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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Thanksgiving Day 2011

Coney Island, Prince Punk, and a Bottle of Bourbon

Liberate Yourself From Tradition 

I Dreamed I Dream

by Sonic Youth

Now!


Sentenced to Slow Death


Spirits Reveal Demons

 


Dangling Puppets


Poor Man’s Art

 


Organized Crime


Unprotected


Daydreaming in Shades of Grey

FYI Lingerie Brunch with Dani Read

Who: FYI Lingerie Designer, Dani Read

What: A Lingerie Fitting, Brunch

Where: FYI Studio, (Bushwick)

When: Sunday, December 4, 2011

J’ai roulé toute la nuit

Dani on Guitar

Maria in Baratta Gloves

Lorna In Polly Bra

Meow

Ready for Combat

Take No Prisoners

FYI: Women are Weapons, Dress Yourself as Such.”

Down Underground

Gaz Gaz

Gaz Gaz

The Liminanas

The Liminanas

Wild.Bore!

What’s Good

Coptic Cross Streets

Paix

Wild.

Bore!

Word Up

In The Press

4 Eva


Shanghai Mermaid Party in Morocco

An underground soiree by Juliette Campbell

Snake Charmers

Tamborines & Drums

Tamar Korn

Tamar Korn & Grand Street Stompers

Swanky Couples

Claire & Her Two Dates

Israel

Photographers in Suits

 

Classy Studs

Carly Sioux

 

Backstage

Jeniviva Mia, Backstage

Backstage Dancers

THE LOOM: GOLD INSIDE A FOXHOLE

Words by Kristina Ensminger

Who: The Loom

What: Opening act for BOBBY on a short Northeast tour

Where: Mercury Lounge – New York, NY

When: December 3, 2011

Part of being a professional music fan is getting your hands dirty; if you want to find the scattered pieces of gold hidden in the refuse, you’re going to have to rummage through the trash. But the thrill of uncovering a new band is what keeps you digging, and when that discovery comes in the form of an exhilarating live set, it doesn’t get much better. I heard about The Loom from a friend who books loft shows in Brooklyn as a part of her underground supper club, Whisk & Ladle, so we arrived early to check them out.

The five-piece used more than 10 instruments in their set, but the textures were woven together so seamlessly that it never felt overwhelming. Frontman John Fanning was on lead vocals, guitar, banjo and ukulele. Dan DeSloover racked up some Jimmy Page bonus points and rocked the electric bass/bow combination. Vocalist/keyboardist/percussionist Sarah Renfro—the replacement for Sydney Price, who left the band shortly after the band recorded their debut LP, Teeth (Crossbill Records)—alternated between the mic, the keys and various percussion instruments, including an extra floor tom that she pounded in a mesmerizing, trance-like state. Lis Rubard was a one-woman horn section, with a trumpet and a French horn that she ran through a delay pedal; and drummer Jon Alvarez was relentless, only stopping long enough to stand for full-band vocal harmonies.

Their live show had the remarkable combination of studio quality sound, captivating energy, and a cohesive group dynamic. They opened with the sparse “Song for the Winter Sun” from their self-released EP, At Last Light, and then dove into the frenetic, percussive rhythms of “The Middle Distance.”  The battle between calm and manic and the contrast of folk harmonies and electric dissonance were pleasantly jarring. Fanning’s songwriting prowess was clear from the outset.  His storytelling skills were less grandiose than Colin Meloy, and his lyrics were more optimistic than Spencer Krug, but equally earnest. There are hints of Krug in Fanning’s vocals as well, particularly in the chants of my personal favorite, “With Legs” (Trade winds and the lion’s share / White teeth and your golden hair / Your sure hands and your pedigree / Your wet wings in the dampened leaves).

The Loom will hit SXSW and embark on an extended West Coast tour next spring, and according to Fanning, their second album is anxiously waiting in the wings—all of the songs are written and about half of them are arranged. This is definitely a band you should catch live; but in the meantime, grab their record and cozy up for a sonic staycation with the tightly knit layers and radiant textures of Teeth.

Catch A Tiger By His Toe

Need Cash?

Ladies, are you broke, single, and desperate— living paycheck to paycheck with out knowing what the next month will bring? Being a bachelorette is only cute until about 25, then it’s Spinster City. Well, never fear because you, too, can live (a woman’s version of) The American Dream. Around every corner is a handsome Prince who’s just waiting to blow his inheritance on you (in exchange for a little something on the side). It’s so easy and all it takes is a little pimping and primping. Knowing when to put out and when to hold out will serve you well, so follow my advice and you will be living vicariously through someone else’s status in no time!

