Saturday, March 28, 2009

Some Food2 News: 12,000 Dunkin' Donut contest! I gotta go to the BATHroom

The good people over at Food2 have let the world in on some sweet sweet love: a doughnut idea worth 12,000 dollars. Now as an occasional fan of the wonderful texture of doughnuts, my favorite always being strawberry filled ones from DD (none of that jelly crap), I have to say this should affect NYC and Brooklyn in the ever constant battle of Starbucks vs. DD (in terms of coffee price and taste).

Or maybe not, but it's always good for a sound bite (this morning I'm just on fire). You choose from a host of flavors in each category, there's a public vote in May with a winner announced on June 5th, and that doughnut gets duplicated for America to chow down on.

Here's mine:
It's called the PB & StrawJelly.

To fulfill your wildest doughnut dreams, go here. For more on Food2 and their fun posts, go here.

CONVERGE with Genghis Tron, Ceremony, Coliseum, Rise and Fall, Pulling Teeth at Europa Club 3.27.09

Eyeing this date for several weeks was I, and I knew after asking around this would definitely be a solo outing for The KCB. I brought my trusty and very old Canon which was giving me shit throughout the night but I managed many pictures from the same angle because hey, the pit got pretty heinous at times (but the entire concert was pretty controlled).

I got there right as Rise and Fall were finishing up, I would have caught their last tune but the guy in front of me had a bag full of weed and other crap that the bouncer wouldn't let him in with. So as the band downstairs was rocking out (it's amazing how separated the two levels can be especially since the stairwell is open) this guy pretended he couldn't hear the bouncer until the bouncer said, "Now I'm getting pissed off." Eventually the man was told to go home, it was like something out of 8th grade. My apologies for Rise and Fall and Pulling Teeth for not being able to make their sets.

After getting a PBR and surveying the very packed house with a really ominous wall of merch, fitting for a hardcore show such as this.

I wanted to see Coliseum (who hail from Louisville) as their stuff really caught on with me when listening to it at work and home in the weeks before the show. They have quite a bit of melody and a healthy dose of just straight up hardcore, although their look and feel during the show invited more awe at how tight the 3-piece played rather than THAT much moshing. Ryan Patterson, the big-bearded frontman and guitarist, was a pretty heartfelt guy and between the growls, chatter, and again, the surprising hints of melody (almost into Grade territory, and as many people know, I love Grade) he made a good set. It felt more rock than anything else really, very tight stuff.

Ceremony was really interesting and incredibly enjoyable; the lead singer mentioned he just came from a wedding (he looked like a younger and slimmer Bruce Campbell by way of Bridge and Tunnel). Since I love ska I guess I can take a little offense as to his mockings onstage, but then again, these guys really kicked some ass (although the guitarist reminded me a lot of Eliot's guitarist in some respects, just kinda weird). I think a lot of bands love being hybrids nowadays, as it's been trendy for a few years now. Or even having a newer, polished sound. These guys sound like they came straight from a Minor Threat, Descendents, or Circle Jerks show, and of all the bands, they actually came away as really the most integrated set with the audience, who gave them feedback in uproarious fashion and fairly violently. Toward the end of their set there was a dude who was knocked the fuzz out right next to me, sprawled on the floor as his friends and staff helped him drag his feet to the back. That's the kind of hardcore show that really hammers the feeling down, a sharp, communal rush of blood through your veins not through melody but through utter chaos, and alternating periods of speed and disruptive breakdowns.
Where's the singer you ask? Take a look in the middle, right in front of the dude with the black and white baseball shirt and below the bassist. Gotta love people who get in the mix like it's their birthday.

I had seen Genghis Tron before, and now with their ever expanding lightshow and electro setup, it definitely divided the crowd. Winning the contest of taking the longest to set up shop isn't really fun. Interesting mix of grooving rhythms (they have no drummer, it's all set up via machine) and noisy high pitched tomfoolery but ultimately not my thing. There was one girl who was totally enthralled and had their number, she was flailing about in the pit almost alone (save a couple other fans) in a trance, it was nice to see that someone really got them. Their cover of Big Black was probably the high point for me.

You can really tell that Converge, they are great showmen (Nate the bassist started things off with a loud "who fuckin' farted?"). The banter is constant and tonight they were actually just a really happy group, so I guess considering the dark subject matter they explore in their music (they managed to hit cuts from most of their albums and "Locust Reign" from their split with Agoraphobic Nosebleed, including two songs from their new album that sounded like much of what was on No Heroes but with a few more hooks thrown in). Starting off ominously with "Plagues" and breaking into "The Saddest Day" from their early work on Petitioning The Empty Sky (which consisted of a different line up, as their earlier days had constant shifts but included members of Bane and Cave In). Jacob Bannon took a break from his raspy shrieks to lend the stage to a friend for a cover, but all other times most eyes were on him; he's a great front man and his lanky frame allows him to take up a lot of space and have a strong presence but in a fluid way, smoothly working the point home. The bassist Nate Newton rocks hard with his bass hung way down low and well, it looks really cool and a bit effortless. My wrist always hurts when that happens. The hang low part, not the looking at Nate look effortless.

