Friday, February 27, 2009


Just read here that jolly ole Britain has Cadbury Creme Egg McFlurries in their McDonald's. Lemme get one of those and a Royale w/Cheese.

Where can I sign a petition to bring that jammy across the pond?!? One caveat, they need to use the white part of the Cadbury Egg in the McFlurry.

Watch the telly ad they're running here.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Is This Real Life? (REMIX)

It's been almost a month, and it still cracks me the fuck up. And I'm absolutely sober right now.

The Original

The Master Burger List Review Bonanza - The Inception - Second Avenue Deli

Last Thursday, February 12, the New York City Burger Tour commenced. One could describe it as starting off with a whimper, or rather, an inauspicious starting point to a truly noble endeavor for mankind. I have no idea what the fuck I'm rambling about. Let's just get to the reviews.

The first stop on the burger tour is probably not a place you'd think of getting a hamburger - with good reason. It just happened that we (Chuckie Cheese and I) were in the vicinity of Second Avenue Deli, so of course we were going to grab lunch there. Well, they have hamburgers on the menu, and though I've never gotten one in the many years I've been going, I felt like it was my job to order one, eat it, and review I had just undertaken a burger list review mania. In other words, I took one for the team. You can thank me in bottles of Jameson later.

For those of yous who've never had the 2nd Ave experience, when you sit, you promptly get this with your water with lemon:

Then we order chopped liver because there was no fucking way we weren't going to order it. If it wasn't so unhealthy, I'd eat it every other day. Here's what it looked like right before it was finished off:

And now, booyahkasha, the burger:

Looks like the burger pattie got dropped into the deep fat fryer, right? That's because it probably was. I asked our kind waitress what kind of meat was used and how it was prepared...and she looked at me like I was a korean in a kosher restaurant. I got no reply. Suffice to say, it wasn't good.


Here's a crosscut:


With that said, who cares how it was dressed or what kind of bun it was served on. The moral to this first burger review is - you don't go to Second Avenue Deli for a burger. There's no need to describe what it tasted like - you just don't order a burger at Second Ave. You also don't go there for lean brisket or dairy products. Oh, and the fries were okay. I'm gonna go ahead and say they were Russet potatoes.

So yeah, you can see how this start to the burger review tour didn't pop off with a home run. It was more like a swing-and-a-miss at a balk. Fail all around. (Ohhh, what a smooth transition to a baseball analogy. Can't wait until the start of the season.)

Well, that's the first place on the list I can cross off. That evening, Cheese and I hit up another restaurant under the auspice of getting garbage plates in NYC with the intention of supplementing it with a burger. If you don't know what a garbage plate is, sorry. Or maybe, lucky. Either way, I'm a (true a la Rochester-stylee) garbage plate fan. Stay tuned for the hilarious report/review coming shortly.

Kupon - Zoom In (Curfew Recordings)

Released in late 2006, this track never fails to deliver for me. It was the second release on Kupons's (aka King Unique) label Curfew Recordings. I don't know what it is about the track (I'm lying...there are 23 things I know and love about it), but I never skip it when it comes up on my mp3 player. Now I have to go home and go digging for the vinyl hidden somewhere.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

PSA: Today is National Pancake Day

IHOP is giving away free short stacks (3 pancakes) between 7 am and 10 pm today, in celebration of National Pancake Day.

This is true and verified.

I bet Prince is really excited about it.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Kaws write-up in LA Times

From the Los Angeles Times

Tag, this artist is definitely it

KAWS becomes a brand name as his images appear on hip-hoppers' clothes and on gallery walls.

By Chris Lee

February 21, 2009

Over the course of a career that has variously infuriated anti-graffiti task force officers and enthralled Japanese street couture collectors -- meaning winning props from hip-hop superstars Kanye West and Pharrell Williams -- the pop artist KAWS has carved a unique niche for himself. The soft-spoken 34-year-old Jersey City native, born Brian Donnelly, created a new business model that bridges the high-low culture divide in ways that would have made steam come out of Andy Warhol's ears.

