Oh cool, it’s the end of the year already! Fuck you 2013! Thanks for nothing! Except these many fine parties and events that I will be at before the year is out, starting with Crooks this weekend and right through to New Years Eve!


Crooks is back again for the last time in 2013 and won’t be back until February 2014! Come celebrate as me, Franco and Elston play the best raps from the year at Phoenix.


I’m hosting a trivia night at Goodgod for one of the best movies ever made, Home Alone, and will include more than just a few questions from Home Alone 2, while ignoring both Home Alone 3 and Home Alone 4. Come get a Christmas banquet at The Dip (compete with highly nutritious microwavable macaroni and cheese) and join in on the trivia. Make sure you go easy on the Pepsi.


Halfway Crooks are supporting Waka Flocka Flame! I’m so amped for this show. Make sure you check out this playlist I made of all my favourite Waka jams.


Crooks and Hoops team up to take over all of Goodgod for a Christmas miracle to end all Christmas miracles! Five of my favourite DJs and people playing back to back with yours fucken truly. Merry Christmas indeed.


And finally – the last party for 2013 – the Goodgod NYE Prom! Double Prom even! We’ve got a 1988 Homecoming Prom in the front bar, channeling the sweet sounds of our bi-centennial and then in the back things are getting sweaty with a Jiggy 2001 Year 10 Formal playing nothing but R&B and rap classiques. Prizes, champagne and grinding will feature heavily in what is sure to be a top notch send off to a damn good year.



Wamp Wamp returns to Goodgod Small Club on November 16th!

FOLLOW KATO AT: @barnee-kato



THE GAME how we do
PITBULL bojangles
CIARA goodies
THE PACK at the club
E-40 feat KEAK DA SNEAK tell me when to go
GHOSTFACE KILLAH charlie brown (DJ ORGASMIC remix)
LADYTRON seventeen
HOT CHIP ready for the floor
MU paris hilton
SPANK ROCK bump (SWITCH remix)
CAPLETON fireman’s anthem
ISAAC DJ jiu jitsu
BONDE DO ROLE soltao frango
ZOMBIE NATION kernkraft 400 (funk version)
BENGA night
MIKE JONES feat SLIM THUG & PAUL WALL still tippin
SPANK ROCK backyard betty
E-40 white gurl (U-TERN remix)
DEMA vs AALIYAH 1000000
DIEZE TIGRONA injecao tnt
DJ TECHNICS my life extra
ROD LEE latin groove
KANO i’m ready
EL GUINCHO kalise (MUMDANCE remix)
CIARA ride (SO SHIFTY remix)
CUT COPY saturdays
ARCHITECTURE IN HELSINKI heart it races (A-TRAK remix)
BLAQSTARR supastar
KINGS OF LEON taper jean girl
COUSIN COLE chicken monkey rhino goose
THUNDERHEIST suenos dulces
TIM AND ERIC sit on you
HIGH POWERED BOYS hoes get down
BONDE DO ROLE office boy (SHIR KAHN remix)
THE RAPTURE out of the races and onto the tracks
KEAK DA SNEAK super hyphie (remix)
M.I.A. galang
THE AVALANCHES electricity
THE CLIPSE wamp wamp (SAMMY BANANAS remix)



Saturday November 16th at Goodgod Small Club

In the Summer of 2006, DJ pals Kato and Levins (then known as Sleater Brockman) teamed up and put on a weekly Thursday night party at the tiny Bright’n Up Bar on Oxford St in Sydney. Their music brief was simple: only play genres with stupid names. The party was called WAMP WAMP.

Partygoers quickly became devoted fans of the mix of Crunk, Baltimore Club, Baile Funk and Hyphy that was played at Wamp Wamp each week, and were treated to guest sets from members of Ro Sham Bo, Bang Gang, Bag Raiders and other local legends. One insane night we were lucky enough to get Diplo to come play a set on which was easily the most packed night Bright’n Up Bar had ever seen.

Meanwhile, in the country town of Melbourne, our dawg Tranter was DJing at every single party there was, from Favela Rock to Fashion Keyboard, playing the same rad shit we played at Wamp Wamp. He was even in a band called Gameboy/Gamegirl whose songs we played every week!

We’re now headed into the summer of 2013/14, which means that Wamp Wamp was SEVEN YEARS AGO. What the fuck seriously. Let’s celebrate this pointless milestone by bringing this party back with LEVINS, KATO and special guest TRANTER!

