Saturday, December 29, 2007

Banksy does New York

A month ago, Yer, Jake and I trekked over to Chelsea on a snowy Sunday afternoon to check out the opening of "Banksy Does New York" at the Vanina Holasek Gallery.

As we rounded the 10th Avenue corner onto 27th, we discovered that many New Yorkers had also been struck with the same idea that day. We turned right back around and headed over to Benny's in the West Village to console our thirsty selves with $4 Black Flower margaritas.

As I stumbled home from Boat last night, I remembered that the Banksy show would only be up until the end of the month. I checked the website, confirmed that this Saturday was indeed the last day and vowed then and there to rise at the crack of noon and break my vow to avoid the city until January 2nd.

The Vanina Holasek Gallery is a very small space but it boasts three floors, which contained 30 or so of Banksy's pieces. On the top floor was a note encased in plastic, a "Buy one, get one for free" offer, in which he promised to replicate a copy of every piece sold somewhere on his favorite canvas, London, for free. Banksy is awesome.

Below are photos of some of the pieces in the show. I would urge you to check it out, but sadly, it's over. Until next time, Banksy!

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Friday, December 28, 2007

2007: Year in lyrics

It’s that time of year again, and I'm not talking about the Holidays or the hordes of tourists parading through Midtown. I'm referring to everyone and their mom's "Top Albums of 2007" lists, a far more obnoxious annoyance which can't simply be ignored by avoiding certain parts of town.

I could tell you that I really dug Boxer and Person Pitch too but why would I want to when every other blog, magazine or publication has replicated identical lists ranging from 10 to 100 of the same titles? Instead, I've put together a top 10 of my favorite lyrics from 10 albums on most of those lists. (As ranked here by Pitchfork.)

10. "Tune in Tokyo" - Spoon - "Rythm and Soul" - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (#7)
Has anyone used this phrase since, like, the fifth grade? My favorite Spoon lyrics are actually the random "Yeah's," "Uh huh's" and "Oh no's" sporadically uttered by Britt Daniel but that seemed like a bit of a copout.

9. "Sticks and stones may break my bones / But words will never hurt me" - Panda Bear - "Carrots" - Person Pitch (#1)
Innovative album, undecipherable lyrics. But, if like me, you hunted them down on Noah Lennox's MySpace page; you also found gems like these. Another one that takes us back to those formative elementary school years.

8. "And a fall from you / Is a long way down / I've found a better way out - Beirut - "Cherbourg" - The Flying Cup Club (#40)
Insert smartass remark here. But wait...I don't have one. I just happen to think this is a sad, beautiful and hopeful sentiment all at once. Apparently, I do have a heart.

7. "Your life will fall apart" - The Arcade Fire - "Intervention" - Neon Bible (#27)
When Winn Butler sings "Working for the church while your life falls apart," Regine follows it with a high pitched "Your life will fall apart!!!!" It's completely dramatic yet simultaneously hilarious. I LOVE that.

6. "The other side of takeout / Is mildew on rice" - Animal Collective - "Peacebone" - Strawberry Jam (#6)
Before this, I never thought of takeout as being multi faceted. This completely changes the way I look at most takeout (Pizza remains unscathed though I believe the science could easily apply) and makes me ponder the temporary aspect of life overall. It’s deep.

5. "When I climb trees / Dem feet, dem tickle" - MIA - "Mango Pickle Down River" - Kala (#3)
A month ago, my coworker and I engaged in a heated Jamaican slang off over IM. We exchanged numerous lines of island dialogue and when my supply dried up, I took a chance with this and not only did it totally fly, but it was received with hearty laughter and a "You're funny." (Which I aim to be.) Thanks M.I.A.!

4. "Tiptoe through our shiny city / With our diamond slippers on" - The National - "Fake Empire" - Boxer (#17)
You know what I love about NYC bands? I can relate to their lyrics. This is precisely how I feel whilst prancing around town. But my all-time favorite National lyric is "Break my arms around the one I love" from “Daughters of the SoHo Riots” off of Alligator.

3. "And if the sun comes up, if the sun comes up, if the sun comes up / And I still don't wanna stagger home" - LCD Soundsystem - "All My Friends" - Sound of Silver (#2)
How many summer nights does this describe? So many... Too many to count. I'm right there with you James.

2. "Physics makes us all its bitches" - Of Montreal - "Gronlandic Edit" - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? (#5)
Choosing one favorite lyric from an album like this must be like trying to decide which of your kids is your favorite. Can I just say all of "The Past is a Grotesque Animal?" Even that seems unfair.

1. "You used to be alright / What happened? / Et cetera et cetera..." - Radiohead - "15 Step" - In Rainbows (#4)
Never in all my years of music listening have three short lines or eleven words described the way I feel about the artist that penned them so eloquently.

