Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mmm... Asada

This isn't really a Christmas song but it does mention December. I don't know whether to love or hate Vampire Weekend. I guess before hearing this song I was only indifferent because I was simply unimpressed.

This track has definitely changed my mind. Give it about 58 seconds and you'll be hooked. It reminds me of waiting in line for tacos past midnight when I go back to LA for the holidays.

Thanks to the bzablog's unofficial correspondent to the hipster world-- 'lil grumbles, who posted this vid recently on Facebook.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ray's Hell Burger



The first snow of year fell as we followed our noses across a strip mall parking lot in Arlington, VA. The entrance to Ray's Hell burger was virtually unmarked aside from the laminated menu taped up next to the door. It's your typical no-frills burger joint. The burger spoke for itself.

Behind every great burger is a carefully chosen bun. At RHB the buns are spongy, soft and moist. They soak up the juice from the burger well. I usually don't like seeds on buns, but the poppy seeds on the brioche buns at Ray's add a perfectly subtle hint of flavor. Like a kaiser roll, these buns are round on both ends almost making for a horizontally symmetrical burger (if not for the cheese and other tasty toppings).

Any burger lover can tell at first bite that these are made to perfection. The patties pack enough flavor to make you want to eat them plain. And if not for the abundant options of grilled savory goodness they offer as trimmings you just might.

I'll save you time and give you the two reasons you must go to Arlington before you die.

1)The Burger of Seville: seared foie gras, Sauteed mushrooms, Bordelaise sauce, white truffle oil.

2)The "Let's Get It On" burger: Applewood Smoked Bacon, Swiss & Vermont White Cheddar Cheeses, Cognac & Sherry Sauteed Mushrooms, Grilled Red Onions, Sauteed Peppers, Roasted Garlic, Lettuce & Tomato

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Tis the Season

The temperature is dropping but the spirits are rising! Get in the mood and start listening to Christmas songs (don't say you hate them either). Every Christmas I load some seasonal tunes on to my iPod and play them until I inadvertently start speaking in melody with a crooner voice. Give Fiest and Fleet Foxes a rest already and put on some festive tracks for chrissakes... literally.

This is Coldplay with a warm rendition of a holiday classic that always makes me think of friends I won't be seeing around the holidays. I've been lucky enough to meet and have some great times with kind friends from various places. With so much going on it's unlikely that I'll get a chance to spend time with you all this holiday season. So here's one for all of you who won't be in or around LA or NYC this holiday season.


The Return of the TOP 10 LIST!


I'm back. After taking a 4 month hiatus to hit the books for the LSAT and settle into my new digs in the nation's capital I have officially got my groove back. The new posts I've got coming up are sure to be plump and delicious (like Angela Basset's lips).

In the past few months I've been making weekly trips to the supermarket. While trying to cook at home more I've come to the realization that you need some pretty *obscure ingredients to put together good food at home. I'll usually find myself one teaspoon short of cumin, or a sprig of rosemary short once dinner time rolls around. Ever since I had to leave the kitchen and run down the street for some dried onion flakes while my ground beef was browning, I have made it a habit of collecting different spices whenever I make trips to the market, even if I don't need them for anything in particular in the foreseeable future.

Here is my list of top ten condiments/spices/sauces to have in your pantry. I've selected them for there versatility and overall flavor they add to a meal.

In no particular order:

1. Kikoman Soy Sauce - Forget the "Reduced Sodium/Light" kind. Go with the original recipe. They didn't achieve "300 Years of Excellence" by going easy on the salt.

2. Frank's Red Hot Sauce - It's like the White Out of cooking. When all else fails.. cover it in Frank's Red Hot Sauce

3. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes - They aren't just good for pizzas. Try them in pastas or on broccoli

4. Dried Rosemary - It doesn't go bad in a week like fresh rosemary and seems twice as potent

5. Balsamic Vinegar - If you can afford to dish out the cash for the real stuff (thicker like a syrup and aged 25 years) then the possibilities are endless. I'm not talking about the stuff they give you at Soup Plantation either.

6. Oregano - I couldn't really tell you what this does to food in general. I've used it two or three times to make some lemon chicken. I think it's the stuff they sprinkle over home fries. (?)

7. Ground Mustard - One of the secrets to my sloppy joes

8. Lea Perrins' Worchestershire Sauce - a few dashes for your burger patties or whenever you use ground beef

9. Liquid Smoke - This is like magic. It makes everything taste like it's been licked by flames on the grill. I wonder what would happen if you put it in a dessert?

10. Tarragon - Still haven't used it. I bought it because it sounds like a planet from Star Wars.

*Note: I am a novice in the kitchen when it comes to preparing anything that requires more technical knowledge than grilled cheese or sunny-side up eggs. I acknowledge that ingredients that I consider "obscure" might be commonplace in your kitchen.... So cut me some slack.




Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Office Jams

Enjoy this, the first installment of Office Jams I will feature starting today. Bump these embarrassingly addicting tracks in the office-- where you are protected from ridicule by over-courteous coworkers.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Beat LA?


I consider myself a sports fan. I casually watch sports without religiously following any one team or sport except for the Lakers. But admittedly, on average I only watch about 70% of regular season Laker games, allowing myself to miss weekend night games and some of the unexciting match-ups (e.g., Pacers, Grizzlies, Bobcats). Sure, come late-May every Laker fan is "die hard", but that's expected. But I digress...

I believe it was during the 2008 NBA Finals when I first heard the chant. Or it might have started earlier. A part of me wants to say it started during the Finals Series against the Pistons a few years back, but I may be mistaken for the equally irritating "DE-TROIT BASKETBALLL!"chant. Most recently this infamous chant has been adopted by Phillies fans against the Dodgers in the NLCS. Regardless of its origin, it always seems to get under my skin. In unison, a steady roar fills the arena and shakes the very foundation of the playing field or the basketball court. "Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.! Beat L.A.!"

Every time I think of fans cheering this I envision a shabbily dressed "bro", with his backwards cap, gripping his Bud Light and pumping his fist into the air. He's fueled by the sexual frustration that he has built up all year long dividing his time between Sports Center and Facebook stalking his no-longer-attainable random hook-ups from high school. He grew up in a sleepy northeast or midwest town half an hour outside of Philly, Boston, Chicago or Detroit and used to dream about moving to sunny LA. He won't admit it, but he shed a tear on the last episode of the OC. and never misses an episode of Entourage. He secretly still hopes that one day he'll actually be able to make the big move West he has always dreamed about. But for now, he'll have to make due as he climbs the corporate ladder at Bank of America (which oddly enough he treats like the Boiler Room and where he works as a teller Monday through Friday, sporting a gelled up fauxhawk and obnoxiously bright shirt and tie combinations).

