Random Photo Of The Day: "Le Flamant Rose Plastique"
photo by Lou 01/05
OK: Here it is, folks. Our little Kelly Osbourne has gone all skinny and robotic and Eurotrash on us. Wisely, she has dumped the pouty she-punk that made her debut album fun but irritating and traded it for a pleasant type of Ladytron tribute. Her new record was cooked up by the inescapable Linda Perry and some Swedish robots, or something like that. Although I suspect our dear eternal fashion-victim is guilty of a wee bit of trend-hopping (New New Wave, anyone?), this synth-overdriven sound suits her better, I think. Post-rehab Kelly is 20 now, and so she's all grown up and this sounds like it's meant to be a fresh start. It has a poor man's Giorgio Moroder vibe going on, and I love the disembodied French woman speaking during the intro. Oddly, Peter Schilling's classic lost-in-space synth ditty "Major Tom (Coming Home)" casts its shadow all over this one as well.
When I heard Kelly was going electro-pop, I had high expectations, and this track doesn't really take me all the way there. However, it's a great little pop single that grows catchier with each listen, and damn, the girl looks fantastic! The absolutely frabjous and arty-farty video leaked onto the web earlier this week but was quickly squashed by her record label, pending an official debut next month as a "Making the Video"
special on MTV, which promises to be a wonderful mega-dose of Kelliness. The album Sleeping In The Nothing hits shelves June 7.
Kelly Osbourne - One Word
MP3 7.37MB, 192kbps, 44kHz
Random Photo Of The Day: "Pony Vegas"
Photo by Patrick 03/05
She's one of the most distinctive voices in jazz. She's the Brazillian queen of lazy-day bossa-nova. She has a long, extremely disturbing rant about the Terri Schiavo nightmare here, on her official site. She's Astrud Gilberto, and today is her 65th birthday! Cheers to you, fellow Aries lady, have another snifter for me...
Astrud Gilberto - Bim Bom
MP3 2.58MB, 128kbps, 44kHz
Random Photo Of The Day: "Ling Ling vs The Blue Dollar Store Frog"
Photo treatment by Patrick 03/28/05
Rain & Romeo
I recently unearthed a box of tapes from storage filled with old mix tapes, cassette singles, thrift store finds, etc. Out of the clutter emerged this tape of wonderful Coeur d’Alene synthpop from the deep dark height of the ‘80s. I always thought these songs deserved recognition beyond the handful of people who’ve ever had a chance to hear them. Rain & Romeo was Jesse Kennedy (who I believe is still in town with his wife Dani), my friend Sre(Hello - are you out there somewhere?), and if I recall correctly Joe Dion added some guitar. I’m not exactly sure when this tape was recorded but I’d estimate it at 1987. Jesse had a real razoo synthesizer setup and a serious early Vince Clarke obsession. Sre had a lovely voice and must have been only about 16 when this was done. I tried to clean up the sound quality a bit, but unfortunately, the tape itself is beginning to disintegrate. So, in hopes of these lost-in-time mini-masterpieces finally reaching the audience they deserve I present…
Rain & Romeo - Naked Heart
MP3 2.68MB, 128kbps, 44kHz
Rain & Romeo - Shame
MP3 3.91MB, 128kbps, 44kHz
Random Photo Of The Day: "Disco Heat"
Photo by Patrick
As the pop music cycle turns, everything old is always new again. I've been hearing a lot of new music lately that pleasantly reminds me of the over-glossy synth-punk sound pioneered by Ric Ocasek and The Cars on 1980's underrated Panorama LP. There's nothing like the original, so here 'tis:
The Cars - Getting Through
MP3 3.55MB, 128kbps, 44kHz
Canton Restaurant, Coeur d'Alene, ID
It's been there as long as I can possibly remember, surviving lean times under various ownerships, some good, some bad, and some ugly. My favorite Canton story goes like this: It's kind of a had-to-be-there thing, but Brian will understand. It was the next to most recent ownership a few years back and the waitress was called Kim. She was endearingly eccentric and extremely chatty, but her grasp of the English language was still in its infancy stage, to say the least. Brian and I were sat in a sunny booth by the window, our usual spot. It seems like it was an ungodly hot day and we were both nursing ungodly hangovers. When Kim returned with our water, we all gasped as we spotted an earwig writhing about on the table. "The beeeez, the beeeeeeez!" shrieked Kim as she wrestled the poor critter to death with a paper napkin. We immediately turned green.
