Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bob Dylan - Visions of Johanna

Ain't it just like the night to play tricks when you're tryin' to be so quiet?
We sit here stranded, though we're all doin' our best to deny it
And Louise holds a handful of rain, temptin' you to defy it
Lights flicker from the opposite loft
In this room the heat pipes just cough
The country music station plays soft
But there's nothing, really nothing to turn off

Just Louise and her lover so entwined
And these visions of Johanna that conquer my mind

In the empty lot where the ladies play blindman's bluff with the key chain
And the all-night girls they whisper of escapades out on the "D" train
We can hear the night watchman click his flashlight
Ask himself if it's him or them that's really insane
Louise, she's all right, she's just near
She's delicate and seems like the mirror
But she just makes it all too concise and too clear
That Johanna's not here

The ghost of 'lectricity howls in the bones of her face
Where these visions of Johanna have now taken my place

Now, little boy lost, he takes himself so seriously
He brags of his misery, he likes to live dangerously
And when bringing her name up
He speaks of a farewell kiss to me
He's sure got a lotta gall to be so useless and all
Muttering small talk at the wall while I'm in the hall

Oh, how can I explain?
It's so hard to get on
And these visions of Johanna, they kept me up past the dawn

Inside the museums, Infinity goes up on trial
Voices echo this is what salvation must be like after a while
But Mona Lisa musta had the highway blues
You can tell by the way she smiles
See the primitive wallflower freeze
When the jelly-faced women all sneeze
Hear the one with the mustache say, "Jeeze
I can't find my knees"

Oh, jewels and binoculars hang from the head of the mule
But these visions of Johanna, they make it all seem so cruel

The peddler now speaks to the countess who's pretending to care for him
Sayin', "Name me someone that's not a parasite and I'll go out and say a prayer for him"
But like Louise always says
"Ya can't look at much, can ya man?"
As she, herself, prepares for him
And Madonna, she still has not showed
We see this empty cage now corrode
Where her cape of the stage once had flowed
The fiddler, he now steps to the road
He writes ev'rything's been returned which was owed
On the back of the fish truck that loads
While my conscience explodes

The harmonicas play the skeleton keys and the rain
And these visions of Johanna are now all that remain

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Beatles - Tomorrow Never Knows

"Tomorrow Never Knows" was way ahead of the curve.

From wikipedia: Lennon told producer [George] Martin that he wanted to sound like a hundred chanting Tibetan monks, which left Martin the difficult task of trying to find the effect by using the basic equipment they had. Lennon's suggestion was that he be suspended from a rope and—after being given a good push—he would sing as he spun around the microphone. This idea was rejected by Martin, but when asked by Lennon about it, he would only reply with, "We're looking into it."

Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream,
It is not dying, it is not dying

Lay down all thought, surrender to the void,
Is it shining? Is it shining?

That you may see the meaning of within
It is being, it is being

Love is all and love is everyone
Is it knowing? Is it knowing?

That ignorance and hate may mourn the dead
It is believing, it is believing

But listen to the colour of your dreams
Is it not living, is it not living

Or play the game "Existence" to the end
Of the beginning, of the beginning


And here's a recording of Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison doing a cover of the song:

Marshall Jefferson - Mushrooms (Justin Martin remix)

Still works for me...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Drukpers Podcast 04 | Todd Terje @ The Big Chill | Aug '09 by Drukpers

Drukpers Podcast 04 | Todd Terje @ The Big Chill | Aug '09  by  Drukpers

Par Grindvik - I'm A Lot Like You

Rewind: Greg Wilson on “Ball Of Confusion”

December 14, 2009 | von Finn Johannsen

Finn in discussion with Greg Wilson on “Ball Of Confusion (That’s What The World Is Today)” by The Temptations (1970).

What is your personal history with this particular song and why did you choose it?

I suppose if I was put on the spot and asked to name my favourite all-time singles, this would be one of those that would immediately spring to mind.

My older brother and sister, like many teenagers growing up in the 60’s, regularly bought singles (7″ only in those days of course). They were both into Soul, with Tamla Motown, Stax and Atlantic releases making up the majority of what they owned. These singles gradually fell into my possession and became the foundation of my record collection.

This was one of those records, and the moment I heard it I was awestruck! From the count-in at the start, which I now know was the producer, Norman Whitfield, and the bass line intro, which I now know was a Funk Brother, Bob Babbit, it’s clear that you’re boarding an aural rollercoaster. And then the vocals come in, and what an opening salvo:

“People moving out, people moving in,

Why? Because of the color of their skin,

Run, run, run, but you sure can’t hide…”

We’ve barely started, yet the picture already painted leaves you in no doubt that we’re dealing in harsh realities here. The track is a snapshot of a point in time – with the 60’s moving into the 70’s it reflects the plight of black Americans, disillusioned by the slowness of change when it comes to their personal freedoms, whilst inhabiting a world that’s been changing at breakneck pace. As they try to make sense of the situation they find themselves in, things only become ever more bewildering, the title of the song perfectly capturing the mood of the moment.

Everything about this record is on a higher plane – the song, the vocals, the musicians, the production, it’s a whole crew of people right at the top of their game.

Having made such a strong impression on me, a white boy, I couldn’t begin to imagine how someone who was black would feel listening to this record. Years later I got my answer when interviewing Les Spaine, one of the DJs who inspired me back when I was starting out. This is what he told me:

“The Temptations were God. You waited religiously for any new Temptations record and I think we grew with them, you know. Afros were growing, political awareness was growing. Norman Whitfield, for me, timed it so well because I was reading Eldridge Cleaver, Huey P. Newton, Angela Davies, all those people. I wasn’t a militant, it was just, you know, people were frightened of certain things in America, but what they didn’t realise is that all of a sudden you got an understanding and, hang on, there’s some brothers and sisters here that can do a bit more than running and singing and boxing, which is not degrading. Not putting down any of those three things – that’s what we’re supposed to be good at. All of a sudden, here’s some academics here and the music evolved from just ‘scooby-dooby-do-wah-wah’ to like some of the stuff the Temps were singing. Whitfield got a bit long-winded with seventeen-and-a-half minute tracks with two minutes of vocals but, as a young man, I was really into all that underground…
To the majority of the black race, the Temptations were our Beatles. A new Temptations album came out, you bought it and then you listened to it. You didn’t go and sit in the box, because you used to have listening booths then, you just bought it. I always remember, it was really funny, I remember buying ‘Ball Of Confusion’ and I put it on and I left the arm off the machine so that it would go back to it and go back to it, and my dad, who was really one of the most laid back blokes I know, after about two-and-a-half hours of this, must have got fed up of hearing ‘and the band played on’ and just walked into my room, took it off, snapped it and walked off!”

How did you experience the political, social and cultural climate the song reflects?

I was just a kid, aged 10 when this was released, fresh out of primary school, but, despite my obvious naïveté, tracks like this, along with others including Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’, Marvin Gaye’s recording of ‘Abraham, Martin And John’, Edwin Starr’s ‘War’ (another Norman Whitfield / Barrett Strong composition, originally recorded by The Temptations, Starr’s version also produced by Whitfield) and even stuff like ‘Love Child’ by The Supremes and Clarence Carter’s ‘Patches’, really struck a chord with me at the time and got me thinking about deeper issues. This is a perfect illustration of the power of music to inform, although the main connection was on an emotional rather than an intellectual level – Soul music, even when the lyrics weren’t really saying anything poignant, could still affect me in a profound way.

