Cringe-worthy, Sentimental Vaporwave

Vaporwave_Collab

What do you get when you mix Instagram with seasonal affective disorder? A little something called Vaporwave…

See, when you live in Columbus, Ohio, you have to endure some harsh winters. It sounds horrible, and believe me, it is. But there are some definite perks to staying inside 80% of the time. For one, you get to watch TV in bed and avoid judgment or any remorse for not being outside. You also get to order Indian food and pizza every weekend. For me, all of the above is a reality during the cold months, but what’s even better is that I tend to discover more music during this time each year.

For example, last winter my friends brought home a turntable. We raided some local record stores, shared a few of our favorites, hooked the system up to a couple of monitor speakers, turned on the fog machine like a bunch of assholes, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Oh, and the boys discovered Jim Post.

Who is Jim Post? Will I, too, love my life if I’m shirtless and under a waterfall?

Well, this winter was a little different…

After throwing in the social media towel a few years back, I decided to give in to Instagram again last fall. At first, it was all fun and games: tagging my closest friends in random, extremely absurdist clips and horrifyingly immature photos. Then, it turned into a genuine, communal interest in “lowbrow” (I hate that term) artists promoting themselves almost solely on Instagram. Pretty neat. In fact, if you haven’t checked out Craig Gleason yet, you absolutely should. At this point in my life, my feed is almost entirely food, Schnauzers, and cats…

Instagram_Progression
For my next Instagram obsession, I’m thinking skateboarding and interior design.

But I digress…

Basically, during that transition from fall to winter, my friends and I were knee-deep in memes. I don’t think we could take life seriously during those few months. But something caught our attention. We noticed that a lot of the clips were playing the same song, and we had NO idea what it was, but we wanted it. Like, ASAP. Well, thanks to the Instagram community, we found out that the song was called, uh… well, actually it’s all in a different language but it’s something about Lisa Frank and 420…

All you need to know is that the artist is Macintosh Plus, the album is called Floral Shoppe, it’s a Diana Ross song spliced and slowed down, and that you need to listen to this:

After a little digging, we discovered that this song is under a generally unknown genre called Vaporwave. Here’s a quick breakdown of the genre:

  1. It began online via Tumblr and Reddit around 2010
  2. It’s obsessed with 80s and 90s culture
  3. Its album covers and music videos can be described as 1980s + Japanese aesthetic (think: Blade Runner) + Tropical + Roman Busts
  4. Its musical origin is largely obscure 80s and 90s elevator music but has since evolved
  5. It’s almost entirely anonymous

I was immediately drawn to this phenomenon because of the distorted, early digital graphic design. It reminded me of a quality the Tim and Eric Awesome Show accomplished. But obviously, it was the music, itself, that truly hooked me. It forced Tom and I into three hours of discussion. You know, the type of conversation you have with someone when you first meet them and really “click.” Life convos. College kids do this a lot. It was weird.

So what sparked such a dramatic conversation between the two of us? Well, a lot of things. Everything mentioned above is worth discussing, but our conversation began the minute we heard what resembled a CD skipping in almost every Vaporwave song.

Let me explain…

Today’s mainstream music has acquired some sort of disco-70s vibe. You could certainly call it nostalgic, but not the way Vaporwave is considered nostalgic. Vaporwave isn’t just incorporating distinct tones of the 80s and 90s; it’s incorporating the entire experience we all remember – CD skips and all.

 

 

Hearing it made me feel sick. Not like how I feel when I eat too many gummy worms, but like, anxious and uncomfortable. It’s what Tom described this morning as “a true haunting.” Maybe it’s how my parents felt when I played them a record at my house recently. How is it that we make so many advancements in technology only to revert back to the lesser with appreciation? Kinda pretentious, I know, but bear with me.