Fix-Up

Never (ever) leave the house with out having your lips on and your eyebrows drawn. Red lips are a signifier of your sexual availability, so wear it well. Choose garments that flatter your best attribute. If ever in doubt, a push-up bra and low cut top will solve everything— temporarily. Tall and thin? Then try a skirt short enough to catch his eye but long enough to let him know that you mean business and will hold out until he’s sealed the deal. Dresses are also a great investment, but if you absolutely insist on wearing jeans, make sure they are well-fitted…but easy enough to remove.

Some Day My Prince Will Come

Hunting Season has officially started! Ladies let me remind you that this is a competition and there are three floozies to every one street corner on Fifth Avenue, all hunting the same game. For the best results, try lingering in front of your favorite high-end retail store looking helpless. When your potential Prince approaches close enough that you can smell his Armani cologne, this is your cue to strike hard. Give him your best bedroom eyes and reel him in with suggestive body language. Try dropping your keys— especially if you are wearing a mini skirt. Remember, it’s not prostitution if you are exchanging favors for gifts…unless the favor is anal sex…in which you are a filthy whore.

 Wild Boar Galore.

Play your card right and your new life could be overflowing with Wild Boar,  champagne cocktails, and overpriced panties! Remember, you are only as good as the man you are sleeping with, so aim high and ward away deadbeats. It’s your only hope to move up in this world (unless you go to school, educate yourself, get a job, and make your own money). Diamonds are a girls best friend because “men grow cold as girls grow old” so make sure to get that ice while you still got the goods.

BOBBY: WILD SOULS OF FOAM

Words by Kristina Ensminger

 

Who: BOBBY

What: First headlining show in NYC

Where: Mercury Lounge – New York, NY

When: December 3, 2011

The first time I listened to BOBBY’s self-titled lucid-dream-pop debut (Partisan Records), I was on a 14-hour train ride from New York City to Montreal. It was the perfect introduction—experiencing the album in the same setting in which it was written and recorded: isolated, surrounded by nature, observing the world vicariously (my filter was the Amtrak window; Tom Greenberg’s was the imaginary ghost of BOBBY—the protagonist who serves as the band’s inspiration and the spirit through which the music speaks). When the echoing apologies of “The Shed” faded out, I started the album over and returned to the spectral “We Saw.” And then I did it again. And again. And again.

Although I was instantly hooked by the polyrhythmic textures and artful lyrics, it wasn’t until repeat round 10 or 15 that I truly understood what was so engaging (er, addictive). This album can’t be chopped up into marketable mp3 morsels for the A.D.D. generation; it was designed for an excavation. The more I listened, the more I found myself digging deeper into the music, mentally dusting off the edges of each song, and finding it almost impossible to put down my brush. With every listen, another intricate treasure was exposed…distant echoes, brief percussive accents, tiny shards of sound.

Of the original seven members of BOBBY—which included Mountain Man’s Molly Erin Sarle, who sang on the record, and later bandmate Amelia Randall Meath, who toured in her place—only three remain. The current four-piece consists of frontman/guitarist Tom Greenberg, multi-instrumentalist Paolo Menuez, drummer/boy wonder Martin Zimmermann, and the newest addition, Maia Friedman, on vox and keys. The current lineup feels more cohesive onstage and the depth and breadth of BOBBY’s sound remains, despite the lower head count.

After wrapping up a West Coast tour with Little Scream, BOBBY returned to the Mercury Lounge (after a stellar set opening for Mountain Man this summer) for their first headlining show in New York. When the band took the stage, a warm red hue turned the leaves of the lush kick drum fern a desiccate brown, just in time for the opening strums of “It’s Dead Outside.” The energy of the crowd was palpable and the band’s reciprocation was evident. Greenberg sat in his signature stage chair in socks (and an Andy Warhol wig left over from Halloween), and everything about the performance felt more comfortable and more personal than their previous sets.

Rather than trying to recreate the album, the band took the studio skeleton of each song and fleshed out a new live form; the result was a raw, bloody-knuckled version of the original—less refined, but more potent. The live version of “Ginger (Water Birth)” was much darker live, building into a chaotic crescendo of Pole Position engine revs, screams, moans, bass drum thumps and cymbal rattles. In addition to the old favorites, they played two new songs, one of which featured Menuez belting out incredibly strong backup vocals and facing off with Friedman in a surround sound bird battle of alternating “hoo” chirps. The new material feels more tailored to fit the four-piece, and their sophomore effort, which they’re currently writing, doesn’t seem to be retracing any of the steps they laid on their debut. After their most rousing performance yet, at least in my handful of experiences, the drum fern returned to its original green glow, and the ghost of BOBBY lingered in the form of a lone Warhol wig on Greenberg’s wooden chair.

