Cigar Review: Cuaba Salomones Cuban Cigar

Unlike brands such as Fuente, Partagas, Montecristo or Cohiba, ‘Cuaba’ cigars are exclusively Cuban grown and made. While not the biggest, most known brand of Cuban craft, they are worthy of high praise. Watch our review of the pefecto Salomones below:

Interested in Cubans? Check this- Cigar Review: Sancho Panza Belicoso

Update: Album Review Teaser: Nothing More ‘The Stories We Tell Ourselves’

Every once in a while a band comes along to challenge a genre, a consensus or just themselves. The San Antonio, Texas based band Nothing More did just that back in 2013 when they released their self-titled album and hit the road in hopes of being ‘discovered’, which they promptly did.

By 2014, the band was signed to Eleven Seven music and re-released their ‘Nothing More’ album (their 5th release, by the way- the rest were self-produced by the band). The album was well received, garnering three top-10 U.S. singles for the band on American Rock Radio. Furthermore, the ability for charismatic front man Jonny Hawkins to captivate the audience through his physically intense on-stage antics and unique stage props like a 360 degree bass guitar contraption earned them respect among their touring peers.

The new album ‘The Stories We Tell Ourselves’ (available September 15th) is one of the most anticipated releases of 2017. We caught up with singer Jonny Hawkins to dissect the album track by track and will be releasing the full interview/review ahead of the official September album release date. In the meantime, enjoy not one but two video reviews of the two new songs released a few weeks ago from Nothing More as part of our ‘Music Review Thursday’ series!

On July 13th, Nothing More released another song from the new album titled “Let ‘Em Burn”. Here’s the latest teaser on that track along with some intimate background info on the song!

Here’s Jonny and us talking about the first official single, ‘Go To War’:

 

…and here is the longer video review, talking about the making of the uniquely sounding ‘Don’t Stop’:

Here’s the latest Nothing More excerpt from August 3rd, 2017!

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JOIN IN ON THE DISCUSSION ON FACEBOOK!

 

Music Review: Greta Van Fleet ‘Black Smoke Rising’ EP

The term ‘overnight sensation’ isn’t thrown around too often in today’s rock musical climate, but that is a proper moniker for the Michigan band Greta Van Fleet! Their first single ‘Highway Tune’ quickly consumed American rock radio airwaves in short order and they are now the new ‘buzz band’ to watch.

Frankly their EP ‘Black Smoke Rising’ is worthy of the praise; a gritty mix of Led Zeppelin and The Black Crows. The fact that the band is comprised of three brothers and one outsider (who considers himself part of the ‘brother’ family) and that they are all quite young (two are 18 and two are 21) is an important part of the Greta story.

Perhaps due in part to the success of artists like The Black Keys, Royal Blood, Kings of Leon and their somewhat retro vibe, or possibly an answer to the 2000’s ‘Nu Metal’ rut that a lot of rock’s more recent superstars (Disturbed, Three Days Grace, Seether, Linkin Park), the Greta Van Fleet sound, while a distinct throwback to the more blues-based sound of the 70’s is a refreshing shift in the rock musical landscape.

Watch our candid discussion with the band as we review their EP ‘Black Smoke Rising’ below:

Check Out Some Of Our Other Music Reviews Here!

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Beer Review: Mammoth Lair Of The Bear

There aren’t too many barrel aged beers that can truly capture the essence of bourbon (when bourbon barrel aged). We’ve tried some of the best like the barrel aged line from The Bruery in Orange County, California or the bourbon barrel seasonal (very limited release) from Great Basin Brewery in Northern Nevada, but this one from Mammoth Brewing ranks up there!

If you are looking for a rich, malty, full bourbon flavor, you’ve got to try this incredibly dark beer. Here’s our take:

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER BEER REVIEWS HERE!

Music Review: Papa Roach ‘Crooked Teeth’

So, us ‘Doods’ had a chance to sit down with music promoter Ken Anthony from All Access Music Group (and also a talent at 95.5 KLOS in Los Angeles) to discuss the new album from Papa Roach. Ken was privy to an album premiere with the band at their L.A. studios and has some interesting insight to the making of their 9th studio release.

Watch as we discuss what Papa Roach did differently this time around to both help them get back to their roots, but also break the mold and challenge themselves in new, interesting ways!

