Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tomita & Claude Debussy - Clair De Lune

This is a record I picked up a few years ago. Yesterday, I was reminded of it because it's the first track in Greg Wilson's STUCK TOGETHER WITH SPACE GLUE mix for Tim Sweeney's Beats In Space radio show.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Crazy Penis - Star War (Greg Wilson Edit)

Crazy Penis - Star War (Greg Wilson Edit) by paperecordings

Crazy P's releases with Paper Recordings in the late nineties/early noughties
are for many some of best records released by both the act and the label.
Now in 2010 Paper have handed over the tracks from A Nice Hot Bath With to
some of their favourite producers (Yam Who, Faze Action, PBR Streetgang,
Flash Atkins, Rune Lindbaek and Brennan Green) and have created the
marvellous 'A Nice Hot Edit With' due out next year to follow the re-release
of the re-mastered orginal in November.

The first vinyl sampler for the album contains two cuts, the first of which is
Greg Wilson's epic thirteen minute edit of 'Star war'. Wilson needs little
introduction; as one of the UK's true DJ heroes he started his career back
in 1975 and was a pivotal force in breaking electronic and post disco music
to clubland through his residencies at everywhere from the Wigan Pier to the
Hacienda. For his reworking of 'Star war' he turns in a groove laden slice of
deep disco that drips with class from every pore and even after thirteen
minutes leaves you wishing for more!

Pick up a copy of you vinyl here.

Nirvana - Molly's Lips (Live in London, 12-03-89)

Monday, September 27, 2010

It's Thinking - Afterglow (Mr.C Remix)

A memorable track from long ago and from this weekend:

Peace Division - Beatz In Peacez 3

Peace Division was a ubiquitous component of many house music djs' sets in the late 1990's and early 2000's. Here's one of thier "slamming hard" tracks:

I remember I'd walk into the room and felt wow...what is this sound that's so deep and penetrates my body? I'd never heard anything like it before. The speakers were kicking out this deep, deep bass. That's how I would describe it. Some of the tracks were slamming hard...others were dreamy. I felt free. This music makes me feel free.

What is this sound? This music makes me feel free...

Friday, September 24, 2010

No One Likes M. Night Shyamalan

Behind OpenTable's success

I previously wrote about OpenTable's IPO here and here. If you had gone in on some of that, you wouldn't be doing too bad right now.

September 23, 2010 12:05 PM

The online reservation service doesn't deserve its $1.5 billion valuation, at least not yet. But neither does it deserve to be written off as an over-hyped fad.opentable

By Kevin Kelleher, contributor

Tuesday marked another ho-hum milestone for OpenTable: The stock closed at yet another record high.

In the 20 months since its IPO, OpenTable (OPEN) has more than tripled its $20 offering price to Tuesday's close of $66.33. The 12-year-old company has amassed a $1.5 billion market cap, bigger than many publicly-traded restaurant chains like Jack in the Box (JACK), Domino's Pizza (DPZ), P.F. Chang's (PFCB), and it's closing in fast on Wendy's (WEN) $1.8 million market value.

What's going on? Has the company, which books restaurant reservations online, hit on some kind of secret sauce for success? Or is it 1999 all over again, as some analysts speculate, with little-known online enterprises achieving stratospheric valuations before crashing back to earth?

The truth is it's little of both. OpenTable's valuation has surely been driven to unsustainable levels. The stock trades at 201 times its 2009 earnings and 73 times its estimated 2011 earnings. Amazon, another e-commerce star often criticized as being overvalued, trades at 43 times its 2011 earnings.

OpenTable's surge has been exacerbated by a battle raging between bullish momentum investors and bearish short investors. Just as its shares have climbed, the short interest on the stock has also soared, rising from 331,000 shares (equal to one day of average volume) a year ago to 3.8 million shares (or 12 times average daily volume) today. The bears continue building up their short positions, patiently awaiting the inevitable correction, but they keep getting squeezed out by momentum buyers.

E-commerce 2.0

Such technical factors will keep OpenTable volatile for some time. But it would be a mistake to dismiss the company as a proverbial flash in the pan. Unlike many overnight sensations from the Internet sector, OpenTable has a growing customer base, smart management and a steady record of rising profits. But more importantly, the company is emblematic of a trend in e-commerce that is only in its infancy.

For the past 15 years, online commerce has centered around the business of selling goods through the web, creating an online alternative to the so-called brick-and-mortar model of traditional retailing. Amazon (AMZN) perfected this business model, wringing new efficiencies from distribution and slashing prices. Over time, many large brick-and-mortar retailers realized they needed to connect with consumers online as well, or risk being left behind. Blockbuster, which lost business to Netflix (NFLX) and filed for bankruptcy Thursday, is just the latest example.

