Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Laugh And The World

Rather than wail alone about being sick,
I choose to laugh with you, by sharing 'This Way Up,' a hilarious Oscar-nominated animated short from 2008... by Smith & Foulkes...

this entry's permalink

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Biggest Thing You Ever Got Into...

..was YOUR PANTS, as Alice Kramden would reply to her husband Ralph's plea to invest in some hare brained-scheme... 'Alice, this could be the biggest thing I ever got into...'
Well, my least favorite fashion is saggy pants, and I'm delighted that NY State Senator Eric Adams is sponsoring giant 22-foot billboards in a public appeal to 'stop the sag.' 'When you raise your pants, you raise your character; when you raise your pants you raise your grades,' he pleas... My own term for this unfortunate trend is 'Pants Down Syndrome...'

this entry's permalink

Monday, March 29, 2010


this entry's permalink

We Share A Name...

After six years, two months, and eleven days of blogging, it's high time I confessed that the title of this blog, 'OK Go!,' is not an Aaron original...

I stole this odd moniker from a (then) obscure Chicago indie-pop band, I just love the sound of it.. OK Go! OK Go! It's snappy. It crackles. It pops.

Today's Song of the Week is from those very same Windy City namesakes, who are back with a terrific third album (five whole years after their sophomore effort), called 'Of The Blue Color Of The Sky..' The song's title happens to be a favorite expression of my Mom: "This Too Shall Pass.."

Here they are live - their damn label blocked the video.. grrrr:

OK Go's biggest hit to date is 2005's 'Here It Goes Again,' which gained popularity with their famous 'treadmill video...'

From their flawless, earth-moving 2002 debut, it's 'She's So Damn Hot...

One more catchy energy blast from their debut, 'Don't Ask Me..'

this entry's permalink

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Tattoo You?

I've felt yucky this weekend, but did manage to see a film across the street with my friend, Steve, "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo".

It was a successful gamble - a 2 1/2 hour long well-reviewed Swedish thriller about a 40-year-old murder being investigated by a famous framed journalist and a young female hacker with a history of mental problems..

The lead characters are very compelling and well-played but so is everything and everyone in this breathless, intriguing chain of mysteries.. One warning: there is grisly violence, not for the faint of heart, but the plot justifies it. The original Swedish title is apt: "The Man Who Hated Women...," but our heroine does avenge the cruel misogynist of the title.

Below is the trailer.. To my delight, I just read that it's based on part one of a trilogy of hit Swedish novels and that parts two and three have been filmed and released over there.. I can't wait.. The author, interestingly, died in 2004, before the novels were published, and tried (unsuccessfully) to leave his estate to the local Communist Worker's League!

this entry's permalink

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Luscious Spread

Our new, improved be spread with matching pillow covers, ordered from LL Bean, up in JP's home state.. I apparently got sick on my way back from my LA business trip last night - throat, ears, glands, yuck... hopefully, rest and love and nature will take their course...


this entry's permalink

Friday, March 26, 2010

Animation Kick

Heading home from LA today.. Here's a delightful 6 minute animated short I found on the net, 'Pigeon: Impossible'...

this entry's permalink

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Yet Another

Nominee for Oscar - Best Animated Short Film - It's the surreal café comedy 'French Roast,' from France... I'll be in LA, briefly, on business as you read this, and probably very very tired...

this entry's permalink

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

And It's Only Wednesday am...

Long long week - about to begin an endurance marathon, flying to LA tonight for non-stop meeting Thursday and back Friday early am...
Just back from Long Island City, from the 10th birthday party of JP's charming de-facto niece Mia... Here's the final 5 minutes of the Oscar-winning Best Animated Short whose first 2/3 I posted on Sunday - it's 'Logorama,' a comic, apocalyptic vision from France of the US, specifically, LA, as a series of corporate logos... at least my trip can't possibly go that awry.. : - )

this entry's permalink

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I learned last night that 'animated film' in Russian is called a 'multiplication film,' presumably because of the multiple frames shown in succession that were the origin of animation;
I remember a makeshift projector in the Boston Children's Museum where kids good make their own cartoons.. Anyway, from Saturday night's program of Oscar-nominated animated shorts, from Spain, here's the poignant and often hilarious 'The Lady and The Reaper,' about an old lady who's ready for her reward and the medical team determined to save her.... At 8 minutes 20 seconds, a worthwhile viewing whatever your feelings on end-of-life care...

this entry's permalink

Monday, March 22, 2010

Bells of Spring!