We’ve got reviews coming soon from both Greta Van Fleet and an early album premiere of the new Nothing More release ‘The Stories We Tell Ourselves’.

Wanna get an alert the next time we post a blog? Just hit the ‘subscribe’ button at the bottom of the page to be the first in the know!

CHECK OUT SOME OF OUR OTHER MUSIC REVIEWS HERE!

Tri-Tip Two Ways

BBQ season in full swing and West of the Rockies, we cook tri-tip (East of the Rockies, Brisket is the bbq cut of choice).

In the video below, we show you a hot and slow (as opposed to low and slow) cook of two tri-tip cuts over a gas grill. One has been prepared in a red wine marinade while the other has been done with a dry brine coffee rub.

Importantly, one crutial step when preparing a tri-tip is cutting correctly as to yield tender slices of meat. We cover that too!

READY TO MAKE THE BEST CHICKEN BREAST ON THE GRILL? CLICK HERE!

It Doesn’t Work For Shit: Ep. 1: Viddyoze Software Review

It’s always nice to find software that makes a video producers life a bit easier, however when you get duped into buying something that doesn’t perform as advertised and is clunky to boot, then becomes a spam-artist, it really pisses you off. Such is the case with Viddyoze!

They hard sell you with a slick video presentation, showing a ton of amazing graphics and promising ease in use as the hook, then sell immediacy with a ‘limited time offer’ for those who want to buy out the program (many software programs are subscription based with monthly fees). Buyer beware: there is little to no mention of a ‘premium’ package available when you do the buy out, thus making the purchaser think they get all these slick lights, bells and whistles for one low fee with access forever.

Truth be known, the templates are limited at best, with many of the same template in multiple categories, there is no way to preview your production, you can render multiple items at once and the site often crashes. In a nutshell:

IT DOESN’T WORK FOR SHIT! Here’s the proof in the spoiled pudding:

CHECK OUT OUR OTHER PRODUCT AND BUSINESS REVIEWS HERE!

Music Review: Seether ‘Poison The Parish’

For their 7th album, Shaun Morgan and Seether have really dug deep. When I say ‘deep’, I mean in the dark way, stirring up emotions and notions of mental and personal challenges many of us face on a daily basis over a lifetime; love, loss, lack of self confidence, suicidal thoughts, anger, depression, hopelessness et al. This is NOT a ‘feel-good’ album!

Since 2002, Seether has been a workhorse band, continually cycling through writing, releasing an album, touring and right back to writing again. It’s no secret that front-man Shaun Morgan has fought with his demons, ultimately leading to the break up of his highly publicized relationship with Evanescence’s singer Amy Lee and subsequent stint in rehab in 2006 for alcoholism.

Prior to its release, Seether indicated that this was the ‘heaviest album they’ve ever written’, and arguably, it is. Watch the video below for our take!

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LEAVE A COMMENT ON OUR VIDEO FOR A CHANCE TO WIN FREE STUFF!

Bacon And Chorizo Burger Review

Brother Dave and Jave got together recently to make true bacon burgers! Now we’re not talking about any ol’ hamburger with bacon on top. We’re talking two pounds of raw bacon, thrown through a meat grinder and mixed with two pounds of ground beef for one hell of a tasty burger! Even if you don’t own a meat grinder, you can still chop the bacon by hand. Tip: put the bacon in the freezer for 20-30 minutes prior to chopping to make it easier to cut through, and use a very sharp knife!

Here’s another tip: You know how bacon really shrinks up when frying in a pan? Well, your bacon burger will do something similar, so make sure the patties are bigger than your normal, everyday average hamburger.

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As a bonus, we also cooked up some chorizo burgers using basque chorizo, not that uber-red, oily Mexican stuff you’d find at your local grocer. Now, I’m not saying the store-bought Mexican chorizo wouldn’t be bad, it just may be ultra-messy.

Enjoy~

CHECK OUT OUR COOKING PAGE FOR MORE!

Music Review: Citizen Zero ‘State Of Mind’

Check out our interesting discussion with Josh Lemay, vocalist for Citizen Zero as we talk about the making of their debut album ‘State Of Mind’, get a peek at his living room (with very cool back-lit TV) and meet his dog over a glass of wine!

