Morning podcasting with Rick Waite of Ricky Waite and See. The exorcism of the word “carny” from the 9479 lexicon, the disappearance of Wyoming (seriously we are worried please call), hypothetical Escalades, new uses for Tylenol and how to be a man according to Esquire.
9479: PRE INTERNET internet stuff.
(Originally published on Alternative Control)
Milford, Connecticut is overflowing with Asian cuisine. For such a tiny town, there’s some version of a Chinese/Japanese/Thai place every half mile, to the point where it’s starting to get weird. For this piece I’m just centering on just one immediate area: the JW-carved out range between the CT Post Mall and Milford Marketplace (Whole Foods Plaza to make it clearer). Two miles, six places, all within walking distance of each other — one has to be number one and one has to be number six. In descending order…
Located in what used to be the “BO Concept Plaza,” Lao Sze Chuan is beloved by well, everyone I spoke to, a fair amount of people on Yelp, Zagat, New York Magazine and probably much much more. The menu is diverse and gigantic (which makes the price range limitless), with various dishes all made however you want it, with options to throw anything from seafood, chicken, pork, or tofu in everything.
Praise be damned though, as both visits to Lao Sze Chuan turned out to be seriously mediocre, especially in contrast to the rest of the group. It’s great to be able to choose from an insane variety of appetizers, soups, entrees and noodle dishes, but when the chicken tastes gamey, the broth or sauce on the noodles or protein taste like fast food, and the room is tiny and eye-melting bright, it doesn’t come off well as both a food experience or a going out experience. This being said, the place was packed tight on both nights I went and no one looked unhappy with their experience. There are better places though, which we will find out about right now.
Located on the lower level of the CT Post Mall (next to Target), Sakura Garden has both a Japanese buffet and a Japanese fusion restaurant style menu. In starting out on this review I figured Sakura Garden would be dead last on the rankings, just due to the fact that it was more “nice looking room” and comfort than actual good Japanese food.
That being said, the severe disappointment of Lao Sze Chuan bumps Sakura Garden up a spot, if for no other reason than pure opulence. Buffet style usually means lower quality (i.e. one bag of chicken + 5 different sauces = 5 entrees that taste slightly different) and Sakura Garden attempts to shoot even higher by featuring sushi, the one item that shouldn’t come out of a bag . Go for the buffet (a slightly over-priced $10.99 for lunch and $16.99 for dinner) and you will get a diverse, pretty healthy selection of seafood, vegetables and noodles along with a very good selection of sushi. Sakura Garden has changed a bit since it first opened, and it’s big positive now is that the food looks well-made and healthy (i.e., the opposite of the “5 bags of chicken” line from earlier), which goes a long way to matching the great looking room. There’s also a full bar and plenty of TV’s, which makes Sakura Garden a nice, different type of place to catch sports as well.
So hidden you may not even know it’s there, Hong Kong is located behind Dibella’s Subs on the Post Road, at the corner of a small, aged strip mall. While Hong Kong is just a takeout place with no seating, the fact that it’s this high on the list says something about the food. Classic Chinese cuisine at its best, Hong Kong’s strengths lie in the areas of freshness, qualify of chefs and price. The menu is the standard fare you usually see for takeout places (various cultural dishes containing some combo of noodles, rice, vegetables, seafood, chicken or beef) but what makes Hong Kong stand out is that while it looks like one of those greasy, sketchy takeout places the food is actually reasonably healthy (there is an entire “diet section” that contains several steamed vegetable and noodle dishes), cooked ready to order and most importantly because if it’s size, Hong Kong actually rotates ingredients quickly, so there’s no risk of getting stale and tired-looking meat, chicken or seafood.
The other outstanding aspect of the place is the value. for $18.65 you can get multiple entrees, appetizers, soup and noodle dishes (enough to feed 4+) and they also have the insane deal of 21 fried shrimp (lightly fried in panko breadcrumbs) and a 1/2 order of fries for the low low (low) price of $5.50. Hong Kong also has great egg rolls, a flavorful vegetable lo-mein and a pretty weighty selection of Cantonese Hunan and Szechuan dishes. The outside looks old and tired, but the inside has food that is inspired, no-nonsense and tasty.