I knew that the days of Kim and Co. were numbered when I wandered in one afternoon to order take out and was told they were out of chicken. Out of chicken? "Never Mind", I said as I relunctantly headed up the way to Chinese Gardens. Days later, the place was vacant and plastered with "For Rent" signs amid rumors of serving customers the types of animals that don't appear on the menu. I don't actually believe that, I mean the food wasn't that bad, but it still made for a heavy, dark cloud over the place that would make for a real challenge to potential new owners.
A Chinese joint never stays closed for long, and the new owner arrived in the form of a gentleman named Alex. We met Alex when he first reopened the place (now christened New Canton according to the take out menu), and he was our host, waiter AND chef. The food was tasty, but a wee bit on the rough side. It seemed Alex was still honing his craft. Inside, the restaurant was visibly cleaner and less cluttered, but basically the same, with those big, red, overstuffed vinyl booths, which are the most comfortable booths anywhere. A fresh coat of white paint, and a large mirror on the back wall made the place feel more open and spacious. We worried a bit when on return visits, we were inevitably the only people in the place, whether lunch or dinner, day or night.
However, on a recent visit the place was bustling and the food was seeing improvement. Kylie, our young waifish waitress, was sat us in the most comfortable booth of them all, the one with the mismatched fabrics toward the middle of the room. How did she psychically intune that this was our spot? She was clearly wise beyond her years. Cute, but a bit underdressed for the occasion in jeans and a slouchy hippie sweatshirt. She sat in an adjacent booth and proceeded to cut some kind of leafy green vegetable with the utmost of casual disdain.
The alarming downside to our favorite booth is the fact that it is sat right underneath the speaker, which was unusually loud and blasting Classy 99.9. Many people, including myself, find it hard to enjoy a hot meal to the music of Phil Collins, Michael Bolton or Martina McBride. We made our best attempts to tune it out as Kylie shuffled on up to take our order. Boldly branching out from my usual choice of Almond Chicken, I chose the Number 9 (Soup/Pork Chow Mein/Lemon Chicken/Pork Fried Rice/Egg Foo Young), with an Egg Roll to start.
Number 9 Before Number 9 After
The soup was quite excellent in flavor and thickness, but I'm always a little sad when these places decide they have to ruin a good Egg Flower soup with the dreaded frozen mixed vegetables. A lima been should not appear in this context, I firmly believe. The Egg Roll was cooked to perfection, a feat which I hadn't seen here yet, and I almost choked when I loaded it up with their hot mustard, which is normally bland, but was replaced with something quite pungent. Whew! Excellent way to clear the sinuses. The main course was done in perfectly adequate fashion, but I can't say I was over the moon. The main problem was that the lemon chicken was all lemon and no chicken, with only a few gnarled chunks emerging from the slightly overcooked breading and sea of sweet lemon goo. The gravy on the Egg Foo Young was great though, and provided a nice saltiness to counterbalance the tart lemon. The chow main was fresh and wildly edible, but offered nothing out of the ordinary, and slightly suffered from not having enough crunchy noodles under there. Unable to finish (unlike Lou, who never leaves behind so much as even one lowly grain of rice on his plate), I dropped my chopsticks to the tune of Berlin's "Take My Breath Away" and sighed with fullness and Kylie delivered our check and fortune cookies. As I approached the counter to pay, I noticed a smiling Alex waving "Hello" at me from the kitchen, and I gave him the thumbs up.
Overall, I will say that Canton offers probably the best Chinese meal in Coeur d'Alene, but the competition doesn't give it much of a fight. Sadly, it remains true that to experience the best in Chinese cuisine, one must head west to the Chinese Restaurant Mecca of Spokane. But, in a pinch, the Canton restaurant will always do the trick, and with much pleasure.