It's in the mid 80s in LA in mid October and he's in a winter coat, walking to the bar to watch his team play the Dodgers or the Lakers. Now his buzz from Happy Hour is wearing off and the only emotion that pierces through the insecurity that plauges his everyday life is pure rage. It's so unfair. His team is losing, despite being heavily favored in this match-up, it's so sunny in LA it could be noon in July and the dude who his girlfriend left him for last month bares a striking resemblance to Luke Walton. It's hard to believe the game is being aired live when he peers out the window to see street lights glistening off the wet asphalt.

At this point he doesn't even care who wins. The only thing he wants to see is LA lose. "Beat LA! Beat LA! Beat LA!"

As much as it irks me to hear fans screaming this with conviction, a part of me loves it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rule #45


No matter how you try to deny you believe it. . . YOU ARE NOT A CYCLIST FROM THE 80s!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ukraine's Got Talent....

Kseniya Simonova has taken the internet by storm with her moving performance on Ukraine's Got Talent. In this video her art speaks for itself as she gracefully strokes and guides sand to project powerful images set in Kiev during World War II.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My rambling voice messages usually include incoherent mumbling and end with passive aggressive cursing. I really need to work on that.

Meanwhile, here's a refreshing reminder that with honesty (and without the Maker's Mark) a sincere voice message doesn't necessarily make you a creep.

Take a listen to ESPN anchor Scott Van Pelt tell the truth.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Rule #44


When you have to ask "Listen to this and tell me if you think it's creepy", 90% it usually is. Trust me.

Blue Print 3

Just when you thought he was fading to black the unoffical "Mayor of New York" has done it again. The album lives up to its name-- worthy of bearing the name of its two predecessors, proving once more that Brookln's Bad Boy is the only hip hop artist out there talented enough to outdo himself.

Take a listen.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Phoenix - On Fire

Ahhh yea-- Here's another hit from Phoenix off their debut album "United" (2000). If you're going to be in LA you still might be able to catch some tickets to their show at the Greek Theatre in September. It's sure to be a great way to cap off a great summer.


Monday, August 03, 2009

Recession-Proof Shades


Stop crying about the fourth pair of tortoise shell wayfarers you lost and check these cheap alternatives out. These classic 80s shades were made popular by machine-gun-toting thugs on Magnum PI and/or that creepy neighbor you had with the NRA bumper sticker and inconspicuous mustache.

Face it. You don't need polarized sunglasses (unless you moonlight as a pro bass fisherman) and besides... It's about time we all start buying sunglasses we can afford to lose. At $20 a pair, these are hard to beat. Check em' out!


Sunday, August 02, 2009

Office Video Viral of the Week

Within the first two minutes of this video, your initial thoughts might be "Why?... Why would they ever choose to do this at their wedding? Chris Brown... Really?" But in deciding whether you like it or not, you hopefully (like me), are able to discern something much more admirable in this than what initially may strike you as cheesy or unoriginal. Yes, there is in fact something strangely romantic about this video. Not because it's cheesy or in some ways a rip-off of something we've seen before in "Love Actually", but because you realize what good friends it must take to agree to fully commit to this. While the choreography progressively gets worse you begin to notice that what these people lack in rhythm and grace is compensated by the genuine kindness in their effort.

After all is said and done, only true love can change your mind about Chris Brown.



Back in Business: Staying Hungry in the District

For the past four years I've been blogging from LA and then from New York City. Since my recent move to the nation's capitol, I've continued to pursue my passion for food, drink and most importantly the overall dining experience. This insatiable hunger and curiosity has already lead me to some of DC's unique culinary trademarks (i.e. jumbo slices).

Although the lulls of a post-graduate/9-to-5 lifestyle will surely take away from the adventures I once could afford, I am certain that this city, so steeped in history and culture will keep me hungry for more.

As I gradually discover the delectable gems that DC has to offer I fully intend on keeping the Big Apple in my rearview, following along with the raucous and dynamic restaurant scene to which I owe my sincere appreciation for food.

DC posts soon to follow.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lucy Pearl Video

Here is a rare video off one of the best R&B collaborations of all time. Enjoy this track.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Mercadito


I make it a habit to read the daily specials written on the chalkboards in front of restaurants. On several occasions I've come across some of the best deals in the city (i.e. unlimited Coors Light and Bon Chon chicken wings during Happy Hour). However, this last week on Ave B I stumbled upon what might have been the five most glorious words to grace the front of any restaurant...

"ALL YOU CAN EAT TACOS"

For $21 you can get any of the 8 different tacos at Mercadito Cantina. Located on Ave B between 11th and 12th St the cantina has a modern and minimalist interior mostly consisting of varnished wood paneling. Tacos here are of a different world. As a native Angelino, I hold my tacos to the standard of those street tacos on which I grew up, but these are simply put, something else. Other than the standard double corn tortilla foundation the filling of Mercadito tacos are of the highest quality and sauces/salsa.

For your convenience, and since no reasonable person would pass up this opportunity. I've ranked my favorite tacos

1. Pescado - topped with pickled onions and fried to perfection

2. Carnitas - Smokey chipotle sauce

3. Shrimp - battered and served with a cool jalepeno slaw

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Mac Essentials


If you're like me, then you hate not being able to get music from your iPod back onto your computer (a.k.a. not being able to rip Steely Dan's Greatest Hits off your friends 80 GB iPod Classic).

Here's your answer. Senuti 1.1 if you're internet savvy then you won't have a problem finding a free download somewhere online. Otherwise the program will run you about 18 bucks. But with that cash you could have bought the Steely Dan CD 9 times.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Summer Jams: 2000

When you think of Ginuwine you immediately think of songs like "Pony", "So Anxious" or possibly "In Those Jeans". Only a real fan could recall this catchy track straight off the Romeo Must Die OST! Here's one that's sure to bring you back to the Y2K.

Enjoy


Monday, June 29, 2009

A Tribute to Billy

A few weeks ago at the Snapple Big Apple BBQ in Madison Square Park I had the privilege of meeting Billy Mays. His perfectly groomed, jet black facial hair and enthusiasm radiated an energy felt by the fans that swarmed him. He was a funny guy from what I could tell. Easy-going with a humble understanding of the novelty he was to late-night informercial audiences. He was a man I knew right away worked hard. He told my friend "Anything is possible. I started at the age of 40."