And that's it! Here's to 2008 and all the lyrical goodness that shall accompany it. We should be seeing new albums from Sia, Cat Power, Hot Chip, Mountain Goats, Goldfrapp, Autechre, M83, Portishead, Of Montreal, Death Cab for Cutie and Ladytron, just to name a few.

A Happy and safe New Year to everyone out there from the Lazy Robots crew. See you in ’08!

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The day after...

Santa Claus on CRIBS - Watch more free videos

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Fashion Blogging

I'd like to encourage those bloggers out there, whether you are fashion-obsessed or not to check out the Costume Institute's latest exhibition, blog.mode: addressing fashion. The exhibition opens today and I managed to snap a few photos for you guys during the press previews yesterday. Enjoy and peruse the exhibition's blog for some fashion reading!

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Five for Friday

New Hot Chip
Not one but two new Hot Chip tracks dropped on the net this week. The first is a Jesse Rose remix of their upcoming single "Ready For The Floor” and the second is their remix of Everything But The Girl's Tracey Thorn's cover of the Pet Shop Boys “King’s Cross." Discobelle is already saying that their upcoming album "will most likely be one of THE albums in 2008." Absolutely can't wait to get my hands on this one.

Explosions in the Sky Tour

Unless you got pre sale tickets for the New York stop of Explosions in the Sky's supposed last tour, tickets go on sale at noon today. I'm not sure Terminal 5 will be a great venue for this but it's not to be missed either way.

New Portishead

Where were you in 94...94...94...when Dummy dropped and changed your life? It's been a whole decade since we've seen a new Portishead album, excluding their live releases. Urb posted three new songs and videos from the band on Monday. It's about time.

Let's ride
It was nice to see a skate shop pop up on Smith Street earlier this year. But it was even nicer to see a flyer from them on my doorstep yesterday morning advertising snowboard trips leaving from the location starting December 15th. Hella convenient.

We're moving!
Buh bye Blogger! The bots are taking the blog elsewhere. We're moving this operation over to in the near future. Stay tuned!

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Merry Stache-mas!

Sadly, my days of walking dogs in Williamsburg and planting flowers in Fort Greene Park have come to a screeching halt in light of the weather but it's important to remain benevolent during the holiday season. And what better way is there to give back to the community than by growing a sweet mustache...for the kids! It's the only good deed I can think of that will not only make you feel warm inside but also keep your upper lip warm in the frosty nights of winter.

A friend of mine is doing just that for the New York chapter of "Mustaches For Kids", an organization that's been raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and other children's charities since 1999. This year they're supporting to improve at-need public schools.

So check out my friend Steve's profile, check out their hilarious FAQ, make a donation and hop on over to the Montauk Club in Park slope at 8pm on Saturday, December 15 for the grand finale, The 'Stache Bash.

Anyone else find it ironic that growing a creepy mustache can benefit school kids while simultaneously getting you banned from being within 500 feet of a school?

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Sunday, December 9, 2007

All Quiet on the Brooklyn Front
A Look at Old Skool Bronx

Well, its been quiet, finals are bulldozing through and I've spent most of my rockstar/partytime lost in various libraries and in every book known to man concerning the beginnings of hip-hop starting in the mid-70s and early 80s, some call this the true "old school." The music evolved on the streets of the Bronx as an alternative to street and gang violence, inspired by multiple music genres and cultures and spread by DJs at house and block parties. The Jamaican dancehall culture with their booming mobile sound systems were a great source of inspiration for early pioneers of hip-hop, what up, Dj Kool Herc! Starting as early as 1973, Kool Herc would plug his rigged sound system (made from old TV sets) into street lampposts and start spinning old school jams, sampling a bit of funk, jazz, R&B and blues. His sister would throw house parties charging 25 cents for the ladies and 50 cents for the gentlemen, it's nice to know we still get in cheaper! The party favors: malt liquor and 40oz beers, my kind of party. The parties would be about dancing, something, I've been feeling nostalgic for, not exactly the b-boy/girl parties of the late 70s and 1980s, but the parties I knew so well in the 90s.

When is dance coming back and what has happened to Hip-Hop? I have this theory that if everyone started wearing baggier clothes, dance will come back, you really can't move in cigarette jeans and concerning Hip-Hop, well, it's interesting to see how it has transcended America and has become a global phenomena, but where's the future? Bling and violence, booty and sex? I hope not . . .

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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Banksy Craze

Unfortunately, our trek in the snow to see Banksy at the Vanina Holasek Gallery ended in a resounding, "I will not stand in this line!" Our refusal was plain logic since the show will be up for the next month (duh!) and who wants to elbow their way through an art show, anyway? Apparently these crazy folks in line did.

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