Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Home Cooked Dishes - Round 2 (The Sweet Sixteen)

ROUND. ONE. WAS. INCREDIBLE!! There were upsets. There were unexpected blow-outs. There were leads that went back and forth. There were ties! IT was so much fun to watch the votes come in and the banter that takes place on Facebook. I don't know why all that smack talk doesn't take place here, but oh well. Let's talk about the upsets cuz there were some big ones. Let's start with Enchiladas vs Salmon. Enchiladas not only pulled the upset but won with a huge lead. Enchiladas might just make it to The Elite Eight. Next was Chocolate Cake over Collard Greens which sets up an amazing 2nd Round match for them (more on that later). Next we had Fried Green Tomatoes over Chicken Soup. This match was a close one all day and Fried Green Tomatoes pulled out the win in the last hour. The Chili vs Apple Pie match was neck and neck all day long and #7 Chili pulls the upset in the last hour. And then there was the big daddy. #8 Grilled Cheese Sandwich over #1 Creamed Potatoes. Grilled Cheese creamed Creamed Potatoes by holding onto a huge lead all day long. And let me talk about one more match. Poor Cabbage. Poor Cabbage didn't receive one vote in it's match-up against Buttermilk Biscuits. I mean come on. Even Liver & Onions got 2 votes. Well Cabbage, better luck next time. Maybe I can get you teamed up with Corned Beef in a future tournament.

Todays matches get even harder to choose your favorites. Macaroni & Cheese vs Buttermilk Biscuits. My vote is going to Mac & Cheese but after that 100% win against Cabbage, Buttermilk Biscuits is looking harder to beat than this year's Lakers. Fried Chicken vs Steak. Two All-American favorites. And stereo-types be damned, I'm going with the Fried Chicken. Chocolate Chip Cookies vs Lasagna. This is a no-brainer. In the immortal words of that world famous poet laureate, "C Is For Cookie. That Good Enough For Me." Well Chocolate Chip Cookies starts with 3 C's so that's three times gooder enough for me. And Cornbread vs Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Wow. This is a really tough one to pick for me. I love them both. I will pick Grilled Cheese.
Enchiladas vs Pork Chops. I don't eat pork and you can make a Chicken Enchilada so I'm going with Enchiladas. Now, this is the match I've been waiting on since middle of yesterday when I saw it starting to take shape. Chicken & Dumplings vs Chocolate Cake. I know Amanda Merritt is going to look at this match-up and nearly pass out. I've just recently started to enjoy both of these. I never had Chicken and Dumplings until about 2 years ago and I didn't like Chocolate Cake until about a year ago. If you're from Macon, have you had the Chocolate Cake at Market City Cafe? Amazing isn't it? I'm going with Chocolate Cake. Creamed Corn vs Fried Green Tomatoes. Anybody from Macon remember Big Al from The Red Eye? That man made the best Fried Green Tomatoes in town. They were far better than The Whilstle Stop Cafe's and that's the place where the movie was made. I've never tasted bad creamed corn though so Creamed Corn gets my vote. Fried Catfish vs Chili. CATFISH!!!

Don't oull your hair out over this. Remember it's all in fun. (CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES BETTER WIN DAG NABIT!)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Home Cooked Dishes - Round 1

Sorry I'm a day late with this but after a mean hangover Sunday morning, I trekked to a friend's house where she nursed me back to health with a great strawberry smoothie and watched the soccer match with me. Which put us in a bad mood. Did you see that crap? How can the USA play so well in the first half and then completely lose it in the second half? But let me show some love for the USA goalkeeper, Howard. He was the USA's team Player of the Game. Needless to say with both me and my friend being cranky people, we sat around the rest of the evening in a funk. It was wonderful.

So, Home Cooked Dishes! I've been telling people here and there that this was going to be much tougher to vote for than the Music Genres category was. All of the #1s make sense and then just about everything after that could have been a #2 or #3. Other than Liver & Onions. That one was a definite #8. I wasn't going to include it but when I was asking people's favorite dishes, K. Miller named it.

