Friday, June 21, 2013

it's been one week, vol. 5

Happy longest day of the year! Last year it was sweltering, but this week has been beautiful and mild. I took a little coffee break in Madison Square park the other day on my way back down from midtown. Pretty perfect, I must say.

Aside from listening to Yeezus, and being inadvertently sucked into having an interest in the Stanley Cup Finals, this week brought us:

- There's now a super awesome mosaic of David Bowie outside of the Rag & Bone store on Elizabeth St. It's made up of the lyrics to Heroes and Fashion.

- CHVRCHES played The Mother We Share, which is my favorite song of theirs, live on Jimmy Fallon the other night. Maybe they've just been playing She's All That too much on tv lately, but she reminds me of a (doe-eyed elf version of) Rachel Leigh Cook.

- How did I not know about MØ before? I was catching up on some of my music blog reading, and I had skipped over all the coverage on them previously. For shame, because now I'm obsessed. Their first album will be out this fall! Check out their Yours Truly performance:

and, their new video for "Waste of Time" (which I enjoy, minus the snake...) :
- Pitchfork finally released the set times for the festival which is now less than a month away!! Of course, the things my friends and I want to see overlap and we'll have to make some annoying choices. The biggest being, do we want to have an R. Kelly dance party, or a crazy TNGHT dance party on Sunday night? Choices, gah! At least I'll be free to watch Foxygen...if I get there at the stupidly early time they're on.

- Finally, I'm a bit surprised by how sad I was about James Gandolfini's death. Not that it is unwarranted, but my connection to him was not even so deep -- I wasn't a big watcher of The Sopranos (though my dad was and would talk about it all the time), but it was very sudden and untimely.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

just let me hear your voice, just let me listen

All sorts of great, non-internet/ real life things have filled my time this week. And since I'm currently on the bus headed up to reunion for the weekend, my "week" is officially over. By far the greatest part of my week was last night's The National concert at Barclays which I attended with Ana. We got there a bit before doors opened, and despite being in a line stretching down Atlantic, found ourselves in the 2nd row. While it was my third time seeing them live, and the biggest venue, it was by far the closest I've ever been. The dude standing in front of me even got a high-five from Matt at the end (and declared he was never washing his hand again...)

Their stage presence is as captivating as ever. The projections and lighting they have for this tour is impressive and beautifully done. The new material sounded great, but I'm a sucker mostly for their tendency to freak the fuck out on the older stuff (I'm looking at you, Mr. November and Squalor Victoria). They did a great version of Apartment Story (one of my favorites), plus all the songs from the new album which I've been drawn to (Graceless, I Should Live in Salt, etc). And, as a surprise, Annie Clark showed up fresh off a plane to join them for This Is The Last Time. As a footnote to the encore, they came back out to do their acoustic version of Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks. It was a perfect closing which made an arena-sized show seem small and intimate.

Friday, May 31, 2013

it's been one week, vol. 4

alternate title: hot hot heat.
Yup, it's hot out there. The start of unofficial summer feels very real now with the first heat wave. I'm very thankful for air conditioning... but, here are some good things found this week:

- After much agonizing, I bought a backpack! It's the first one I've bought since I had a Northface Recon in highschool (so, over 10 years ago...) which is still functional but has not looked good in a loooong time. I'm very pleased with my new Everlane purchase, and think it will make a great companion for my weekend trip to reunion (one week away!) and for my bike-riding needs around the city.
- I saw this cute wooly mammoth on Etsy this week (a wooly wooly mammoth!), and then my friend sent me this article about a perfectly preserved wooly mammoth had been found and could potentially be cloned. Crazy!
- For a two-song summer dance party, there are new releases from CHVRCHES and Icona Pop:

- This weekend, if I don't melt, I'll be heading to check out a few of the 600+ Bushwick Open Studios. One of the featured studios, Wayfarers, is where my friend Anne Marie has her work! In addition to being a talented artist, she also has a super cool apartment that I always love visiting, and a new puppy who I made into this gif on the day I met him:

Friday, May 24, 2013

it's been one week, vol. 3

Five years ago this week, I was deep into Senior Week parties and events...and in a couple weeks I'll be off to reunion! Totally crazy.

- I know that the Daft Punk album release was supposedly the BFD this week, but I only listened to half of it and then went back to The National's Trouble Will Find Me (now only $7.99 to download on Amazon!) I'm still a little resentful that the Mercury Lounge show on release day sold out in ~30 seconds (and that I couldn't go to the other two shows they played in teeny venues that day). I guess I'll just have to wait for the (not so teeny) show at Barclay's.
- Today is the 130th birthday of the Brooklyn Bridge! It's still quite a beauty, even though it's getting repaired at the moment. I walked across it with my friends visiting from Chicago two weeks ago, and the repairs feel like they're taking over more and more. The Wall Street Journal has a great slideshow of old photos of the Bridge.

- This week I also belatedly realized that there is a new album out by a perpetual favorite Noah and the Whale: Heart Of Nowhere. It's a great collection of songs, themed around coming of age. They more or less stick to their established sound, which works for me because I don't see the need for everyone to be constantly breaking the mold (a statement which also applies to Trouble Will Find Me).

- Aside from it being Memorial Day weekend, perhaps more importantly it is also the return of Arrested Development via Netflix. There has been quite the onslaught of promos for it, including real life banana stands (sadly not staffed by George Michael). My favorite thing I've seen to prepare for its release is this interactive chart up on NPR's site:

Well, I guess now you know how I'll be closing out the holiday weekend ;-)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

mo' food, mo' bands, mo' rain

Friday: all sunshine and clear skies
Saturday: different story...
While I had a super fun time on Friday and Saturday, it's a huge bummer that the Sunday installment of Googa Mooga got canceled last-minute. I can only imagine how much food all those vendors had bought / how much money they're out now. Luckily for me, my tickets were just for Friday and Saturday, so I got my full Googa Mooga experience and was able to eat a bunch of stuff from places I had never patronized around NYC. The bands were amazing, and the drizzle didn't seem to be having a large effect on people's willingness to eat lots of food and sit outside.