It makes a lot of sense how we discovered Vaporwave. According to Marx, “all that is sold melts into air.” Like waves of vapor, right? This music isn’t meant to have a deeper meaning; it’s not supposed to be a song you listen to over and over again. Vaporwave songs will come in and out of your life as quickly as you read this post. Sort of like those memes on Instagram. Sure, you’re allowed to go back and laugh at them, but how often do you do that? Isn’t it true that when something is funny, it loses its luster if you revisit it too often? Plus, those hilarious little 10-year-olds on Instagram are pumping out, like, 30+ memes a day. Same goes for Vaporwave. I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but there isn’t enough time to appreciate them all, my friends.

It’s ostentatious. It’s obscure. It’s angsty, controversial, nostalgic, and anonymous. Oh, how fun. Don’t listen to me ramble on and on about it for much longer. Check it all out at bandcamp.com.


Oh and hey, here’s some good music:


Caitlin

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Date Night at The Guild House

Thomas and I like to think of ourselves as a “let’s eat pizza in bed” type of couple, but this past Sunday, we put on our fancy hats and hit the Short North for a date night. Ohio received some beautiful weather this weekend, so we weren’t about to take that for granted. That being said, I was exhausted yesterday from exposing myself to so much sunlight. It’s like I was a vampire over the winter – I chose to wear a dress to blind everyone with my pale legs. Needless to say, I am ready for this warmth and sunshine to stay!

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Bourbon and grapefruit juice… this may become my summer drink

I wasn’t sure where Tom and I were headed the other night; he made surprise reservations, though, so I knew it would be something good. Not to my surprise, it exceeded my expectations.

The Guild House is one of the many Cameron Mitchell restaurants popping up in the Columbus area. And to be perfectly honest, this one is the best. I’ve been to almost all of his restaurants and I can attest to their accommodating service and impeccable eats. We were greeted by the maitre d’ with warmth and enthusiasm. He checked on us periodically and made sure I had everything I needed in terms of my gluten allergy. Speaking of which, the gluten-free rolls were incredible – moist, flavorful, and fresh. I love the bread Cameron Mitchell uses in his restaurants. They never taste too grainy or spongy, like most do.

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Perfectly sculpted hair, Tom

It should be noted that the food here is exceptional, and I’m not just saying this because Thomas knows the executive chef, himself. Sure, we expected the food to be delicious, but this blew our minds. The scallops were as soft as butter, and melted in your mouth as such, bursting with flavor. I had to hold myself back from throwing the fork behind me, grabbing them all with my hands and shoving them into my mouth like a barbarian. But I’m a lady sometimes and people were watching. I had to remind myself that I wasn’t in the sanctity of my own home, dipping garlic bread in butter and binge-watching Bob’s Burgers.

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Finally, something that isn’t bread, tomato sauce, and pepperoni.

Thomas ordered the chicken roulade, easily the star of the show. Our fabulous waiter informed us that this chicken takes about three days to make, and we understand why. Chicken can be very boring, but it can also be very flavorful, depending on how you marinade it, etc, etc… However, this was matchless. You cannot make this at home, guys. The best chicken I’ve ever had. Period. End of story. Need I say more?

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The price is high for smaller portion sizes, but this is quality dining and to be expected. My suggestion would be to order side dishes in addition to your meal, however, you’ll obviously be paying more for this. In terms of parking, there’s a parking garage right across the street where you’ll pay around $5, but they do offer valet for $10. Otherwise, the Short North can be highly trafficked so be sure to arrive early enough to scour the area for a spot.

I think I’ve said enough to lure you into a date night at the renowned Guild House. John Paul Iacobucci’s Italian heritage and artistic approach to food is a genius addition to Cameron Mitchell’s unforgettable dining experience. Bravo. Beautiful interior design, outstanding service, incredible cuisine… This is the new Columbus staple, no doubt.

  • Food = 5/5 Stars
  • Price = $$$
  • Service = 5/5 Stars
  • Location = 5/5 Stars
  • Atmosphere = 5/5 Stars
  • Website
  • Menu

Caitlin

100 Years of Family Dinners

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I love it when food videos go viral. Last week, I watched what my older siblings, parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents ate for dinner through the years. All in three minutes. It’s called “100 Years of Family Dinners” – watch here:

Thank GOD spam isn’t a thing anymore. Or fondue. I could definitely bring back roast beef and franconia potatoes, though.

