Nicolas Jaar

Cenizas is one of the most perfect walking-around-late-at-night-with-headphones albums I've heard in a long, long time. Probably since the last Nicolas Jaar album.

Nicolas Jaar

Sirens fools you on first listen listen, as the opening track plays out like a beautifully sublime electro-acoustic Tabula Rasa, meshing field recordings and patient, ambient crescendos into glittery synth peaks. And your'e like, "Fuck yeah, this is going to be amazing." And then track 2 is, like, experimental remixed 80s highway blues rock? Like getting smacked out of a trance. And then it never quite gets back to that initial slow burn. And you're bummed and forget about it. But then you find yourself camping in a northern California river valley, miles away from anyone, on crisp October night lying on your back with the Milky Way above your head, and you give Sirens another try, and it all makes sense. Yeah, there's some weird 80s blues rock, and then there's some Latin pop, and some sort of Chris Isaac thing. But all these genre experiments are folded and inverted and osmosized through some biorobotic fugue, like waking up at 3am to the sounds of a half tuned adult contemporary radio station and not fully comprehending if you're asleep or dreaming, this depressingly rare case of an electronic artist completely transcending electronic music and simply just making music, and it's perfect.

10.22.2020 - by Steve
Talula'sAsbury Park

Some review I read had the gall—the gall—to say this cute lil bougie pizza place in the cute lil bougie downtown district of Asbury Park is maybe the best pizza on the entire east coast. The gall.

Except, shit. It might actually be?

10.22.2020 - by Steve
Mike's SeafoodJersey Shore
Lobster, crab legs

I'm so far behind on food updates that I'm just gonna leave this one here and hopefully get back to it later. Things have been crazy, ok?

10.16.2020 - by Steve
Pastrami QueenManhattan
Pastrami sandwich

Holy shit I forgot to write about Pastrami Queen! Yikes. This goes all the way back to the "early days" of the pandemic—which simultaneously feels like years ago and just weeks ago—back when everything sucked but was still somewhat novel rather than being the full-on idiotopia that we currently find ourselves in.

Everyone knows Katz's, and I know I've raved and wept about Katz's on this site, or maybe to your face. And Katz's is indeed beautiful. I've also maybe typed one or two posts about other pastrami-heavy Jewish delis around town, how they've been disappearing for a couple decades, how there are still a handful still hanging around, blah blah blah. Well the one that seems to get the most attention outside of that (beautiful) place is Pastrami Queen.

Compared to its big competition downtown, Pastrami Queen is practically invisible from the street. It looks like it could be just about any other random shitty deli—cheap sign that was seemingly just put up a few years ago, bad logo that was probably designed by someone in Power Point two decades ago, and the space itself isn't much more impressive. It has a bit of an old school feel, but it's mostly just a quick take-out counter and fridge full of drinks. It's not nearly the spectacle that Katz's is.

But that's not really the point. The point is that their pastrami sandwich is damn near as good! And almost as expensive! I finally had an opportunity to stop in sometime back in May or June, when I finally decided to brave the pandemic and bike up through Manhattan. That's a whole other blog post—the whole island was such a weird unsettling ghost town for a couple months there. But anyway I got my sandwich, sat outside and ate it on a construction barrier, and enjoyed the hell out of it.