Thursday, May 24, 2007

Welcome back summer

Though it doesn't fall on the calendar until nearly four weeks later, Memorial Day typically marks the beginning of summer. At Lazy Robot, we tend to always be one step ahead, so we welcomed it early with an eventful and memorable three-day weekend last week.

Friday night, I finally checked out Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's "Grindhouse." Complete with gritty, less than stellar quality film and fake previews for such enticing upcoming flicks as "Machete" and "Don't," the directors made every effort to successfully recreate an authentic drive-in, B movie double feature experience. (We did our part by sneaking booze into the theatre.)

Both movies focused on strong, powerful women such as machine gun-legged Rose McGowan in "Planet Terror" and Australian stuntwoman Zoƫ Bell in "Death Proof". If you can still find this movie at your local theatre by the time you read this, I highly recommend checking it out. Oh and big thanks to Freddy and Quentin for finally punishing Fergie for recording the inexcusable stain on humanity that is "My Humps." She deserved what she got.

Saturday evening we made our way to the World Financial Center's Winter Garden for Urban Word NYC's "Not Words Alone with CocoRosie" event. We thought we were just going out there to catch a free CocoRosie show and only found out about the spoken word aspect when we arrived.

The entire experience turned out to be simply amazing, one of those moving and beautiful experiences that you can only have in a city like New York. It would be an exercise in futility for me to even try and describe how the poetry and lush soundscapes intertwined to inspire the crowd the way they did. I'm not that poetic. Suffice it to say that it was one of the best evenings I've had since moving here and I'll definitely be on the lookout for more events like this in the future.

Afterwards, we headed back to more familiar parts of the city, mainly the East Village, to fill up on vodka and kill dance floors. I didn't make it back to my apartment until 6:30 a.m. Welcome back, summer. I missed you.

After work on Monday, we walked over to the Hudson Hotel in West Midtown to catch the first installment of Giant Step's Private Park Summer Series featuring Miguel Migs and Lisa Shaw. The rooftop combined with house music and $9 Coronas reminded us of Miami. (Yes, I said $9 Coronas. If you're planning to attend a party there, I suggest creative drinking methods...)

We danced it up for a few hours and it was refreshing to cut a rug to house music as opposed to dance rock or electro for once. The next installment lands on June 4 with guests Turntables on the Hudson, who also happen to be playing at the Water Taxi Beach this weekend on the REAL Memorial Day Weekend. I might just have to hit it up.

Like I said before: Welcome back, summer. I missed you!

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Make Way for the S O B: Lady Sov embarks on a tour of shame

A couple of weekends ago, my friends in Atlanta told me they were going to see Lady Sovereign at the Drunken Unicorn. A twinge of jealousy fell over me. I thought they were lucky to catch her at such an intimate venue.

When Monday rolled around, I asked them how the show went and their reviews were less than glowing. She only played four songs, fifteen dollars for four songs? That's on an entirely different level of wrongness than one-song encores.

So when Sov brought her four-song routine to Studio B last Friday, in no way, shape or form did I feel the need to attend. But what took place that night now makes me wish that I had.

The Lady suffered a complete, absolute and dramatic breakdown.

When I saw this, I pointed out to my friends in Atlanta that at least, they'd gotten and "entire" performance out of her and she'd been nice but they said she stated she was only there to get paid and looked stressed out and on the brink of losing it that night as well.

This is by no means the first instance of Lady Sov cutting a show short. The first time I saw her, she played a relatively short set but that was a free show at Central Park so I figured that's how those sorts of things go. She had a rough time her first gig in New York and walked off stage after one song the next night in Philly back in 2005.

But what's really going on here? She claims to be poor and unable to pay the rent? Obviously, if she's on tour with Gwen Stefani, she's getting paid. And why is she even doing these small gigs on the side? She's clearly unhappy about it and taking it out on her fans.

The second time I saw Sov perform at the Bowery, she played a nice long set and rocked it but personally, I probably wouldn't go see her again and sadly, a lot of people I spoke to concurred. To be honest, I was kind of over Sov after reading that she refused to wear a dress to her sister's wedding. Can anyone say "diva?"

