Things I Ate During Christmas Break

This Christmas I didn’t go anywhere on vacation, but rather participated in a NYC-based “staycation.” I basically spent a week stuffing my face with some of my favorite foods:

Chicken Pad See Ew from Pongsri (Chinatown, Bayard Street location)

The Greenpointer with prosciutto from Paulie Gee’s in Greenpoint, Brooklyn

A journey to Flushing, Queens to try out Nan Xiang Dumpling House. Tried the cucumber and garlic, beef scallion pancake (with hoisin sauce), and of course, the pork and crab soup dumplings.

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CMJ 2011: Day 2 – 10/19/11 – Stop the Virgens and Twin Sister

Day two of CMJ turned out to be a free form day. A few weeks ago my friend Kathryn got us tickets to the new Karen O psycho rock opera at St. Ann’s Warehouse, Stop the Virgens, with me totally not realizing it was smack dab in the middle of CMJ. Whoopsies!

After the show, I decided to push it and headed over to Williamsburg to try to catch King Krule at Glasslands, but by the time I got there they were no longer letting badges in. As I was standing there, I heard someone call my name, and low-and-behold it was Scott Stereogum, who then invited to come into the ‘Gum showcase next door at 285 Kent.

Before heading in, Scott warned me that it was extremely hot indoors and sure enough, it was in fact a “hipster sauna” inside. So who were the kids all waiting to see? Strong Island (seriously???) buzz band, Twin Sister. Dreamy disco music, with a lead singer who looks like an Olsen, it’s not hard to understand why the room was 75% Sausage Fest.

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Things From Last Month: Foster the People, Cut Copy, Johnny Marnell, Kalli

Hey y’all. Sorry I have basically fallen off the face of the planet in terms of updates. August was a great month — saw lots of good music. Here are some of the shows I witnessed:

The biggest blowout I attended last month was on August 11th for Celebrate Brooklyn‘s last concert of the summer, featuring Aussie dance party gods, Cut Copy, and California wunderkids, Foster the People. So much crazy dancing, so much fun! (And a damn near Lindsay Lohan sighting!)

Lead singer Mark Foster told a story about how when he was a teenager he approached Rivers Cuomo at a party and tried to get him to listen to his demo. Fast foward to 2011, and now Weezer has been known to cover “Pumped Up Kicks” in concert. As an homage, FTP did a cover version of “Say It Ain’t So”:

Cut Copy wants you to feel the power!

Crowd during Cut Copy finale
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The Vaccines Break Into Brooklyn @ Glasslands

This weekend, after a well-received debut US show at the Bowery Ballroom, young British “buzz band” The Vaccines gathered up some street cred by playing the hip hole in the wall, Glasslands Gallery, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Jan 22nd.

Taking the stage just shy of 1 AM, the quartet quickly hopped on the staged at the sold out show, and singer Justin Young thanked the crowd for sticking around, before launching into their ra-ra anthem, “Wreckin’ Bar.”

It almost seems a little unfair that it took me longer to write this blog entry than it did for The Vaccines to play their compact 30-minute set. Performance-wise the brevity of their songs works against them when played concurrently — with songs barely stretching into the two minute mark, my tired old ears could barely figure out when one charmingly punkish song ended and the next one started.

I’m finding it a little hard to come to a conclusion about this band — the set seemed to fly by in an instant, and the group’s onstage charisma was not incredibly arresting, but keeping in mind that this group has been together less than a year, and already produced some solid (albeit incredibly short) songs, I’d be really very curious to see them as they get more gigs under their belt and perhaps start playing around with their set lists and performance arcs.

All in all, a tasty debut — but one that had me wanting just that much more.

Setlist below.
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Keane Make Waves at the Williamsburg Waterfront

Long-time readers already know that whenever I mention the word “Keane,” a mention of my mom couldn’t be too far behind. As I’ve explained over and over on this site, my mom LOVES Keane. Basically every time Keane is within the tri-state area I get an email from my mom alerting me of the concert and a request that I get tickets for her to go to the show.

We’ve already been to Keane shows at Radio City and Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan, but I was pretty excited to find out that my next Keane-venture would be in Brooklyn at the very beautiful Williamsburg Waterfront venue which has a fantastic view of Manhattan across the East River.

The weather was perfect — warm, but not sweaty, with a cool breeze. The crowd was in high spirits. By the time Keane came on stage I think my mom had already worked herself to the third or fourth row of the crowd. Singer Tom Chaplin was looking a bit like a ’50s greaser, with a shortly cropped ‘do, skinny black jeans, black and yellow Fred Perry polo shirt, and slim light-colored sneakers.
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Goods Open for Business

As I was getting out of the subway today all I could smell was burger grease. I knew this could only mean one thing: Goods Restaurant had opened!

And sure enough, as I walked on Metropolitan I saw a herd of folks out in front the silver trailer.

The outdoor eating area still looks like a work zone, but that didn’t stop folks from plopping down at the picnic tables.

Hope to try out the place sometime soon.

RELATED POSTS: First Look at 3rd Ward’s Goods

Fantastic Foreigners Dazzle: Mumford & Sons and The Middle East

Last week I headed over to Music Hall of Williamsburg to catch what turned out to be a truly awesome show — British headliners Mumford & Sons and Aussie openers The Middle East.

The room was already packed when The Middle East took the stage. Comprised of seven band members, this band is capable of such a huge, lush sound that is grand and quite beautiful. Their recorded stuff really does not do their live show justice. I was blown away by how absolutely lovely the songs sounded and the term “next big thing” instantly popped into my head as they played one gorgeous song after another.

Punctuated with the sounds of horns, accordions, keyboards, guitars, and drums the tunes soared through the air — songs like “Blood” and “I could see how folks who love bands like Arcade Fire or Polyphonic Spree would have a lot to like in this band. Truly music that deserves a big open field and thousands of people swaying to and fro. Don’t be surprised if you’re looking back on this post in about two years and exclaiming, “Dagnabbit! She was right!”

Headliners Mumford and Sons were a bit late getting to the stage (taking some extra time to get an old timey haircut perhaps?), but proved to be well worth the wait. With solid, jamming tunes, and introspective lyrics, the quartet was impressive.

Some hilarious inter-song banter by singer Marcus Mumford feeling like a fat Englishman while spending the earlier part of the day roaming around the natural habitat of Williamsburg hipsters wearing skinny jeans and Ray Ban sunglasses.
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Eat in Greenpoint


As some of you know, I recently made the leap from my beloved apartment in downtown Manhattan for a much bigger, quieter space in…gasp…Brooklyn.

As a result, I’ve happily been trying to test out some of the finer things Brooklyn has to offer–much of it revolving around food.

Recently when I was biking around I stopped into an unassuming place in Grenpoint called Eat. It used to be a record shop but now is a spartan restaurant.

I ended up getting a polenta with cabbage with a fried egg. Although I thought the food was nothing special but for some reason the meal has haunted my thoughts since eating there.

Perhaps it’s all the unadulterated goodness and delicious, fresh flavors that will most likely see me trying out a meal there once more.