By parlaying vandalism into a brand identity as a purveyor of mass-produced collectible toys, KAWS became a bona fide subculture celebrity with a recognizable presence in street fashion.

But now, KAWS is at a career turning point. In spite of his renown in subcultural circles (which galleristas and museum directors have historically snobbed), he is now being mentioned in the same breath as pop art luminaries, such as Takashi Murakami, Keith Haring and Jeff Koons. And while KAWS has proven himself perfectly capable of trafficking his own pop offerings -- on skateboard decks, stickers, T-shirts and sneakers -- KAWS has infiltrated the rarefied world of institutional art after being held at arm's distance from it for much of his career. Pretty fly for a graf guy.

"When I grew up, I never thought I could enter a gallery," KAWS said over lunch at Chateau Marmont this week. "I looked at them as these pretentious places that did not welcome me."

On the heels of two exhibitions of his work at the Gering & Lopez Gallery in New York and Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin in Miami last year, an exhibition of KAWS' paintings and sculptures is set to open at Honor Fraser Gallery in Culver City tonight. "I Can't Feel My Face," a group show the artist curated, opens at the Royal/T gallery, also in Culver City, on Sunday. Later this year, KAWS' art will be included in a group show called "Plastic Culture" at London's Harris Museum and Art Gallery. And KAWS is scheduled to show new works in a solo show at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Connecticut in December 2010.

"Brian made the realization there's no distinction between the making of the art and placing it in the wider culture," said Harry Philbrick, director of the Aldrich. "It fits within a long tradition in the art world: Andy Warhol, Marcel Duchamp, artists who wanted to take art outside the confines of the museum and engage with the wider culture. Sometimes in commercial ways, sometimes in subversive ways."

Unlike Haring or Jean-Michel Basquiat, who were never accepted in the fraternity of hard-core graffiti artists, KAWS is an unreconstructed graffiti "writer" whose aerosol handiwork defaced billboards, freight trains and water towers.

But that changed in 1996 when one of his graffiti peers -- Barry McGee, a.k.a. Twist, another graf guy turned successful pop artist -- gave KAWS a skeleton key that opened up the glass advertising boxes on the sides of phone booths and bus kiosks. Concurrent with studying design and illustration at New York's School of Visual Arts, KAWS stopped writing his name on walls and began altering ads. He would steal ad posters and paint over them with a visual shorthand of symbols -- cartoon skulls with X-ed out eyes and serpentine spermatazoan shapes in pastel colors. Then he would carefully replace them.

That focus baffled his graffiti buddies but impressed the media, and KAWS' magazine clip file began to grow. Seeing no future in the ads, however, KAWS traveled to Tokyo in the late '90s. There, his underground renown resulted in a streetwear company offering him an opportunity to design a vinyl toy: Companion, a pop art-y send-up of Mickey Mouse with Xs for eyes. Saleswise, the toy took off. So KAWS went into business, paying manufacturing costs and selling the toys on his own website, A lucrative cottage industry that cemented his reputation among hipster cognoscenti was born.

Around 2001, KAWS was brought into the sphere of Tomoaki "Nigo" Nagao, the visionary pop cultural maven behind the streetwear brand A Bathing Ape. After Nigo helped create packaging for an exhibition of KAWS' "Simpsons"-inspired paintings, KAWS and the designer collaborated on three seasons of BAPE (as A Bathing Ape is alternately known) clothing and shoes. And their wares began taking off in the hip-hop world. Circa 2004, Jay-Z, Jermaine Dupri and hit-making producer Pharrell Williams, among others, began appearing in videos and photo shoots wearing the candy-colored, limited edition street couture that Nigo and KAWS put out. Supply quickly outstripped demand, resulting in a glut of bootleg BAPE on EBay and circulating in sneakerhead communities.

Nigo has become one of the foremost collectors of the artist's work but also a close friend. "It was the best match of a creator with our brand of all the collaborations we've done," Nigo said in an e-mail. "I think it really helped that Brian already understood our brand before we started the collaboration -- he already belonged in our world."

