Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Little Inspiration

Sometimes it can be quite the challenge to find comfort in a damp, overcast afternoon like this one. Especially if ones spirits have been slightly fractured like mine have been as of late. Blame it on our bi-polar weather, or the fragile and uncertain economy, or a lingering cold, or whatever. . .

However, these past couple days have brought smatterings of optimism -- a close friend who was laid off just before Christmas got an exciting job offer, a cousin shared the fantastic news that his wife and him are expecting a new addition to their family, and work has steadily been getting busier (yes, this is a very good thing!).

Not to mention, a couple pieces of media found their way to our inbox, managing to make this day semi-brighter. Perhaps they will do the same for you*

As Emily Haines (of Metric and formerly of Broken Social Scene) states in the video above, her lyrics possess a simplicity that is truly genuine -- in the song, "Help I'm Alive" these elements translate to raw emotion that is incredibly powerful. The acoustic version below conveys a gentle perspective of the original and is just gorgeous. I have yet to pick up a copy of Metric's Fantasies, but am thinking it's pretty clear that I need to do so this evening. I'll conveniently be walking past Music Saves before heading over to catch The Pains of Being Pure at Heart at The Beachland's Tavern. Plus, this is another thing that will make me happy, right? ;)

The other little surprise was a gift from Tori Amos: an early Mother's Day wish (of course I'm not a mom, but it still was a lovely message) and a free download of a song off her soon to be released album, Abnormally Attracted to Sin.

[Mp3] Tori Amos - Maybe California

So there you have it -- here's to the end of a dreary April and the beginning of a brilliant month of May!

ps - Very special thanks to our friends at Sneak Attack Media for spreading the music love and major props to the ever so talented Bella Lago for the lovely photo above.

pss - I'm wishing Jose the best of luck while he spends the next few days of non-stop male bonding with his father. . .he'll need it! ha

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Just Heard Calvin Harris in a Kia Soul Commerical!

Yes that is correct. You read the post title correctly: in the newest edition of those awesome Kia Soul hamster commercials, you can hear none other than Mr. Calvin Harris himself. The song used in the commercial is called "Colours" and it makes us want to get the f*ck down. We love these ads and they are a welcomed break from the monotony of the average car commercial. . .

+ how can you go wrong with hamster's driving tricked out cars?

(mp3) Calvin Harris - Colours

Anyhow, this week Kelly has been on the mend, which is why we have been nowhere to found. Tonight, in an effort to cheer her up, I made something she might like. And while it might not have turned out as well as I would have hoped, she enjoyed it and it did taste good so it was a win/win.

The recipe I attempted to execute was Giada De Laurentiis' Fregola Salad with Fresh Citrus and Red Onion recipe, substituting the fregola with orzo. This salad has toasted fennel seeds in it combined with the fresh, vibrant flavors of basil, mint, citrus and red onion -- seriously, it is going to be a great salad for summer. We paired this dish with a fume blanc, which complimented it quite nicely. Enjoy :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Top 5 Songs Of The Week (Sleeping in till Noon on a Sunday Edition)

We meant to post these songs yesterday and simply never got around to it (our apologies). This procrastination was mostly due to our distraction by fabulous weather and then by the Cavs putting the smack down on Detroit and then later by the Tribe doing the same to the Yankees. While enjoying these victories, we were fueling ourselves with some delicious brews from Unibroue (La Fin Du Monde), Dogfish Head (Raison D'etre), Magic Hat (#9), and Brooklyn Brewery (Monster Ale). All in all it was a great day.

As for today, we got off our lazy duffs and finished this post hoping you enjoy these tunes as much as we do. So here you go :)

5. (mp3) La Snacks - Kristin Was A Meteorologist This Austin, Texas based band will make you think of Pavement, Archers of Loaf and every indie rock band from the mid 90's that was worth a damn. They are not coming this way which is just too bad.

4. (mp3) Ice Palace - Thoughts/Facts From Minneapolis, this band just blew through town last week at The Beachland with Cloud Cult, we missed them but you should not. Catch them when they come to your town with their sound is part Bishop Allen/part 90's indie/part bands coming out of the Midwest. Overall, it is a beautiful gruffness that is simply perfect for an overcast day like today.

