Thursday, September 27, 2007

Beirut and Inspirational Musings

Sometimes I forget how emotional music can make you, blame it on the full moon, the outdoor venue, the foreign tongue of Zach Condon, the horns . . . the horns mixed with the violin, geez, what a beautiful combination. The Delacorte theater last night was an emotional ride, from jumping up and down to Brooklyn's own, Balkan Beatbox to gushing and feeling very loved by Beirut's music making, the night was magical. So magical I've been inspired to write a poem, about the city, the band, the music . . . .

Take this weekend to listen to Beirut and while you're at it download the new single, Sunday Smile here.

Beirut at the edge of the sea
staring across at Africa, dreaming of travel
going with wind, water . . .
floating an inch above the waves
hovering just slightly
nudging the current forward
to rest on land
moving, m o v i n g
all along
beyond past, broken seashells, war
to glimpse a secret place no one could ever go
whispering stories along the way in sound, in music
carrying the moment, the deep longing
in a single breath blowing through a horn, a note, a season
to find meaning
sitting at the edge of the sea

Read More......

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ulrich Schnauss at Joe's Pub

Saturday night, I made a rare weekend trip into the city to catch Ulrich Schnauss at Joe's Pub.

I'd never been to a show at Joe's and found it to be an interesting venue. It's small and intimate. Half the space is filled with tables and they serve food. It's a little like seeing your favorite artist playing in your dining room.

The show began promptly at 9:30 and Ulrich played through many tracks off his new album, Goodbye, including "Shine," "Medusa" and the title track. The only older tune he played was "On My Own," which I found disappointing because I prefer his previous material to the new album.

IDM loses part of its charm when performed live because essentially, it was just a man and his laptop, joined every so often onstage by a (hot) guitarist/lyricist. I joked that he was really just running his iTunes library and talking to his friends on iChat. My friend Cesar retorted that he was updating his MySpace profile and we finally decided that he was just looking at porn.

Still, the music sounded great, the visuals were nice and I couldn't help but think that it was a shame we'd given up all those party favors we used to indulge in back in the day.

After the show, I ventured back to CG$ and further still to Red Hook ¢, specifically Lido's Bar, for Daddy Dennis's 33rd Birthday bash. Unfortunately, I had far too many $4 cocktails, a course of action that ruined the 24 hours to follow and caused me to blow off my ball field plans on Sunday. Better luck next weekend!

Read More......

Thursday, September 20, 2007

National Singles Week!

Gothamist told me today that it's National Singles Week! Even though I'm no longer single, it's kinda fun to get hyped up over the fact that there is one week devoted to the independent singlets out there! Yippie! Apparently at Madame X, SWISH (Single Women In Search of Happiness) are gathering for booze and networking, rsvp here.

Read More......

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Shake A Fist

I recently grabbed the new Hot Chip tune, “Shake A Fist,” due for a 12” release sometime this month and after a few listens, I still can’t decide how I feel about it.

Just last night, I was thinking that “Over and Over” defined Summer ’06 for me. And while I loved that song and realize that this one will probably click after a few more listens, it’s just different than what I think of when I think of Hot Chip.

The middle part, AKA the "sounds of the studio," is an experiment within a song. It’s a far cry from anything on their previous two albums. I love the heavy bass and grimey sounds but I’m confused about the evolution.

I do recall that when we saw them in March at Webster Hall, their new material seemed to have taken a turn into harder, more danceable, dare I say, ravey territory, but I was a big fan of their melancholic, lap-pop, bleep and glitch numbers too (unlike the folks at Fluxblog apparently, though I found their review quite amusing.)

Check it out for yourself and decide.

Read More......

Trump L'Oeil Baby

Hanging out in the CG$ and R.Hook$ this weekend got me looking at a lot of babies, admiring the fact that I don't have one but that they exist and are tiny bundles of cuteness, at least when they are not crying and pulling hair. Instead, (thanks to the Sartorialist) I can look for my very own Trump L'Oeil baby t-shirt.

Read More......

Monday, September 17, 2007

And the award goes to...

So is it just me, or is the award season so far a total joke? Let's start with the now infamous MTV music video awards. First this is a joke because you rarely ever see videos on MTV anymore, as pointed out by the lovely Justin Timberlake during the show. ( I don't want to see anymore of the Simpson sister's respective reality shows either.) Second, YES Brittney Spears was horrible but that was the only reason a lot of us tuned in. I'm not afraid to admit that I'm a Brittney hater and I wanted to see the flop live rather than hear about it second hand, and I did, repeated several times thanks to A's TiVo. Third, and thankfully I'm not alone in this contrary to several early reports, Mtv's new award show format was very uncomfortable to watch. The reason we tune in is to see the performances, these were limited to short teasers where we were encouraged to visit the internet for the full show. The production was rife with awkwardness and technical difficulty. For example, did anyone notice the guy pushing Jennifer Garner down the stairs on her way to present an award with Jamie Foxx? It was priceless, even Mtv's staff has admitted to not being happy with the outcome. Also who came up with the award categories? I was grateful for the shorter two hour format, but that was about it. Oh and Kanye West's rumored outbursts were quite enjoyable too, but I guess technically that wasn't part of the broadcast. Oh and sorry Mr. West but if you had opened the show I wouldn't have busted my ass to get to the beginning of the show like I did for Brittney.

