Saturday, June 28, 2008

Top 5 Songs Of The Week!! (Or of, a-hem, the last few weeks. . .)

Plain and simple, we've been slacking on our coverage of music on this blog. . .

However, we definitely have collected quite a bit of excellent songs, giving us the opportunity to post the ones that we've spent some quality time with*

We were thinking about catching The Happening at the theatre this evening, but instead we opted for renting In Bruges so we can stay in and be bums. Actually, as of late we haven't necessarily had the best luck with movies -- either one or both of us found multiple reasons not to enjoy the following films:
  • The Savages Kelly fell asleep and it wasn't particularly uplifting, but there were strong acting performances.
  • Be Kind Rewind Although, Jose does continue to defends this movie.
  • Starter For 10 Starring James McAvoy, where we grew tired of watching his character continue to shoot himself in the proverbial foot. One redeeming factor was songs by The Cure, The Smiths, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Buzzcocks, Kate Bush, among others (check out The Soundtrack) playing throughout the film.
  • Before The Devil Knows You're Dead Upon recommendation of Kelly's friend Lopez who happens to have a really great blog here.
  • Definitely, Maybe We happened to borrow this movie from Kelly's sister and thought perhaps some fluff would be kind of nice and it was to a certain extent.
  • Hot Fuzz Well, maybe we both actually liked it?
So, if anything, it's always good (and sometimes refreshing) to go outside our typical indie-flick preferences. . .

Okay, onto the music!

5. [Mp3] Girl Talk - Give Me A Beat Hands down, our favorite track off his new album, Feed The Animals, (Don't Stop being a very close second though!) sealing the deal with Britney's Toxic mixed perfectly with Air's Sexy Boy.

4. [Mp3] Sally Shapiro - Time to Let Go [CFCF Remix] When we first heard this song and its opening beats, we were like "wait, is that a sample from Madonna's Borderline??" Days after, Jose was humming the melody in the shower b/c it is a tune that just stays with you -- highly recommended.

3. [Mp3] The Notwist - Good Lies Off their latest effort, The Devil, You + Me, although it's been over four years since any other release, this album definitely stays true to their older material (yet not as pleasantly glitchy as it used to be). Just this very day we jumped for joy upon learning that they'll be coming to The Beachland on October 16th!

2. [Mp3] Titus Andronicus - Upon Viewing Brueghel's 'Landscape With The Fall Of Icarus' This quintet hailing from the garden state make beautiful yet raucous indie rock akin to Conor Oberst fronting the Arcade Fire with some Clash thrown in for good measure.

1. [Mp3] This Is Ivy League - Richest Kids Bringing to mind the sounds of Kings of Convenience and other like-sounding twee poppers, this song is pretty much our anthem right now, listen to the lyrics*

ps - Happy Birthday, Wray! We are thinking of you and wishing we could have been able to make it to Columbus!! xo!!

**worthy of mentioning... the picture above is Cleveland Public Art's latest installation downtown in Mall B.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Kelly!

This is one of my favorite pictures of Kelly ever... sigh I wish we still had some that tasty George Dickel Whiskey left.

Today so far is off to a good start, first off it is Kelly's Birthday. Kelly is turning 27th today so wish her a good one if you see her or text or email or whatever! Secondly I only had to work till 11am (which almost never happens). This feels like a jailbreak compared to most days, when I left the building today I wanted grab some books and throw them in the air ala "Dazed and Confused" and start singing "Schools Out". Such a temporary feeling of freedom alas I wish I did not have to go back tomorrow or ever again for that matter.

Alice Cooper performing School's Out on The Muppet Show back in 1978!

Thirdly we are going to dine tonight @ Luxe so finally we can know what all the fuss is about and have our own post about the delicious cuisine there to join all the other food bloggers in Cleveland. Fourth it has not rained today (finger crossed) and I'd hate for it to rain on my favorite person in the whole world/my future wife's birthday.

(mp3) Thin Lizzy - Jail Break

Monday, June 23, 2008

Laying low...

As of late we are both really feeling the new Tilly and the Wall album, O. They definitely have taken what they created with Wild Like Children (one of Kelly's favorite albums of the last five years) and Bottoms of Barrels and made an even more solid album. Listening to Tilly's new material reminded us of how incredibly fun they are to see perform live. Unfortunately, we missed them the last couple times while being out of town -- however, we did find out that they are playing a free show in Pittsburgh at the Hartwood Acres in August -- and after seeing Cat Power there a couple summers ago [see our post and pictures], we would highly recommend this picturesque outdoor venue (reminding us of a smaller Blossom minus the pavilion and parking nightmare).

[Mp3] Tilly and the Wall - Falling Without Knowing (Highest of Recommendations!)

