Monday, July 19, 2010

Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting. YUM!

Hey everyone!

I’m back with another delicious cupcake recipe for you to try out! This just might be my favorite cupcake recipe ever. They are actually super simple to make and sooo soo good. The cake part is chocolate Guinness. The beer definitely adds an extra hint of yummy in there. The cake is also vegan, although the frosting is not. I’m sure you could make it vegan but I’m not a vegan so I have never tried. The buttercream is made with Irish Cream liquor, and is dangerously good! I got this recipe from Dulcedo, a great baking blog. Sadly they haven’t updated their site in a really long time =( Here's how you make them:

Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting
Makes 12 cupcakes

Recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World
3/4 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Guinness
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1/2 cup Irish Cream
2 boxes confectioners' sugar

To make the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the soy milk and the vinegar. Add the Guinness, sugar, oil, and vanilla to the soy milk mixture and beat until foamy. Add the dry ingredients in two batches and beat until well incorporated.

Fill your cupcakes containers of choice 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly touched. Transfer to a wire rack and allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting:
Beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until creamy and smooth. Add the Bailey's and half of the confectioner's sugar and beat until smooth. Add the second half of the sugar and beat until smooth.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Jonas Sees In Color in a horrible van accident

This past weekend Jonas Sees In Color was in a terrible Van accident. Miraculously they all survived the accident but their van was completely totaled. Here’s a letter from Ryan (Lead singer of JSIC) explaining what happened:

It happened out of nowhere. We had just finished a show in Wasau, Wisconsin and were on our way to Chicago, Illinois when we went through a highway overpass and all of the sudden there was a car five feet in front of us. It couldn't have been going more than 15 miles an hour.. I knew that if we hit them- going 65 in our full-size van and trailer- it would probably kill them. I swerved to the left. Reacting late, they pulled left at the same time. I swerved further left- now halfway off the road-until we were in front of them, and I turned the wheel back to the right. The van, bouncing on the rumble strips, skidded through a 180 degree turn before flipping three times off the interstate and down the shoulder. We landed upside down, crushed like a tin can.

I unclasped the seat belt and fell down onto the ceiling. There was broken glass everywhere. I thought there was a good chance that I had just killed my best friends. “Voices,” I screamed, “Please! Let me hear your voices!” There were only five responses. “Meagan! Meagan, are you alive?” There was no response. We looked back. There was no one where she had been sitting. “MEAGAN!” Finally, we heard a whimper from the very back. She had been sleeping on the second to last bench, but had ended up behind the last seat, pressed against the back door. She was alive.

We crawled out through one of the smashed windows and scrambled up the hill to the highway. An ambulance was there instantly. “Are you okay?” “I'm fine.” “Then why are you covered in blood?” I looked down. My shirt was soaked in red and there was glass glittering in my arm. When the van flipped the first time, my left arm had smashed through the driver's side window.

The EMTs cleaned us up in the ambulance and helped us book a hotel room. Instead of sleeping, we raided their coffee supply and started calling rental places about finding a van and trailer. By 9 AM, there was still no luck. Around then, our fans got word about what was going on and the response was explosive. There was such an intense outpouring of love and support; we realized that we really had no choice. We had to finish the tour.

We finally found a place willing to let us rent an enormous U-Haul truck that looked like a mix between a monster truck, a tank, and somebody's garage. We took it. We grabbed everything we could and slammed it into the back. Not everyone could fit in the cabin, so four of us had to sit in the back on top of the gear for the ride to Chicago. Four hours later, we hour late for our soundcheck, but there nonetheless. Without sleeping, showering, or even changing clothes, we walked onstage and played the most enthusiastic, heartfelt show of our lives. We were sore and we were bloody...but we were alive. And, most importantly, we made it to the show.