His optimism and enthusiasm for life and the dozens of products he endorses will always be remembered.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Top 10 MJ Songs

These are my favorites

10. Stop! The Love You Save - A feel good track

9. Man in the Mirror - A song that challenges us to reconsider our place in this world

8. Scream - Sibling bonding. The memorable intro incorporates white noise and static. Elaborate choreography in the video. Watch for the precursor to Janet's "wardrobe malfunction. Sexy.

7. Never Can Say Goodbye - Little Michael sings his heart out... tear-jerker : (

6. Black or White - Ah yes. Rapping Macualay Culken. Serenading girls of all colors. The video also features interesting Native American dancing as well as Tyra Banks' head morphing into a fat guy with dreadlocks. 

5. Rock With You - Classic MJ

4. You Are Not Alone - Wow. Lisa Marie makes this video worth watching despite the creepy outie bellybutton.

3. It's Great to Be Here (Kenny Dope Remix) - This is a song about gratitude and being happy where you are. In many ways this song reflects how I feel about MJ. Just thankful.

2. I Want You Back - A Perfect Pop Song. Instant dance party. Sure to bring smiles to any situation

1. Remember the Time - Of the many sounds of MJ this was my favorite, a little more funky and smooth sound that makes for unparalleled pop-locking dance choreography in the video. It's a song that was released in my childhood and the song that made me first realize MJs timeless sound. 



The Passing of an Icon


Michael Jackson's life was dedicated to entertainment. As a world-class performer, singer songwriter, actor and philanthropist Jackson's fame, iconic fashion statements and dance moves have left a lasting impression on popular culture and the music world. Words simply cannot express the tremendous grief that has overcome his fans around the world with the news of his death last week.

As I walked the streets of Hollywood last thursday night, a surreal silence in the air overcame the usually populated strip. I observed groups of friends huddled around tables at bars, sitting tamely deep in thought with an occasional glance up at the TV as familiar arial shots of the hospital and the crowds that gathered dominated the local news. His music blared from every bar and every passing car.


There is not a single person I know in this world who has not been personally affected by Michael Jackson. The reality of that statement is a testament to Jackson's genius. Not many people on this planet are endowed with the talent to bring joy to people through their art (try playing "I Want You Back" at a party and you'll see what I mean). His work and contribution to humanity has at the very least made us dance, laugh and brought joy to us in ways that no other artist or entertainer of our generation can compare. For this, his legacy will continue and his music will transcend future generations.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Otaku in Osaka

I do incredibly embarrasing things. Whenever I forget a person's name, drool in mid-sentence, or (most recently) leave awkward voice messages and feel like I've just done something I'll cringe about years down the line, I watch funny videos on YouTube.


This is a much needed a feel-good clip. There is nothing more comforting than knowing that at least in Japan my nerdiness is a social norm.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bay 2 Breakers 2009

This video is a little late but check it out anyway!


Monday, June 15, 2009

Rule #43


"Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, A, B, Start"-- There are some cool secret you have to be nerdy  enough to know. 




Rule #42


Learn how to cook for yourself  once in a while. It's cheap and healthy. And you know what they say about a man who knows his way around the kitchen, right?

Los Angeles Lakers 2009 NBA Champions


Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers have closed the series in Orlando, FL. The Game 5 victory over the Orlando Magic (99-86) secured the 15th franchise championship for the Lakers. This is Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher's fourth championship run with the Lakers. Bryant was awarded Finals MVP honors in his first NBA Finals victory without Shaquille O'Neil.

Congratulations to the Lakers and the Laker fans around the world! I'm taking the long way home! See you at the parade!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

TV/TV

You heard it first here! This rising indie/pop/rock band will be hitting the national spotlight in the next few months as they play the Warped Tour this summer. TV/TV is the real thing, the complete package-- great performers, talented musicians and song writers as well as all-around good guys. After a short practice run of their new tunes last night at Lit Lounge they were seen making their rounds thanking their loyal fans/friends. The band will be immortalized in video game history as their track will be featured on EA Sport's NHL '09. Listen out for them or check their tracks out online.


CALL IT LOVE




GOOD COP, BAD COP
*listen for the shout out to Tompkins Square Park!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Another Hit from SuperNews..

This is awesome. Right on point.

1 More Game!

I miss this feeling. After last year, LA needs this more than ever. Let's go Lake Show. Let's bring the 'ship back home!


Mika - Relax, Take It Easy

This little Euro Dance hit goes out to "80s Horror Girl"... you know who you are! Haha! Instant hand-clapper.


Enjoy

Top Ten Signs It's Summer (and you need a job)


I remember the summers in elementary school. I stayed up late to watch Conan, woke up at noon, had raspberry popsicles all day, watched MTV all day, taught myself to make quesadillas and grilled cheese and rollerbladed everywhere. Not much has changed since then.

Here are the Top 10 signs summer has arrived and you need to get a job. Now, I'm not one to judge. I have only been able to observe these signs because I, myself, have too much time on my hands.

So here they are:

1. You get more than 8 hours of sleep

2. You talk to the TV like they can hear you (during newscasts, movies, etc)

3. Unavoidable naps after lunch

4. Multiple showers a day

5. You look up every concert in town for the next month

6. Your alarm is your friends text that they've sent from work during their mid-morning break

7. Leaving the apartment for lunch is more about getting fresh air then hunger

8. You average 1.5 status updates on Facebook per day

9. You memorize every line to "She's All That" (1999)

10. You can name 3 Billy May's endorsed products

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rule #41


Bob Costas is a Sports Journalist, everyone else is just a commentator.

Bing!



Microsoft has launched a search engine that combats the over-saturation of the internet by magically producing more refined searches. Admittedly, the site has proven effective in the few searches I've conducting on it. Even with a user-friendly interface and advanced search technology, in terms of competition with Google, it's as effective as shooting a pebble at a bullet train. But good try Microsoft.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Gruppo Lunch Specials on Ave B


Have you ever experienced a series of events or situations that are so coincidental and bizarre they place you under a spell of utter disbelief?

Today I woke up and immediately decided I wanted a pizza with artichoke on it. I was craving a quality pizza, not your average slice. I still don't know why. Although I live a short walk away from Artichoke on 14th St. I was completely against waiting in line there. It's too creamy for my tastes and in my opinion, grossly overrated. As if no one has had good artichoke dip with toasted bread before? But that's a story for another post.

