Thursday, August 30, 2007


Hey Everyone!
I've been volunteering with NY Cares for about a year and a half now and it's been a great way to combat the inner city pressure! Volunteering has truly been one of my saving graces. Suddenly, life feels a bit easier to manage and all those obstacles that have been stressing you out just simply roll off your back. So, join in this fierce, city fighting mentality and mark your calendars because, guess what y'all, it's New York Cares Day!

I'm gathering a group together to volunteer on the 20th of October to paint murals at New York public schools! The team is of course called, LazyRobots and you don't even have to be a NYCARES member to volunteer. To join this amazing team of not so lazy bots, register online here and click on the Register button. Then choose the Join A Team option and search under the team name, LazyRobots, fill out the rest of the form and you have officially signed up for NY Cares Day.

The goal is to get lots of our friends, families, neighbors, co-workers and maybe even arch-enemies together and spend the day beautifying New York schools. We are also collecting donations to go towards making NY Cares possible for everyone.

So, get off your lazy booties and get to registering. Do it, do it, do it, don't be afraid of a little paint and making a huge difference in people's lives :)


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Saturday, August 25, 2007

A-bot's B-day

A's birthday started out Friday night at a variety of places including Royal Oak, where we pounded a few High Life Ponies and well whiskies (ugh!), trying to dance to the random crazy music that was playing there. The night, of course, ended at our favorite Williamsburg bar, Union Pool, where we left A to a group of boys as we stumbled our way homes to rest for the next day. Saturday started in the late afternoon with a day in the sun at MOMA's kid sister museum, P.S. 1 (P.S. stands for public school, the museum's past life). Warm-up, the Saturday Summer party that makes me so very happy was on the agenda for the day and it was A's first museum+dancing+beer+veggie burger experience.

The idea of the museum as a dancing venue is quite genius! It's practically a dream combination for me! Stocked with water bottles full of vodka tonics with some slices of cucumbers in them (to keep the, oh so, refreshing taste) we explored the museum galleries first, finding some very interesting and at times boring art pieces. Devoted to "contemporary and alternative" art, P.S.1 houses the type of art that will either push your button, have you look away in disgust or cause a heated discussion over 40oz beers at the neighboring playground. The latter is what we did after we polished our cucumber concoctions and met up with S-bot, who arrived later after nursing her hang-over from the tequila+whiskey affair we had the night before.

After spending some time on the dance floor, socializing with our buddies from UGA, Brian and Blair (also our future labor day buddies for tubing) we headed out to Harry's Water Taxi Beach for some pizza and hot dogs and of course the surreal view of the Manhattan skyline. The night was cool and for the first time all summer, I felt a need for a jacket. It was a perfect close to a long weekend of partying.

But did you think Sunday would be a day for reflection? Not really. Some of us got up early and had brunch at Teddy's Bar and Grill in the Willy-b and had a couple of bloodymary's to ease the early wake-up call.

We headed over, making our way through the August rain, to the infamous McCarren Pool Sunday Parties,
settling down with a Brooklyn Lager in front of the dodge ball game. As we gawked at the hot hipster boys wearing no shirts, running around the court dodging the evil red rubber ball, a selection of roller skating-booty shaking music thumped in the background (Allison would have enjoyed that!).

I left the gang admiring their future husbands and headed over to Carrol Gardens for Landau Orchestra's (Jake's band) concert with Bjorkestra. Unfortunately, as I got there the show was cancelled, due to the pesky rain. Sunday ended for the gang at Barcade, one of our favorite bar+arcade, while I took an early night in.

We all met up again at Habana Outpost, an eco-eatery on Wednesday for some outdoor seating, cheap beer and mediocre food, all in honor of A-bot's actual birthday. The night was filled with people coming in and out, getting beers, waiting for food, laughter, plans for a weekend of tubing and overrall catching up. It was nice to get everyone together, yay! I do have to say, even though the food was not stellar (minus the catfish burrito) we will definitely be hitting up Fort Green for some Habana Outpost boozing very soon.

Happy Birthday A!

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Jimmy Aaja!

