Friday, November 4, 2011

cut the swag with a fuckin’ knife

The irony of yesterday's massively sold out Childish Gambino show at Terminal 5, was that everyone in attendance had to miss/DVR/download the (pretty hilarious and Donald Glover-heavy) episode of Community that aired last night. But of course, the concert is a non-repeatable experience and I can say pretty confidently now that Camp is going to be an awesome release of 2011. Full of everything you've come to expect from Donald Glover's rap alterego: lots of pop culture references, rapping about girls, and an insane number of asian girl references ("Asian girls everywhere. UCLA.")

This show differed quite a bit from his IAMDONALD tour, mostly in that it was a straight-up concert without any of the comedy bits or video clips. There was an hour-long DJ set by DJ Sosupersam that opened the show, which wasn't bad but also felt way too long. People were mostly into the sections with "Rolling in the Deep" and "Time After Time." Of course, though, Donald Glover stole the show and wove together a solid set of new songs from Camp, stuff from his EP, and some older things. He had seemingly endless amounts of energy and love for NYC.

DJ Sosupersam:

Childish Gambino:

And, a video of a crazy mix of songs he performed, kicking off with the infamous Bitch Look At Me Now (rapping over "Two Weeks"):

Monday, October 24, 2011

that's a wrap

Happy Monday! The world didn't end (again), but CMJ has come and gone once more. I didn't see a lot of bands at CMJ this year, but I still had a couple favorites:

I saw Boy and Bear at Union Hall in Park Slope on Friday night. They headlined a show that also included Conversion Party (who I recently saw open for CYHSY) and WATERS from California (and some other bands, too, I think, who we missed). They're here from Australia(!) and had a really enthusiastic crowd receiving them. I knew next to nothing about them beforehand, but they remind me of Andrew Bird particularly in the vocals.

Boy and Bear:

Conversion Party:


I caught Jape filling in last minute for High Highs at the I Guess I'm Floating showcase at Pianos. They're a Dublin band with charming Irish accents, and some 80s-y synths going on. If it wasn't the middle of the afternoon I suspect some people may have danced around more.

If I had more time, I would have loved to re-catch more of the (good) opening bands I've seen in the past year: Caveman, who played all over during CMJ and I saw open for The Hold Steady recently; Gauntlet Hair, who opened for The Dodos. Oh well, another year...

Monday, October 3, 2011

freak out, freak out, freak outttt

My Last.FM account informs me that my most listened to song in the past 12 months is "Freak Out" by Tapes 'N Tapes. That sounds about right. And I furthered my allegiance to this song on Friday night at their concert at Bowery Ballroom. Their opening bands were mostly agreeable: The Static Jacks had a very...enthusiastic group of (mostly) guys bouncing around up front as if it were some 2002 pop punk concert. Howler was calmer (at least in respect to the crowd), but really solid. 

The last time I saw Tapes 'N Tapes was at Coney Island back in 2006, instigating my love of them. I never got into their 2008 sophomore album Walk it Off, but I've been a strong proponent of Outside. The set felt very The Loon-heavy, which I didn't mind at all, as I still think it was Tapes 'N Tapes at their best. They sounded great on Friday, and had some good jams thrown in there. Pictures, and a disco-ball-filled rendition of On and On, below:

The Static Jacks:


Tapes 'N Tapes:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

apples to apples

Shana tova to my Jewish friends! I've spent the day watching some folks I know leading Rosh Hashana services at 92Y Tribeca. Tonight a three-sevenths-Jewish group of us are having a potluck to ring in the Jewish New Year full of (hopefully) delicious foods, a Kosher wine that tastes better than Manischevitz, and a much-hyped homemade version of Apples to Apples.

My contribution to this shindig is my first solo-attempt to make a challah recipe passed off from our college rabbi's wife. When she makes it, it's the most delicious challah I've ever eaten. Perfect for the high holidays, it's a little sweet and full of chopped dates. I even figured out how to braid the round loaf, which I'm pretty proud of, even though it's hard to see the braids post-baking.

And for your own enjoyment, since I can't actually give out pieces of challah over the internet, here's some apples and honey for yourselves!

Monday, September 26, 2011

welcome to the space jam

Saturday night I fit a seemingly impossible number of people into my one-bedroom apartment for a space themed housewarming party. It was overflowing with aluminum foil, pop rocks, and really awesome friends who dove head first into the theme. I also threw the party so it coincided with several friends visiting from out of town, which made the festivities extra fun. I'm having some party-planning withdrawal now, though - it was all pretty consuming! The various elements included:

An almost 4-hour-long mix of space-related songs. Highlights here:

The playlist was visually-aided by a (mute version) of this Youtube playlist.

It got pretty middle-school-dance-ish with silver stars hanging from the ceiling, alongside a homemade galaxy (lit with christmas lights). Plus, more tin foil made an appearance to decorate an unused Ikea lampshade I had lying around.

There was "rocket fuel" made of Jager and Dr. Pepper (which wound up being my undoing), plus some sweet treats: Blue Moon cupcakes, and adorable alien rice krispie treats made by my friends Ana and Tiffany.