I remembered walking by a dimly lit pizza place on Ave. B the evening before, so I decided to head in that direction. I finally found the pizza place. They are currently running lunch specials and happy hour deals that are hard to beat.

- 2 slices and a pint of beer for $5
- A sandwich and salad for $9
- A 16" pie and a pitcher of Yeungling for $18

These are quality pizzas with premium ingredients. Thin crust pies are less filling than the typical slice but these were absolutely delicious. (and I hesitate to use superlatives for anything!) Tangy freshly made marinara over a thin, yet soft, crust and topped with globs of fresh mozzarella. I took the deal for 2 slices (a pepperoni and spinach/artichoke).

As I sat at the bar scarfing down lunch I realized I didn't even know the name of hidden gem I had just discovered. I grabbed a nearby menu that read, "Gruppo". The name immediately rang a bell and then I suddenly remembered that a friend had suggested this restaurant to me almost two years ago. I realized it had been years since I spoke to her. I ordered another round of slices. I wondered if I should let her know I finally stumbled upon the pizza place. (When you're grabbing lunch at the bar solo you have ample time to fiddle with your Blackberry and contemplate these things). I decided against it and told the kind man behind the bar I would be back tomorrow.

Interesting enough, out of the blue, an hour later I got a message on Facebook from the same person who suggested the pizza joint from earlier in the day. Weeird huh? *Cue Twilight Zone music!

That being said... Seriously check out Gruppo Pizza on Avenue B between 11th and 12th. Great Pizza and generous recession specials.

Alternative Summer Reading List


I've been seriously neglecting my posts recently but my long-time childhood friends have stepped up their blog game in a real way. Check these guys out. They update regularly. For some funny clips and the latest on sports and pop-culture:

The "Don't Hate/Love Gazette"

The Douglas Daily


Also a notable new blog... Ever wonder what its like to bike from Mexico to Canada? I do. A friend of mine (against all conventional wisdom and common sense) has recently embarked on the journey of a lifetime as he tries to conquer the Great Divide Bike Trail that runs North and South across Middle America from Mexico to Canada. He is currently over 20 days into his journey. About half way through his trek which requires biking 60 miles per day. He's had a handful of brushes with death and met some characters along the way. Check it out.

Godspeed Clem! Make it back to NYC

ChemClem

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Rule #40


There is always some one listening with a more interesting job. Usually they are the ones who don't need to talk about it.

Friday, June 05, 2009

The Rabbit Club

These days it seems like speakeasies and clandestine drinking spots are sprouting out like unsightly neck hairs. A quality drink menu with finely crafted cocktails however are becoming harder to come by. It's like the word "mixologist" can justify charging 13 dollars for any decently garnished mixed drink with bitters. I guess the term "mixology" is falling into the wrong hands.

The Rabbit Club is an exception. Right across the street on Mamoun's Falafel on Macdougal St in NYC is a quiet little sleeve that boasts one of the most rare beer selections in the city. The dimly lit bar is a tight squeeze between the seats and the friendly dog that often roams the premise. The men behind the bar are often sociable and willing to help you choose a beer that suits your preferences.

This is great place for a date-- A couple of drinks before getting the night started. The tunes are pretty sweet and did I mention the velvet wall paper? Any self-proclaimed beer enthusiast should check this place out. Try the Radenbach if its on tap. Its a unique Flemish Red Ale that has a great sour and tart bite to it.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Summer Libation Series: The Pimm's Cup


This drink is courtesy of my brothers who have been relentlessly plugging its hip variation, the Square Cup (w/ Square 1 Cucumber Vodka) . Although the Square Cup is available exclusively on the menu at Varnish (Downtown LA), I had it for the first time at Alembic on Haight St. (San Francisco).

For a cool summer cocktail with a hint of cucumber, serve these easy drinks at you're next summer outing and watch their eyes light up in amazement.

Fill a tall 12 oz glass with ice and add 1 1/4 oz. Pimm's #1 and 3 oz lemonade.
Then top off with 7up.
Garnish with cucumber.

*I like to muddle a few slices of cucumber at the bottom for extra flavor.

Rule #39


Spontaneously buy a round of drinks for your friends at least once in your life.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

BzaThoughts: College

Rare occasions warrant a post that I consider personal. If you've read carefully through the years then you could infer about as much about my personal life as I care to share. But graduating college is a unique time for most of us to reflect on. What makes this time particularly different from all other "milestone" achievements in our lives is that we've all taken such different paths and had unique experiences down the nebulous road to adulthood. And although graduating college isn't necessarily a prerequisite to maturity, it certainly is a push in the right direction. (I think of it as analogous to standing at the edge of a train platform or a balcony high above ground, and then having some one grab your shoulders from behind to scare you). There are also those of us who have taken the scenic route to adulthood-- the more of experiential learners-- and those who might never choose to take the "college" route at all. So, for today I'll make an exception and not so much share with you about myself as express my sincere gratitude for the past four improbable and fortunate years I've spent in college.

Just before I moved to New York my long-time trainer and friend, who was a native New Yorker, passed on some valuable advice. He told me that "New York City is a place where something is happening every minute of everyday. Anyone can pretend to be important and busy with something, but choosing what you make yourself busy with will be the toughest part." I immediately thought he was referring to drugs or getting involved with the wrong crowd. I remembered what he told me and have began to see that he meant so much more by it than I once perceived.

I used to believe this was a city where people came to change, whether they liked it or not, and whether it was for better or worse. For the most part this has been true for the close friends I've kept during my time here. After all, I've certainly changed. The people around me have changed too. We sometimes felt a little smarter, a little more hopeful or determined. At other times we were tempered by harsh realities and realized that we were neither of the above. But those times taught us the most about each other and the type of friends and people we actually are.

By no means is this idea "New York-centric". I think anyone between the ages of 18 and 25 regardless of geographic location is going to change in some way or another. At least they should hope they do . But all too often we use the idea of this inevitable tendency towards developing our "self identities" and try to force ourselves (desperately,) unnaturally into something far from it. Consequently those people forget those around them. College has taught me one important lesson, perhaps the only important lesson or Rule of the Game that matters at this age.

"self-discovery" is overrated.

As I've been surrounded by people with such diverse backgrounds and stories and perspectives, if all I learned in college was about myself then I would have considered this time wasted. Learning people and how to appreciate them for the things that make them honest, humble and sincere is a lesson I will carry far beyond my time in this city and this part of my life.