When it rains, it pours and it’s been a torrential downpour at work this week. In the past four days, I put in a grueling 40 hours there. It’s a bleak existence amplified by my F train commute home to the sounds of Mogwai, (yes Jake, some people do still listen to Mogwai) The Radio Department and Johnny Cash’s “Hurt.”

But I did run across one thing this week on Discobelle that brought me a good amount of Joy: M.I.A.’s video for “Jimmy” off her new album Kala.

“Jimmy” is a cover of an 80’s Disco Hindi song (“Jimmy Jimmy Aaja”) from a Bollywood film called Disco Dancer. If you really want to, you can check out the original song here. M.I.A.’s version is pretty much a straight cover done in a different language. It’s extremely fun and catchy and I’ve busted a groove to it in my living room many times since acquiring the album. Can’t wait to hear all the club remixes of this jam!

By the way, M.I.A. is playing Terminal 5 on October 19 and Justice is playing the following night. I love New York! Tickets for both go on sale today at noon.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Oh Rooftop Party!

I'm stealing these from Erin, but funtimes were had by all this weekend at Zophia's rooftop throw-down.

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Another Reason!

From the gazillion concerts to the tasty restaurants to the 20 H&Ms, does New York really need another reason to be the COOLEST CITY EVER? I know, I know, you're thinking it's kinda dirty, loud, attractive to terrorists, dangerous and expensive but is it all worth it if you're the healthiest in the nation? New York Mag this week has an interesting article about how New Yorkers live the longest, because the city is a huge gym. StairMaster in the subway and power walking vs. sitting in your car and eating McDonald's french fries, it's an easy win, isn't it? There's also a whole new spin on how the faster you walk the longer you'll live and New Yorkers are by far some of the fastest walkers in the U.S. Maybe we're also the most stressed out but sometimes the inner city pressure can be stimulating.

Yay, for living longer!

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Robot rock

Back in March, we bought tickets for a little event in August: the infamous Daft Punk at Coney Island's Keyspan Park, the same venue that I saw Björk and Sigur Rós play years before I would move to New York in 2003

Daft Punk's catalog reigned over my raver years. You can't deny their influential pioneer status in electronic music. The night before tickets went on sale, a friend of a friend's described their show, which he caught in LA, as "a religious experience." When I awoke the next morning, Ticketmaster was the first stop and tickets would soon be in the mail.

Weeks before the event, pictures began to pop up. I saw some from Seattle on Pitchfork. A friend from San Francisco wowed me with cell phone snaps of the Berkeley performance. And three days ago, my best gal pal in Toronto dropped me a note to say that their stop in her city was "the BEST CONCERT EVER!!" and "holy sh*tballs."

There was hype. My hopes were high. But I was dubious. How awesome could Daft Punk's live how be?

Ridiculously so. There are no words. I am speechless (sort of.)

How cool do you have to be to dress up like a robot, step into a giant illuminated pyramid, perform for thousands of people and pull it off? And "pull it off" is an understatement. What I'm really trying to say here is "blow everyone's f*cking mind like it's never been blown before."

We got there kind of late and were unmotivated to fight our way up to the front so we snagged a spot to the right and warmed up with The Rapture. When Daft Punk started playing the whole place began to bounce.

The entire experience was a study in time travel. It felt like stepping back in time to 1997. They ran through many of my favorites including "Around the World", "One More Time", "Human After All", "The Prime Time of Your Life", "Robot Rock" and "Technologic" to name a few.

Y and I separated ourselves from the crowd to find room to dance and I eventually fought my way back into it in an effort to take some pictures that would give those of you out there in blog land some idea of the madness we experienced (impossible.) I somehow situated myself close to the front, center of the stage, where the sound was great and I could feel the bass in my throat but it wasn't as fun without my friends.

Overall, much like everyone I spoke to about this show beforehand, I had zero complaints and can easily say that it was one of the most amazing evenings of my life. So incredible in fact that it almost made up for the fact that I put in a twelve-hour day at work today (on a Friday.)

