Monday, February 22, 2010

Two Meade-Bellinger short films: "TEXAS BARBECUE TOUR 2009" and "INFRASTRUCTURE at CHURCH of BOSTON"

Both released last night.



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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Snow's BBQ, Lexington, Texas: 2009 Visit

Snow's serves the best barbecue in Texas, as judged by Texas Monthly (not the New Yorker). The Manic American team visits Snow's every December to have brisket for breakfast and check in with the crew.

Please check out the photos from this year's visit on Flickr. Here are my three favorites:

Tootsie Tomanetz, Pitmaster

Brisket, Pork Shoulder, Jalapeno, Sauce

Owner Kerry Bexley Explaining His Art

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Smitty's Front Entrance, Lockhart, Tex.

From ABBQ09.

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Friday, December 25, 2009

Humans in the Trees (ABBQ09)

Merry Christmas from the Manic Americans.

Come see Infrastructure in Manhattan tomorrow!

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Of the tens of thousands of digital photos I've taken, this is my favorite. It says: you have a family of amazing friends who will meet you in Texas and drive out into farm towns to eat the best brisket on earth. And in the city of Burnet (BUR-nit), they will stand before your tripod and mimic the action of the giant electric Santa. And then they will vanish inside the fuselages of airplanes and return to the cities whence they came.

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Sunday, December 06, 2009

Austin: This is the plan...

...unless someone tells me otherwise.

Yes, it is Sunday at 4:50-something a.m. Disastrous chest cold continues.

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Friday, December 04, 2009

ABBQII (Austin BBQ 09) is less than a week away.

Here's what I have so far:

View A.B.B.Q. II in a larger map

Here's my suggested itin:

FRI AFTN: Record-setting crew of 6 arrives, lunch in town (Iron Works?)
FRI EVE: off to the Hill Country town of BRADY, which has 3 BBQ joints and is known for cabrito (goat). Possible stops at either Cooper's location, as well as the Burnet holiday display.

SAT MORNING: Out to Lexington to hit Snow's before the brisket runs out.
SAT DAY: Cruise anywhere east of Austin. Plenty of choices on the map.
SAT NIGHT: Dale Watson @ The Broken Spoke
SAT LATE NIGHT: Sam's BBQ? Open til 2.

SUN AFTN: Breakfast at Opie's or The Salt Lick
SUN EVE: Comatose state
SUN NIGHT: Heybale w/Redd Volkaert @ The Continental Club.

MONDAY: Chill until flights out.

Jetblue had AUS on sale for $99 each way from NY and BOS this week. Let me know if this sounds like fun, and we'll get a bigger van.

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mega-Manic Fall

It's 3:33 p.m., and the sun has already clocked out here in Boston. In dark times, you have to make your own weather. This is what I'm working on:

11/16-19 NY for work
11/19-21 Boston for life and rehearsal.
11/22-23 Toronto for work (looking forward to this, as I've never been to the city before).
11/24-29 NY and Philly for Thanksgiving.

And then:
12/11-12/14: ABBQII in Austin! With a crew of at least 5!
12/18 INFRASTRUCTURE at Church in Boston
12/26 INFRASTRUCTURE at National Underground in Manhattan.

Doing stuff is awesome.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

ABBQ Prep: NPR Contributes

Check out this great little piece on the proliferation of "boutique police agencies" in Texas.

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Thursday, October 08, 2009

The ABBQ roster has grown to record size!

This is awesome.


Monday, September 28, 2009

" let me tell you mo__erf__kers who you're f__kin' with."

(For soundbyte, go here, and fast forward to 4:43)

Past 72 hours:
  • Infastructure booked at Harper's Ferry
  • 5-hour Infrastructure Practice
  • James McMurtry show at Johnny D's
  • server configured
  • Camcorders and video software researched
  • Learned WordPress implementation
  • Infrastructure booked at All Asia, again
  • ABBQII (Austin weekend roadtrip) dates blocked out and Austin Motel booked
Next up:
  • Infra-rehearsal tomorrow
  • manicamerican template designing
  • Attempting to book Infra-shows in NY, including CPC show at potential ex-German, now Jewish-Irish rock bar
This is what my my allies and I do on nights and weekends. And now I'm going to watch Season 3 of "The Shield" instead of sleeping.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Momentary Update.

I'm tired. That's probably because, in addition to doing my job and biking everywhere, my band played its first gig in Cambridge and is actively trying to book two more, in Boston and New York. Dates are set for CPCCPCIV1 and ABBQII2. The Labor Day beach week in NC turned out to be a huge success for photos and stories. Meade and I are inching toward launching our road stories website, MANICAMERICAN.COM. It'll be an exhilarating fall.


