Monday, October 26, 2009

If Video Killed the Radio Star...

If video killed the radio star, then the old interweb revived it, zombie-like, and plunked radio down into another dimension.

This week's episode of 'Cutting the Curd' on the Heritage Radio Network was all kinds of intertwined. I interviewed Chris Gray, of Consider Bardwell Farm, about the unlikely intersections of cheese and rock and roll. For Chris, it wasn't a far leap from a career in beautiful music to a gig with farmstead cheese. The permutations that technology and craft are undergoing are mind boggling, yet sort of straightforward in the end. Mr. Gray loved music for it's independent, artistic, and expressive underpinnings. When the label he worked with for many years became co-opted by industry bigwigs, he was left in a little bit of a spiritual lurch. Suddenly the artists that he admired and sweated for for so many years were no longer 'viable' in that terrible, flattening, economical way that renders FM radio largely unlistenable today.

In an unlikely turn of events (oh, aren't the best things always so!!!) friends and fellow urbanites of Chris Gray and his wife Laura Brown bought a house in the podunk town of Pawlet, Vermont for weekend respites from the crazy life. Chris wended his way to Consider Bardwell Farm after a couple of innocent drives past the farm whilst weekend-ing, and is now a bonafide cheesemaker and professional farmers' market man/nomad/gypsy that would make the old world equivalents blush.

On the show, what began as a silly question ('Is there a connection between cheese and rock and roll? Beyond that British ex-Blur singer who now has a dairy??') soon evolved into a lively and deep discourse about the nature of craft. Where big business squelches the goodness out of cottage industries, new opportunities mutuate and create mutuality between lovers of homespun, authentic things.

The moral of the story? If the dairy industry killed the cheese as we knew it, the radio stars are ready to step in and take a (milk) stand. Listen in and see for yourself!

A side note worth your eyes' attention for one more minute this Monday morn. From here on out, Saxelby Cheesmongers has decided to feature one cheese per week at a special price to further the gustatory delight of fromage lovers across the city. This week's cheese has a special connection to rock and roll, as it's name was spawned by a classic Aerosmith song....

Mixed Emotions
(raw goat and cows' milk. Lazy Lady Farm, VT)
regularly $26.99/lb, now $20.99/lb

Laini Fondiller, our resident poet laureate of goat cheese, was inspired to name this cheese after making another called 'Sweet Emotions.' If the sweet one was all cow, surely the combination of the milks could be dubbed 'Mixed Emotions.' Our feelings on the cheese however are crystal clear! It is by turns sweet, musky and earthy, exuding an essence of freshly overturned soil and mushrooms. From the gray tomme style rind to the ivory interior, we're all kinds of infatuated.

Till next Monday, may cheese, rock and roll, and all the other arts inefficient by nature inspire you.

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