Note to self: Quit job and fine tune new life plan as a "Daft Head," following Daft Punk around on tour. Next stop: Las Vegas, October 27.

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Friday, August 10, 2007


Before [A] does her shpill (sp?) on the greatest two french guys in the history of mankind. I just wanted to say . . . .

I ♥LOVE♥ YOU DAFT PUNK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

thanks for making my life better . . .

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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

M.I.A.'s coming back with power, power

Is it my birthday?

It must be because what fell into my lap today? Kala, the sophomore effort by my favorite Sri Lankan MC, M.I.A.

The word Kala means Black. Jay Z and Metallica both graced the music world with "Black" albums and now it's M.I.A.'s turn.

I'd been anxiously awaiting my first listen for months but was also worried about the day I would get my hands on it because Arular completely blew me away. How would the follow up fare?

It's good, very good even.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've already heard the heavily caned "XR2," "Bird Flu" and "Boyz" out in clubs or online. It's the stuff you haven't heard that will surprise you.

Kala is a more varied and mature record than her debut. The production styles span a wider range and it caters to more ears and sounds.

Aside from the tracks I already knew, which are some of the best on the album, standouts include the disco-fueled "Jimmy," "$20," (the chorus of which comes from the Pixies' "Where Is My Mind") and the fun opener "Bamboo Banger."

I also found the lyrics "If you catch me at the border/I got visas in my name" from "Paper Planes" somewhat amusing. She always has a good sense of humor about her visa troubles.

The only disappointment is the Timbaland collaboration, "Come Around." Considering the beats Timbaland has cut for artists such as Björk and Justin Timberlake, this number is a little stale.

Overall, Kala rocks and will undoubtedly remain in heavy rotation in my iTunes playlist for months to come. Run out and buy it the minute it hits shelves!

On a side note, I've been accused of being somewhat biased when it comes to M.I.A. in the past so I spoke to a handful of people who were also giving the disc its first listen today and everyone favorably concurred. One person even said it might be better than Arular.

Big up yourself M.I.A.!

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Rain and shine at McCarren

You know you pulled off a killer weekend when it takes you until Wednesday to fully recuperate.

Friday night, Y and I caught up after work for some happy hour action in the EAV. We hit up our usual joint and then tried a new spot, Keybar. The key to that bar's success: Two for one until 10p.m., a nice change of pace for those of us who often get stuck in the office late, i.e. me.

Afterwards, we took our show over to the Burg where we scarfed down a pizza and a Yuengling at Capone's, made a brief appearance at Barcade and called it a relatively early night around 2 a.m.

The idea was to repeat this on Saturday night (taking it easy that is) but you know what they say about the best-laid plans...

I met up with some friends for the Sonic Youth show at McCarren Pool. We sipped on Brooklyn Lagers while Kim, Thurston and company played through Daydream Nation and five or so encore songs, including "Incinerate," "Reena" and "Do You Believe In Rapture?" Then, I accompanied my concert crew to East River bar.

To make a long story short, next thing I know, I'm stumbling home, the sun is coming up and all hopes of not shirking my Sunday responsibilities are long gone, much like my sobriety.

I managed to crawl out of bed the next day and wade my way through the puddles back to McCarren Pool for the free TV On The Radio show. S and I waited out the rain at nearby Enid's and when we ventured back over to the pool area, a nicely sized crowd had turned up in support of the local rockers.

We hung out while they played a considerably lengthy set for a free show (fifteen minutes over the usual closing time.) Katrina Ford from Celebration joined the band onstage and sang along. They played my favorite of theirs, "Dreams" and ended the set with that one TVOR tune we all know and love, "Staring at the Sun."

I wonder where I'll spend my weekends once summer ends and the pool closes. I leave you now with a handful of reasons why I love living in NYC:

8/3 CSS (free)
8/5 Blonde Redhead/I'm From Barcelona (free)
8/6 Lauryn Hill (free)
8/9 DAFT PUNK!!!
8/10 Au Revoir Simone (free)
8/17 The National (free)
8/24 Camera Obscura (free)

(And that's just one month!)

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