Food: 7.5/10 Ambience: 6/10
Random Photo of the Day: "Yvonne"
Photo treatment by Patrick 01/05
The Mountain Goats
In a crazy, confusing world of post-punk revivals, nu disco, electronic experimentalists and other trendy-wendy whatever genres, it can be so totally refreshing to hear some music that is straight forwardly uncluttered and brilliant. Such is the case with the utterly thrilling new album from 4AD's The Mountain Goats, The Sunset Tree, which is released in late April.
Here is a band, who for many years consisted of one person (the genius-like Mr. John Darnielle) recording his acoustic guitar led ramblings into a sketchy-ass boombox and calling them albums. Since signing to 4AD several years back, the music of Mr. Darnielle has gotten progressively more glossy and polished, and The Sunset Tree is surely his finest work yet. As per usual, lyrically Darnielle wears his autobiography on his sleeve, and the general theme this time around seems to take a step back from the last Mountain Goats album We Shall All Be Healed, which excellently reminisced about the singer's drug-addled twenty-something years. On The Sunset Tree, he seems to reflect on many of the events of his youth and relate them to his many current exhaustive predicaments, with completely entrancing results. Many Mountain Goats fans love them so much because Darnielle's lyrical and vocal approach are so personal that it often feels like he is singing directly to you about your life. There's something always so essential and completely addictive about this band, and The Sunset Tree is one of the best albums of 2005.
MP3 5.33 MB, 192 kbps, 44 kHz
Random Photo Of The Day: "Algaeism"
This classically trained young Irish goth comes on at times a bit like Martin L. Gore fronting This Mortal Coil. It's a classic and comforting sound to me, the sound of Britain in the early '80s. Not to say that Wolf's music is retro at all - he clearly has his pointy black shoe rooted firmly in the present, where laptop beats meet traditional folk/classical instrumentation. Lyrically, Wolf seems to be a fan of PJ Harvey and Nick Cave, treading the darker waters of storytelling. His 2nd full album Wind In The Wires is an amazing piece of work, giving Wolf the space to stretch and show of his multi-instrumentalist talents, full of dark, moody chamber pop.
Amazingly, he began releasing his homemade 4-track recordings at the age of 14 and today, at the ripe old age of 21 he has been making the critics drool throughout Europe, and has been catching the more finely tuned ears of America as well. His music is a perfect example of what can be done with a laptop computer, a million random musical instruments, and a great voice. It's delicious and intoxicating like a blackberry-vodka smoothie.
Patrick Wolf - Teignmouth
MP3 6.64MB, 192kbps, 44kHz
Random Photo Of The Day: "How Much Is That Gun-Toting, Chair Holding Dominatrix Robot In The Window?"
Photo by Patrick, Gallery across from Canton Restaurant, 4th St, CDA, 03/22/05
Glamour To Kill
Herederos del punk de Iggy Pop, de la estética glam del mejor Bowie y de la contundencia sónica del rock industrial alemán, Glamour to Kill crean letras audaces y mordaces que, tras su aparente frivolidad, esconden toda una descripción social.
Los creadores del album Musik Pour The Ratas están curtidos en muchas batallas: Luis Miguelez, guitarrista y productor, comienza a dar sus primeros pasos con Almodóvar y MacNamara, Pegamoides, Dinarama, Metálicos, Fangoria (es el autor de la canción “El cielo se abrió” que Alaska y Nacho Canut interpretan en directo)...así hasta producir Rock Station, de McNamara, uno de los discos más bailados de nuestra época. La inconfundible marca de Miguelez, caracterizada por potentes guitarras, ritmos bailables, estética glam-rock y actitud punk encontró por fin su sitio en Berlin, al lado del performer, cantante y modelo Antonio Glamour.
(información cortesía de Subterfuge)
Glamour To Kill - Clone Fashion
MP3 6.68MB, 192 kbps, 44 kHz
Random Photo of the Day: "Monitor #7"
Photo by Patrick, NIC Boswell Hall Rm. 113, 01/05
I wasn't totally over the moon about Garbage
's last one Beautifulgarbage
a few years back, but if this single is an early indication, thier new album Bleed Like Me
should be a masterpiece. Butch Vig
's creative production work turns an ordinary pop song into delicious, morphine-coated hard candy
. He fills the track with mind-numbingly catchy start-stop riffs that sound like they were cut-and-pasted randomly. Shirley Manson
's vocal lines rip and snarl like a hungry pussycat
: "You're driving me cray-zay!" It's a one of those riff-happy, crunchy moments in pop music that sends shivers up your spine because it's just too perfect, and as soon as the song ends you wanna hear it again. It's like Blondie
meets grunge rock on steroids. This song seems to be stirring up quite a buzz already, and it deserves to be a huge hit. Move over Ashlee
, you untalented little twit. Shirley's back to show you how it should be done...