From the haunting start of ‘Go (Let Me Save You)’ to the in-your-face ‘Lure And Persuade’, Josh reveals what’s behind the music, including the inspiration for the songs and the making of the album.

We also discuss how they got together with a Symphony to ‘live’ record some of their songs for now viral videos on YouTube. Check out this amazing example!

Check Out Our Other Music Reviews Here!

 

 

Music Review: Red Sun Rising ‘Polyester Zeal’

Once every few years, a new band gets a shot at national exposure and changes the musical landscape for the better. For the years 2014 and 2015, there were two that really struck a cord, not only with me but also for the million’s of new fans who discovered their music. The first of these is the Akron, Ohio based band ‘Red Sun Rising’. To their acclaim, they are the first new rock band since Trapt to have scored two #1 singles from their debut album; a tough feat considering the proliferation of streaming services and song downloads!

Emerging onto radio station playlists with the haunting first notes of the track ‘The Otherside’, reminiscent of early Alice In Chains, the song immediately drew people in. Upon hearing ‘The Otherside’, and much like the days of my youth, curiosity made me want to get a hold of the entire album to see if this was just a lucky track (which has been known to happen ie. One Hit Wonder) or if this band was the real deal.

Having a career in radio, it has long been important to me, before investing airtime in a band, that I have a good idea of their long-term shelf life potential, meaning ‘does this band stand a chance to become, due to the strength of the entire album and number of great songs, a “CORE” artist to the future of my radio station brand? For smart radio operators, this is a good question to ask. To my delight, the album has legs; there is a ton of great material to play and listen to!

Adding to that, their live shows are unbelievable. In fact, having seen thousands of acts rise from baby bands to super-stardom, typically they hit the ground running, but late in the tour, while the music may be tighter, the singer has a tougher time hitting those high notes and nailing each performance. Red Sun Rising is not that band. In fact, they sounded far better the last time I saw them (2 years into a constant touring schedule) than they did the first time I got to see them play. The musicianship was tighter, and the vocals were at an 11!

Check out our review of ‘Polyester Zeal’, song by song to get a glimpse of what is under the surface and beyond the fray of what only gets commercial exposure. Vocalist Mike Protich really shines on tracks like ‘Blister’, ‘My Muse’ and ‘Bliss’.

Hope you enjoy!

Meet The Show Sunday: Here’s Jave!

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Sculpture Fest Reno, Nevada 2017

We like art, however one of us is an ‘audio artist’ while the other is more of a graphic artist with a history in the metal-working trade.

For the 3rd year in a row, Reno, Nevada has been host to a gathering of sculptures known as Sculpture Fest: 40 or so pieces placed around the downtown corridor. The 2017 event drew about 30,000 from around Northern Nevada and Northern California. Here are some of the highlights!

Meet F*$kin Andy!

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Meet The Show Sunday: Here’s Jave!

So, we (Andy and I) got the idea to launch Two Doods Reviews due to the shear amount of crappy review videos that exist on YouTube. We figured, ‘if some of these folks can be posting stuffy content on YouTube and be successful with it, why can’t we post some crappy video stuff too?!?’

So, here’s a peek into what the mind of Jave looks like with five questions written by Jill and Andy! Enjoy~

Meet Hot Chick #2: Allison

Her name is Allison- friends call her Ally, like the cat. Her husband Jave calls her squirrel because she’s crazy and easily distracted.

Here’s her time in the ‘hot seat’!

Cooking With HelloFresh

Ease of use differs from one food delivery service to the next. Most take around 30 minutes from prep to plate; some a bit longer and few a bit shorter, but 30 is average. Check out the video below, showing how easy (or cumbersome) doing a HelloFresh meal was!

Check Out The Home Chef Home Delivery Review

And How About Blue Apron?

Hello Fresh Home Meal Delivery Unboxing

It seems like every day there’s either a new home meal delivery service popping up, or at least an add for one of the big, established services popping up on the Facebook feed. We’ve done reviews on both Blue Apron and Home Chef. Now check out what you get when you receive a box from Hello Fresh!