Madeleine L’Engle believed that a good piece of literature never has to convince you to believe in it or agree with it.  I feel the same way about a good album. And it’s not my intention to coerce you into believing in BOBBY, although I think you should. Like most objects of greatness, it’s difficult to explain what qualifies it as such; but like all great albums, it simply is.

My Pete Campbell Fantasy Date

Meet Giles

Location: East Village, NYC.

Origin: Stockholm, Sweden.

Occupation: Philanthropist in Training.

Hobbies: Sex, collecting airline safety instruction cards, and Crossfit

How We Met: I was introduced to Giles and six other Swedes at Carnagie Hall.

Interesting Facts: Although Giles is straight, he has made out with more guys than me. In Sweden, Giles had a sex blog and studied Swedish Massage. Oh yeah— his family also put the “Goodman” in Bergdorf Goodman.

The Date

Intrigued by my dating column, Giles asked if he too could be objectified and take me out for a night. Normally I decline date proposals, but I decided to accept his challenge because he had a Pete Campbell allure about him (“Pete Campbell” bonus points) and I too was intrigued by his online “column.” We met at the fountain in Washington Square Park and took a leisurely stroll. Giles had a full agenda lined up for the evening. Our first destination was Robataya, a festive Japanese restaurant that serves your meal on enormous wooden paddles. I was so excited about the paddles and the promise land of photo opps they would provide, until we arrived and discovered that Robataya doesn’t allow photography (“Photo Restriction” deduction points). In their defense, flashing cameras are a distraction to the sushi chefs who are working with razor-sharp knives. I politely put down my camera—and a glass of Yamazaki—but not before quickly snagging a photo of me kissing a fish.

Kiss A Fish & Make A Wish

Gilesson

Hanging Tough

Well Suited for a Dive Bar

Giles was a bit camera shy but I had just the remedy for that. After dinner we headed to Death and Company for some choice cocktails and to get a little more comfortable. Unfortunately the bar was at capacity, so we needed a plan B. I thought it would be much more fun to have a drink in a total dump since we were all suited-up, so we ducked into a dive bar and ordered mixed drinks (instead of cocktails). The medicine worked almost immediately, as alcohol has a placebo effect. Giles became noticeably more relaxed with my camera —now we were getting somewhere. Being the great story teller he is, Giles shared with me epic tales about a Great-Great Uncle who had “business” with the likes of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara and about a distant cousin who married the crown of Spain. He recounted some wild adventures in Tully, Australia, where he had to choose between a river full of crocodiles or the belligerent locals who wanted to make him and his friends “Squeal like pigs.” So Dangerous…I was captivated.

Elegantly Polishing A Mixed Drink

On The Rocks

Bottoms Up


Later That Night

Things loosened up just in time for our Grand Finale at Casa Mezcal for a little burlesque night cap. By this point we had been walking from the West Village to the East Village and all over the Lower East Side. Normally I love to go for long walks but tonight I wore heels. Giles is considerably shorter than me so I wanted to tower over him by wearing the highest heels I could bear (“Bad Shoe” deduction points). By the time we arrived at Casa Mezcal I was done…walking at least. Giles found me the best seat available so I could relax and enjoy the show and brought me some wine to help alleviate my discomfort (“Chivalry” bonus points). Casa Mezcal was having an off-night as the performers were only so-so at best, but regardless it was still quite a scene of odd balls, suits and liberated tits. The bar was a little drafty so Giles offered me his ($4K) Jacket to keep warm (“Chivalry” bonus points). It was getting late, so we finished our wine, hopped into a cab and called it a night.

Giles & The Crocodiles

Hmmm

The Conclusion

Pros: Is a great story teller, has a Pete Campbell Seductiveness, and is wealthy.

Cons: Is younger, has a Pete Campbell Seductiveness, and is a Trust Fund Kid.

Giles comes from a long line of “Most Eligible Bachelors,” as he was bred to be a Gentlemen and is very experienced in the ways of the world. I am pretty sure his ancestors invented chivalry, because apparently his Great Great Grandfather also  invented Love Potion No. 9. Giles’ family is so interesting that there is even a documentary about them and their family business at Bergdorf Goodman. The list could go on and on. He owns so many bragging rights—yet Giles is modest, unpretentious and thoughtful. In addition to the fact that Giles has many tales to tell, he is also well-disciplined in the art of active listening (perhaps this why he is such a great storyteller). Although I’ve been charmed, Giles’ playboy legacy will supersede all other redeeming qualities that would make him a potential catch. However…he is hard to resist.

Nighty-Night.

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