I always thought Converge had an amazingly large sound for a 4-piece band, and literally all the elements come together, from the crunchy distortion and very quick guitar riffs to the rumbling distorted bass to drumming you swear was done by a robot for how much endurance is needed. At the same time their sound is tighter than a NYC subway turnstile (yeah I just did that). Or no wait, the 6 train during rush hour (YES! In it goes!).

Weird side note, in 2003 in Philly at the tail end of UPenn's Spring Fling, the guitarist Kurt, his girlfriend helped me when I tripped trying to get napkins from the McDonald's station at 30th Street station. I was so psyched because my college roommate who was with me Austin was a huge Converge fan (he got me into them) and he was totally passed out on the bench.

Anywho, they rolled through their set and finished furiously with 3 of their minute-long songs ending with "Concubine" from their much acclaimed album, Jane Doe. Much stage diving to be had indeed.

For more on the respective bands, go to one of their pages and please purchase if you rikey:

Rise and Fall
Pulling Teeth
Genghis Tron

For more info on Europa Club in Greenpoint, the premiere Polish-American club, go to their official site (they do a lot of hardcore and punk shows).

Friday, March 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Mr. Rubeen....Mista RUbeeeeen

Eh ra, today is a very special birthday. Mr. Rubeen's birthday. Bow wow wow.

Oh here's he's into it. He's doing a yo paux.

Next cover of Dog Vogue? Fo sho.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Not Doing Anything This Weekend? Check out Gotham Girls Roller Derby Season Opener!

These girls will kick your ass and savor every moment. Held at the Long Island University campus on that Fort Greene-y side of Flatbush by Dekalb, you'll maximize your fun while watching girls bump and grind. And not in a dance-y sort of way. Let's just say I'm in a -y mood...

Go to the official site here to check out all the girls and all the teams as well as cool stuff like photos, video, and apparel. There's even cutesy nicknames, like Surly Temple. The 2009 season is on, general admission is close to 20 clams, and 23 at the door.

The excitement is unbearable, here's a photo from Gothamist from the 2007 season:

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lunchtime Justice: Rumble In The Bronx - New York Justice? I think SO!!!!!

Well really it's Vancouver Justice. But whatever. The Chan-ster kicks some kei-ster circa 1995 in his first American film. Complete with English subtitles because well...just 'cuz.

Featuring the late Anita Mui.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Chris Cab-tion 3.22.09

We're going to try to start a new tradition here at the KCB (I should have some special fundraiser at KGB Bar or something...the KCB @ KGB....anywho).

It's called the Chris Cab-tion caption contest, after our very own resident film critic/man about town/possible necrophiliac, Chris "Christobel/Sledge/Stabs/Goddammit Chris/Jesus Mary & Joseph" Cabin. Here's our first one, take a look and comment!

Oh god why.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Afternoon Stroll 3.20.09 State, Atlantic

So I had the day off and was able to take a little stroll (I wanted to see Duplicity but ended up being enthralled yet again in Brotherhood, such a good show).

Here are my boring pictures (I could never figure out how to take good ones).

Gangs of New York

More period piece fun

Easter approaches

School fail

Kinda looks like a wave of...tree

Still vacant, this one

mmm juicy...

Awesome bike:

From Trixie and Tilda on Atlantic:

Between Bridge and Duffield...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Springmoni Awakening...

It's getting so close to spring. You can taste the crisp air as it gives way to a rounder warmth. Pardon Me For Asking caught some stirring among the trees in Carroll Gardens, and speaking of gardens, you know what warm weather means:
Take The Police's song "So Lonely" and insteading of singing "so looone-ly, so looone-ly" you sing "spumooo-ni, spumooo-ni". It's nerdy as shite. The guy in the picture knows you want pizza. Lots of pizza.
pizza and spumoni. ooooo.....
Photo by Gothamist.

What Would NYC Be Like Without The Subway?