Dig up an old Modular tshirt, dye your hair neon and come pump your fist as we pay homage to one of the best eras for new club music ever. Wamp Wamp is back!


Earlier in the year I was asked to give a talk at a Tedx event at the Northern Sydney Institute. Without hesitating (also without having ever watched a Ted Talk in my life) I said yes, opting to speak about the music workshops we run with Heaps Decent and the lessons young kids can learn through hip hop. Basically I wanted to focus on all the positives that can come out of using rap as a teaching tool.

I spoke about using rap to improve reading and writing skills through repetition, this was brought to my attention last year by a friend and speech pathologist Georgina Smith, who was in Wilcannia at the same time as us in 2012, running workshops at the Central School. She forwarded some relevant essays my way, in particular this one which I referenced a few times in my talk. 

I love rap and so does almost every kid in high school and primary school. It seems to be a taboo in most schools, a bad influence that parents and teachers refuse to understand. We get incredible results using rap in our Heaps Decent workshops, from the short term bursts of confidence and teamwork to the long term improvement of reading and writing skills.

The Ted Talk was a great opportunity to focus on the educational side of Heaps Decent (and rap music!) and find case studies that backed up our personal experiences working with young people. I’m keen to explore this further and hopefully give more talks on the subject. Hopefully I can encourage teachers to further their knowledge of rap instead of ignoring it completely! 

If you want to find out more about Heaps Decent head to our website. To speak with me further about using rap in the classroom – or maybe even Heaps Decent coming to your classroom – email me! Levins at heaps decent dot com.

Thanks to everyone at Tedx and the Northern Sydney Institute for giving me the opportunity to talk at length about something I love in front of a room full of people. I hope the video finds its way to the computer screen of someone who can gain something from it.



Originally posted on You Only Live Once.


The sweet tender lyrics of Petey Pablo echoed in my head as we flew into Raleigh Airport, North Carolina (sadly we flew in on a plane, not with our shirts spinning round our head like a helicopter). This was to be the last stop on our BBQ pilgrimage, which had so far taken my wife and I to Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia – with a brief BBQ-free stay in Louisiana somewhere in the middle. Our belts had buckled and our pores were in a permanent state of meat sweats, but here we were in North Carolina, ready to Raise Up once again.

Staying with some family friends in Raleigh (avid readers will be happy to know that we were staying with the same family that I stayed with during my 1997 trip to Memphis! How bout that!), we had some satisfying BBQ at the enormous, family-friendly restaurant The Pit, but had hired a car so we could drive out into the sticks the next day, in order to sample some truly legendary North Carolina style BBQ.

North Carolina is vastly different to BBQ served elsewhere in America. Pork is the focus here – and not just shoulders and ribs. In North Carolina they slowly smoke whole hogs, remove all the bones and then chop all the tender meat up, before drowning the meat in a thin and spicy vinegar sauce. Spoiler alert: this was my favourite style of BBQ that we had all trip.



“Can we have some bread” I asked the waitress at Wilber’s BBQ in Goldsboro, two hours out of Raleigh. “No bread, sorry” she said as she plonked a basket full of deep fried golden curls on our table, “we do hush puppies instead” – and so began our lunch at the best BBQ spot we visited in America. A chequered tablecloth, an endless cup of Dr Pepper and a papered basket, stacked high with perfectly fried hush puppies.

In the middle of the table were packets of butter, intended to be spread on the hush puppies. Buttering deep fried cornmeal? Wilber’s was not fucking around.

We ordered a combination plate, which came with a vinegary mashed potato salad, a finely chopped, vinegary slaw and a huge serve of finely chopped, vinegary pork, fresh from out of the smokehouse. If the hush puppies weren’t so crunchy, you wouldn’t need to chew any of this meal. The pork was tenderer than a Drake album, with the Wilber’s signature sauce supplying the perfect amount of vinegar tang and cayenne pepper spice. It was great on it’s own, even better when eaten in between mouthfuls of potato and slaw. We polished the plate off in no time and knew that we had to order a pork sandwich as well, so as not to anger the BBQ Gods.

