Monday, January 29, 2007

PGroove and the Freaks Ball

What a great weekend!!

Friday night was spent eating our "E" meal at Euzkadi, an excellent Basque restaurant in the East Village. Great Txakolina (white wine)... mmmm. Followed dinner up with Brian Pearl's going away party. Best of luck to you in LA!

Saturday was a lazy day. Watched Word Play and have decided to give up the Washington Post's xword puzzles for the New York Times. I think I'm ready. Started the night off at Jon Bahr's place to preparty for the Freaks Ball. Got to Southpaw as doors opened and watched all the freaks filter in one by one. One of those really special/kickass night where you know 3/4 of everyone in the room.

The Dansettes were perfect. I was pretty pumped to see this band, as I missed them last week at Magnetic Field. But they were exactly what I wanted them to be--a classic throwback to 70s funk/soul/groove. The guys all wore matching suits and ties and the three ladies were in the same dress. Amazing voices and a great stage presence. Definitely check them out.

The first set of the Band of Changes pretty much ruled. Metzger, Russo, Dreiwitz and DEANER. What's not to love? They tore through a bunch of songs I didn't know, fronted by Chris Harford. Like I've said before, my favorite band is whoever Russo is drumming for. The energy is always through the roof. I'll see him every time.

Apollo Sunshine was fun, but a little jammier than normal. And it was just too loud, so I found myself hanging in the lounge downstairs watching them on the wall projection. Good times. Bailed early to run into the city and catch the end of a sold out night of PGroove. You know it's a good show when the room is still packed at 1:45 in the morning!

Sunday night we had our "F" dinner at Freemans Alley. EXCELLENT food--probably the best alphabet meal so far. Then went over to the Knit and saw some more PGroove. They just get better and better every time. Don't ever miss these guys :)

And now I'm in Atlanta for Jeff Tweedy tonight. Damn I can't wait!!!!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

If you like Bob Dylan (and I do)...

damn that's pretty funny

Red Hook and Danjaboots

So this past weekend was pretty mellow... spent most of it relaxing in Brooklyn. Did a major cleaning of my bathroom (my tub has never looked so white--ever) and watched some football. And set up my stereo (yay for new speakers), so I now have kickass sound in my living room.

Saturday afternoon was spent on a double date with Jen and Jeff exploring Red Hook. On the coldest, windiest day of the year, nonetheless. We started out at the Six Points Brewery where we ate a lot of barley and smelled a lot of hops. And drank a lot of *good* beer. From there we walked to the Hope and Anchor Diner, where we ate like kings, despite the awful music and the worst cole slaw ever.

A quick walk to the artist studios on the water gave us frostbite, and the studios were all closed, so we warmed up in Fairway. Which is quite possible the best supermarket in the world (sorry, Stu Leonards). J&J hopped in a cab to be whisked away to the warmth of Manhattan while Deanna and I ventured further into Red Hook in search of Steve's Key Lime Pies. We found them and took the bus back to my place.

We at the Swingle (a 4" key lime pie tart dipped in chocolate, eaten on a popsicle stick) which was truly heaven, then met Jon and Caroline for some sushi at Shinjuku followed by Rotary Downs at Magnetic Field. Cake meets Wilco meets Pavement. Very good stuff!

Monday night rolled around and I found myself at the Knitting Factory Old Office for two fantastic sets of music. Scott Metzger solo set followed by Danjaboots--Scott with Joe Russo on the skins. Scott's solo set was great--he pushed himself to play more complicated finger pickings and rhythms and did some great covers.

But nothing tops a Danjaboots show. The band exists to play songs about three things: drinking, fighting and fucking. They opened with a lively version of Cracker's "It Ain't Gonna Suck Itself (an open letter to Virgin Records)" and ran through their usual songs--Dylan's "The Man In Me", "Flaco Dominguez" (a tribute to Jake, who showed up after that song), crowd-favorite "Go Home Hippie" and closed with Ween's "Piss Up a Rope."

But the real highlight was the new song they premiered. Written that afternoon on a big piece of cardboard, "Fat, Drunk and Lazy" was a huge hit. Lyrics were botched, chords messed up, drum beats absent, but the message was clear--and I think most guys can relate to it--"I may be fat, drunk and lazy, but I still make you come." Pure genius.

Tonight is a Jammuary event at the Slipper Room followed by Dave Smith's band "Who Put the Bad Mouth on Me." And hopefully a dinner interlude at Dumont Burger... mmmmm burger

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

I'm going back to New York City, I do believe I've had enough

So I'm finally back home... for more than 4 days. And it feels good. I need this. Last night was the first time I touched my couch since 2006. And it felt good. I watched the first four hours of 24 (woohooo!!! overly-dramatic for the sake of being overly-dramatic and I love every second of it) and relaxed. God I needed that. So now I'm at Tazza, my local inoteca, with Deanna (she's studying for her CPA exam) and I'm eating my favorite sandwich (London Broil and arugula with horseradish mayo on ciabatta bread). Ok, well that's my second favorite sandwich (my first is pastrami and salami on a hero with lettuce, tomato, salt, pepper, mayo and oil mmmm).

