Thursday, January 28, 2010

Subway Musings - Shake, Rattle, and Roll

I was on the subway today coming home from work and a woman came aboard at City Hall. She was wearing a long blue corduroy button down and had very long strawberry blonde hair, probably late 40s. She struck me as a little odd because she was holding a paper plate with a slice of pizza on it, but on top of that was another paper plate with an empty soda can rolling around on top of that. She was looking around for a second until she decided to look down on the ground, actively searching for something to catch her eye. She kept nudging the pizza slice this way and that, as if it was a restless sleeper trying to find the most comfortable position.

Upon getting between Rector and Whitehall, she took the Diet Coke can and started shaking it vigorously. This would have been fine except she had broken off the tab on the top of the tasty beverage (I'm a Diet Pepsi man myself, even Diet RC, Pepsi One if available, Diet Sunkist) and had lost it in the can. She kept shaking it and shaking it, the little fucker rattling away inside. People started to take notice. And just when you thought you couldn't handle it any more, the tab showed itself on the paper plate. The woman didn't even look elated, which led me to believe that this was something of a routine. She then inspected the tab for a split second before putting it in her pants' pocket. That also led me to believe that this was a habit.

What got me was the length of time she was giving the can the business. I would say I'm a pretty patient person in most cases, and it felt interesting to me as the sharp cackling grew louder that I wanted to see how long it took for it to bother me. Just as you're about to give up internally, she got what she wanted. It's like a weird build up of something you don't want to hold onto just to test yourself, I dunno, putting your finger next to a burning candle to see how long you can hold out. What a tease.

Kind of like most old Juliana Theory songs from Understand This Is A Dream (which I owned for several years), you think they are going somewhere climactic and big, and then you're just left frustrated. And that's before I started to dislike them..."the TAI-eeme is 2:22 andIhooope your wish, comes, truuuueee...." what's with those numbers on the album cover?

Speaking of Juliana Theory, they are coming around after 4 years of not being a band (what's with all these bands, some I like, coming back after 4 years, which is totally not enough time to be broken up, come on Piebald) to Highline Ballroom way out there in Chelsea, way out there on August 20th this year. They are pre-selling tickets to all 46 of their current fans (oooo low blow, sorry guys).

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

CD Review: Titus Andronicus - The Monitor

This is a pretty kick ass album from some of New Jersey's newer finest due out on March 9th. You got period references from the album title on down, which is awesome because there's a sense of consequence, of dramatic weight to historical ideas, even if it's just mentioned in passing. Oh and in the epic first track "A More Perfect Union" they mention the Fung Wah Bus, which has taken my ass PLACES.

The songs have such a rugged feel to them, the mid-tempos giving room for the crunchy instrumentation and vocals to affect you and grab your attention without dragging its feet. It's a total rush and you feel invigorated by it, because under all the raucousness there is a sometimes folk-punk feel that keeps everything grounded. Kind of reminds me of the Husker Du song "Folklore", which is one of my favorites by them. The whole album feels at times like a punked up version of In The Aeroplane Over The Sea, which may seem like a big comparison but it rocks that much. They are here to teach you a lesson. A lesson of how to breathe fire and ruin someone else's pristine and proper shit just for the hell of it.

There is some dilly dallying between some of the tracks, sound bytes, I would have probably left it as a separate track like "skits" in rap albums. I understand it helps the overall flow of the album but sometimes the listening experience can't always be so patient. Yet, on the snappy interlude between "No Future Part Three: Escape From No Future" and "Richard II" the songs are bridged so wonderfully. In fact, I'm actually really liking the interludes, it is meant to round out the album and it makes it more of a continuous journeys, and I love journeys like I love potato skins, and I am all about the potato skins and run on sentences.

As I stated before there are some tracks that break 8 minutes in length, but for as much as I hate uber-long songs, I love The Monitor's lengthy work because it switches things up within the music, adding melodies along the way and keeping me constantly engaged, like the biggest, leave-everything-on-stage Bruce Springsteen tunes. The intros, the outros, pianos, rumbling toms on something like "A Pot In Which To Piss" is exhilarating.

It just feels like such an American record. Not that I'm a nationalist or anything, but couple this on a road trip with My Morning Jacket and you're pretty set for the east coast. I always have thought that there has been too much posturing in indie music and bad bands that look like they should just stick to being in Paper Magazine. These guys have testicles, a bad ass name, and for as much as people shit on Jersey, they should hold that state in esteem after listening to The Monitor.

For more on them, go to their MySpace (yes, still exists): Titus Andronicus

They will be swinging by Bowery Ballroom for The Monitor record release show with Brooklyn's excellent Parts and Labor. When you say? March 6th. The album is out on March 9th. 6. 9. I'm a pervert.