A minute passes and a humble little sandwich arrives on our table. A hot, sugary roll filled with pork and slaw. Even on this 100 degree day, the warmth from the roll is cozy. The pork and slaw, exactly the same as the pork and slaw served on the combination plate, tastes even better in the roll. This is a perfect little sandwich, and each loud, spicy vinegar burp on the 2 hour drive back home reminds us of our incredible meal, and of what a terrible person I am.


Before we left Wilber’s I took a walk around the back of the restaurant, through the many piles of kindling, and introduced myself to the staff manning the smokehouse. I pulled out the unicorn card – “Hi I’m an Australian who loves BBQ can I please go in that big smokey room?” and was greeted with high fives and a short guided tour of the huge smokehouse. There were some 50 pigs being smoked at the one time! I took a few pictures and actually considered getting this one printed up as a set of postcards:

What a beautiful view.

The next day we were laughed at by our host for wanting to drive even further for our next meal. “You wanna take a four hour round trip just for lunch?” he exclaimed as we snuck out the back door and embarked on a four hour round trip just for lunch. It amused me that in 2 days of being in North Carolina we had visited two towns that he hadn’t even considered visiting in the two years he’d lived there. Such was our passion for BBQ!

We passionately drove for 106 miles until we got to Ayden, home of The Skylight Inn. A sign welcomes our arrival that announces “If it’s not cooked with WOOD – It’s not BBQ”, one of the few facts that BBQ spots all over America would probably agree on.


For many reviewers who aren’t from Texas, The Skylight Inn is thought to be BBQ capital of America – the owners even built a replica of Capitol Hill on top of their roof to announce this.

Inside The Skylight Inn is a stark contrast to the colourful, family friendly vibe of Wilber’s. White walls, a small amount of paraphernalia from the restaurant’s long history and complete silence, save for the constant chopping of the chef in the kitchen, making his way through whole smoked pigs with two huge cleavers. The old man behind the counter stares at us with cold eyes that say “don’t even try and say a thing to me or my staff besides your order!” Not even my Australian accent can get me a smile. These guys have probably never heard of a unicorn.


We order a barbecue tray, the most unique way of serving BBQ we’ve ever seen. A small tower of trays stacked on top of each other. Down the bottom is pork, which is not quite as tender and tasty at Wilber’s was but it has pieces of crunchy skin mixed through the meat which is an amazing vibe. On top of the pork is a big piece of corn cake, an incredible take on corn bread made with lard, based on a family recipe from 1830! At the top of the tower is a tray full of pale, vinegary slaw, with a plastic fork wedged inside. A few bottles of BBQ sauce adorn the table.

Break off a piece of the corn cake, top it with pork and slaw, add some sauce, eat. Speak too loudly about how good the food is, get glared at by the long line of people who have come to order an unbelievable amount of pork takeaway. We had heard legends of this place, we heard almost nothing while we were inside. We tasted some damn good BBQ though, further testament to my decision that North Carolina style BBQ is the BBQ for me.


Before we hop back in to our car and complete our four hour round trip just for lunch, we pop into a thrift store across the road. “Oh did you eat at Skylight for lunch?” asks the large, mysterious shop owner – “I don’t think it’s very good”. We counter his argument for about 10 seconds before he admits that he just doesn’t like BBQ, and we suddenly realise what your average Yelp reviewer looks like.

The next day we flew to New York and a week after that we were home in Sydney. During our time away I somehow only managed to put on just one extra kilo. We had to buy another suitcase just to house all of the various sauces and trinkets we picked up at every BBQ spot and diner we ate at.

I apologise to Kansas for not including you in our trip. I hear your BBQ is amazing too, and I realise that throughout these 7 posts I’ve only managed to visit an extremely small percentage of America’s great BBQ spots. I hope I’ve provided anyone with an interest in BBQ who’s visiting any of the cities I went to with a good starting point. This is a trip that I would recommend to anyone and would happily do again and again. The barbecue scene of the South is insanely engrossing, full of so many amazing different takes and hilarious opinions. It’s a cuisine that will never be able to be mass marketed due to the many different styles from each region and thankfully you won’t see a McSmokie’s or a BBQ Hut anytime soon.

The difference in produce and cooking techniques means that it’s hard to replicate great BBQ in Australia. There’s a small and building scene of people doing it properly (or as close to properly as possible given our limitations) across the country and hopefully that will keep growing. My advice to anyone who wants to try great BBQ – especially chefs keen to put it on their menu – is too get yourself to Texas, North Carolina, Tennessee or Kansas and experience it first hand. You’ll fall in love with the food and the culture. Then you can come home, write about it and claim the whole thing as a tax expense.