In my view, Momo’s is the “underground” spot in the area. Previously another Japanese place by the name of “East,” Momo’s would get lost amongst the hundreds of stores on the Post Road if it didn’t have that bright, orange canopy hanging over the front, strewn in multi-colored Christmas lights. Momo’s (Japanese for “peach”) is Japanese fusion and has by far, hands down, undisputed the best sushi in the area. The menu (a pricey, but great variety of sushi/sashimi, authentic Japanese cuisine and really creative modifications on the classics) is small but lush with quality and if you are looking to have a nice, private night with someone, Momo’s is a great looking, out of the way place that you can use to look cultural and “foody.”
Let’s get back to the main part though – the sushi is top of the class at Momo’s. Being that it’s the selling point means that you can walk in and not only get the usual California Rolls at a higher quality than most, you can also get a lot of interesting “signature rolls” from the “Caribbean” (spicy tuna avocado topped with mango and black caviar) to the “Tiger” (shrimp tempura topped with salmon and spicy BBQ sauce). What also puts Momo’s over the top in sushi is the idea that much like a good fishmonger or butcher, Momo’s will consistently have choice, fresh seafood, or kobe beef that can be added into the roll for an added fee. Throw in a nice, classy looking small room and Momo’s is a great, great out of the way place and the best place for sushi connoisseurs.
The once leader amongst Asian cuisine in the area feels like it’s slipping a bit in response to both like competition and unlike competition. Located in the shopping park that holds Whole Foods and Plan B, Tengda had a long run being the only “high end” Asian place, with its stellar looking room, great Chinese/Japanese/Thai cuisine, the performance of hibachi and an overall modern look of class.
Tengda is starting to face competition though and while the food is still well made (the pineapple fried rice and basic noodle dishes such as lo-mein and pad thai are unparalleled amongst the group) and well cared for, Tengda is becoming the all dreaded “hit and miss” type place, where some visits you are getting that great meal you remembered and other visits something’s a bit off. There’s still plenty of reasons to go – the bento box lunch is not only great value, but stands out in both presentation and taste, the bar still looks cool to hang out in, but with Plan B probably siphoning parts of the potential business of folks being in the plaza and also hungry and places like Ten Asian arriving on the scene, Tengda has to fight not only against the Asian places in the area, but also the burger joints in their own space.
This is the newest place out of the pack, it’s also the best Asian place in the group. Located at the front entrance of the CT Post Mall (but don’t hold the locale against the quality), Ten creates picturesque sushi plates, challenging “cooked” entrees and has a great looking bar area with skilled staff.
The food is a mix of Chinese/Japanese/Thai, with all the usual entrees you would expect from the cultural cuisine. In my few trips there I note that beyond Momo’s, Ten is the clear second place in the “best sushi in the area” contest, with fresh, well put together sushi and sashimi in a variety of combinations (try the Dynamite Roll, with eel kani asparagus cream cheese, spicy tuna and crunch done tempura style). The cooked entree’s all hit the mark, with the seafood, chicken, pork and steak fresh and not gamey and the layout of the menu being very clean, simple and tasty. Ten’s got a great looking room as well, with wide open windows in the bar area and a nice dimmed down, cultural feel for the dining and sushi bar areas. It’s a great place to grab a to-go lunch as much as it’s a place to take friends and family out for dinner.
Live from the GAP studios, Jack is the angel on the right speaker and JW is the devil in the left speaker. Teen Mom Back Doors, brain leakage, David Lee Roth’s perfect podcast and the guys plan YOUR next adult stag party.
9479: PRE INTERNET internet stuff.
Joseph welcomes SPECIAL GUEST Brandon to talk about lucid dreaming, time travel, the pope’s fashion choices, a spoiler-filled review of Safety Not Guaranteed, the culture of spoilers
9479: PRE INTERNET internet stuff.
JW and local hero Matt Mullarkey of the Lost Riots talk neon’s comeback, the Black Flag reunion(s) and the top 40 insane major label, post- Nirvana signings. Get jealous current underground bands when you find out who received a four album deal based off a few shows in 1993. Is Keith Morris the David Lee Roth of Black Flag? Find out inside.
9479: 12 years in Holla Back THEN
JW and Jessie May from Alternative Control CT welcome special guest Burton C. Bell, lead singer of Fear Factory. Industrialist talk, drum machines, science fiction, literature, society, Burton’s cameo in the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video and Burton tells a story about playing MTV’s Spring Break with professional wrestlers. Check out a teaser version of the interview in text on Alternative Control CT.