There’s plenty to notice in this video, but the most obvious stands out: each meal reflects its own time period. Take TV dinners, for example. During WWII, food shortages introduced newly created processed foods. This was also a time when television was becoming a new-found phenomenon in America. Put the two together, and you’ve got yourself a TV dinner – the beginning of convenience meals.

Of course, everyone remembers taco night in the 90s. It was an easy choice for all those picky eaters (like me) who could choose their toppings without screaming at mom. Just kidding, I wasn’t that mean. We were all just in a constant sugar high during the 90s. No big.

But let’s talk about the last one: salmon, quinoa pilaf, and a kale salad. I wouldn’t say it’s on my list of dinner ideas, but it exemplifies the biggest trending foods out there right now: kale and quinoa. It also supports the foodie-health-nut phase we’re in. It’s not a bad thing until people become pretentious about it *throws shade at hipsters*.

Basically, each meal evolved into something vastly different, and I wonder if it has something to do with the conflicting health studies that emerged in each decade. Atkins told us carbs were bad one year, and the next year, we were told they’re okay… but in moderation. So we’ve adjusted our meals as such. But what’s funny is that every meal in this video includes some sort of carb. Almost half of the meals, however, do not include a vegetable. Hm…

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And what’s the deal with eggs? Can I eat them every day? Seriously, guys, please let me know.

This video was meant to make you think, just like all of Mode’s videos are meant to do. They just happen to be extremely enjoyable, too. For the past week, I’ve been wondering what I often include/exclude in my dinners. Am I incorporating enough vegetables? Is there something to be said about what everyone was eating in the 1920s?

I love food videos…


Caitlin

A Balancing Act of the Sweet and Savory

Pretzels and M&Ms. Kettle corn. Sweet and Salty Combos

Are you picking up what I’m putting down? I’m talking about all food sweet and savory. And even though I don’t necessarily care for any of the snacks listed above, I’m certainly not writing off its intention! My main gripe about these sweet and salty staples lies in its two extreme flavors melding together in a 1:1 ratio. “Well, that’s the point, you idiot,” one might say. I’m crazy, I know, but hear me out! The secret is a balancing act – a sweet and savory dish doesn’t have to be as simple as 2 + 2 = 4. Rather, it should be an imbalanced equation (without the high school chemistry classes…).

To be honest, I’m more of a chip girl, anyway

Creating a sweet and savory dish with complex flavors doesn’t have to be, well, complex. Take stir-fry, for example. A simple stir-fry usually involves oil, rice, vegetables, meat, and a sauce such as soy or teriyaki. Why not take it a step further by adding honey, coconut oil, or brown sugar? Trust me, it’s a delicious spin on traditional stir-fry without being overpowering; we’re complementing the flavors that already exist in stir-fry.

Meatloaf is another savory, traditional meal. Everyone has a recipe, and it’s almost always good. Bread crumbs, eggs, lean meat, salt, pepper, boom. But let’s turn up the heat a little. Whisk together 1/4 cup of ketchup, two tablespoons of brown sugar, and a dash of mustard in a bowl. Pour it on top of the meatloaf and whoa, hey guys, you’ve added another element to your meatloaf you’ve never dreamed could be real.

You know what? I’m feeling dangerous. Let’s go even further with this. Meat. Loaf. Sandwiches. MEATLOAF SANDWICHES. AHHHH! THEY’RE SO GOOD! Seriously. And what’s better than putting meatloaf on bread? I’ll tell you: it’s putting meatloaf on French Brioche, topped with that crazy ketchup/brown sugar sauce and Monterey Jack cheese. It’s the ultimate comfort food – the hint of sweetness from the brioche complements the tang of the sauce, all the while balancing the savory meatloaf and cheese. The smell of these flavors merging in the toaster oven comes to life, lifts you off your feet, and entices you into the kitchen, leaving a trail of drool behind you.