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

LCD Soundsystem and Yacht rock Webster Hall

Monday night, I met up with my favorite neighborhood bloggers, A Brooklyn Life’s E and D to catch the LCD Soundsystem show at Webster Hall. We grabbed some tasty Ethiopian food at Meskel in the LES, drank a quick beer at Kate’s Joint around the corner and we were off to Webster Hall for the LCD action.

Once inside the spot, we situated ourselves near the front, an easy task because the place was quite empty and waited for Yacht to come on. We didn’t know anything about Yacht so we entertained each other by guessing how many people would be in the band. E said 2; I said 3 and D joked with 1/2. We waited for what felt like hours and questioned the accuracy of the time slots we’d seen posted outside.

Eventually, the lights turned off and a guy stepped up to the mic on stage as if to introduce Yacht. Nothing could have prepared us for what happened next. He WAS Yacht. With no instruments in sight, he began singing and dancing around in a style a friend of mine identified to me yesterday as “nerd crumping.”

If you’ve ever watched Napoleon Dynamite, specifically the dance routine, and thought to yourself afterwards that this sort of act would make a good “band,” then you’ve envisioned Yacht. Do yourself a favor and Youtube him, check out his website or myspace page. I’ve seen a lot of things but I’ve never seen anything quite like Yacht

Naturally, the response to Yacht ranged from amusement to shock and awe. I can tell you one thing though, while LCD put on a fantastic show, most people who asked me about it yesterday heard a lot about Yacht. That probably rings true for everyone who witnessed that madness.

But enough about Yacht, LCD Soundsystem sold the place out and put on a great show for the last date of their current tour. The floor bounced as the crowd jumped in unison from beginning to end while James Murphy and company played through most of their recent album, “Sound of Silver”. They also threw in hard and fast versions of cuts from their last album, most notably “Daft Punk is Playing at My House” and “Tribulations.”

Highlights for me included “North American Scum,” because I adore that song (“New York's the greatest if you get someone to pay the rent / And it's the furthest you can live from the government”) and the entire encore teemed with brilliance. They started it off with “Someone Great” then went into an extended version of “Yeah” and topped off the night with the sincere and lovely “New York, I love You.”

While I saw a lot of 18-year olds in the audience and couldn’t help but wonder if the lyrics rang as true for them as they did for me, the air definitely hung with an echoed sentiment of love and harsh reality about our fair city during that last number.

I can’t stress this enough. If you don’t have the new album, run, don’t walk to your local record store and pick it up. You won’t regret it. I’m leaving you with some poignant lyrics from that touching last song:

“New York, I Love You
But you're bringing me down

Like a death of the heart
Jesus, where do I start?

But you're still the one pool
Where I'd happily drown”

(Make that McCarren Park Pool, please.)

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What kind of fuckery is this?

The genius in naming your blog “Lazy Robots” lies in the fact that when people raise eyebrows because you haven’t posted in days, even weeks, you can simply point to the name and say, “You were warned.”

To make up for my recent blogging slackery, I bring you not one, but two posts about a few shows I caught recently.

Last week, I checked out a new music venue in the meat packing district called the Highline Ballroom. This venue opened just slightly over two weeks ago on April 30th. According to the press release on their website, the decor is inspired by the forthcoming High Line Park and they plan to donate “$.25 from every ticket sold to Friends of the High Line, the non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and reuse of the High Line elevated rail structure.”

That’s a concept I feel pretty good about supporting. It’s a nice, clean good space, with new lighting and sound that holds 700 people. We were there to see miniscule, gigantically-coiffed British singing sensation Amy Winehouse. Opening up for her was the elfish, red glittery-haired Patrick Wolf.

Amy sounded great. She played my favorite track of hers, “Fuck Me Pumps.” My friend’s main complaint about the show was that she seemed somewhat apathetic throughout most it. She showed some enthusiasm during her last song, “I’m No Good,” maybe because she was glad to be done or maybe because the audience responded particularly well to it. We agreed that apathy is part of her shtick though and in the end my only real problem was that she only played about 45 minutes.

