JOTR Mixtape: Hugh Acheson

Reknowned Georgia-based chef Hugh Acheson joined us in our studios recently to put together a virtual cassette compilation of some of his favorite songs. His restaurants include Five & Ten, The National (both in Athens), Empire State South (Atlanta), and Florence (Savannah). 
Favorite Road Trip Song

Hugh Acheson: “I drive a lot because of distance between here and Savannah, where I have a restaurant, and back and forth to Atlanta, the airport and what not, and there is a band that really has an important background in Athens (called) Six String Drag. They’ve got a song on their second album High Hat called “Ghost,” which is a great driving song. It’s just a hard-hitting rock song with a lot of Southern sensibility. It’s a pretty awesome song. (I’ve seen them live) about twenty times. Actually, they are going to play a fundraising thing in January at The Graduate to raise money for our Home Economics curriculum re-vamp thing.”

Guilty Pleasure Song

Hugh Acheson: “I don’t know if it is a guilty pleasure, But, it’s Kendrick Lamar’s “I,” which is just an amazing song. I don’t think there is much guilt in it. It’s not like…I could say something like Adele, but I don’t actually listen to Adele so I wouldn’t say that. He’s got a really rhythmic rap style. It’s very West Coast, but it’s very smart and very interestingly nuanced. It’s just a great song. It’s introspective in a lot of ways, but he’s a ballistically smart rapper.”

Broken Heart Song

Hugh Acheson: “I didn’t know where to go with this. I didn’t know whether it was something to lift you up or drive you more into the corner of misery like when your on your futon when you’re nineteen years old. So, yeah, it was Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” which will lead you into a downward spiral every time you listen to it. It’s a pretty morose song. It’s a great song, but it’s a morose song.”

Signature Track From A Movie Made About You

Hugh Acheson: “I don’t think there’s a biopic about my existence in the works, and I hope there never is. Growing up, The Jam was a very influential band in my life and for mod-culture back in the day, and “In the City” is just such a seminal, seminal song.”

Rainy Day Song

Hugh Acheson: “It’s beautiful outside today (but) this is funny though because it lies on an album that’s a notoriously morose album. It’s on Hüsker Dü’s Candle Apple Grey. But, “Eiffel Tower High,” which is on the second side, is just such an amazing song. It’s just a very high energy song. Bob Mould and Grant Hart, to me, are just some of the most influential musicians and [they have] paved the path for so many.”

Favorite Song To Cook To

Hugh Acheson: “You know, we listen to a lot of NPR at my house, but if I’m cooking at my house and relaxing with the family, we listen to a lot of Manchester Orchestra. I think as Atlanta bands go, Manchester Orchestra is just a phenomenal band. I particularly like a song called “Simple Math” which is a very long song, but it’s a great song and it’s just got beautiful nuance and I can sing along. It’s great.”

Go To Karaoke Song

Hugh Acheson: (I’ve sang karaoke) maybe twice in my life…I (kinda) remember choosing “American Pie” as my first karaoke song. It’s like thirty-eight minutes long I think, and when you’re drunk in a Korea town, it’s not a good choice. I would choose “Suedehead” by Morrissey. It’s a good Morrissey song, very upbeat, fun, relatively short. That is key.”

Getting Ready For An Evening Out Song

Hugh Acheson: “Man, you’re seeing the diversity in my musical taste, but I guess Against Me! “We Laugh at Danger” which is off the Against Me! Is Reinventing Axl Rose album which is an amazing punk song. I mean, I grew up with Bad Brains, Husker Du, that sort of era. And a lot of Fugazi…a lot of Washington DC straight edge movement stuff…Minneapolis influence stuff with Husker Du and Fear, bands like that from West Coast. But, Against Me! I think is just more of the last ten years of the punk movement. Just an amazing, great band.”

Favorite Cover

Hugh Acheson: “Just Like Heaven” which is originally a Cure song, by Dinosaur Jr. It’s a fantastic rendition of that. I like cover songs though. When done well its…respectful. I have heard the Yo La Tengo (version). We used to feed them a lot. When I used to cook for The Last Resort, I remember them coming in a lot from around the corner…the 40 Watt or wherever they were playing. We used to make them dinner a lot.”

Something Recent That Knocked Me Out

Hugh Acheson: I really like Destroyer’s new album. I think “Dream Lover” is an amazing song. Destroyer is Dan Bejar from New Pornographers…a great, really influential band. Neko Case, Dan, and all of these people and all of these side projects happened out of it. The new one is just a beautiful record. He’s been very prolific. This album is really different. It’s fun. It’s really catchy.This is the first time I’ve made a mix tape in like twenty-five years. Usually you’re sobbing and making a custom cover and sending it surreptitiously to someone. But those days are over!”