Citric Acid Records is on the hunt for a graphic designer to design and layout artwork for an upcoming Orange peel moses single release. Interested candidates can email a portfolio or website link to firstname.lastname@example.org
Citric Acid Records is on the hunt for a graphic designer to design and layout artwork for an upcoming Orange peel moses single release. Interested candidates can email a portfolio or website link to email@example.com
It shouldn't be any secret that we can stand to learn a lot from Native Americans. Insects were a staple of many Native diets, especially when the hunters didn't bring home the bacon (or buffalo, as the case may be). Many of our primate ancestors ate bugs too (many modern primates still do). And it turns out that insects are incredibly efficient at converting plant matter into a healthy protein source for humans, while emitting minimal greenhouse gases and demanding significantly less land. To paraphrase Edible author Daniella Martin, cows are the SUVs of the animal agriculture world, while insects are the bicycles. How 'bout them apples? Cringe all you want, but insects are eaten by humans in 60% of countries around the world. America's aversion to eating bugs is actually strange. Some may remember that eating sushi was actually unpopular in America too before the 1970s, but we were able to overcome the psychological hurdles and gradually embrace the once-unfamiliar cuisine.
Pat Crowley is a rafting guide on the Colorado River. He's also a passionate hydrologist – someone that cares immensely about water conservation and the future of our water resources. The Colorado River that Crowley leads rafting expeditions on sadly no longer flows all the way to the Sea of Cortez due to the demands of high water-use crops grown as livestock feed in the middle of the desert. Crowley was listening to a TED talk about eating bugs when he learned that insects represented a nutritious protein source whose water needs were minimal. Thus, the cartoon lightbulb in his brain was illuminated. With the help of friends and family, Crowley conceived and founded a cricket protein bar company called Chapul. Deriving its name from chapulines, the spiced grasshoppers eaten in Mexico for hundreds of years, Chapul is dedicated to introducing edible insects into Western diets as a healthy and sustainable protein source.
The good news is, you don't have to eat cricket bars solely to save the planet. They actually taste good too – I buy boxes at a time, sharing whenever possible with those around me.
Insects bug most Americans. Captain Obvious strikes again. But a steadily growing number are opening their minds (and mouths) to potentially eco-friendly, often-nutritious six-legged grub. My bug buddy Michelle and I met one such fellow edible insect enthusiast while in Mexico to perform at a music festival. Tiffany was one of a group of performers and staff who'd decided to explore Teotihuacan, Mexico City's nearby pyramid complex, on the day before the show. Following the pyramid climb, Michelle and I wanted to patronize a nearby cave restaurant called La Gruta, and were ecstatic when we realized there were bugs on the menu. Tiffany was similarly excited, showing us a photo of her with a Giant Water Bug at a Seattle restaurant. Spiced caterpillars, chapulines (spiced grasshoppers) and escamole (ant eggs and larvae) were among the delicacies we dined on that day.
Fast forward several months. I'd gotten booked to dance on stilts at a Washington festival called Paradiso, and would be carpooling with Tiffany from Seattle. Patronizing the eatery where Tiff had imbibed Giant Water Bugs was a must. Upon arriving at Nue, the restaurant in question, I was hardly surprised to learn its menu is inspired by global street food (Linger, a Denver restaurant I blogged about recently, operates on a similar concept). In Japanese mythology, a Nue is a supernatural creature with the face of a monkey, the torso of a tanuki (Japanese raccoon dog), the limbs of a tiger and the tail of a snake. In other accounts, it has the back of a tiger, the legs of a tanuki and the tail of a fox (in yet other descriptions, it has the head of a cat and the torso of a chicken). It's an appropriate metaphor for Nue's menu, which is currently influenced by culinary treats from Bali, Barbados, Brazil, Burma, Cambodia, Ecuador, Holland, Hungary, Israel, Jamaica, Mexico, The Philippines, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Syria, Thailand and Vietnam.
Thailand is a hub of the edible bug world. No single country devours more insects. According to some accounts, vendors can barely keep pace with the demand, importing what they can't farm or harvest locally from neighboring countries. Unsurprisingly, Nue gets its Giant Water Bugs from Thailand. Flash frozen for the journey, the insects are thawed, blanched in salted water and served. My absolute favorite aspect of the experience was the smell. Giant Water Bugs smell intensely of flowers. I couldn't get enough. I probably inhaled the large insect's aroma for several minutes before even contemplating tasting it. A short photo shoot followed. To be clear, I don't pose with my bug bites to shock people. I do it to engage people in conversation, whether it's illogically biased bystanders, curious potential converts or hardcore entomophagists (edible insect enthusiasts). Being the only Giant Water Bug vet in our party, Tiffany demonstrated the ideal, shellfish-informed ingestion method (all insects are arthropods, which means they're related to shellfish).
