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 V.20 No.5 | February 3 - 9, 2011 

Spotlight

A Gastronomy of Rock

New Mexico musicians talk about the dishes that whet their appetites

Julia Minamata

Who knew that so many rock-and-rollers prefer their meals served with jazz? In honor of the Alibi’s Winter Dining Guide, I asked a handful of musicians to answer a survey in which they’d discuss their preferred foods and dining situations. Their delicious answers lie below.

Jon Knutson

Band: Sandia Man (Neolithic proto-metal); drummer. Occupation: Retired paratrooper. Diet: Indiscriminate omnivore. Star sign: Capricorn.

What's your favorite food?

I have a hard time passing up good pizza. Or bad pizza, for that matter!

Favorite cold weather dish?

Grilled cheese! Made with cheddar, provolone and muenster; grilled in real butter.

What's your overall favorite dining establishment in New Mexico?

Guadalupe Café, in Santa Fe.

Favorite fancy restaurant?

Scalo.

What's your guiltiest culinary pleasure?

Everything’s better with butter!

What music goes best with dinner?

Jazz.

At what restaurant are you most likely to run into other musicians?

Frontier.

Where do you go to avoid running into other musicians?

Anywhere expensive.

Ben Adams

Bands: Ashes, La Bestia Rosa (both rock and roll); drummer and DJ. Occupation: Sushi chef at Crazy Fish. Star sign: Aquarius.

What's your favorite food?

Japanese / New Mexican.

Favorite cold weather dish?

Miso soup / green chile stew.

What's your overall favorite dining establishment in New Mexico?

El Charritos.

Favorite fancy restaurant?

Minato of Japan (but they closed).

What's your guiltiest culinary pleasure?

Tacos/noodles/pupusas.

What music goes best with dinner?

Anything that is easy to ignore.

What restaurant plays the best music?

Too busy ignoring it.

What's your favorite aspect of local food culture?

Everyone seems to forget that this is really a small town, and for a small town there are lots of options if you're willing to look—I mean, I ate Colombian blood sausage with fried bananas the other day. But my favorite aspect is that we have our own style of Mexican food, plus I get to sample other styles as well.

Nikki Kelly

Band: Quirky folk rock, singer-songwriter. Star sign: Sagittarius.

What's your favorite food?

Not just Italian food, but the style in which they eat their meals: coffee and cookies for breakfast, giant lunches and light dinners with seasonal ingredients and fresh bread every day.

Favorite cold weather dish?

This year it's green chile chicken soup that I ate just before Christmas in between snowboarding runs with some spiked hot chocolate.

What's your overall favorite dining establishment in New Mexico?

Right now it's El Patio. Start with the chips and guacamole. I love the chips because they are thin, crunchy and not greasy. Then I like to get huevos rancheros with eggs over-easy smothered in red chile. It's a beautiful thing.

What's your guiltiest culinary pleasure?

The almond croissants from Sage Bakehouse in Santa Fe. I usually order half a dozen and end up eating most of them myself.

What music goes best with dinner?

I really like live mariachi bands, but that might not pair well with every cuisine.

Does you have any food-inspired songs?

Yes, I recorded a song last week called “No Me Gusta, O-nay Eh-may Usta-gay” that was inspired by an interesting Chinese food experience. And by interesting I mean a spicy-in, spicy-out-of-both-ends kind of situation. I still enjoy Chinese food despite the experience. The song should be up on my website by the middle of next month. Nikkikellymusic.com.

At what restaurant are you most likely to run into other musicians?

Tuesday Brickyard Pizza open mics with Chris Dracup.

What's your favorite aspect of local food culture?

The breakfast burrito with green chile: I just can't seem to find it anywhere else. You go to New York and they don't have burritos anymore, just wraps, and none of those wrap sandwiches involve eggs or chile. Plus the tortillas there are nasty. And in Los Angeles they have breakfast burritos, but they put black beans, sour cream and pico de gallo in all of them ... and zero chile. Bleh.