Hip-hop's embrace of BAPE as a fashion flavor also injected KAWS' artwork into the culture. Suddenly, his most famous patrons became influencers like Williams, who owns dozens of pieces by the artist. Last year, the artist opened his up his collection to the Condé Nast advertising supplement Fashion Rocks. Pointing out KAWS' paintings inspired by SpongeBob SquarePants (with X-ed out eyes, naturally), Williams summed up the childlike appeal of much of the artist's work. "What I love about SpongeBob," Williams told the magazine, "is that he's basically a 6-year-old."

As well, Kanye West frequently bigs up KAWS on his blog. Last year, the hip-hop superstar commissioned him to customize a special edition of the album cover for his "808s & Heartbreak"; a billboard version wound up in New York's Times Square late last year, featuring pastel-hued KAWS serpents, skulls and squiggles enveloping the multi-platinum rapper-producer.

And the Virginia rap duo Clipse give the artist a shout-out on two songs they recorded for a recent mix-tape: "Now, X marks the spot on my graffitied walls / Statuettes' X eyes on those graffiti dolls / . . . / Say it's just be-KAWS."

Whitney Museum Council member Susan Hancock, a collector who owns several works by KAWS and operates the art space Royal/T, places his work in context of Murakami, a Tokyo-born pop savant whose work is inspired by Japanese manga comics.

"I consider KAWS the U.S. Murakami equivalent," Hancock said. "He is mimicking what is popular in today's world: SpongeBob, Smurfs, Simpsons, much like Murakami took off from the world of Japanese contemporary culture."

For his part, KAWS seems reluctant to characterize his emerging presence in the "art world" as a career reboot; he simply was ready to bring his paintings to an audience behind the sneakerheads and toy aficionados, he said. But he acknowledges that his new work appearing at Honor Fraser Gallery -- where pieces are priced between $10,000 and $85,000 -- represents a significant departure.

"This show is the first time there's nothing identifiable with my aesthetic except the palette and the way it's painted," KAWS said. "There's no X eyes. I feel like I'm at a point where I don't have to signal back to past works."

Then there are the heads in the show: three life-size, lifelike replicas of KAWS' noggin in his ubiquitous baseball cap, rendered in bronze and coated by Skittle-colored hues of auto body paint.

Was the aim to turn himself into one of his toys? "I wanted to put a personal part of myself into an object world," he said. "It's a severed head. You look under the neck and it's totally chopped. It's kind of like an offering."

Link to Article

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Marco Pierre White

The below video is from a cooking show taped in the late 1980's whilst Marco Pierre White was shaking the culinary establishment by way of his restaurant called Harvey's. I find it absolutely...awesome. Almost twenty years later, I don't find the food or techniques applied dated. Do you? Nor is the beginning theme song dated...right? I didn't think so.

Also, you catch an early, early, Gordon Ramsay in the brigade. Hilarious. One of the boys. And MPW answering the phone himself...fucking highlarious. How funny is the phone ringer.

And, to kill two birds with one stone, I'll share this interview I stumbled upon while searching for something about MPW. Link to interview here.

Fuck it...I'm gonna kill three birds with one stone and post episode 2 as well:

@1:30...awesomeness. "If you wish me to cut myself on screen, then I don't mind, I'll do it for you."

Daniel Boulud Interview

Below, you'll find an excerpt from an interview with Daniel Boulud by RestaurantGirl that was done a few weeks back (January 29, to be exact). Much of what is discussed is common knowledge now, especially if you've already had interest in Boulud's work or had read any of his books. The main reason for posting this is because I've still got burgers on the brain.

Next up for you is a burger shop in the Bowery. Will that open any time soon?

It will open in early April and it’s not only burgers. They'll be bangers, burgers and beer. We’ll have 24 wines by the glass and 25 bottles, about fifty beers, fifty wines on the list. It's a small list but you know, we don’t need a big chateau. It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be the spirit of the Bowery, which will also be our kitchen supplier, so it has a lot to do with that.

