Friday, February 29, 2008

Coming to Cleveland This Spring: The Swell Season & Marjane Satrapi

This past Sunday we watched the Oscars and unlike most years, where several films that we absolutely adored were somehow overlooked, we were pleasantly surprised by the critic's selection. With Once, La Vie En Rose, and Persepolis all earning Oscar nods, we were ecstatic that two out of the three actually took home the goods.

The winners displayed such pure joy and shock, making their acceptance speeches so very touching (note -- thanks to the Oscars, we cannot embed the youtube clips):
Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglov (of Once)

view here]

Marion Cotillard (of La Vie En Rose)

view here]

Speaking of our excitement inspired by our favorite Oscars nominees, we were completely thrilled to learn that both The Swell Season (aka Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová) and Marjane Satrapi (aka author, illustrator, and animated film director of Persepolis) coming to Cleveland this spring.

[Purchase] The Swell Season tickets (to enjoy their performance presented by The Beachland Ballroom at the beautiful Allen Theatre on Sunday, May 11th)

[Register] to witness Marjane Satrapi speak (at Case Western Reserve University on Friday, April 4th) Special Thanks to the very lovely blog, Coming Back to Cleveland for informing us about this event!!

ps - This post was fueled by a "formidable fence of sharp spikes" (with a soft underbelly ;) ) compliments of a South African Porcupine Ridge Syrah for a mere $5.99!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

1st Annual Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week

Today marks the start of the 1st Annual Downtown Cleveland Restaurant Week, this event runs thru March 1st. Over 40 restaurants are offering 3 course meals priced at $20 and $40. Some of the great restaurants participating in this event are: Lola, Ponte Vecchio, Blue Pointe Grille, Crop, Bice, Vivo! (*pictured above from a fabulous dinner we shared a month ago*), and Jac's. If that were not enough of a reason to come down and check out these great establishments, there will be reduced parking for just $2!! For more info, go here or call 216-736-7799.

Four About The City.....

{mp3} Spoon - All The Pretty Girls Go To The City

{mp3} Goldrush - Story Of The City

{mp3} Chromatics - In The City

{mp3} Ghosty - Add/Drop City

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Top 5 Songs Of The Week ( Welcome to C-town Big Ben)

This week the cavs gm Danny Ferry was able to complete a trade that surprised everyone in town (and I think the league as well) he managed to (finally) trade Larry Hughes (along with several other players) and get Ben Wallace (and much more) in return. While he is not the player that he once was he still a very intimidating force and I can't believe he is going to be suiting up come tomorrow for the wine and gold (and I will be in attendance to witness this).

and now something for the ears...

5. {mp3} Lykke Li - I'm Good. I'm Gone This 21 year old Swede is going to make some big noise hear in 2008. She has already toured with fellow country men Pete Bjorn & John. She reminds us of a cross between Fiona Apple and Kylie Minogue.

4. {mp3} Candie Payne - One More Chance There must be something in the water over in the U.K. that they continue to church out all these amazing young ladies who want to make 60's style pop relevant again. Candie Payne is the next in line of fine hits turned out by the man with the golden touch, uber producer Mark Ronson.

3. {mp3} Taken By Cars - Logistical Nightmare This group hails from The Philippines and they make electro, new wave, shoe gaze rock. This track makes us think of Interpol, but also hear part of Interpol and The Sounds too along with a whole slew of other bands.

2. {mp3} She & Him - I Was Made For You This awesome project is a collaboration between the lovely Ms. Zooey Deschanel and the very talented M. Ward. These songs range from twangy country/folk complete with slide guitar, to zombies style psychadelic pop and 60's girl group pop harmonies as evidenced on this track.

1. {mp3} White Rabbits - While We Go Dancing They are going to be heading out back on the road next month opening for The Walkmen/Spoon tour. This show is not coming to C-town it is going to Da Burg, The Nati and DE-troit so check em out if you can get a chance. We missed them when they came thru last time and have been hearing since then who they just destroy live.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

We Hate February!