But there was a large portion of the consumer market that was left out of this revolution: the small, independently-owned businesses like restaurants and retail shops. OpenTable was one of the first companies to connect consumers with these brick-and-mortar holdouts on a large scale. It took a traditional chore -- phoning a restaurant for reservations -- and simplified it through the web.

Opentable, which is free for diners to use, charges restaurants a series of fees. The company breaks them down as a one-time installation fee averaging between $600 and $700 a month, a monthly subscription fee averaging $270 and additional fees charged per diner seated. Restaurateurs say they pay an average of $1,500 to $2,000 a month for the service.

The idea resonates with diners and restaurateurs -- OpenTable's revenue jumped by 35% in the first half of 2010 from the same period in 2009, while profit grew nearly fivefold. Operating margin rose to 18% from 7% in that period, so OpenTable's growth is coming in a way that's adding to profits.

Other recent start-ups have also tapped into this new e-commerce trend. Yelp brought Amazon-like customer reviews to restaurants and mom-and-pop retailers. And Groupon has struck gold by offering online deal-of-the-day coupons that connect consumers and local retailers. Other startups like Foursquare are building in business promotions to their location-based mobile apps, though few have caught on like Groupon. What separates the success stories from the also-rans is their ability to tap into the mobile web, which can help on-the-go consumers find, research and connect with local shops and restaurants.

OpenTable is pushing into these areas as well. Its iPhone app, for example, allows users to write reviews of restaurants and read those of others. It recently launched Spotlight, a Groupon-like daily deal service that could bring in new revenue. Diners tend to book reservations only at popular and high-end restaurants. Since most restaurants seat diners without reservations, they have no incentive to pay OpenTable fees to book reservations that no one needs. But offering discounts to diners could help OpenTable broaden its customer base.

OpenTable isn't the only one with this idea. It's facing competition from Zagat Survey, which is offering its own dining deals, with the twist that as more people sign up the discount grows. And Urbanspoon, backed by IAC, offers a rival reservation-booking service along with its restaurant reviews. Only Urbanspoon's service, called Rezbook, has both an iPad app and services that don't require the expensive software OpenTable makes restaurants use.

OpenTable future is likely bright, but its jaw-dropping stock surge is misleading in two ways. The company doesn't deserve a $1.5 billion valuation, at least not today. But neither does it deserve to be written off as an over-hyped fad. It's tapped into a new area of e-commerce that promises to deliver sustainable growth for years to come.

Link to article here.

The Martian - Sex In Zero Gravity

PSA: Sasha @ District 36, Saturday, October 9

Tickets available here.

Ginsberg's Words Get Animated in New Film

Via Wall Street Journal:


"Howl," the new film about Allen Ginsberg and his controversial poem, is no simple narrative. The action flits among the titular poem's first public reading—at San Francisco's Six Gallery on Oct. 7, 1955—to the obscenity trial that followed in 1957 to an interview with the poet (played by James Franco). Meanwhile, soaring in and around all this are long stretches of animation depicting the text's urban, surrealist visions.

"We wanted the poem to be a character in the film," said the film's co-director, Rob Epstein. "It is there as spoken by Allen, as evidence in the trial, then as illustrated."

The man behind the design of the illustrations is Eric Drooker, who collaborated with Ginsberg on a later book, "Illuminated Poems," and whose paintings have graced the cover of the New Yorker magazine more than a dozen times. Mr. Drooker was born in Manhattan and lived two blocks away from Ginsberg in the East Village for years.

For the film's directors, Mr. Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, the idea to animate a portion of the film, which arrives in theaters on Friday, came after looking through a copy of "Illuminated Poems" together. "We had to find a form that made sense to approach that subject," Mr. Friedman said.

In the initial meetings, the directors were looking for some visual elements—but the project expanded quickly, recalled Mr. Drooker. "The next thing I knew, they were proposing animating "Howl." I thought, 'Are you nuts? Why don't you just animate Dante's 'Inferno'?" he said. "But then I realized Dante's 'Inferno' would have been easier to illustrate. It's a guided tour, and it's very linear. 'Howl' is anything but linear."

The creative process took several years, but it started with Mr. Drooker creating characters and storyboards inspired by Ginsberg's text. Then a team of animators, led by animation producer John Hays, transformed the drawings into moving images.

