Monday, May 30, 2011

Of Montreal Covers The White Stripes

Of Montreal covered The White Stripes' Fell in Love with a Girl.  It's not a bad cover, but I thought they would somehow have a more Of Montreal sound to it, like you could tell it's them singing.  Instead it just sounds like the song, but with screechy vocals.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sound Bites 11.0: The Market @ Santa Monica Place

The Market (it's like a gourmet food court) just opened last weekend and Jennio and I got to check it out during their preview.  It was nice to see some new dining options for 3rd Street Promenade.

Here were some of the standouts:
  • Beachy Cream - retro girls serving up tasty, organic ice cream sandwiches
  • L'Artisan du Chocolat - they had such a beautiful display of chocolates, I wanted to eat them all
  • Primi Al Mercato - liked their interesting, handmade pastas
  • Röckenwagner - with their array of dessert souffles 
  • Venokado - I didn't get a chance to try their wine, but I did like their whimsical gift items
  • Norcino Salumeria Cheese Bar - they had some great mortadella and sopressata
  • The Cookie Guru - had some amazing chewy and gooey chocolate chip cookies
  • The Curious Palate - their menu made me curious, but they were only serving beer, so I actually thought it was a pub at first.  I do like the idea of farm-to-table cooking

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    Local Natives, Arcade Fire @ The Joint in Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas

    Nathan's Famous

    As soon as we got to Las Vegas, we settled into our hotel and only had time for a quick bite at Nathan's Famous (for their hot dogs).  Matt was shocked that I had never heard of Nathan's ("but they're famous at Coney Island!").  1. I've never been to Coney Island and 2. I didn't grow up in New York. 

    Later on I listened to a Stuff You Should Know podcast and learned that they're also famous for their hot dog eating contests.  Okay, maybe I should have known that.  Anyways, I could see why he liked them so much.  The hot dog produced a nice snap as I bit into it and the Crinkle Cut fries were addictive. 

    Local Natives

    As we entered the Hard Rock Hotel, I was inundated by douchiness (although I did like seeing the music memorabilia).  I thought the floor plan for The Joint would be similar to House of Blues, but it was much bigger.  I actually liked it a lot.  It had 3 balconies for VIP and several raised levels on the ground floor, so you could get a good view in various spots. 

    That is a mighty mustache.

    Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately because people missed out on a great band), not many people there knew who Local Natives were, so we got really close to the stage. 

    Now, whenever I listen to Local Natives, I always imagine them playing acoustically around a campfire.  I know they sound great with strings (definitely check out their KCRW performance) and they sound good live (listen to Brainstormer I - Riverhouse Barn), but I still thought of them as a pretty mellow band.  I never thought they would be moshable, but they changed my mind after they got everyone throwing their hands up and jumping around for Sun Hands.

    I haven't sung that loud, or jumped around that much, at a show in awhile. 

    More Video:
    Wide Eyes

    Arcade Fire

    I have to agree with @grimyGoods' tweet

    They were definitely done sound checking before the hour it took for them to come out.  I hate when bands keep you waiting for no reason. 

    I couldn't be mad for long because they played a high energy set.

    I loved hearing Haiti, The Suburbs, Rococo (my favorite song off The Suburbs), and the epic Wake Up, but I was disappointed they didn't play My Body is a Cage

    Loved how Win joked about how corny he used to think Hard Rock Cafe was

    * Local Natives and Arcade Fire photos courtesy of Renee Barrera

    Oyster Bar in Palace Station

    I was apprehensive as soon as I stepped foot into Palace Station because honestly, it looked like the Walmart of Vegas hotels.  And I know midnight probably isn't the ideal time to eat seafood, but I'm glad we went because there was hardly a wait (it was still full, so we did have to wait for a couple to leave) and the most experienced chef was working that night. 

    We ate:
    • Seafood Combination -  there was cause for concern after reading about this starter in Gas-tron-o-my, but we were so hungry!  The oysters and clams were surprisingly good (although I did have 1 bad clam) and the huge shrimp were unfortunately overcooked
    • Pan Roast - I had heard so many good things about this and they were all true.  I wish I had some right now
    • Manhattan Clam Chowder - this is how Manhattan Clam Chowder should be, not like the sad tomato juice version I had at Sam's Chowder House
    Top: Manhattan clam chowder. Bottom: Pan Roast

    Coincidentally, we ran into a Long Beach, food-loving couple who had also come here to eat right after the same concert.  Small world.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    High Note - Glee's "Prom Queen" Ep: I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You

    Lately, I don't understand the song choices for Glee.  They either choose really overplayed songs or they don't even seem to make an effort to cover them in a different way.  I can't believe they contributed to Rebecca Black's undeserved wealth by covering Friday...badly (although Art can do no wrong).  I guess it makes sense that it would get played at a prom because it's so bad it's funny and so many people already know the lyrics, but I didn't think I'd have to experience it on TV. 

    I was a little worried about hearing another Adele song on Glee because of Gwyneth Paltrow's paltry version (lyrics fit the scene, but there's no way she could ever have a strong enough voice to sing one of Adele's songs.  That was the first time I was really disappointed by one of her covers), but Jesse and Rachel had the chops to carry it.  I'm just not a huge fan of the church choir version.  They didn't even really try to put a new spin on it besides turning it into a duet. 

    Black Kids + unbelievably catchy dance song + Blaine (I love how The Warblers cover songs in a barbershop quartet kind of way) = high note of ep.