Wednesday, November 22, 2006

TDay is here and it's here to stay (until Friday)

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm at my parents' house in Rockville, MD, right now. Already consumed two and a half Twinbrook Deli subs, the best subs in the world. Been working all day. Flight home was relatively easy yesterday--amazing sunset the whole time. Haven't been to Dulles airport in YEARS; always good to see those black-top shuttle buses.

Getting a massage in a few hours, then seeing my Grandmother. Tomorrow is dinner at the Elsons' house and I fly back to NYC on Friday. Dinner at Jordan's place, then DSO for Gabe's birthday then the Biscuits. Saturday is the throwdown with all my friends at the Biscuits show. Can't wait!! Here's to hoping we'll all dance (er, I mean run) like hell!

Happy turkey day! :)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I wish they all could be California girls

Rather, I wish my life were a permanent vacation (albeit pretty damn close already...) like Marcus and Meredith. So I'm back in NYC now but spent a fantastic weekend with Deanna out in Southern California hanging with my nieces and seeing some friends. Fantastic trip!

Hopped on Delta from JFK and was delayed a few hours, and of course was sitting next to Fatty McGee. But the flight was redeemed when Deanna discovered the interactive trivia game we could play against other passengers. I set the plane record high score and life was good. We landed pretty late, got our rental car and drove to Venice to Bobby D's place. Hung there for a few hours with Laney, Sabrina and Dan Hadl--had a few beers and crashed. Woke up super early the next morning and got on the road driving northwest to Santa Barbara.

A few hours later, we arrived at the Sunrise RV Park in Santa Barbara and met up with Marcus and Meredith. We got the grand tour of their Air Stream and hopped in the Suburban to grab a bite to eat. We stumbled on a fantastic brunch spot called D'Angelo's and ate like kings. A 45-minute drive into the mountains led to a quick stop at Lake Cachuma to enjoy the scenery.

We arrived in Los Olivos and went to the Blackjack Ranch Winery for a wine tasting, which was really yummy. Then to the town for another one. A few bottles were purchased and we were off to Solvang, a very cute little Danish town. Walked around for a while and drove on back to Santa Barbara. Played some Guitar Hero II (Wheeee!!) and went into town to watch the sunset over the water. Had a top notch dinner at Chad's (with an amazing Ahi Martini--which was food, not a drink).

Drove back to LA and checked into our hotel (Park Hyatt in Century City, uber swank) and crashed that night. Woke up with a very lazy Sunday morning--breakfast in bed, crossword puzzle on the balcony, football (why do my Redskins suck so much?!?) and then drove down to Torrance (with a quick stop at In N Out Burger) to hang with my nieces. Dalia didn't really know who I was (but is walking and talking now, and is precious). Aliza was so excited to see me and we celebrated her birhday in style. Dora the Explora stories, Blues Clues stories and plenty of Berenstain Bears books (I bought her the four she was missing).

Took the girls to the beach (the water was warmer than the air) and played there for a while. Went back home, read some more books. Put them to sleep and went to pick up Sarah at the airport. Drove her home and went to Hollywood for a great sushi dinner and then to the Knitting Factory to see The Slip, who were awesome. Went back home and crashed out.

Monday was a lazy day for me. Met Deanna for lunch in between her meetings (and realized how much we hate LA--the strip mall with only 5 restaurants was valley parking ONLY. So annoying). Did some work and hung out. Drove to Malibu for a spectacular dinner at Geoffery's overlooking the water. Very yummy. Crashed hard that night, then drove to the airport on Tuesday morning to fly back home.

And so it goes... perfect weekend.

Quote of the day:
Courtesy of Dan Greenhaus: "I may not have the type of voice you like, but I can sing. You can't take that away from me, 'cause singing is a gift from God, and when people say I can't sing, it's kind of like insulting God." -Fergie

Music notes:
Going to Webster Hall tonight to see Brett Dennen, Easy Star All Stars (performing Radiodread) and Xavier Rudd. Can't wait!