I expect all of the #1s to move on with no problems. I think the best shot at upsetting a #1 is Grilled Cheese up against Creamed Potatoes. My vote is going to Grilled Cheese even though I think Creamed Potatoes will take it.
Once you get to the #2s and beyond, anything goes. Pork Chops vs Salmon Patties. I'll take Salmon Patties. Chicken and Dumplings vs Pancakes. I'll take pancakes. Apple Pie vs Chili. Gimmie Apple Pie. Creamed Corn vs Cornbread Stuffing. I'll take a double helping of Creamed Corn please.
The #3 vs #6 match ups are just as tough. Buttermilk Biscuits vs Cabbage, I like biscuits. Steak vs Black Eyed Peas. Hate the rap group but love the food. Black Eyed Peas. Cornbread vs Red Beans and Rice. This ain't fair. I like to eat my Red Beans and Rice with Cornbread. I think I'll take Cornbread. Lasagna vs Fried Okra. Lasagna.
And finally. the #4s vs #5s. Baked Salmon vs Enchiladas. Baked Salmon. Collard Greens vs Chocolate Cake. Wow. Choc...Collards! Fried Catfish vs Gumbo. NOOOOOOOOO!! Catfish? Yeah Catfish. Chicken Soup vs Fried Green Tomatoes. I'll take the Fried Green Tomatoes.

I told you it was going to be tough.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

And The Winner Is...

So Rock and Roll wins it all with a commanding 72% win over Funk. The percent by which a category wins is important for its ranking in The Big Dance (a.k.a. The Extravaganza). The higher the winning percentage, the higher the seed. So a 90% win or higher has a better chance of being ranked #1 or #2. The lower the final winning percentage the lower the ranking. So 50% - 60% will probably be ranked #7 or #8. Rock & Roll is pretty much in the middle so we can probably expect a 4 or 5 ranking as of right now.
Thanks to all who voted and made this first category a lot of fun. You ready for next week? Here's a look at the Home Cooked Dishes bracket. Round 1 voting will begin on Sunday.
See you then!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Music Genres - Round 5 (The Finals)

Let me just start this out by saying that I am terrible at predicting the outcomes on Coffee Cake. I guess I am making them to give you something to laugh at. For example, I said I would like to see Lounge upset Country in the first round but there was no way it was going to happen. Lounge went on to put an ass whooping on Country. Last round, I said Blues would beat Rock & Roll and Rhythm & Blues would beat Funk. I then went on to tell Josh McCoy that the over all winner of this tournament would come out of the Rock & Roll vs Blues match-up. Well I was wrong about Rhythm & Blues and The Blues, not to mention I probably cursed Rock & Roll's chances of winning the tournament.
Let's look at the match up. They say the greatest Rock & Roll song ever made is Led Zepplin's "Stairway To Heaven". In my opinion, the greatest funk song ever made is The J.B.'s "Doing It To Death". Ok based on those two, I'm going to give my vote to (CENSORED).
One of the best funk songs to dance to is Funkadelic's "One Nation Under A Groove". The song is not only a groover but a patriotic song too. Wouldn't it be great if this was the US National Soccer Team's theme song? You know they play in the FIFA Confederation Cup finals Sunday. It would be a party for sure if they won and this song started playing! The greatest Rock & Roll song to dance to is probably Chubby Checker's "The Twist" (don't lie when you hear it you can't help but to start doing it). But for some reason it just doesn't seem right to put that up against One Nation... so let's try David Bowie's "Let's Dance".
What about anthems? I am so tempted to say Rock and Roll's anthem is Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll prt 2" (you never knew the name of that song did you?) but who does he think he's fooling? He's not Rock & Roll! He's a lounge singer doing Rock & Roll songs! So I am going to say Queen's "We Will Rock You". Funk's anthem? Cameo's "Word Up".
I don't want to say who I want to win this match up. I don't want to curse them. But for those of you keeping score on me, I'll give you one more to laugh at. I'm going to pick...Funk! Funk to win it all. I think Funk has a good chance at winning it. Funk won it's match yesterday by a higher percentage than Rock & Roll did. Let's see what happens.

So we lost Michael Jackson last night. Here's a MJ song that I think you probably haven't heard on TV yet. For some reason, this video used to scare the shit out of me as a kid.

Go root for USA in the Confederation Cup finals. The first FIFA finals for The USA ever!
See you after the voting is done.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Music Genres - Round 4 (The Final Four)

Wow! We had a nail biter there towards the end of the Final Four voting. Rhythm 'N Blues had the lead all day and within the last hour of voting Classical had pulled within two. But Rhythm 'N Blues stuck it out and won with a score of 18 - 15.