Five Basic Coffee Hacks Every Coffee Lover Needs To Know

Now that the weather is warming up in the Northern Hemisphere, you may find yourself tempted to sit out on the porch in the early morning, sipping on the nectar of the gods and watch the sun rise. Well nothing will screw that up faster than a crappy cup of bitter java. In fact, the essentials include a great coffee like Warrior Roasters, a quality burr grinder (avoid blade grinders as they tend to actually cook your coffee and impart bitterness) and a great, premium coffee maker (see our review on the Ninja Coffee Bar at the end of this article).

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Here are five coffee hacks as stolen from Buzzfeed:

1.  Let your coffee cool down for a few minutes before you drink it.  A few different studies have found it tastes better that way.  If it’s super hot, it tends to taste stronger, and a little more bitter.

2.  If it still tastes bitter, add a pinch of salt.  You can add it to the coffee grinds, or just sprinkle some in your cup after you brew it.  Some people swear by it.  And it can save calories, because you won’t need as much cream to cut the bitterness.

3.  Save money by making your own flavored creamer.  Just add a few drops of vanilla extract or hazelnut extract to some half-and-half.  It should taste pretty close, and it’s a lot healthier.  A lot of those store-bought creamers have trans fats and a ton of sugar.

4.  Make your own frothy milk in the microwave.  Just pour some milk in a mason jar . . . shake it up . . . take the lid off . . . and nuke it for about 30 seconds.  Then spoon it onto your coffee so it looks like a cappuccino.

5.  Stop Storing Your Beans In the Freezer! For whatever reason, I grew up watching my folks store their beans in the freezer thinking that this would help them stay fresher longer. Well, hate to break it to you, but it’s simply not true! The only thing the freezer is going to do is keep them colder, not fresher. In fact the best way to store your beans is in an air-tight container (should you look to grind ’em and use ’em within seven days) or in the bag they were purchased in as coffee beans will give off gas that really should escape, while not allowing air in. Keep your coffee container in a cool, dry environment, away from the stove and sunlight. Amazon.com has some nifty coffee storing containers on the cheap (less than $10).

Want more? Buzzfeed offers a full 21 tips here!

CHECK OUT HOW TO PROPERLY TASTE TEST YOUR COFFEE!

Meet F*$kin Andy!

Often times the loud, demanding, commanding one of the Doods, check out Andy’s softer, gentler side in the video below and hear the answer to the question ‘If you accept 2 million dollars, someone dies. Do you accept?’ Man- that’s harsh!

Meet Hot Chick #1: JILL

Five Whisky Review

We were very lucky to have recently been invited to a ‘Whiskies Of The World’ whisky cocktail and food pairing by Tracie Barnthouse, Communications Manager at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa. They do these kinds of events every few months, ranging from whisky and tequila tastings to beer and wine dinners. This one was sponsored by Jim Beam, so all the products tasted were on the JB label. Take a look at the night’s menu:

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Wow, some amazing and interesting stuff there! From what we recall, we had a great time! I mean, we started with 10 drinks, then added another 5 plus a glass of wine on top of it during the dinner. Suffice to say, we were buzzed by the end (thank you LYFT!). Thankfully, we captured the pre-‘dark’ moments in the video below, where we sample and review each unique whisky along with a cocktail made by Bistro Napa/Atlantis ‘mixologist’ Casey Hall (total ROCKSTAR, btw) using said spirit.

We also learned that there are four basic whiskies: American (bourbon or blended), Scottish (Scotch), Irish and Japanese…and we learned that Andy still thinks Scotch sucks!

Check out the video~

Does it make the clothes fall off? See in our Tequila Review: Clase Azul

Tequila Review: Clase Azul

This doesn’t come out of the liquor closet often but when it does, MAN- what a treat! Perhaps one of the finest tequila’s us DOODS have ever tried, it is on the pricey side at over $100 for a 1l bottle (and about $75 or so for the .5), but worth every sip!

We’d love to have the budget for the Anejo, but gotta say this Reposado is everything a wonderful tequila should be. Smooth, creamy, bright, smoky and oakey.

As stolen from the Clase Azul website: Clase Azul is aged in used American oak barrels for eight months after it has gone through the distillation process. Each bottle is made with high quality white ceramic and then hand painted by artisans in our bottling facility.

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Our bottle is pink as a portion of their proceeds benefit Breast Cancer Awareness. Check out our review!

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