Big Star

F4tF: Chicago on the Fourth of July

First off, I want to wish everyone out there a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July.  For everyone up at Watkins Glen for Superball IX, have a blast and bring back some great stories!

As for me, I will be in the windy city, hanging with some friends and knocking a couple of things off of my bucket list.

More on Wrigley field in a bit.  The main reason for my visit to Chicago this time is to have dinner at Alinea. For those who don’t know, Alinea was named best restaurant in North America (for the second straight year) and 6th best restaurant in the world in the S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2011 (up one from #7 in 2010).  Dining at Alinea is one of the items on my bucket list that I will be crossing off on this trip.

Here is what S. Pellegrino had to say about Alinea:

Alinea represents one of the most radical re-imaginings of fine food by any chef in American history and has propelled Grant Achatz to chef superstardom.

Everything about his restaurant is unique, from the deconstructed food, unfamiliar flavour combinations and theatre to the tableware, with dishes served in and on all manner of implements: test tubes, cylinders, multi-layered bowls that come apart. It’s boundary-shifting stuff.

I had a chance last year to dine at Alinea and was unable to due to logistics and timing, no way I was passing up the chance a second time! READ ON for more on Jon’s trip…

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Cover Wars March Madness: Sweet 16

Cover Wars March Madness rolls on. We’ve had our play-in round and our first full round of 32 covers and we’re left with our Sweet 16. We are in our third year of this tournament and we have just now done the obvious, we have generated an actual bracket so you can visualize how this is all going to go down. Have a look and be sure to vote in all eight matchups.

Matchup #1

Ramble On (Led Zeppelin)

Phish debuted this cover at Alpine Valley in the Summer of 1998. As most Phish fans know, there has been one other performance ever and it was the following week at Vernon Downs where the band paired Ramble On with their own Slave To The Traffic Light to close the first set. There are some killer Ramble On Teases in the Slave jam. Source: 8-1-1998


UPDATE: The text in all the descriptions for Cover Wars March Madness are taken from the original editions which at times – are out of date. As one of our readers pointed out in the previous round – Phish has since performed one more partial performance of Ramble On, and yes – it was pretty terrible.


Wilco – Thirteen (Big Star)

Wilco recorded this cover for the 2006 Big Star covers record Big Star Small World. Though never played live by Wilco, the song has made at least 11 appearances at Jeff Tweedy solo shows.


READ ON to vote on the remaining seven matchups in the Sweet 16.

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Cover Wars: Femme Fatale Edition

While Femme Fatale, which appears on 1967’s The Velvet Underground & Nico, is written about Edie Sedgwick – feel free to think about your favorite Femme Fatale as you listen to this week’s covers. Maybe it’s even someone in your life, has anyone written you down as #37 in her book?

Cover Wars

The Contestants:

Beck: Last Summer, Beck announced his Record Club project where he would bring in guest musicians and record entire album covers in one day. The first album they did was The Velvet Underground & Nico. He has since also recorded: Songs of Leonard Cohen, Skip Spence’s Oar, and they are currently still posting new tracks from INXS’s Kick every Thursday. Source: Record Club


Video of the recording of Record Club:

READ ON for the scoop on the rest of this week’s contestants…

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