Finally ready to dine, I tore the bug's wings off and broke open its body in order to suck out the insides. There are some 1900 species of insects known to be safe for human consumption. And it's estimated that about two billion people have intentionally tried at least one. Still, that's hundreds of flavors that many of us may never experience. Some of us refuse to sit idly by while global culinary adventures await. Nue's Giant Water Bugs certainly tasted strongly of the salt they were blanched with, but I have no words to describe the remainder of the unusual flavor.
If you find yourself in the shadow of the Space Needle, consider embarking on a culinary journey at Nue.
The 2018 edition of Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas will mark my tenth straight year performing for global EDM promoter Insomniac Events. In 2009, Insomniac Entertainment Director MsEasy invited me to join her team of Murder and Rodeo Clowns at the LA Coliseum for EDC’s flagship L.A. incarnation, and I've been involved ever since. I've inhabited a menagerie of characters in the past decade, in far flung locales including Brazil, China, India, Japan, London, Mexico, Puerto Rico and all over the U.S. Below is a laundry list of highlights to date (plus a special announcement about my role in this year’s tentpole event):
Being summoned to Insomniac CEO Pasquale Rotella's Park City VIP table as he was telling wife Holly Madison about my orange peel sculptures
Buzzing over Headliner heads as a giant purple bee
Careening around on jumping stilts as a florescent orange Furbie
Channeling Jimi Hendrix as a ukulele-playing, stilt-enhanced Marching Band Clown
Chauffeuring New Yorkers and Bay Area residents around in pedicabs and lady bug golf carts
Clowning around onstage with skateboard-riding members of LMFAO in Seattle
Dragon Knights stilt performers straddling the saddle of my four-legged stilt unicorn
Entertaining Pasquale’s daughter Rainbow with my Beanie Baby stilt pants at Sundance premiere
Filming EDC China trailer footage on the seventh floor balcony of Shanghai's W Hotel
Flailing the abnormally long slinky-like arms of Wildchild World's Slinky Stilts costume
Frolicking around Electric Forest as an ukulele-playing, jumping stilt-enabled Pan
Galloping over Forest family as a nine-foot tall, four-legged stilt zebra
Getting high fived by Pasquale after dancing EDC Brazil main stage as a Bee Boy
Having my balloon headpiece popped from behind by a confetti canon at Electric Forest
Hosting EDC Town Post Office as a Hunter S. Thompson-inspired Postmaster
Hugging Orlando attendees as a walking stuffed animal-esque pink octopus
Interviewing Pasquale, MsEasy and Insomniac Creative Director Bunny Eachon for Vegas Seven Magazine
Lassoing unsuspecting Headliners from atop stilts as a Rodeo Clown
Nodding off atop stilts in India
Orchestrating a main stage crowd-blanketing spiderweb in London
Partying at Insomniac HQ with my beloved fellow Insomniac Entertainers
Personifying Super Mario on jumping stilts at Electric Forest
Piloting an inflatable dinosaur in Puerto Rico
Pole vaulting over festie besties as a four-legged stilt tree
Providing a mobile backdrop for the Red Queen and her royal entourage as a four-legged rosebush
Puffing on a hookah and reciting nonsense as a giant foam caterpillar
Roller skating with the EDC Roller Girls
Scaring the bejesus out of EDC LA patrons as an axe-wielding Murder Clown
Serenading a VIP stranger with my original song "Butterflies" during main stage set break in Mexico
Squirting Bunny with my enema as forearm crutch-assisted Stilt Grandpa
Stilting in the sand at EDC Japan’s beach stage
Swallowing unsuspecting Headliner heads as a Muppet-inspired stilt fish
Tapping Halloweeners on the shoulder with my bony, animatronic Stilt Witch hands
Terrifying Escape patrons from my antique wheelchair as a Psych Patient
Wearing prosthetic rabbit mask and fur pants on jumping stilts
Though I've been singing and playing ukulele as a stilt clown for years, not to mention leading performer shuttle sing-alongs, I'd never gotten booked to perform amplified music at an Insomniac event – until now. I'm beyond ecstatic to announce that I'll be playing EDM unplugged in a VIP speakeasy called The Blind Owl at EDC Vegas 2018. Brace yourself for acoustic renditions of hits from Avicii, Benny Benassi, Black Eyed Peas, Calvin Harris, Daft Punk, David Guetta, Disclosure, Moby and Zedd. My set times for each night are as follows:
Friday: 9 pm - 12 am - 3 am
Saturday: 8 pm - 11 pm - 2 am
Sunday: 10 pm - 1 am - 4 am
Click on the gallery below to see more images from my Insomniac tenure. And see you under the Electric Sky:)
For some reason, insects bug Americans. Most would rather poison themselves with pesticides than admit to the nutritional value of terrestrial arthropods. I do not fall into that category. I was mostly vegan for two years, but even vegans eat insects. It's literally impossible to keep them out of our food. Why live your life resisting something that's inevitable? If you're a serious foodie like myself, edible insects represent some nineteen hundred new flavors. That's an awful lot of possibilities to ignore based on an illogical bias.