Greg Markham

Bands:Roñoso (crust/hardcore/sludge), Iceolus (black metal / prog), Prison of Sound (noise rock); bassist, vocalist. Diet: Vegan. Star sign: Aquarius.

What's your favorite food?

Mayan.

Favorite cold weather dish?

Frijoles y chicos when it's just cold. Posole when there is snow.

What's your overall favorite dining establishment in New Mexico?

Thai Vegan takes it for me. Fei’s and Kai's tie for second. El Patio takes third.

What's your guiltiest culinary pleasure?

Southern-fried seitan with mashed potatoes, gravy and fried okra (all vegan). It's a deep-fried extravaganza my arteries can't afford me making very often anymore. Also, the vegan pecan pie my mother makes for my birthday.

What music goes best with dinner?

Silence.

What restaurant plays the best music?

Wherever Jose Salazar would play.

Does your band have any food-inspired songs?

Roñoso has a couple on our first release. “Achtung Taco” is our inside joke about horrible Mexican food restaurants in the Midwest. “Doughnut Raid at Midnight” is our tribute to our previous drummer.

At what restaurant are you most likely to run into other musicians?

I usually run into others over at Milton’s whenever I get a cup of coffee there.

Where do you go to avoid running into other musicians?

I just have to stay home, but they still show up time to time.

What's your favorite aspect of local food culture?

Variety and heat. It's not really about it being a food culture, it's all from our cultures.

Eva Blaylock

Bands: Pan!c (punk pop), Suicide Lanes (cowpunk); bassist and vocalist. Diet: Vegetarian. Star sign: Pisces.

What's your favorite food?

Yesterday's takeout leftovers. Cold. One meal at a restaurant = three total.

Favorite cold weather dish?

I love me a great soup, stew, curry with veggies ... bread on the side and I'm golden.

Favorite fancy restaurant?

Sounds silly, but depends on the company and server. I’ve had fantastic dines at Seasons, Artichoke Café, Lucia, etc., but the memories aren't necessarily about the food or "fance."

What's your guiltiest culinary pleasure?

I am crazy for over-buttered movie theater popcorn. Throw in a super sour dill pickle? Ahhh ...

What music goes best with dinner?

Dinner at home is always general jazz, club crooners or classical (orchestral) medley.

What restaurant plays the best music?

The perfect veggie burger at Owl Café is only heightened by the sock-hop rock.

At what restaurant are you most likely to run into other musicians?

Blackbird—where musicians go to see one another. And play. And eat. And have meetings. And drink. And conspire. And listen. And ...

Dominick Campbell

Bands: Luminous Craft, The Church Animals (both lo-fi folk); guitarist and beatz-maker. Diet: Gluten avoider. Star sign: Sagittarius.

What's your favorite food?

I never tire of New Mexican food. Cheese enchiladas with red and green.

Favorite cold weather dish?

Is beer a dish?

Favorite fancy restaurant?

Antiquity. It's old and weird and has those tall booths.

What's your guiltiest culinary pleasure?

I eat meat and I feel guilty about it.

What music goes best with dinner?

Anything by Jonathan Richman!

What restaurant plays the best music?

Sahara.

Does your band have any food-inspired songs?

If we don't we should because all I think about (including while eating) is what I'm gonna eat next.

At what restaurant are you most likely to run into other musicians?

Winning Coffee Co.

Where do you go to avoid running into other musicians?

Seasons.

What's your favorite aspect of local food culture?

Unique, family-owned joints like Los Compadres and K & I Diner. Delicious!

Tahnee Udero

Band: Baby Shampoo (girl noise; experiments and manipulations of various sound sources); DJ (Camino Del Soul night at Blackbird Buvette / co-hosts 7inches to Freedom monthly record party). Star Sign: Scorpio.

What's your favorite food?

It has to be pizza. A basic staple to any diet but it’s something I eat maybe too often. It is the best when made for me at home.

Favorite cold weather dish?

Usually I like to eat carne adovada when the weather is crappy. Red chile is the best, and with pork it becomes heaven-sent.

What's your overall favorite dining establishment in New Mexico?

I cannot make a decision between Dion’s and Frontier. Those two places have sustained me too many times to choose. I have to claim them both.

