09.11.2017
The Cure
Disintegration

I've long held a controversial opinion that Wild Mood Swings is the best Cure album. Look. It's not a hill I'm willing to die on. But I will say that "Plainsong" is untouchable.

06.13.2011
The Cure
Wild Mood Swings

I'm no Cure purist (Curist?), never was never will be. So that leaves me, unlike the legions of 30/40-somethings raised on Disintegration and Boys Don't Cry, open and unafraid to claim that Wild Mood Swings is an incredible album. I've been saying that since 1996, albeit not as confidently as I do now, since I was just a snotty high schooler who didn't give enough of a shit about The Cure to care to make an honest comparison. But here, 15 years later, I'm blown away by the pure energy and composition of these songs. It sounds entirely unique to itself, and its clear that everyone involved in its creation was truly passionate about it. "Mint Car"! By god! You can't fake that! There is a cheesiness to the whole thing, a sort of embarrassing earnestness that is easy to make fun of, but also admirable. It's as if they completely ignored not only what was popular in 1996, but what made them popular in 1986, and just made the best music they could. Yet here it sits with only 3 stars on AllMusicGuide, lost and forgotten by most everyone, it seems. I mean, I've never actually spoken to a Cure fan about it, but I can imagine.

10.27.2017 - by Steve
Jambo KitchenU of M
Beef bisbaas rice bowl

There's this place that opened over near Cedar Riverside a few years ago called Afro Deli, which is sort of the first attempt at making a "Chipotle-for" style restaurant for east-African food. People like it. They've opened up another location in St. Paul, too!

Jambo Kitchen is not Afro Deli. There's a sign right in the front window that tells you as much. But you'd be forgiven if you got confused, because Jambo Kitchen is in the same space as the original Afro Deli, which has now moved to Stadium Villalge, serves essentially the same menu, in the same "Chipotle-for" style, and even has a uncomfortably similar rainbow-colored logo. It's weird.

The weirder thing, is that I don't feel like my entree tasted particularly African. Not that I'm an expert, obviously. It was good though! But my rice bowl, with steak and veggies and a "bisbaas" sauce, tasted what I would cynically describe as "vaguely ethnic." You could've told me it was Colombian or Cuban and I would've believed you. But still, it was delicious and fresh! My beef sambusa, meanwhile was more what I had in mind. Spicy and intensely flavored ground beef'n'stuff in a nice fried wrap, like a samosa. It was perfect. Really I could sit and eat three of those and call it a meal.

So yeah, Jambo is good. I'd go back. I should probably go to Afro Deli too.

10.17.2017 - by Steve
Isles BunUptown Minneapolis
Cinnamon bun

It's very easy to forget that Isles Bun exists. And that's actually not that bad, because you really don't need to eat these things any more than once or twice a year. But just remember, when you really need that cinnamon roll, feeling some deep longing for the decadence of a Cinnabon without the requisite shame that accompanies it, swallow your pride and go to Uptown and slather your feelings in frosting from their little tub.