Well here we are. We started out with 32 genres and now we are down to only four. And oh boy what a four! If you thought some of the past match ups were hard to decide on wait til you get a load of this.
(1) Rhythm 'N Blues vs (3) Funk - How did this happen?! This is like a set of twins fighting each other. Let's look at Funk first. Coaching Team Funk is James Brown. His starting 5 are Parliment/Funkadelic, Rick James, The JBs, Earth Wind and Fire, and Sly & The Family Stone. And backing them up on the bench is Cameo, Kool & The Gang, Roger & Zapp, Slave, The Bar-Kays (to be honest funk should win just based on that Bar-Kays video link), and The Gap Band.
Now coaching Rhythm 'N Blues is Marvin Gaye and his starting 5 are Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Aretha Franklin, and Curtis Mayfield. On the bench we've got Isaac Hayes, Roberta Flack, Donnie Hathaway, Prince, Mary J Blige, Lauren Hill, Ashford and Simpson, Teddy Pedergrass, Whitney Houston, Anita Baker, and Frankie Beverly and Maze.
But the lines are blurred. Some songs from these artists apply to both categories!
My vote goes to Rhythm 'N Blues.
(1) Rock 'N Roll vs (3) Blues - There is no doubt. None at all...that Rock 'N Roll is a direct decendent of The Blues. The Rolling Stones took there name from a line in Muddy Waters's "Mannish Boy". The words rock and roll appear in many many Blues songs long before they come to be used to define a style of music. But once Rock & Roll comes into its own there is no stopping it. It becomes a juggnaught that changes the way America thinks not just about music but even about life. While Blues was the soundtrack to Black American life during Reconstruction and the Great Depression, Rock & Roll was the soundtrack to America's coming of age. The 50s, the 60s, the 70s and the 80s. Both can encite a riot. Both can make you fall in love. Both can make you cry. Both can make you understand.
But for my money, The Blues is what it's all about.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Music Genres - Round 3 (The Elite Eight)

ROUND 3!! Only one upset comes out of Round 2 and that's the mighty, mighty Blues over Hip-Hop. So let's look at the Elite Eight match ups.

(3) Blues vs (4) Disco - Well Disco, you've come a long way. Do you have what it takes to beat the Blues? Most people are very familiar with the cheesy Disco (Your weak points). So let's introduce them to the good stuff, like Ecstacy Passion and Pain, Eddie Kendricks's "Date With The Rain", or Chicago's "Street Player". Yeah that's the Disco I love. How can you compete with that?
Well like Angel "This Girl" Collins pointed out The Blues has people named Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Z.Z. Hill, R.L. Burnside and KoKo Taylor. Folks with names that make you not want to run across them in a dark alley. Disco has names like K.C. and The Sunshine Band, Andy Gibbs, and Chic. Who's gonna win that fight? Disco, I love you. It's been real fun playing you in my DJ sets but I'm going with The Blues on this one.
(1) Rock 'N Roll vs (2) Jazz - A #1 vs a #2. Tough choosing here. John Coletrane vs Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis vs The Doors, Janis Joplin vs Ella Fitzgerald. Thelonious Monk vs Jerry Lee Lewis, The Who vs Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck vs AC/DC, Art Tatum vs Queen, Tito Puente vs Carlos Santana!!! What to do?! My all time favorite album is Miles Davis's "Kind of Blue". Jazz, my vote goes with you.
(3) Funk vs (2) Reggae - Oh Lawd! James Brown, Parliment, Funkadelic, Sly and the Family Stone, Earth Wind And Fire, Kool and The Gang. *sigh* Bob Marley and The Wailers, Toots And The Maytals, Jackie Mitoo, Sly & Robbie, Buju Banton, Sizlla. Oh my goodness. I love you both so much but there is no greater feeling than dropping a Funkadelic song in a DJ set.
(1) Rhythm and Blues vs (2) Classical - My two favorite R&B artists are Stevie Wonder and Roberta Flack. And while I can listen to them all day every day and still hear something new in the same songs, I am always blown away by the complexity of a Gustav Mahler symphony. How could one man write something that with out words puts a whole story in my head? Nina Simone is one of the purest R&B talents the world has ever created. Her songs leap forth with feeling and emotion. But she was a classical trained piano performer first, and one listen to a Rachmaninov piano concerto helps you understand how she got so good. I honestly thought my vote would go to Rhythm & Blues but after careful thought, I'm going with Classical.

So who do you plan to vote for?


Monday, June 22, 2009

Music Genres - Round 2 (The Sweet Sixteen)

Well we finally made it to Round 2. The Sweet Sixteen. Let me tell you, I went down to one of Macon's popular downtown bars to celebrate a close friend's birthday (Happy birthday Ben Potter). There was only about 2 hours left to go in the voting and I was shocked at how many people came up to me to fuss and complain or gloat about the outcomes of the first round. It was all in fun but I was really blown away by how much people were getting into this. Hopefully that's a good sign.

