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    Sunday, December 6, 2009

    Top 50 Albums of 2009

    Here's the list -- a little earlier than usual, but without images, links or explanations. Sorry, but I'm tired and I've too much to do. Regardless, I strongly recommend all of these albums, so check them out...

    1. Animal Collective - Merriweather Post Pavilion + Fall Be Kind EP
    2. The Flaming Lips - Embryonic
    3. Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest
    4. Papercuts - You Can Have What You Want
    5. Beach House - Teen Dream
    6. Various Artists - Dark Was the Night
    7. Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
    8. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
    9. Fever Ray - Fever Ray
    10. Zomby - Where Were U in '92?
    11. Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse - Dark Night of the Soul
    12. St. Vincent - Actor
    13. Clubroot - Clubroot
    14. The Antlers - Hospice
    15. DJ Sprinkles - Midtown 120 Blues
    16. Dan Auerbach - Keep It Hid
    17. Washed Out - Life of Leisure EP + High Times EP
    18. Bibio - Ambivalence Avenue
    19. Atlas Sound - Logos
    20. Woods - Songs of Shame
    21. Dinosaur, Jr. - Farm
    22. Neon Indian - Psychic Chasms
    23. The Duchess and the Duke - Sunset/Sunrise
    24. The xx - xx
    25. Bill Callahan - Sometimes I Wish We Were and Eagle
    26. Real Estate - Real Estate
    27. Yo La Tengo - Popular Songs
    28. Memory Tapes - Seek Magic
    29. jj - n° 2
    30. Port O'Brien - Threadbare
    31. J. Tillman - Vacilando Territory Blues
    32. Yacht - See Mystery Lights
    33. Holiday Shores - Columbus'd the Whim
    34. Volcano Choir - Unmap
    35. Ramona Falls - Intuit
    36. Condof***s - F***book
    37. Fennesz - Black Sea
    38. Various Artists - 5 Years of Hyperdub
    39. F*** Buttons - Tarot Sport
    40. Girls - Album
    41. Lotus Plaza - The Floodlight Collective
    42. Foreign Born - Person to Person
    43. M. Ward - Hold Time
    44. Camera Obscura - My Maudlin Career
    45. Bear in Heaven - Beast Rest Forth Mouth
    46. Sunset Rubdown - Dragonslayer
    47. Blackout Beach - Skin of Evil
    48. Japanroids - Post-Nothing
    49. God Help The Girl - God Help The Girl
    50. William Basinski - 92982

    Sunday, September 6, 2009

    Friday, July 10, 2009

    Sushi-Fest 2009

    Shogun 27. Kendall Park, NJ. If you like sushi (and I'm talking sushi sushi -- medium to high-grade fish -- not that grocery store crap...) you need to go there NOW!



    They are currently offering the most incredible sushi deal around. Seriously! Check out what my wife and I ate tonight (or should I say, what we were served tonight. We were only able to make a small dent into what was offered):

    • 2 cups of miso soup
    • 2 house salads
    • 2 pieces of tuna sushi
    • 2 pieces of salmon sushi
    • 2 pieces of yellow tail sushi
    • 2 pieces of white fish sushi
    • 2 pieces of crab sushi
    • 2 pieces of mackerel
    • 2 pieces of Spanish mackerel sushi
    • 2 pieces of white tuna sushi
    • 2 pieces of surf clam sushi
    • 2 pieces of shrimp sushi
    • 1 tuna roll
    • 1 salmon roll
    • 1 yellow tail roll
    • 1 cucumber roll
    • 1 spicy tuna roll
    • 2 scoops of ice cream
    How much was this feast?

    $37.95

    That's it! Isn't that crazy? Let's take a closer look at the math, shall we?

    According to the menu, these are the amounts one would normally spend:

    • 20 pieces of sushi -- $50.85
    • 5 sushi rolls -- $28.20
    • 2 miso soups -- $4.30
    • 2 house salads -- $3.90
    • 2 ice creams -- $6.50
    • GRAND TOTAL -- $93.75
    • (What we paid -- $37.95)
    • TOTAL SAVINGS -- $55.80!!!
    Incredible!!!

    We were completely floored at the amount of quality food that we received. I'd write more, but I'm still reeling from the meal.

    Bottom line: If you like sushi and live in central Jersey, GO TO SHOGUN 27!!!

    Link to Shogun 27 site.

    Thursday, July 2, 2009

    My (Projected) 4th of July Menu...