Let us now move on to the Emmy's. Boring. The circular stage wasn't exciting, half the audience got to see the back of some important people in the TV biz, and I kept waiting for a rock show to start or a stand up comedian to come on. Ryan Seacrest as host, umm really? Wasn't there someone else more dynamic, and less pop culture? It seemed like the same movies and mini-series were nominated in every award category. Come on, there had to have been a little more going on in the television world this year. I mean how many times did Robert Duval get up on stage to make a long winded speech about cowboys and have to get played off. What's going on? Is there no creativity involved in the planning of these shows anymore? Fine, great take a risk but Ryan frickin' Seacrest? really? I didn't even make it through the whole show, maybe it got better but I somehow doubt it. Maybe I should do what I normally do and completely ignore all the award shows.

Read More......

Monday, September 10, 2007

Block Party/ Schnäck

Saturday afternoon, en route to Red Hook, destined for a block party, I wandered by Schnäck. A mere 467 days ago, my friend Chris offered to take me out for dinner to celebrate my first night in my new CG$ apartment, a welcome diversion from the towers of boxes that haunted me there. His suggestion was Schnäck, a place that served greasy fare and infamous beer milkshakes.

Like you, “Beer milkshakes” doesn’t exactly conjure up a delicious idea in my mind. But, being a fan of both beer and milkshakes and the kind of girl that’s willing to try almost anything once, I was going to give it a shot.

The shakes were much easier on the taste buds than I could’ve imagined, at least the chocolate flavor. I had a sip of a vanilla one many months later and sadly, I can’t say the same for those.

But back to this past Saturday, as I walked past the familiar restaurant, something in the window caught my eye: a sign that read, "We are BYOB now...”

What? BYOB? If I bring my own beer, will you still blend it into a delicious milkshake for me, Schnäck?

This is the end of a glorious era for the CG$/Red Hook community. First Lido Bar was supposed to be closing down (a vicious rumor, thankfully) and now Schnäck no longer has a liquor license?

Fortunately, I did find a new haunt on this excursion across the BQE, a bar at the very end of Columbia called Moonshine. At Moonshine, you can purchase four PBR’s in a bucket at the stellar rate of $5 and eat free peanuts in the shell to your heart’s content, a perk obviously taken advantage of by many of the bar's patrons judging by the layer of discarded shells that cover the floor. Also, there's Waffle House menus hanging on the ceiling, which made me miss the ATL a little. It’s a charming local dive and I envision myself hiding out there many nights this upcoming fall and winter.

Read More......

Ahh, yes . . . NY Fashion Week

Ah yes, y'all, New York is in the midst of their Fashion Week and for the first time in years, I've been kind of sleeping on the events. I guess turning 30 diverted my attention to simple things like, Brooklyn Brewery, kayaking, watching the disappointing season finale of the Conchords, eating chocolate cupcakes, stressing about writing my thesis this semester and planning my Fall itinerary (which includes lots of shows and hopefully some volunteer work).

Having some time off from Fashion Geek has given me some time to peruse the oodles of info and pictures on the net and so far these are the designers that stand out in the Spring/Summer 08' season. Karen Walker, (photo, left) created an off-beat look inspired by horse races and I would say, treasures found at a yard sale, Proenza Schouler (photo, right) was an obvious choice, they're like the mack daddies of New York design but for S/S 08,' created a mish-mosh of styles, from military to tribal. P.S. will emphasize legs in the warmer season with short bouncy skirts and long fitted torso tops.

Threeasfour, (photo, left) who graciously sent me a front row seat invitation but I opted out instead to go kayaking with my lovely BF Jake, was also a standout, presenting a simple monochrome collection using whites and asymmetrical proportions and lastly, Vena Cava produced a collection mixed with 1930s and 1970s influences showcasing long skirts with interesting prints. Anywhozzy, just an update! Check out my personal S/S 08' lookbook on here!

Read More......

One more time

During the humid, sweat-filled weekend, a thought entered my head and bounced around: this would be the ideal time for one last summer expedition to Coney Island.

As I skimmed through AMNY on my Monday commute to work this morning, my heart wept when I read these words:

“Astroland closed for the season -- and possibly forever -- Sunday.”

The fate of Astroland lies in the hands of the owner, landlord and developers and their ability to come to an agreement. But where are the freaks supposed to go now that the season has ended and the crowds have dispersed?

Well tonight, they’re heading to Avenue B where East Villager and LES hipsters can take in bizarre acts from the Coney Island Circus Sideshow while sampling pints of the newly launched Coney Island Lager for a mere three bucks each. So if you missed out on that one last memorable Coney Island experience, like me, here’s your chance to catch the freaks one more time.

On a completely unrelated topic, this Onion article is absolute, sheer brilliance. It hilariously exemplifies why I could never be a music critic.

Read More......

