Big Head Todd and the Monster Mussels

September 27, 2017

Actually, the band’s name is Big Head Todd and the Monsters. But we dined at Red Stripe restaurant in East Greenwich, RI before the show and the mussels were, well, monsters.

My cousin Claudia and her husband John invited us to the show. John had been a fan of Big Head Todd’s since he experienced them playing house parties in Colorado during John’s college years in the late 80’s. But they’re not an 80’s band, their music is fresh and timely, and they are still pumping out great new tunes 30 years later. They have quite a following based upon the energetic show schedule, but the only song I’d heard before John introduced us to his music was the theme from NCIS New Orleans, which you can here below:

We saw the show at the Greenwich Odeum, a perfect venue to see a band. It has an interesting history, first opening in 1926 as a vaudeville and “picture show” theater. As vaudeville died it began showing movies full time, but like many small New England theaters it went the way of the dinosaur as the multiplex theaters sprung up. It closed in 1990, and was empty for a few years until a group of volunteers refused to let it fail. It reopened in 1994 as a performing arts venue, but the West Warwick nightclub fire in 2003 that claimed the lives of 100 individuals resulted in a necessary more stringent fire code, and lacking the funds to bring it into compliance the Odeum had to close once again. The Odeum sat abandoned from 2007–2013. Thankfully a grant from the Champlin Foundations saved the day, and after 3 years of renovation the fire code compliant Odeum reopened on January 26, 2013. And the seats are very comfy, not that we sat much. When Big Head Todd’s playing you gotta dance!

Before the show we dined at Red Stripe, very nearby. They have a Providence location as well. And while we enjoyed the food for the most part, Claudia’s moules et frites (mussels and fries) were indeed monsters. And as Claudia put it, “If you look too closely at them, well, they’re not pretty.” So she deemed her meal good but not great.

We shared an appetizer of corn cakes with a clam and cress topping, which was silky, creamy and delicious with a whole littleneck on each corn cake. The sweetness of the corn and saltiness of the clams were a great combination.

Steve is my fish and chip guy. John enjoyed his paella. I was in the mood for red meat and the short ribs didn’t disappoint. Fork tender and delicious, with green beans that weren’t an afterthought. I love it when they pay attention to the vegetables.

So it was good food, a bit of walking around to digest and an awesome band.  It made for a great Saturday night out.

For those of you who’d like to see this week’s Standard Times column the link is below. It’s an ode to my grandmother and her grape conserve.

Grape Conserve Recipe and Ode to “Cookie”








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