive interview with Zach LaBomascus covering food, their music and future plans.

Listen to Elephant Gun music here!

More on Elephant Gun here.

Have you ever been to a pig roast? If so, when and what your experience like? Any vegetarians in the band?
Aww man, nah I've never been to a pig roast. I have seen them and always been jealous. I'm a reformed vegetarian who has seen the glorious greasy shining light of meat so I'm very much looking forward to this event. We don't have any vegetarians in the band. We have a few people who used to be vegetarian like me and our guitarist/singer, Jon, was vegan for a number of years.

You have a new record coming out. I like to listen to music while cooking and this is partially a food-driven event. Which track would make the best kitchen soundtrack?

The best kitchen song on the record? hmm..... you know I would probably have to pick the first song on the b-side of the record, which kind of flow into each other. It's an instrumental that goes through these crazy dynamic movements - soft and dreamy to fast and driving, all with a Spanish flare to it. It makes me feel like I'm living in a Quentin Tarantino film, and if I had some knives and I was chopping shit up in the kitchen whilst thinking I was in a Tarantino film, well, things could get pretty interesting.

Any favorite recipes or things that you guys like to eat together at practice or on the road?
We all really dig food and cooking. I don't know if we necessarily have favorite things. I'm sure each member can pick out items they dig more than something else. I know a few of us have deep fryer, and holy crap is fried food awesome. Our band should probably be morbidly obese with how much bad food we eat. Deep friend eggo waffles are pretty rad, just fyi.

What are Elephant Gun's plans for the fall? Tour, SXSW 2012?
We have a busy fall ahead. We're putting out a new record,"Kid Scissors", in late October. So we'll have some record release shows for that. We're going to do a short Midwest tour in November before the weather gets awful. With 9 folks in the band, making tour plans is not the easiest thing in the world, but we're planning a much longer tour for spring/summer next year. Most of the last year of the band's existence has been focused on getting this new album recorded, mixed and ready to get out. The finish line is in sight, and we're really proud of how it turned out.

Elephant Gun cover "Grounded" by Pavement