MP3 6.53MB, 196kbps, 44kHz
Random Photo Of The Day: "Fresh Christa & Frosty Kokanee"
Photo by Patrick 01/05 - Mik-n-Mac's Karaoke Monday Nights 9PM
Moog (Richard Hayman)
I know I'm quite a few hipster cycles behind on this one, but lately I've developed a fetish for vintage Moog synthesiser recordings from the late 60's and early '70's. Most of these are similar in sound regardless of the artist credted to the track. Multiple layers of farty monosynth Moog eruptions over a backdrop of go-go drums and occasional funk bass. Usually, these records are full of unimaginably bizzare covers of current (at the time) pop hits. I have found some of these albums to be delightful as background music for studying and for just relaxing, as they are primarily instrumental and oddlly hypnotic. Do a Google search for a history of Robert Moog and his wonderful invention, it's quite interesting. Of course, good luck finding original vinyl copies - they were snatched up by collectors when the Moog revival first kicked in in the mid-late 90's. However, quite a few have seen light of day on CD and can be found here and there; or you enter "moog" into your favorite P2P software and see what comes up. Here's a charming Moog cover of a classic Bacharach tune...
Richard Hayman - The Look Of Love
MP3 3.69MB, 128kbps, 44kHz
Random Photo Of The Day: "The Pink Disco Chix"
Photo treatment by Patrick, Mik-n-Mac's Lounge, CDA, 03/05
50 Foot Wave
50 Foot Wave is my new favorite band. Kristin Hersh has risen from the burning embers of Throwing Muses, a band which was her baby for over 20 years. That band pioneered a unique college rock sound, emerging in 1986 along with the Pixies from Boston and becoming the first US act signed to British art-rock label 4AD. After 10 albums, and several failed major label driven attempts at the mainstream, the band finally ran out of steam, and Kristin focused on her solo career for several years, releasing a series of haunting classic albums (Hips and Makers, Strange Angels, Sky Motel, Sunny Border Blue, The Grotto) all of which rank extremely high on my favorite-albums-ever-o-meter.
Still on 4AD with her new band 50 Foot Wave, Ms. Hersh has decided to revisit her punk rock roots, and record an album that rocks harder than anything she's ever done, and probably harder than anything else out there on the current rock music scene. Golden Ocean immediately grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go until the last track, gently easing you back to reality. I've read a couple of reviews of this record suggesting similarities with Nirvana, and that's a fair comparison considering that Kurt Cobain was a big fan of the early Throwing Muses records, and Kristin Hersh was a Nirvana fan as well, as evidenced by her solo cover of "Pennyroyal Tea". This album occupies the same harrowing brain space as Cobain, slightly asphyxiating but slightly amusing as well.
Hersh is an excellent and witty lyricist, although you can't understand much here, with everything turned up to 11. It's worth visiting their website and reading the lyrics. The fact that the sound is so overdriven blurs a lot of the intricate details normally associated with Kristin Hersh, but that's what makes this different than a Throwing Muses record. It's a proverbial Monster of Rock and not ashamed of that fact in the slightest. Kristin is finally able to let her big balls hang out, and the result is absolutely stunning and extremely addictive. This album deserves to be huge, so spread the word: 50 Foot Wave is here to rock!
50 Foot Wave - Bone China
MP3 3.41MB, 192kbps, 44kHz
Random Photo Of The Day: "It Ain't Easy Being Green"
Photo treatment by Patrick 03/17/05
In honor of St. Paddy's day here's a traditional Irish drinking song, which I really like because it has the same essential message as every other Irish drinking song: Everyone get drunk! Hey!
