Friday, July 31, 2009

Recap: Amanda Blank and the Yeah Yeah Yeah's

There was an undeniable flurry of excitement that filled the air within The House of Blues' walls this past Tuesday evening. An energy that seemed to be growing and building early on from an eager sold out crowd, not just for the beloved headliner but also for their supporting act -- which isn't a common (or easy) feat.
The opener, Miss Amanda Blank, strutted out on stage with an uncanny confidence wearing a black trench coat, and was welcomed by a roaring wave of approval. Before belting out her first note, Blank dramatically dropped the trench and started to GET DOWN. Such natural and commanding stage presence brought to mind performances we've had the pleasure of viewing from Santigold and M.I.A. -- this only makes sense due to Blank's prior collaborations with both artists. And, what better mentors could she ask for?? Her vocals and beats brought to mind these aforementioned ladies, as well as delicate hints of Lykke Li and The Ting Tings. The set went by almost too quickly, in a way that left you wanting more. . .perhaps that was by design, given that her debut album, I Love You, comes out this Tuesday.

The very moment the Yeah Yeah Yeahs slipped on stage, everyone just went BANANAS. It was unbelievable being surrounded by this extreme level of enthusiasm -- a level fairly unprecedented, and we've been a part of audiences with some crazy devout fans (Radiohead being the craziest, hands down)! Karen O lived up to any and all expectations we had -- loved how she jumped up and down and did wardrobe changes. Ooh, yes! How fun was the big ball behind her changing from an eye ball to a variety of moons throughout the set?

Overall, a super solid show. Highlighted by surprise rendezvous with random friends, those $2 nachos that hit the spot, fantastic people watching, and of course fun, danceable music*

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Flemings has a fantastic happy hour. Who knew??

Ahh, yes. . .Flemings.

The kind of restaurant that you pretty much only go to for special occasions. Birthdays. Anniversaries. Holidays.


Well, not anymore. . .

Especially after being invited to sample their phenomenal Happy Hour menu (all items only $6 each, offered from 5-7pm, Mon-Sun)

Seriously. It's pretty much amazing.

Below is just a glimpse of our experience :)

Tenderloin Carpacio, Sweet Chili Calamari, and a variety of white and red wines
Seared Ahi Tuna w/ Spicy Mustard Sauce, Cajun Barbecue Shrimp, and a refreshing list of martinis
Note: the Lemon Basil Martini is to die for!
Prime Sirloin Burgers with Bacon and Bleu or Swiss Cheese with Coconut Onion Rings and the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes w/ Red Pepper Sauce

Everything was absolutely spectacular -- we are already looking forward to going back very soon*

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

TONIGHT: Amanda Blank opens for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs!

If you're not yet familiar with the name, Amanda Blank, you have come to the right place.

This sassy singer/rapper, who has collaborated with the likes of M.I.A. and Ghostface Killah, is fresh off her tour with Santigold and was quickly added to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs line-up. Blank's multi-faceted talent flourished in Philly's hip-hop and club rap scene and seems to just be getting started, winning over crowds and expanding her dedicated fan base wherever she performs. Be sure to look for her debut album, I Love You, dropping on August 4th.

In the meantime, check her out on tour or TONIGHT in C-town!

Where: Cleveland's House of Blues

What: Raw talent, rap, hip-hop and rock

Why: Listen up.

[Mp3] Amanda Blank - Might Like You Better
[Mp3] Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Heads Will Roll (James Iha Remix)

Don't miss out on the Afterparty in the HOB's Cambridge Room, hosted by Mister Bradley P

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Perks of Being a Wino. . .

It's only natural, as a wine lover, to -- not only drink a ton of wine, but also -- acquire and accumulate an excessive amount of wine corks. Soo, what does one do with these spare (and pretty cool) wine corks, you might ask? Well, we asked ourselves the same question and discovered the following ideas, all found on Etsy:
After browsing these crafty and classy artists' products, I am excited to put our wine corks to good use as well as do a little shopping -- it's always nice to keep these kind of ideas in mind, whether it is for a thoughtful gift or a way to give your home some additional charm*

Bonus: {mp3} The National - All The Wine

Sunday, July 19, 2009

And Before we head off to Taste of Tremont...a mix

This morning we have a woken earlier than we normally do on a Sunday in hopes of getting a work out before heading to Church and then the 7th annual Taste of Tremont. This is going to be our 3rd time heading to the Taste of Tremont (our pics from last year). This year the Taste of Tremont will be marked by the re-naming of intersection of Literary and Professor streets as "Michael Symon Corner". You can say what you want about him but you can't deny this man who loves Cleveland has worked very hard and thus he deserves this recognition as result of his great achievements. It is wishful thinking but we both wish that people in Cleveland would stop drinking so much damn haterade, we understand where it comes from but we think everyone should really focus on the positives this place has to offer.