My friends came as a wide variety of spacey things...almost every costume involved aluminum foil, as you can see:
 space test animals (an elephant and a cat...)

the satellite that recently crash-landed on Earth, and the solar system 

generic foil/space hipster

Now that I've fully recovered (and my apartment no longer looks like the apocalypse happened), I'm definitely in search of a new project. Thanks to all of you who came out - my apartment is nice and warm now :-)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

things move fast around here

The time has come: my friends are starting to get married. I went to my first non-family/family-friend wedding this weekend in Columbus, OH. Despite some travel woes (flight to Chicago delayed 90 minutes! first flight to Columbus canceled!) we barely made it to Ohio for the rehearsal dinner on Saturday night. As we rushed to get dressed and ran downstairs in the hotel, we came around the corner to see the bride- and groom-to-be making their way there, too. We met Elliot for the first time (so sweet!) and reunited with Alissa (gorgeous, as per usual). It was a mini-college reunion of sorts, meeting some newer friends along the way who told their own stories of the progression of Alissa and Elliot's movie-like relationship.

the bride-to-be at the rehearsal dinner! she never stopped smiling all weekend 

 rehearsal dinner outfit shots with my wedding weekend roomies

The wedding was beautiful -- as was their bridal party (talk about good genes in those families!) -- and the reception was a blast. We felt honored to be a part of their celebration and see the beginning of what I'm sure will be a wonderful life together. It felt funny at first to attend a wedding where I had never met the groom, but I was quick to understand and see how well they fit together.

The wedding and reception were at the Franklin Park Conservatory. The space and the decor were perfect! We all loved her berry and sage green color scheme, and the earthy elements they spread throughout: the sticks under the wedding cake, rocks with your name for place cards, and the lantern center pieces.

The signing of the ketubah and the ceremony under the chuppah were full of smiles and meaningful glances. I loved watching her parents during the ceremony - they looked so happy and proud!

circling the groom - the point at which I started to get teary-eyed 

first dance to Stand By Me 

with Alissa! Congrats, again!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"How now did you see what I did see?"

Seemingly out of nowhere on Monday morning, a tweet/post went up on BrooklynVegan that Clap Your Hands Say Yeah would be performing at Littlefield that same night with tickets going on sale at noon. I dutifully waited with my laptop and pounced, snagging 2 tickets. The show was great, as the crowd wasn't pushy nor the venue overly full (despite being sold out). Everyone seemed so chill, in fact, that Ana and I found ourselves in the front row moments before the opening act took the stage.

I tend to have mixed luck with opening bands that I'm unfamiliar with, but we were really happy with Conversion Party. They switched up vocalists and instruments several times, but the sound remained fairly consistent. I got a Thermals-ish vibe from them at times, which I didn't mind at all.

CYHSY played a mix of their first two albums interspersed with tracks from their upcoming album. All the new tracks sounded great and I'm really excited to hear the whole thing in September. While I was never the biggest fan of Some Loud Thunder, the songs they chose to play translated well to the stage and I may give it a second chance. The crowd was pretty vocal as time went on that they wanted Gimme Some Salt to be played, so their wish was granted in the form of an extra song thrown into the encore. How do we know it was extra? Because our front-row positioning allowed me to hop up onto the edge of the stage and snag Robbie's set list after the show. Win! Photos of the show, including the setlist, below:

(Gimme Some Salt was inserted before Heavy Metal)

Friday, August 5, 2011

the pretty little patter of a seaboard town

Just about one week ago I was heading off to Newport, RI with team T.E.A.M. (tiffany, eve, ana, and [myself]) for the Newport Folk Festival. Our drive was never too traffic-y (thanks, John!) and our hotel was kind of ridiculously oversized for the 4 of us.

On the surface, Newport is a really typical waterside vacation spot. All the buildings have the same look and feel and themes, but what sets Newport apart is its insanely prep-bro visitors. It's like being smacked in the face with a Ralph Lauren catalog. Despite the almost pathetically stupid things that some of the drunk dudes on the street said to us, the town was cute and I'm sorry we couldn't spend more daylight time walking around. Rather, our day on Saturday was spent out at Ft. Adams State Park for the festival, which was a beautiful location and delightfully breezy. We ate and drank and possibly got too much sun exposure. It was fantastic.

Musical highlights of my day included Gogol Bordello, Delta Spirit, and the Decemberists. Colin Meloy (jokingly?) mocked the "party flotillas" out in the water catching the concert for free (or rather, for the price of already having a boat you can sit on all day). We missed Earl Scruggs because we were eating hotdogs (necessary). We also sat in the shade tent during Gillian Welch and I let her gorgeous voice lull me into an almost-sleep.

Sunday we attempted to visit the Breakers before heading back to NYC, but were very sad to find out that it costs $19 a pop to get in. We walked past a lot of the mansions, though, and I have grand dreams (probably to never be realized) of living seaside now.

my life as a Vanderbilt (ha!) #gpoy