Let the green beer flow...
The Dubliners - Whiskey, You're The Devil
MP3 2.06MB, 128 Kbps, 44 KHz
Random Photo of the Day: "Rainy Day CDA"
Photo treatment by Patrick 03/05 (click for larger image)
Adult. are quite serious about the idea of Electropunk. I wouldn't go so far as to say they invented the genre on thier 2003 album Anxiety Always but they perfected it. And on thier new Thrill Jockey EP D.U.M.E. they take the idea a step further into darker, gothier territories. Nicola Kuperus' voice will always remind me of an '80's era of paranoid she-punk best represented by trash-classic films Breaking Glass and Liquid Sky. Adult. have been working more traditional guitar and bass into the mix, something that I was initially leary about since I really loved thier pure electro sound ("Hand to Phone", "Nausea"). But I love the new sound too, Adam Lee Miller's guitar work is so wonderfully angular in quintessential New Wave fashion. The EP was recorded onto tape the old-fashioned way, no digital equipment allowed, and it really has that gritty grimy sound heard on classic recordings from the early Human League/Gary Numan era. In fact, I'm convinced they somehow must have gotten a hold of the original goth drum machine- Doktor Avalanche, formerly of Sisters of Mercy. However, Adult. aren't just all about retro at all. They manage to take bits from that era to create something entirely unique and futuristic in it's own way. Fantastic. (And don't forget the period.)
MP3 5.61MB, 192 kbps, 44 kHz
Random Photo of the Day: "Speed Bleed"
photo by Patrick, Mik-n-Mac's Lounge, CDA, 03/05
Endlich! Drei Jahre nach dem Welterfolg von Musique Automatique schenkt uns das Berliner Duo Stereo Total mit Do the Bambi einen neuen Einblick in seine musikalische Seelenzustände :
wütend in "Ne m'appelle pas ta biche" oder "Cannibale", in herrlicher Diskolaune bei "Babystrich", von Elektrosternen getroffen bei einem "Mars Rendezvous" mit Jacno, durch "Partymädchen, gefoltert" halluziniert, Anhänger der Freikörperkultur in "Ich bin Nackt", erschreckend scharfsinnig in "La douce humanité", außer sich vor Liebe in "Das erste Mal" oder "Hunger" und Kinofreunde in "Cinémania" oder "Vive le week-end", einem der vier Titel, die ursprünglich als Live-Begleitung für den Jean-Luc Godard-Films "Weekend" komponiert wurden.
Insgesamt 19 Stücke innerhalb 55 atemloser Minuten, in ihrer Essenz treu zum Eklektizismus, welcher die Magie dieser Band ausmacht. Komisch, nicht rührselig, spielerisch, sich nichts über die eigene Attitüde und die durch Huldigungen an die Musikgeschichte tausendfach beglichene Schuld vormachend, verkündet Stereo Total nur eins: "Musik ist unsere Freundin", wie Françoise Cactus, unumstrittene Königin der "Partys anticonformistes" hier und anderswo, es im vorletzten Stück des neuen Albums singt. Dort geht es darum, unter die Erde zu gehen, um Musik zu hören und zu den Beats zu tanzen, das Gesetz der Stille (und der Stile) ignorierend. Underground, wenn du uns in deinen Bann ziehst ... (Sowieso, wozu Britney Spears werden, wenn man am Ende Menschen dazu animiert, G.W. Bush wählen zu gehen).
Zitieren wir zur Erinnerung einige kurze Auszüge aus dem "Handwörterbuch der Gattungen und weiterer semantischer Konstrukte", das durch die fünf vorherigen Alben seit der Entstehung von Stereo Total entstand, die sich mit "Do the Bambi" ein schönes Geschenk zu ihrem 10. Geburtsjahr machen : «40% Chanson, 20% R'n'R, 10% Punkrock, 3% DAF-Sequenzer, 4% Jacques Dutronc-Rhythmique, 7% Brigitte Bardot and Serge Gainsbourg, 1,5% Cosmonaute, 10% really old synthesizers, 10% 8-bit Amiga-sampling, 10% transistor amplifier, 1% really expensive and advanced instruments» ... «Yéyétronic, electropunky, kitsch & speed, sissilistening, bricolopop, Berliner juke-box» ... «a minimalistic production (in a positive sense), meaning a home-made-trash-garage-sound crossed with underground, authentic as well as amateurish, ironic as well as effective, pop as well as ... political.»