We both are in agreement that February is the worst month of the year and it is especially bad here in the mid-west so bleak and so cold. A month from this Friday we are headed to Puerto Rico for a week but until then we are going to have to endure this lack of warmth and sunlight. While on the subject of good news we are both very pleased that the writer's strike has finally ended while neither of us really watch TV shows with any regularity we both are looking fwd to the new seasons of Flight of The Conchords, Sarah Silverman and of course Entourage as well. We have recently found some clips online to tide us over till then, enjoy

Sarah Silverman "I'm Fucking Matt Damon"

and if you have not watched the Flight of The Conchords SXSW special yet, you can do so here

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Top 5 Songs of The Week (Take a Deep Breath and Relax Edition)

This afternoon, we *finally* had the opportunity to see the film, Persepolis, which received an Oscar nod for Best Animated Feature Film. We both had been looking forward to viewing this movie for quite some time -- and (for once), we can honestly say that we were very pleased with its outcome. While sitting through the previews prior to this feature, we were pleasantly surprised to see an effective promotional ad for Cleveland's 32nd International Film Festival. Speaking of this very special local event, you might remember that The Ten played at last year's Film Festival, directed by C-town's own David Wain. We have extremely mixed feelings about The Ten, sooo if anyone can please provide their own feedback we would definitely appreciate it ;)

While returning home from our afternoon activities, we are unwinding to these choice tunes:


5. {mp3} Vampire Weekend - Kids Don't Stand A Chance (KEXP Acoustic) We so wished we could have made it to their performance last night at The Andy Warhol Museum, but alas, it was not in the stars* (For example, tickets were going for more than $100 a piece on Craigslist!)

4. {mp3} Tori Amos - I'm On Fire (Bruce Springstein Cover) Special thanks to Music is Art for exposing us to this chilling rendition of The Boss classic.

3. {mp3} Mobius Band - Digital Love (Daft Punk Cover) Mobius Band was nice enough to offer everyone a present for this past V-Day with a new ep full of lovely covers from Daft Punk, Bob Dylan, The National, Neil Young among others.

2. {mp3} The Bird and the Bee - Fucking Boyfriend (Goodlife Mike Remix) Our buddy let us in on his banging remix of this awesome song. If you're in the Cleveland area, you mustn't forget to check out his must-see event on Saturday, March 1st at Touch.

1. {mp3} Bat For Lashes - What's A Girl To Do We admittedly are reading Under The Radar's latest issue where their singing the praises of BFL in their Best Of 2007 -- already being into Natasha Khan's music, we are welcoming being re-immersed in her sounds.

ps - This post was fueled by a bottle of Red Diamond's Cab Sauv (2004 vintage)

note: We especially loved that this wine was a perfect "starter wine," being very mellow -- especially given the fact that we are still full from our early dinner at the fabulous Happy Buddha Cafe (special thanks to Fun Playing with Food for the excellent recommendation!)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tonight : Two Bottles of Vino and a Movie

This evening we are staying inside our humble abode and hibernating to avoid the terrible cold and freezing rain. To help us cope with this weather, we set ourselves up with a couple bottles of wine and a movie rental . . .

Las Brisas
"vino blanco" (more specifically, a young white wine consisting of sauv blanc, verdejo, and viura varietals) being our starter bottle. We love its subtle floral notes, limited acidity, and arty label while acknowledging the fact that this wine isn't reinventing the wheel -- however it honestly is such a lovely and versatile bottle that we are taking note to make a future purchase. Not to mention, it's a very affordable $9.99 at your local grocery store, ours being Heinen's.

Rabbit Ridge's Bunny Cuvee (consisting of Petite Sirah, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah) is what we're currently consuming. A warm and very pleasant wine, we especially enjoy its notes of ripe cherry and vanilla. This particular bottle can be purchased at around $12.99 at your favorite seller of wine.

As for the film that we are about to view, it is one that unfortunately lasted a mere week (!!) at our local cinema, while not receiving much critical acclaim -- although, Roger Ebert did give it four stars so we will just have to judge for ourselves. Romance and Cigarettes, was written and directed by John Turturro, produced by the Cohen Brothers while starring the likes of Kate Winslet, James Gandolfini, Steve Buschemi, Mary Louis-Parker, Mandy Moore, Susan Sarandon. . .ooh, we cannot forget personal favorites Christopher Walken and Amy Sedaris :)

If you're even the slightest bit intrigued, definitely check out the trailer below:

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Top 5 Songs Of The Week (Stop and Savor Edition!)