The process of finding one's "self" is inherently selfish and frankly a naive concept. Because you can't see who you are by yourself- without knowing who and what you are not. I'm not talking about the way people dress or the music in their iPods or what they order to drink at the bar... or even if they are at the bar at all! I'm referring to the kindness, tolerance and consideration that all too often escapes us as we struggle to "find" ourselves in college.

As my days in New York City are numbered, I am fortunate to have spent time surrounded by people who have understood these indispensable tenets too. And as I look forward to what I hope will be a promising start to my post-graduate career in Washington DC, I remember the advice a great man gave me who made his career in the nation's capitol:

"Think hard. Choose wisely. Feel deeply. Build positive relationships with the people around you. And never stop thinking of the future"

Whenever I have to move or leave a place for a long time I make sure to remind people that "I never forget a friend" and that I mean it in all sincerity. I say this because, as I've elaborated earlier, people change-- and that's okay. But as long as those people and you (because I consider the followers of my blog my friends) know that, then we can bypass the social norm of "growing apart". We'll pick up right where we left off and share stories, have a drink or share a meal. But until then...

Thanks everyone.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Who The...?


I'm a huge Anthony Bourdain fan. Tony and I go way back (See Rule #1). Occasionally, when I get the chance to watch something other than a two-minute pod on Current TV or an ever-inspiring Billy May's sales pitch, I try to catch the latest episode of his show on the Travel Channel.

But it seems another globetrotting culinary journalist has made his way onto TTC in recent months. His name is Andrew Zimmerman. And he eats weird food. That about sums up his show in 10 words. The first time I tuned in I was curious to see where he could go with this show and how he would distinguish himself from Bourdain. Needless to say I was very disappointed... I'll even go as far to say I was annoyed and at some points offended! He spends a majority of the time on screen qualifying himself as "Mr. Adventure" by eating anything put in front of him. Next he'll explain just how disgusting a dish is before wincing like a toddler eating broccoli. All this while the poor guy who makes a living by preparing this delicacy and preserving his culture stares and smiles while Zimmerman tells America how "bizarre" this food is.

It seems I'm not the only one who feels this way and upon further reading I found that Food Network's Tyler Florence called Zimmerman out for the same reasons. Zimmerman gets paid to go to the middle of nowhere to eat weird stuff. Other than exaggerate how odd any dish may be, he has nothing interesting or meaningful to say about it. On the contrary you have Tony Bourdain who travels and may come across some equally exotic dishes but rather than picking at it and making childish faces he will respect it, describe it and move on.

On that note, I'll keep this rant to a minimum and stop here. And in the way of my favorite Travel Channel star I'll gracefully move on.. I wish I could tell Zimmerman to keep doing what he does best and hope that he stays on the air but I have no clue what it is, exactly that he does. So I guess I'll just give him a virtual pat on the back and hope that the next animal genitalia he consumes is tastier than the previous.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Rule #38


It's simple math. 24>23.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sounds of Summer 2006

Here's a good one. The other night I walked into my Hip Hop course and our teacher's aid had this looping and did cool effects on his mixer. It's one of those tracks that I've always kept in the rearview since the beat often gets remixed or played at the lounge or club. But haven't the original heard in a long time. So... enjoy it!


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Rule #38


Don't order cocktails at an Irish Pub. 

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Yes Dance

The fork in the garbage disposal.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Phoenix- Fences

Here's a track that isn't on the EP on iTunes. The full album drops in late May. I can already hear this one being played all summer. I've been a fan of Phoenix since the beginning so I was excited to hear they finally finished their new album. Take a listen!

What do you think?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Rule #37


Social awkwardness does not excuse detached judgmentalism 

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Chairlift - Planet Health

Commence non-committal headbob/sway/two-step!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Weekly Hit List



Don't let the John King on CNN get to you! The recession is a self-fulfilling prophecy, so lift your spirits, ring in spring and rise on the shoulders of this week's recession proof Hit List.


  • 10 cent Wing Monday and Wednesdays at Croxley Ales on Ave B between 2nd and 3rd St. has been my unofficial mead hall for years. Great staff. Excellent wings and an extensive beer list. Sure the church pews can be a little creepy, but the wings are worth it. It gets hectic on game days but for a laid back atmosphere come in after 11PM. The wing deal lasts til 1AM
  • The monday night party at Dark Room in the LES has been drawing in crowds the past few weeks. (free PBRs from 11PM to 12AM...shhhh)
  • Crocodile Lounge on 14th St. (and the Alligator Lounge in Brooklyn) gives you a free personal pizza with every beer. 
  • Speaking of Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Brewery hosts brewery tours on Saturday and Sunday on the hour from 12 noon to 4pm. 
  • For those of you who the recession is hitting especially hard join in on the celestial pre-game banger  as the Sun takes the exact position it held in the sky as it did the day God created the universe this Wednesday before the fasting begins for the millions of Jews celebrating Passover.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Keri+Kanye+Ne-yo=Kernanyo?

This one's called "Knock You Down"


Afro Hat

Rule #36


Adopt an "N2K" policy on text messages-- that is, "need to know" texting only! (e.g. I'm going to be late, In class etc.) Senseless texting ("what are you up to?", "we're going to rage tonight!", "I hate my life" etc.) only works with close friends, family and those with whom you are intimate. Everything else can probably be handled more efficiently with a phone call. I've been doing it for the past few weeks and it has proven not only to be a hit, but also contagious. Try it.

April Fools!

This is so f#%$ing great it's terrible. Enjoy the sequel to "Texting Your Way to Love" that I posted last year"... Let's go Champ!



Monday, March 30, 2009

Time Vampire


Bored? Sitting at work, internship or lecture and want to kill some time? Click on these sites below.

thisiswhyyourefat.com


Keyboard Drum Synth (You'll need headphones for this site)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Run Tha Streetz

I'm currently researching a paper on the significance of G-Funk (Gansta Funk) as a trademark of 1990s West Coast Hip-Hop. 

I stumbled on this track I haven't heard since my brother got All Eyez on Me for Christmas in '96! 


Enjoy!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Rule #35



You know you've fallen off the wagon when your second single is blasting at a college dive bar ... Sorry MGMT

Why Rahm Emanuel?


Top 10 Worst Things to Eat Off of Someone


This Top 10 list finally arrives by popular demand. Though unfortunately I can't speak from experience, some friendly neighbors happen to be experts on this topic (and apparently have a lot of mayonnaise around). Here is the list we came up with.