Thanks for the write off, I really enjoyed writing all these and hopefully will do more in the future!


Part 1, read it here: When Levins did Austin, Texas
Part 2, read it here: When Levins did Lockhart, Texas
Part 3, read it here: When Levins did Spooney’s Bar-B-Que, Mississipi
Part 4, read it here: When Levins did Memphis Tennessee

Part 5read it here: When Levins went to Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-B-Que, Alabama
Part 6, read it here: When Levins did Daddy D’z Bar B Que Joynt


Originally posted on You Only Live Once.

One of the fun things about being an Australian travelling through the South is that everyone loves Australians in the South. There’s something about our hilarious accent that makes Southerners treat us like unicorns.

I was really excited about coming to Atlanta – not from a food point of view though. I was excited because 50% of my iTunes library is made up of songs by rappers from Atlanta. Another 20% is rap from elsewhere in the South, and throughout our travels I’d tried to make a few pit stops to indulge the crunk fanboy in me. We’d had luck in Texas, trekking out to Screwed Up Record Records and Tapes, the heart of chopped and screwed rap. In New Orleans I’d got into an argument with a record store owner who refused to let me see her collection of Bounce records. Memphis, home to Three 6 Mafia, only has tacky rock and blues record stores. As we slowly made our way north, I kept a glimmer of hope for Atlanta, and after crossing the Georgia border and instantly being greeted with a half dozen radio stations playing Rich Homie Quan, my excitement kept building and it made me feel some type of way.

Rap is inescapable in Atlanta. Future sings the hook on every song blaring out of each car sitting in traffic, and out of the small speakers that sit above you in the line for famous strip club Magic City. But if you wanna find any of these new records and tapes you’re better off sticking to the internet, because beyond the odd bootleg-selling hood mart, it was impossible to find physical copies of any Atlanta artist who wasn’t in Outkast. So with a sigh of disappointment and paper bag full of Sleepy Brown 12″s, I started searching for good food in Atlanta, of which there was an insane amount – and was recommended a BBQ place called Daddy D’z BBQ Joynt.

Atlanta isn’t a city that comes up often in the talk about which city has the best BBQ. In fact I wasn’t expecting to find any, least of all the best ribs we’d eat all trip. Daddy D’z sits proudly in the middle of a median strip, surrounded by busy roads. The huge signs above the roof of the restaurant make Daddy D’z impossible to miss – this was definitely the craziest looking spot we’d visited so far, so even if the food sucked, it had already taken that prize. We took a seat and were greeted by a bearded Tom Waitsian type old dude, in an apron and a pork pie hat – this must be Daddy D. He had crazy in his eyes, and we had Aussie accents in our throats, so immediately Daddy D went into full blown “I just saw a unicorn” mode.

“You’re from Australia?!” he shouted. “Don’t you go anywhere – you just wait here!” and he raced into the kitchen, returning with two ginormous pork ribs. “Now you take a bite of those and tell me they’re not the best ribs you ever ate!” – which we did, and they were indeed the best ribs we ever ate. “I told ya!” said Daddy D, as he waved goodbye to his staff and marched out the door, presumably to go start a blues fusion band. He’d left us in the much less exciting, but probably more capable hands of his staff, and we ordered two plates of ribs straight away.

Bianca and I have arguments over what we like in a good rib. I like that tender meat to come easily off the bone, whereas Bianca prefers a good chew to the meat. If it’s too much towards either way you’re dealing with some shitty ribs. The ribs at Daddy D’z are the perfect middle ground. Super tender meat that doesn’t fall off the bone when you pick it up, with an awesome smokiness and covered in a wildly good BBQ sauce – sweet, spicy and sticky. Some good ass ribs.

A lot of BBQ spots we visited focused almost entirely on the meat, with the sides being somewhat of an afterthought. We didn’t meet anyone that would ever go to a BBQ joint just for the sides so I guess that’s fair enough. But the sides at Daddy D’z are spectacular – you get a choice of two with each plate, so between us we had collared greens, fried okra, candied yams and brocolli casserole, with a decent chunk of corn bread on top! All the sides were as good as the ribs – which I’ve already stated were the best ribs I ever ate – so Daddy D’z BBQ Joynt takes home the glory of the best ribs, the best sides and the wildest looking spot of our trip.

