Sunday, November 23, 2008

More on the melancholy

We've all got one. There's always that one boy or girl who has the somewhat dubious distinction of being the first person to break your heart. Chances are it happened when you were in your late teens or (as in my case) your early twenties. We survive and can often (as in my case) look back kindly on that person.

I created my first mix tapes for this particular woman and most all of them had one thing in common: they were kinda sad. This is slightly embarrassing in retrospect, but at the time I thought it was romantic; a kind of "doomed love"-type thing. Gives me a wry smile just thinking about it.

Years have passed, my musical tastes (and collection) have expanded in every which way, and now I crank out mixes of all shapes and sizes (musically speaking). However, that taste for the melancholy still exists. After all, I threw together Grayside Tales and Games, Blame, And Hard Luck Dames, so it's not like I don't still stroll down that road occasionally.

This is one of those occasions. Soft And Broken is yet another of those odd mixes that began as one thing and slowly morphed into another. The feel of all the tunes is very similar, but the styles of music aren't exactly kissing cousins. Well, they are to my ears, but I'm just like that. So enjoy.

01 Nina Simone - Don't Smoke In Bed
02 Billie Holiday - Don't Explain
03 Tom Waits - Invitation To The Blues
04 Frank Sinatra - One For My Baby
05 David J - Nature Boy
06 Daniel Ash - Candy Darling
07 Bauhaus - All We Ever Wanted Was Everything
08 Dead Can Dance - Severance
09 MC 900 Ft Jesus - Buried At Sea
10 Soul Coughing - Sleepless
11 Primitive Radio Gods - Standing Outside A Broken Phone Booth With Money In My Hand
12 Beastie Boys - I Don't Know
13 The Cure - Happy The Man
14 Bjork - Headphones (0 Remix)
15 Portishead - Roads
16 Nancy Sinatra - Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)

BTW, if you missed the link above, you can click here to have a listen. For other stuff I've thrown together, read some more bloggage or visit my website and click on the Mixes link.

Floating into the night with:

Various - Soft And Broken
(pluck them heartstrings)

Nina Simone - Four Women: The Nina Simone Philips Recordings
(man, can that woman sing)

Stockfinster - Sunset
(more tasty DIY IDM)

Decapitated - Nihility
(putting the death in death metal)

AFX - AFX Compilation
(Richard D in the place to be)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ever have a day...

When you feel like this kid?

Headcrush party:

Various - Tilt 025-027
(yummy yummy bass in tummy)

Mortician - Hacked Up For Barbecue / Zombie Apocalypse
(grrr grunt bad drums ugly bass)

Bowery Electric - Lushlife

Prince - Batman
(so bad it's too good)

Laurie Anderson - Mr Heartbreak
(white courtesy telephone, please)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tasty leopard food

Once upon a time, there was a restaurant called Danal. It was a tiny place snuggled in the first floor of a brownstone on 10th Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues. The atmosphere was intimate, the food delicious, and the wine list excellent. I first went there in 1994 and returned as often as possible. It short, Danal was my favorite restaurant in New York.

Then they moved.

I've not been to the new location, but I've had reports from reliable sources that it is not nearly as intimate or inviting.

So I'm afraid to go back. But Nature abhors a vacuum and provides alternatives.

Some time ago (a little over a year, methinks), Susan and I made plans to take in the Saturday night Sinatra-only show at The Carnegie Club. I did want to grab a bite to eat somewhere in the neighborhood before the performance, so I did a bit of research and came across a handsome place called Il Gattopardo (apparently Italian for The Leopard; go figure). While not as intimate as Danal, it did have possibilities, so I made a reservation, fingers crossed.

A home run in every sense.

The food was spectacular, the service some of the best I've had in New York, and a wine list that would bring even a minor wine enthusiast to tears. I've since made several trips back, including a GU Club meeting. It's that good. So much so that Susan specifically requested that we go there for her birthday. Not being great with names, she affectionately refers to it as "The White Restaurant" (the walls of the main dining room are painted plain white; some might say this is stark, but I would say elegantly simple).

So we arrived at 8pm last evening and sat down to enjoy a very pleasant 2 1/2 hour meal.

