Musical Pairings

It is Fall in the Bay Area, and like most other places on the West coast, that means it gets dark earlier in the evenings, stays dark longer in the mornings, and we are already seeing some monsoon-like rains that will be more and more frequent in the coming months.  And although there is nothing wrong with throwing on The Morning Benders’ excellent Bedroom Covers album or the Papercuts’ fantastic You Can Have What You Want and pulling out a bottle of red wine and choosing to accept and deal with the weather (great albums for that purpose by the way); a healthy dose of defiance/denial can occasionally be just the trick to keep yourself sane.  And what better way to do that than with some romping, energetic electric guitar-laden rock n’ roll?  And of course I have just the albums for you: Silian Rail’s And I You, To Pieces and French Miami’s eponymous debut.

San Francisco two-piece instrumental Silian Rail are one of the Bay Area’s most powerful live performances.  With only two musicians they absolutely own the stage: Robin (guitarist) and Eric (drums) deftly craft complex melodies based around repetitive rhythms and melodies. Kinetic drumming blasts forward alongside muscular, yet intricate guitar work. As a result they’ve developed a “sound” that is both distinctive and compelling. And although their album, And I You, To Pieces, doesn’t entirely capture the explosiveness and energy of their live performance, it does demonstrate dynamic song-writing and agile musical instincts.  A cerebral and intricate debut, And I You, To Pieces is a recommended addition to your collection.  Head over to their MySpace page to pick it up – and definitely keep your eyes peeled for their next release.  These guitar licks are so heavy, they are almost metal, and for this reason, I recommend Kasey’s cast iron skillet-seared cod with mushrooms recipe as a great musical pairing for this recipe.

[audio:|artists=Silian Rail|titles=Tituba] Silian Rail – “Tituba”

French Miami consists of drummer Chris Crawford, and Jason Heiselmann and Roland Curtis sharing guitar and synth responsibilities. Their debut album is angular and synth-laden featuring shout out loud vocals mingled with math-rock guitar riffs and steady, rhythmic percussion that alternates between danceable, droning and explosive.  Think Battles and Trans Am meet Fugazi.

[audio:|artists=French Miami|titles=God Damn Best] French Miami – “God Damn Best”

The album opens with the track “God Damn Best” featuring electrified, jittery guitar and Crawford’s steady, propulsive drumming as Heiselmann sings, “we make, we break, we cheat, we live.” During the bridge, jagged guitar bubbles up through a heavy wash of synth as Heiselmann asks, “whatcha gonna do with all that, whatcha gonna do with love, love, love . . . whatcha gonna love?” It is a powerful opener. Other album highlights include: “Science Fiction,” “Multi Caliber Rifles,” “Lil’ Rabbits,” and “SFO.” Stop by their website to pick up a copy of the album.  All the dancing and twitching willl make you wake up hungry, which is why I recommend reading Kasey’s recipe for ricotta pancakes to prepare for the morning after.

About Musical Pairings: Musical Pairings began as a way to combine Matthew’s love of music with his fiance Kasey’s love for cooking and dining out. Kasey regularly posts about our cooking and dining out adventures at and Matthew pairs Kasey’s recipes and reviews with his favorite albums at: Contact us at