So let's talk about what happened here. As expected, Hip-Hop, Rock 'N Roll, and Rhythm 'N Blues all moved on easily. In fact Rhythm 'N Blues put on a clinic with Polka. Polka only received 1 vote! That one vote came from my friend Uncle Vic. Vic is the guy behind the Coffee Cake logo and he made sure the brackets looked presentable. Thank you so much for your work on the website and on many other things you've done for me, Vic. Trust me, you all will get to know him over the next few months. He has kept me laughing since I first came up with the idea for this site.
But back to the winners and losers. There was one #1 who got beat down in the first round. Unbelievable! Country lost to Lounge! I know I said I was a lounge fan and if you know me really well, you know I love to sing the theme to the love boat. I love Tom Jones. One of my dreams is to do a lounge act in Vegas. But never would I have though that Lounge could hold a candle to Country. Now I know that we have people voting from Chicago and Detroit and many other places but at this point I still think MOST of the readers on this site are from the south. Didn't matter huh? Well right on, Lounge.
# 2 Pop loses to Ska while the rest of the #2s easily advance. All of the #3s move on to the next round. # 4s Disco and Indie-Rock (one of the funniest statements I heard about the first round was, "DAMN!! Indie-Rock is eating Metal's lunch." There is so much that is funny about that statement when you really think about it.) ease on down the road. While #4 Techno loses to Grunge and #4 Afro-Beat loses to Drum and Bass.
The biggest disappointment for me? Samba. I thought Samba could beat Classical and even though they started out behind, they came back, tied up, and even took the lead. But Classical pulled away and never looked back. A strong showing from Samba all the same. You shouldn't be down on yourself Samba. You did good. I'll still dance my ass off to you when I hear you.

So what's in store for the second round? Let's take a look at the match ups.
(1) Hip-Hop vs (3) Blues - This is fucked up! Blues gave birth to Jazz and Rock & Roll. And Jazz sure had a hand in the birth of Hip-Hop. So this is like Grandfather vs Grandson. Does Blues put its experience and "old man strength" to work against Hip-Hop or does the younger, faster Hip-Hop (now pushing 40) put a hurting on its grandpa? I think it will be a close match but I am going with Hip-Hop.
(4) Disco vs (6) Ska - Disco. You love it or you hate it. Most people think Disco and they think The Bee Gees. In that case I can understand why you hate it. Ska. Once a sound from the Caribbean, now strongly associated with really cool white guys in London. And Ska just pulled off the upset so we know the Ska fans are out there. But me being who I am, I'm going with Disco.
(1) Rock 'N Roll vs (3) Motown - Wow. This is a tough one. Rock could be all things good or bad. Follow me now. Chuck Berry (Good), Good Charlotte (Bad), Jerry Lee Lewis (Good), Fall Out Boy (Bad), The Who (Good), Korn (I liked them when I was younger but truth be told, Bad). You see where I am going with this. Now Motown. I know. I have a bias right? I'm from Detroit. Well, I am not a big Motown fan. Nope. You know what keeps me turning back to Motown? Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye. The rest of the acts were too polished from the late 50s into the 60s. Motown seemed to hit it's stride for me in the 70s and then was done by the 80s. But Stevie and Marvin were always good. Hometown takes it. Motown. Big up Jackson 5!
(2) Jazz vs (4) Indie Rock - Miles vs R.E.M.? Jazz please. Thank you.
(3) Funk vs (8) Lounge - Lounge, I love you. But the clock just struck 12. You are turning into a pumpkin and James Brown is about to go on. It's been real, but this is where I get off the bandwagon.
(2) Reggae vs (7) Grunge - Take your plaid shirt and get to stepping. Bob Marley is really singing about pain.
((1) Rhythm 'N Blues vs (3) Punk - Tough choice. R&B can be full of true love and passion and hurt. Punk does hurt damn good and true punks sing it like they want to do something about what's causing the hurt. I'm going with R&B.
(2) Classical vs (7) Drum and Bass - The drugs have worn off. The sun is up. The party's over Drum and Bass. Go home. Classical, play me a song.

So what do you think? Let us know.

Don't forget, you can follow The Extravaganza on Twitter @CCExtravaganza.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Music Genres - Round 1

Well here we go ladies and gentlemen. The Coffee Cake Extravaganza starts with the first round of the Music Genre tournament. Before everyone jumps on my case I want to go ahead and acknowledge a mistake. I mixed up some of the match ups and I am not able to fix them without doing far too much work. In this tournament the #2 seeds square off against #6, and #4s go up against #7, and #3s vs #5. I apologize I caught this error when it was too late to fix without completely starting over. So bear with me. This error will be corrected in the next tournament.

