Crunch Dynasty—Exotic Hot Topping

My buddy John and his wife have gone into the hot sauce business. Except it’s not a sauce. It’s crunchy. And it is amazing.

John is a foodie and loved the crunchiness, the hot spiciness, the garlic tinge. He came with a brand advertising background and was stimulated by that crunchiness and its Chinese origin. The movie, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” slipped into his mind and up came a new name for Shiu-Min Block’s “hot sauce” — Crunch Dynasty. “It has the allure of Chinese culture,” says Anya.

But what exactly is Crunch Dynasty? Well, one thing it is not is a spice. It is actually an “exotic blend of garlic, shallots, soy sauce, sesame seeds, hot peppers and special seasonings and oils” that has a texture somewhere between wheat germ and granola — and it is spicy hot.

Check it out here or read the article about them below…

The Hummer Saw its Shadow—6 More Years of Recession.

I spotted this H2 out for a drive a few weeks ago. It seems like it’s been a few years since I’d last seen one. But I’ve noticed more and more of them on the road since then, returning from the dark recesses of McMansion garages where they’ve been slumbering since 2008. Clearly, someone forgot the double-tap to the head. 

There’s no “too soon” for a Hummer owner. It must take some big brass ones to dust off the harbinger of the end of Western Civilization to take it for a spin. But no one ever confused conscientiousness, nuance and empathy with traits that would be found behind the wheel of GM’s answer to the M1 Abrams Battle Tank. So move your ass out of the way, recession, America’s riding shotgun and we’ve got ass-kicking to do  … or …  groceries to get. And we might need to pick the kids up at the rec center while we’re out.  

Irony and Cowardice

Marc Maron rails on ironic detachment and makes me feel good for some reason:

What does it mean that it’s ironic? Does that mean that you’re using the word ironic to detach from something that is pathetic, and mock it or condescend it or laugh at it. Is that what ironic means? Is that your excuse for not committing to your emotional reaction to it? Is an ironic disposition another form of cowardice that just enables you to repress your emotions or not have them?

I’m sick of this f*cking irony sh|t.

In some situations, if you think you have ironic detachment, you’re actually more depraved than the guys that are there for … excitement. You are disingenuous. You are dishonest. Your ironic detachment makes you half of a self, half a person, makes you a coward. 

The Flaming Lips are embracing the freedom of digital content (HT @joshcarlton)

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Though some haven't received the memo (looking at you, iPad magazine publishers), digital distribution is changing the conventions of how content can be released to customers. It's no longer necessary to save up enough material to release at the same time simply for cost efficiencies. This is good for a number of reasons: it allows creators more flexibility in the work they create, customers more flexibility in what they steal…er…download, and also enables people to expand what they create beyond the narrow limitations that were necessary in the time when distribution depended on huge organizations with lots of cash. 

You know all of this.

But I was excited to see that the Flaming Lips are fully embracing this new freedom by planning to record and release one song a month, rather than recording and releasing an entire album at once. 

"We'll start in late January, though I'm not sure if we'll get together exactly by then," Coyne says, adding that the band will convene in Oklahoma with longtime producer Dave Fridmann. "With this new thing, we're going to spend a lot of time recording at our houses or wherever we are at. We'll try to release a song a month and document the song in the making, whether it takes us three or five days or a week. It's gonna be, 'We're working on a song and it's gonna be up by Friday.' We just want to [release material] some other way."

"Not that I think the old way was boring, but to spend another two years with the same 13 songs, it's just like fuck," Coyne says. "I think we're going to just start to do things and put it out. Once we get 11 or 12 songs together, maybe we'll do something else with it. We want to try to live through our music as we create it instead of it being a collection of the last couple years of our lives."

They're also totally rethinking the conventions of how music is released and what constitutes the product:

"The dilemma is whether we're going to release it on vinyl, cereal boxes or some of it on toys that we make," Coyne says, explaining that the band is planning on offering additional items to fans at the same time as downloads. "Sometimes, the music is the simplest part of any of these things. We'll be making these little videos that connect in the end to a bigger movie we'll be making next year as well. It sounds like a bunch of fuckin' work, but it's different way of thinking about songs than just holing up."

I'm excited to see how this goes, as I think it could eventually make music back into a personal, natural, flowing thing, instead of the overly polished and packaged consumer good that it's become. I love the notion of living through their music as they create it. Experiment, see what works, grow as artists, push the definition of what modern music is and will eventually become. Make the music experience better for people who love music and open the doors creatively for those who make music…that sort of thing.