Nice one. It's been quite some time (almost 2 years) since there was talk about Boulud opening up a burger joint (using the term "burger joint" in the loosest of terms) at 299 Bowery @ East 1st Street. In Boulud's own words, "It will be the greatest diner on earth". Whatever it is (and I'm sure it's gonna be great), seems like things are imminent. Rumor has it, the name of the joint will be DBGB Kitchen & Bar. I can't decide whether I agree with it or not (ya know...considering the whole CBGB thang a few blocks north).

You can read the rest of the interview here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Burger on the Brain (cont.)

HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHHAHAAAAAAA....okay, it's not that funny...but check out this post in the Diner's Journal. It's titled, "Blame The Burger", and Anita Lo of Bar Q says this:

“When the economy took a bad turn our business fell off like 70 percent, I do not think people want upscale Asian in this economy. All they want is burgers.”

Perhaps...but maybe it means you have to bang out better food. I honestly can't comment on the food, as I've never been to Bar Q, but it's unfortunate that she's gotta close shop (though she is considering doing something else in the space).

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Burger on the Brain

Seems like everyone's got burgers on their brain, me included. Sure burgers have always been mentioned in food blogs and reviews, and I'm not gonna lay claim that I'm the first person to endeavor in creating a comprehensive list of burger joints in NYC to review...but every which way I turn, I see burgers.

Just now, I read that a truck spilled hamburger patties all over an interstate in Utah (via AHT). Three days ago, the puissant Frank Bruni did a little pepsi challenge between Corner Bistro and Shack Shack (UWS location). And of course, you've got the supremely popular South Beach Wine and Food Fest Burger Bash on Thursday. I could go on and on about why burgers are dominating food news...which I will later, but know that they are. (Here's a hint: It's the economy, stupid!)

But this post is just to set the inform you that I've compiled an almighty and righteous list of about 50 go-to burger spots in New York City (2 of which were visited this past weekend) that will be thoroughly reviewed in the coming weeks. Some are very obvious, others, not so much. Further, I may haphazardly be walking around the streets of New York and stumble upon and into a food serving establishment and order myself a who knows how many places will be reviewed in the end. I will limit myself to only beef burgers for this particular exercise.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Smashing Pumpkins

Was getting my 1990's on this morning, and listened to "Siamese Dreams" by Smashing Pumpkins. Can you believe that in four short years, the album will be 20 fucking years old? Madness, I say. Where'd the time go?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Marco Pierre White

I can't believe I haven't written anything about Marco Pierre White. Then again, I haven't written much about anything, considering there's an infinite number of subject matters to be written about.

He's got a new show premiering on NBC in about a month. It's called Chopping Block.

"It's not just about the meal, it's about the business of food. From the producers of Hell's Kitchen, original rock-star chef Marco Pierre White comes to America to host the ultimate food fight on NBC – a new competition set in the high-drama, high-stakes world of New York City restaurants. The cooks are given a grilling over the course of the series. The teams, which are made up of couples, will be tested in challenges that vary from having less than a week to design and revamp a restaurant space to planning a menu and creating a signature dish. The winning couple will get a chance to have their dreams come true – opening their very own restaurant."

He's been on a few other tv series on the other side of the pond. I've yet to see his version of Hell's Kitchen, however, I did watch the mini-series "Great British Feast". It's a 4 part series...I'll post the first episode (in five parts) below.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Wink - Higher State Of Consciousness (Version 3)

Last night, I heard Josh Wink. He blew my fucking mind.

He just released his new artist album titled "When A Banana Was Just A Banana". You can purchase the cd here.

This is from beatportal:

Philadelphia-based DJ and producer Josh Wink today announced details of his fourth studio album titled ‘When A Banana Was Just A Banana’.

“In a nutshell, it speaks really of the loss of innocence of music,” explained Wink, who seems to be on a personal mission to rid the electronic music world of its pigeonholes.

“Music was just music when I was growing up. Nobody was ridiculed or had views of ‘I only listen to this one kind of music’, I grew up listening to everything.

“Today, so many people tend to only listen to one style of music with a strong opinion of why. I miss the innocence of how it was, like when you were younger, ‘A Banana Was Just A Banana’.”

After the jump there is the full tracklist of his LP, plus track descriptions from Josh Wink himself.