Travel notes:
Off to CT tomorrow night for Russ's 30th birthday. Get to see Bethy's cousin in a Rush cover band, then hopefully RUBULAD afterwards, back in the BK.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Music of Bob Dylan (is incredible)

So that Dylan tribute at Lincoln Center was friggin awesome. So damn good. Setlist is below. Highlights for me: Jill Sobule, Ryan Adams, Lee Ranaldo (with Medeski and Smokey Hormel), and THE ROOTS. Holy shit was their interpretation of Masters of War epic.

Bob Mould: If Not For You
Joan Osborne: Make You Feel My Love
Natalie Merchant & Philip Glass: Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
Al Kooper: It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train To Cry
Spottiswood: Times They Are A-Changin'
Sandra B.: Like A Rolling Stone
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah: Love Minus Zero/No Limit
Jamie Saft: Ballad of a Thin Man
Lee Ranaldo: Positively 4th Street
Lauren Shira: Don't Think Twice, It's Alright
MMWW: Buckets of Rain
Allen Toussiant: Mama, You Been On My Mind
Jill Sobule: Ring Them Bells
Warren Haynes: I Shall Be Released
Roseanne Cash: License to Kill
Jay Farrar: Going, Going, Gone
Phil Lesh: Thunder on the Mountain
The Roots: Masters of War
Cat Power: House of the Rising Sun
Ryan Adams: Isis > Love Sick > Isis
Patti Smith: Dark Eyes
Ramblin' Jack Elliot: Knockin' On Heaven's Door

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Five degrees of separation

Screw you, six degrees. Sometimes NYC feels like a very tiny town. Sure there are 8 million people here, but let's break that down a bit. I only really hang out in a triangle between Park Slope, Williamsburg and 14th Street. So let's drop the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island (does anyone ever really count Staten Island?) and two-thirds of Manhattan and Brooklyn. So now we're probably talking about, what, 2 million tops? And I'm a creature of habit--I habitually go to concerts at the same 10 venues, I drink at the same 10 bars (let's hear it for Common Ground!), eat at the same 20 restaurants, take the same 4 subway lines, etc. And I'm always with my friends, so why is it ever surprsing when I run into people? I should be surprised when I don't...

Last night Josh and I had a few hours to kill before a James Bond Smirnoff event so we went to grab a bite and a drink at Trailer Park (mmmmm tater tots). When we walked in, who was there but little Jamie Peckler from Rockland County. So we caught up over a PBR (her first) and her friend Alexis, who Josh knows through his friend Jillian. We chatted for a while and then two of Josh's friends showed up, also randomly.

We finally made our exit and walked along 23rd street to grab a cab when a parked van's window rolls down and the guy in the driver seat smacks me. 'Scuse me?? Oh, it's Even from the kickass band Steel Train. So random! Josh and I hopped a cab and turned left on 9th ave only to find Evan driving next to us yelling about how great the new Dr. Dog album is. Classic!

We finally got down to Tenjune on Little West 12th Street (thanks, cabbie, for dropping us off on regular West 12th Street). We went into the swanky Bond/Smirnoff party and consumed a whole lot of Vodka. Scantily clad cocktail waitresses brought us drinks and apps. Three DJs spun for 15 minutes each and ended their set with their remix of the Bond theme song (all of which were pretty badass). The middle of the three was far and away the best (he won, DJ AM was the judge), scratching and mixing up a storm.

All in all, very fun night. 5 random run ins in under 2 hours at Trailer Park. I'll tell ya--New York is a very small town...

Music Notes:
Off to see this Tribute to Bob Dylan tonight at Lincoln center. Very excited to see Ryan, Phil, Jay, Jill, Warren, MMW, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and many many more.