I am writing this in the dark, sitting on some of our gear in the back of the U-Haul on the way to the next show. It's around 115 degrees in here since there is no ventilation, so I am sitting on a cooler of ice in my underwear drinking a cheap beer: a spitting image of class and sophistication. We've been through something that I would never wish on anyone else, but somehow came out on the other end of it alive. I've always heard about moments that define people. This was not one of those moments. This was a moment that was defined by people. My bandmates' courage and the intensity of their dedication to the music and our fans overwhelms me. Now that our fans have seen us at our most raw and vulnerable, and given us more love than we've ever seen, they have now become not just our fans, but our friends.

The band has no health insurance and is now left to pay all of their medical bills. They also need to buy a new van and trailer. A donation fund has been set up to help them cover all of their newly inquired bills as a result of this accident. Please click HERE to donate to the band. Every dollar helps.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Agony and Ecstasy of Phil Spector


I had no idea this movie was even in the making! And for someone like myself who has many a friends obsessed with the gun-wielding creator of the “Wall of Sound”, it came as a great surprise.

This documentary is comprised of candid interview footage w/ Phil Spector, courtroom footage of his trial and a soundtrack to die for!

Songs like “To Know Him is to Love Him”, “He’s a Rebel”, “Imagine”, “Be My Baby” and so many more Spector classics were played in their entirety! The clearance of all of these Spector songs is impressive alone, but it’s the honesty (and at times lunacy) in which Spector speaks about his life that really draws you in.

Throughout the documentary he compares himself to artists like Leonardo DaVinci, Bach or Mozart. He also boasts that he has offered more to Rock N Roll than Buddy Holly (because Holly only lived 3 years during Rock N Roll). This is just the tip of the iceberg. His megalomania is on full on display throughout the documentary.

There’s a great moment in the film where he discusses Tina Turners River Deep Mountain High. It was expected to be a big record, even John Lennon and George Harrison endorsed it! But the record failed to move units upon release in the US while it reached #1 in the UK. This prompted Mr. Spector to take out a full page ad in Billboard that read “Benedict Arnold was right”. This move, as Spector says “killed the record immediately”.

I’ll spare any further spoilers, just go and see it.

And make no mistake about it, this is a cautionary tale. As entertaining as it is to hear anecdotes on some of music's most legendary artists, it is clear that Spector is (and has been) dealing with demons.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Top Albums of the Year So Far

Hey everyone!

The 4th of July is upon is. The year is half way over! And to celebrate we thought we would share our favorite albums of 2010 so far! Here’s our lists:

Bruno Mars – especially “Nothin on You” w/ B.O.B
Yeasayer – Odd Blood
LCD Soundysystem – This Is Happening
Drake – Thank Me Later
Cielo Compilation on Nervous Records
The Black Keys – Brothers

Black Keys – Brothers
LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening
The National - High Violet
Beach House – Teen Dream
Tallest Man on Earth – Wild Hunt

ADAM- 10 because hes a show off
Yeasayer: Odd Blood
Band of Horses: Infinite Arms
The Black Keys: Brothers
LCD Soundsystem: This Is Happening
Gorillaz: Plastic Beach
Dead Weather: Sea Of Cowards
Sleigh Bells: Treats
Local Natives: Gorilla Manor
Broken Social Scene: Forgiveness Rock Record
Surfer Blood: Astro Coast

Black Keys/Brothers
Candy Snatchers/Down at Delilah’s
Naked Heroes/99 Diamond
Rolling Stones/Exile on Main St. (remaster)
Jello Biafra & The Guantanamo School of Medicine/Audacity of Hype

1. The National - High Violet
2. Yeasayer - Odd Blood
3. LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening
4. The Black Keys - Brothers
5. Broken Bells - Broken Bells

1. Sleigh Bells- Treats
2. Dead Weather- Sea Of Cowards
3.The Black Keys- Brothers
4. LCD Soundsystem - This Is Happening
5. Drake- Thank Me Later

The Black Keys – Brothers
Lewis Black – Start Raving Black
Band of Horses – Infinite Arms
Frightened Rabbit – Winter of Mixed Drinks
Lady Antebellum – Need You Now

Vampire Weekend - Contra
Local Natives - Gorilla Manor
Broken Bells - self titled
Marina & the Diamonds - The Family Jewels
Ratatat - LP4