I remember thinking ‘how can these people be treated so badly when they make such wonderful music’. I was certainly aware of the racist (or racialist as they said back then) attitude that black people were somehow lesser than whites – Enoch Powell’s infamous ‘Rivers Of Blood’ speech had taken place a few years earlier and I’d no doubt picked up on the race / immigration debate via the TV, newspapers and overhearing peoples’ conversations on the subject, it was certainly a hot potato of an issue back then.

Although I didn’t know any black people at the time, unlike many others of my age I fortunately wasn’t burdened with the ignorance and prejudice of the previous generation. I never heard any racist remarks from my family, to the contrary, my father was a big boxing fan and his hero was Mohammed Ali (going back to when he was still Cassius Clay), so my own first impression of a black man was totally positive.

I think it was my sister who explained racism to me, and the whole thing crystallized via these remarkable records, which connected with me on a deeper level than the music by white Pop artists (which I was also very much into) because I realized, at a very young age, that this Soul music was tied into a greater struggle.

“Ball Of Confusion” was a part of black music taking its own stance on protest songs. Did it succeed in the attempts to take part in 60’s/70’s protest culture?

Not just the ‘protest songs’, but music in general played a major role in breaking down the barriers, causing young people to question their inherited prejudices. It was a big part of shaping peoples’ views and leading them away from the bigotry of their parents’ generation, whose values were often completely different, and increasingly outdated.

Would you say that protest is valid for all kinds of music, or do you think such content works better with certain styles and contexts than with others?

It’s a fine line, but when an artist tackles a contentious subject with real conviction it can result in a powerful message, no matter what style of music. It’s the substance that counts.

Are there other protest songs of this or any other genre that were important to you?

The tracks previously mentioned, especially ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’, which took on a new level of poignancy when Obama was elected president last year, symbolising that very change Sam Cooke prophesised.

Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On’ is arguably the greatest album ever made, and its message is still relevant today – a truly remarkable work. I’m a big Beatles fan, so Lennon’s work obviously. Then, of course, there’s Dylan – it was ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’ that inspired Sam Cooke to write ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ and he, in turn, was influenced by the ‘protest songs’ of the folk tradition.

Going back to 1939 you have perhaps the greatest of all ‘protest songs’, Billie Holliday’s recording of Lewis Allan’s anti-lynching poem, ‘Strange Fruit’, which, 60 years later, in 1999, Time Magazine named as its ‘song of the century’. You can still feel the weight of that song watching old footage of her performing it – its impact at the time was enormous, saying more in the few minutes she took to sing it than someone could put into the many pages of a thick book.

It is impossible to keep this song apart from the production of Norman Whitfield, who played an integral part in Motown’s transitional period from their early hit factory days to sounds like these. How would you describe his style and merits in music history?

Norman Whitfield was one of the greatest producers in my opinion – the way he revolutionized the sound of The Temptations was musical alchemy of the highest order. He helped bring black music into the psychedelic era.

What other works of Whitfield do you rate?

His overall body of work is hugely impressive, with the jewel in the crown being one of the quintessential singles, a classic in the truest sense of the term, Marvin Gaye’s ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’. Gaye’s version of ‘Abraham, Martin And John’ has always been a big personal favourite, whilst ‘Too Busy Thinking About My Baby’ has a great feelgood vibe. Apart from ‘Ball Of Confusion’ there were so many brilliant records with The Temptations, including ‘Cloud Nine’, ‘I Can’t Get Next To You’, ‘Psychedelic Shack’, ‘(I Know) I’m Losing You’, ‘Law Of The Land, ‘Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)’ and, of course, the gargantuan ‘Papa Was A Rolling Stone’.

Moving into the 70’s I thought he did some really groundbreaking work with Undisputed Truth before unleashing a whole string of Rose Royce hits. There are two 12” releases I particularly revere, epic dance mixes that show him for the Disco maestro he was – ‘You + Me = Love’ by Undisputed Truth and ‘Do Your Dance’ by Rose Royce. I should also mention the incredible atmosphere he could bring to a ballad, Rose Royce recorded some massive club tracks, like ‘Car Wash’ and ‘Is It Love Your After’, but they could also take the tempo right down with the best of them – case in point, ‘I Wanna Get Next To You’, ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore’ and ‘Wishing On A Star’.

Whitfield is often viewed as a producer who helped to pave the way for Disco and its rich arrangements in the 70’s. Do you think this is true?

Absolutely – he’s given nothing like enough credit for this. Frank Wilson’s production of Eddie Kendricks’ ‘Girl You Need A Change Of Mind’ has been cited as being the template of the ‘disco mix’, but it should be remembered that Wilson was very much Whitfield’s protégé, whilst Kendricks, of course, was previously with The Temptations, working extensively with Whitfield until he left to pursue a solo career. When it comes to Disco, Norman Whitfield has to be viewed as one of the founding fathers, both for his own work and his undoubted influence on others.

Are there other producers who began their career similar to Whitfield, including their further steps towards Disco?

He’s pretty unique really, but I suppose Barry White is an example of someone who started out working with Soul artists in the 60’s, before going onto fame and fortune as a Disco pioneer with a highly orchestrated style.

Disco is often seen as a hedonistic and escapist reaction to the times described in “Ball Of Confusion”, in terms of the people growing tired of protest and wanting to party again. Do agree with this point of view or did Disco also carried the protest further, albeit in a different way?

In a sense, Disco was the party that followed the gains of the 60’s. Major ground had been made in civil rights, women’s rights and gay rights, and by the mid 70’s Nixon had resigned and the Vietnam War had ended. Disco celebrated a new culture and hard fought freedoms, things that most people wouldn’t have thought possible a decade earlier. It was a very hedonistic era, but its very existence, with blacks, whites and gays now exploring common ground, was a powerful statement in itself. It would eventually take a racist / homophobic backlash, culminating in the record burning frenzy at Chicago’s Comiskey Park in 1979, to curb Disco’s expansion into the very core of mainstream popular culture. However, despite this, although Disco was declared ‘dead’, it would give birth to subsequent dance movements and its spirit has definitely enjoyed a reawakening during recent times, the term now acquiring a credibility that has eluded it for the best part of 30 years.

You started out as a DJ five years after this song was released. Was this the kind of music you played back then? Would you still play it?

It’s more of a track I’d listen to rather than play out. With regards to The Temptations during that early 70’s period, ‘Law Of The Land’ would be best suited for the clubs (I still play it now from time to time), or one of the 60’s tracks like ‘Get Ready’. Having said that, the one I probably played the most was ‘Just My Imagination’ – back then DJ’s played ‘slowies’ at the end of the night so the guys could get up close with the girls, and ‘Just My Imagination’ was one of, if not the greatest ‘slowie’ in my book.

A cover version of this song also indirectly launched the huge comeback of Tina Turner in the 80’s. Do you know the story behind that?

