Couldn’t explain it, I wouldn’t even try

16 Jan

She is so lovely, she makes me feel high
So, the annual Draft Magazine 100 best beer bars in America list hit last week. I’ve seen lots and lots of chatter about the local New York bars. I’m sure there’s been plenty written about all the regions hits and misses. For the most part, they hit the nail right on the head, but I’m honestly dumbfounded by their inclusion of LES beer shop, Top Hops. It’s a nice place, for sure, but it’s not even technically a beer bar. Go figure.

Anyhows, we’re pretty lucky to have so many great beer spots here in NY, including the Blind Tiger, Spuyten Duyvil, Bierkraft and Rattle n Hum, all listed by Draft Mag. However, they leave out the amazing and time honored Gingerman, as well as Jimmy’s No. 43, Pony Bars, DBA and many, many other staples of the NYC craft beer community. See, I told ya. New Yorkers are really, really lucky to have so many great joints to grab a pint at.

Listening Pile: Wild Nothing – Only Heather
It took me a while, maybe even a couple extra weeks in January to decide that the 2nd album from Wild Nothing was my favorite album of 2012. Full of dreamy melodies, touches of synth and oddly sounding like Fleetwood Mac on occasion, this record was the perfect sophomore album for Jack Tatum’s Wild Nothing project. The production, song writing and delicate instrumentation of this album truly shows how this guy has perfected his craft. The song above is my 2nd favorite on the album after the title track, Nocturne. Have a listen, as it easily soundtracks this gloomy day in NYC.



It’s my point of view

12 Jan


It’s Hard To Understand
Exactly one month to go til Spring Training starts. I wonder if GMs view their teams in the same way people reflect on the past year and how they can set resolutions for the upcoming year. You look at the Yankees team and think, there are a lot of holes to fill in these next few weeks. Getting a little older, maybe a little rounder, there’s missing parts, still no DH, or right handed power bat, fifth starter. And we have to start saving some money for the future.

Last year a lot of things came together in these last few weeks before Spring training. I’m curious to see what Cashmoney has rolled up his sleeve this year. I personally don’t see a championship caliber team getting ready for Spring Training. This could be the last run with a lot of vets, including Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, and who knows maybe even Robbie Cano, Jobamania, Curtis Granderson, and Phil Hughes. We could be looking at an entirely different squad next year.

Who knows, maybe Cashmoney’s plan all along is to punt this year, sell of as many veterans as he can and get really, really young and cheap for 2014. It’s not unrealistic to think that could happen, though unlikely. Right now, I guess we wait.

Listening Pile: Grimes – Oblivion
Another of my favorite albums from 2012. This one accompanied by the quirky video for Oblivion. The song like the album is a frenetic mix of genres, styles and production techniques. Her high pitched vocals playing off the hip hop beats, synth lines and strange noises.


you know it in the nightime…

05 Jan

Caught A Rising Star
By random chance last night, I got to visit the new Soho beer spot, Houston Hall. It’s a huge 5,000 sq foot space with lots of tables and space for many, many people opened by the same folks that own the Heartland Brewery locations. It’s got the whole looks like an old car garage vibe to it. Lots of exposed brick, concrete floors, exposed metal and brick work. The place looks good.

Now on to the good stuff, the food and beer. Well, seems like they have all their beers hand crafted just for them by the Greenpoint Beer Works. So, at least you know they are making quality stuff. Seems like each beer was named after the specific brewer that designed that style beer for them. I had the Jeffrey IPA, which wasn’t bad. Nice citrus tones and a little bit of bitterness. I did not sample the food, but looks like it had a good amount of bar food. My friends sampled the wings and came back with positive impressions.

Be interesting to see what happens to this space. It looks good and had a good vibe, but it was opening night. There were still a lot of kinks to work out. The crowd and vibe wants to make you think you’re in Williamsburg, but I can see that changing very, very quickly seeing the neighborhood it’s in.

Listening Pile: Diiv – Doused
Another one of my favorite songs of 2012. Great debut album from the Brooklyn four piece. Really well-crafted lo-fi nugaze from the Captured Tracks folks that have unleashed a flurry of great bands recently. I really, really loved this record. Give it a spin.


when they love you, and they will

04 Jan

Meant to post this last night, but wouldn’t you know it, I fell asleep early.

The House That George Built
It’s been 40 years since the Boss bought the New York Yankees. Crazy to think, the spent some $10M, which through inflation turns into roughly $55 million smackers today. Just insane. The other thing was that Steinbrenner bought the Yanks from CBS because he failed to buy his hometown Cleveland Indians the year before. Imagine the futures of the two franchises had the initial deal gone through.

Anyhow, the photo above is of The Boss at their Spring Training complex in Tampa. I visited it last year as well as hitting Cigar City Brewery for Hunahpu Day. An amazing three day trip watching baseball in the sun and sippin amazing beers at the Brewery. Hoping I can do the same this year too.

Listening Pile: Japandroids – The House That Heaven Built
One of my favorite songs from last year. This band rocks. They made a stellar sophomore album. Easily one of my top five of 2012. The full list will come soon. I know you can’t wait to see.



White Christmas in New York

20 Dec

via Rockettes Facebook via Rockettes Facebook

Rockin Around The Christmas Tree
Checking out a New York Christmas time institution tonight, The Rockettes. I saw this show once when I was a little kid, but don’t remember it at all. Last few times I’ve been to Radio City Music Hall has been to see bands too, so that’ll be a treat. I’ll need to remind my mom and brother I was there. My brother got the whole family kicked out of Radio City after some Sesame Street on Ice show before I was born. I bet my Mom in particular gets a hoot.