1) ‘Airplane Electronique’

“This was first started in June 2007, after playing the Piknik Electronik party in Montreal. I kind of got an idea of the track with the style of music I was playing at the event. It’s a mixture of tech and house with a twisted feel.

“I started the groove then and got back to finishing the track in October 2007. The name came from flying back from the party, but the spelling of Electronique is more French (Montreal style) than the name of the party.”

2) ‘Counter Clock 319’

“This was originally called ‘319 Acid’, similar to ‘516 Acid’, but it was called ‘319’ as I started this on March 19th 2007.

“After playing around with ideas, and effects, I created a panning motion in the track which when listened to in headphones travels in a counter clockwise fashion.

I was listening to a set of (DJ) Dixon and noticed how slow and groovy most of the set was, which influenced me to make a twisted, intense track that was in the same tempo range.”

3) ‘What Used To Be Called Used To Be’

“This original track was based on a remix I did for my friend Someone Else (Sean O’Neal) in October 2006.

“This was the groove and acid line used, but Sean and I agreed that a different remix was needed, which I did and it was released on his label FoundSound in 2007.

“I asked him if I could change things around with my remix (as all the music except the vocal samples were from his track) and perhaps release it on Ovum Recordings [l] and he said “sure”.

“So, I’ve been playing it out since then with great reactions, and had to release it. Acid, baby!”

4) ‘Jus Right’

“The original groove was done in 2005. I found it again in February 2008, when I was cleaning files on my computer, and finished the track in the same month.

“It reminds me of some old French 80s disco house, which I’m a sucker for. We wanted to leak this out for the summer season in 2008, as it really has a summer/sexy groove-vibe to it.

“We weren’t sure what to do with it, as people don’t expect me to release things like this. But, Matt from Ovum said, ‘It’s you, and it’s deep and pumpy, we gotta put it out’.

“The track was originally 17 minutes long, which to me was ‘Just Right’ to tell my story.

“But, several edits were completed to make it shorter and we agreed that it still had the same feeling. This was played at the WMC this past year and someone YouTubed it and people are wondering who it is. So we decided to release it.”

5) ‘Dolphin Smack’

“It originally was intended for a B-side track on Pokerflat in September 2006. But we decided no, and we left it and came back to it in October of the same year to complete.

“It’s been changed many times as I constantly get ideas on ‘unfinished’ tracks by playing them out. I remember playing it at my Ovum Last Wednesday residency in Philly, and someone came up to me and asked, ‘What was that track with the dolphin in the break?’, and the name Dolphin came about.

“Then to me it sounded like a dolphin on heroin, hence ‘Dolphin Smack’. If I get the right crowd at a gig, this breakdown is magical, as it’s very out there. I’m excited to release it.”

6) ‘Minimum 23’

“This is influenced by 90’s NYC house, as was ‘Stay Out All Night’. It was started originally in October 2006, and was finished a year later on October 23rd, 2007.

“It’s another track of mine that wants to marry the various sounds of USA style house and my electronic-tweaky-ness of production.

“I’ve been playing it out, and it gets pretty insane response on the dancefloor, jackin’ house tech!

“The name has changed too, as most of my tracks start with dates of the month. Then titles come to me later, as they don’t really mean much to me. But, they’re fun to make up.”

7) ‘Hypnoslave’

“I started working on this when I was asked to do the ‘Screaming Hands’ remix for Radioslave in November 2006.

“But, it wasn’t going in the direction I wanted for the remix.

“I never used any of Radioslave’s parts for the remix, so I worked on it a bit more and put it away to work on another day.

“I was still in my making-house-versions-of-tech-production mood. The name of the track half came from Slave as I started it as the RadioSlave remix and the other half came from it being hypnotic as all hell!

“I remember being in San Diego in 2007 and Dubfire was there, and we found out that we were both playing in LA the next day, so he gave me a ride to LA in a rented truck and we listened to each other’s music on the drive.

“Still to this day, he asks me about getting this track! I will finally get it to him!”