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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

ABBQ #71: Austin Western Railroad Switching Fuqua Limestone, Elgin, Tex.

I like this.

Don't forget: we still have about 150 or so Upper Peninsula images that I promised to blog.

P.S. Dan and I keep adding DEEP SOUTH placemarkers to the map in the post below and every time you refresh this page, you'll see the new ones.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

ABBQ #42: Snow's Brisket and Sauce

I need to post this shot from Lexington, Tex. because ever since I had this brisket for breakfast, I've been thinking about it every morning.

Click the pic to see more from the country surrounding Austin.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Dan Meade's Texas BBQ Article

For those of you who have not seen it, Dan's article was used on about 150 TV station websites.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

ABBQ #81: Lone Star Christmas Trees, Elgin, Tex.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

ABBQ: Great Success!

I'm snowed in here in Somerville and just posted ALL of the good photos from ABBQ. I'll be blogging many here over the next few ...years. Photos look better on black anyway.

I'm also going to try embedding a slideshow here, which you can mess around with:

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Barbecue in New York

I wrote the following inoffensive paragraph in my notebook on the plane to Austin:

My colleagues choose barbecue restaurants based on the reputation of the chef. They eat hushpuppies with fork and knife. Barbecue was "the big thing in New York last year," they say, but it's still "a safe bet." Several have asked me if I've read the New Yorker article about the Texas Monthly article about Snow's east of Austin.

Then I had one of the greatest cultural experiences of my life, which included Snow's brisket and pork shoulder for breakfast this past Saturday.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

ABBQ #X: Cooper's, Llano, Tex.

Posting from Austin. This is going well.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008


It is time for the greatest weekend ever. We will apply all previous lessons of life, road, drinking, eating, photography, writing, music, geography, driving, people, cities, travel, and survival to the next three days. A diverse crew will experience diverse things, and it is hard to imagine anyone departing the Lone Star State in any state approaching dissatisfaction. The stars at night are big and bright...


Monday, November 24, 2008


There is much to be thankful for this year, and I am really excited about being home in New York City for the holiday. We'll have the Third Annual CPCCPC and two Infrastructure rehearsals. Plus, I'm doing a Dexter Season 3 marathon with my little bro.

Just two weeks after Thanksgiving is ABBQ1, my group's first Austin BBQ road trip. Rob L. recently sent along a link to Texas Monthly's "quintessential, quinquennial review of the 50 best barbecue joints in Texas."

They've plotted all 50 places, plus honorable mentions, on a Google map. Last night, I printed off the area around Austin, cracked open a Smuttynose Old Brown Dog, and started planning.

Three days of cue. Plus Dale Watson at the Broken Spoke. I don't think you can fit much more Austin in a weekend.

The plan so far:

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Blog/Life Update

This Upper Peninsula project I've given myself is quite a challenge. I'm not supposed to blog about anything else until I tell the entire story of the trip (which will take about 300 photographs). The feedback has been very positive, though, so I shall continue.

About fall non-work travel events, to which you are invited...

College Point Class Conflict Pub Crawl III (CPCCPCIII) happens on 11/28, Friday after Thanksgiving. It looks like we will have a very respectable turnout this year.

ABBQI, the first Austin BBQ roadtrip, will happen the weekend of 12/12-14. Amazingly this jives with my meeting schedule AND coincides with Dale Watson's only appearance at the Broken Spoke in the month of December.

Back to the UP. There will be other major news soon...

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Next Episodes

I'm crazy busy with work and the next few projects that you'll see here. More specifically:

Untitled EP. An incarnation of INFRASTRUCTURE will be getting together in NY this weekend to start recording an EP. The oversimplified track titles, according to recording priority, are "Climber," "Busted," "Cul-de-Sac People," "Misery," and "Home." The personnel will be Erich Rastetter on keys and rhythm guitar, C. Bellinger on bass, Greg Caputo on drums, and myself on lead guitar. All of the personnel are angry young men from Queens. The band will sound like a combination of early Elvis Costello, early ZZ Top, and Wilco. What can I say? We're white people.

UP. Very soon, the blog switches completely over to a chronological retelling of the trip Dan Meade and I took to the Upper Peninsula this past June. Photos will serve as the main narrative element, with text filling in only where necessary. Any posts I've already put up will be re-posted to fit the narrative/chronological order of the trip. There are some really good photos in this set.

The Fall Excursions. If art-traveling is fun, why do it only in June? I have to clear the days off, but it looks like I'll be meeting up with some friends in SoCal, hosting the third annual College Point Class Conflict Pub Crawl in Queens, and putting together ABBQI, the first open-invite barbecue roadtrip to the Hill Country of Texas.

Read on (or listen, or view), or join me on one of these trips.

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