9479: 12 years in Holla Back THEN
9479.net / Alternative Control CT Interview: Burton C. Bell of Fear Factory
Fear Factory has been making complex, challenging, industrial-tinged metal for over two decades now. With the release of 2012’s “The Industrialist”, the band went high concept with an album born out of vocalist Burton C. Bell’s short story of a world in which machines battle not only man, but their own rapid obsolescence. In this special split release between 9479.net and Alternative Control, JW talks to Burton about the story behind The Industrialist, his love of science fiction and short story writing and Fear Factory’s status in metal. On the audio side, listen to the full 9479 (radio) interview where we talk about literary heroes, the similarities between science fiction and reality, Burton’s cameo in Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video and much more.
JW: Fear Factory has been around for over 20 years, not only as a touring band, but as a successful touring band. Do you ever look at things now that you 20 years out, do you look in terms of a legacy that you have contributed, or does that not interest you?
Burton C. Bell: My first thought is that I don’t look back at my history as a legacy, I just think “wow i’ve done a lot of stuff” (laughs)
We’ve worked really hard, we’ve constantly toured we consistently tried to push the envelope with our music. And you know, sometimes we’ve hit the mark, sometimes we don’t really hit the mark but that’s what it’s all about, we just keep trying and you try to do your best no matter what you do and yeah, we’ve just always looked forward, to see how we can do better, to improve upon our sound, to improve upon our status and to improve upon our business.
JW: See I always looked at it as legacy because when I think of Fear Factory at least through some of the eras there has been some electronic thing in there before electronics became popular in metal, there’s always been industrial music sprinkled in through it so it always seemed like (Fear Factory) was an early adapter to spread metal out into different genres
Bell: Yeah we definitely pioneered some - well, I wouldn’t say pioneered but we definitely introduced some aspects of music that have become almost the norm in many respects. You know that’s something that we always liked; Dino (Cazares) and I started our band because of our love of music. The industrial element of some music that we like, we like the metal aspect, we like the goth aspect, some of the ambient aspects of music, some of the techno elements.
There’s many things that brought us together and that we wanted to implement into our music. Being young musicians learning about the tools of the trade, we started wanting to implement these things more as a tool and not as a crutch and see how far we can push these tools to our best advantage. Ever since the beginning, ever since we were doing demos we were using drum machines and we were trying to perfect the sound and trying to use the technology to create noises and sounds, clicks and wheezes and whatever to add to our music.
JW: On the Industrialist you used a drum machine only for the entire recording. How do you find the comparison between a perfect pitch/rhythm of a drum machine to live drums, and playing live instruments with it. How do you adapt to that and what do you like about it?
Bell: It really simplified our process, and it made me wish we’d been using a drum program the whole time. It really freed us creatively; there were no restrictions involved and the fact that it was a drum program we were able to move parts on the grid, interchange parts of the song, re-arrange, easily add things to our advantage. It was really incredible, it really made me think back. Once we started using pro tools which was 2000; Digimortal was the first record we used Pro Tools on even then when we’d recorded live drums; the Pro Tool engineer would go in and really move every hit that the drummer did and remove the live sounds and interchange them for sample sounds to get sound we wanted and I think now “wow what an incredible waste of time when we could have just programmed them” (laughs).
JW: So now this almost leads to The Industrialist’s concept to an extent because i have noticed that the angle is machine vs. man. Is that all tying together to something?
Bell: Absolutely that’s what this story is. The Industrialist is the machines fighting for survival. The Industrialist is the concept and the story is about a machine that has to fight for his right to survive because it has come into cognizance of it’s own being through experience and collecting memories and because the creator, “man” wants to capture all the models that the Industrialist is and make way for a new model so the machines are fighting for existence against the new models, to not become obsolete. It’s a look on the social change on humanity as well, but it’s also a futuristic, sci-fi tale of the machine’s point of view.
JW: The Industrialist was born out of a short story that you wrote. That begs the question, what are your literary influences for your writing, not only in song, but in writing short stories?
Bell: I’ve always been a reader, ever since I was young and I have always been into science fiction. I owe that to my parents, my father mainly who was into Star Trek and watched it all the time. Then Close Encounters came out, Star Wars came out, and I started reading about UFOS, technology. The first science fiction book I ever read was Robert Hyland’s story, which was quite incredible. I can’t remember the name, but it blew my mind when I was in fourth grade and after that I found a love to write.