8) ‘Everybody To The Sun’

“In December 2005 it was originally based around a vocal of someone saying ‘Everybody To The Sun’. I found it again, took the vocals out and completed it in January 2007.

“I began playing it out to great response, and I still get threats from Marco Carola and Paco Osuna (who heard me play it) that they will hurt me if I don’t give them a copy.

“My response ‘Ah, well, it’s not mastered yet’. Well, it’s mastered finally.

“The version before this one went a little crazy with analog madness during the break, but this version is a lot more subdued, and hypnotic. No bass-line here, but the bass of the drum every 4 measures gets the ladies’ hips going.”

9) ‘Stay Out All Night’

“I was listening to a lot of 90’s NYC and Chicago house (which I’m very influenced by) when I made this track, and decided to do a bunch of music that was more house-tech than tech house.

“I had a a lot of fun bringing in jazzy rhodes lines, jackin’ house beats and a deep ass bass to my sets.

“This really stood out when I played it the first few times at the end of 2007. I played it for Matty B (Ovum) and he thought it would be a great idea to leak it out at the 2008 WMC.

“We gave it to 15 people and the magic started there. It’s great how it was played by so many diverse DJs and continued to blur the line between the new styles of tech and the old sound of house.”

Friday, February 6, 2009

Kreon aka Markos Spanoudakis

Kreon is making some fucking great music. From his discogs profile:

Markos Spanoudakis aka Kreon found himself in front of his father’s huge vinyl collection from an early age and made his acquiantances with jazz, classic rock, pop, soul, disco, country even! At the age of 18 he began his studies as an electrical engineer and ventured into the world of production. After many efforts and direction shifts, from house to minimal techno and electro, he released his first EP in an Athens-based label Rhythmetic. In 2007 he started collaborating with Lemos and soon released their first Ep with Resopal label. The 'Roza' and 'Lookooshere' EPs followed earning international praise. Meanwhile Kreon had the opportunity to express himself as a solo artist with the Frankfurt-based label Below, through the release of the 'Shake N Make' EP which entered the charts of many djs including the top 50 of Groove magazine. His sets remain unpredictable, since you can easily hear from U.S. and minimal house to funk, techno and jazz.


Check out the newest podcast on by him.

Direct Download Link

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

George Carlin

Was just watching George Carlin honored the Mark Twain Prize for America Humor on PBS...and I just had to share some Carlin standup for you. know farts are fun...farts are shit without the mess!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Is This Real Life?


I feel like making a dentist appointment now.

Holger Zilske - The Bees

Ever since I heard my friend drop this a few months back, it's been swirling around inside my head. Turn off your lights, turn this shit up LOUD and dance your fucking pants off.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Beatboxing in the kitchen...

An oldie but still goodie:

OpenTable Files For IPO

OpenTable, the online restaurant reservation site that was founded in 1998, is hoping to raise as much as $40 million in an IPO, according to a filing with the SEC (embedded below). The prospectus offers a detailed look at the company’s finances and operations.

Revenues through the nine months ended September 30, 2008 were $41.3 million, a 41 percent increase from the same period in 2007. The company makes money from the restaurants, which pay both subscription fees (54 percent of revenues) and reservation fees for each diner that shows up through the system (42 percent of revenues). It also makes a small amount on installation fees (4 percent of revenues).

The company lost 149,000 in net income, but turned an operating profit of 261,000. That is a rather slim margin, however, it appears that the company was spending as much as it could to grow and take market share, especially internationally where it is just getting started. Operating income in North America for the period was $6.8 million, whereas the company took an operating loss of $6.5 million internationally. Those are startup costs, since it is just getting its foot in the door at restaurants outside the U.S. and Canada.

As of September 30, 2008, OpenTable offered reservations at 9,709 restaurants worldwide, 8,788 of which were in North America It seated 25.5 million diners the first nine months of last year, up 45 percent. It employed 292 people, and had $17.4 million in cash.

I have a feeling any IPO money will go towards international expansion. A successful IPO would be a coup for CEO Jeff Jordan, a former eBay executive who is well regarded in Silicon Valley.

by Erick Schonfeld on January 30, 2009