Thursday, October 25, 2007

Beirut, Colleen, Wordless, PostEverything

Wow, look, the most uncreative post title ever. I guess I could have strung them into a refrigerator magnet poetry sort of sentence. Colleen wordlessly went to Beirut to post everything she knew about cauliflower. Ha ha ha. That is not remotely entertaining. Or nearly entertaining.

I meant to put up this review of the Wordless Music concert I went to like a month ago, with Beirut and Colleen. The Wordless series are these concerts that pair indie type popular artists with classical to, you know, break down the artificial divide or whatever. There was going to be a whole discussion on the idea of classical music and 'indie' and (possible) intersecting audiences and pieces. But you know what? I'm a big lazy laze. So I'll just leave you with the review for now.

Here's the video from one of my favorite Colleen tracks, "I'll Read You a Story." You know me, use music box things in a song and I'll eat it for breakfast. Mmm crunchy. Metal. Bittersweet. There are those magnets again.

Also, while rooting around exploring Colleen's discography, I found a great site called PostEverything. It's like a small, cosy record store where you can browse around the eclectic-a and discover random, lesser-known artists. Except it's on the interweb! No mean hipster sales people! Just register and you can listen to full tracks. I haven't gotten a chance to look around at the many artists they offer, but looks cool.

Monday, October 22, 2007

kudos

Did you know that kudos is the plural form of kudo?? I shake my head. The wonders of the verbal world never cease. I had to look it up after I saw it in a NYT headline today. Remember kudos bars? I used to have those at my friend's house. And watch TV and stuff. It was like, totally awesomer than practicing piano. I also would confuse kudos with klondike bars. Congratulations, here's some ice cream! But then I also thought UV rays were called ultraviolent — you know, cuz they are harmful. It's LOGICAL.

I like how somebody at merriam-webster got a little snippy in this note on the usage of the word kudos. Maybe they got too many ultraviolent rays.
But kudo does exist; it is simply one of the most recent words created by back-formation from another word misunderstood as a plural. Kudos was introduced into English in the 19th century; it was used in contexts where a reader unfamiliar with Greek could not be sure whether it was singular or plural. By the 1920s it began to appear as a plural, and about 25 years later kudo began to appear. It may have begun as a misunderstanding, but then so did cherry and pea.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

kimchi confidential



My friend Caroline and I have started a new food blog about Korean food called Kimchi Confidential. It is rad. And so are people who visit it... as well as people who say "rad."

food studies




When I was in San Francisco briefly this past June, I passed by a bar called "Social Studies." What a great name. So perfect! Plus you can have dorky quiz nights! But I can't find proof of it on the interwebs. I should have gone in and done some social studying of my own. Oh ho!

Was "Social Studies" at school just another word for "History"? I can't remember. See! This is why there's no way I'm naturally adept at these subjects. Because I have the memory of mouse brain. I'm pretty good at rushing around a maze-like contraption to find a chunk of cheese though. Not like neon orange cheese though. Puh-lease. I am a gourmand mouse-brain, thank you very much.

So I recently finished David Kamp's United States of Arugula, but not recently enough to have a bunch of cool, intriguing facts I learned from it to entice you to read it. This melting pot — no, mixed salad (oh ho! ok I'll stop doing that) — of information is admirably comprehensive and jam-packed (mm!) in that you can go through and find just about every foodie-related proper noun you can think of, but delivered in an easy to read reporting tone and an easy to read, near-gossipy dishiness. Mrowr! The latter might put people off, but it seems to resonate with the close-knitness of the food world and the undoubtably "character" characters which inhabit it.

I had sort of a 'duh' moment when I realized that not only were foods like pizza and sushi uncommon in the food-consciousness of Americans, but more recent terms like "free range" actually come from somewhere! And stores like Dean & Deluca and Williams-Sonoma are named after people! One thing I was delighted to learn and that I do recall is how Wolfgang Puck sort of originated with the Chinese chicken salad, an idea that has landed on menus far and wide, just one example of how certain innovations and innovators have influences that bloom geographically and across classes, in ways good and bad. (Here is a funny video of Margaret Cho talking about Asian chicken salad.)

Michael Ruhlman's The Reach of a Chef overlaps with US of Arugula in the discussion of the business part of being a famous chef and what that entails. Hello Las Vegas! Ruhlman's is a more intimate book, focusing on individual chefs like Thomas Keller and Grant Achatz in addition to giving us his own voice and experience. Ruhlman's writing is generally closer to my hungry heart, I think, but these two books are nice to read together. These times are interesting as we're able to watch "food studies" become this actual field, I guess, as the consciousness of consumers (well, errr, humans) grow.

P.S. I am glad I am young enough to have missed the fad of dishes like this: pear halves in green Jell-O topped with a dollop of mayonnaise and grated cheddar cheese. GROSS! And people complain about offal?!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

bat for lashes - fur and gold

Review of Bat for Lashes's Fur and Gold.

I started out thinking that this album was just okay. But then it grew on me, but in a weird way. Not like a third head. Or... um, a second. Heads with very little brain, obviously. Anyways, I gave this a very high score, but it's not music that I hold dear to my heart or anything. It's not, like, on my Facebook favorites list, okay? Or I guess a better description of how I feel is, I won't travel to see Bat for Lashes live, though I hear the shows are pretty great. Something about the connection is a little fuzzy. But every time I listened to some of the tracks, I had to admit to myself, this sounds really good. It's too bad the lyrics didn't add up.

You will like this if you like: to be just like Thom Yorke, Halloween, Victorian-gothic type imagery, Cat Power's voice, Tori Amos

Take a listen: Horse and I

Here's the fun video of What's a Girl To Do. Ridiculous and creepy and karaoke-worthy chorus, all at once!

What I didn't include in the review — I hated the piano lick (riff? I dunno what to call it. "Thing that lasts a few bars.") in "Prescilla" which you can hear at the end of this snippet, because it sounds like a bit from Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, which totally doesn't align with the mood of this. I'm assuming she didn't include it with this intention, but it makes me cringe everytime... although otherwise, I like this song a lot. Very Tori. Not very Whig. Hahahahahahaha. Sorry.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

summer's overrrrr



Look at how my English has degenerated. All I feel the urge to do is put excessively additional letters to the end of words. Can something even be excessively additional? Am I living in a world of redundancy and duncery?? I raise my cap to you. I'll drink to that.

LOL. Can you tell it's totally past my bedtime? I'm not sure my words are even words. Does anybody still do "LOL"? I mean, that was kinda lame even in the late '90s. I preferred, and still do, the more maniacal hahahahahahha or hohohohohoho, etc. etc.

I can't believe it's been half a month since I put up something here last. It's already freaking October. What the hell have I been up to? Oh the mind numbing nothingness....

Lately, I find that I've been having trouble keeping up with all my regular blogs. I've recently switched over from kinja to google reader, which makes it easier both for entries to pile up and not forget that you haven't read the past 20 or 200 things. Also, I guess I've become blasé about the countless bands and recipes and newsfeeds and stuff. There's the few that I always look forward to reading, but of course those aren't the ones with entries piling up. Scarcity increases demand? Hmmmmmm.

Like I have any demand to supply scarcity. I do it for free!