01 March 2009

In which Bethany rants and marvels

First of all, I can't stop talking about this band.

I've been reading a lot of the reviews/criticism of Tinted Windows. Now, it's not really fair to write an opinion piece on the existence of a group, when you haven't heard their single yet. But that's not what ticks me off the most.

Most of what's circulating reads kind of like this: "new supergroup...Tinted Windows...dumb band name...Taylor Hanson? are you kidding me? Mmmbop...what the hell are the Cheap Trick and Pumpkins guys doing in the same band with the Hanson kid...blah blah blah".

1. 'Middle of Nowhere' (Hanson's first album) came out in 1997. I do believe my parents gave it to me for my 10th birthday. THAT WAS 12 YEARS AGO.

2. Taylor Hanson would have been 14. It's obnoxious to claim that someone who is now 25 is producing the same kind of music that they came up with in their early teens. I mean, Hanson didn't sound anything like 'MmmBop' even by the release of 'This Time Around' in 2000 (which was damn near 10 years ago). No one near my age that I've ever met listens to the same thing they listened to a decade ago.

3. Invoking the noun 'MmmBop' is a cop out. Any critic that's going to have anything worthwhile to say about Tinted Windows needs to have gotten all of the Hanson-bashing out of their system first. Alas, that would rid us of about 90% of them.

And then there was the critic who said he didn't really enjoy Fountains of Wayne. Double-u tee f. That sentence just plain doesn't compute.

Now that I've aired my grievances, how about this for interesting?

Friday morning I was reading an article in the Oberlin Review talking about how the local businesses have been dealing with the economic recession. There was some discussion about how shops like Bead Paradise have had to drastically change their ordering/stocking levels, but most of the article was centered on food prices, which affect both grocery stores and restaurants.

The biggest change we've seen so far was the recent closing of Downtown Pizza. Agave has since changed their hours to pick up more of the late-night crowd, and the Black River Cafe made up a dinner menu and is open in the evenings as of a few weeks ago. Just like probably everywhere else in the country, most restaurants and groceries have had to increase their prices. However, the person the reporter talked to at the Oberlin Market said that if she hadn't read about the recession in the papers and heard about it from other people, she wouldn't have known it was happening. Why isn't it impacting her business?

She sells mostly local and organic food. Oddly enough, when you don't use pesticides and don't ship things very far, oil prices don't really raise food costs. It may cost more in the first place, but local and organic food is becoming more competitive with Big Agriculture.

Isn't that kind of neat?


Emily said...

I read that article too, and I do suspect that the clientele at the Oberlin Market leans more towards the well-to-do who have more money to spend and people who are devoted to the cause of local and organic food. I definitely think that small/local/organic starting to balance out the big/industrial/fossil-fuel-y in terms of cost has something to do with it, but I think the Oberlin Market's relative success is largely related to customer base, because while prices haven't really risen there, they were high to begin with.

bdraeger said...

That's definitely true, Emily. I don't think it says a lot about the current relative affordability of local, organic food as compared to large, industrial agriculture, but I think it says a lot about how local and organic food is not only better for the environment, but a more economically stable choice. It's more expensive to begin with, but it's not at the mercy of dangerously harmful recessions. A solid investment, if you will.


bdraeger said...

A better way of phrasing it: if the food industry in this country was based in local and organic foods, we wouldn't see food costs drastically inflate.

It's not feasible for everyone in the short term, but in the long run, we'd be so much better off economically.

Emily said...

That is definitely true- a food system based on local foods is more stable. I like the term solid investment for it :o)

Emily said...

PS Black River dinner is delicious.