Plus if you say g’day you’ll get that unicorn treatment.

Daddy D’z BBQ Joynt264 Memorial Dr SE, Atlanta +1 404-222-0206 (View Map)

Next up: The best BBQ of the whole trip? One last post to go!

Stay tuned for the rest of the smokey meat eating tour of America with Levins right here.

Part 1,  read it here: When Levins did Austin, Texas
Part 2, read it here: When Levins did Lockhart, Texas
Part 3, read it here: When Levins did Spooney’s Bar-B-Que, Mississipi
Part 4, read it here: When Levins did Memphis Tennessee

Part 5, read it here: When Levins went to Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-B-Que, Alabama



Originally posted on You Only Live Once.

It’s a five hour drive from Memphis to Atlanta. The drive is made easier knowing that you’ve stolen a week’s worth of breakfast cereal from The Comfort Inn that you were staying at, god knows you’ll need that fibre after the meat with a side of meat you’ve had for almost every meal this holiday. It also helps if you get a fancy hire car with the cable radio stations. The Comedy Central station is just hour after hour of stand up from different comedians, most of which aren’t Carlos Mencia and really help make the time fly by. You also burn a few calories, necessary after all those aforementioned meat meals. Oh and while we’re on the subject of meat meals, the best way to make a five hour drive seem shorter is to visit a BBQ spot bang in the middle of the journey.

To get to Atlanta from Memphis, you have to drive through the state of Alabama. I can’t tell you much about Alabama. We were amped about being in the same state that My Cousin Vinny was filmed in (we were considering trying to find  Sac-O-Suds but realised it was actually in Georgia) and had read about a cool donut place but the main Alabama landmark we were looking forward to was Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q in the town of Decatur.

Strangely complicated spelling of the word ‘barbecue’: check. Location in the middle of the highway, surrounded by nothing: check. Fluorescent cartoon pig: check. From the outside of the restaurant, Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q really seemed to have it all. After eating at  Payne’s and Spooney’s, this was like being upgraded to Disneyworld after spending a week at a fun park run out of someones front yard. Even the name conjured magnificence. Who was Bob Gibson, and just how big was he?

The greatness continued inside. Next to the counter were dozens of trophies, some taller than I was and covered in brass pigs. Decades of recognition for the best sauce, the best ribs and the best chicken surrounded us. We were taken to our table, covered in various bottles of award winning sauce – in all different colours, from dark brown, to less brown, a reddy brown and… white? I had never seen a white bbq sauce before. It was an Alabama miracle, and one that is supposedly incredible with chicken. We hadn’t come across chicken on the menu at any of the BBQ spots we’d visited either, so we ordered a chicken plate, which came with slaw, beans, potato salad and a crunchy pickle, creating a nice visual symmetry with the drumstick, almost a peace sign on my plate. Has anybody started a ‘peaceful bbq plate’ tumblr?

How did it taste? The chicken was awesome. The skin was smoky and salty, the dark meat nice and juicy. As I expected it would be, the breast was unfortunately pretty dry. Some meats just aren’t made for slow cooking. The white bbq sauce was a knockout though, ensuring I ate even the driest parts of the chicken, just to enjoy more of the creamy vinegar sauce. We bought a bottle to take home, which joined some 80 other bottles of sauce in a suitcase that I didn’t declare at customs upon returning to Sydney.

We also ordered a pulled pork sandwich, which was disappointing but far from terrible. Certainly not worthy of the gigantic trophies we saw in the entrance anyway. As we left I wondered if they’d notice a missing trophy or two – they would look really nice in Spooney’s front yard.

View Larger Map

Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-B-Q

1715 6th Ave SE, Decatur, Alabama +1 256-350-6969

Next up: Ribs in Atlanta!

Stay tuned for the rest of the smokey meat eating tour of America with Levins right here.

Part 1,  read it here: When Levins did Austin, Texas
Part 2, read it here: When Levins did Lockhart, Texas
Part 3, read it here: When Levins did Spooney’s Bar-B-Que, Mississipi
Part 4, read it here: When Levins did Memphis Tennessee


If your favourite part from Drake’s new album was when Jay-Z rattled off the names of his favourite cakes for half a minute you’re in luck – I made an edit that is 100% pure cake. After listening to an entire album of Drake still being confused by girls it was definitely refreshing to hear a 43 year old rapper fill out his verse by saying the word cake repeatedly.

