Friday 1 May 2009

Fried Chicken And Weed...

Here are a couple of book reviews I did for Vice magazine's most recent issue, The Technology Issue. I guess my expertise in the fields of weed and fried chicken made me an obvious candidate for reviewing books with such topics...


Siaron Hughes
Mark Batty Publishers

This is yet another one of my forgotten stoned ideas come to fruition. I must be a virtual millionaire in stoned ideas. It is a book documenting fried-chicken shops in London and the US. I had heard about this book’s intention a number of years back but I was fairly certain it would lack all the classics. But, man, it has them all. It even has ChickPizz in there. And one I’d never even seen before, Hen Cottage. Hen Cottage? Really? “Hi, can I have two pieces of fried hen, please?” Just wrong. What’s with the names, though? I mean, they’re always referencing fried chicken’s spiritual home, America, hence Orlando Fried Chicken, Tennessee Fried Chicken and so on, but Kennedy Fried Chicken? In America I kind of understand, but here? Why would you go to a Kennedy Fired Chicken over, say, Finger Lickin’ Chicken? Anyways, the book focuses more on the graphic impact of the chicken shop, its logo, the menu, and the often suggestive slogans used: “dunk your dipper”, “taste me”, and, well, you get the idea. There are interviews with owners, the dude who designs the signage and even the guy who devises the menus, although there is one ingredient missing. I reckon this book could really have benefited from having a chicken rating section and price guide. There’s nothing about the actual chicken in it and although that might be the point, it’s really made me hungry for my local, Mighty Chicken in Hackney. Which, by the way, is not featured in the book, but offers some pretty heavy deals.

Quick American Archives

This is a book solely about weed and the quest for the ultimate bud, or “dank”. Wow, even saying that word leaves a really horrible taste in my mouth. The author even goes under the alias “Subcool”. I’m guessing he is using this to protect his identity, owing to the illegality of his profession, but he just come across sounding like a graphic designer who grafs snow in Germany for Banksy fans. There are 37 strains of weed in this book, all of which are products of his breeding and selection. He lists the families he’s bred them from, their sativa and indica count and even describes the flavours like the connoisseur he undoubtedly is. It may well be nicely shot and very informative if smoking bud is your thing, but the kind of guys who sell weed round my way couldn’t give a shit about growing weed “consciously”. In fact, the concept would probably be so alien to them you’d have to spend a fortnight explaining it to them. They just spray the stuff with glue and add crushed glass for weight and not give you 'dank'. It's really a bit frustrating as a weedhead to look at this book. All that amazing weed you're NEVER going to smoke. I guess this is how a paedophile feels at an under-12s football game in the summer. A great 'weed table' book though.

Don't forget my weekly music blog on viceland too...

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