02.24.2018
Rhye
Blood

I'm a little bummed that this new Rhye album isn't better than it is.

11.24.2013
Rhye
Woman

0:04 into "Last Dance"--and 0:14 and 0:25 and pretty much once every four bars throughout the entire song--I am driven absolutely crazy that the bass doesn't play what I want it to play. No, what I need it to play. I probably need to hum it to you, but for those musically inclined, basically the bass mimics the keyboard and guitar and plays two syncopated notes after the first and second beats, and a third note on the downbeat of the third. Fine. But the second time through this pattern, it seems like the most obvious thing in the world that the bass should finish it with an 8-note run of 16th notes between the third beat and the end of the measure, a little ascending scale of "dooo-do-doodoo-doodoo-doodoo", mirroring the palm muted guitar rhythm at the same time, back up to the syncopated notes again. ("Do you have it???"). It screams to be played. And it kills me, absolutely kills me, that it never happens. Even just once, towards the end, it's all I need. I might have to start digging through live Rhye YouTube videos and radio performances just to see if they ever do it live. I might have to eventually take up the bass and try out for their touring band just to do it myself. Because as of right now, I feel like I'll likely be forced to go to my deathbed with a raw sense of cosmic imbalance, asymmetrical qi, a looming sense of incompleteness, if I don't get to hear that goddamned bass fill.


(1)
03.18.2013
Rhye
Woman

Bedroom electro R&B from a Danish man who sounds disturbingly like Sade, without any of the nonsense that makes Sade occasionally awful. But also without any of the stuff that makes Sade, more often than not, incredible. So, like, take all of Sade's decent mid-album filler material, and have the xx remix it, and give it a cool mysterious black and white album cover. You'll be shocked at how much you like what you get.


(4)
07.19.2018 - by Steve
Sorriso'sQueens
Meatball sandwich, sopressata sandwich

This is the most New York place in New York. I actually heard the guy behind the counter say "gabagool." And they make some damn fine sandwiches.

07.19.2018 - by Steve
JollibeeQueens
Fried chicken, spaghetti, cheeseburger

New York City! Perhaps the greatest culinary destination in the world! It's got everything! Pizza pie! A spicy a meat a ballsa! Bagels! Enough Michelin stars to light up the night sky! Invitation-only chef dinners, $500 a plate steakhouses, experimental ice cream speakeasies, authentic Puerto Rican food served by grandmas with Weber grills on the sidewalk. You can't throw a stick in New York without it hitting the best restaurant you've ever eaten at. Or it'll hit Jollibee.

I've been fascinated by Jollibee for nearly 10 years now. I have a gross fascination in general with regional chains; whenever I go on a road trip, I generally try to find some sort of fast food restaurant that is native to the place I'm in. Jollibee is sort of an extreme version of that. There are hundreds of Jollibee locations in the Philippines and south Asia, sort of a Filipino McDonalds. But when I heard that there was one single location in New York, right in the heart of Queens, it's been near the top of my list of NYC restaurant destinations. Near the top. So, yeah, it's taken me a while to get there. Until now!

And as is often the case with international interpretations of American cuisine, it's just a little off. The main draw here is fried chicken. Or as they call it, "Chickenjoy." Fine. And actually kinda spicy and decent. But the next big item is spaghetti. Yes, spaghetti. Although this is a bit of a regional take on the dish, with a sweeter and more bell-pepper-infused sauce than our traditional marinara. It almost tastes like ketchup with some spices. I know. Lastly, of course, are burgers. Their cheeseburger is actually nearly hidden on the menu, so it must not be a best seller. But interestingly, it was the best thing I had! It obviously wasn't a great burger, but it was very enjoyable! I'd honestly take it over a standard McDonalds burger if you were to make me choose. Oddly, it reminded me of when I was a kid and refused to eat Chinese food, and my parents would order me a cheeseburger at the Chinese restaurant. I don't know if it's the type of oil or what, but there's a very particular flavor to the char on the burger that I can't quite describe.

Anyway, Jollibee is weird. Real weird. I can't say you should go there, but if you are in New York for the 5th or 6th time and feel like treating yourself to something that's maybe the most New York of all.

07.09.2018 - by Steve
Jezabel'sPhiladelphia
Empanadas

Here's a fun and random one! Just a couple blocks from where we were staying in Philadelphia was a tiny little Argentinian cafe called Jezabel's. "Fun?", you ask? I guess a small Argentinian cafe in a historic residential Philadelphia neighborhood could be fun on its own, but in this case, we happened to hit up Jezabel's right while Argentina was playing France in the World Cup! We were just stopping in quick to get some small bites before leaving for the bus station, but found this tiny little place crowded with people in blue and white Argentina jerseys watching the game on a huge flatscreen TV just sitting up on the bar. This place is really like the size of a small coffee shop, so even a dozen revelers made it feel super packed. And fun. So we stayed a bit and ate some empanadas. Which, for real, were some of the best empanadas I've ever eaten! I had two kinds: beef, and ham & cheese. The beef was fairly standard, but wonderfully flavorful, and the dough was flaky and tender and perfect, not stale or greasy like you could find at some other shops. Meanwhile, the ham and cheese—for which I kept my expectations low—was even better. I don't know why I thought it was just going to be cruddy cheddar cheese and off-the-shelf ham, but this thing had layers of flavor! I couldn't tell you what kind of cheese, or what else might've been in it, but damn, it was good. And I don't think I can get anything like it in this town.

Then Argentina gave up a couple goals and everyone was bummed.