As always, in no particular order:

1. Sloppy Joe (unless you're eating off a guy named Joe. Then it would be funny.)

2. Fruit Salad

3. Egg Salad

4. Flavored Cream Cheese ( I don't even like it on bagels)

5. Top Ramen

6. Bean-less chili

7. Cole Slaw

8. Creamed Corn

9. Chicken Tikka

10. Corned Beef Hash

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Weekly Hit List


While herds of college students returned to their respective hometowns or embarked on care-free week-long drunken escapades in Cancun or the DR, I spent spring break eating.

Here's a recap of the higlights. Sorry I don't have pictures, you'll just have to go out and try em yourself.




  • The "Sloppy Bao" at Baoguette (NYC)
    A new take on the cafeteria classic, the sandwich has a subtle spice (Siracha). The baguette doesn't cut the top of your mouth but has the perfect crunch. Cool sprouts, carrot and cilantro make the sandwich complete.

  • The "White Truffle Cheeseburger" at Umami Burger (LA) Spongy buns cradle the juicy patties at this high-end fast food joint. Prices reflect the rare ingredients and finely crafted burgers so get ready to dish the dough for the good stuff. Any meat topped with melted white truffle cheese is going to be great.



  • The "Half Smoke" at Ben's Chili Bowl (DC) - It's actually a smoked breakfast sausage. Grilled to perfection and topped with Ben's famous chili (very similar to Tommy's in LA), diced onions and mustard. George Clinton blasting on the speakers and the friendly staff add to the high-energy environment that has kept this place a DC food institution in the past 50 years.



  • The "Lousiana Hot Link" at Wurstkuche (LA) - I've been looking forward to scoping out this belgian fry and exotic sausage and brat spot since I heard about it last Fall. It definitely lived up to the hype. The guy behind the counter even had a belgian accent. The music in the front is much more suitable then the sceney house music they played in the back. But it was a thursday at 4pm so I forgive them. Service was great and the truffle oil fries would have been the highlight of the meal if not for the perfectly spicy hot link.



Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Rule #34


"In the land of supply and demand a girl without a mind ain't human, you gotta be more than just a butt that's boomin'"

Friday, March 13, 2009

*** MUST WATCH THESE VIDEOS***

I post a lot of videos. I never post them unless I think they're funny or worth watching.


A good friend once read to me about her latest obsession with an obscure exotic tea. I couldn't help but think of the following program.

Sarah Haskins started out on InfoMania on Current TV (slowly becoming the only thing I watch). I rarely laugh out loud while watching TV and when I first saw this I couldn't contain myself. Check out her Super Special I've posted below. I know it's really long but feel free to skip through it. You won't be let down.





Here's another great video. I kind of wanted to counter balance the other video's passive aggressiveness-- with another passive aggressive video with a British accent.


My Thoughts on Florida

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Long Way Home (Happy 200th Post!)


Something tells me that the 200th post doesn't come with as much hype as 100th. It's kind of like your 20th birthday-- kind of exciting but nothing new. 

In preparation for a much needed break back home (LA) I'm making a list of some new food spots that have sprouted up in the past few months. Here's a little preview.

1. The Golden State-  Menu boasts entirely CA made products

2. Umami Burger- White truffle cheeseburger.. 'nuff said

3. The LAB- It's a gastropub that looks like a chem lab on USC's campus

4. Reservoir- Arugula, prosciutto, manchego, fried egg pizza (!!!!)

5. The Varnish- Fine cocktails served in the backroom inside a french dip sandwich spot I featured a few months ago. (If you find it I'll be there. Hint: it's not Philippes)



Monday, March 09, 2009

Doing What You Can, Whenever You Can


The other day I split open my friend's laptop for a Saturday morning ritual that I've come to dread. I had to check my account balance. 

But I noticed something different about her Google home page. It was completely black. I figured it was just one of those clever daily themes gone wrong. Was today some obscure Norwegian holiday celebrating extended night time hours? She explained that it was in fact an energy efficient search engine that yields identical results to Google. 

Aha! Just as I suspected! Once again another calculated step that Google has made toward world domination. (See my Google post on 2/06/08)

As a firm believer in small-scale, innovative approaches to addressing the global energy and climate crises, I strongly recommend using a new search engine called BLACKLE.

Simply put, by using a predominantly black template this search engine (powered by google custom) significantly reduces the amount of  white light needed to display the regular google home page. This in turn reduces the amount of energy used by the computer. 
Admittedly the energy saved by an individual user (even if used over a lifetime) are small. However the idea is that with the popularity of the search engine the differences will eventually add up. 

The fact is that by using BLACKLE we are reminded that everyday we are faced with opportunities to make wiser decisions in consideration of our environment. 
 

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Sounds of Summer: 1991

Ever since I posted that clip from Current.com I've had this song stuck in my head.

This classic takes me back to the summer of '91. I saw Color Me Badd perform this at the Rose Bowl for the annual 4th of July firework spectacular. It was one of the first live performances I remember seeing.

Enjoy this clip from a performance on In Living Color.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Rule #33


MENTAL FLOSS PREVENTS MORAL DECAY

Weekly Hit List

  • I've always had an issue with this. It's about time someone said something.






  • This week the highly anticipated "Watchmen" movie is out in theaters. I'm not really sure what it's about yet but people seem to really excited about it.



  • For those of you in the LA area, TWO BOOTS PIZZERIA is serving up the innovative NY slices inspired by cult film characters (i.e. "The Dude", "Mr.Pink", "Tony Clifton"). Try them if you haven't already.

  • Studies have shown that the average man walks 4mph, but a man wearing Ted Bakers walks 5mph. I just got my pair and they bring a whole new meaning to comfortable footwear.




Wednesday, March 04, 2009

2 Funny Videos 1 day

WARNING: This video contains highly explicit language and can be demoralizing for those who spend frivolously on consumer electronics

Video Courtesy of Phil (my brother) via Onion News Network

SONY RELEASES WORTHLESS PIECE OF $#%^


Sergio's White Hot Top 5

This guy has a great job. He gets paid for making a "Top 5" list! I double his productivity on a weekly basis for FREE! But what can I say? the dude is funny. Check him out on "Infomania" on Current TV (Check your local listings)

I once thought of tackling this topic on a top 10 list but shied away.

Rule #32: After seeing many of my original blog post themes on Current.com and the Jake Blog (Love/Hate)... "YA SNOOZE YA LOSE!"

Enjoy this.