So life is relaxing and good. This past weekend was good but not relaxing. I flew out to San Francisco for Beth and Andrew's co-bachelor/bachelorette party. Mandi and I got in around 10:30 on Friday night, rented a car and drove to their place in the Presidio. The party was in full swing, but they waited for us for the champagne toast (too much champers on New Years... no more... ok fine, one more flute). We retired around 1 or 2am to the lovely Hotel del Sol on Lombard by the Marina. The next morning (read: two full days) was spent at a sports bar watching my Terps knock of Clemson, then the first of the two football games. We watched the Eagles game on a 13" bunny-ears TV on a boat in the bay while the sunset (it was too cold to be outside anyway).

Dinner was a grand feast at La Barca, a yummy mexican spot. Excellent food and drink--and raucous we were. Post-dinner festivities were at the nearby karaoke bar, where Adam Haft and Jenna and Dan Lebowitz (ALO) joined in. Winston and I sang "Macho Man"... who knew there were verses to that song? I thought it was just chorus--boy was I wrong.

The next morning (everyone was super hungover) started at 9:30 at Kezar Pub in the Haight. So many hi-def plasmas, so little time... We watched the great Bears/Seahawks game then went to the park for a fun dodgeball romp. My team won, thanks to my handy outfield work (the ball only cleared the infield once--I love my laziness...). Dinner was yummy Italian and the night ended with an alphabet-city-feel bar. Let's hear it for Steve Perry!!

So, basically, I'm back to the norm. Relaxin' in Brooklyn with a nice glass of wine and some yummy food. And my girlfriend. Life is good :)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me!

So I'm back from Jam Cruise and trying to catch up on sleep. What an amazing ten days... Let's start off with Florida and New Year's Eve. I flew down on an uneventful flight to Ft. Lauderdale and hopped the tri-rail train up to Mangonia Park where Russ and Beth picked me up. We went back to their place and got settled, then drove to the Crab House at the light house in Jupiter. Epic meal, with about 200 peel-and-eat shrimp consumed.

The first night we were there, a commotion was a-brewin' on the drive home from dinner. There were some cop cars at the bridge to Jupiter Island, and some more in front of Bethy's place. A helicopter ("Look down below!") shining its search beacon all around the beach and the intercoastal, several boats cruising both waterways. At least 20 cop cars on our street. We're all staring intently from the front balcony. Eventually 3 people are pulled out of the bushes, handcuffed and full-cavity-searched in our gazebo. We find out later that night that a boat of 17 Haitians crashing into Blowing Rocks and the Haitians spread through JI looking for a hiding spot. 11 were found, 2 were killed somewhere in the process and the other 4 were never found. Crazy stuff...

Spent the next few days with R&B, Chrissy and Kyle, and Adam and Carmen. Played some tennis, obsessed over a 1000-piece "Lost" puzzle (for which the box cover only depicted a fraction of the final scene), hung in the hot tub and just relaxed. Marcus and Meredith surprised EVERYONE the morning of the 29th showing up at our door. Spent each night sleeping out on the patio, with the loud roar of the Atlantic lulling me to sleep.

New Year's Eve morning was spent with me about to approach Russ with the intent of borrowing him and his car to drive up to Vero Beach, where Deanna was spending NYE without me. I sent her a text asking if she wanted to meet halfway for lunch (knowing full well that she couldn't come down to Jupiter). 10 minutes after I sent that text, I was drinking some coffee on the balcony when Deanna walked through the back door. Are you serious??? She cooked up this scheme with Bethy and the rest of my crew at My Morning Jacket in at Roseland.

So she spent the whole day with me--walking down the beach to Blowing Rocks (where we saw the Haitians' boat!!!), playing tennis, chilling in the hot tub and prepping for the evening's festivities. All 10 of us dined at Pasquale's for an incredible Italian feast (amazing clams casino and chicken with sausage, peppers and mushrooms) and then partied back at Casa di Cornwell well into the morning. Guitar hero, karaoke hero (Deanna was far and away the best!), gift-exchange Left Right Center (which I won), poker, balloon racing and general fun. Great times. Woke the next morning and Deanna drove me to the tri-rail and I rode the rail back South trying to rest up for my next adventure... Jam Cruise.

Stay tuned for my Jam Cruise write-up. But first I have to post all my pictures. Selah!