After reading the NY Times article linked to from Brownstoner regarding Gov. Paterson's decisive rejection of another save-MTA plan, I thought how dystopian would it be if we didn't have the subways. The whole debacle on the A train in Brooklyn from Jay St. to Euclid including some weird shuttle bussing and lots of yelling got me thinking too. Walking and biking would of course increase but it'd be a pretty interesting character study fodder for a movie eh? Like Do The Right Thing, but instead it'll be called "Insufficient Fare" or something...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This Little Piggy Went To Market

Best View In Brooklyn found a nice Flickr photo from user ext212 and reposted today. It's quite macabre but absolutely amazing shot and one of the reasons I love Sunset Park, you still get down with the culture here and the amazing food culture especially.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bar Spotlight (St. Patrick's Day Edition) - Irish Haven

Irish Haven

5721 4th Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11220

Oh Irish Haven. A haven indeed, Scorcese used this crusty bar's bar to film several scenes in The Departed. I lived in Sunset Park for 2 years and this was the only bar around that I consistently went to (or the only bar for that matter around period, although later on we found several on 3rd avenue and Feeney's a few blocks away).

Go here tomorrow for some St. Patrick's Day Irish American grub (mounds and mounds of soda bread and corned beef....for FREE) and some delicious pints of Guinness, Smithwicks, and PBR.

The layout of this bar is very simple: you walk in to the near windowless abode (if you walk in after hours, you gotta knock and Tommy should recognize you) and the place doesn't really get hopping with Irish and Russian delegates until 3:30AM or so. A waft of smells hit you, but most prevalent is just the beer. A few high tables with stools, an old jukebox with tons of Johnny Cash and U2 and Chieftains and Pogues, a long, knocked about wooden bar with lots of whiskey behind it and some of the most awesome bartenders ever. The bathrooms, where friends have slipped hilariously before, are at the end of the bar, and an open kitchen that rarely gets used, if only for a sandwich, is to your right. It's like an old bar from someone's basement, if their basement had higher ceilings. You got your one TV, and through the back there is the pool table and just some open space for people to lounge around.

I have never been to a bar that has this kind of atmosphere. Maybe I haven't been to enough bars way out in Brooklyn, but you will rarely find a place that might be so dangerous feeling initially but then you realize everyone is here to have fun. Like everyone. I've never seen someone NOT having fun here. Tommy is super generous with his time of course (the man is always there) and all the bartenders are so nice and the beer flows so fast before you know it you're in 4 pints and hankering for more hilarity. The stories flow just as much, you basically can't go there without striking up a conversation, and it's a stop for the local Irish community, whether from Eireann or here in the U.S.

The Russians will feed you vodka here just because, and well, it's actually kind of a fun place to impress a date. No really. As long as they are into the darker bars.

The prices are very, very cheap, 4 bucks a pint (like Buttermilk) and 3 for what used to be Schaeffer's, now PBR, or maybe Schlitz, who knows at this point.

The advantage of Sunset Park is that it hasn't changed as much and Irish Haven benefits from that by feeling so untouched by the world around it. It's a hard bar with a lot of heart, and if you've had a few they'll love you even more.

Remember, tomorrow for St. Patrick's Day they bring out the free corned beef and soda bread, served by the loveliest elder Irish lady. Grab your food and a beer and head to the back to chat and be merry. Also check out all those 5 star reviews on Yelp.

More Hotels? Downtown Brooklyn ain't THAT cool...

Brooklyn Eagle (now that Brooklyn Paper is bought out by News Corp. maybe I should link to the Eagle instead...) is reporting that there are two MORE hotels going up in downtown, a Hilton Hyatt (ooooo) and a Best Western (oo-eh). Aren't there enough rooms in the Marriott and the new Sheraton?

I guess if we ever throw a huge festival people can stay at these lovely hotels...

Check out the full story here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lunchtime Justice: Out For Justice - New York Justice? I think SO!!!

Steven Seagal is outshined by William Forsythe in this riveting moment from Sunset Park, my old neighborhood (at least it looks like under the BQE). Out For Justice on IMDb.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Michael Mann Is My Favorite Director - Public Enemies Trailer

The trailer, apart from being kick ass and Johnny Depp assuming a very bravura and tough guy role (something he's rarely been able to do since Donnie Brasco I feel, which is one of his best movies) that probably would go to Sean Penn in the 80s but Depp's got that charm that seems right for the role of John Dillinger.

Mann has always been fascinated by history, especially American crime history (he's always very detailed in his research and has consultants, usually from Chicago). Dillinger's story could be really interesting in his hands because I don't feel like he's out there to sensationalize anything. He'll let the gravity of the actors' work pull people in, but he'll get the details right and hopefully from that a great sense of place will come about. This is a chance for him to do another period piece and he seems to go through phases of what he likes and doesn't like. He's always loved the pulsing electronica soundtracks (evident here), unabashed hard rock music (evident here), and what looks to be a combo of no-nonsense action (evident here) as well as some of his famous wide angles, but less of the static shots of Heat and more of the free flowing cameras of Collateral and Miami Vice (which can be nice, but I still love his more composed feel in Thief and such).

