Friday, February 29, 2008

Killing it at Killington

You’re probably sick of hearing about my snowboarding trips by now but since this is the first winter that I’ve had the chance to hit the slopes regularly since my parents transplanted me from the Northeast to the South at the tender age of 16, I’m just a tad excited.

Last weekend, seven of us drove five hours through a winter snowstorm to sleepy Rutland, Vermont, home of the Killington Ski Resort. Our three bedroom/three bathroom condo accommodated the crew perfectly and included amenities one would never find in a NYC apartment, such as a dishwasher, washer and dryer and, best of all, a sauna!

The conditions weren’t as ideal as the conditions at Okemo last time I went but it was great to roll up there with such a big group of people. We had a lot of fun on the slopes and off, drinking beers in a hot tub and playing Yahtzee/Jenga.

CG$/Cobble Hill crew – I had a blast! Let’s do it again next year! Until then, here are a few photos for the sake of reminiscing.

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People Get Ready, N. American Music Festivals

I'm thinking MTV or Oprah should give me a million bucks so that I can quit my job, travel and live my life as a bohemian vagabond at music festivals.

Noisepop, San Fran, CA - RIGHT NOW!
Winter Music Festival, Miami - March 25-29 - Lineups
Coachella, Indio, CA - April 25 - 27 - Lineup, but all we really care about is, Portishead!
Sasquatch Festival, George, WA - May 24 - 26 - Lineup, Flight of the Conchords!
Bonaroo, Manchester, TN - June 12-15 - Lineup
Not quite North American but . . . Sonar Festival, Barcelona, Spain - June 19-21 - Lineup
All Points West, Jersey City, NJ - August 8-10 - Lineup
Treasure Island Festival, San Fran, CA - September 20, 21 - Unannounced
Austin City Limits Music Festival, Austin, TX - September 26-28 - Lineup

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I DJ with my iPhone

Lately, I’ve been reaping the benefits of a special subsection of friends I like to call “Friends with Cars.” Last weekend, Marsha and Kathleen graciously offered their sets of wheels to take us all up to Vermont for a weekend of fun in the snow. And last night, the Jon G Express pulled up curbside outside my pad around 11p.m. to transport me to the fun side of Brooklyn, Williamsburg, and specifically Hugs, where he was DJ’ing Ms. Carrie Whitenoise’s weekly, "Do It."

When we got there, Jon spent at least half an hour rewiring the sound and lights which apparently got messed up when a DJ that works there was fired earlier in the night and decided to take his anger out on the setup. He was able to get the sound working properly but the best that he could do about the lights was one strobe that erred more on the side of annoying than anything else.

Elizabeth and I played some Skee-Ball, found out the hard way that drink tickets are only good for WELL liquor and caught up with Carrie while Jon played a solid set that included a bunch of killer CSS, Hot Chip and Justice remixes. There wasn’t much of a crowd, partially due to the Tuesday night aspect and partially due to the fact that it rained earlier that night but it was still a fun night with some choice tunes.

My heart goes out to the girl who lost her purse that contained the security deposit she’d just gotten back from her apartment. Ouch.

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Bots weigh in on the counterfeit bag discussion

I don't know about you but why is it that I don't frigging care whether or not Chinatown is a counterfeit ring for fake luxury items? (See discussion on Gothamist) Maybe it's because I'm a po, struggling middle class grad student with school loans that will more than likely go to the grave with me and only see the luxury industry trade as another way to say, "hey, see what i got, I'm rich, bitches." I try not to let labels and logos define me, thanks.

So, what is the big deal? Are these fake bags taking away from New York's economy? More importantly, will those mid-west tourists buy the real thing if the cheaper option isn't out there? I don't think so. Granted, I'm anti-mistreatment of Chinese/3rd-world children, but ask yourselves, what kind of sneakers are you wearing? Ever shopped at the Gap? Wal-Mart? and honestly lets get real, it's easy to say, stop buying all these things but the real question is where would these children end up? How will they earn a living, prostitution, slavery?

And secondly, who really friggin cares about Chanel, Gucci, Prada . . . like they are so sad and struggling? And at the end of the day, doesn't the fake bag only elevate the branding of those luxury labels?

