1. Kale Chips
Awarded Best New Vegetable by anybody who’s tummy-growled through a juice fast, kale and its snack derivatives are ubiquitous in specialty health food stores, and many commercial grocery chains now carry them as well. On tour we’ve seen tons of brands of kale chips, with tastes almost as diverse as Lay’s wacky next generation potato chips. Flavors we’ve sampled include: BBQ, spicy miso, pizza, and even pink peppercorn hibiscus. But our favorite go-to is probably Alive & Radiant’s Kale Krunch in Quite Cheezy, which earned our favor after our monk friend Raya gave us a whole box of them in Atlanta. The kale crumbs littered the floor of our van for the duration of the tour.
2. Dr. McDougall’s Hot & Sour Soup
If finances weren’t a concern, we’d be dining on truffle-oiled tofu steaks on the regular. But when you’re trying to live on a few bucks a day, cheapest is chiefest, and anything that can be cooked using boiling hot water from an Ohioan Travel Plaza gets the Tour Seal of Approval™. Top Ramen is hella salty, not at all vegetarian-friendly, and way too reminiscent of undergraduate all-nighters spent tooling on problem sets. But Dr. McDougall’s is a way healthier, low-sodium noodle choice, and usually costs around $2 a bowl. We’re pretty partial to its Hot & Sour flavor for its nose-clearing, stomach-filling abilities.
When we get sick of nightly PBRs and rail whiskey, we’ll occasionally turn to other fermented fare, and have become somewhat connoisseurial in local kombuchas. Asheville’s got that ill Fire Buchi, brewed with ginger, cayenne, and beet; we also dig ATX’s Kosmic Kombucha for their experimental varieties, which include a grape/lime/cinnamon/clove blend called Purple Haze. A recent favorite? MTO Kombucha’s Lemon Rosemary, which helped us stay awake for the overnight drive from Charlottesville, VA to Washington, DC.
The Olsen Twins were a product of their time, and unfortunately that time was starkly devoid of tempeh, which really should have been put on the proverbial pizza (or wrap, or salad, or sandwich, or whatever else you wanna gimme). Thankfully, these here times today are booming times for tempeh. At home, we love Rhapsody’s organic brand, made just north of Northampton in Cabot, VT. On the other end of the east coast, we’ve found (unbelievably) that Florida is a hub for great, locally made tempeh. Gainesville is home to one of the finest homegrown BLT-substitutes we’ve ever tongued, and you can find that same tempeh served all across the state, from a vegan banh mi at St. Augustine’s The Floridian to a Persian wrap at Jacksonville’s Green Erth Bistro.
5. Tofutti Cream Cheese
We’d like to think our immune systems are decently buff, but when we’re on tour for weeks or months at a time, there’s usually at least one sick dude in the tour van. We try to bolster ourselves against susceptibility using methods ranging from the pop-conventional (packets and packets of Emergen-C) to the disgustingly smelly (chugging habañero apple cider vinegar). One favorite in the latter category is raw garlic, which helps clear our sinuses and nips potential infections in the bud (thanks allicin, you the man). Unfortunately, it’s not especially comfortable to pop a clove (or six) in your mouth and chew. Mixing that pungent stuff in with some Tofutti cream cheese makes the whole process a lot more pleasant. Garlic bagels for everybody!
Speedy Ortiz’s latest album, ‘Foil Deer’, is now available through Carpark Records. Check out a few of their videos and recent SXSW performances below, along with the band’s upcoming tour dates…
Speedy Ortiz tour dates:
4/22 Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair *&
4/24 Hamden, CT – The Space *&
4/25 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom *&
4/26 Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s *&
4/28 Pittsburgh, PA – Cattivo *!
4/29 Cleveland Heights, OH – Grog Shop *!
4/30 Chicago, IL – The Empty Bottle *!
5/1 Madison, WI – The Frequency *!
5/2 Minneapolis, MN – 7th St. Entry *!
5/3 Iowa City, IA – Gabe’s Oasis *!
5/4 Champaign, IL – Highdive *!
5/6 Washington, DC – Black Cat *!
5/7 Richmond, VA – Strange Matter *
5/8 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle Back Room *
5/9 Atlanta, GA – Shaky Knees Festival
5/11 Tampa, FL – The Crowbar *
5/13 New Orleans, LA – Gasa Gasa *
5/14 Houston, TX – Walter’s Downtown $
5/15 Austin, TX – Red 7 $
5/16 Dallas, TX – Club Dada $
5/21 Los Angeles, CA – The Echo $
5/22 Santa Ana, CA – Constellation Room $
5/23 Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst Atrium $
5/25 Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios $%
5/26 Vancouver, BC – The Cobalt $
5/27 Seattle, WA – Barboza $
5/29 Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court $^
5/30 Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge $^
5/31 Kansas City, MO – The Riot Room $^
6/1 Columbia, MO – Rose Music Hall $^
6/2 St. Louis, MO – Firebird $^
6/4 Detroit, MI – UFO Factory $^
6/5 Toronto, ON – The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern $^
6/6 Montreal, QC – Bar Le “Ritz” P.D.B. $^
7/17 Louisville, KY – Forecastle Festival
* with KRILL
& with Mitski
! with Two Inch Astronaut
$ with Alex G
% with Broken Water
^ with Palehound