Playlist: Crown on the Ground

I have a Spotify playlist named stoof. It was the first playlist I started, back when I didn’t have a clue how I would go about Spotifying – hence the super-descriptive title. Actually…I just chuck songs into it so maybe it is fairly descriptive. To date it holds 210 songs. I added the first song on 2012-10-12 and the latest maybe an hour ago. I add songs infrequently and generally in spurts of a handful at a time. I listen to stoof in a similar way – not infrequently, but in spurts of a handful of songs at a time (before the damned commercials kick in and I go back to Pandora).

It occurred to me that a significant portion of this list – any playlist – has a personal story. Some of the artists are obvious (I’m looking at you, Violent Femmes). Some of the songs are obvious (Africa, anyone?) …but some of them have a much more specific meaning to me; they might evoke an emotion or make me recall a particular memory. This post is about one such song: Crown on the Ground.

I’m calling out Crown on the Ground because I remember the first time I heard it. I can’t say that about very many of the songs in stoof, percentage-wise.

I first heard this song on a family road trip to Myrtle Beach. Kate and I were in our car, my mom and sisters were in another. It was about a 12-hour drive, we were in the home stretch – maybe 3/4 of the way through – and we were a bit “lost”. Not lost in the sense of “Where are we?” so much as “What, specifically, do we have to do to get where we’re going with as little backtracking as possible?”

…and then Crown on the Ground came on the radio. It was loud. It was intentionally distorted to make it sound “bigger”, a difficult-to-achieve excellent sort of “Are my speakers blown?” effect that’s hard to describe without hearing it. It was this “crunchy” Wall of Sound coming out of my speakers and I was transfixed.

“Holy shit, we’re gonna listen to this!” I turned that shit up.

Kate turned it down. (She wanted to “talk” about “where we were going”.)

I turned it back up (I like my shit loud.)

Kate turned it back down, all “Did we miss our exit?” or whatever.

I don’t know how long this back-and-forth went, who “won out”, etc. What I can tell you:

  1. we got to Myrtle Beach
  2. as it turns out Kate liked the song as much as I did (IIRC she bought the album as soon as we got back home)

Anyhow…I think about that trip – that moment – every time Crown on the Ground comes up in the rotation…



Garganelli Board

Purchased. It doesn’t appear to scale well, but for making a pound of not-quite-penne I think it should do and for ten bucks I’m in.

I wouldn’t consider myself an “authority” but I have some experience in this arena and I feel fairly strongly about this: extrusion is for chumps. If you’re going to take the time to make your pasta by hand then roll it or cut it. Do not extrude it. I’ll buy penne from time to time (not fucking Bari**a. Never Bari**a.) for the same reasons that I’ll buy a frozen pizza – it’s not great, but it’s cheap and expedient. I’m not spending my time to make the dough and then waste it by extruding it. It’s slow, it’s more difficult than it should be, it makes crappy fragile pasta that doesn’t dry well, there is zero control over thickness or texture…shit, man, just don’t do it.

On a related note: JoJo is either a hero or a prick, I can’t decide which. Or maybe it’s his grandmother’s fault. Or maybe none of these are mutually exclusive. My point is this: I care a lot – perhaps too much – about the pasta that I eat and serve to my family, and I directly blame JoJo and/or his grandmother.

Example: I went to an offsite lunch for a couple of engineers moving on to other parts of the company last week. It was at an “Italian” place. (Side note: “Italian” requires quotes in the Bay Area as it pertains to food.) I should have gotten the lamb chops – because omg lamb chops – but I’m a little sensitive to ordering a $30 lunch in a party of 25 when I’m not paying, even if it is Silicon Valley. Someone else got the chops and I’m still a little jealous.

…I ordered a pizza.

I ordered a pizza because I don’t know anything about how they make – or, more likely, source – their pasta. Could be fucking Bari**a for all I know. Maybe that’s just paranoid but I wasn’t willing to take the chance, particularly not at an “Italian” restaurant whose menu featured two paella dishes. (wat?)

In short: I ordered a pizza because I would not risk the possibility of being served substandard pasta. Perhaps it’s limiting – even crippling – to my “restaurant” experience, but I just won’t do it.

At any rate I should have the board this week (huzzah for Amazon Prime!) We’ll see how it works out. 🙂