Upon dropping Kelly's parents off at the airport, we decided to treat ourselves to a wholesome and healthy (and delicious!) brunch at the awesome little establishment known as Organic Energy. . .We're still savoring the flavors of our Supersonic Smoothie (blueberry, raspberry, mango, strawberry, ginseng, and topped off with an antioxidant shot). . .mmm

Along similar lines, here are some wholesome and delicious songs for you to savor throughout this lovely, lazy Saturday afternoon:

{mp3} The Antlers - The Apple Orchard (Beach House Cover) Both of us being suckers for dreamy landscapes, this song seems like a gift sent down from the heavens

4. {mp3} Lost On Purpose - The 70's From our buddy Will's latest offering, Not If But When, is a song we found to be an especially fast favorite, summoning the spirit of Elliott Smith

3. {mp3} Headlights - Cherry Tulips We just started listening to Headlights' new album, Some Racing, Some Stopping, a few days ago and have already become quite attached to it's warm and sunny melodies

2. {mp3} Coconut Records - It's Not You It's Me How can we not be smitten with Jason Schwartman's perfect pop "recipe" = Brendan Benson + Beach Boys + Phoenix??

1. {mp3} Deer Tick - Beautiful Girls This is an undeniably catchy song (yes, originally performed by Sean Kingston) that will have you snapping your fingers and singing along in no time ;)

Friday, February 08, 2008

Tonight: Tulsa! (oh yeah, and The Whigs)

Who: Tulsa (with headliners, The Whigs)

A pretty awesome indie rock band that can jam like Neil Young and rock like My Morning Jacket

The Grog Shop

Tonight! (doors open at 10pm/tickets are only $7)

Look at our previous posts [here] and [here] and listen to a couple of their choice tunes*

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Gourmet Pizza + Spiced Wine = Yum!

This evening we stayed in and made a delicious yet simple, goat cheese, broccoli, prosciutto, and red onion pizza (click here for the recipe, compliments of Williams-Sonoma's website, which Kelly refers to as one of "the best kept secrets ever") and mixed up a batch of hot spiced wine (recipe) for this cold winter's night. While cooking/eating dinner we listened to Tulsa's EP, I Was Submerged, and the latest album from The Ravonettes, Lust, Lust, Lust. In case you did not know already, Tulsa are coming to The Grog Shop this Friday (The Whigs are headlining) and if you got nothing to do you should come down and check out this great Boston band do their own channeling of the spirit of Neil Young thru distortion à la Built to Spill, My Morning Jacket and Band of Horses.

(mp3) The Ravonettes - Hallucinations

(mp3) Tulsa - Mass (You can't almost hear them echo "hey hey, my my" on this track)

As far as The Ravonettes, they are about to head out on tour of the states in a few weeks but unfortunately they are not coming to c-town -- they did however come last fall to The Beachland Ballroom but we we are unable to go to that show. We have never had a chance to see this Danish duo and witness there melodic mix of 50's pop meets the fuzz of the Jesus and Mary Chain but are confident that we will catch them at some point.

On another note, there is a show announcement you might not have heard of yet. . .and, that announcement is that the one and only Feist is coming April 23rd to The Palace Theatre (at this point no opener has been revealed). We just saw Ms. Feist at Pittsburgh's fabulous Carnegie Music Hall back in September and it was a performance that left us wanting more.

To get a taste of what her on-stage presence is like, watch the clip below, which happens to be taken during the particular performance we had the privilege of viewing:


(mp3) Feist - Secret Heart (KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic, recorded back in 2005)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Tonight: Keep Believing in Cleveland

This evening we will be attending the event, 10,000 Little (micro) Ideas to Keep You Believing in Cleveland, which represents collaboration among Northeast Ohio ’s Emerging Leaders, corporate decision makers and leaders from the civic and nonprofit arenas. Networking, brainstorming sessions and idea exchanges will take place throughout the evening.

Hors d’oeuvres, Networking Cocktail Reception with a Complimentary Drink will be enjoyed, followed by Brainstorming Sessions.

Date: [Today] Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Time: 5:15 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.

Keynote Speakers: 6:15 p.m. (Jose's father is one of them*)

Sammy’s Metropolitan Ballroom
21st floor, Huntington Bank Building
925 Euclid Avenue , Cleveland Ohio Note: Free parking available at the Huntington Bank Building garage (on Chester St., near 9th St.)