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Matmos @ Stone, 2/23/08

Saturday, J and I hit up alphabet city to check out a small intimate show with the San Fran, now Baltimore, experimental, electronic duo, Matmos. To our disbelief, the venue, Stone, was the tiniest I had ever been to in New York. While the city is well-known for being a hotbed for sexy music shows filled to the max with fans, music-goers, fancy lights and banging sound systems, the Stone was a dream, hosting 80-100 seats with no distracting bar noise. Second reason for its dreamy attribution: no advance ticket sales, so that means, fans really win while scalpers and ebayers can die! The line wait was only 20mins.

As a non-profit performance venue who is solely dedicated to avant-garde and experimental music, Stone hosted the quirky electronic, nerdy, Bjork-producing music/noise of Matmos who began the set with a track that featured music created with a pair of white rubber rain boots. The enchanting evening ended with a beautiful "tele-opera" number featuring a reading of Robert Ashley's Opera, Perfect Lives.

Kudos to the band and to the venue! P.S. sorry for the shitty video :(

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

J'adore Yelle

After work yesterday, I stopped by the B’s favorite Chelsea happy hour spot, The Trailer Park Lounge, for some amazing $5 mango margaritas. There, I got into an argument with a friend of theirs over which one of us was more French that reached a boiling point where we both threatened to whip out our passports for proof. In the end, I think I won the argument by dipping out on the group to catch French electro pop singer Yelle at the Knitting Factory.

To quote my friend Jon, Yelle “is what Uffie should’ve been if Uffie had any talent.” This was the first U.S. show for 25-year old Yelle, aka my new girl crush with the amazing fashion sense (Sorry M.I.A.) and the small room was filled to capacity. With our big winter coats in tow, because the coat check was full, we squeezed our way into to the crowd and listened to Lauren Flax drop some dated rave tunes. Then Kap10Kurt hit the stage and put on a really good show and finally, it was time for Yelle.

Yelle was, of course, super cute and super fun. She danced across the stage and performed a handful of tunes from her debut album, Pop Up. Particularly fun were “Mal Poli,” (which I found applied to the crowd) “Dans Ta Vrai Vie” (featuring my favorite lyric of hers “Mais ce soir en rentrant chez toi tu seras seul devant ton Mac”) and the closer “A Cause Des Garçons.”

Special thanks go out to the girl who handed me my medical insurance card and debit card at the end of the show. Evidently, they fell out of my purse when I was jumping up and down like a maniac during the last song! Genius.

In case you haven’t heard, Big Stereo recently did a remix contest for one of Yelle’s songs “Ce Jeu.” Check it out here and run out and buy Pop Up if you don’t already own it.

So much good music coming out of France these days… Kind of makes me wonder what I’d be doing with my life if I’d never left!

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Robots . . .

As you all know, we're obessed with robots and recently I've seen robots everwhere, including at work. While photographing the collection of handkerchiefs we have at the museum, I came across this Fiorucci hanki from the 1970s, depicting robots at labor. Robots raking, robots watering the lawn, robots walking the dog. Not so lazy afterall, eh?

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day!

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Did anyone see Daft Punk performing with Kanye West on the Grammy Awards last night? The best parts were all the shots from inside the pyramid, which you never really get to see. I had to rewind the Tivo at least five times!

Snowboarding on Saturday, I found myself green with envy because my friend had headphones in his helmet and was jamming out to a live set of theirs from Coachella while we were riding.

So yesterday, I tracked down a recording I have from the show we went to here in August and listened to it at the gym. It has a fair amount of talking in it but the sound quality is good and it brings back the experience vividly.

(I bet the Coachella recording doesn't have Kendra saying " I want a helmet. They look so f*cking cool," in the middle of "Da Funk," my all-time favorite daft punk song. Classic!)

Has everyone heard "Discovered"? It was passed onto me along with the new Hot Chip (Thanks B!) and I have to say that it's a very interesting listen. Obviously most of the electronic music we listen to is sampled from other songs but it's interesting to see how heavily. The compilation is eye opening and well worth checking out for those of us, like me, who aren't way up to speed on their obscure funk.