Falafel from Seersucker & Wings from Kasadela
Coffin Bao Fried Chicken sandwich from Baohaus
- I shared some Tebasaki wings from Kasadela with my friend Casey. Delicious!
- Black Eyed Pea Falafel from Seersucker (which is down the street from me, but I've somehow never been there)
- Car Bomb Parfait from Robicelli's = Guinness stout brownie, Bailey's ricotta creme, Jameson whiskey chocolate sauce, beer nut praline = holy cow. As rich and amazing as it sounds.
- Summer of Riesling!!

- Egg Begley Jr from Northern Spy Food Co.
- Truffle burger from Umami Burger (I split one with Ana, but I kind of wish I had eaten a whole one...)
- Maple cotton candy on a pretzel stick from Liddabits - perfectly mapley!
- Coffin bao fried chicken sandwich from Baohaus - so good. Spicy, sweet, crunchy, soft. I loved it.

We were a bit more focused on eating than being active audience members on Friday during The Darkness and The Flaming Lips. I miss the days when Wayne Coyne used the enormous bubble. It was still light / the middle of the afternoon during both of their sets, which seemed like they would be better suited to, well, darkness.

This was my first time seeing the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and even with the (uf, tall people) crowds and annoying girls behind me talking about things to do in Hoboken (what?), it was an amazing experience. Karen O is just the greatest performer and has a great sense of showmanship. I loved all her costume changes and theatrics.

On Saturday, I made sure to get there early enough to get an egg sandwich and position myself well for Sharon Van Etten. Her set was still pretty early in the lineup, so we found ourselves in the front row for her (yet again). She was hopped up on coffee from the Third Rail booth and had some charming (and only slightly loopy) banter between songs. Once again she was evocative and possesses a quiet type of slightly sad magic.

The rest of the day was spent much further back on the lawn, amongst the crowds of picnic blankets. I really enjoyed Father John Misty's set and getting to hear him live (Fear Fun is so great). He had some good natured chiding about the artisanal food offerings and the festival set up, and overall had a stage presence that charmed and translated to those of us who weren't close up to the stage.
Matt and Kim headlined the whole thing, which seems crazy when I think about the first time I saw them play in a dining hall at Cornell with maybe 50 people standing in a circle around them. Their enthusiasm was as contagious as ever, and somehow manages to be so big and crazy as to fill an entire park. I didn't realize they were together until the week leading up to the show, which seems to be a fact they're really promoting these days. Kim spent most of the time between songs talking about their sex life, which was maybe a little TMI. They also had some interstitial hip hop dance throwdowns, which we really enjoyed.

I do think that the organizers managed to fix a lot of the issues from last year in terms of the functionality and lines. The weather ruined Sunday, and I hope that they're able to help out the food vendors who clearly invested a lot into participating in this event and had to eat a huge loss not having customers that last day. I wish I could have eaten more on Friday and Saturday!

Friday, May 17, 2013

it's been one week, vol. 2

Very soon I'm off to Googa Mooga (Yeah Yeah Yeahs play tonight!!!) to stuff my face with food and my ears with music. Before the weekend in the park, though, a wrap on some great things from this week:

- Opening today is the new film directed by Noah Baumbach, Frances Ha, co-written by its star, Greta Gerwig. Clare and I went to the screening earlier this week at BAM, where Baumbach, Gerwig, and co-star Mickey Sumner were there to answer some questions and talk about the film. A lot of it was very funny, particularly in ways that I'm not sure would entirely translate outside of a NYC audience. The chemistry between the actors was great, and though many of them were flailing through life, they were incredibly likeable and warm. I also loved the bits of dance throughout, as Frances tries to make it as a modern dancer. The film also has Adam Driver, who I barely recognized without the facial hair he sports on Girls. I liked him better this way.

- The Office finally ended last night. Despite its troubles and missteps following Steve Carrell's departure, I never entirely gave up on it and have enjoyed most of this past season. The last few weeks leading up to the finale have been great, and the final episode was pretty much perfect. I always get weirdly sentimental about the ends of long TV shows, but the hour-long retrospective that aired right before the episode really got me. The finale was a nice mix of all the characters, plenty of sentimentality, but also lots of solid laughs.

- A much shorter thing I loved was this:

how could you not? A real life astronaut. I mean, what else would you want to do if you were up in the space station, right?

- Lastly, the new album from The National, Trouble Will Find Me, is streaming on iTunes and against all odds, it's just as amazing as I wanted it to be.

Friday, May 10, 2013

it's been one week

Ways in which the internet won this week:

- Simultaneously making me feel better and worse about life in NY: (conclusion: I can never move apartments)
- The Celebrate Brooklyn lineup was released this week, and looks great!
- Parks and Rec was renewed!
- Adding nothing but amazingness to my week / making me want to go on a road trip with John Krasinski and sing Katy Perry songs (which he probably has some time for now that The Office is ending. Emily Blunt can totally come with.):

- I'm gearing up for GoogaMooga #2 next weekend and praying that it has worked out some of the kinks since last year. At the very least, I hope it isn't quite so hot and sweltering, because the temperatures + lack of shade + consuming allofthefood is what really did us in.

- But the real highlight is that my friends Alex and Kendall are visiting all of us from high school here in NY this weekend and I could not be more excited!!! It's gorgeous out today, so I'm going to go be a tourist this afternoon and soak up some sun.