Tag Archives: Music

Winos and Music Lovers Rejoice: City Winery

17 Jun

Let me go ahead and clarify right off the bat; no, this title is in no way a reference to Amy Winehouse fans.  What I am looking to share with you is the 411 on the most low-key, relaxing music venue I’ve ever experienced in NYC: SoHo’s City Winery (Varick @ Vandam).  This place is hands down my ideal spot to grab a drink, a light bite (or delicious dinner) and relax into an evening of musical delight + witty stage banter with stripped down performances from some of the most celebrated artists in the biz.

Element 1: Drinks – City Winery’s got this on lock down.  With their own winery in house, they knock out awesome bottles and even have membership for vino-philes to come in and make their own private-label wines.  If you’re not fiending some fermented grape action – they’ve got an extensive full bar plus lots of import and domestic brews for sale.

Element 2: Eats – If you’ve got a smaller menu that’s built to be paired with delicious, small-batch wines, chances are you’ve made sure your offerings are pretty damn tasty.  I’ve consistently had solid food ranging from their crispy flatbread pizzas, to the awesomely shareable hummus plate.  Recently tried the Roasted Beet Salad ($10) which to my surprise (and eventual delight) was deconstructed and plated in a linear fashion.  The sliders ($14) were also a crowd pleaser, though as a friend pointed out, eating in the dark is not the ideal so maybe show up a bit early to eat before the lights dim and the music begins.

Element 3: Music – The massive multi-tiered dining room is a welcoming space where you can partake in delicious eats and drinks while listening to world-class musicians. Their bread and butter artists are singer songwriters who bring chillaxable tunes to the table (literally).  What’s unique about the space is how intimate it actually is – the evening will usually end up 70/30 music/stand up comedy routine, respectively.

Next time you’re looking for that rare evening when you’re at least feeling like a mature grown up, go to City Winery for an awesome hang.  Whether you’re seeing a favorite band or just checking in for a bite on the fly, it’s a great spot to make any simple evening a sophisticated affair.  And let’s be honest, sometimes giving the debauchery a rest is just necessary. You stay classy, New York.

Eargasm: Let’s Hear it for the Boys

17 May

While I am an equal opportunity music listener, I’ve noticed that most of the tracks I’m digging on recently have male vocalists. I’m going to try not to over-analyze what the implications of this might be and just go with a truth I hold to be self-evident; these are some solid songs. So, let’s hear it for the boys…

Foster the PeoplePumped Up Kicks – I’ve been running my mouth off about this band to just about anyone who will listen. The live show didn’t disappoint either; the leader singer has created a genre of stage performance I’d dub “Awkwardtastic”. Oh, and if you’re not incredibly disturbed by the lyrics, you clearly haven’t listened carefully enough. LISTEN!

GrouploveColors – Annoyingly catchy; irresistibly listenable; obsession worthy. These are the stages I went through before reaching the final phase; acceptance. I accept that, yes, this is a great jam. And as for the lead singer, he is too is a “man; man, man, man”.

DawesWhen My Time Comes – The simplicity of this song is pure stripped-down delight to my ears. Give me a chorus with a soulful male vocalist; layer that with some affecting harmonies and I’m sold. Every time I hear this song I effectively lose 20 minutes to Google, searching for new band-related articles and videos. Yeah, I need to work on that…

The Airborne Toxic EventChanging – This one gets my body moving; great track for apartment rock-out sessions and confident street strutting alike (you know I’m well researched in both). I may have discovered this song during an episode of Gossip Girl, but I’m all about the edgy vocals of this gentleman – nothing girly about em.

Cold War KidsBulldozer – Double-take track of the week. You know, when you’re listening to new music on your ipod and you need to check what the track is because it catches your attention. Yup, that was this one. I love homeboy’s unique vibrato and the hopelessly romantic sentiment behind his words.

Though the men have done the majority of the heavy lifting in this Eargasm post, I’d like to point out that behind these emo-men, there’s likely a woman playing muse. So that’s our contribution here, ladies; well done. Hope you’ve enjoyed listening, folks.

Eargasm: The Dish

1 Apr

As the weekend comes upon us, I’m of one mind, and it’s no wonder – weekends mean dinner parties with friends! In anticipation of these glorious occasions, I’ve been doing a little play-listing to come up with the perfect mix for a decadent evening of friends, food and fun (is there anything else, really?).  Now here to tantalize your eardrums, an appeteaser of my secret society dining mix:

Martin Sloveig & Dragonette Hello – Welcome to the party; let’s get the evening started with the casual niceties.  An upbeat track to get the ice a-breakin is exactly what you need.  So grab a cocktail, and come in to say “hello”.

Chelley Took the Night – A healthy sense of confidence is key, so while you’re checking out the crew, you do YOU and strut your stuff.  While this track may take it a bit too far, the sentiment is right – either way it’s a happnin’ jam to get your crowd in the party zone.