"It's so labor-intensive that one artist can't really do it," Mr. Drooker said. "It's like being in a band where you need other musicians. I just had to keep feeding them." He added that there is also a companion piece to the animations. "Once the film was in the can, I continued to work on a graphic novel."

Mr. Drooker's "Howl" illustrations tend to feature elongated figures and sweeping, richly colored landscapes—making up a fantastical world that reflects the text. "You could call it a cubist poem," the illustrator said. "The whole poem was kaleidoscopic."

Mr. Drooker's friendship with Ginsberg (1926-1997), which resulted "Illuminated Poems" in 1996, gave him a firm understanding of what the poet would have liked. "It felt like a collaboration, and I felt like he was giving me encouragement," he said. "There was a natural harmony there between us. So that's what gave me the confidence to do the animation."

But Dante's "Inferno" did play a role, too. In re-reading that text, Mr. Drooker imagined a visual of Dante and Virgil—"these two robed figures going through hell"—and transposed that image onto the reality that Ginsberg described in "Howl" to refer to his friend Carl Solomon, whose institutionalization partly inspired the poem ("I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked..."). "They are being led through this hellish landscape of the mental hospital where Solomon was committed and receiving electro-shock treatment," Mr. Drooker said.

Other inspirations for the illustrations came from jazz, Greek mythology (especially the "Moloch" figure, which has a bull's head and human's body) and from William Blake, who illustrated his own poems. "The angel-heading hipsters we see flying though the night were inspired by Blake," he said.

And while "Howl" was written in the political context of a much different era, Mr. Drooker made one element more topical: the addition of oil fields, which was aimed at more recent international events. In all, the animation emphasizes the varied ways in which the viewer interacts with the film—and the poem. "We come back and forth into different realities," Mr. Epstein said of the film. "This was the—imagined—internal reality of the poet."

Escort - Cocaine Blues

Via ResidentAdvisor:

Escort splashed down hard with 2006's "Starlight," a perfect gloss on circa '82 disco-boogie from its zingy strings to the wormy synth hook. A year later they brought out "All Through the Night," which situated them a couple years later—like the Pointer Sisters doing "Hot Stuff." In between came "Love in Indigo" and "A Bright New Life"—less splashy but still pretty good. Then record silence for three years while the Brooklyn band—at last count some 17 pieces big—worked on a full album. "Cocaine Blues" is its first fruit—a four-minute edit is available free by joining the mailing list, and a 12-inch features a longer version as well as light-fingered remixes from Ewan Pearson and Greg Wilson, just about the two best one-two you could hope for on a project like this.

"Cocaine Blues" loosely remakes Dillinger's 1976 "Cocaine in My Brain," a disco-reggae classic in which the Jamaican deejay croaks gleefully about knives and forks, New York and some guy named Jim who just doesn't get it. It's one of those records I think of as "post-standards"—songs equally known as sample sources as for being covered—and Escort's unhurried disco approach treats it nicely. The remixers are as judicious as you'd imagine. Pearson offers a glossier treatment, with the instruments glowing and glistening more; ditto the vocals, which are filtered just enough to sound robotic. Wilson, mischievously, slowly strips the whole apparatus down to nothing. It's good to have them back.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Conan O'Brien Makes a Sandwich

Blakkat - Blak Power

One of my favorites, released in 2003 on Tango's a chugger, a stomper and a builder...all in one awesome track:

(FYI, there's a horrible skip @ 2:57, and the video doesn't play the full track...but it'll have to do)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Beastie Boys - Sure Shot (Large Professor Remix)

Mexicue Food Truck (Review)

I love Mexican food, and I love, in theory, Mexicue should be right up my alley. They've been on my food truck radar for quite sometime and I finally had a chance to try some of their goods that have been nominated for top rookie prize at this year's Vendy Awards.

I ordered a short rib taco ($4), brisket slider ($3) and pulled pork slider ($3). Here's what they looked like all together and chilling in their container:

The short rib taco, though the most expensive, was my least favorite. The integrity of the tortilla disintegrated and everything fell out, which made for messy eats. Don't get me was quite tasty...but not $4 tasty. (Shoot, now i'm in the mood for some kalbi.) Here's a pic of the taco after a few bites:

Next up for my stomach was the brisket slider:

This was really good and all the flavors came together nicely. I also quite enjoyed the slaw.

Finally, the pulled pork slider rounded out my lunch:

This was by far my favorite of the three. The arbol BBQ sauce had a great kick to it that brought the slider to a happier place. It was the best of the three and I'd probably get it again along with something else I haven't tried (most likely the chorizo and chicken).