Und dazu kommt, dass die Kinder (und die Punker und die jungen Modistinnen und die Träumerinnen und Träumer jeder Sorte und aller Länder) diese Musik lieben. Also Vorsicht, das Bambi aus dem Titel soll nicht missverstanden werden. Die Play-guitar-&-synthesizer-for-the-children-Melodien von Brezel Göring sind zu speed und zu zerrissen, das zerbrechliche Puppenhafte an Françoise Cactus' Stimme gehorcht zu gern einem tobenden "noisy" Rhythmus, um einer Arlequin-Verdummung oder einer hübsch verpackten rosa Bibliothek zu dienen, die gerade ausreichen würden, die rebellische japanische Jugend zum Schmelzen zu bringen oder die Zuhörer aus den USA oder Deutschland lächeln zu lassen wegen des "french touch". Rock'n'roll will never die! Und hören wir die Lyrics, dort ist die Traurigkeit à la Sagan, die Wut tatsächlich à la Godard, und der Kummer der Liebe flirtet stets mit seinem Glück.
Und wie erklären uns Stereo Total selbst ihr Album? "Nach dem Cover zu urteilen ist es eine Mischung aus Kitsch und Kaputtsein. Die Platte beschäftigt sich intensiv mit Filmgeschichte und Liebessehnsucht. Do the Bambi bedeutet soviel wie "Zeig deine schönen Augen unter deinen langen Wimpern und rette mich aus dem Inferno meines Egos und der tristen gemeinen Welt!"
Was die Band während all diesen Aufnahmen dachte: "Die Platte wird besser, wenn man jedes Lied mitpfeifen kann". Pfeift ihr darauf oder pfeift ihr mit?
MP3 3.48MB, VBR, 44kHz
Random Photoshop of the Day: "Blue Light Special"
photoshop by Patrick for Fark.com 03/13/05
My gizzy is all a-twirl today since I read on Pitchfork about Rhino's next batch of Cure re-issues which come out next month. Deluxe, 2-CD sets of Seventeen Seconds, Faith, and Pornography, packed with bonus material such as live tracks, demos, and totally unreleased tracks. This is pretty much my favorite era of Cure music, dark and brooding, always appealing to my inner teenager. I can't wait to get these beauties in my hot little mitts, basically. In the meantime, here's a great track I found while lurking over at the Cure fansite A Chain Of Flowers last week. It's a surprisingly good homemade remix of one of my favorite classsics from Pornography (1982). Usually homemade remixes posted on fan sites are not so hotso, but this person obviously put a lot of effort into it and completely redoes the music, even going so far as to somehow extract a clean vocal take from a Cure live DVD, or something like that. Anyway, it sounds fresh as yesterday's blood oranges...
MP3 4.98MB, 192kbps, 44kHz
Random Photo of the Day: "Dyke Road"
photo by Patrick 11/04
Here's four Spokane boys who can put together quite a racket. This tune sounds a bit like a mid-60's era Mick Jagger fronting the Pixies, with an ever-so-slightly cheesy metal guitar solo. It's a drunken Spokane punk classic. My suggestion to these boys is to find a producer who can capture their live energy better. There are some studio recordings posted on their well-designed website, but they drained all the life and energy out of the songs. If they stick with the raw, live psychobilly sound they capture so well on this track, they might be able to accomplish the rare act of rising above the Spokane scene and making a name for themselves. Singer Geoff Doolittle (Pixies album title - coincidence?) seems possessed by the ghost of rock and roll past, and that can't be a bad thing. If you like what you hear, go check them out at Fat Tuesdays on Saturday, March 19.