Yeah, it was the one she recorded for the BEF compilation, ‘Music Of Quality And Distinction’ back in the early 80’s. The hook-up with Heaven 17 for that album resulted in another cover of an early 70’s Soul classic, ‘Let’s Stay Together’, which took her back into the chart and re-ignited her career, this time without the infamous Ike.

Are there any other versions of this song that you like?

When something’s so definitive I find it difficult to look beyond it – anything else is always going to be lacking. Duran Duran once did a version that substituted the line ‘the Beatles new record’s a gas’ for ‘killer gangs watch your ass’, for which they should hang their heads in shame.

Do you think political Hip Hop like Public Enemy is rooted in songs like “Ball Of Confusion”?

Certainly. If you didn’t know the track and read the lyrics you could be forgiven for thinking it was a rap, which it is in a sense – it’s mainly vocalized as opposed to sung and actually includes the words ‘rap on brother, rap on’. But for some of the lines, ‘hippies moving to the hills’, ‘shooting rockets to the moon’, ‘the Beatles new record’ etc, which nail down the period the track was written, the lyrics could be mistaken as being from the early 80’s, when rap came of age via socially conscious recordings like ‘The Message’ by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five and, to a lesser degree, ‘Street Justice’ by The Rake. ‘Bad Times (I Can’t Stand It)’ by Capt Rapp and ‘Is This The Future?’ by Fatback.

Is there a song that describes the current state of worldwide issues as “Ball Of Confusion” did in 1970?

Not that I’ve heard, although I’m sure that someone somewhere, whatever their native tongue might be, will be telling it like it is.

Link to interview here.

Kick Ass (Movie)

Kick Ass is a movie directed by Matthew Vaughn that will be released on April 16. It's about a young boy (Aaron Johnson) who decides to take his comic book obsession as inspiration to become a real-life superhero. Calling himself Kick-Ass, he links up with a pair of crazed vigilantes - Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz) and her father, Big Daddy (Nic Cage) - and also forges a friendship with another young, fledgling superhero named Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) in order to fight a local mob boss.

Here's the newly released red band trailer featuring Hit Girl:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Previti Pizza - Good Midtown Pizza (Finally!)

By way of Midtown Lunch, I just discovered a newly opened pizza joint in my hood. You can read the post here.

A few months ago, Golosi, a pizzeria that serves Sicilian style pizza by the inch, opened with much fanfare; however, in my opinion, it didn't live up to the hype.

Well, after reading about this new place, I went to go check out this new jammy jam. Called Previti Pizza, it delivers (not sure if they actually deliver yet). I only tried the regular slice this time around. It was really flavorful and I loved the crusty crust. Not too cheesy, and not's definitely one of, if not the best, pizza in the area.

Definitely looking foward to trying their other products.

Previti Pizza
122 East 41st (btw. Lex+Park)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Greg Wilson - Big Chill '09

In anticipation of Greg Wilson's March 20 set in NYC, brought to us by Mister Saturday Night, I've been listening to a lot of his mixes.

Here's one that needs to be shared:

1.Bassheads - Is There Anybody Out There? (re-touched by GW)
2.Roxy Music - Love Is The Drug (GW re-edit)
3.Joubert Singers - Stand On The Word (Hot Coins remix)
4.Elektrons - Get Up (GW version)
5.Fatback Band - (Are You Ready) Do The Bus Stop
6.Average White Band - Pick Up The Pieces
7.Ting Tings - Shut Up and Let Me Go (Blunt edit re-touched by GW)
8.Firefly - Love Is Gonna Be On Your Side
9.Atlantic Conveyor - We Are
10.Raw DMX - Do It To The Funk (GW mash)
11.Talking Heads - Slippery People (Comic Boogie edit)
12.Jean Carn - Was That All It Was
13.Telemusic - Baby’s Band (Leozero edit)
14.Electra / Candi Staton - Feels Good / You Got The Love (Cosmic Boogie mash)
15.Yazoo - Situation (FK dub / GW ruff edit)
16.A Guy Called Gerald - Voodoo Ray (GW edit)
17.Isaac Hayes - Theme From Shaft
18.The Originals - Down To Love Town (Dmitri From Paris edit re-touched by GW)
19.The Clash - Casbah Breakdown (Joey Negro edit)
20.Harry Thumann - Underwater

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Master Burger List Review Bonanza - Pt. 6 - Five Guys Burger and Fries

So, a Five Guys Burgers and Fries just opened up around the block from my office. I've generally read decent things about Five Guys...but you know there's only one way to assess a true opinion.

If you want to beat the lunchtime crowd, get there as close to noon as possible. I got there five minutes before noon, and it took about six minutes for me to get my food after ordering. I got a cheeseburger with grilled onions and an order of regular fries. Did I forget that a cheeseburger was actually two patties? Yes.

One thing that's very evident is the sheer number of people working the line. There were at least fifteen people behind the counter, with each person tasked with one specific job.

Well, onto the review of the burger. It was way too well done, which resulted in a severely dry patty. Also, there was a serious lack of seasoning. This led to a lack in crust around the patty, which I generally prefer in a burger this size. I'm going to chalk this up as an error on whoever's job it is was to season the patties on this day (obviously). I'd wager that on some days the patties are well seasoned, and other times it'll be over or under-seasoned...which adds a nice human element to the burger making process at Five Guys (I guess). As for the bun, it was almost too doughy which makes for it to be too chewy. And because the patty was dry, the bun wasn't an integral part in sopping up burger juice.

Here's what the burger looks like upon unwrapping the tinfoil:

Here's a picture after a few bites:

You can see how well done the burger is.

As for the fries, they're fresh cut, and on this day they were Shelley Idaho potatoes. The regular sized fries are put into a styrofoam cup, which I wish they didn't used...after which, they dump more fries into the bag containing your burger and cup of fries. Here's a pic of the bag after taking out the aforementioned burger and cup:

I think it's kind of unnecessary...but I'm sure a lot of people will think it adds better value to your french fry order.

I would probably return, but will definitely get a little cheeseburger next time. An added bonus at Five Guys is that they have a plethora of toppings, like jalapeno peppers, grilled mushrooms and grilled onions, that you can pile on for free. As it's so close to my office, I'm sure I'll be back. If I could only ask them to make my patties medium rare, I'd give it two enthusiastic thumbs up. As for now, it gets one.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries
690 Third Avenue (b/t 43rd and 44th St)
New York, NY 10017

Monday, December 7, 2009

Stevie Wonder Designated Messenger of Peace

Grammy-Award winning songwriter and musician Stevie Wonder of the United States was designated a United Nations Messenger of Peace with a special focus on persons with disabilities, who represent one in ten people in the world and 20 per cent of the poor in developing countries.

The Secretary-General presented Stevie Wonder with a symbolic dove-shaped pin during a ceremony at United Nations Headquarters on Thursday, 3 December.

In selecting Mr. Wonder for this designation, the Secretary-General said, "Our newest Messenger of Peace is someone who is admired by millions of people and has given back to millions of people." Stevie Wonder is a "true inspiration" and shows what "can be achieved despite physical limitations," he added.

Messengers of Peace are individuals who possess widely recognized talents in the fields of art, academia, literature, sports and entertainment, helping to raise worldwide awareness of the Organization’s ideals and activities.