Titus Andronicus "Four Scores and Seven Years" parts 1 and 2 from Pitchfork

Parts and Labor "The Gold We're Digging"

Tastes Like Chicken...On The 6 Train

DListed is the best celebrity blog out there period. There is no one more scathing, no one more hilarious, no one who can beat the dignity out of you like Monique in Precious. I feel wonderfully dirty reading his blog, taking famous nitwits and pushing their faces in the mud.

When people eat food on the subway, it's usually smelly and kinda sucks. I like this guy's approach below. Organic and lively. No hot sauce to be seen.

DListed took the words right out of my blog for this one. 6 train, I'm so glad you don't come into Brooklyn. But I would love it if you came in just to be crazy like this:

Laura Veirs coming to Mercury Lounge February 15th with 'July Flame'

I like 4th of July, it's a nice break from work in the middle of the summer, if you're like me and don't take many vacations because you don't know how to.

Not that 4th of July necessarily has anything to do with singer/songwriter (I really hate that term) Laura Veirs' new record, July Flame. It could be about a fling that happened in July. Or Fire Island. Or you know, a fruit (thanks Wikipedia for crashing my jokes).

This is a really nice record, and it's gentle and sage-like and folksy at parts without being "haunting" or overcooked. It's very accessible which speaks to me because even though I like a lot of different kinds of music accessibility is always something I look for and not shy away from (not that I don't listen to difficult music, you know, to keep my credibility). The album is thoughtful in the instrumentation and variety of sounds produced. It feels like a person who takes the time to think about things and rather than actively deciding something, he or she gives whatever she's working on a little time and things just fall into place.

The vocals are like the lightest wave, moving slowly but as they get closer, it hits you with a bit more power than you were expecting. It's a nice feeling. By the time you're at the punchier "Summer Is A Champion" you know you've found your new Sunday afternoon walking iPod music.

You can check out more about the concert here which also has a link to buy tickets. How convenient. It's also only 12 bucks. How convenient again.

Friday, January 22, 2010

New Arby's in Fulton Mall: stayin' classy with a side of roast beef

This is awesome. Brownstoner has extended its curiosity to the insides of the new Arby's at 372 Fulton Street in the Fulton Mall, and the results are decidedly more elegant than whatever is inside their sandwiches or subsequently your stomach.

Landmarked building you say? Put an Arby's in it. Just because it's a chain doesn't mean it can't be a time capsule, or hold the title of fanciest Arby's ever.

Photo courtesy of Brownstoner for more photos and some hilariously snarky comments such as:

"'You all sound like a bunch of communists.'


Sounding very 11209 today I see..."

go here.

Not Doing Anything This Weekend? Two Different Relief Efforts Over/Under The Radar

There are two (well there are more than two, but Blurt Online and McBrooklyn are quick to tell me) benefits going on this weekend with proceeds going toward Haiti disaster relief.

Star Studded: Brooklyn Vegan was able to put together a fantastic comedy/music lineup for tomorrow's event at 8pm at the Music Hall of Williamsburg (66 North Six St., buy tickets here). Guests include Zach Galifianakis, Britt Daniel (of Spoon), Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), St. Vincent, Janeane Garofalo. Benefits go to an orphanage as well as Red Cross.

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Under the Radar: Lab 24/7 is doing up Kombit 4 Haiti in Bed-Sty (according to the post, 'kombit' is a Haitian creole term meaning "to come together for the good of the community") is having a suggested donation of 15 Washingtons for Doctors Without Borders. According to McBrooklyn there will be food and drink. It's at the same time as the BV show, so choose wisely, but know that in the end your moolah is helping people in need.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Twitter Kitsch: N Train Gossip

I knew Twitter was good for something. The KCB is all about a wonderful scoop and it's better than strawberry ice cream. It's the vile, the disgusting, the hilarious, and the totally weird things happening on the N train. Twitpics flow with things from too much makeup to unwrapped condoms.

Combine this with the new season of 24 portraying New York in a vaguely stereotyped way (with some truth: cell phone reception can be a mucka ferguson in certain parts of the boroughs) and you got the makings of greatness. I realized that people think Brooklyn is like short for Murder. But on the other hand, you have Brooklyn Heights which is short for Bank.

Check it out: N Train Gossip on Twitter

What does this Twatter remind me of? Of course the Vans Song by the Suicide Machines. It's a tongue-in-cheek beat down of what other people wear.

Eat It: Brooklyn Knows That Shrimp Inside Flat Noodles Is Sexcellent

There are a few dishes that I would probably steal your dog for a chance at a free year's worth. Pork dumplings. Potato Skins. Jumbo shrimp tempura covered in a honey mayo mix. Spaghetti Carbonara. Minute Maid Fruit Punch (although I haven't had that sugar bomb in years).

There is one dish, when smothered in soy sauce, will smush in your mouth more wonderful than almost any dish. That would be what Eat It: The Brooklyn Food Blog has to describe for us when she took a trip to Brooklyn Chinatown to get sum (OH SNAP).