Thanks to Leon Smith for making the wonderful accompanying artwork.



Orginally posted on You Only Live Once.

I first visited Memphis with my family in 1997. I was 12 and had spent the prior week exploring every part of Disneyworld, so I was immediately disappointed by the lack of Splash Mountains in Memphis, instead trying to get myself excited about visiting Elvis’s house and the Titanic Exhibition inside The Pyramid. It was a dire time for my young mind, and if I had a time machine, I would go back to 1997, find my old self and tell him to chill the heck out, because it was during this visit to Memphis that I would first experience something that I would fall in love with and try to recreate from that day forward – pulled pork.

I wrote about this experience in my book that came out last year, and I’m going to quote myself talking about myself eating BBQ for the first time:

“We spent a week in Memphis, Tennessee, living with family friends Caroline and Tom Starck at their home in Germantown. One night, after a long day spent mourning the King at Gracelands, Tom took Dad and I to a BBQ joint called The Germantown Commissary.

At 12 years old, BBQ to me was the sound of thin beef sausages sizzling until they were burnt black on a cheap gas grill, covered in tomato sauce and wrapped in a slice of wonder white bread, eaten quickly as you watched steaks approach somewhere between ‘well done’ and ‘really well done’ while a big piece of beef roasting away in the rusty old Weber fought fiercely for the title of ‘the most well done’.

My idea of BBQ food at that point was pretty simple and although I still enjoyed it, I wondered why we were about to seek out some burnt snags in Memphis, and wondered even more why Tom was so excited to take us there.
Of course, in Memphis, BBQ is all about huge pieces of meat, cooked for as long as possible at as low heat as possible, for as many people as possible. Whole pork shoulders join massive pieces of beef brisket and Flintstonian ribs in a smoke filled paradise, dripping with sweet and spicy sauce. Heaven on a plate, with a side of beans.

So we get to this spot and the most American lady I’d ever met greets us immediately with a loud ‘what’ll you boys have?’ Instead of ordering the most overcooked steaks Memphis has to offer, he says two words that I’ve never heard together before: ‘pulled pork’.

Ten minutes later we were in Tom’s car, which smelt considerably better than it did before we put three bags full of pulled pork sandwiches inside of it. When we got back to his house Tom spread out the contents of the bags across his dining table and we all took a seat.

Tom showed us how you put together a pulled pork sandwich – first tearing apart a soft white roll, he piled on a big wad of the pork, which was softer than the roll. On top of the pork he spooned on some BBQ sauce, then added some deep brown, sticky BBQ beans and topped the whole thing off with some crunchy green slaw. He put one together for each of us and we ate them in silence.

I was a well behaved 12 year old, but after my first bite I had never wanted to scream HOLY FUCKING SHITBALLS more in my life. I did want seconds though so I kept my mouth shut.

We visited a lot more of America after that dinner but nothing stayed with me more than that meal. Not even when our flight got cancelled and we were put up at The Hilton for a night with a fifty dollar meal voucher each! Eating that pulled pork sandwich is the first memory I have of really loving food, and Dad and I would try to recreate it at least once a year using Dad’s Weber back home.”

Riveting stuff, right? Tell that to my editor, who whittled all this down into three paragraphs and took out all the colourful language like ‘Flintstonian‘ and “holy fucking shitballs‘. At the time I was mad but now I thank her for providing me with the opportunity to type ‘tell that to my editor“.

I hadn’t been back to Memphis since 1997. In the 16 years since, I’ve slow-cooked some thousand pork shoulders and even opened a restaurant that serves pulled pork. I was anxious to head back to the place that kicked off my barbecue obsession, but after a day spent inside Elvis’s House (two visits in two decades! Long live the King!), we find ourselves lining up outside theGermantown Commissary.

Germantown Commissary is much bigger than I remember, and every seat is taken. After a short wait we take our seats and I order the exact same thing I ordered 16 years ago – a pulled pork sandwich with a side of beans.

I didn’t start these posts to write about food I didn’t like so I’ll keep it quick. Our meal wasn’t great. The pork was dry and the sandwich was bland. Maybe it was an off night for the Commissary? Maybe my expectations were too high? Maybe it was as good as the sandwich I had in 1997 and I’ve just eaten better barbecue since then? These questions ate at my brain while I sadly ate my sandwich.