VMAs and new Diplo mix

It’s 12:49 a.m. on Monday morning and I can’t get on Perez Hilton. That may seem odd because: a) since when do I care about what Perez has to say? And b) why is his site down? But it makes perfect sense if you watched the VMAs and caught Britney’s “comeback” performance.

Far be it for me to blog about Britney Spears but what happened? I’ve seen train wrecks. I’ve seen car accidents. But I’ve never seen anything quite so accidental, tragic and pathetic.

Did she also fire her stylist when she dumped her manager and last assistant? Who told her she was ready to go on national television in her underwear?

And, who convinced poor Brit that it was cool to take a Xanax, or whatever downer she decided to pop, before that performance? She paraded herself around with the enthusiasm and vigor of a nine hundred year old corpse.

Sorry babe, I think this is the end for you.

On a lighter note, if you think “Umbrella” is the jam, and evidently you do as Rihanna cleaned house tonight, check out this mix that Diplo did for Pitchfork, which I found on Discobelle last week. It also features his version of “Stronger” by Kanye West, another VMA heavyweight.

If you dig the idea of M.I.A. over Battles mixed with a little Orbital, White Stripes and Justice and topped off with Bart Simpson’s “Bartman,” this is the mix for you.

(Did anyone out there who reads this blog think that I could actually go one month without posting something about Diplo?)

On a closing note, I don’t watch a lot of MTV so I was somewhat shocked tonight to find out that Justice’s "D.A.N.C.E." was up for video of the year. Expectedly, it did not win (Rihanna did) but I’m still surprised that it was even nominated. Vive la France!

Read More......

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Sweetest Story, The Gates, Central Park

So, a few years ago I had one of the most amazing experience ever, working on The Gates Project with Jean Claude and Christo in Central Park. 9 other people and I spent a very long week from the crack of dawn till 5 putting up the gates, unveiling the gates and walking through them. I took vacation time, skipped school and got paid a measly $6/hour to work outdoors in Central Park in the middle of February, I must have been nuts. It was the most manual labor I've ever done in my life, in fact, I still have scars from that week, it was quite bloody, but at the same time there was this beautiful sense of belonging and contribution and I will never forget that experience. Anyway, I'm not here to reminiscence about how great it was to freeze in Central Park or to construct and lift over 100 gates, I'm here to tell the sweetest story ever. While we were all sweat freezing through the project, two of the members of my "Crew" met and fell in love and will be getting married next week! I got the invitation today and just thought I'd share with you and the world that wonderful things do happen!

Congratulations Mark and Amelie!
(see photo of them @ Burning Man, I wanna go!)

Read More......

Monday, September 3, 2007

Battles and Deerhunter at the Seaport

Around 4 p.m. on Friday, Omar and I decided to bounce from work, catch the F train to the ACE and mosey on over to South Street Seaport for some hot Deerhunter/Battles action, the last of the free summer shows at that spot.

We were delayed by shenanigans on the orange line which left us stranded on a train, motionless for no less than 20 minutes, child screaming in my ear and all until we switched to the red line and mere minutes later, found ourselves at Fresh Salt, the coolest and only decent bar in that area. We ran into some old Atlanta cohorts of mine, Jay and Jaheem, and Omar's friend Amy.

After a few drinks, we made our way over to the seaport to catch the end of Deerhunter's set. They sounded excellent, much better than I remember when I resided in the ATL, veering somewhat into shoegazer territory.

Amy had a backstage pass from the Fourth of July Seaport show (New Pornographers, which I missed) and she said it should still be good for access. Then she threw out the two little words that sealed the deal for me: "Free Beer," evidently a perk for those who hold such a pass. She offered it up to a guy in the crew but he was disinterested in testing it out so I jumped on it.

It worked like a charm. Moments later, I found myself snapping pics of Bradford Cox and downing delicious, free Coors Lights. (They taste better when they're free, which is fortunate when they're Coors Light.)

I hung out for the remaining few Deerhunter numbers, snuck into the photographers pit and then wandered back out into the crowd to find Omar and report to the others that the tales were true: the pass worked and the beers were indeed flowing freely backstage. I tempted everyone else with it but inexplicably, no one wanted in on the action so Omar and I made our way back to the area and I situated myself backstage with him on the other side of the barricade where I could easily hand beers over and we could enjoy the show together.

Eventually, Battles took the stage. They sounded amazing and played a long and solid set. The crowd ate up every jam served up by the local math rockers.

Before Friday, I hadn’t jumped onto the Battles hype train along with the rest of the internet but I'm picking up Mirrored as soon as I can get my hands on it. You can’t go wrong with any project involving John Stanier (I was a huge Helmet fan back in the day too.)

Sadly, this was the last show of this concert series. It marks the end of the summer. But in true robot style, we ain't just letting the summer go out like that. The next few days were set aside for some tubing madness in the frosty rivers of Connecticut and after no less than six free beers, I found my way home only to awake at the ripe hour of 6:30 the next morning to catch the Jake Express to Farmington River.

Sound interesting? Check this space for the full details on those good times real soon.

Read More......