The restaurant has your typical off kilter name with possible grammatical errors inside (East Harbor Seafood Palace). But she took some photos of unassuming, somewhat messy flat noodles (cooked extremely soft) with shrimp nestled within, as if a child covered in a blanket, or the yolk of an egg covered in its whites. This dish should automatically make your top 10. If it doesn't, you should make sure you enjoy food. Or 1-10 is Minute Maid Fruit Punch for some reason. Photo courtesy of Eat It.

Eat It: The Brooklyn Food Blog reviews local deliciousness several times a week. Brooklyn Chinatown is such a hidden gem; the KCB is advocating a Brooklyn blogger excursion!

Elvis Presley "Song of the Shrimp"

Monday, January 18, 2010

Shout Out To T-Sides Blog: Her Fave Music Of 2009

While our resident film critic Chris Cabin is gearing up for music in 2010, the KCB looks to the T-Sides for help recapping some good tunes from 2009 to start this weekend. While I'm not familiar with everything on her list, I was really into the new Dirty Projectors and Neko Case and I'm glad that I know at least some new music since my iPod must be screaming at me to stop listening to Strung Out and, I don't know, old New Found Glory.

Just as a taste, here's her 5 through 10:
10. (tie) Dan Auerbach, Keep It Hid
10. (tie) Dodos, Time To Die
9. Kurt Vile, Childish Prodigy
8. Akron/Family, Set ‘Em Wild, Set ‘Em Free
*7. Dirty Projectors, Bitte Orca
*6. Wild Beasts, Two Dancers
**5. The Jobz, S/T

She's got the good reasoning for all her picks so I suggest you check out her Top 5, those asterisks/footnotes, and other picks here: T-Sides 2009 In Review.

Where does Animal Collective fall on her list? Read to find out, but check out their video from their past year effort for "My Girls" below. I suggest listening to it after watching Avatar (click to read Chris Cabin's review).

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Awkward Run-Ins On The Street: Delta Goodrem Song Appropriate

I was walking to Zombie Hut on Smith the other night with my buddy Steve and we were about a block and a half away when I saw the creative director of my place of work walking by.

Now Steve and I were discussing the merits or de-merits of stopping to talk to barely-acquaintances on the street.

"I don't get into that unless they stop me. Because they don't care what you're talking about, and you don't care what they're talking about, and it's just one big awkward mess. Easily avoidable," he said.

"I guess I always find myself stopping people even if I know them a little, it's like this inherent 'good intentions' kind of thing," I chimed in.

As the creative director dude was walking by, I tried to get his attention. "Jesse! Hey Jesse," I said.

He looked at me a little puzzled, and he was like "It's Darryl, hey what's up?" (a little weirded out and not exactly cordial).

At that point I wanted to chop my tongue out. Not only had I mistaken the man's identity, but I actually knew who he really was (a former employee at my previous job a couple years ago). Two wrongs made a bigger wrong.

I then blurted out my apologies, and that if I had a picture of Jesse it would be seen as a honest mistake as they both looked quite similar. After I introduced Steve to Darryl (not sure if it's one or two 'r's) the conversation ended somewhat amicably and we proceeded to Zombie Hut. For the next 20 minutes I proceeded with a d'oh face and a god-dammit verbal expression.

In honor of that, I YouTube'd "Mistaken Identity", and the sultry voice of Delta Goodrem came up, see below. Will I learn from my mistake? Probably not.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bushwick Just Got More Hip Starting in 2008: NUMU Arts Collective

Artwork by Numu Arts Collective, from their site.

Numu, according to their about section: "Numu, pronounced nu-MOO, is an Arabic word which means growth in a poetic sense (spiritual, emotion, etc.)"

You know Rosemarie DeWitt's character from Mad Men season 1? Midge? Her group of friends and their artist co-op, that's kind of the impression I'm getting. Some mustaches, paint smears, and youthful aspirations, sort of.

I had the pleasure of meeting Cassandra Katsiaficas at a birthday party last week while in line for the bathroom. Unbeknown to both of us, the person in front of me and subsequently her left a which burned my cilia. Unbeknown to me, she is a co-founder of this arts collective, and where else are they headquartered but Bushwick right here in the Kings County.

I was provided with a neat little flyer detailing their upcoming events for January, including writing workshops and "story metamorphosis" which going off the description looks like something for the expressiveness in you.

What I'm excited for is a DIY screenprinting workshop on Sunday Jan. 17th from 1 to 4pm. It costs 10 dollars (due to materials needed) but if you are like me and wear silly t-shirts with sillier sayings, it might be something for you to check out. Bring a shirt with you and get it done! I would start with something like the name of your favorite website or a bicycle fail.

You can check out their Artist of the Month (Rebecca Olguin) on their website as well, looks pretty rad.

Go to their official site:
and find them on facebook:
and that old thing they call MySpace:

If you want to sign up for their mailing list, try

All events are held off the Jefferson stop on the L train in Brooklyn at 75 Stewart Avenue.

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