Listening Pile – Battles – B + T
Just read this the other night about it being the ten year anniversary of their first show. Crazy, I remember seeing this band close to ten years ago with Ratatat at a hot and sweaty show at the long gone Tonic on the Lower East Side. I didn’t know anything about them, other than the fact that John Stanier from Helmet was the drummer. The only other thing I remember is the show being filled with all dudes. Like 3 girls and a hundred dudes. Weird, guess chicks didn’t dig math rock the way they did the long ball. Haven’t seen Battles in years and wasn’t impressed with their last record Mirrored all that much. They did however inspire one of my favorite t-shirts ever.


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all the way back home, to my town

18 Dec

complaining, when some people ain’t got shit to eat
Morning commutes in New York City. Love them or hate them, they are vital to millions of people getting to and from work every day. My commute this morning was delayed by a) just missing the train and waiting 10 minutes for the next train b) absolutely no idea, the train literally just stopped and waited, and waited, and waited.

Taking an extra minute to look at Christmas trees this morning made me late to work by 20 minutes. That is life in the big city.

Listening Pile: Cat Power – Ruin
First of all, I gotta say it’s been amazing to see poor little Chan Marshall grow into the artist she is now. I remember seeing her fall apart and turn her back on concert audiences, reading newspapers or just sitting there crying. It was something seeing her get better at performing, to the point that she got so big she played arenas and huge festivals. Crazy stuff, from a crazy gal. Which makes her doing this funny or die video just completely priceless. She’s gotten to the point where she can totally make fun of herself.

She put out a fantastic album this year in Sun. I think it’s her best work since You Are Free, which was also the first album of hers I worked on back in my record biz days. In a couple months, it’ll have been ten years since that record came out.


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You park the car out in the open, you can walk inside

17 Dec

Now, if you want to hear some music like the boys are playing
This is great news indeed. The guys that run the Amsterdam Ale house on the UWS have just opened up The 3rd Avenue Ale House. Located at the old Brother Jimmy spot on 92nd and 3rd Ave, this is prime real estate and delivers yet another quality craft beer spot in the Upper East Side. If you know of the reputation that the Amsterdam Ale has, then you know to expect quality craft beer and some tasty bar food.

I believe I counted 32 draft taps the other day and a hand-pumped cask tap too. They were soft launched and will still not be fully operational for a bit, but as of Sunday night, it looked like the front room was open for business with some sort of food being served, plenty of beers flowing and football on the TV’s. I’m sure this will turn into a local hangout for me, seeing as I live a block and a half away.

Listening Pile: Rolling Stones – Carol
Just read this awesome excerpt from Stanley Booth’s book, True Adventures of the Rolling Stones. Wow, great stuff. Makes me want to go pick up the rest of the book. Here’s the account of them playing at MSG. Crazy to think some 50 years later they are gonna play the Garden, again. Think about that for a second. What band from today could you possibly see still playing 50 years from now?



I know of people who are getting old

12 Dec

Instead I mumble randomly
So if today is really supposed to be the end of the world, what are we drinking and what are we listening to? Looks like there’s a whole bunch of activity around Stone’s 12.12.12 Vertical Epic release, with both Blind Tiger and Alewife having vertical tastings. There’s also the Westy 12 brick packs on sale today. Crazy good stuff! Maybe the Man of Steel will come save the day.

Listening Pile: The Knife – Silent Shout
Just read something about them posting details about their new album, including an album teaser. Yeah, weird, that’s apparently a thing bands do now. Album teaser videos. OK…

Anyhows, thought this would be the perfect soundtrack for the end of the world. It’s visceral, pounding beats and airy synth keyboards make for a panic induced head rush. Sorta like drinking too much Westy 12 or Stone’s Vertical epic. I saw them live back around the time this song was huge for them. They were impressive.



I’m here to take you now

11 Dec

Everything I can remember, I remember wrong
Was thinking about where to take my mom when she comes to visit me next week. You know, there’s always family or touristy type stuff like museums, Lombardi’s, shopping at Bloomy’s. But someone mentioned to me the other day, Eataly. And you know what, sounds just about right. My mom loves food, cheese, desserts, wine and a good beer. Why I never thought of this before, I don’t know. Maybe if the day goes well enough, we can head up to Birreria as well and grab some casked beers. But, you know I’m stopping by the Rotisserie station beforehand to get that amazing porchetta sandwich. My advice, buy two and take the 2nd one home for later. Trust me, it’s almost better with a little olive oil and heated in the oven later on.

Listening Pile: The National – Daughters of the SoHo Riots
Dunno why, this song just popped in my head this morning. Maybe it was reading something about them playing a new song at ATP, maybe I heard it recently. Who knows. Great song either way. Enjoy!



and when the seasons get you down

09 Dec

Come out of there, we got just one chance
Sunday’s a wash. It’s rainy and dreary here in NYC today. Perfect kinda day to throw in a load of laundry and read a book. Or make some beef stew or carnitas tacos. Football is on the tube today, the Jets and their quarterback mess invade Jacksonville. The Giants host the New Orleans Saints this afternoon. That should be a good one to watch.

Might make some sheppards pie and sit around with a nice cold beer while I watch the G-Men in action. I love me a nice stout like Dogfish’s Chicory Stout or maybe some Oak Aged Yeti. We’ll see what I dig out of the cabinet later on.

Listening Pile: Pinback – Proceed to Memory
Here’s the lead track off their newish album, Information Retrieved. They are five full albums and countless ep’s and singles into their career. They don’t really steer too far from their formula, but it works. They make really great records. Perfect for listening to on a Sunday afternoon.