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities, celebrated annually on 3 December, is also to be marked at Headquarters with a special event organized by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) in collaboration with the World Bank in Conference Room 4, under the theme "Making the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Inclusive: Empowerment of persons with disabilities and their communities around the world."

The International Day will be opened by the Secretary-General followed by remarks by Mr. Wonder. Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Mr. Sha Zukang will host the opening [full remarks] and be joined by U.S. Ambassador H.E. Ms. Susan E. Rice, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Mr. Kiyotaka Akasaka, and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Navanethem Pillay. The World Bank will be connected via live videoconferencing.

According to Mr. Sha Zukang, “the world over, persons with disabilities are disproportionately poor, and more likely to be un-employed or under-employed. They do not have access to adequate education or healthcare. They face barriers, not only to basic opportunities and services, but to participation in society itself. They are estimated to make up more than 10 per cent of the world’s population. Yet, all too often, they are marginalized and excluded.”

The opening will be followed by a panel discussion on the theme of the Day. Panelists from Member States, UN organizations, the World Bank and civil society will address narrowing the gap between policy and practice in the area of disability in the implementation of the MDGs and ways to make development strategies, policies and programmes accessible to persons with disabilities so as to achieve the MDGs for all.

In the afternoon, a DESA Disability Film Festival will show the documentaries: 'I am one of you', a UNTV film on changing perceptions of persons with disabilities in Hong Kong SAR, China; 'Beyond the Light', a film by Ivy Goulart on the universe of six blind people in Brazil which pays homage to the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille; 'DEAF: Hear Me' a documentary by Wild Mango Films which explores what it is like growing up deaf in India; and finally 'Rudely Interrupted', a documentary about an internationally acclaimed Australian rock band made up of persons with disabilities.

UN Messengers of Peace

Mr. Wonder joins ten other United Nations Messengers of Peace who advocate on behalf of the Organization.

The other Messengers of Peace and their areas of focus are: conductor Daniel Barenboim (peace and tolerance); actor George Clooney (peacekeeping); author Paulo Coelho (poverty and intercultural dialogue); actor Michael Douglas (disarmament); primatologist Jane Goodall (conservation and environmental issues); violinist Midori Goto (Millennium Development Goals and youth); Princess Haya Bint al Hussein (Millennium Development Goals and hunger); cellist Yo-Yo Ma (youth); actor Charlize Theron (ending violence against women) and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel (human rights).

Stevie Wonder’s activism has been pivotal in U.S. and world events. In 1983, he spearheaded a campaign for "Martin Luther King Day" to become a national holiday in the United States. He also advocated ending apartheid in South Africa.

Mr. Wonder has been recognized for his philanthropic efforts which include the U.S. President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, the Children’s Diabetes Foundation, Junior Blind of America and the creation of the Wonder Vision Awards Program.

His career as a recording artist has reflected his concern with humanitarian issues. He has written, produced and/or performed songs relative to charities in support of disabilities, aids, cancer, diabetes, hunger and homelessness, domestic abuse and many other causes on behalf of children and adults.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

DJ François K. @ Deep Space

If you've never been to François K's Deep Space party on Monday nights at Cielo, you've been missing out.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sunday School - House is a Feeling (Sunday School Mix)

How to Cook Dinner for the World's Greatest Chef

How to Cook Dinner for the World's Greatest Chef

By: Ryan D'Agostino

With Thomas Keller's new cookbook, "Under Pressure," out this month, I invited him to my house. The only problem? He agreed.

A huge pot of potatoes languishes on the stove, untended. I don't know if that's bad — it seems like it would be, because they're already boiled, and now they're just macerating. I wonder if the water will break down the starch too much, although I don't know if that's bad or even possible, scientifically. The reason they're sitting in a hot puddle is that we, my brother, Mike, and I, don't have time to deal with them, because we haven't even started on the asparagus or the fish, and Thomas Keller, the greatest chef in the world, owner of restaurants including the French Laundry in Napa and Per Se in New York, which are always listed among the top five in the world, is supposed to be here in ten minutes. In Mike's apartment, with the windowless kitchen the size of a flight attendants' coffee station, for dinner. We're cooking for him. We're like a tribute band, and the real band is coming to see us perform.

Mike is at the sink in his boxers, sweating, hair flying, scrubbing bowls and pans like he's washing blood out of the carpet, and I'm thinking: You gotta be kidding me. Get in the damn shower.

I say this out loud.

And Mike says, "There's no way I'm letting Thomas Keller see my kitchen looking like this."

"But it's okay if he sees you looking like this."

"Well, maybe if you had been a little more organized..."

We do a little yelling. We're nervous. Men cook in one of two ways: Harvesting (throwing together anything in the kitchen that looks interesting), or Actually Planning (using recipes or making one of the few dishes we know cold). Keller has written a new cookbook, Ad Hoc at Home, that appears to combine both. And according to the publisher, it's very accessible. So I thought, Okay, Thomas Keller, if it's so accessible, I — an only slightly better-than-average home cook — will make dinner from it and serve it to you. And we all said, Ha, wouldn't that be funny if he came, what would I make, what if it was awful and all that, but of course he'll never come.

The thing is, he said yes, and so Mike and I stayed up until three last night, and we've been up since eight this morning, cooking. We planned a menu that was laughable in its ambition. We made lists, rough-chopped and diced, set timers, tried techniques that Keller made sound easy. (Page 56: "Hold a blowtorch about 1 inch from the roast and turn to lightly brown the fat on all sides.") We cooked foods men like: prime rib, clam chowder, pork belly, a whole fish, pickled vegetables, garlic mashed potatoes, brownies, ice cream. It would be a bounty. We felt like default ambassadors of the home-cook revolution, the chosen ones. We would amaze the great chef. But maybe we wouldn't! Maybe our amateur whacks at his precious food would depress him. Maybe this was an unnatural meeting, like if you went to confession and the man listening in the booth turned out to be the pope.

We were idiots!

He's going to be here in five minutes.

He's probably six foot four and pivots around the kitchen with a quick, fidgety grace. His hair is fingered straight back, and his head swivels atop a mantislike frame, eyes target-locked on the countertop and stove — he sees everything at once. We didn't know if he would just be a guest tonight, chatting with the other guests (we're eight in all), or jump into the kitchen. We hoped he'd jump into the kitchen, and he does. The scallops need to be cooked, and right away Keller is asking for a pan and oil and the scallops.

TK: Who is this singing?

Me: Ray LaMontagne. You like it?

TK: Yeah. Okay, let's see what happens with these puppies. [Loud sizzling as raw scallops are placed in pan of hot oil.] You can't be afraid. So many people, they drop it in from way back here [leans away from pan] and then the oil splatters everywhere, and they hurt themselves. If you get really close, it's not so bad. See that?

Keller bends his whole body in close over the pan. I've never seen anyone cook this way, interact with food this way, and it's a surprising thrill. I'm making paper airplanes with Neil Armstrong.

TK [flipping perfectly browned scallop]: Heyyy! Look at that. That is beautiful. You just need to be patient with this stuff. People think that when they're cooking, they have to be moving stuff around. Leave it alone. I mean, smell that. That's what I love about food: the transformation. These didn't smell before, right? Now they're everywhere, so sweet and beautiful. And it happens like that. [Snaps.] The transformation of food is so exciting.