Christian Bale plays a hero, as usual, and he's really good at that anyway, so why not? I'm kind of surprised that someone like Campbell Scott hasn't had the opportunity to work with Mann, I think it would be a great pairing.

And Oscar winner Marion Cotillard finally gets a big American break in what looks to be another in a line of great female characters that Mann has been able to bring to the screen.

I just feel like there is so much to like about Mann's work, and this looks to have potential to be a great rebound after a decent but overall disappointing effort in Miami Vice (I liked it but I couldn't help but feel there was stuff to be trimmed; Collateral was a great exercise and with Vice it just went a bit over the top). He's got a great mix of cerebral and pop and always has pretty sharp scripts that don't insult the viewer's intelligence. On top of that though, he's a filmmaker who understands what moves an audience visually while staying down to earth and authentic. His movies easily get under my skin because there's a comfortable flow, highly stylized and appealing.

I'm going to bet this will be better than The Newton Boys. It could reach great crime drama heights too, with plenty of other films to live up to such as Bonnie and Clyde, The Untouchables, the Cagney thrillers, etc. etc.

I always thought that The Asphalt Jungle was a precursor to Mann's type of filmmaking. Assured visuals, smart criminals with clear motives, a sense of fate and danger that gives the character development and plot a suspenseful cloak. His style is modern though; I wish I could see a movie done like they did in the 30s and 40s, the very stilted production that nevertheless feels like how they made movies in the Golden Age. It's not just the period represented, but the style of the film production. Like The Good German, but more successful.

Anywho, enjoy the trailer over and over again, because one day, Mann's going to get an Oscar of some sort.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Poster Critique: Pandorum

So I was on the wonderful horror site Bloody Disgusting, who revealed the one-sheet and teaser trailer (both below). The trailer starts out kinda nice but I'm not totally convinced, although I agree Ben Foster is the shit (think poor man's Ryan Gosling, from Freaks and Geeks to now, he's got an awesome vulnerability). Oh and Dennis Quaid? The poster is pretty sick though, it takes the minimalist approach of the Saw series (trendy, I know), and kinda vague. But the tubes through the mouth and eyes gives it a medical, experiment feel and that's pretty cool. The fact that he's upside down and all greasy and messed up with the softer outline of his head but the really harsh and dark purple tubing, it's just kind of a sick poster. You don't really know what's going on, and yet it's somewhat fascinating, like the tubes are running through this hollowed out man. Why is he hollowed out? Is something sapping his strength, is this movie about prey and predator? That's what it says to me.

BellTel: Zero Percent Real Estate Taxes until 2019?!?! Huzzah holla!

Well I mean not quite, I think most if not all the assessments of unit owners have a trace amount of taxable value after the J-51 abatement, but hey, you can't go wrong with next to nothing on the tax side especially in this economy. It's a stretch to think 100k of savings is in store (after all the notice came from the Prudential Douglas Elliman sales office, considering the prices cover a large range) but it's solid news for the downtown collective.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Food2 presents: Cheese Doodle Day

One of my new favorite blogs is Food2 (that's Food to the power of 2, technically Food squared, but Food2 sounds better, I guess if they had Food squared Day, they could do like food that is square shaped, like lasagna, or brownies, or rice krispy treats, I think I'm onto something!!). I'm all for Eater and Slice and Chowhound and this is a new one thrown into the mix, poppy and bubbly and light. Unless you're talking about cooking lard. That's just heavy.

Anywho, I guess it's Cheese Doodle Day, which means the Levee in Williamsburg must be pretty happy about since they serve up free cheese balls and cheese doodles (puffy kind). We're having an argument at work about puffy vs. crunchy, I used to hate puffy (crunchy at least FELT lean to eat) but the best part about puffy is when you chomp it down it becomes this dense amoeba-ish thing before swallowing that has such a funky texture. Am I right or am I right?

For more on the article with a sick picture of people constructed entirely out of Cheese Doodles, go to the Food2 site.

Here is a shot of the Levee's Frito Pie with a cheese ball taken by my friends at The Cinephile New York, mmmm....

Monday, March 2, 2009

Body Movin' We Be Body Movin': Slouch and KRTS with others at Public Assembly Friday March 6th

Everyone's favorites, Slouch and KRTS are back in the mix with a full lineup at Public Assembly, which is respecting the old Galapagos name and filling the bills with some great beats. Should be a great show, starts at 10pm and it's only 10 bucks. Get to their websites for more info:

For the whole story, go to Powerstrip Circus article. Also see the flyer below.