Denver restaurant auteur Justin Cucci obviously recognizes the opportunity that bugs represent. Crickets have been featured in several dishes at his global street food-inspired eatery Linger. The latest version of Linger's menu is divided into regions. You'll see Sweet and Sour Crickets in the Thailand section (black ant rice and spiced grasshoppers are other ingredients). Crickets are enormously popular in Thailand, so much so that they can barely keep up with the demand. In fact, it's estimated that two billion people around the world choose to eat insects consciously. Just because most Americans think entomophagy – the practice of eating insects – is strange, doesn't mean they're right. Insects are basically the terrestrial relatives of shellfish. Both are arthropods. Why is eating bugs any different from eating crab or shrimp? Some entomophagy enthusiasts will tell you that they taste similar.
So next time you find yourself at Linger, gift your palate an adventure and give the Sweet and Sour Crickets a try. You just might be pleasantly surprised.
Last year, I penned a bug-infused tune called “Butterflies.” While attending an edible insect tasting hosted by Denver's Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch, I played it for bug wrangler Wendy Lu McGill. McGill then heard (and shared) a version of Kacey Musgraves' then-unreleased, similarly bug-infused “Butterflies” on NPR. I've been an enormous fan of Musgraves ever since a potential customer first turned me onto her early single “Follow Your Arrow” for a possible graduation singing telegram gig. My friend Kelsey and I went to see the Texas-raised singer at Denver's Bluebird Theater on my 4/20 birthday a few years ago, and it was one of the most fun shows I've ever seen. Musgraves and her gentlemen band covered an eclectic array of artists including Bob Marley, Gnarls Barkley, TLC and Roy Rogers. In between sets, each member of the group showed off a hidden talent: drumstick-juggling, joint-rolling and square dance were among them. They even passed out munchies to the stoner holiday crowd in attendance.
Musgraves and I certainly aren't the only two songwriters to pen songs about the physical sensation known as butterflies in the stomach. Michael Jackson included one on his greatest hits album HIStory. But the timing was auspicious, especially considering my demonstrated appreciation for Musgraves' artistry. Both tunes are love songs with multiple insect allusions/references. And even though the melody of each hook is certainly different, the cadence of the two hooks is eerily similar. Yet neither of us had heard the other's version when we each composed our respective ditty. When two or more scientists in different parts of the world come up with the same idea at the same time (Calculus, oxygen, black holes, the Mobius strip, the existence of the stratosphere and the theory of evolution are examples), it's known as multiple discovery. In her book Big Magic, Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert theorizes that the artistic version of multiple discovery is possible. Maybe that's what happened with Kacey and I. Maybe we tapped the same muse at the same time. I'd like to think so:)
Give Musgraves' recently released version a listen here, and stay tuned for details on my own "Butterflies" release.