Favorite fancy restaurant?

When I have extra money to burn on a nice meal I prefer to go to Los Equipales. It’s a restaurant I take friends and family to as well. My mom gave me a look when the server already knew what beer I order.

What's your guiltiest culinary pleasure?

Anything fried. Quite often I think about buying a fryer. I cannot bring myself to do it. If you want me to go to Coaches and split a sampler with you anytime, though, I will.

What music goes best with dinner?

That’s easy, jazz/funk. That goes for watching basketball on TV too, cool synchronicity. Herbie Hancock, Lonnie Liston Smith and Donald Byrd are a few that have really great jazz/funk albums.

What restaurant plays the best music?

This is a problem with local restaurants. They don't think much about music.

Does your band have any food-inspired songs?

No, but I DJ food-related songs. Booker T & The MG’s “Green Onions,” The Ikettes’ “Peaches & Cream” and James Brown’s “Giving Up Food For Funk” are some.

At what restaurant are you most likely to run into other musicians?

I always see musicians at Chama Brewery taproom Downtown, but the food is called-in from JC’s New York Pizza Department.

What's your favorite aspect of local food culture?

Red and green chile is everywhere.

Peter Mezensky

Band: Mezensky, Martin and Wood (gothspel, nu-crunk, witchgazer), organizer of the Albuquerque Experimental Music Festival; jaw-harpist, throat singer. Diet: Avoids yogurt samples at Sunflower Market. Star sign: Taurus.

What's your favorite food?

Sushi.

Favorite cold weather dish?

Frito pie or posole.

What's your overall favorite dining establishment in New Mexico?

Blake's Lotaburger.

Favorite fancy restaurant?

The Dog House.

What's your guiltiest culinary pleasure?

Beef jerky and red wine.

What music goes best with dinner?

Jazz. But only if there are drinks involved. Otherwise, something ethnic-y.

At what restaurant are you most likely to run into other musicians?

Blackbird Buvette. I always seem to run into whomever is playing the Launchpad that night.

What's your favorite aspect of local food culture?

Green chile, for both its existence and influence. Green chile is good in almost everything; but also since hot green chile is so ingrained in the culture, it has the side effect of raising the general spiciness level of all the other cuisines. Whether it's Thai food or buffalo wings, it's hotter here than in Boise.

Julian H. Martinez

Bands: Of God and Science, Lowlights, Love & Whiskey (all transportive melodic desert rock); multi-instrumentalist. Occupation: Fine wine sales associate / mixologist. Star sign: Taurus.

What's your favorite food?

Charcuterie.

Favorite cold weather dish?

Pho.

What's your overall favorite dining establishment in New Mexico?

La Boca.

Favorite fancy restaurant?

Prairie Star.

What's your guiltiest culinary pleasure?

Foie gras and Sauternes.

What music goes best with dinner?

Bebop and swing-era jazz.

What restaurant plays the best music?

Artichoke Café.

At what restaurant are you most likely to run into other musicians?

Blackbird Buvette.

What's your favorite aspect of local food culture?

The subtle yet often drastic differences from one family's traditional New Mexican dishes (red or green chile, enchiladas, tacos, chile rellenos) to another's.

Kenneth Cornell

Band: Vertigo Venus (synth punk); bassist. Occupation: Audio technician. Star sign: Virgo.

What's your favorite food?

Sushi.

Favorite cold weather dish?

Green chile stew or tomato bisque soup.

What's your overall favorite dining establishment in New Mexico?

Los Cuates.

Favorite fancy restaurant?

Zinc.

What's your guiltiest culinary pleasure?

Queso and chips with a peanut butter shake from 66 Diner.

What music goes best with dinner?

Charles Mingus / stellar jazz.

What restaurant plays the best music?

Blackbird Buvette.

Does your band have any food-inspired songs?

Yes, in a way: It's called “Social Cannibal.”

At what restaurant are you most likely to run into other musicians?

Frontier Restaurant.

What's your favorite aspect of local food culture?

The plethora and variety of small, locally owned, great dining establishments.

 
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