Like my fellow robots, I caught one of the Bjork concerts the previous week. I went to the Saturday show at the United Palace Theatre. That set clocked in at a whopping 75 minutes and she did a ONE-SONG ENCORE. Who ever heard of a one-song encore? Is this par for the course now? Dropping big bucks to see your favorite artist play an hour if you’re lucky?

Of course, I still love you Bjork and Amy. See you next time.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

We Heart Beer Gardens!

We had such a Laissez-fair weekend! I won't go into the boozing details but I do have to say the bots finally made it out to the Bohemian Beer Garden in Queens this weekend and the verdict was that if we ever win the lottery, we'd spend a portion on it constructing our very own booze garden in Brooklyn!

Just some tidbits:

Czechovakia is comprised of the regions Moravia and Bohemia - best known for their lager beers and hella damn good hops and barley! Some famous Czech beers: Pilsners and Budweiser Budvar (not the crappy American Budweiser)

The Czech Republic has the greatest beer consumption per capita in the world! Something like 161 liters per person, yikes!

At one point in NYC history there were 800 beer gardens, 3 in Astoria. (Lucky bastards!)

The Czechs call beer: "Liquid Bread"

There's an old wives tale in the C.R. that dark lager will make your boobs get bigger

Did you know that there are Beer Trips all over Europe? Whaaaaaaaaaaat!

Apparently there's a beer that people are describing as Liquid Gold in the C.R. called Vendelin and described as: "a bouquet of apricot blossoms with a note of fresh-baked bread, like fruit jam on sourdough toast. The taste is rich and sugary followed by a long, crisp finish." TASTY and on top of it all it has a distribution zone of 2 mountain meadows in South of the Czech Republic. I'm totally going there!

Okay I'll stop obssessing about Czech beer + gardens now, happy monday!

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Friday, May 4, 2007

TOM AND ROSS IN NYC, Cherry Blossom Festival, Hip Hop @ Blk. Bettys

Oh I know, a friggin week late! Tom and Ross were in town from Athens so I spent the majority of the week showing them the greatness that is called New York and then I've had work and school and somewhere in between it all, I've had no more than 6 hours of sleep every night. Oh Geez!

[T] and [R] arrived late Thursday to an already drunk hostess, Irish vodka and ginger ale and then to the gay bar we all went it was fun and then we headed to alligator where pizza was had by all!

Friday was slow, we got up for lunch at Planet Thailand, the waitress was a total FOB with no clue that perhaps, smiling may be a nice gesture to other humans around it, get over it you live in Williamsburg! then i dragged t and r around the east village and finally to FIT where I had my first orientation for my Paris trip in June! That was real exciting and I'll post the itinerary of the trip soon to make everyone JEALOUS! then I met up with the guys and we roamed around Chelsea and the meat packing where we took this picture

We had Yakitori later along with some homemade cotton candy and headed back to the pad for a very late night raving, I seem to recall taking pictures but don't know where I saved the pictures? DAMN IT!!!! TOO MUCH BOOZE. we then left afterwards and headed to a gay bar in an attempt to see Go-Go dancers, it was T and R's attempt, not mine, I've seen too many gay bars already in New York and I'm straight! It was at the Eastern Bloc (the bar) that we arrived to a small crowd and an available pole (for dancing) thats when Sondra got up and did her thing followed up with Tom and random others, it was quite funny. All along I was wondering, where the freak is my camera?

Anyway, Sat. was Cherry Blossom Fest, see 1st photo, this was followed up by a roof top throw down involving French Margaritas, they were oh sooo tasty and home-made salsa.

and oh wait, my new camera has mad skillz, check it:

sorry I JUST HAD TO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!LOL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

okay I'm done laughing . . . no wait! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

moving on the four of us ended up in a car service to Black Betty for one of their hip hop nights, it was DEAD when we got there and like how we do it, we got the party started, we got the party started right with a round of beers and shots, it was a little out of hand, here's evidence:

lazy moves

whatcha say? cuz i'm sleepy!

