Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mixtape 1.0: New City New Adventure

My friend recently decided to up and go to Vancouver, Canada to start a new job and a new life. He said he would spend his first weekend exploring as much of the city as possible, so I made him a mix of songs for getting ready to go out or just wandering around deep in thought.

New City New Adventure Mix
  1. Ready for the Floor - Hot Chip
  2. Walking on a Dream - Empire of the Sun
  3. Burning - The Whitest Boy Alive
  4. Song for Sunshine - Belle & Sebastian
  5. We are Young (ft. Janelle Monae) - Fun.
  6. The Night Starts Here - Stars
  7. Air and Kilometers - Kaki King
  8. Colourful Life - Cajun Dance Party
  9. The Way We Get By - Spoon
  10. L.E.S. Artistes - Santogold
  11. You Only Live Once - The Strokes
  12. While We Go Dancing - White Rabbits
  13. Coast of Carolina - Telekinesis
  14. After Hours - We are Scientists

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sound Bites 1.1: LudoBites 8.0 @ Lemon Moon

The last time I went to LudoBites was 4.0 at Gram & Papa's.  So, I'd say it's been awhile.  HC (look for his play-by-play account on his Tumblr) and I originally planned to do a walk-in Friday night in the hopes of getting a table; fortunately, Fiona saved the day by offering us 2 of the 4 spots she just won. 

Ludo was sick, so he wasn't his usual high-energy self, but the food still looked great.  Thanks to the good lighting and my new iPhone 4S, some of my food pictures actually turned out pretty decent.  I'm constantly surprised by the quality of pictures from cell phones these days.

What We Tried:
  1. 2009 Cazin Cour Cheverny Cuvée Renaissance Wine - the couple sitting next to us complained about the flavor being too sweet, but I didn't find it overwhelming  

  2. Chicken Tandoori Crackling - the couple next to us (yes, they were a chatty bunch) were not fans of this dish.  The liver mousse didn't taste too organy, but the chicken skin had a somewhat plasticky flavor to it

  3. Sweet Shrimp, Miso Cream, Beans, Smoked Salmon  

  4. Monterey Squid, Burned Squid Dashi, Potato, Squid Ink, Ash - I'm not a huge fan of squid.  Eaten altogether, I found the squid swallowed the rest of the flavors.  Apart from the squid, the elements were good individually and together

  5. Big Eye Tuna, Tahitian Vanilla, Somen, 7 Flavor Vinaigrette - the vinaigrette was great, but I wouldn't have noticed the vanilla if it hadn't been mentioned on the menu

  6. John Dory, Squash, Spelt, Fennel, Tonka Beans - felt like the healthiest of all our dishes

  7. Veal, Black Olive Tapenade Crust, Orange Carmelized Endive, Clementine Beurre Blanc - as much as I love olives, I found it made the veal a bit too salty for my taste, but the meat was tender

  8. Jidori Half Chicken, Parmesan, Celery Root Soubise, Walnuts 

  9. Brown Butter Almond Cake, Apples, Salted Caramel, Orange Creamsicle - HC seemed a bit disappointed that this wasn't actually a cake, but I did enjoy the almond crunch 

  1. Lobster Salad, Yuzu, Honey - loved the yuzu sauce in solid form.  All the ingredients worked well together

  2. Uni Crème Brûlée, Coffee - definitely the table's favorite.  I could eat two of these by myself.  This would be a good introduction to uni for a long as they also like salmon roe...and coffee foam 

  3. Foie Gras, Tamarin, Turnips, Daikon - HC warned me too late about the broth and I almost choked on the acidity upon my first sip.  Fortunately, nibbling on the foie gras made the soup much more appealing.  I adored the noodlelike daikon strips

  4. Monkfish Liver, Cucumber, Cornichons, Mustard Seeds - you could hardly tell it was liver and I loved the pickled veggies  

  5. Lemon Meringue, Poppy Seed Crumble, Extra Virgin Olive Oil - despite the light looks of the creams, they were surprisingly heavy and made for an interesting take on the lemon meringue pie

Song Pairing: 
MC Solaar - La La La, La

More Reviews and Photos:
Darin Dines

Friday, February 3, 2012

Portlandia Live @ Echoplex - 1st Show

Although Wing and I are both fans of the show Portlandia, she has written the following review for this show since she is more familiar with Carrie Brownstein's musical background.

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Portlandia, the IFC comedy show that gently pokes fun at the eccentricity of the Pacific Northwest region (and hipster culture in general), went on a national live tour in the past few months to help promote the current second season. Tickets for the original LA show were sold out, but we were lucky that they decided to add an extra show on 1/16. The seating layout at the Echoplex was a little strange that night, but it all was forgotten as hosts Fred Armisen (SNL) and Carrie Brownstein (Sleater-Kinney, Wild Flag) took the stage.

The show consisted of a whole lot of randoms: random bantering, random music performances, random Q&A, and random guests. It was clearly geared towards fans of the series with many in-jokes and video clips sprinkled throughout the evening. Telekinesis' Michael Lerner and Wild Flag's Rebecca Cole showed up as the backup band for Fred and Carrie on songs such as "The Dream of the 90s" and "Sunday Morning." Being a huge fan of Sleater-Kinney, and having seen Carrie perform live with Wild Flag, I must say, that it was a little weird at first to watch her delivering jokes on stage instead of rocking out. She finally let loose her signature windmill guitar moves during their last musical performance, "Manic Monday."

All in all, it was an entertaining and extremely chill night. For those of you who are all caught up on Portlandia and are craving for more of the duo's randomness, go check out Thunderant, which is kind of the early incarnation of Portlandia. Some of the show's popular recurring sketches (i.e. Feminist Bookstore) were quite possibly originated there. What are you waiting for?

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Fred and Carrie played to the audience the night of our show and joked about it being better than the 1/17 show (our show is technically supposed to the 2nd show since it was added later), but I guess it was true.  Can't believe how snarky the next night's audience was, according to LAWeekly.  And I liked the groupie couple.  I thought they were really sweet.

Photo via Losanjealous

The witty banter between Fred and Carrie was so effortless, it almost seemed rehearsed, but I knew it couldn't be since they were still doing it during the Q&A.

I'm not the biggest Sleater-Kinney fan, but seeing Carrie play that night actually got me into Wild Flag, who I am now excited to see at the upcoming Coachella.  

I leave you with a clip they played during the live show (which seems to be coming true with the hipsters in LA):

More on their 2nd LA show:
Photos from Losanjealous
Review from Hollywood Reporter