My only complaint for the sliders were that the buns were made byPepperidge Farm, if I'm not mistaken. Is it not possible to try and source an authentic Mexican bun? Or are they non-existent? I can surely say that the sliders would be that much better if the buns weren't such a recognizable component.

Their locations are:

MONDAY: 23 Street and Park Avenue
TUESDAY: Bryant Park
WEDNESDAY: 52 Street and Park Avenue
THURSDAY: Financial District
FRIDAY: 48th Street and 6th Avenue
SATURDAY: Soho / Brooklyn

However, it's subject to change so check their twitter feed or website for details. You can also call or text them at 917.568.8922.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Jerry Lee Lewis - Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On (1957)

The Beatles - "Tomorrow Never Knows" (Anthology Version)

I'm on a huge Beatles kick right now...directly attributed to Greg Wilson introducing me to "The Longest Cocktail Party" and "How I Met the Walrus".

"Tomorrow Never Knows" has always been a favorite of mine, and here's a version that differs from the one on "Revolver":

And here's a short snippet that features Paul McCartney and George Martin talking about the making of the track:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Operation Ivy - Bad Town

They call it a scene I call it disaster
Down here the kids grow up faster
Scared they're scared to the bone
Like a pack of wolves they don't run alone
One on one they won't look you in the eye
But when the pack's together there's a battle cry
I saw it fifteen on one
When the crowd dispersed the kid was done

No (no more)
No (bad town)
No more bad town

Yeah down there you gotta have a label
Just like a cattle in a stable
Knee jerk reaction I call it violence
Why speak out when you could be silenced
Down there, out on the dance floor
Too much violence I don't want more
Down there, out on the street
I can see the air I can see the heat


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Alan Richman of GQ hangs w/Jonathan Benno

In anticipation of Jonathan Benno's Lincoln, Alan Richman tries out a few of the menu items that will feature at this greatly awaited new restaurant:

Friday, September 3, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Iggy Pop - Nightclubbing (Baby Doc Remix)

Off of the movie soundtrack compilation Trainspotting #2 (one of my favorite movies with an amazing soundtrack), I've always enjoyed this down-tempo interpretation of the classic Iggy Pop jam "Nightclubbing":

Conan Announces Name Of New TBS Show!

Dos Equis by Kaws

So, who's got my case of Dos Equis Kaws for me?? I'll trade you 3 cases of night train for 1 of these jammies.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Random Influnces #7, mixed by Greg Wilson

We've reached the second half of this 12 part series.

RANDOM INFLUENCES #7 by Random Influences

The Beatles - Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

Probably after having looked up a couple of Beatles-related titles this morning and reading up on Apple Corps., a song would inevitable pop into my head. That song happened to be Ob-La-Di, undeniably catchy, pop-reggae-influenced tune. Whistle along...

Desmond has his barrow in the market place...
Molly is the singer in a band...
Desmond says to Molly "Girl, I like your face"
And Molly says this as she takes him by the hand...
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!...
Lala how the life goes on...
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!...
Lala how the life goes on.

Desmond takes a trolley to the jewelry store...
Buys a twenty carat golden ring...
Takes it back to Molly waiting at the door...
And as he gives it to her she begins to sing...
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!...
Lala how the life goes on...
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!...
Lala how the life goes on.

In a couple of years they have built a home sweet home,
With a couple of kids running in the yard,
Of Desmond and Molly Jones... (Ha ha ha ha ha)

Happy ever after in the market place...
Desmond lets the children lend a hand...
Molly stays at home and does her pretty face...
And in the evening she still sings it with the band...
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!...
Lala how the life goes on...
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!...
Lala how the life goes on.

In a couple of years they have built a home sweet home,
With a couple of kids running in the yard,
Of Desmond and Molly Jones...
Happy ever after in the market place...
Molly lets the children lend a hand...
Desmond stays at home and does his pretty face...
And in the evening she's a singer with the band...
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!...
Lala how the life goes on...
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah!...
Lala how the life goes on.

And if you want some fun...take Ob-la-di-bla-da (Thank you)

Agent 001 - Bubblebath (16B Remix)

16B aka Omid Nourizadeh (one of my favorite producers) remixes an Agent 001 jam(another one of my favorite producers), who had a string of monster hits during a brief two-year period in the mid-00's. If you ever see Eli "Wilk da Silk" Wilkie on the bill for a night at some club, don't miss out. Dude always delivers. Actually, for that matter, don't miss out on Steve Porter and Omid 16B as well.

GusGus - Purple

Played randomly on my iriver this morning...