No big surprises from the #1 seeds. Hip-Hop, Rock and Roll, Country and Rhythm 'N Blues should all easily advance to the second round. I personally have a soft spot for Lounge (and that's where my vote will be going) and would love to see it pull off a big upset against Country but I just don't see it happening.

The #2 seeds have some very interesting match-ups. Pop music vs Ska. I'm pulling for Ska even though I think Pop has the upper hand. Jazz vs House. I love House music but my vote is going to Jazz. Reggae vs Opera. My vote goes to Reggae but I know that Reggae better not get over confident. There are still plenty of Opera lovers out there that could turn out for the vote. Now this is the match up I can't wait to see, Classical vs Samba. I think Samba is the Cinderella sleeper in this tournament. My vote is going to Samba even though I love Classical music and I think that Samba could make it as deep in the tournament as the Elite 8.

No surprises from the #3s. I have Blues taking Folk. Motown (Go Detroit!) over Bluegrass, Funk over Southern Rock, and what for me would be a close match up, Punk over Calypso.

In the #4 I have Disco and Indie-Rock easily winning their match ups. I am pulling hard for Afro-Beat over Drum and Bass and I think the only reason Drum and Bass can pull this one off is because people may not be familiar with Afro-Beat. If you are an Afro-Beat fan (or want to learn more about it) there is a great podcast from Gilles Peterson featuring an interview with the father of the genre, Tony Allen. Give it a listen. Now, this last one could be interesting. Techno vs Grunge. Both genres have lost all of their former glory but people still hold on to the nostalgia of their memories. My Detroit roots lead me to vote for Techno, but I can see Grunge giving Techno an ass whoopin' if the Techno lovers don't show up. GO TECHNO!!!

Here we go. It's the first round! Have fun!

The Coffee Cake Extravaganza Bracket

So here it is. This is a list of all of the categories we will be voting on and discussing over the next 6 months. We will start on the left side and go down and then down the right side. So our first category will be Music Genres. Click on the picture above to see a larger version of it.

I'm really excited about a few quite a few of these. For example, our second category, Home Cooked Dishes was a lot of fun to put together so I know it is going to be a lot of fun to vote on and discuss. Thanks to everyone on Facebook who gave suggestions to that category. I am also really excited about Gods, Cartoon Shows, Beers, Toys and Famous Robots. However, I know that there are going to be some categories that will surprise me and be more fun than I ever expected.

We will vote on one round per day starting on Mondays and the championship will happen on Fridays.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What is the Coffee Cake Extravaganza?

Mmmmmm. Coffee cake. You know you like it. It's tasty. And there's nothing I like better than a tasty pastry. However, coffee cake gets a bad rap because it conjures up images of little old ladies sitting around the room and talking. Now, I would guess most people would find that boring. Not this guy. I have a wicked little sense of humor and quite an imagination.

See, one of the things that happens when little old ladies get together and start talking is that a friendly little competition breaks out. They brag on their children and their profession. Who's grand kid is doing the best in school. Who's boyfriend drove the best car in high school. Well, what if they really got into it and broke out a tournament bracket and REALLY tried to figure out who had the cutest grand kid? Wouldn't you stick around for that? I know I would. I has the potential to become hilarious and maybe even violent. And wouldn't a room full of grandmothers in a brawl be one of the funniest things you've ever experienced?

Well that's what we are going to do here. I have made up a tournament bracket full of 32 very random categories that include Radio Personalities, Beer, Championship Teams, Fast Food Joints, Pop Stars, Political World Leaders and many more . We are going to break down each of those topics and vote on a winner for each. Then the winner of each category moves on to the Coffee Cake Extravaganza.

The Coffee Cake Extravaganza is the big daddy tournament. All 32 of the winners from the smaller tournaments go head to head so you could end up seeing match ups like Wolfman Jack vs The 1984 Detroit Tigers, or Taco Bell vs Brittany Spears. Who knows? But it will be fun doing it. So cut yourself a nice big piece of coffee cake, pour yourself a steaming cup of coffee and combine your inner little old lady with your inner nerd, political junkie, sports freak, music lover, pop fanatic, and fun loving inner child and join the madness. Just like the NCAA College Basketball Tournament, each of our tournaments are sure to be full of the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat, the sweet upsets and the sure shot #1s.
-Roger Riddle