[photo post] Providence Farm

One of my stops on my birthday roadtrip was Greenville, SC, to see my boy Jon and his wife Kaylee. Jon’s story is an inspirational one to say the least, and I’d be lying if I said his story hasn’t pushed me to write my own the way I have. When Jon and I became friends, he was a skinny wiener. Before long, that skinny winer turned into a fit freak. The fit freak turned into a muscle head. The muscle head turned into a personal trainer and fitness model. The personal trainer and fitness model then started his own meal prep business called ELEV8 Nutrition. ELEV8 Nutrition took off and eventually put Jon where he is now — owning his own farm-to-table restaurant in the heart of downtown Greenville — Farm Fresh Fast.

It’s sustainable. It’s literally fresh from the farm. Yet it’s fast food. With a drive-thru, even. I spent an entire day of my trip with Jon that included opening the restaurant, having amazing turkey bacon and fried duck eggs for breakfast, helping set up a catering event, attending a restaurant equipment auction, checking out one of the farms that provide his restaurant with pork and poultry, then helping put a few finishing touches on his most-recent venture, Seedlings – the first-ever farm-to-table kid’s restaurant located in downtown Greenville’s Children’s Museum.

I just happened to have my camera with me at the farm so we’ve dubbed it Media Day for Farm Fresh Fast.

If you want to see more pigs and chickens, check ’em out in high-res on my Flickr account. Otherwise, here are these:

Get social with FFF, Seedlings and Providence Farm


[photo post] South of the Border

Before I went on my recent birthday road trip, I scoured sites like Roadside America and Atlas Obscura looking for oddball stuff to do that wasn’t too far out of the way from my intended route. I found lots of great strangeness in Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, but when I spotted South of the Border in Hamer, SC, I knew it was going to be a stop — it was required.

To make things better, it wasn’t out of the way at all — it’s right off the interstate. You actually have to drive through it. And you’re actually going to want to.

Tacky, kitschy, loud. Honestly, kind of racist. South of the Border is a tourist trap with a few restaurants, shops, an alligator petting zoo, an amusement park, a truck stop, hotels and a few other strange things. I showed up just after sunrise so only one restaurant was open and I didn’t eat there. Each of the stores seemed like the same store just on opposite sides of the road, the petting zoo was closed and the amusement park looked like it hadn’t been operational in a decade.

But it was still amazing.

Enormous statues litter the quarter mile of Mexican culture stereotypes. Cows, chickens, alligators, cheeseburgers and … Pedro. Pedro is everywhere. When you show up, you drive between Pedro’s legs. Two Pedros flank the entrance to the gator petting zoo. Pedro is on every t-shirt, magnet and souvenir cup. Reportedly, every employee goes by the name Pedro while they’re on the clock despite the fact that all the employees I saw were black women.

Anyway, South of the Border is real and I’m happy it is. If you find yourself crossing the Carolinas border via Interstate 95, do yourself a favor and be drawn in by the 30 or so billboards with Pedro’s mustached mug painted on them.

I also spotted what appeared to be an abandoned restaurant nearby with some great graffiti and grime scattered about and had to take a few photos because that’s just what I do.

As always, here’s a few photos. If you want to see more pictures of the high-quality variety, you can find them on my Flickr account.

Get social with South of the Border:

[6-6-6] of 2017 Part 3: Top Tracks

With a few days left in the year, I figured it was my turn to add my two cents to the “best records of the year” like so many of the blogs I follow. Where I differ from these posts, though, is that I don’t always listen to brand new music all the time and often uncover stuff that came out decades before I was even born, choosing to spend my time with it instead. Therefore, I’m breaking this post down into three parts: my 6 favorite new releases for 2017, my 6 favorite NOT new releases I jammed the most in 2017, and the 6 songs I blasted the most — both new and old — in 2017.

All three sets are in no particular order.

This is Part 3/3


Mutoid ManKiss of Death
Album: War Moans — Released: 2017

This may not be my favorite song from this record but it’s definitely the song that gave this band my attention. So heavy, so dirty, so gritty. It’s everything I want in rock and roll. Is it punk? Is it metal? Is it sludge? Answer: YES. The only thing that tops how heavy this song is on the record is standing two feet away from drummer Ben Koller’s drum kit while they play it live!

Album: Jane Doe — Released: 2001

This song comes shredding right out of the gate with a rumble of drums provided by the above mentioned Ben Koller (who in addition to Converge and Mutoid Man lends his talents to Cave In and All Pigs Must Die). If you’re okay with shrieking vocals, you can’t help but thrash to this song as it quickly rises to peak energy level and stays there for nearly four minutes. I don’t know how the guys in the band stay in their skin while playing it because I have a hard enough time doing it while listening.

Every Time I DieWe’rewolf
Album: The Big Dirty — Released: 2007

Spotify fed me this song after a playlist ended earlier this year and I developed an instant crush on it. The record’s name is The Big Dirty and there’s no better way to describe the music of Every time I Die. While the animal being referenced in this song is of the party variety, the lyrics get my juiced to do all things in life at full volume. But I didn’t put my hair in a pony tail for nothing so if I’m going home alone — I’m not going at all!

Tyler, the CreatorI Ain’t Got Time!
Album: Scum Fuck Flower Boy — Released: 2017

This is my favorite Tyler song since Transylvania. Beats are varied but so rad, the sampling is brilliant, lyrics are top-notch and he’s included one of his best hooks to date. A little chaotic at times, maybe, but it works as a whole. It’s not as mean and evil as a lot of older Tyler but neither is this entire record. I ain’t mad about it. I went through the entire record four or five times when I picked it up, then I left this track on repeat for the rest of the week.

The AquabatsThe Shark Fighter!
Album: Hi-Five Soup! — Released: 2011

I’ve always been a fan of the Aquabats. I have an Aquabats tattoo for Christ’s sake. But admittedly, I’m mostly in love with “old” Aquabats and the nostalgia they bring every time I listen to Super Rad!, Pool Party!, Anti-Matter and whatnot. After I saw them in concert this past Summer, though, I got a better appreciation for later songs like Fashion Zombies!, The Legend is True!, Hey Homies! and Look At Me (I’m a Winner)! Standing above them all, though, is The Shark Fighter!. He fights sharks. He fights them in the water, ’cause that’s where they are. Is it ska? No, but that doesn’t mean it’s not an amazing song that’s still classic in the Aquabats sense.

The Velvet UndergroundAfter Hours
Album: The Velvet Underground — Released: 1969

Written by my boy Lou Reed in 1969, After Hours is probably my favorite Velvet Underground song. A little different from other Velvet tracks, this song brings drummer Maureen Tucker to the lead vocalist position and tells the story of someone dealing with a loved one struggling with alcoholism. Maybe a dark subject but the song itself is simple and innocent in its delivery. It’s also fun to bang out on an acoustic guitar.

This is just me, though. Got any tracks you really dug this year? Tell me about them!