3. (mp3) Magic Wands - Black Magic Heading out this spring with The Kills and the The Horror, this Nashville duo is part of a lineup that should make for a great tour tour, unfortunately the closest they are coming to Cleveland is Detroit. Their music is dark and dancey with deep driving funk bass lines. They will have you drinking up the sensuality from their hot guitar licks while humming along at the same time. Just wait, this song is definitely ripe for a hot remix.

2. (mp3) Chester French & Clinton Sparks - Ciroc Star (featuring Diddy & Jadakiss) A choice jam coming from the Chester French mix tape: Jacques Jams, Vol. 1: Endurance. We love that "ciroc star" is an actual term (although, it's not yet listed in the Urban Dictionary) and the fact that we rock'd Ciroc before Diddy did. We did a post about our love for Ciroc a few years back, if you are interested check it out here. Also, you mustn't forget that Chester French will be coming to The Grog Shop on May 12th opening for Lady Sovereign.

1. (mp3) Roman Candle - Early Aubade Hailing from Chapel Hill, N.C., this quartet is offering us a track starting out with an epic driving indie-rock chorus, almost kind of Flaming Lips-ish or Arcade Fire-esque. The song then transitions to a slight alt country rock sound, complete with a nice bit of twang. Dabbling with these sounds, it seems apropos that they have been called the "Wilco of the South" and while that is a great compliment, you can tell they are so much more than that. They are co-touring with The Deep Vibration this spring all over, where you'll have an opportunity to see them in Akron, Columbus and Pittsburgh (but no C-town).

Note: The artwork above was created by a very talented gentleman from Cleveland. He's got some great stuff, so check out his flickr photostream.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tomorrow is Record Store Day!!!

Tomorrow is the holiday for all us Rob Gordons out there.... Record Store Day.

It is remarkable that this is only the second annual Record Store Day, such a great idea like this should have been started sooner. Record Store day is the perfect reason for you to get out there and support your local indie record store like the always awesome Music Saves.

Speaking of which, tomorrow Music Saves happens to have a whole slew of excellent things in-store (and out of the store) for all who want to partake in the festivities. The fun starts at 12pm and runs until 11pm. There will be performances from locals Brian Straw, Prisoners, Trouble Books, Hot Cha Cha and The Very Knees. Over 60 special releases will be available for purchase at Music Saves. There is so much going on, for additional information be sure to check in with CB, Matt and Bill.

We think this a wonderful opportunity for people to come out and support, not just Music Saves, but the whole Waterloo road / Arts Collinwood neighborhood -- which, if you don't know already, is really such a cool, up and coming area. We especially are looking fwd to checking out the newest addition to the neighborhood: Blue Arrow Records (and what better day to do so?).

Bonus: There was a great article today in Wall Street Journal about the pioneering arts community in Collinwood. See you all there*

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Two Things To Try: Rosé & Miso (Not exactly at the same time)

This past Saturday afternoon, I needed a somewhat obscure variety of Miso and asked that José please make a special stop at Mustard Seed on his way home from work. Although he was unable to purchase the exact kind of Miso I had in mind, he did surprise me by bringing home a lovely bottle of Vinum Cellars Rosé (not to mention, some crazy delicious Drunken Goat cheese).

I'm pretty sure an instant selling point for José was that the bottle is on sale for $5.99 (from $11.99) and is over 14% alc. -- but, he said what really was the determining factor for him purchasing this wine is that the proceeds go to a good cause (Susan G. Komen for the Cure).

All things considered, this wine makes for a wonderful late afternoon apéritif -- definitely check it out for yourself, as well as other Rosé's.


After finishing off that bottle of Rosé we decided to be productive and create "Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Kale & Miso, Sunny Side Up" by the lovely Heidi Robb.

And, wow. . .this recipe was truly divine, maintaining the perfect balance of simplicity and complexity -- the slight acidity of the zest (we improvised by using grapefruit zest b/c we didn't have a lemon) with the hot pepper flakes and savory miso combined with the wholesome flavors of the al dente whole grain pasta and kale AND the crème de la crème being a glorious egg. Just reminiscing about the entree is reminding us how we seriously need to cook this recipe again very soon, like this week!
Note: In case you were wondering where we got our kitschy vase pictured above, it's from City Buddha on Coventry. We learned the hard way not to put water in it (since the vase is made out of clay after all). . .so, yeah, those are fake flowers*

Monday, April 13, 2009

This Thursday there will two great local events featuring BEER!