Sunday, March 01, 2009

My 25 Cents

Although most (if not all)of my blog posts are inspired by random occurrences in my daily routine, I rarely delve into the details of my personal life. I never intended this site to be an online diary, and I don't think it would be very interesting to read about anyway. It's important to be careful of the information and especially the images you disclose on the internet. I learned the hard way (Google Image Search "Byron Tuyay")

But recently the latest craze on Facebook has been to compose a "note" listing 25 things about yourself. Initially I shrugged this off as sad way for people to achieve a false sense of originality and reaffirm their wit. But I've come around to realize that it often times achieves its goal. Some times the facts posted really say something about what a person finds worthy of sharing about themselves-- no matter how trivial or silly. I've found this to be a great way to see sides of someone you are unable to discern from the 50 photos they tagged from their best friends 21st birthday. Though many use it to be cheesy and share sentimental overly personal information about themselves or their boy/girlfriends, at least its an honest attempt at saying something meaningful about yourself.

If you've been reading carefully in the past 3 years you probably know the basics about me-- I love bacon. I live in NYC. I am 22 years old and in college. But I've decided to tell you all things that you would never know about me and make a list of my own. For the sake of getting to know me better and because the introspective process of thinking of what to write about yourself is amusing. Try it.


I submit...:

1. I've never liked frosting. It especially bothers me when cupcakes have too much frosting on top. I'm not much of a dessert person in general.

2. Listening to my iPod when I walk places or use public transportation has convinced me that life without having to drive is so much easier. I rarely go a day without listening to my iPod. I often prefer to walk alone for this reason.

3. As much as I enjoy eating out and trying new places. No dish from any restaurant can beat the perfect dinner company. I don't mind eating alone (I often do), but it's nice to have a good friend or two around.

4. I celebrated two "first communions" as a kid. I didn't believe that you needed to finish two years of Sunday school so I begged my parents to let me participate when my brother got his first communion. I was also the only kid in a brown suit and a red Sonic the Hedgehog clip-on tie. I remember being so torn waiting in line for communion that day. I was convinced that I was eligible to take the Eucharist but I knew my parents said I couldn't... I ended up folding my arms and not taking the wafer at the last second.

5. I'm a patient person when it comes to waiting for things that I can't help (i.e. the subway, summer etc.) but I can't stand waiting on people who are late. I am rarely late, and hate to be late except when I know the person waiting on me would make me wait or has made me wait in the past.

6. I'm bad at hiding when I'm mad, annoyed or bothered by someone.

7. I think my competitive nature can simultaneously be my greatest weakness and strength. I tend to oversimplify things into "Win/Lose" situations where there is clearly a middle ground or not applicable. Some times it backfires and comes off as immature. (e.g."My favorite burger is way better.", "Let me try that. I bet I can do it.")

8. I hate missing out on things or being left out. I like to think this stems from the feeling I used to get when I was young, being the last one to wake up in the house on weekends. It bothered me to wake up and see everyone was dressed and had started their day. I felt like I missed out on so much while I was asleep. I can't help but feel helpless or like I've lost (see #7), even if I'm in a different city or country or had other plans and could not have possibly been there.

9. There are 2 things that always make me tear up, no matter what: 1) The scene in "Rudy" when he finally gets into Notre Dame 2) and listening to "Life Goes On" by 2pac after two Miller Lites

10. I wish I could be a better public speaker. I get nervous addressing people even when I'm in front of a room full of people that I know well.

11. I truly value customer service. I refuse to go to an establishment, no matter how excellent their product, if they continually fail to serve customers or at least make an effort to serve them in a polite way. I'll never go back to Lucky Boy's in Pasadena for this reason. I stay faithful to establishments and companies that have excellent customer service (Bose, Hi-Life, Shake Shack). The key to excellent customer service isn't just "the customer is always right" but rather making the customer "feel right".

12. All of my best friends are not afraid of admitting they do embarrassingly nerdy things (religiously reading food blogs, freestyle on my voicemail, over-analyze social scenarios, etc.) I have trouble getting along with people who can't relax enough to make fun of themselves. People who have trouble being silly in front of friends are either not surrounded by friends or trying too hard (Rule 32) .

13. I have an extensive collection of 80s and 90s R&B in my iTunes library. Although I grew up listening mostly to Hip-Hop, my music preferences have been strongly influenced by a foundation of a specific type of R&B. (From Stevie Wonder, DeBarge and New Edition to Blackstreet, Jodeci, Babyface, Az Yet and Jon B.)

14. I don't stay upset at people I know for very long, no matter what they've done. I can be a pushover in this way. I've deliberately ignored people for extended periods of time for different reasons (embarrassed, uncomfortable, guilty) but never because I was mad.

15. I have problems mentally calculating simple mathematical equations. My skills as a mathematician peaked in 4th and 5th grade as a member of the Math Field Day team. Even then I was the "estimator".

16. I have a terrible singing voice. I always thought that I could have a decent voice if I tried, but this has proven to be untrue after several karaoke nights.

17. Although I have a genuine appreciation for performing arts, I often feel guilty for secretly despising "poetry slams" (see youtube). It's just not my thing.

18. I get very anxious watching old-people run or move fast. I hate to think of old people, or people who lack athleticism falling down. I had to change the channel when Tina Turner performed with Beyonce at the Grammy's a last year.

19. I carry a "Pocket Constitution". I've been told some nerdy guy on a popular show did too (I forget). The sad reality is I won it as a prize and have been carrying it ever since.

20. I've more or less looked exactly the same since 7th grade. I was just a little shorter and a little skinnier. I have a picture of two of my best friends and I on my desk. It was taken 9 years ago and whenever anyone see it they say I haven't changed at all.

21. I once ran into the mother of an old friend in a stationary store. We were the only two people in the small store but we didn't acknowledge each other. I had known this woman well and was certain she recognized me. It bothered me for days that I didn't say anything because I didn't know if she was ignoring me or if she didn't see me. She had no reason to be upset (I don't think) so I was really curious why she would snub me. Since then I've always made it a point to greet people that I recognize when I run into them in stores or on the street. I found that with practice and a good memory it becomes increasingly easier to get over the sense of embarrassment or awkwardness that stops you from saying anything in the first place.

22. When I get startled or frightened by things I quickly snap into a boxing stance. I've never been trained in boxing so it doesn't really make sense that I naturally do this. I've never had to actually throw a punch after being startled either so for the most part it serves as comic relief when I'm around friends. I remember being scared by a low-flying pigeon on the street and hearing a passing cyclist yell "What are you gonna do? Punch a bird?"

23. Fog never fails to mesmerize me. I get immediately happy when fog rolls in. It smells fresh and feels good to breath in.