Monday, February 04, 2008

Carla Bruni no more*

Every Sunday, we both gleefully look forward to dissecting The New York Times, particularly the Sunday Styles section. . .yes, it is happens to be a guilty pleasure we share ;)

So, while soaking in the major headlines we were pleasantly surprised to see one of Kelly's favorite musicians, Carla Bruni, featured on the front page of the World section in yesterday's edition. Pictured is Carla sitting pretty and gazing in the distance with Nicolas Sarkozy under the headline, French Leader and Ex-Model Wed in Quiet Ceremony. We quickly recalled just a mere two weeks earlier, when the Sunday Styles informed us that they were a hot "new" item. Actually, if anything we were happy for Sarkozy's good fortune because we felt so badly for him when watching him on a recent 60 Minutes interview, abruptly cutting it short when asked about his ex-wife leaving him.

The beginning lines of the aforementioned Times article cites her as being a self proclaimed "tamer of men" while describing monogamy as boring. Fortuitously, those dancing days are (now) gone for Carla Bruni. . .or perhaps they have only begun?

[Mp3] Carla Bruni - Those Dancing Days Are Gone

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Top 5 Songs Of The Week (Cleaning the House Edition)

This past week we have been super busy (Becky and Paul were in town from Ireland), under the weather, and just flat out unable to find any free time -- thus the reason why we have not posted in quite a few days. However, this past Wednesday we *finally* had the opportunity to see There Will Be Blood (adapted from Upton Sinclair's novel, Oil!) which we found to be a very beautiful yet dark film (in imagery, score, and script). One thing that was especially impressive, was being able to understand what all the fuss has been about Daniel Day Lewis's performance -- there is no doubt in our minds that he deserves an Oscar.

While I am working on this post I am in the process of doing some much needed cleaning around our domicile while Kelly is at work on Saturday afternoon (beh). Yesterday we found out that one of the best tours this spring is coming to c-town: The New Pornographers are coming to The Beachland Ballroom on April 22nd with Okkervil River. We are both are very excited about this (does anybody know whether Neko Case will be joining??), but at the same time we are very disappointed that Vampire Weekend are not coming here. We do think it's awesome that they will be playing at The Andy Warhol Museum (one of our all-time favorite places to see shows) in Pittsburgh on February 15th -- however, it is already sold out :'(

While we celebrate and lament about shows that do and do not come, we are comforted by these Top Five Songs of the Week:

5. (mp3) Die Die Die - Blue Skies This New Zealand band makes music with frantic post-punk energy brings to mind (dare we say) At the Drive-In, Pretty Girls Make Graves, and some influence of Wire? One thing is for sure, the driving bassline fueled my cleaning!

4. (mp3) Girls in Hawaii - This Farm Will End Up on Fire This Belgian band was introduced to us last week by the likes of a great blog called Cause = Time. We love that this song blends the shoegazy elements of Grandaddy with the FM indie rock stylings of Snow Patrol.

3. (mp3) Tulsa - Shaker This twangy Indie rock band is coming to The Grog Shop this Friday Feb. 8th with their lush melodies and soothing vocals which bring to mind MMJ and Band of Horses. Their haunting sounds will lure you to the deep south but they are actually based out of Bean Town.

2. (mp3) The Raveonettes - Dead Sound (Peter Holmstrom & Jeremy Sherrer Remix) This remix is among the prettiest remixes we have heard in quite a while. We especially enjoy how well the vocals blend with distortion and a back drop of beats with scratches that go down together smoothly.

1. (mp3) Dawn Landes - Bodyguard You may recall her awesome bluegrass cover of "Young Folks" from last year. Fortunately, this young lady is back with her second album and first official stateside release. This lovely single was actually inspired by a frightening brake in at her apartment. If you take a listen, you will see that this track takes a departure from her more folky side and shows us a very seductive and soulful element (complimented nicely by a banjo no less!). She is coming to The Beachland on February 15th, with tour mates Jason Isbell (from Drive By Truckers) and Will Hoge.

ps - We meant to mention that today is Groundhog Day, but for those of us in the working world, everyday feels like Groundhog Day ;)