Over the last few weeks it seems that Thursday has become our new Friday. Last Thursday as you know we were at The Greenhouse Tavern and then the Thursday before that we were @ Andrew Bird (check some of that performance here) at the Allen Theater and this coming Thursday we are going to go see Beer Wars and hit up Pimp The Imp event for Indigo Imp Brewery @ Bier Markt. Pimp The Imp is going to be a great time all three beers from Indigo Imp: Jester (their newest brew), Winter Solstice and Blonde Bombshell will all be on tap as well as the brewers themselves Matt and Kathy. If you have not had a chance to try Cleveland's newest brewery here is a chance because this the only bar in town with them on tap.

In case you don't know what Beer Wars is a documentary about the war in this country currently going on between craft/micro breweries and their corporate counterparts. It is only showing once in 440 theaters nationwide on April 16th @ 8pm est. Locally you see it Severance or at Valley View (we are going to see it there) .There will be a live panel discussion afterwords moderated by none other than Mr. Ben Stein.

A 3 pack for you since it is a work/school night

(mp3) David Bazan - Cold Beer & Cigarettes

(mp3) Uncle Tupelo - I Got Drunk (live)

(mp3) The Replacements - Beer for Breakfast

Saturday, April 11, 2009

We're Keen on The Greenhouse Tavern

This past Thursday evening, we made our much anticipated maiden voyage to The Greenhouse Tavern. Not only did we feel quite fortunate to be a part of this very special and celebratory gathering -- but, based on this sneak peak we are licking our chops and eagerly awaiting our first true dining experience all the more.
We really enjoyed the ambiance, energy, and of course the vino. And, how cool are their wine glasses?? If it were anywhere else, we might have snagged a couple. . .
We especially loved this perspective, enabling us to soak up the warmth of The Greenhouse Tavern's inviting atmosphere. On this particular evening, the buzzing enthusiasm of the crowd was complimented nicely by the zydeco band, Mo'Mojo.
Conveniently located near the restaurant's open kitchen is an eclectic collection of cookbooks. We were super excited to discover one of our favorites in the mix, Jamie at Home.
Later on in the evening, Amelia was kind enough to give us a personalized tour that included a spectacular view of the rooftop patio. We were totally blown away, eating up there will be so awesome.
Note: You might notice that there were no pictures of food posted. Yeah. . .within seconds of given any, it was all pretty much devoured (oops). Everything we tasted left us wanting more -- just thinking about it makes us *very* hungry!!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Tonight : Citizen Dick Presents Southest Engine

Those guys from Citizen Dick are at it once again, presenting yet another great show tonight @ The Beachland in the tavern. You may recall last month when they sponsored an instore @ Music Saves by The Cotton Jones. Tonight there is no instore however you are in store for a solid lineup with Southeast Engine (whom we've had the pleasure of seeing play with Bears a few times) headling while Dreadful Yawns and The Lighthouse and the Whaler are also on the bill. The show starts @ 9pm and is a very nice deal with all this great indie rock only costing you $7

Note: Unfortunately we are unable to attend because instead we are hitting up a reception at The Greenhouse Tavern :)

Monday, April 06, 2009

Top 5 Songs Of The Week (Snowflakes In April Are Not Uncommon In Cleveland Edition)

As we sit her and type this post, all we can do is laugh as snowflakes fall outside our window. . .We knew last week's warmth and sunshine was simply too good to be true. However, we do feel confident that this is our final dose of winter *fingers crossed* Lucky for the Indians, and those with tickets to the game, their home opener is not until Friday.

So, yeah, although the weather in Cleveland might kinda suck, these songs surely do not. Hope you enjoy our [slightly delayed] Top Five Songs of the Week!

5. [Mp3] Golden Bear -All The Stars Upon an initial listen one might find it difficult to place this Austin-based band's sound without including the words "indie jangle pop", all adjectives that we are definitely fond of, however still not quite doing their music complete justice. We believe Magnet said it best when explaining that Golden Bear "avoids the power-pop trap, moving through forests of fuzz with wild, often makeshift instrumentation...Bear with this record and the fruit shall appear."

[Mp3] Crocodiles - I Wanna Kill This 80's tinged jam is by a duo hailing from San Diego and instantly sounded as if Connor Oberst was fronting the Jesus and Mary Chain to us. We love the noisy distortion and the punkesque vocals. They are coming to town on April 14th to The Beachland in the tavern with Beaten Awake and Minute of Arc opening.