I always read books that always challenged my imagination and was outside the normal reading of my age or my class; I would read books that I found interesting. When I got into high school I was introduced to authors like George Orwell, Aldous Huxley Philip K. Dick, that’s when I really changed my mode of thinking. Edger Allen Poe, master of a short story right there. With all the science fiction, or the macabre, or some super-natural, it really molded my personality.
JW: With Demanufacture you wrote the album basically in the midst of the L.A. riots, and the wildfires and earthquakes that were happening in early 1991/1992 and that always seemed like it reflected in the album, with the chaos and the attitude. For The Industrialist, where did you write/record it and did the outside have the same effect that it did before?
Bell: We wrote and recorded the album in Los Angeles, in Van Nuys and, nothing was really going on in LA at the time, but there was a lot going on in the world and at the time we were writing the Industrialist the 99% movement was happening in full throttle, the re-elections, just basic news around the world was constantly going on plus I always keep updated on science topics, whatever is going on in science, innovations really interests me, so as for personal strife, trying to survive in L.A. there wasn’t really that aspect.
The Demanufacture era was a whole different time period for Dino and myself. We were kids, trying to survive in Hollywood, being broke, trying to survive as musicians. Times were tougher then, our responsibilities were different, we were different people.
You can never really return to that type of moment, because those moments come and they go and you can never re-live it. What you have to do is keep moving forward and living life as it comes and taking it all in and really observing and being aware of your moment as it comes.
JW: Well thank you very much for sharing your time.
Bell: I really appreciate your time, thank you very much. It was a good conversation, thank you very much.
Joseph welcomes SPECIAL GUEST Cody, the very first co-host I ever had. We look back on the old days, listen to the first ever podcast we did (I apologize in advance) and shoot the breeze over a four year audio relationship
9479: 12 years in Holla Back THEN
9479 Radio #47: Celebrity Net Worth with the Initial Crew JW. NB. JJ. The initial crew play Celebrity Net Worth. Be warned - guesses are guessed about financial matters.
9479: So worthy it’s painful.
JW and special guest Steve Mark go over Steve’s spiritual trip to India and give generous public relations assistance to our troubled stars. One half travel journey, one half superficial gossip on the only show that can do both.
9479: Now at peace until there’s war.
If you’ve read my previous reviews, the last thing you would expect from me is to review a sports bar. I’ve done genre/lifestyle specific restaurants (G-Zen/Uncle Willie’s BBQ), high-end restaurants that have the chef’s name under the name of the place (Parallel Post - a Chef Dean James Max eatery!), or semi-popular takeout places (Layla’s). So if I am going to spend some time at a sports bar, there has to be a good reason because in 2013, everyone has a nice, big screen TV at home and it’s far cheaper to go to your local grocer to get a 24 pack, a bag of Tostitos and some salsa.
That being said, Crush Sports Cafe in Milford, CT completely justifies your trip outside to watch a game because it delivers a dining, drinking and entertainment experience you can’t replicate at home. In business for a little over a year, Crush sets itself completely apart from the other gimmicky sports places (rhymes with “Ruffalo Child Things”) by having better food, better drinks and most importantly, decor that doesn’t make you embarrassed to be inside the place.
Read the Rest: Alternative Control CT
Joseph and Kevin get redemption, talk Dennis Rodman in North Korea, Spring Breakers (contains SPOILERS), art and careers and how the newly rich go incredibly broke.
9479: Trivia Champion/Mold Breaking/Company Killing/3rd Biggest Media Conglomerate
JW and Jack from the brand new Grown Ass Podcast survey the podcast landscape, salute the United States over their medical achievements, Brooklyn, media companies, Kate Upton’s doppleganger, Sir Mix A Lot, Seattle in the 90’s talk, Potato Parties and the iTunes hot 200!
9479: Several cash bids have been placed on several media ventures.
9479: Several cash bids have been placed on several media ventures.
JW and Steve Walter continue on with high class media acquisitions, the nature of technology, the nature of celebrity, the nature or art, the nature of advertising, the nature of good vs. evil and the dual need for both to provide contrast, Community vs the writers and the reveal of the PS4… game controller?
Logo courtesy of Steve Walter Photo
9479: Future owner of the Boston Globe??.