Something to Chew…February 2021

Damn, it’s cold and snowy outside!

Your favorite frozen mailman is back to talk about stuff, but mostly my ramblings about music and food.  It’s hard to believe that Spring Training is right around the corner as I look out the window at this Winter Wonderland we live in.  Let’s get going so we don’t have to think about lake effect snow.

Something Old: Running On Empty – Jackson Browne (1977)

There’s something very comforting about Jackson’s music, at least for me. It’s like eating a grilled ham and cheese sandwich on a cold winter’s day.  This album is all about the trials and tribulations of being in a band while on the road touring.  Like most of his records though, you can really tell JB is feeling himself and kinda wants the audience to bow to his songwriting prowess.   I really enjoy his music, but sometimes you just want to playfully give him a kick in the ass to pick up the tempo. 

The two last tracks are what you buy this record for, The Load-Out and Stay (a Maurice Williams cover), there’s no fade in-between and they flow seamlessly together as one song about JB’s appreciation for the road crew and wanting the audience to stick around for the encore. Together these songs are about nine minutes in length, or a good cigarette/bathroom break for an FM disc jockey. 

Something New: Good Souls Better Angels – Lucinda Williams (2020)

Lucinda Williams is one of my favorite artists and she has consistently put out amazing records that I frankly just can’t get enough of. 

>>Story Time: She’s actually the reason I got on Twitter. In the summer of 2014, Lucinda was supposed to play Taste of Chicago but due to some terrible weather, the  outdoor show was cancelled for safety reasons.  I heard she was going to perform somewhere in the Loop area and it would likely be announced on Twitter, I had to get on Twitter!  She played an awesome impromptu show at Reggie’s on State which I missed because the when and where were actually given on Facebook, oops.  Lousy Facebook! Luckily I started having fun on Twitter and found an amazing group of like minded people on White Sox Twitter, so it’s all good.<<

Any-hoo, this double album is another in a long line of great releases from Lucinda’s catalog and you’d be a fool not to buy and enjoy it. Trust me on this, It’s kinda raw, almost like country/blues/punk, and like most of her records, it only gets better the more you listen to it.

Something Borrowed: Home – Billy Strings (2020)

I’d like to thank Luke Taylor (@ltaylor_22) for turning me on to Billy Strings. Holy Schnikies, there’s a lot going on with this artist.  He’s a new young gun on the modern bluegrass scene and I like the direction he’s taking. There’s a lot of different influences going on here, psychedelic, classic rock, jazz, pop, you name it.  More than anything, I’m gonna give this a crazy high recommendation because of how my wonderful wife was grooving on it. I’m easy, I like everything, when she says she’s liking something, that’s saying something.  Most of all, I want to catch Billy in a live performance, preferably in the summer, yeah that would be so nice to share with fellow music fans.  Alas, let’s just run down to our favorite record store and pick up a copy of this record until then.

* Sidenote: The cover art to this album would look great on a beer can.

ATTENTION, BONUS RECORD! Yup, like when you’re at a wedding and they bring out pizza or White Castle to soak up the booze at about 11 or so, I’m tossing a little sumthin’ out there for my peeps.

Wide Awake In America – U2 (1985)

I can’t tell you how much I love this four song live recording EP, well I guess I sort of just did.  This is U2 at their height of fantastic and pompousness (is that a word?), mullet headed Bono is unbeaten.  I almost think that this could turn Zo’s (@SouthsideZo) disdain for U2 completely around, maybe not, his loss.  Pick this up specifically for the quintessential version of Bad, but all four tracks are remarkable.

Now that we’re leaving this metaphorical wedding, let’s make a stop for some fine late night food.

Something To Chew: Pita Falafel 10348 S. Harlem ave, Palos Hills

Heck yeah!  Let’s get some Middle Eastern food. This tiny place is open 24 hours a day and they’re serving up some delicious stuff right around the corner of the Bridgeview courthouse.  You can get your shawarma on while you’re on lunch break at jury duty or stop for some late night/early morning falafel whenever you’re in the mood. 

This place was ready for COVID times right from the get go, because you never get out of your car, it’s completely drive-thru only.  Seriously, I think it’s in an old Fotomat or something, you gotta love it and their food rocks.  On my most recent visit with my daughter, we ordered a little bit of everything, the giant falafel wrap, some chicken shawarma, and their lemonriffic stuffed grape leaves.  They have a relatively limited menu, but everything here is fresh and tasty, give it a try if you’re in the area no matter what the time is.

This has been fun, let’s talk again real soon.

-Mailman Jack

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