Episode 40: Midlake, Silent Hattie & the Sounds of Ambience

Midlake/Courtesy Dan Zelman

This week: Rock band Midlake gets medieval on Brendan… America’s 1st female senator is silently defiant… and Rico learns why, in restaurants, silence is not an option.

Icebreaker: Jessica Hundley
Writer Jessica Hundley edited and co-wrote Taschen’s massive new collection of Dennis Hopper’s rather amazing photographs. And yes, we mean that Dennis Hopper. So Jessica knows her biker jokes. One of which she shares with us here.

Small Talk: Shredding decency, Truth serum, and the Celtic cougar
The staff of Marketplace tells us about some stories your dinner guests won’t have heard about.

History Lesson with Booze: Senator Caraway and the Hattie Bo Baddy This week back in 1932, an Arkansas housewife suddenly became the first elected female Senator in U.S. history…and that was the easy part. Learn all about the woman reporters called “Silent Hattie,” and then toast her memory with a blend of potent southern poisons that’ll leave you speechless.

RECIPE as created for the DPD by Todd Thrasher of Restaurant Eve in the DC Metro area:

In a mixing glass full of ice, add:

  • 1.5 oz Jack Daniels Whiskey
  • .5 oz Wasmunds Rye Spirit
  • 1.25 oz caraway honey syrup*
  • dash of Peychaud bitters
  • squeeze of Lemon Wedge

Stir for one minute. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a honey comb on a skewer. Drink silently while defying expectations.

*Caraway honey syrup recipe:

  • 16 oz. Honey
  • 16 oz. Water
  • 1 Tbsp. caraway Seeds

Combine honey and water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.

While boiling mixture, using a mortar and pestle grind caraway seeds, then toast in a saute pan until they turn golden brown. Add to the honey mixture and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Strain caraway seeds through a fine sieve, and let cool.

Guest of Honor: Midlake
Tim Smith is the front man for this shape-shifting band from Texas. Initially a Radioheadesque college act, Midlake captured the attention of music heads with their last album Trials of Van Occupanther, a paean to American classic rock acts like Fleetwood Mac and America. Their about-to-drop new album, The Courage of Others, reflects their latest fixation: British progressive folksters like Pentangle and Fairport Convention. Smith tells Brendan about how musicians deal with their influences, and the role Led Zeppelin did not play in his life..

Main Course: The Sounds of Ambience
Music in restaurants often, well, sucks. NYTimes blogger/music journalist/novice restaurateur Bruce Buschel tells Rico about his picks for top resto tunes, why he thinks they work… and why silence is not an option.

One For the Road:
Legendary Louisiana music man Bobby Charles died this week. And one of his biggest fans is Andy Cabic — lead singer of wonderful folk rock band Vetiver. This cover of Charles’ song “I Must Be in a Good Place Now” appeared on their album Things of the Past.

Music in this episode

The Sea And Cake – “The Argument”

The Wedding Present – “Signal”

Link Wray – “Jack The Ripper”

Tipsy – “Liquordelic”

Hal Kemp – “I Found a Million Dollar Baby (In A Five and Ten Cent Store)”

Pavement – “Silence Kit”

Honey – “Waves”

Midlake – “Acts of Man”

Midlake – “Roscoe”

Buffalo Springfield – “For What it’s Worth”