    Here's what I'm hoping to make for the 4th of July (as long as I can get out and purchase all of the ingredients...) Follow the links for the complete recipes.

    First...

    Smoked Salmon on Pumpernickel with Wasabi Creme Fraiche
    (via Voodoo Kitchen)



    Then...

    Cucumber and Tomato Salad (via What's Cooking in the Orange Kitchen)



    ...and...

    Spicy Black Bean and Fresh Cilantro Wraps (via lick my balsamic.)



    ...and...

    The Double Grilled (Ostrich and/or Turkey) Cheese Burger (via Dunkin Cooking the Semi-Homemade Way)



    Oh! And to drink...

    Mikey's Mule (a Variation of the Raspberry Mule) (via Mix Shake and Pour)




    Oh, yeah...This should be good!

    Sunday, June 21, 2009

    Stouts Win Out at The 13th Annual Garden State Craft Brewers Festival

    A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend The 13th Annual Garden State Craft Brewers Festival (thanks, dad) on the deck of the USS New Jersey. It was a real blast, and I enjoyed a great number of wonderful beers. That evening, I rated each of the brews that I imbibed -- then I completely forgot about it (most likely due to the fact that I was unequivocally sloshed).


    Well, I just rediscovered my list, and I'm posting it here for you. You'll notice that I rated the IPAs very favorably (for they are my brew of choice), but the real winners of the day were the two stouts. The Harvest Moon Vanilla Stout and the Triumph Coffee & Cream Stout were knee-buckling good and each were enjoyed multiple times by both myself and my uncle. The remaining beers fared anywhere from enjoyable to absolutely awful. So, check out the list below and see what you think.





    ------------------------------------------
    • Basil T's Brewery & Italian Grill (Red Bank) -- Rye PA
    • Cricket Hill Brewing Company (Fairfield) -- Jersey Summer Breakfast Ale ★★★1/2 -- Hopnotic IPA ★★★
    • Flying Fish Brewing Company (Cherry Hill) -- Hopfish IPA ★★★★ -- ESB Amber Ale ★★★1/2
    • Gaslight Brewery & Restaurant (South Orange) -- Hopfest ★★★
    • Harvest Moon Brewery & Cafe (New Brunswick) -- Vanilla Stout ★★★★★
    • High Point Wheat Beer Company (Butler) -- Hefe-Weizen Ramstein Imperial Pilsner ★★
    • Iron Hill Brewery (Maple Shade) -- Ironbound Ale ★★★1/2
    • Pizzeria Uno Chicago Grill & Brewery (Metuchen) -- Ike's IPA ★★★
    • River Horse Brewing Company (Lambertville)
    • The Ship Inn (Milford)
    • Triumph Brewing Company (Princeton) -- Coffee & Cream Stout ★★★★★★
    • Tun Tavern Brewery & Restaurant (Atlantic City) -- Pale Ale ★★★★ -- Hybiscus Hefeweiss ★★

    Saturday, May 30, 2009

    "Leaving May Behind": A New Mix for My Wife...

    Just created a new mix cd for my wife entitled, "Leaving May Behind". Tracklist is as follows:

    1. Revenge - Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse (w/ Flaming Lips)
    2. Ramona - The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
    3. Everybody's Got to Learn Sometime - The Field
    4. Cheerleader - Grizzly Bear
    5. Just War - Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse (w/ Gruff Rhys)
    6. Sleep All Summer - The National (w/ St. Vincent)
    7. Black Car - Black Tambourine
    8. You Can Have What You Want - Papercuts
    9. Concrete Walls - Fever Ray
    10. Twin of Myself - Black Moth Super Rainbow
    11. Everytime I'm With You - Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse (w/ Jason Lytle)
    12. No Intention - Dirty Projectors
    13. No More Runnin' - Animal Collective
    14. Actor Out of Work - St. Vincent
    15. The Light Before We Land - The Delgados

    Monday, March 2, 2009

    Sound Advice: Grizzly Bear - Two Live Shows (Plus video!)

    Here are links to two live Grizzly Bear shows, available over at You Ain't No Picasso:

    - February 28, 2009 -- Recorded live at the Brooklyn Academy of Music with the Brooklyn Philharmonic. LINK

    - August 14, 2008 -- Recorded live at the Calderwood Courtyard in Boston, MA. LINK

    And here's a video of "Deep Blue Sea" performed at BAM (originally found at Gorilla vs. Bear)

    Sunday, March 1, 2009

    Sites to Download / Listen to Concerts for Free

    Here's a list of sites that I often use to either listen to (or download) live performances from some of my favorite bands.