Everyone has seen food cook, but I never thought of it this way. It was true: Suddenly the air was brackish and sugary, and it was as if he really couldn't believe how miraculous that was, even after all these years.

He asks me if I want to start putting the hot scallops on plates, so I look for tongs. I'm mumbling and drumming on my thigh with one hand, which I do when I'm nervous.

Me: Okay, yeah. Let's see, the tongs, the tongs ...

TK: Use your fingers, use your fingers, come on. Don't be a girl.

Keller speaks with cool authority, like an unusually laid-back football coach. I pick up the steaming scallops with the pads of my fingers, and right away I feel like a slightly better cook. As if by touching the food, I'm taking ownership of it, which I think is his point. The mollusks are plump and spongelike and scalding; I feel their tiny corrugations and crisped edges.

I'll never use tongs again.

Keller's arm is an atom smasher. He's stirring the mashed potatoes with a wooden spoon, and I can barely see his arm, it's whorling so fast. The potatoes, which I thought were already done, have become something otherpotatoly. They're starting to look like pudding.

"God, I love this," he says, breathing hard. "I could whip potatoes all day." He goes for five solid minutes, a long time at that intensity. Before he picked up the spoon, he opened the fridge and found a stray stick of butter on the top shelf and threw it in.

"Don't tell the girls," he said.

Keller jokes without laughing. He doesn't give nonessential advice. He asks a lot of questions, because he likes information. Information helps him not worry, adapt. Like, for example, I tell him I oversalted the corn. He shrugs. We don't serve it right away, but two hours later he says, "Where's that corn?" and uses it as a condiment on the fish, instead of salt.

We eat. Six courses. I watch Keller. He looks like he's concentrating, which I take to be something like reverence. During the meal he toasts both me and his restaurants. He tells stories, including one about the first time he killed a rabbit with his bare hands. When the playlist stops at one point, he calls to me, "Chef! Music." Everyone loves the food — each dish is the best version of that dish we've ever tasted. The bacon melts into the sweet, briny chowder like cream. ("If this chowder is any indication, it's a good cookbook," he says.) After the roast is carved, Keller passes around bits of crunchy, salty meat soaked in pan drippings, right off the knife. The brownies are the first I've ever baked and the best I've ever eaten — crunchy on top, then soft and moist.

He tells me no one has ever invited him for dinner and cooked from one of his books. He stays for four hours. You see why Keller loves this so much. It all matters to him — the smells, the music, the storytelling, the flavors. And you understand that measurements — while important for a cook like me — are training wheels. "If it calls for a quarter cup of chopped parsley, do you really need to measure?" he says. "Does it matter if it's an eighth of a cup?" After that, it becomes impossible to do something wrong. The way everything tastes will be the way it was supposed to taste.

He drops the best kind of advice and wisdom: the kind that sounds obvious but isn't. From his cookbook:

One of the great things about cooking is that no single task is particularly difficult.

If you could only have one pan in your kitchen, [a cast-iron skillet] is the one I'd give you.

From his mouth tonight:

The thing about mashed potatoes is, if they sit too long, we can add a little more cream. It'll bring them right back.

The guests can wait for the food, but the food can't wait for the guests.

Sorry, I'm always cleaning up. But that way when dinner's done, we can just go to sleep.

By the time the chef is in the elevator, we've opened a bottle of red wine he brought as a gift. We're already drunk on wine and on the night, but this seems the way to end it. My wife brings me the last spoonful of caramel ice cream from the kitchen. In the introduction to his book, Keller writes, "When we eat together, when we set out to do so deliberately, life is better, no matter what your circumstances." Cooking today, I followed every step meticulously. And then the man who had laid out those steps taught me to try to forget them, so that I could focus on the people eating the food. A breeze blows in as I drink the wine, and I realize that I never want to cook from a cookbook again, and yet I want to cook from this one for the rest of my life.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Nine (Trailer)

Nine is a new movie opening in LA and NY on December 18, and on Christmas nationwide. Starring the awesome Daniel Day-Lewis and directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago), the musical tells the story of world famous film director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) as he prepares his latest picture and balances the numerous women in his life including his wife (Marion Cotillard), a producer, a mistress (Penelope Cruz), a film star muse (Nicole Kidman), an American fashion journalist (Kate Hudson), the whore from his youth (Fergie), his confidant and costume designer (Judi Dench), and his deceased mother (Sophia Loren).

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Nathan Fake - Outhouse (Valentino Kanzyani remix)

PSA: Doc Martin vs. DJ Three - Sunday, Dec. 6 @ The Warsaw

From the folks who brought us the Cheap Sunglasses party, they're kicking off a new party that's super hot-to-trot.

From the promoters:

What time is it? It's time to get iLL! Join me and a few of my favorite producers and DJ's of all time, all in once place, and all on a Sunday to boot!

This will be a new series of events taking place all over the country, starting here in cracker New York. TTGI will be all about mixing the old school jamz with the hottest and freshest tunes around.

You can expect a massive EAW sound system, intimate and elegant venue, LIVE acts, and a 6 hour battle extravaganza a la Doc Martin vs Three to close the night. We will be lucky enough to have Dennis Rodgers make the trip over from SI as well to play an extended set.

*Food Available All Day*

Custom EAW Sound System

5/7$ Drinks + Drink Specials announced at the Venue

Re-Entry Safe

Pre-Sales Available @

This is also celebrating Larry's 1 Year Anniversary in New York, so this is a special thank you to all those who helped make this move a reality. What better way to say thanks than to make a big party!

There will also be a discount available to all of those who have a stamp or wristband or ticket from the BLK Market party with Secret Sundaze and Mountain People.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Master Burger List Review Bonanza - Pt. 5 - Black Shack Burger

It's been a long, long time since I've reviewed a burger. It's not that I haven't been eating burgers, but I guess I just didn't feel inclined to write about anything I had.

Well, there's a new burger joint that just opened in my hood and I thought I'd give it a good ole review. They could use the press too. I mentioned that I hadn't read about the place anywhere to the cashier. Her response was that they wanted to build the place organically...through word of mouth. I guess. It's 2009. There are a lot of places for NY'ers to eat. How the shit is someone gonna hear about a random burger spot in the middle of northern Murray Hill if not for press? You don't have to be anti-marketing, you know. Do they have the luxury to sit on a near-empty restaurant while paying for all their expenses? Seriously though, who owns the joint - Ray Kinsella?

So anyway, the joint's called Black Shack Burger. Not Black Iron Burger. Not Shake Shack. But Black Shack. The facade of the place is black. It's dark inside. And the tables look cheap. But these matters are all inconsequential when compared with the food they're serving.

I got the Black Shack Burger unadorned, and a side of fries. If I wanted to wrap up a review of what I had succinctly, I'd say the burger greatly resembled a Whopper and the fries were of the same cut as McDonald's. Maybe they should've named the place McKing. Truth be told, it is a tasty burger. Here's a picture of a half-eaten one:

If you take a look at their menu, you see they've got a couple of other options as a chicken sandwich, a caesar salad or a tofu sandwich. I was just about to hate on the tofu, but I actually mentioned to someone the other day how tofu is actually an awesome product and is versatile in the way it can be prepared. So until I actually try it, I'll reserve judgment. Oh, and they've got five dollar milkshakes, too.