Bye, bye Tom and Ross, NY will miss you :)

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Thursday, May 3, 2007

More Bjork Shenanigans

Possibly Maybe . . . Possibly Love . . . Possibly the Lazy-three may end up in Baltimore or Toronto to see Bjork again this summer or fall. I'm routing for Canada but we'll see, we'll see. Au-revoir Bjork! Hello Canadians!

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More Bjork Shenanigans

Sorry afterparty at the Japanese Yakitori place with meat on a stick and pitchers of beer and raver sticks (glow sticks for people down south).

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More Bjork Shenanigans

C and I looking pretty calm here, we were really going crazy during the show, I apologize to the 1st mezzanine for their lameness and for our loudness, L to the O to the S.E.R.S!

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More Bjork Shenanigans

and the Icelandic Brass Ensemble: I always thought, "Bjork, never stray from the strings!" I love Bjork and her adamant love for string instruments, there's something in the sound of a cello or violin that brings me to such an emotional state, or shall I say a state of EMERGENCY. BUT, I do have to say last night's performance with the Brass Ensemble was A-MAZ-ING!

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More Bjork Shenanigans

3 $8 cocktails later . . . .

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More Bjork Shenanigans

The Bjork Fan Club: Cesar, Jan and Josh, sorry number one fans :)

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More Bjork Shenanigans

and Antony from Antony and the Johnsons. Such a beautiful, beautiful song, I thought, "dear lord please don't let me cry," the track was soooo pretty and Antony has an amazing vocal presence, no thunder was stolen from eachother they sounded amazing together. There was an awkward moment between them while they were singing and swaying with eachother but I think it made it so perfect and probably why I loved that song. Both of them are so quirky and extremely passionate about music. One of my favorite numbers :)

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B to the J to the O.R.K.

Bare with me, I'm having technical difficulties. LazyRobots have been hella lazy about posting till (drum roll please) Bjork comes to town. The show at Radio City was Magnifique and I can only recall goosebumps forming during every song, even during tracks from her new album. "Innocence" was by far my favorite from Volta and I can not wait to get the album next week when it sets to debut in the US. But the most breathtaking part of the night was when she performed Joga . . . I don't even have the words to explain how gorgeous that song was . . . geez how I love bjork :)

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Wednesday, May 2, 2007

One word: BJORK!

Bjork! Yeah I'm just that excited to see her. Yes this is pre-game my friends. I was just so excited I had to share some of it with our loyal readers. What like two of you besides the authors, dosen't matter how many *I love you*. Check back though I'm sure there will be lots more to read on the subject from the three of us though the robots will be divided 2/3 of us tonight (probably no where near each other) and the other third later on in the week.

I love her...I love her...I love her...I love her! Can I just say I almost cried TWICE. I had a permanent grin on my face and I clapped and yelled despite the silence from most of the 2nd mezzanine at Radio City Music Hall. Despite the fact that ushers were actually walking through the crowd and asking people to take their seats and not dance I squirmed rhythmically in my seat.  Despite the fact that the guy next to me fell asleep! during the opening band (which really wasn't warranted) and looked like he was going through hell during Bjork's set I was excited and happy enough for us both.  Her voice was phenomenal! The new stuff she performed was great, the oldies but goodies awesome, the interpretations of Medulla with a live band and not human voice band (?) good except for one song...admittedly this was after a fan had been tackled on, and escorted off stage right behind her. Hell, even I would have been a bit upset. Oceania, Pagan Poetry, All is Full of Love, Wanderlust and The Dull Flame of Desire (with Antony!) stand out as being some of my favorites from the night, but of course they are all my favorites or I wouldn't have been there. She even ended with a protest song, Declare Independence,urging the audience to fly their own flag, make their own currency, and shame on anyone if they let The Man keep them down. Ahh she's awesome!

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