Sunday, December 30, 2007

Todd "Tastic" Collins

I ♥ Todd Collins. A 106 passer rating is pretty -tastic. tastictacular.

Say what you will about Joe Gibbs being too old for the game, not
understanding contemporary schemes, etc., but he's led the 'skins to
the playoffs twice in four seasons, which is twice as many times as
the skins went to the playoffs in the 11 years he was not the 'skins
head coach and he's done it with fairly mediocre talent. The man knows
how to motivate players and when things are going well, the 'skins are
fun to watch.

And finally, can anyone stop Chris Cooley? Anyone? ... Hello? Didn't think so.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

my top cinco songs of two thousand seven

i don't really have the attention span to do more than a top 5. and i'm far too lazy to write about 5 whole albums. my biases: i have a predilection for power pop and hip-hop with r&b/soul inspired production. i also have a soft spot for music that might somehow (really, in any way) be related to rivers cuomo (this is related to my love of power pop). whatever. my list:

5. hold it in - jukebox the ghost. jump into the water and see for yourself/take a deep breath and hold it in hold it in. ben folds five meets queen. hand claps, piano, and falsetto vocal interjections. support your local indie rock.

4. sweetness and tenderness - the rentals. yes, i realize that this song was originally recorded by the rentals in 1994. but they re-recorded it. yes, this year. jerk. and this version is arguably better than the original. the rentals give you viola, beautiful harmonies, dreamy atmospherics, and sincerity. and what do they ask for in return? they deserve your everlasting soul, but all they want is you to enjoy their goddamn music, you lilac. go listen.

3. the coolest - lupe fiasco. really, i wanted to put fiasco's "just might be OK" on here, but that was clearly on an album that was released in earth's previous orbit around the sun. clearly. that said, i'm going to say that "just might be OK" is pretty fucking awesome. i mean, the production is badass--horns, bitchin' soulful vocals, and airplanes overhead. and how often does cornel west get name dropped in a song? well, once it would seem. oh, yeah, and the coolest is pretty good too.

2. lady snowblood - olmecha supreme. as seen on my mog: lady snowblood kicks off with what might be called a moment of pure, unadulterated rock'n'roll, transitions into some rhyme-spittin' goodness, and ends on a high note. you can rock out to this tune. you can bounce to this tune. you can skank to this tune. you can sing along to this tune. there's beat boxing, wailing guitars, rhyme-spitting, fluting, and primal screams. olmecha should be the future of pop music.

1. lover in the snow - rivers cuomo. see biases stated above. and so what if it was recorded in 1997. it was released in 2007 on alone: the home recordings of rivers cuomo . it's arguably the best weezer song that weezer never got around to recording. i quote myself: "there aren't any spine-tingling solos. there isn't even a bass line. This is stripped down weez (it is a home demo after all): rivers' emotive vocals supported by a jumpy strumming pattern, hand-claps, and a hi-hat. and it's got a melody that just begs you to sing along." ...just listen to the goddamn song, OK?

"Poppa's got a brand-new bag... of fish!" -- The Tick

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

2 Amys

I've said it before, possibly not in cyberspace, but in the real, physical world: pizza is all about the crust. The rest is easy. Truly easy. Crush some tomatoes, add some salt. Shazam! Sauce! Most toppings are sourced from outside. Really dedicated chefs will make their own sausage, or cheese, or roast their own red peppers, etc. But most just go buy the toppings. Really, how hard is it to get good cheese or pepperoni? It just takes some taste-testing. But I defy you to find a great pizzeria that doesn't make their own dough. The dough has to be tailored to the oven. If the dough is too wet, it will take too long to cook and you might have a burnt outside and a gummy interior. If it's too dry it'll turn crackery. The point being, if you can make a great crust, the rest should come easy.

2 Amys has a delicious crust. If they sold just the crust, I would buy it. The cornicione is perfect. 5/5. 100% good. Puffy, soft, chewy, and salty. I would describe it as meaty in some bread-like way. This crust is rolling in umami. Umami. That's the word of the day. Take that crust and put on some quality ingredients and you've got one hell of a pizza. photos for you:


Street vendors are known mostly for hawking greasy comestibles for low, low prices. A serving of chicken and rice from the local halal cart might run you four to five dollars and will last for couple of lunches at least. But then, you just might die of salmonella poisoning. Well, for those of you lucky enough to find yourself by the Ballston stop on the DC metro Orange line on a workday between the hours of 8am and 4pm, I have a foolproof answer to your stomach's lunchtime grumbles: Pupatella Neapolitan Food Cart.

I dropped by Pupatella on a frigid, snowy day last week to see if the rumors of quality pizza pie-ing were true, which clearly, based on the tone of this post, they are. Pupatella is run by a former employee of 2 Amys, who, along with her boyfriend (who learned the pizza-making craft in Naples), opened up a fire engine red food mobile. The pizzas are cooked at 650ºF in what looks like either a small gas or electric oven with a couple ceramic tiles on trays. I ordered a margherita extra (sauce, buffalo mozz, basil, cherry tomatoes, all topped with a drizzle of olive oil), which baked for a about two minutes. The results:

Even at 650ºF, the crust was very good--crisp yet pliant, with a nice char. The cornicione, sadly, was lacking in the oven springiness department. However, that's about the only negative comment I have for this pizza. It is magnificent. The sauce had a light sweetness, the buffalo mozzarella was creamy and salty with a slight tang, and the basil packed a punch, which was impressive considering the season. I was all set to give it top honors for the best pizza I've had in DC.

Then I went to 2 Amys.