Susan began with a friseé salad with pancetta, olive oil, lemon, crushed red pepper and gorgonzola crouton, while I indulged in the white truffle risotto. I was especially pleased when the risotto arrived unadorned. The waiter followed a brief moment later with a white truffle on a bed of sea salt, which he proceeded to grate over the risotto; very yummy. And if Susan's pauses (complete with a closed-eye look of bliss) were any indication, her salad was a lovely experience as well.

We accompanied the appetizer course with a 2001 Supertuscan, San Fabiano Calcinaia's "Cerviolo". Lots of delicious cherry and cedar notes here, along with a finish a mile long. Delicious.

Having slowly worked our way through this tasty introduction, Susan moved onto the Colorado rack of lamb in herb crust with potato croquette and sautéed spinach, served with fruit. I requested the pappardelle with rabbit ragu and wild mushrooms. Again, spectacular results, aided by a 2003 Amarone Della Valpolicella from Fumanelli (a big-bodied, raisin-y wine with very little acid; bone dry and delicious).

After a 15 minute break to degust, we polished off the meal with a mascarpone and espresso Semifreddo with chocolate sauce and a glass each of Dow's 20 Year Tawny port; a fitting end for a scrumptious meal.

So if you're in the mood for sumptuous dining (and are willing to lay down the coin for it...), definely check out Il Gattopardo, my new favorite restaurant in New York.

Further choices from the tasting menu:

Godflesh - In All Languages
(one disc of hits, one disc of rarities; all face stomping)

Godflesh - Us And Them
(their most experimental of all)

Mississippi John Hurt - 1928 Sessions
(roomful of blues)

Stockfinster - Car Crash)
(because all becomes music)

Twine - Violets
(broken and lovely)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Even more good news

Seems The One True Dead Angel has enjoyed the numerous CDs I sent their way. The lastest disc to be review is one of my faves, Gossamer from Abstract Audio Systems. Another base hit for Machine Tribe Recordings!

As an aside, I have to say I'm feeling very excited about my music. Our efforts to get the Sleepy Time Lullaby CDs continue slowly and we hope to have some success.

I've also relesed a new EP from Breaks The Blank Day entitled Knowing Nothing. You can download it from free at the website or click the links below.

Breaks The Blank Day - Knowing Nothing

01 glitterstring
02 i am glad to know nothing
03 permanence
04 dirtdrift
05 velveteen
06 high earth orbit

Gimme a beat:

Techno Animal - Radio Hades
(as in a beating to the head)

Ice - Bad Blood
(gritty underground hip of the hop)

Ulrich Schnauss - Far Away Trains Passing By
(gorgeous IDM-iness)

The Unknown Ghosts - Transfer At Dub
(can't get this one out of my head)

Frank Sinatra - Come Dance With Me
(it's such a cookoo day)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Forty-five years ago, a great man stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and told the nation of his dream. He spoke of a time when his children would "live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character"; a time when "we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood."

And while we all can still hear those jangling discords, it seems to me that we are ready to take another step towards that dream.

Perhaps I'll be eating crow tomorrow, hanging my head in defeat, but I truly believe that Barack Obama will be the next President of the United States. Already we have seen record voter turnout. Most of the early voting ballots were cast by Democrats and while there is no guarantee that these folks didn't vote for John McCain, it's a good bet that the majority of them didn't.

I still feel the wave building.

Today marks the 20th anniversary of my political life. This was the sixth ballot I've cast for President and I'm a pitiful 2 for 5. So I may stand at .500 come tomorrow.

Whatever the outcome, this has undoubtedly been the most intense, exciting, and frustrating political race I have ever been privy to and while it is my sincere hope that Obama will indeed stand triumphant after the smoke clears, there is no denying that this country's future will be deeply changed, regardless of the result.

Do your part to make this happen. Go vote.

Hailing the Chief with:

Various - Texas Guitar Killers
(ripping out the blues)

Various - Trojan Dub Box Set
(dem find de best and play dem here)

Cardopusher - Mutant Dubstep Vol. 2
(cavernous bass and stuttering beats)

Ashtech - Walkin' Target
(more tasty dubstep)

Opeth - Damnation
(an acoustic surprise from epic metal masters)