3. [Mp3] Calvin Harris - I'm Not Alone (Good Life Mike) Our buddy, Mike (aka The Good Life) who used to spin at B Side and is now a resident dj on Thursdays at Mercury Lounge, shared one of his latest remixes with us where he's bringing Calvin Harris to the house. Some good stuff that we think our friend Mel, and others who still feel the random urge to rave, will be getting down to.

2. [Mp3] Home Video - I Can Make You Feel It We cannot deny that we were introduced to this song just last week via a dvr-ed episode of Gossip Girl during the closing scene where a wide-eyed Chuck Bass discovers Nate Archibald's prep-tastic navy blazer in Blair Waldorf's foyer. . .Oh the scandal! But, anyway, back to the song ;) It totally sounds like it could be Radiohead from their Idioteque era, which was an instant draw for both of us.

1. [Mp3] The Whispertown 2000 - Restless Lovely, twangy crooning for fans of She & Him and Cat Power that should not be missed while passing through Cleveland at The Grog Shop on April 18th opening for Maria Taylor. An added bonus for a show that we were already looking forward to*

ps - The art above, compliments of Andrea Heimer, can be checked out throughout the showing of "Poise, Posture, and Profanity" opening on Friday, April 24th at The William Rupnik Gallery

Friday, April 03, 2009

Forti's + Andrew Bird = Perfect Combo (who knew?)

You may or may not have noticed that this coming Friday, Metromix is hosting a party at Forti's Bourbon, Beer, and Eatery to celebrate the home opener for the 2009 season of the Cleveland Indians. Upon hearing this news, perhaps you wondered, "Forti's?? Where and what is that??"

We can answer these questions.

Forti's is a bar in the space on Prospect formerly occupied by The Boneyard that has numerous delicious beers on tap (aka not your standard domestic crap) in addition to 20 bourbons and some very tasty (and inexpensive!) bar fare.

Last night, we decided to congregate with our friends at this particular establishment prior to seeing Andrew Bird at The Allen Theatre. This decision was made primarily due to the fact that there are not any bars worth frequenting in the Theatre District (why??? what a waste!) however we were pleased that this choice was ultimately made for us. Based on this positive experience, we are confident that we'll be wetting our whistles at Forti's again very soon*

Happy Hour Specials include $2 draft beers / $4 high gravity beers (translation: high alc. %)
Bonus: $3 Onion Petals that are mighty tasty
We all were pleasantly surprised that the bar was so jammin' as a result of the 20/30 club coincidentally meeting there that evening
Can you find all our names? Needless to say, chalkboards are fun!
Our view of Andrew Bird, special thanks to Music Saves for our excellent seats
(we also avoided all the service charge BS by getting the tix at their record store)

The show was awesome. That man is seriously talented.

Just Because:
[Mp3] Andrew Bird - Measuring Cups (Morning Becomes Eclectic)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A Reason To Smile :)

Recipes: Just as delicious as it looks; Nigella's Moonblush Tomatoes and Emeril's Sicilian Style Chick Pea Salad

Random Retro Wednesday Song: Bad Reputation

A couple Sundays ago we had some time to kill in between movies at, you guessed it, the Cleveland International Film Festival. Lucky for us, this downtime allowed for the perfect opportunity to partake in Bar Cento's pretty much amazing Happy Hour Specials ;)

While sipping on numerous Long Island Iced Teas (yeah, we hadn't drunken these since college either, but hey, they were only $4 so why not, right?) we enjoyed hearing everything from The Smiths to Tegan & Sara to Matisyatsu to Kings of Leon to Freedy Johnston (!?!). Very random yet quite exciting for us. . .doesn't take much. It had been some time since either of us had heard Freedy Johnston's Bad Reputation and definitely brought back lots of "fond" memories of the year 1994 where each of us happened to be at the peak (to put it lightly) of our awkward stages. At least we can smile and laugh about how much we have changed while continuing to discover those certain songs that still remain close to our hearts even after all these years*

[Mp3] Freedy Johnston - Bad Reputation

[Mp3] Death Cab For Cutie - Bad Reputation (Cover)

ps - we didn't want to neglect to mention that this song happens to play during the rolling credits of one of Jose's favorite movies, Kicking and Screaming.