Side Note: We are enjoying Brooklyn Brewery's yummy Summer Ale (which goes exceptionally well with a lemon wedge) while cooking a nice dinner and getting ready to watch Be Kind Rewind.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Weekend Recap

Last night we saw these beautiful rainbows
(it's actually a double rainbow if you look closely) on our drive home.

Friday evening we had an excellent time checking out Luxe, Stone Mad and the general vibe of West 65th & Detroit. While we were out on the town we had the pleasure of running into one of José's fellow Cleveland Bridge Builders, Hermione. Actually, one of the major reasons for us neglecting to update our blog lately is because José and I spent our evenings completing his project so he could present the findings with his group (which included Hermione) to help the non-profit organization Cleveland Saves. During this process he was "A LOT of fun" to be around ;)

Anyway, Hermione happened to be dining at Luxe with none other than Charity, who is also a local blogger, you may be familiar with her blog titled: I heart Cleveland. Until that night, we hadn't had the opportunity to meet her -- it is always nice to meet other bloggers here in C-town.

And, as far our overall feeling about The Detroit Shoreway Neighborhood -- we *really really* like it and give going there yourself the highest of recommendations. Luxe was very cool, sealing the deal to going there for my Birthday dinner with my parents in a few nights. We thought there was a great balance between the modern lounge room and the conservative dining room, both equally classy. Stone Mad was just sick, such character and exquisite attention to detail. We have both been to Irish pubs in Dublin and this fine bar definitely has a high degree of authenticity. They even have a doorman! And, the patio is awesome, all stone (of course) and with a bocce ball court -- we did not get to sit outside because it was a little chilly, but next time we will most definitely will.

Below are some random pics from our evening:

Luxe's quote covered windows
Antique and Modern design in the Lounge
We found this simple gate near Luxe to be very pretty,
reminding us of neighborhoods we strolled thru last fall in Montreal.
Stone Mad

Even the bathroom is pretty!
Note: I'm a weirdo and am known to take pictures in random bathrooms
Translates to
"A Hundred Thousand Welcomes Before You (in front of you)"

Our evening ends with a night cap in Stone Mad's
beautiful wood paneled front bar

Friday, June 20, 2008

Reconnaissance Mission to The Detroit Shoreway

Having tried several of Unibroue's very wonderful Belgian style brews, we decided to try yet another -- La Maudite. We found this refermented malt beer especially excellent because it is very flavorful yet balanced.

After we finish our pints, we are off to a neighborhood that we have been looking forward to checking out for quite some time -- The Detroit Shoreway. Like the good trendy yuppies that we are, we feel compelled to hit up "the up and coming" neighborhood. This is also a little scouting trip because we're planning on celebrating my (Kelly's) birthday at Luxe next week. . .once again, because of all the hype ;)

Hopefully all of the good things we've heard and read about are true*

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Must See: Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage

Monday evening, we attended an Israel@60 Event set at the very impressive Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood.

After hearing such positive feedback from those that had visited this museum, we had placed taking a tour a priority on our *To Do List* and fortunately, this week was the perfect opportunity to do so.

Not only does the Maltz Museum celebrate the accomplishments and progress of those of Jewish heritage (in an unique and interesting way), but the importance that the Cleveland community has held and vis versa.

A Few Facts You May Not Know:
The Warner Bros. were four Jewish brothers who grew up in Youngstown, OH
2. Paul Newman is from Shaker Heights, OH
3. Approximately 79,000 people of Jewish heritage reside in Cuyahoga County

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Vino del Momento!

After a very enjoyable evening spent taking a sorta cooking class at one of our favorite spots in Cleveland (aka The Union Club), we are currently unwinding with a glass of red wine (surprise surprise!)

This particular vino is lovely Tempranillo compliments of Contesa De Leganza that has a retail value of only $9.99 -- if you are a fan of a mellow red with hints of cinnamon and vanilla (see more tasting notes here), than you would definitely appreciate a wine such as this, especially on an unseasonably chilly summer evening such as this one*

ps - Try pairing this wine with Ben and Jerry's Dublin Mudslide Ice Cream ;)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Junot Díaz is coming to Cleveland!

Earlier this week while listening to Around Noon on WCPN they were featuring their Summer Book Call-In Show and promoting the fact that Junot Díaz is coming to Cleveland in September! Admittedly, I rarely get excited about a writer coming to town to read unless it is someone like Dave Eggers or Chuck Klosterman (well, in my defense, a lot of authors I like are either dead or in hiding).

Anyhow, I'm especially anticipating Junot's Cleveland appearance because I am completely enthralled with his book, The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao -- if you have not read it yet, you are definitely missing out. His book is one of the most amazing and unique pieces of literature I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Never have I read a book that blends urban culture, with politics, nerd culture and Caribbean culture all at once -- the way he is able to weave all this together is unreal with such a powerful use of languages.