MP3 5.15 MB, VBR, 44kHz
Random Photo of the Day: "Driving Me Sideways"
photo by Patrick 02/05
MP3 2.49MB, 128kbps, 44kHz
Noodle Express, Hayden, ID
301 W. Prairie Ave Suite P
Hayden , ID 83835
Noodle Express is the fast-n-quick division of a longtime favorite of mine, The Mustard Seed. Thinking about the Mustard Seed brings back fond childhood memories of expansive holiday shopping treks to downtown Spokane, popping into the Bon Marche, the Crescent, B. Dalton Booksellers, DJ's Records and the rest of the lost great Skywalk shops of a long-gone '80s vintage era. These shopping trips would always end with a delicious meal at the Mustard Seed across from the Opera House (a location which has also sadly gone the way of the dodo.) I always ordered the same thing, which I had to order because it was my total favorite and nothing else would quite cut it: Maui Chicken. I still order it on those rare occasions I find myself at the valley Mustard Seed.
Thankfully, with the opening of Noodle Express clear on the dark side of the Prairie Shopping Center out in Hayden, I can live my Maui Chicken fantasy life whenever I want, and on a budget. Actually, for simplicity's sake they have rechristened it "Sweet and Sour Chicken" here at the Express, but I swear it is the same exact thing. Wonderful chunks of white meat chicken breast coated in that delicate-melt in your mouth tempura batter, then deep fried to perfection in oil that always seems just-changed. The glaze is just the right amount of tart and is accompanied by pineapple chunks. Served in a bowl with white sticky rice and the Seed's trademark asian vegetable salad, it's a real bargain at only $5.95 a pop. I could also afford an egg roll, which was small but again deep-fried perfectly and served with a wonderful plum dipping sauce. Lou tore through his Teriyaki Bowl in seconds flat, so it must have been OK as well.
The decor inside this Noodle Express is actually quite impressive. It's a generic sort-of Pan Asian look that might have been cooked up on some late night HGTV interior design show. Lots of natural woods and bamboos and faux-burlap wallpaper adds to the effect. Our waitress was friendly, but gave us a mild letdown when she teased our starving tummies by heading over with a steaming tray of food only to realize at the last second it was for another table and headed off in another direction. Oh well, our food finally arrived several minutes later and was worth the wait.
Maybe it was just the slow part of the day, but I got the feeling the place was a little overstaffed as there were hordes of staff hovering around challenging each other with trivia questions about the '80s music that was piping over the radio. Everyone seemed stumped when the song "Oh Girl" came on, and I wanted to shout "Paul Young!" but I couldn't pull myself out of my Maui Chicken bliss.
Rating: Ambience: 7/10 Food 8/10
Random Photo of the Day: "LouBones RedBlur"
photo by Patrick 02/05
This lost-forever-in-time gem from somewhere in the '80's was originally posted last month over at Bumrocks. However, they provided no info about who is Art Interface and I had to know more. Yet, a Google search brought up only a handful of entries, including a discography revealing that they were the sole act on If Records, which was based out of Ohio, and that they had a total of three releases, including the wonderfully titled album Great Big World of Noise and Shit. Otherwise, a total mystery act.(If anyone has any further information about this band, please share.) As you may already know by now, I love unexplainably obscure music from this era. So, I present to you the 1983 lead single release from said album...
Art Interface - Secretaries From Heaven
3.72 MB, 128kbps, 44kHz
Random Photo Of The Day: "Whatever Happened To Miss Dolly?"
photo by Lou 02/05
Erasure, to me, is like a big warm comfortable sweater that I've been wearing for years. It might be a little out of fashion, but I don't really care and I wear it all the time still anyway because it's my favorite. Vince and Andy have been putting out the same kind of cozy synthpop for many years now, in fact thier latest, Nightbird, is album number 13! I remember riding the bus up to The Long Ear in 1985 (it was before I was even old enough to drive!) to buy Erasure's first album Wonderland when it came out. Now, 20 years later I showed up at the Long Ear to buy Nightbird as soon as it came out. Who would have thought? Anyway, I also recently purchased thier Hits DVD with all thier wonderful, crazy, campy videos and live performances and interviews. It's over 6-hours long and is Erasure manna from heaven for any fan. Highly recommended, indeed. Anyway, just to be different, here is a recent instrumental B-side (of "Breathe") which is short, but very sweet.