(p.s. - I still love you robots!)

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Another thing

Do you think the lucky souls who fabricate upholstered covers to encase televisions into played Careers when they were young?

Did any of you guys play it? Is this something I missed out on because I grew up in France?

Do all my career problems stem from not having played this game as a kid? Where are my "Fame?" and "Fortune?"

I know what all my CG$ friends' kids are getting for their birthday when they reach the required age of 8+!

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Adventures on a bus

I'm easily amazed by concepts that most people take for granted. These things usually come in the form of bad ideas that society readily accepts or is simply too occupied to question.

For example, I don't get station wagons with wood paneling on the side. Obviously the car is made out of metal, that's not real wood. Why does it need to look like wood? Is it for nostalgic purposes?

Once on a college road trip, we stayed in a cheap hotel where the walls were covered in sheets of stickers that looked like wood. The concept of going with this fake wood decor as opposed to say, a nice paint job or real wood, baffled me. You can't just put a sticker that looks like wood on something and turn it into wood!

My boyfriend at the time made me a shoebox "sticky wood world" that did just that. I'm talking wood sun, wood people a wooden house and trees. It was an amazing gift that demonstrated just how much he got me but sadly it vanished somewhere in the 10+ moves since then. Also, I guess it's kind of a silly thing for a "grownup" to hold onto.

I came across something yesterday that brought back the same exact feeling. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you upholstered bus television!

My main concern with upholstering any sort of television, aside from the sheer lack of purpose, is the fact that someone actually does that for a living. There's either a machine out there that was invented to make this happen or a crafty gal or guy who does this by hand.

Why does a television need a carpeted cover? I assure you it's no more aesthetically pleasing than one without. It's truly mind-boggling.

To be fair, my friend pointed out that it's protective and when I got up, since we were lucky enough to score seats just below one of these beauties, I managed to hit my head on it and it didn't hurt.

Was it the clever carpeting that minimized the impact and saved me from a possible bump to the head? Am I so clumsy that I should wear a helmet on any bus I choose to ride where the televisions are not upholstered? And should I just go ahead and upholster my television, computer monitor and maybe even my microwave to make things safer around my apartment?

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Big ups Giants

Against all odds, I hit up not one but two Super Bowl parties Sunday night. And while, to this day, 90% of what takes place on a football field remains a mystery to me, I actually enjoyed the last quarter of the game because it was a real nail biter and totally worked out in New York's favor.

At fiesta numero uno, I had the chance to reconnect with Danger (pictured above), who I met and instantly fell in love with last October. The second party brought us face to face with a roomful of hot bartenders, a dangerous thing to stumble upon when you have to be at work at the crack of 10 the following morning.

Somehow, I managed to stay out of trouble (for the most part.)

It's nice to have my place back to myself after having had friends in town since last Thursday. Their visit was wildly fun but it also did a number on my liver, sleep schedule and wallet. I envision a nice long week of staying in and recuperating.

Or at least, that's the "plan"...

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Monday, February 4, 2008

TF @ Hugs

For weeks, perhaps months even, my old Atlanta room mate, DJ Carrie Whitenoise has been telling us about her weekly, "Do It", at new Williamsburg hotspot, Hugs. I still haven't managed to check out her Tuesday night, because I am "boring" and have to show up at a "job" every Wednesday morning, but I did make it out there last Friday night for some hot Treasure Fingers action.

With its low, rounded ceilings, speakers directly in the walls, and long cavernous layout, Hugs conjures up a more dungeon-like feel than its name implies. The sound isn't bad; minus one questionable speaker I had the misfortune of sitting in front of early in the night. The DJ setup in the back leaves a bit to be desired but TF still managed to churn out a rocking set.

It was good to see everyone out, especially the B's (Blair and Brian) and the R's (Reba and Ross – a veritable party on wheels.) We got our dance on; we played some Skee-Ball and munched on some cupcakes. What more can you ask for?

Here’s to hoping that Treasure Fingers graces us with his presence again real soon!

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