So bottom line - I like it. The price point's okay. It's the best burger (I'm looking at you, Rare) in a 5 block radius from my place. And so, it's a great addition to the nabe. I wish the place much success.

T La Rock & Jazzy Jay - It's Yours

Straight out of a NYU dorm room, 25 years later, Def Jam #1 still rocks the effin house:

6th Borough Project - Miss World (Soultourist Remix)

Turn your speakers up and enjoy.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Tim Burton Exhibition @ the MOMA

The one-and-only Tim Burton will be featuring a special exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art from November 22, 2009 - April 26, 2010.

Taken from the MOMA site:

This major career retrospective on Tim Burton (American, b. 1958), consisting of a gallery exhibition and a film series, considers Burton's career as a director, producer, writer, and concept artist for live-action and animated films, along with his work as a fiction writer, photographer and illustrator. Following the current of his visual imagination from early childhood drawings through his mature work, the exhibition presents artwork generated during the conception and production of his films, and highlights a number of unrealized projects and never-before-seen pieces, as well as student art, his earliest non-professional films, and examples of his work as a storyteller and graphic artist for non-film projects. The opposing themes of adolescence and adulthood, and the elements of sentiment, cynicism, and humor inform his work in a variety of mediums—drawings, paintings, storyboards, digital and moving-image formats, puppets and maquettes, props, costumes, ephemera, sketchbooks, and cartoons. Taking inspiration from sources in pop culture, Burton has reinvented Hollywood genre filmmaking as a spiritual experience, influencing a generation of young artists working in film, video, and graphics.

Burton's films include Vincent (1982), Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985), Beetlejuice (1988), Batman (1989), Edward Scissorhands (1990), Batman Returns (1992), The Nightmare Before Christmas (as creator and producer) (1993), Ed Wood (1994), Mars Attacks! (1996), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Big Fish (2003), Corpse Bride (2005), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), and Sweeney Todd (2007); writing and Web projects include The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories (1997) and Stainboy (2000).

Organized by Ron Magliozzi, Assistant Curator, and Jenny He, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Film, with Rajendra Roy, The Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Birthday Jam @ Sullivan Room on Saturday, Nov 21 w/ Marc Romboy

Basic NYC has been gracious enough to let me host my birthday party again this year. I'll be opening up the club, and the veteran Marc Romboy will be headlining.

Once again, the fun kicks off at 9pm with 2-for-1 drinks until 11pm.

You can purchase advance tickets here, or give me a holler for some guestlist action.

Radiohead / Thom Yorke - Feeling Pulled Apart By Horses

Thom Yorke - Hearing Damage

A tear in my brain
Allows the voices in
They wanna push you off the path
With their frequency wires

And you can do no wrong
In my eyes
In my eyes
You can do no wrong
In my eyes
In my eyes

A drunken salesman
Your hearing damage
Your mind is restless
They say youre getting better
But you dont feel any better

Your speakers are blowing
Your ears are wrecking
Your hearing damage
You wish you felt better
You wish you felt better

You can do no wrong
In my eyes
In my eyes
You can do no wrong
In my eyes
In my eyes
In my

In my eyes
In my eyes
In my eyes

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Charles Bukowski - The Genius of the Crowd

there is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the average
human being to supply any given army on any given day

and the best at murder are those who preach against it
and the best at hate are those who preach love
and the best at war finally are those who preach peace

those who preach god, need god
those who preach peace do not have peace
those who preach peace do not have love

beware the preachers
beware the knowers
beware those who are always reading books
beware those who either detest poverty
or are proud of it
beware those quick to praise
for they need praise in return
beware those who are quick to censor
they are afraid of what they do not know
beware those who seek constant crowds for
they are nothing alone
beware the average man the average woman
beware their love, their love is average
seeks average

but there is genius in their hatred
there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
to kill anybody
not wanting solitude
not understanding solitude
they will attempt to destroy anything
that differs from their own
not being able to create art
they will not understand art
they will consider their failure as creators
only as a failure of the world
not being able to love fully
they will believe your love incomplete
and then they will hate you
and their hatred will be perfect

like a shining diamond
like a knife
like a mountain
like a tiger
like hemlock

their finest art

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

David Chang hits up K-Town with Pete Meehan and hangs with Jose Andrés in Ssäm Bar

This is pretty fucking funny. You know he's got to be reserved when he's on some mainstream network tv show (plus they tape super early in the morning), but he's balls out in this little video piece. Jose Andres is really funny too. Gotta love him for asking Chang what he's been smoking. I'm gonna go with sour diesel.

Oh, and you've probably wondered how the pork is prepared in his ubiquitous pork buns. “It’s, uh, a couple teaspoons of salt and...some black pepper...and a couple hours of don’t fucking worry about it.”

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Paloma Faith - New York (Tom Middleton Remix)

Tom Middleton, the Jedi Master himself, played a blinding and super fun set last Saturday in NYC. He played an array of musical genres, all weaved in and out smoothly like butter. This special track below has been firmly implanted into my brain:

David Chang makes kimchi on the Today show

D Chang makes his version of kimchi on the Today show:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Black Dynamite (Red Band Trailer)

When “The Man” murders his brother, pumps heroin into local orphanages, and floods the ghetto with adulterated malt liquor, Black Dynamite is the one hero willing to fight all the way from the blood-soaked city streets to the hallowed halls of the Honky House.

PSA: Free Admission Wednesday Oct. 21 to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim Museum will be offering free admission on October 21, 2009, from 10 am to 5:45 pm, to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the exact day the Guggenheim Museum's Frank Lloyd Wright–designed building opened to the public. View the Kandinsky exhibition, called “sensational” by the New York Times, and enjoy special film screenings, tours in several languages, and a roster of activities, including many family–friendly programs, throughout the day.

Current exhibitions include:

Through Jan 13, 2010

Gabriele Münter and Vasily Kandinsky, 1902–14: A Life in Photographs

Through Jan 13, 2010

Intervals: Kitty Kraus
Through Jan 6, 2010

Paired, Gold: Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Roni Horn
Through Jan 6, 2010

The Deutsche Bank Series at the Guggenheim
Anish Kapoor: Memory
Oct 21, 2009–Mar 28, 2010 (Opening Day)

Take advantage man...take advantage...

PSA: Sasha and DJ Three - Friday, Nov.6

Blkmarket Membership has locked down a special underground party featuring the one-and-only Sasha with the super talented DJ Three closing out the party on Friday, November 6.

The New York City location will be announced within 2 days of the event. To be notified you must RSVP to with your full name. Tickets will only be available at the door, $25 if you RSVP or $35 if you don’t RSVP. Show runs from 10pm Friday night to Noon on Saturday

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

N.W.A. - Parental Discretion Iz Advised

your song of the day...checkit!

[Dr. Dre]
One, two, three, kick it

[The D.O.C.]
Aiyyo Dre, what's goin on man? What's goin on?
Ay what ch'all gonna do for this last record?
Nah tell me what cha'all gonna do?
Okay, you want me to do the intro? Aight!