PhantogramMouthful of Diamonds – Dinner is served; hopefully you’re getting a mouthful of delicious eats and an earful of this splendid song.  It’s the perfect track to cool the mood a bit while still keeping your electronic jam train on the rails.  And who doesn’t love Phantogram, really?

AdeleRolling in the Deep – This track is the money.  Sure, Adele is everywhere right now, but I’ll give credit where it’s due.  If your dinner guests aren’t feeling this, you may want to check for a pulse.  I normally wouldn’t go here, but I recently heard this track spun by a DJ at an event and the peeps lurved it; so eat it up, folks.

PrinceKiss – The extent of my love for this song transcends generations.  Prince may not have brought sexy back, but didn’t he have it all along?  Whether you’re getting your sweets on or perhaps an alcohol laced caffeinated beverage (Coffee + Kahlua, hullllo?!), this song is the perfect dessert complement.

I’m not going to tell you to get your debauchery on… you know what’s coming.  But keep it classy and keep those great tracks rolling throughout the night.  Hope you enjoyed your peek at the supper club playlist.  Feast your ears!

Eargasm: March On

3 Mar

Being a New Yorker, walking is often my best option for getting from Point A to Point B and, consequently, a good walking mix is crucial.  This also means that I associate a lot of tracks with how they make me feel while I’m getting my march on.  Here are a few of the songs I’m currently striding along with:

The Temper Trap Love Lost – These Aussies know how to get me moving… while I really love some of their other songs (who doesn’t heart Sweet Disposition?!), this beat driven track in particular has an ambitious pulse from its onset that sets a good walking pace.  It’s perfect for navigating through the congested rush-hour crowd with ease.

Gordon VoidwellIvy League Circus – I first saw GV at the Wired store’s holiday party and I was automatically on board.  This Bronx-native brings a slowly danceable (or walkable) track that will have you tapping your feet, if not doing some other form of awkward semi-dancing (what’s up to my snap dancers everywhere?!)  Surrender to the slow jamz; your demise is imminent.

Sufjan StevensI Walked –I’ve run into a bit of controversy with people over the latest SS album, “Age of Adz” – personally, I love it but I can understand that it’s not for everyone.  For you non-haters, this track is the sleeper of the bunch; it’s grown a lot on me and keeps me in a mellow zone that’s perfect if I’m taking a de-stress walk around the block on lunch.

Jukebox the GhostSo Let Us Create – This band is awesome; if you don’t know, now ya know, listnas… do yourself a favor and run a quick background check on em.  While this song is a little bit uncharacteristic of Jukebox’s typically bouncy alt-pop, it evokes a “walking basked in sunshine” moment every time I listen to it.

The Duke Spirit Don’t Wait ­– I’m pretty sure I’m getting to the Duke Spirit party late, but now that I’m here, I’m full on girl-crushing over Leila Moss’s sultry vocals.  This is confident strutting music that just begs for flirty pumps to start hitting the pavement.

Hope you’ll agree that these tracks are anything but pedestrian – now load up your ipod and get out there!

Eargasm: Assorted+Imported

23 Feb

I realized after putting this Eargasm’s tracks together that none of these artists are originally from the US. Maybe I’m sore that I had to work on Presidents Day when I was nursing a nasty hangover no one else in the country seemed to be on the job, or maybe these International jams are really just some excellent tunes. I know how I feel, but I’ll let you all form your own opinions…

James BlakeThe Wilhelm Scream – Wowza, this is hipster booty call music, or at least how I would imagine it’d sound (why would I imagine that? who knows…) Anyway, think sexy soulfulness gone digital. Who would have thought electronic music could be so good for your mojo?

Florence + The MachineCosmic Love – There definitely was an open niche for harp-heavy music until F+TM came along. Their music is mini-climax heavy and incredibly powerful “soundtrack to important moments” music. I appreciate the slightly dramatic flavor that this song can bring to something as simple as a walk to the subway in the morning.

RöyksoppThe Girl and the Robot – This Norwegian duo really hit my sweet spot with this track which features my current obsession, Robyn. The album is packed with excellent collabs, but this one song is my gym jam of the week. I’m sweating this tune, in the gym or not.

Jack PeñatePull My Heart Away – My first thought upon hearing this little ditty was, “wow, did The Smiths finally pull together a reunion?” – Once I got over the initial vocal similarities, I began to love this song in its own right. The English Indie sound is epitomized in this track, without cliché and with, in my opinion, great success.

Mumford & SonsWhite Blank Page – So granted, Mumford has become a pretty household name (it’s about time the banjo went mainstream), especially after their epic Grammys performance.  Still, I’m not going to let that stop me from including this amazing track. Marcus Mumford’s gritty + passionate vocals couldn’t do these heart-wrenching lyrics any more justice.

Hope these selections have left you feeling thoroughly cultured… xx, friendos

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