While reading The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao last year I just could not put it down. Apparently I'm not alone -- a lot of other people think this is a great book too, he just won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and several other national book awards. It is an award that is bringing him to town, along with Moshin Hamid who won the "Anisfield-Wolf Book Award" for 2008. In my ignorance I did not know the Cleveland Foundation had a book award, let alone a national one.

Just by chance, while doing a Google search I stumbled upon this excellent interview below that Junot Díaz did as part of the Authors@Google series from September of last year:

Bonus: Here Junot is reading out loud a short story for The New Yorker called How to Date a Brown Girl (Black Girl, White Girl, or Halfie) from his first novel Drown.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tonight: Jaymay at B Side!

Who: JAYMAY! Who will be sharing the stage with a Brit singing the blues, Fink

What: The peaceful crooning of an ever-blooming talent

When: TONIGHT at 8pm (yes, it is early*) Don't worry with an early start time it will still leave you with plenty of time to make it to Marcus Sims 27th Birthday Bash.

Where: B Side Liquor Lounge

Why: It will be a laid back show in a chill setting with lovely songs such as these. . .

[Mp3] Jaymay - Gray or Blue
[Mp3] Jaymay - Blue Skies

[Mp3] Fink - Little Blue Mailbox

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Advanced Screening: The Rocker

This past Thursday, we had the opportunity to view an advanced screening of The Rocker starring Rainn Wilson (other noteworthy actors include: Christina Applegate, Jeff Garlin, Aziz Ansari, Demetri Martin, and Fred Armisen).

One thing we definitely thought was awesome about this film is that, not only was it set and actually shot in Cleveland, but our city was actually painted in a positive light -- no "mistake on the lake" jokes although predictably there were recurring "Helloooo Cleveland" lines ;)

Editor's Note: We also especially appreciated the array of the Art Work of Cleveland's Derek Hess splashed throughout the background of various scenes.

Despite a few tired rock movie clichés and the fact that Rainn Wilson was totally channeling Jack Black in School of Rock, it was still a pretty good film. We can also see how a lot of people will be completely entertained by the physical comedy performance given by Rainn.

While The Rocker didn't necessarily rock us, it might rock you*

Check out the below trailer for yourself and be sure to look for The Rocker in theatres this coming August:

Recap: Sex and the City Luncheon

About this time last weekend, my sister and I were doing what nearly every other female in the United States was . . .in the theatres watching Sex and the City: The Movie as well as attending any given event associated with the much anticipated release of said film. And, what a great idea -- giving us an excuse to dress up, enjoy a couple cocktails, and a lovely lunch prior to riding this emotional roller coaster of a film :)

Below were pictures taken throughout our fabulous lunch at Fire:

My sister, Erin, about to enjoy a pomegranate champagne spritzer

Chilled, pureed raspberry soup with whip cream heart

Mesculin greens and chicken in a light lemon vinegarette

Our very favorite part of the meal:
Coconut and chocolate mouse with mini brownie

Very special thanks to both Cleveland Cinemas and Fire for putting together this wonderful event*

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Is Weezer Emo?

Ahhh Weezer. . .

Both of us agree on many things when it comes to this former enigma of a band, loving them throughout Grade School straight through College. In those several vacant years following Pinkerton's release, we pined away for a new Weezer album, cherishing any sort of live song, b-side, random cover (or what have you) that surfaced on Napster and Kazaa. However, despite Weezer's absence of "new" material, we still managed to find solace within The Blue Album and Pinkerton, becoming attached to other songs on each album that we might have ignored in our "younger" years (ie - moving on from "Buddy Holly" to "Only In Dreams").

Fast forward to this very day, when their latest effort, The Red Album, has been officially released. Three albums (and 12 years) since Pinkerton, we find ourselves revisiting the material we have held so dearly to our hearts.

While each of us happily sipped red wine, reminiscing about our favorite Weezer songs (Kelly's being "The World Has Turned" and Jose's being "You Gave Your Love To Me Softly") a somewhat sore subject seemed to make its way into our conversation:

The fact that Weezer is often associated with Emo -- whether it is their music fitting into that "genre's" framework in earlier years, or happening to influence forthcoming emo bands, or simply being a part of emo culture (whatever that means).

So, after mere minutes of discussing this topic, we quickly realized that both of us have very opposing views regarding whether Weezer should (or should not) be considered Emo.


[Mp3] Weezer - Say It Ain't So
[Mp3] Weezer - El Scorcho
[Mp3] Weezer - Jamie (acoustic version)

[Mp3] Weezer - The Greatest Man That Ever Lived