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All Ears on Deck: The Alabama Shakes

28 Jan

Ladies and gentlemen, this band (hailing from Athens, AL) has sold out their upcoming concerts in London, England.  And where have I gotten all my favorite recommendations?  Sophie and Max in London, England.  Now, I thank NPR for also doing a good bit of musical research.  Let me pause to thank Sophie and Max for their contributions to my “My Favorite Things” list – Flight of the Conchords, Friday Night Lights, a killer list of music, and now Brooklyn’s own Superhero Store).  

Anyways, you won’t find their album on itunes yet (coming April 3!), so listen up to their NPR performance/interview.  Their southern responses to the questions, both simple and soothing, will make you (or me) wish you were back among the pine trees moving at a slower pace.  Then, that simplicity jolts you into soulful oomph once the band plugs in.  I think I’ll throw on my red-clay-stained boots, dust-encrusted Carhartt overalls, and have a PBR.  Ironically, the hipsters in Williamsburg may have beat me to the punch.

(Another pause)  Speaking of, the other day, I overheard someone praising Fette Sau (BBQ in W’burg) for serving potato rolls with their pulled pork.  Oh, New Yorkers and your inflated sense of self!  If only you knew that such was not a culinary invention of the center of the world, but came from the land of bow ties and handshakes.

My new fave.  You will love them too.  I promise.

All Ears on Deck: Friends of Fall

12 Oct

One of our faves, Crooked Still, not only recently came out with a 7 song EP, Friends of Fall, but also came to our neighborhood to play.  The band had more energy than shows we’ve seen in the past and turns out the lead singer now lives in our neighborhood as well.  Best part of the show?  When they did their own version of Paul Simon, my quintessential NYC song-writer.

All Ears on Deck: Magazine Music

11 Oct

Thanks to groupon, I have a subscription to Garden and Gun magazine.  Most of the recommended somewhere-in-the-south day trips, restaurants, and events are inaccessible considering my new home, but alas, the sweet editor graced me with a little piece of the south I could enjoy here in the BK.  Go here to get your own copy of each of the songs.  Starring Memphis’ own Amy Lavere, this cd reminds me where I came from.

  • “You Can’t Keep Me” / Amy LaVere
  • “Get It Daddy” / Sleeper Agent
  • “Next To The Trash” / Punch Brothers
  • “Alabama Pines”/ Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
  • “City of Refuge” / Abigail Washburn
  • “Simple Math” / Manchester Orchestra
  • “American Nomad” / The Apache Relay
  • “Caroline” / Old Crow Medicine Show (Ketch Secor)
  • “Goin’ To The Ceili” / Ricky Skaggs
  •  “Annabelle Lee” / Sarah Jarosz
  •  “False Accuser’s Lament”/ Jason Boland & the Stragglers
  •  “Midnight in Harlem” / Tedeschi Trucks Band
  •  “Dirty Side Down” / Widespread Panic
  •  “Sit Down Servant” / Mike Farris
  •  “I Gotta Go” / Robert Earl Keen

Call it impulsive, call it compulsive, call it insane.

9 Oct

Top Fives from the Weekend:

5) Meatballs and a nice glass (or two) of Barbera at the Meatball Shop in the Lower East Side, especially after stalking seats at the bar for an hour.

4) Hearing Ollabelle at the fabulous Bowery Ballroom.  They have a new cd out that comes with great renditions of Lovin’ In My Baby’s Eyes and Swanee River.

3) Seeing 30 minutes worth of skateboarders headed down Broadway, blocking traffic through a seemingly endless chain of longboards.

2) Running the Staten Island Half Marathon (and riding the ferry and breathing that hard and earning a delicious beer and sammy at Bierkraft).

1) Having a bff in town for it all.

down in the treme.

12 Jul

A few reflections after tonight’s dinner:

1) cilantro is the key to jam’s heart.

2) spicy jalapenos and sweet mangoes are perfect compliments.  Like opposites on the color wheel.

3) always have fresh black beans and rice on hand.

4) when you buy (or pick) cilantro, you might as well have limes, avocados, and jalapenos also.

Black Bean and Mango Burritos:

1. Start with an after-work-on-a-Monday drink.  If you are preparing to move, I suggest getting through that liquor you are not going to want to pack and mixing up some bourbon and mint.

2.  You already have rice, beans, and tortillas.  So get chopping.  You’ve been watching that mango ripen for a few days.  It’s time to let that sweetness infuse those beans.

3. Keep chopping.  You just grew some beautiful peppers (bell and jalapeno) in your garden, so throw ’em in.  You have half a red onion left over?  Throw it in.

4. You are brilliant. You even remembered to pick some cilantro when you were watering your poor heat-stroked plants.  Throw it in.  It will make your special someone melt.

5.  Little olive oil.  Little lime.

6. Now for the sides.  What’s left in your fridge?  Some avocado?  Chop! Some presh volunteer or cherry tomatoes from the garden? Chop!

7.  Now, as my mother always told me: Presentation is key.  It can make a good meal look bad.  It can make a normal meal feel special  So use that Mississippi mud pottery you got from Marigold, MS.  Use it all.

8. Now, go get that special someone.  Remind ’em that there is cilantro.

9.  And don’t be offended if you ask, “Want to go eat on the roof?” and that special someone says, “hell no.”  Then remind yourself, “Right.  It was 104 degrees today.”  And be fine eating the beautifully balanced sweet mango and spicy jalapeno burrito in front of Treme.

Down the Treme

Just me and my baby

We’re all going crazy.

Just jammin’ and having fun.

– John Boutte

All Ears on Deck: Mates of State

6 Jul

presh little husband and wife duo that have done everything from tour with Death Cab For Cutie with their two kids to make an appearance on Yo Gabba Gabba.

I always wanted to be the face in front of me.
Debating a life sucked out the energy.
Build up a wall made ut of finer things.
Piled in high so we could barely see it.

– Mates of State



All Ears on Deck: For Babies Only

18 Jun

Babies, babies, babies.  I have a go-to CD for new babies that has needed very little updating over the years.  The first copy of this cd was created years ago and I continue to burn and gift when new little baby friends enter the world.  There have even been a few adults that have become quite addicted, hence the “For Babies Only” title.

1. Didn’t Leave Nobody But the Baby – Oh, Brother Where Art Thou

2. Godspeed (Sweet Dreams) – Dixie Chicks

3. Goodnight – Aaron Neville

4. Birds and Ships – Billy Bragg and Wilco

5. Can I Stay – Ray Lamontagne

6. January Rain – David Gray

7. Lullaby Baby Blues – Keb Mo

8. California Stars – Billy Brag and Wilco

9. A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall – Jason Mraz

10. All Through the Night – Peter, Paul, and Mary

11. Paper Airplane – Rosie Thomas

12. Pirate Looks at 40 – Jack Johnson

13. Sometimes – Holly Williams

14. Pink Moon – Nick Drake

15. Big Country – Bela Fleck

16. The Shining – Badly Drawn Boy

17. Something Is Calling You – Norah Jones

18. Breakdown – Jack Johnson

19. If No One Ever Marries Me – Natalie Merchant