24. I have two short-haired Daschunds. Tyson (brown) was named after the ear-biting, tatoo-faced, media spectacle. Bailey comes from "baila", Spanish for dance. My mom thought she looked like she was dancing when she hopped around.

25. In recent years by default I've become the person who my friends ask to give toasts before meals or at the beginning of a night out. These monologues have come to be known as my famous "emotional toasts". I always (to be gracious) pretend like I don't want to but they all know I do so I usually start by standing up and saying something cheesy like "You know (dramatic pause), I came here in 2006..." or "It wasn't long ago that (fill in the blank)"... They eat it up.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Weekly Hit List


A friend recently came to me with a great suggestion to help maintain regular updating... The Weekly Hit List will serve as a mechanism to compensate for lack of creativity/material much like the Top 10 lists have done in the past.

These lists will just be arbitrary things (events, news, food, music etc.) that have somehow caught my attention, but don't warrant a full explanation or post.

  • First off, today is my buddy Kyle's birthday. If you're in Manhattan come celebrate at Cheap Shots (where you drink free on your birthday. Seriously) after midnight!

  • Tonight is President Obama's first State of the Union Address. Highly anticipated topics include the stimulus bill, the current economic crisis and new approaches to foreign policy. I won't urge you to stay tuned because you either care enough to know to watch it or wouldn't understand if you did. 

  • If you've been missing out on all the recession specials here's your chance to capitalize on cheap eats. A cleverly named new Vietnamese Hoagie spot in Murray Hill, "Baoguette" is serving up some scrumptious by-product of French colonial cultural subjugation. 


  • Lastly if you've still got that "Jai Ho" song stuck in your head from the Oscars then tune in to this Jon Brion (music mastermind behind Eternal Sunshine and I Heart Huckabees) track from the indie flick "Synecdoche, New York"-- A heartbreaking hit.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Despana

I recently went to this tiny chic Spanish butcher shop on Broome St. by Centre St.. It provides high quality assortments of cured meats, cheeses and Spanish preserves. The back counter serves up a variety of simple hot and cold sandwiches on ciabatta rolls. Don't come here looking for the typical NY deli sandwich (piled disgustingly high with meat with a shred of lettuce and a stale tomato). Instead these sandwiches are true to their European roots-- meat that bursts with flavor paired with the perfect poignant cheese or spread. That's it. Despana's success lies in its simple authenticity. With meats like theirs, they don't need much else.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Old School Boss Footage

Here's a video from way back (1978). It's a live performance in Passaic, NJ... Essentially the equivalent of going to a Tupac concert at the Cow Palace in 1994.

Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bottoms Up!




Here's something to drink to.

Richard Applebaum, a New York City lawyer is turning heads with his unique proposal to pull Americans out of the current recession.

Rather than funnel government money through major corporations and financial institutions who are responsible for leading us into the recession, Applebaum suggests debt forgiveness on all student loans for graduates who make less than $150,000 annually.

Some real bottom-to-top change.

Check out the article on the Huffington Post

Monday, February 09, 2009

Iran So Far

These SNL Shorts seem to get better and better... Check out more at Hulu.com!

Top Ten Things You Love to Hate


Keeping with the theme of Valentine's Day, Love and Hate. I decided to take a moment to think of those special things that catch our attention. They captivate us, we simultaneously despise them and are infatuated with them. The mere sight of them brings fire to our eyes until we stop and think, "What would the world be like without them?" and smile. Sometimes our resentment is justified but often times we have no good reason at all.

Here's to...

1. Kevin Garnett

2. Frat Boys

3. Sorority Girls

4. New Jersey

5. The Economy

6. Made up holidays (Valentine's Day)

7. Conservative Republicans (especially the young ones)

8. Every celebrity with a tabloid nickname (LiLo, Jlo, Beniffer etc.)

9. Talking on cell phone's while driving (Who are you trying to fool? You either miss it or still do it!)

10. The Plain White T's (Why can't I stop listening to his whiny voice?)


Big thanks to Holly for the track.

Enjoy

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Sounds of Summer: 1996



*Bzablog fun fact: This is the third time I've posted a track that samples Sting's "Shape of My Heart"

Love/Hate


Radio Raheem probably captured it best, as he recounted Love's triumphant victory over Hate on that scorching hot summer day in Brooklyn. But this unforgiving and elusive quest to understand the deep complexities of two of man's most extreme emotions has been a reoccurring artistic theme that transcends various mediums through history, from Shakespeare to Martin Lawrence. (Barring sheer insanity) It is between these two extremes where the source of all artistic expression lies whether it be deep-seated rage, fear, infatuation or simply boredom. One might expect that with every imaginable emotion in between, the path from one extreme to the other would be enduring and the barriers resilient. However, this naivety is all too often met with the reality that no such linear spectrum of emotion exists "between" the two. In fact some might argue that Love and Hate share more in common than the differences that separate them.

As Man indefinitely hangs in the balance, helplessly inching his way forward along the razor-"thin line" between both extremes, this uncertainty will continue to fuel the vehicle by which an artist delivers his masterpieces to the common man.

Here's my favorite track from Q-Tip's latest album The Renaissance. It features Raphael Saadiq and is appropriately titled
"We Fight We Love"

Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Sounds of Summer: 1995

Last night I stepped out of a cab on 2nd Ave and took a brisk step onto a slick patch of ice on the sidewalk-- waiting for the worn rubber soles of my desert boots like an urban bear trap. Any other night my cat-like reflexes would have kicked in to save me from a spill but I was on the phone, distracted and short a hand. Those unusually strong gusts of wind that you feel when you walk down avenues were blowing in full force and blasting my face causing me to squint as I got off the phone with my brother. Just before my hand freezes off from being up to my ear for too long I walk into the bar where I meet my friends for a birthday.

This was the song playing when I first walked in; a great track from way back that has always reminded me of summer. When leaving the house at the wrong hour was a serious threat to one's health and the temperature hit the 90s before noon. Ah, the good ol' days of summer.

To keep warm the majority of us who don't live in regions that are enjoying mid-70s to low 80s this time of year here are some jams from the past. Songs that will always remind us that summer is just around the corner. Hang in there.

Today's featured song is one of my favorites from L.

Ingredients for successful summer jam video= overcrowded block/dance party, Female R&B group harmonizing in neon green outfits, the audacity to wear a Tommy Hilfiger sailing jacket in the summer (see dude at block party), and of course... Hershey's Chocolate syrup.

Watch and enjoy

LL COOL J - Loungin' (1995)