    Daytrotter Sessions - (Web-Based) Amazing in-studio recordings from a virtual who's-who of the indie world. Songs can be streamed or download.



    The Backstage Sessions at It's Hard to Find a Friend - (Web-Based) Archived in-studio recordings from a small selection of indie music artists. Nothing new here since 2008, but the material is ace. Performances can be downloaded (as .mp3s) or watched in HD!


    Wolfgang's Vault - (Web-Based & iPod Application) HUGE archive of concerts from the last 50 years! Only streaming here, but the shear amount of recordings makes this a must-visit. Site also features concert memorabilia and retro concert t-shirts. I bought a great "Jefferson Airplane Love You" shirt from W.V. over the summer.



    Archive.org - (Web-Based) Another massive collection of live shows. MASSIVE! (They have 174 Ween shows alone -- WTF?) Recordings can be downloaded on a song-by-song basis, or as an entire show in a .zip file. Very cool.


    KEXP Live Performances Podcast - (Podcast) Short shows (< onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href="http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_3wt9mEgkdQ0/SawgQDeKnuI/AAAAAAAAAEQ/x2xcM0GQCBs/s1600-h/npr.jpg">
    NPR Live Concerts from All Songs Considered - (Podcast) One of my favorite podcasts. Full-length shows from amazing artists. If you own an iPod, you need to subscribe to this one NOW!

    Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Michael Bee's Easy Oven-Baked Pita Chips (Recipe)

    Here’s a really simple recipe for a healthy snack that goes great with salsa, guacamole, or hummus. It's received a 5 out of 5 rating on GroupRecipes. I hope you enjoy it!

    Ingredients:
    • 5 or 6 pitas (sliced pizza-like into 6 wedges)
    • 3 Tbs. Olilve Oil
    • 1 Clove of Garlic (minced)
    • Sea Salt
    • 1/4 cup Fresh Rosemary
    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    2. Combine minced garlic and olive oil in small bowl.
    3. Brush olive oil mixture onto both sides of each pita wedge.
    4. Arrange pita wedges in a single layer on a baking sheet.
    5. Season with sea salt.
    6. Bake for 10 minutes or until edges begin to brown.
    7. Briefly allow to cool and serve
    8. **Optional Steps**
    9. * When making the olive oil mixture, you can add a little fresh rosemary. It adds a nice taste.
    10. * Also, as soon as you remove the pita chips from the oven, you may wish to sprinkle a little fresh romano cheese on top. It will melt right into the still-hot oil. Yummers!

    Sunday, February 22, 2009

    Sound Advice: Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes EP (Really Rare!)


    Holy crap! I just found a link for the very first Fleet Foxes EP, which was self-released locally (in Seattle) and sold at shows. It's extremely hard-to-find digitally and nearly impossible to get on CD. So, if you like Fleet Foxes, swing on by to Thank You Too to grab your very own copy.

    Saturday, February 21, 2009

    Michael Bee's Chicken Enchiladas

    Ingredients

    1 3/4 cups -- shredded cooked chicken
    2 cups -- shredded sharp cheddar cheese
    1 (4 ounce) -- can chopped green chiles
    1 (8 ounce) -- jar enchilada sauce
    1/3 cup -- minced fresh cilantro
    6 -- soft corn tortillas
    salt
    pepper
    fresh lime wedges

    Directions

    1. Combine chicken, 1 cup of cheese, 1/3 jar of enchilada sauce, and green chiles in a bowl until well-mixed. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

    2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, making sure the oven rack is set to the middle position.

    3. Take the mixture from the refrigerator and gently add the cilantro. Set aside.

    4. Place corn tortillas on a microwave-safe plate. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on HIGH for 30 - 40 seconds.

    5. Spread approximately 1/6 of the mixture into the center of each tortilla. Tightly roll the tortilla around the mixture, then lay seam down on a 9 x 13 baking dish coated with canola oil spray until all six enchiladas are completed.

    6. Spray the tops of each enchilada with canola oil spray or light olive oil. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the entire baking dish. Spread the remaining cheese over the center of each enchilada. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes.

    7. Remove the foil and move the rack to the top position. Continue baking for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is browned.

    8. Serve with lime wedges.

    (Makes 6 enchiladas)