I considered throwing my hands up in despair, shouting that everything I thought I knew was a lie and spending the rest of my life living in the sewer, breeding rats.

Maybe I should feel good about myself – that the pork I was cooking in Australia was better than the pork that had inspired me to cook pork in the first place! I knew one thing for certain – there are a lot of other BBQ joints in Memphis. So we left Germantown Commissary and went to Payne’s BBQ.

Payne’s BBQ is an old family run restaurant, and the exact kind of BBQ joint you should seek out as you travel through The States. It’s not glamourous at all from the outside, and on the inside even less so. An open space with a few tables and chairs to sit at, a counter to order from and a tiny kitchen serving the best pork sandwiches in the city.

As I’ve mentioned in previous BBQ Belt posts, BBQ is different all over America. Especially when in comes to pork. The spices you cook it in, the wood you smoke it with, the cuts of meat you use. Right down to the way you serve it. Most popular is pulled pork – where you take your big chunk of perfectly cooked pork shoulder and pull it apart into soft and smoky pieces – but Payne’s BBQ specialises in chopped pork – chopping the pork into small pieces and serving it on a sandwich. This method makes for a huge difference in texture, you get soft and crunchy pieces of pork on your sandwich, which is served on a soft, warm white roll. There’s your choice of BBQ sauce, made to three levels of heat. I order hot, Bianca orders mild. Both come with a big dollop of incredibly yellow mustard slaw. It’s the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen.

It’s much easier to describe how something looks than how something tastes. Looking at the photo you get a pretty good idea of how fantastic this sandwich tasted. Just know that it tasted ten times better than that, and that this is the meal I think about returning to more than anything else I ate all trip. Maybe I’ll come back 16 years from now and it’ll be disappointing, and I’ll finally make that move to the sewer.

 Next stop: Chicken in Alabama and Ribs in Atlanta!

Stay tuned for the rest of the smokey meat eating tour of America with Levins right here.

If you missed Part 1, see it here: When Levins did Austin, Texas
If you missed Part 2, see it here: When Levins did Lockhart, Texas
If you missed Part 3, see it here: When Levins did Spooney’s Bar-B-Que, Mississipi 



Father’s Day is this Sunday in Australia and I’m throwing a DAD ROCK party in the front bar of Goodgod. My friend Tyson and I will be playing nothing but Dad Rock anthems until the sun comes up and our casual shirts are covered in light beer stains.

I made this mix for my Dad but chances are your Dad will love it too. My Dad was the first person to get me into music. He gave me my appreciation for vinyl (which lead to me stealing all his records) and he taught me how to tape all my favourite songs off the radio when I was a kid.

I’ve always wanted to make Dad a mix, I feel like the best way to appreciate what a DJ does is to hear a tonne of your favourite songs mixed together, and since my Dad isn’t a big rap fan he probably doesn’t have the highest appreciation for my DJing. Yet. Hopefully this will change everything.

There’s definitely a few songs on hear that he probably thinks are daggy. Those songs are for other Dads I’ve met in my life. Some of them are for me (I’ll be a Dad in just a few months from now!). He’s probably mad there isn’t enough 70’s funk rock and I’ll have to edit this mix in a few mix, taking out the Dire Straits song and putting in Healing Force instead. 

Play this mix to your Dad this Sunday. If he’s free, bring him to Goodgod on Saturday night and I’ll buy him a shandy.

KOOL DAD FM by Levins hosted by WAVEY DAVEY B



KENNY ROGERS & THE FIRST EDITION just dropped in (to see what condition my condition was in)


DAVID BOWIE golden years

WARREN ZEVON werewolves of london

PAUL SIMON fifty ways to leave your lover

JO JO ZEP & THE FALCONS shape i’m in

10CC dreadlock holiday

BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS spinning wheel

RARE EARTH i just want to celebrate


THE ZOMBIES she’s not there

THE ROLLING STONES under my thumb

DADDY COOL come back again 

SPLIT ENZ i got you



JOE JACKSON is she really going out with him?

TALKING HEADS this must be the place

EAGLES those shoes


DAVID ESSEX rock on 


INXS don’t change

DIRE STRAITS walk of life