Erasure - Mr. Gribber And His Amazing Cat
MP3 3.73MB, 128kbps, 44mHz
Random Photo of the Day: "Incidental Appleway"
photomontage by Patrick 03/05
The gorgeous arrangement seems like an homage to 60's girl-group era Bacharach. Then, the 'la la la la woah-woah's kick in followed by some vintage synth bits, and I am taken back to Distant Plastic Trees era Magnetic Fields. Throw in a pinch of early Belle and Sebastian for good measure. The echo-drenched female voice sighs beautifully in English and French. It has actual ducks quacking in the backgound of the intro and at the end! Actual ducks! I'm just trying to fill space here since I know nothing at all about the Brunettes other than they are from New Zealand and they make absolutely classic catchy bubblegum pop as evidenced by this 2002 gem:
MP3 4.65MB, 128kbps
Random Photo of the Day: "Satanic Madonna"
photo by Lou 02/05
The new Sleater-Kinney LP The Woods has leaked out onto the net, and this is a first taster of the "new direction" we've heard the girls are heading in since jumping labels from Kill Rock Stars to Sub Pop. It's totally bananas! A lick of feedback and we go flying head-first into a wall of fuzz guitar and crashing drums. It's kind of a trip back in time to the days when they might have called this kind of thing "grunge." It's a heady swirl of punk and psychedelia, and in the girls' hands it manages to sound fresh and vital, not retro. Corrine's vocals are sharp and biting as ever, but without as much "bark", something that has turned a few people I know off from liking the Portland trio in the past. Actually, Sleater-Kinney allude to a variety of different sounds (grunge ballad, motown stomp, 80s hard rock) on The Woods, managing not to repeat anything they've recorded in the past, but still retaining thier signature sound. It's a little different, but still another instant classic from my all-time favorite Northwest punk trio!
Sleater-Kinney - The Fox
MP3 4.71MB, 192 kbps
Random Photo of the Day: "Peek-A-Bowie"
photo by Lou 2/05
Phew...I'm pooped. I worked the all-night shift last night but felt compelled to drink rum and lemonade when I got home at 7AM. I finally got to listen to the Swivek single for "Debbie Doesn't" I got in the mail yesterday, and was turned on by the crazy-fab Tiki Lab remixes. So, I decided to point my displaced early-morning drunken energy toward the pursuit of a Swivek remix. Swivek, of course, is our dearest Brad down in West Hollywood whose latest album "Happiness Is Hard" is a Brad classic. I suggest you investigate his website and dig deeper into the wild world of Swivek. Anyway, I finished this remix about 15 minutes ago now I'm off to dreamyland...
MP3 4.35MB, 128 kbps
Random Photo of the Day: "Kittyface in Orange Fur Shocker!"
photo by Lou 02/05
This is the kind of organic electronics that you can feel rumbling through your lower intestine until perhaps, a trip to the little boys/little girls lounge becomes neccesary. Absolutely brilliant! I heard this track on BBC Radio 1's OneMusic with my man Rob da Bank and swiftly located it for immediate download. It's the ghost of early Human League drinking vodka jellies with the Aphex Twin after a night full of too much cake and candy. Who is this so-called Nathan Fake? I have no idea, and his website, although well-designed reveals little. Here is his bio as quoted in its entirety: "Nathan Fake was born and brought up in Norfolk, England and now resides in Reading. He has been playing and writing music since he was a young teenager. Now at twenty-one years old, Nathan's first record "Outhouse" was released in November 2003 on Border Community. He is not a DJ, never has been and probably never will be."
Good enough. His music speaks for itself.
MP3 5.48MB, 192 kbps, 44kHz
Random Photo of the Day: "555"
photo by Lou 02/25/05
As Prince & Sheena would say: she's got that look. She recorded a B-side with The Strokes. Plus, she was on some MTV new music doodad I saw the other day. Yes, normally that would make me a little weary, but check this one out: she's good. She's apparently Russian by nature, not terribly original (Tori Amos meets PJ Harvey meets Bjork?), but she just has that something that makes me think the kid is going places. I haven't had a chance to absorb her album Soviet Kitsch in it's entirety yet, but at least this lovely and hypnotic track is worth keeping:
Regina Spektor - The Flowers
MP3 5.38MB 160kbps
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