My edible bug buddy Michelle and I have been fantasizing about entomophagy - edible insect - adventures in other countries for a minute. I first spied La Gruta, a restaurant inside of a Mexican cave, two years ago before hiking the nearby pyramid ruins of Teotihuacan with a few of my fellow EDC Mexico performers, and have wanted to indulge my senses ever since. When Michelle and I realized we could check off two bucket list items with one exhilarating stroke, we were straight giddy. La Gruta's spiced caterpillars were airy and crispy; the escamole – ant eggs and larvae – was the most delicious bug dish we've imbibed outside the States to date. We also had guacamole with chapulines - Mexican spiced grasshoppers (pictured above). Our friend Geraldy ordered the chapulines margarita by accident, even though she speaks fluent Spanish, but ended up polishing most of it off. Even our longtime vegan friend Taylor got curious enough to sample the caterpillars. Although most Americans have illogical food biases toward nutrition-packed edible insects, they were on the menu at three out of four restaurants we patronized in or near Mexico City. Next stop: Japan:)
You may have caught Justin Timberlake's recent performance during a certain high-profile sports ball game. You may or may not have heard he's got a new album out called Man of the Woods. In keeping with that theme, a recent NYC listening party featured fare that one might forage in the actual forest: insects. Click on the image to get the whole story.
A few years ago, Late Late Show host James Corden and singer Demi Lovato joined forces to ambush a few unsuspecting folks with personalized singing telegrams. Click on the image above to watch the hilarity ensue.
Valentine's Day is the Super Bowl of the singing telegram universe. Orange peel and his Custom Singing Telegrams cohort Melissa Ivey have been featured on local TV and radio a number of times in conjunction with the lovers' holiday. Click on the image above to relive a few of the highlights:)
In a new episode of Vanity Fair's Secret Talent Theatre, actress Nicole Kidman shows off her affinity for eating insects:)
Citric Acid Arts is now scouting fortune tellers and Tarot card readers for a potential late July gig near Boulder. Ideal candidates should have a compelling aesthetic, creative, expressive voice and all necessary equipment to set up in outdoor environment. Interested candidates should email a short video demo, along with a quality image and short bio or resume to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Fortune Teller Submission" in the subject field.
I've performed some pretty funny singing telegrams over the years, but this Funny or Die short featuring Brittany Snow is def LOL-inducing:)
Last week, I was a nine-foot tall unicorn. Allow me to explain:)
Lifestylez, a travel agency that organizes winter resort trips for college students, is one of my clients. A few years ago, they booked a pair of parkour athletes and myself to provide roving entertainment for three of their Colorado SnoDaze events: Breckenridge, Copper Mountain and Keystone. Each night, as the headlining DJ filled the dance floor, I roamed through the crowd in my four-legged stilt unicorn costume. Mariah, my then-Unicorn Whisperer, occasionally rode atop the silver saddle strapped to my back. If what's left of my memory serves me correctly, I skied a half day at Breck with my dad in between show dates.
When Lifestylez' owner Steve Smolinski inquired if I'd join SnoDaze for another jaunt in early January, my interest was piqued. Having gotten tired of the awkward posture necessary for performing Unicorn version 1.0, I was chomping at the bit to upgrade. Also, I needed to enlist a new Unicorn Whisperer, as Mariah had recently moved to California. I commissioned a white bodysuit from my seamstress friend Sophie, and tasked my longtime fabricator/performance buddy Nate with fashioning new fur stilt covers and a unicorn head designed to sit atop a bike helmet. Michelle, a lovely go-go dancer I'd grown to know through Denver's Team Ez Entertainment, was invited to play Unicorn Whisperer on the week long mountain tour featuring sibling EDM duo Hippie Sabotage. The trek would include four stops: Crested Butte, Telluride, Breckenridge and Steamboat Springs.
Departure day dawned. With my gun metal grey Toyota Corolla Tetris'd to the brim with stilts, food, costumes and makeup, Michelle and I set our sights on Crested Butte. Although I've been skiing since I was a wee kumquat, I don't recall ever having been to the tiny Colorado resort town before. I enjoy driving long distances even when I sometimes have the option of flying instead – many of my best ideas come to me while my body is fully engaged with motor vehicle operation. Case and point: a unicorn name brainstorm produced a great new contender – Hornelius. My transmission gave me a little trouble on the trip, but we arrived alive, checked into our digs and set about applying makeup and shimmying into costume. Michelle's Unicorn Whisperer wardrobe consisted of white boots, a bellydance hip scarf, a fur shrug, fingerless gloves and a long blonde wig. I wore a spandex bodysuit with a tail, fur covered leg and arm stilts and the aforementioned unicorn head.