And while you’re at it, go watch a cartoon while you indulge in these taste sensations…

For all of you kettle corn fans out there, I hope I haven’t offended thee. We cool?


Caitlin

Dough Mama

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Tom and I discovered Dough Mama about a month ago while eating at Cornerstone Cafe. It seemed to pop up in a day’s time… either that, or we’re totally oblivious of what happens in Clintonville. In any case, we vowed to ditch DK Diner the next weekend and give Dough Mama’s breakfast a try. We weren’t disappointed.

This tiny bakery with its yellow exterior has a great atmosphere. It’s cozy, simple, and refreshing. I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to eat anything off of their menu since I have a gluten allergy, but they were very accommodating. The oatmeal didn’t make my stomach sound like an old man grumbling and it tasted great (I don’t usually have a problem with oatmeal, but some Celiacs advise against it). Tom really enjoyed his meatloaf sandwich, too. I suppose our only disappointment involved the side dishes. They serve their breakfast with salad, which is great if you’re healthy and cool, but Tom and I are lame and want potatoes dipped in grease… or, you know, any kind of potato dish will do.

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This lamp took me places I’ve never been… if you know where I can find it, lemme know

Their coffee is top-notch. Have you ever heard of Thunderkiss? It’s based in Columbus and it’s the best coffee I’ve ever had. Well, Dough Mama has it. So thank you, Dough Mama, for contributing to my coffee addiction.

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A well-groomed man, Tom waits as the caffeine courses through his veins and those children behind him become real

Tom decided against buying a pastry since we were full from breakfast, but I’d love to go back and see what they’re all about. Unfortunately, they don’t have any gluten-free baked goods on the menu, so in the meantime, I’ll just have to sit and watch Tom enjoy them *cue the sad violins*.

Dough Mama is located right on High Street, about a block away from North Broadway, so the location is great. You’ll have to park on the street, I believe, but parking is free.

Prices are a little high, but it’s worth it. The food is fresh, the coffee is outrageous, and the atmosphere is relaxed… we’ll definitely be back.

  • Food = 4/5 Stars
  • Price = $$
  • Service = 4/5 Stars
  • Location = 4/5 Stars
  • Atmosphere = 5/5 Stars
  • Website

Caitlin

Review: German Village Coffee Shop

It’s no secret that Caitlin and I LOVE breakfast. A lot of the reviews and recipes we post revolve around the most important meal of the day. What’s not to love about a “balanced” meal complete with eggs, bacon or sausage and some sort of carb? Extra points for grease! Lucky for us, Columbus is a breakfast Mecca. Recently I ventured over to German Village to try the highly-rated German Village Coffee shop.

This tiny diner has a DK-Diner or Nancy’s feel, complete with a crowded counter, the greasy aroma of meat and potatoes frying and line cooks preparing your food on over-sized griddles right in front of you. After a night of drinking, this is the perfect place to cure your hangover and enjoy a classic breakfast.

The atmosphere is casual and full of regulars and German Village young professionals. It’s safe to show up in your sweatpants, or your cloths from the night before. I’d recommend arriving at noon or before because the space is very small and tends to fill up quickly. Parking is street only and can be tricky. There were luckily two spots at the counter available for Brian and I when we got there at noon.

The menu is very basic and does not feature many items. The traditional breakfast favorites such as eggs, bacon, sausage, western omelets, hash browns and French toast are available, along with a few lunch sandwiches and burgers. Typically they feature a special written on a small chalkboard above the cashier. When we went, they were serving a bourbon French toast.

I opted for a classic scrambled egg breakfast with bacon, toast and cheesy hash browns. While simple and not difficult to prepare, this breakfast was downright delicious. The hash browns had the perfect amount of crisp and gooey cheese while the eggs were scrambled to perfection. In my opinion, the bacon was crispy and delicious but to some it could be a tad on the salty side. Brian’s western omelet was just as amazing and packed to the brim with green peppers, onions cheese and ham.