And now for the tunes: "The End Result of Staying in on a Saturday Night Mix"

[click here for full album]

1 - Camera Talk - Local Natives
2 - Orange Shirt - Discovery
3 - Faces In The Dark - Generationals
4 - Wet Gold - The Octopus Project
5 - Green River - Real Estate
6 - Loss of God - Wolves in the Attic
7 - Heartstrings - Yourself And The Air
8 - Life Magazine - Cold Cave
9 - Happy Banjo - Dark Mean
10 - Castle - Uuvvwwz
11 - I'm A Pilot - Fanfarlo
12 - Foreign Thoughts - There Will Be Fireworks
13 - Undercover Martyn - Two Door Cinema Club
14 - Always Like This - Bombay Bicycle Club
15 - Sleepwalking - The Jaguar Club

Note: Song First, Band Second :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Kelly and Jose vs The Grill

Today we both coordinated our days offs off to be the same. We took this as the perfect opportunity to cook and dine alfresco. Recently we had been given a grill as a wedding present from Kelly's parents and we used it before but only under the guidance of the master griller Todd (our brother in law). This was our first voyage without him him at that helm on the high seas of grilling.

We also recently has been given as gift Jamie Oliver: Jamie's Italy from our friend Sarah. We had been chomping at the bit to cook some from it because it all looked and sounded soooo delicious and this is what we made.

In Italiano : Fungi tagliati a fettine sottili con mozzarella a fusa e timo

In Inglese: sliced mushrooms with melted mozzarella and thyme

(note this was made on the grill and you can see the picture from the recipe vs our effort)

In Italiano: insalata amalfitana con salmoni cotti

In Inglesse : amalfi salad (which consists of oranges, cucumbers, beets, red onions, fennel) with grilled salmon (had a delicious rub on it that was orange and lemon zest with rosemary, salt and pepper)

The wine was chilled bottled of grand dolina from local winery Debonne. It was a semi dry red and matched our food quite well.

Now it is time for a nap because we must rest up for the Jason Lytle (former lead singer of Grandaddy) show tonight @ The Grog Shop!

(mp3) Jason Lytle - Yours Truly, The Commuter

(mp3) Jason Lytle - You're Too Gone

The Girls Guide To Rocking is coming to C-town

For those of you who don't know who Jessica Hopper is you suck. Seriously, she is a very talented free lance writer/publicist/musician who has written for the Chicago Reader, LA Weekly and Punk Planet (R.I.P.) :( amongst many others. I was big fan of Punk Planet. She is a true music scribe. She is coming to town on Thursday, August 2oth to do a reading at the awesome Visible Voice, in support of her new book "The Girls Guide To Rocking". Which is a great guide for young ladies on how to start a band, how to play music and other valuable information. The best part is that not only will she be doing a reading but later that night she will be doing a DJ set @ The Happy Dog.
DJ Coco le Roc (that is her alias) will not be flying solo though because she will be joined by Katie Stelmanis and The Ghost Bees. You might recognize the classically trained Ms. Stelmanis's voice from the last Fucked Up album " The Chemistry of Common Life" where she sang back up vocals. She has a single now out on vice records and she is out touring with an all girl band. The Ghost Bees are a twin sister duo from Halifax, Nova Scotia who make some haunting and spooky female driven indie folk.

All and all it is going to be a great evening of women kicking ass!

(mp3) Katie Stemanis - In My Favour

(mp3) The Ghost Bees - Vampires Of The West Coast

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Our Plans For The Weekend

This morning Kelly hoped on a a plane to The Emerald City to hang out with our friend Sarah.

While they are in the gateway to Alaska they are going to see their favorite M.I.L.F. on the first night of her 2009 Abnormally Attracted to Sin Tour

This weekend while they are doing that I will be heading to the Cleveland Ingenuity festival 2009 to see all of this

3 good things that start with M!

Mayer Hawthorne - Just Ain't Gonna Work Out He is the latest addition to the fine fine roster of soul and funk artists on The Stones Throw label. Mayer is a 29 year old white cat originally from Ann Arbor Michigan who can deliver that smooth soul falsetto just like Curtis Mayfield. He has is a true soul revivalist who has caught the ear of striker of gold producer extraordinaire Mark Ronson.

Mumm-Ra She's Got You High Last night we were to see an advanced screening of (500) Days of Summer.The story itself being about a love that isn't quit what it seems is nothing new but I think most can relate to feeling that way. What was really great about the film was the music which really helped tell the story. It is going to make a great soundtrack to drive to. This song was probably the only in the film we did not know. Mumm-Ra (besides being the villain who battled the Thunder Cats) are a quintet from the seaside in England who make some sweet melodic pop tunes in the vein of Good Shoes or The Maccabees.