Travel Notes:
Off to LA tomorrow with the girl. Staying at the Park Hyatt. Saturday we're driving up to Santa Barbara to see Marcus and Meredith and check out a winery or two. And I couldn't be more excited to hang with my nieces all day Sunday!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A Texas Jewboy and the World's Largest Kaleidoscope

So on this election day, I beg you all to move to Texas quickly, establish residency there, dig for oil, and vote for Kinky Friedman. How hard could it be? Why the hell not?!? Our country could damn well use more governors who toured with Dylan on his Rolling Thunder Review. I'd like every Texan to be proud to boast "My Governor is a Jewish Cowboy" tomorrow.

This past weekend was spent (shockingly) with Deanna. On Friday night we met up at O'Keefe's to grab a drink with Damien (and to try to win Styx tickets, which we didn't, thank you very much Q104.3...). Gabe joined up for a drink as well and we went off to the movie theater to see the Borat movie. Which was great. Between the Running of the Jew, the mortgage broker meeting, Pamela Anderson, the old Jewish couple, the "Gyspy" woman--this movie was hilarious. Go see it.

Saturday morning we hopped in Jeff's car and drove up to Hunter. We got to the house that Deanna rented for her birthday and hung out. Drank some beers and played pool. Warmed by the fire and ate some chips and veggies. Had dinner at Last Chance Beer and Cheese (which was very yummy) and then went back to the house for more drinking, Taboo, a few rockin' rounds of Left Right Center, some cupcakes and more hanging by the fire. Good times had by all!

On our way home on Sunday, we stopped off to see the world's largest kaleidoscope (not pictured below) which was fun, albeit full of propganda. Goebels would be proud. Got back to the city in time to watch the play by play of the Redskins' victory over the cowboys and ordered in some yummy sushi for dinner.

Last night, I took D out for her birthday. Went to Moto and ate like kings--baked crab meat, eggs stuffed with tuna and anchovies, amazing pork ribs and a fantastic fish stew over risotto. Desert was the incomparable grilled donuts topped with cinnamon and sugar. Mmmmmm....

Travel notes:
Off to LA this weekend. Get to see my nieces and hang out with some good friends. Can't wait!

Music notes:
Everyone go out and buy The Slip's new album, Eisenhower, today. It's damn good.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

CMJ - or - How I learned to stop worrying and love NYC concerts

The only marathon I'm ever going to participate in is the CMJ Music Marathon, which takes place every fall in New York City. 5 days of concert madness--every venue in the city has 3-8 showcase concerts each night. And the elusive CMJ badge gets you into eveyr show. From Piano's to Webster Hall. Best week ever.

I kicked off my CMJ week on Tuesday up at Lincoln Center at the day stage. Picked up my badge and saw The Slip play. Pretty annoying sound issues, but the show was still fun. They played my birthday song, Children of December, so that always makes me smile. And you can never go wrong with Even Rats. Happy Halloween!

Yesterday Josh and I went down to Mercury Lounge to see the Whigs. Brandon from ATO has been trying to get me to check them out for a few months now and this was my first chance. They were a blast--indie power rock trio from Athens, GA, who didn't act too pretentious on stage, nor did they dress like complete schmucks (an all-too-common plight in the indie rock world). Played a bunch of songs off their last album "Give 'Em All a Big Fat Lip" including Technology, which was features on the Relix CD Sampler a few issues ago.

Then a quick bite at San Loco with Jon Bahr and Erik Dane (mmmm guaco loco) and off to Tonic to get our Slip on again. This time was a longer set with no sound problems. And they killed it!! Marc started it off in style with his foot piano pedal thingies. We got a perfect Even Rats, a raging Children of December (which SuperDee pointed out that it's more a song about HER birthday (I was lucky I was born in the summer / Nineteen seventy five
/ It was as hot as an oven) than about MY birthday (All the parents of the children of December / Have a clutch / 'Cause their birthdays are the hardest to remember).

Either way, great show. I even got my Airplane Primitive that I had wanted--which I requested to Jesse Jarnow immediately before they played it. God bless instant gratification.

Line of the night:
Outside of Mercury Lounge, Josh Baron quipped "I shit out epiphanies."