Parental discretion is advised for the moment
While I'm getting candid, now understand it
Ain't too typical in any way, though the pro
on the mic is the D.O. to the C. this is an intro
I know the DOC makes you want to take a valium
So buy a bucket cause upcomin is my album
And for the record, meanin my record, check it
Listen to the single and you'll be like, yo, I gotta get it
But in the meantime, listen to the rhyme
of the Dr. Dre, played wit N.W.A.
Yella's on the drum roll, rockin the beat
Aiyyo Dre, where's you gonna take this shit man?

[Dr. Dre]
Aiyyo, let's take it to the street (WORD UP!)
Let 'em understand perfection
Let knowledge be the tool for suckers to stop guessin
Cause I don't give a fuck about a radio play
Observed the english I display
Lyrics for the adults, children have been barred
and scarred from listenin to somethin so motherfuckin HARD
Dope, pumpin that's so my shit will never falter
Yo it's Dre so fuck the "Mind of Minolta"
Psycho, like no, other motherfucker
So step to me wrong, G-O for what you N-O
But be warned, never will I leave like a regular
Cause I'm a little better than the regular competitor
I use to see 'em on stage
Earnin money like a thief, but without a guage
Until I got full, of clockin the lame gettin pull
(They said you wasn't gon' get paid)
Nah that's bullshit! They like it stylistic
And I enchant the crowd like I'm a mystic
(C-C-C-C) C-C-C-cameras are flashin, when I'm in action
A photo, or fresh with a flair for fashion
Pure simplicity, see it's elementary
You hear one of the hardest motherfuckers this century
Try to comprise a word to the wise and the guys
Parental discretion is advised

[MC Ren]
Ren is most extremely high performance
The black hat cause I worn this, cause it's like enormous
Some shit I don't take it, not even in a toliet
And shit from a sucker, put in a pot and I'll boil it
Turn up the pilot as it burns
And maybe, the motherfuckers will learn
I'm not a sub, cause I speak sensible
Not considered a prince, cause I'm a principal
I'm engineerin; the shit that you're hearin
Cause when it comes to power, I'm power steerin
Silly you say, I say you're silly when you say it
Rushin to the eject, to put my shit in and play it
It's like Apollo, but I'm not an amateur
And I'm not givin a fuck, while I'm damagin ya
It's for the record; so Ren's lyrics is gonna spin it
And if there was a trophy involved, I'll win it
Possession is mine and I'm the holder
Cause a nigga like Ren don't give a fuck cause I'm older
So for you to step off would be wise
And say fuck it, parental discretion is advised

[Ice Cube]
I be what is known as a bandit
You gotta hand it to me when you truly understand it
Cause if you fail to see, read it in braile
It'll still be funky -- so what's next is the flex
of a genius, my rapid-stutter-steppin if you seen this
dope, you hope that I don't really mean this
But if played, made the grade or high-top fade
It's not my trademark when I get loose in the dark
You guess it was a test of a different style
It's just another motherfucker on the pile
Drivin your ass with the flow of your tongue
You hung yourself short, the after-knowledge was brung
to your attention, by the hardest motherfuckin artist
that is know for lynchin any sucker in a minute
Stagger 'em all
When I start flowin like Niagara Falls
Ice Cube is equipped to rip shit in a battle
Move like a snake when I'm mad; and then my tail rattle
I get low on the flow so let your kids know
When I bust, parental discretion is a must

Little did they know, that I would be arrivin
And it's surprisin, rockin it from where I been
But it's the E here to take, no mistake to be made
in the trade where funky ass records are bein played
Fuck the regular, yo as I get better the
bitches wanna trick and go stupid up on the dick
So I get 'em hot, thinkin they're gonna get it
As they sit, rubbin their legs like a cricket
To you it may be funny, but
there's no service of beef, without money
So slip the C-note, and you can choke
on a wing-ding-ding-a-ling down your throat
Foreplay; to me ain't shit
When you spread 'em I'm ready, then you can get the dick
of the Eaze, if you can deal with the size
But if you can't, parental discretion's advised! {*echoes*}

{*bass guitar and piano solo for a minute*}

[Unknown voice at the end after band breaks down]
Shut the fuck up!!

Delivery Week (Seamless Web Promotion) - October 19-31

Seamless Web will have a promotion starting October 19 through Halloween where you can get a 3-course lunch for $12.09 + tax or a 3-course dinner for $20.09 + tax delivered to your door. The participating restaurants are as follows:

35 Thai
A La Turka
Alfanoose Middle Eastern Cuisine
Alfonso's House of Lasagna (Brought to you by Domenico's)
Amber (3rd Ave)
Au Mandarin
Austin Fishwich (Brought to you by Salmon River)
Baluchi's (East)
Baluchi's (Greenwich St.)
Baluchi`s (Spring)
Baluchi's (West)
Barbarini Alimentari
Bellini Italian Restaurant & Brick Oven Pizzeria
Benvenuto Grille
Big Nick`s Burger Joint & Pizza Joint (Bdwy)
Bistro by PS450
Bread and Olive Restaurant
Brother Jimmy's - Amsterdam Ave
Cafe Spice (University Place)
Chelsea Ristorante
Chola, brought to you by Tadka
Cinema Brasserie
Cucina Di Pesce
Doyers Vietnamese Restaurant, Inc.
Earthen Oven
Ethos (First Ave)
Ethos Greek Cuisine
Fresco by Scotto on the Go
Fresco on the Go (Pearl St)
Fresh Basil's
Garage Restaurant & Cafe
Giorgio`s of Gramercy
Greenwich Street Tavern
Havana Central (Bdway)
Havana Central
Havana Central (Time Square)
Hill Country
Indus Valley
Intermezzo (Only ASAP Orders Please)
I Vandali-Fresh Italian Restaurant
John`s Shanghai Chinese Restaurant
Khao Sarn II
Koodo Sushi (Grand Opening)
La Giara
La Gioconda
Lilli and Loo
Little Thai Kitchen
Mama Mexico (49th St.)
Matsu Sushi
Niko`s Mediterranean Grill & Bistro
Nomado 33
Ollie`s (42nd St.)
Paris Commune
POP Burger
Pound & Pence
Rare Bar & Grill
Salmon River
Serafina at the Time Hotel
Sushi Time
Thai Chai - Yo
Waterstone Grill
Wave Sushi at Caviar Russe
Wild Edibles
Yama (Carmine)
Yama (E. 49th)
Zen Palate
Zucchero e Pomodori
Mama Mexico (Broadway)
Match 65 Brasserie & Sushi Bar (Formerly Paris Match Bistro)
Mudville 9 Grill
Paprika Cucina Italiana
Peep Restaurant
Pera Mediterranean Brasserie
Smorgas Chef West Village LLC
Smorgas Chef
Smorgas Chef (Park Ave)
Sosa Borella - 8th Ave
The Volstead

Here's a map of all the joints. Link

It'll be interesting to see what some of these restaurants will be offering for the promotion. As Jacques Pépin says - Happy Eating!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

PSA: Andrew Weatherall @ Love on Saturday, October 10 (Update)

From the promoters:

Dear Friends, its with great sadness that we have to mention this, but Andrew Weatherall was denied his work visa to come to the U.S. This is something we really were looking forward to but now for the 2nd time we have tried to book him, its not possible once again. But fear not, we have put together something for all of you that will still get your grooving. We have asked Bill Patrick who is on tour now in the US, to come and take Weatherall's place and do an extended set for us.