The service was average but what I would expect for a casual, short-staffed diner. While it took a while for our waiter to spot us and walk over, he made up for it in friendliness. We only waited about 15 minutes to get our food which wasn’t bad for the crowd.

Pricing were very reasonable and inexpensive and I left feeling full and ready for a nap. Bottom line: If you’re looking for a cheap, casual, greasy place to enjoy a hungover breakfast, The German Village Coffee Shop is one of your best options.

Pictures to come later!

  • Food = 4/5 Stars
  • Price= $
  • Service = 3/5 Stars
  • Location= 3/5 Stars
  • Menu
  • Website

CATIE

Harvest Pizza: Review

Who doesn’t love pizza? It seems like even the pickiest of eaters are happy to sit down and devour a breaded crust smothered in sauce, melted cheese and greasy protein like bacon or sausage. So it was only a matter of time before we reviewed a restaurant specializing in pizza. While Columbus has a lot of pizza places to offer, a local favorite is Harvest Pizzeria.

Harvest Pizzeria is so popular that they actually have two locations in Clintonville and German Village. I’ve had the pleasure of dining at both locations and I’ve never been disappointed. If I had to give a recommendation, I would say it’s best to visit the German Village location for dinner because Curio is attached and offers incredible cocktails. Be prepared to pay a high price (around $11) for an alcoholic drink, but I promise, you won’t be disappointed. The Clintonville location offers equally delicious food and the bar is a nice addition, but cocktails there are not quite as fancy as those offered at Curio.

Recently, I decided to take my sister, a pizza-lover and pretty tough judge of food to Harvest. We took a stroll down to the Clintonville location, conveniently located on North High Street, not far from my house. It’s easy to walk to this location, but parking can be a little tricky. You’ll have to find a spot on the street.

Upon walking in to Harvest, I was overcome with the slightly burnt smell of wood-fired pizza crust cooking in the oven. The space is small and it was difficult to even get in the door. We put our name on a list and were prepared to wait about an hour to get a seat. (Please note this was a Friday night and you have to wait pretty much anywhere, so this wasn’t a surprise).  We decided to put in a to-go order instead and pick it up in 30 minutes. This is a very convenient option if you don’t feel like braving the Friday-night crowds.

We quickly perused the menu before placing the to-go orders. Harvest offers a range of salads and standard appetizers, but the brussel sprouts are a favorite of mine. They’re topped with crispy panko bread crumbs, glazed with balsamic and a hint of sweetness. Basically the best brussel sprouts I’ve ever had and I highly recommend them! Just to make them taste even better, they’re served hot in a mini cast iron skillet. (if you dine in, otherwise they come in a takeout box!)

I selected the mushroom pizza and my sister went with a classic pepperoni. (Did I mention she’s picky)? I’ve tried several of the gourmet pizzas and you really can’t go wrong. The spicy uma is another favorite of mine as well as the fennel and sausage.

30 minutes later we picked up our food and boy was it worth the wait! The thin crust was wood-fired to perfection and the garlic aroma filled our home as I opened up the box. I typically don’t even like mushrooms, but there’s just something about the sautéed, garlicky-goodness of Harvest mushrooms. They’re not too thickly sliced either and the classic tomato sauce and cheese mellow the garlic just enough to achieve a perfectly enjoyable, balanced flavor.

My sister seemed to enjoy her pepperoni pizza just as much as I enjoyed my pizza because she barely uttered one word. My sister is not one to keep her mouth shut if she doesn’t like something, so this was a good sign!

My only complaint about Harvest is that good pizza doesn’t come cheap! An order of Brussel sprouts and two pizzas was close to forty dollars. But I’d say it was well worth the price.

Whether you’re dining in or carrying out, this pizza is sure to satisfy even the pickiest pallets!

  • Food =5/5 Stars
  • Price =$$$
  • Service = 3/5
  • Location = 3/5
  • Atmosphere 4/5
  • Website
  • Menu

    Catie