TO BE CONTINUED
Citric Acid Arts is scouting storytellers for a potential late July gig near Boulder. Ideal candidates are creative, experienced and expressive, with a large repertoire and the ability to improvise and adapt on the fly. Interested candidates can send a performance resume, 2-3 video clips and performance rates to email@example.com with "Storyteller Submission" in the subject field by Monday, January 29.
2017. While many Americans may have been understandably depressed by the current quagmire that is U.S. politics, my metaphorical glass is almost always overflowing with sweet ambrosia. Four hundred singing telegrams were delivered via my singing telegram agency this year, the majority of which I personally performed. I entertained in Japan for the first time, explored Tulum, Mexico and witnessed my first total solar eclipse in Oregon. And I wrote and recorded my new insect-infused love song "Butterflies" with Nigerian producer Daniel Iyere. Below is a smattering of highlights cherry-picked from a bliss-filled year of playing dress up, enabling joy and hop scotching around Earth's curvaceous body:)
Bewitching California festival goers at Escape Halloween
Clowning on stilts in Japan & Mexico
Creating Australian male housekeeper character for California's Lightning in a Bottle Festival
Facilitating the delivery of 400 singing telegrams through my singing telegram agency:)
Exploring Colorado's Butterfly Pavilion with my 5 year-old nephew Kai
Filming singing Valentine segment for Channel 2 with Melissa Ivey
Finally being on the receiving end of a Custom Singing Telegram, courtesy of Miriam Andolini
Imbibing gourmet bug tapas at Denver's El Five Restaurant with Michelle Marie
Jamming ukulele with performer homies at Michigan's Electric Forest Festival
Lumbering around on four-legged stilts at California's Nocturnal Wonderland Festival with Sean
Making my Cirque du Soleil debut as a circus bike-riding stilt greeter for opening night of Luzia
Peeling “Orangami” citrus art for Dub Gypsy Kitchen patrons at Oregon Eclipse
Paying homage to David Bowie for hundreds of people in the Denver Tech Center
Performing singing Valentine on KYGO 98.5 FM with Melissa Ivey
Playing Hunter S. Thompson-inspired postmaster at Electric Daisy Carnival in Vegas
Practicing AcroYoga with my Flight Club Denver family
Practicing yoga at Red Rocks with Michael Franti and friends
Recording my new insect-infused love song “Butterflies” with Nigerian producer Daniel Iyere
Rolling through the streets of Tokyo in a Go Kart
Seeing Cirque du Soleil's insect-themed Ovo with Michelle Marie
Seeing the xx in Arizona with Amberosia
Singing at The Governor's Mansion for Best for Colorado
Singing “Under the Eclipse” at Steph J's self-commitment ceremony
Snorkeling ceynotes in Tulum with festival performer friends
Witnessing a mesmerizing total solar eclipse in Oregon
Witnessing the seizure-inducing absurdity that is Tokyo's Robot Restaurant
Working with my voice coach Casey Collins
Denver singing telegram and songwriter George Peele is on the hunt for an accomplished acoustic/electric guitarist to collaborate and perform with. Interested candidates can email 2-3 video links, a performance resume, favorite artists and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Guitarist Submission" in the subject field.
Citric Acid Arts is now casting an insured female aerial Lyra performer for an event in downtown Denver on Tuesday, December 12. To submit for consideration, email two images (one performance & one headshot), your best quality video clip and rates to email@example.com with "Lyra Submission" in the subject field.
Come party with The Fungineers on Thursday, November 30 at Mile High Spirits - Denver's distillery!
The Fungineers are a super group of musical magical weirdoes that make Life more Fun by creating fantastically colorful music, videos, live shows, clothing, toys and more. They bring all their flavors out to shine in their unusual live performance, a fresh mix of original tracks, live looping beatboxing, interactive improv, freestyle songs, crazy visuals, costumed choreography, delivered by an explosive cast of crazy characters. It’s a full sensory adventure that is silly, sexy and surreal.
Citric Acid Arts is now casting male performers for Denver Halloween event Coloween on Saturday, October 28 at The Curtis Hotel. Preference will be given to 21+ performers who are fit, familiar with the film franchise and/or own Mad Max-inspired costuming: eye patches, feather collars, feather mohawks, gas masks, leather pants, leather vests, etc. Character acting experience a plus. To submit for consideration, email a performance resume, 1-2 shirtless images, 1-2 video links and contact info to firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, October 19 at 12 p.m.