Maybe third time will be the charm?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

PSA: Andrew Weatherall @ Love on Saturday, October 10

Andrew Weatherall is very cool and has produced some amazing music. He also plays awesome music when he djs. The last time he was supposed to come to New York, he had visa problems. Here's hoping to smooth sailing this time around.

You can get your advance tickets for 15 bones here.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

GusGus - Add This Song (Patrick Chardronnet Mix)

PSA: John Digweed @ Pacha New York on Friday, October 9

The mega-influential John Digweed makes his long-awaited return to NYC on Friday, October 9 at Pacha. I haven't been to Pacha in years, and even with the recent spate of legal troubles, I'm willing to slog through the bullshit for a few hours of Diggers.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Carl Craig & Moritz von Oswald

This first cut is a track from the original album titled "ReComposed" that was released on the supremely venerable record label Deutsche Grammophon.

And this is a remix by Carl Craig released on the AA side for a remixed release.

New Basement Jaxx Album and Tour

Basement Jaxx have finished their fifth studio album titled "Scars", and is set for domestic release on October 6. They've got a short North America tour that kicks off in San Francisco on October 30 and ends in New York on Saturday, November 7 at Santos Party House. Hells yeah. You can purchase your tickets for the New York date here.

Here's the video for their first single "Raindrops".

Friday, August 21, 2009

Creedence Clearwater Revival: Born On The Bayou (Live @ Woodstock)

Nate Appleman and Keith McNally Team Up For Bowery Pizzeria

From Grub Street:

This just in, via an e-mail from the man himself this morning: Keith McNally has tapped none other than Nate Appleman to helm the kitchen at his forthcoming pizzeria on the Bowery, Pulino's Bar and Pizzeria. Appleman, who will be chef and partner, was last seen looking for a point of entry into the New York market, having parted ways with his partners at A16 and SPQR in San Francisco. He's also this year's recipient of both the James Beard Rising Star award and Best New Chef honors from Food & Wine magazine. While the last time McNally experimented with a name chef on an Italian restaurant, at Morandi, the results were initially mixed, the McNally-Appleman one-two immediately catapults Pulino's into the territory of places like Otto and Co., where top operators and chefs are in tandem, and puts it on a path for epic success. It's a (characteristically) very shrewd move for McNally and a virtual lottery win for Appleman, who has something to prove in NYC. Pulino's, a breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night proposition — per the McNally standard — will open sometime in December.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Gentlemen Broncos

A new one by the director of Napoleon Dynamite:

Upcoming Eric Ripert Show on PBS

If you've checked out the blog list on the left side of this site, you'd see Ripert's Avec Eric site listed.

from W Magazine:

Out of the Kitchen

Le Bernardin’s Eric Ripert brings his brand of culinary cool to the small screen.

By Jenny Comita

September 2009

Compared with his fellow megachefs, Eric Ripert has always come off like a bit of an iceman. A tall, tanned, silver-haired Buddhist who manages to look cool even in close proximity to a blazing range, he reigns over New York’s famed Le Bernardin with a calm confidence that makes Gordon Ramsay and the rest of the apron-clad screamers seem like three-year-olds in dire need of a nap. When a judge on Top Chef, the cooking contest show on which Ripert has guest-starred, referred to him as Obi-Wan Kenobi last season, the analogy between the wise Jedi Master and the 44-year-old culinary whiz seemed apt.

This fall, however, foodies will get to glimpse Ripert’s untethered side when his own TV series, Avec Eric, debuts on PBS. A far cry from the cutesy quick-cook shows that dominate the airwaves, each episode opens with a behind-the-scenes look at one aspect of Le Bernardin—the haute seafood eatery’s saucier station, for instance—and closes with Ripert creating a masterly but manageable dish in a home kitchen. In between, Ripert travels in search of inspiration, and it’s on these trips—whether to slurp oysters straight out of the sea off California’s Hog Island or to hunt wild boar in Chianti, Italy—that his suave facade begins to erode. Standing in the Tuscan forest in a thunderstorm, his camouflage jacket pulled over his head like a babushka, he practically leaps out of the shot when the burly creature streaks past. Even eight months later, sitting in the cookbook-crammed conference room of Le Bernardin, he seems shaken by his close encounter with the big pig. “Eee was coming right at us!” he says, his French accent so thick it sounds almost put on. “We were looking for a tree to climb! Eee ad these beeeg teeth on the sides!”

Avec Eric represents Ripert’s first regular foray onto the small screen. Though he certainly doesn’t lack for presence, and though his culinary chops trump those of just about anyone else on TV—he has held on to his four New York Times stars for 14 years, longer than anyone else now cooking in the city—he has been slow to pick up the toque of celebrity chef. He’s doing so now, he says, because he believes his seasoned team is up to the task of handling the restaurant during his absences. “You don’t become a chef to become famous,” says Ripert, who enrolled in culinary school at 15 and landed in the kitchen of Paris’s La Tour d’Argent two years later. “You become a chef because you like cooking.”

But running Le Bernardin, which Ripert has co-owned with Maguy Le Coze since 1994, when Le Coze’s brother and cofounder, Gilbert, died, also means acting as manager, talent scout and marketing machine. Ripert, who lives on the Upper East Side with his wife and young son, does a remarkable job of juggling, says chef–turned–writer–turned–TV host Anthony Bourdain, a close friend. “I’ve never seen him freak out under any circumstances. He’s a great advertisement for Buddhism.”

Ripert credits the religion, which he began studying in his 20s, with teaching him kindness—as a young chef, he was a bit of a hothead, once throwing a plate at pastry chef François Payard—but it hasn’t exactly turned him into a type B personality. In his new memoir, Born Round, New York Times food critic Frank Bruni recalls that while many chefs posted his photo so servers could spot him, Ripert took it a step further, digging up videos so his staff could also study his mannerisms. Ripert seems embarrassed by the story but admits it’s true. “We have standards, and we do everything possible to meet them. If that means having Bruni on video, then that’s what it is,” he says. “But by the way, the videos were legal! They were Frank Bruni reporting from the White House!”

Meeting those standards in the current economy has, of course, meant making hard choices. With many New York restaurants down as much as 30 percent, just about every eatery has reacted by offering some sort of deal. Ripert saw his own business plunge in the first month of 2009, and, he says, “we had to make a decision: Either we lower the price, in which case we cannot provide the quality that we want, or we stick to our standards.” The answer, he says, came to him while he was walking down Madison Avenue: “I saw one designer store where everything was 90 percent off, and it was empty. And then there was Hermès, nothing on sale, and the place was packed.” He chose the Hermès strategy, on the logic that “nobody remembers a bargain but nobody forgets a bad meal,” and insists that it has been successful, with business rebounding almost entirely by early spring.

Thus far, acting on instinct has served him well. “I never pressure myself to do something I don’t want to do,” he says. It’s a philosophy he applies even to Buddhism. While vegetarianism is the karmic ideal, for example, Ripert has no problem cooking up creatures. “The way I see it, you don’t take the life of an animal for something meaningless,” he says. “If I have a beautiful ingredient in front of me, I’m going to pay homage to it. I’m not going to f--- it up.”