Mannequin Men - Massage (Day Trotter) These Chicago based indie punk rockers are coming to town on Saturday Night to play a show at the Beachland with Puerto Rican Garage rockers Davila 666. Mannequin Men just did a sweet Day Trotter session this week. Speaking of sweet postings each week the guys are posting a mixed tape each Monday with a specific confined theme. This weeks theme is musicans who have written songs about other musicians. How can you go wrong with The Muslims, David Bowie, R Kelly and Pavement on the same mix?

Monday, July 06, 2009

Win 2 Tickets to Josh Ritter's Show TOMORROW!

Hey guys -- this might seem a little last minute, but if you're interested in checking out Josh Ritter's show at The Beachland Ballroom tomorrow evening then. . .

Leave a comment (or email with the musician and/or band that you feel most influenced Ritter's music. The response that we feel is most accurate and creative will be awarded with two tickets to the show*

Pretty easy, eh? :)

{Mp3} Josh Ritter - Girl in the War
{Mp3} Josh Ritter - Roll On (live in Berlin)

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Top 5 Songs Of The Week (Happy 4th of July Edition)

[Editor's Note: mp3 Links Fixed]

On this Saturday, unlike the last couple of Saturday's, we got very little going on and that is not a bad thing at all. After all, the 4th of July should definitely be about maxing and relaxing. Today we plan to just soak up some rays, eat some good food and be thankful that we live in such a wonderful country.

Thank you to our founding fathers and Happy Birthday America! Hope everyone enjoys their holiday and our Top Five Songs of the Week!

5. (mp3) Zambri - Easier A duo comprised of two sisters (Jessica & Cristi Jo) who hail from NYC. Their sound is sassy sister electro and synth driven pop. For me, this feels straight out of 80's R&B pop. Kelly says this remind her of Venus Hum. This will make you want to get off your seat and GET DOWN!
2. (mp3) New Roman Times - Smoke In Your Disguise Are a foursome who are not fearsome, led by a husband and wife duo from Austin, Texas. They've got some great angular hooks and jangly guitars like the Airbourne Toxic Event combined with great male/female vocals. Also makes us think of Stars. Love the way they coo "your breaking my heart" -- never thought those words could sound so beautiful.
3. (mp3) The Generationals - When They Fight They Fight Are yet another duo, but this time from New Orleans who make music that is bright, cheerful, full of hand claps, horns and 60's style bass and guitar. This song is instantly catchy and thus it comes as no surprise they are on the Park The Van label, home to the awesome Dr. Dog.
2. (mp3) Cocosuma - Charlotte's On Fire This trio is from Paris. Their sound is a little bit of Air, a little bit of The Concretes and some New Order thrown in there to keep things interesting. The pretty melodies and Sing-Sing-esque vocals will woo you into a lovely pop song slumber. They have their debut American record "We'll Drive Home Backwards" coming out in August on the always great Minty Fresh label.
1. (mp3) Elizabeth & The Catapult - Taller Children This New York trio has a catchy sound that immediately brings to mind The Bird and The Bee and Feist. This is a song that works well on a nice and relaxing summer's day such as this one. They are currently on tour and coming to Cleveland on July 22nd to play a show @ The Winchester with Greg Laswell.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Ultimate (& Worthwhile) Indulgences

Throughout the past week, we both found ourselves suffering the dire consequences of eating perhaps a little too healthy for a little too long. We had hit the brick wall. We needed a reward. It was pretty obvious that our bodies were telling us to treat ourselves. Who were we to ignore the hunger pangs and cravings? Soo, treat ourselves we did ;)

If you find yourself in a somewhat similar position (plus or minus the eating healthy part, of course!), we most definitely have the cure for you. The following establishments come with the very highest of recommendations:

Valerio's La Gelateria
[The usual Stracciatella + Peanut Butter Chip for me and Coffee + Dolce de Leche for Jose]
A Cookie and a Cupcake
[The Signature Cupcake was too cute to resist and Jose is a sucker for mint chocolate combos, so the Grasshopper Cupcake was perfect. View all cupcake varieties here]
Lilly's Handmade Chocolates
[We giddily sampled the Forty Winks, Rocco, and Maui Wowie -- INCREDIBLE!]
Bonus: Lilly's has a fantastic and unique selection of wine and beer -- you can even create your own 4 or 6 packs. Hmm, decisions, decisions. . .
ps - I just realized that for some reason we haven't been posting much music. This needs to change.

[Mp3] Stellastarr* - My Coco
[Mp3] Tilly & the Wall - Poor Man's Ice Cream
[Mp3] The Owls - Peppermint Patty
[Mp3] Paul McCartney - Vanilla Sky

"Your life is fine. It's sweet and sour. Unbearable. Great. You gotta love every hour. You must appreciate." - PM