2020's has been a rollercoaster to say the least. One of the highs that I've been able to find has been by way of mcenroe putting out the Peanuts & Corn 2020 Pod in association with Ugsmag. If you're into music history (more specifically the history of Canadian rap [for the most part within the prairies] then it is an absolute goldmine). Just over a month(?) ago mcenroe put up a P&C adjacent episode with soso. For the most part Sask rap is a pretty big blind spot for me, back in the Napster days I stumbled upon Isosceles, then as the years have gone by I've gotten into Def3 through Sweatshop Union which lead me to Factor and Kay the Aquanaut (that Side Road fam) but up until the soso podcast episode I was unaware of the Clothes Horse Records of it all. Well, let me tell you, I've been missing out, I'm trying to dip in slowly so that I don't overload myself with new music. mcenroe played Hungover for Three Days Straight from soso's 2005 tenth street and clarence album which got me to check out the full album and that is just a beautiful atmospheric journey. In the episode they also touched on Epic and how he was somewhat polarizing within the scene back in the day. I had seen that name here and there but never actually checked the music out to see what it sounds like so I went to trusty old bandcamp (mixed with discogs because the name Epic doesn't have the best SEO these days) and found Epic's 2008 album, Aging is What Friends Do Together. Holy bingo is Epic unique. His prairie accent shining through his rapping with the oddest cadence (or lack thereof) in almost a conversational speaking delivery is, well, it's weird as shit. If there's a rhyme scheme, for the most part it's lost on me. His voice is sort of high pitched but rhaspy(?). And his lyrics are clever and funny in the most working class flatlander way possible. The first few songs I was trying to figure out what was going on, what was I listening to, did I even like it? As the month has passed I've found that I keep getting drawn back to Epic's Aging, he's just so unique and the more I listen to his rapping the more I'm drawn in, I can't say my one eye brown isn't still raised half the time however. You should check him out (and the rest of the artists that I've linked to above) and give it a few listens. Unique, with intent and knowledge of the culture.
Did you hear that Covered Bridge released another limited batch flavour this past summer (and as of me writing this they're still available on the CB site). They teamed up with Chris Brothers (Atlantic Canada's Deli) to bring us Fried Pepperoni. When I ordered a case of these I didn't know what exactly to expect. I cracked the bag and was met with a scent similar to bbq chips. When the first chip hit my tongue I was greeted with a slightly sweet bbq(ish) flavour, which quickly turned into some sort of weird sweet adjacent flavour that tastes like, yes you guessed right, pepperoni. There's smoke in the mix and seasoning's that I picture as being green or dark brown but I don't know my seasoning's well enough to put my finger on it (according to the ingredients, what I'm tasting is "spice"). I don't believe I've ever had fried pepperoni, but there is some serious mild (to just below medium heat) pepperoni stick (not mass produced) in this bag of chips. In general this is a pretty salty seasoning. Both my daughter and wife thought they tasted like hot dogs (if they do I'd say they taste like all beef hot dogs, but there's a lot more to these chips than that). This flavour is weird, but I keep going back. There's just something about CB/Chris Brothers Fried Pepperoni flavour that is sort of a grower that once it sinks it's claws into you it's hard to put down. I can't say I've had another flavour like these before, I'd put them in the bbq family..but they're so much more than that.
ps. Immediately after finishing this blog post I ordered Epic's cd off bandcamp in case you were wondering.