Every year some wonderful song or album seems to define spring, to literally shout 'spring!' and jump 15 feet into the air... Last year's shout-out was Royksöpp's 'Happy Up Here..' This year, that shot in the arm for this middle-aged man's fancy comes from Broken Bells, the sonically stunning project that unites the Shins' James Mercer (pictured left) with the indie-dom's most admired producer, Brian Burton (pictured right) aka Danger Mouse, who brought you Gnarls Barkley. The Shins are of course one of the 2-3 best bands in America of the past 10 years (also in that category: Spoon) and have delivered three flawless albums in the past seven years - James Mercer is their voice and main songwriter. With The Shins' future an open question, the Broken Bells album is an invigorating relief! Our song of the week is that eponymous debut album's lead single, 'The High Road'...

And here's 'The High Road' live with a laser show...

And here they are on Jimmy Fallon with 'The Ghost Inside'...

this entry's permalink

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Reductio Ad Product Placement

JP and I nostalgically repeated one of our earliest dates last night, by seeing a travelling program of Academy-Nominated Short Animated Films at IFC theater on Waverly & 6th, the very place where I took my parents to a John Waters movie on Father's Day in 1982..
Once again, we were thoroughly entertained. Here's the short that won the Oscar, 'Logorama' from France, a wickedly apocalyptic commentary on contemporary American existence... Warning on language & violence aside, well worth it...

this entry's permalink

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Sprang Sprung

Finally, finally, finally. I can't believe it's only March. Highs in the low 70s, abundant, radiant, sunshine as far as the I can see... It's the weather I've been longing for!

Sing Sang Sung

JP and I saw legendary French electronica duo Air blow away Terminal 5 last night up on W 56th in the low teen avenues...
Here's a snippet, more to come. JP and I took the long way home, falling again on lovely spring night... The sound here is just OK - I should have brought the mini-mike attachable to my iPod that JP so kindly purchased for my language lessons last week..

this entry's permalink

Friday, March 19, 2010

Drip Drop

As we left our brunch table Saturday at East of Eighth, I knocked over some ice water, but instead of creating a lake or a puddle, a thousand bubbles bloomed...

'twas a long but productive week.. TGIF! Bigtime!

this entry's permalink

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bagpipes On A Trading Floor

It was a boisterous workday at Cantor Fitzgerald, but St Patrick's Day did not pass unobserved. Our CEO treated us to a royal procession of bagpipe players, which I caught on video...

this entry's permalink

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Swing... American...

Here's a pre-PC La Choy Chinese food commercial from the late 1960s, my childhood... It's very 'Chopsticks'...

A Pound And A Half Of Butter..

Shrimp Scampi in the making....


this entry's permalink

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Where Madonna Unknotted Her Knickers...

..after a hard day filming 'Evita' on location in Buenos Aires, she would retire to the former mansion that is the special guest quarters of the former Hyatt & current Four Seasons, nestled in back of the hotel, far out of the view of passers-by...

When I stayed in the main hotel in January, it was Metallica that was holed up in the mansion, and swarms of their black-clothed fans were just everywhere...

this entry's permalink

Monday, March 15, 2010

Music, Swede Music

This week's sonic bonbon, 'Black & Blue' is a pretty, angular, jittery and soulful piece of synth-pop from Swedish pop trio Miike Snow.

Enjoyable, to be sure. I hadn't heard anything else by this group before but choosing them as SOTW fodder is an excuse to go digging...

Wikipedia says that the group's odd name is the amalgam of a close friend's name and the surname of Japanese film director Takashi Miike...

The "Black & Blue" video is low-budget kind of fun...

One brighter video is the group's 'Animal,' a song that sports an electronic fast-reggae beat and Sting-influenced vocals..

The video for 'Burial' seems to be set in Varanasi, India, the holy Ganges with its cremation ghats. Venice with flower petals and cow dung..

this entry's permalink

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Foodies Get Their Just Desserts

Two weeks back we dined with our friends Marco & Janice at Palo Santo in Park Slope; Marco & Janice are avid 'foodies,' the 21st century term for 'gourmet..' The chef at Palo Santo takes fresh Latin market food as his inspiration. We had the $25 prix fixe, and it was sumptuous. Here are some dessert outtakes.. Coming soon: the main dishes & hors d'oeuvres...

My dessert choice was this pineapple-orange-coconut warm bread pudding...

Here's an explosively chocolaty creme catalane that's about five times as tasty & interesting as it looks here...

JP can't remember what his dessert here consisted of, but he remembers that it was delicious!

...and here are Marco and Janice, who we met on our ex-Yugoslavia vacation last August.. They're the first friends JP & I met as a couple..

this entry's permalink

Friday, March 12, 2010

For The Birds

Verizon. Is. For The Birds.
Rough week! Sick. Worked like heck. My Internet, down down down, and it took three iterations with Verizon and nearly 3 hours of mine & JP's wasted time to repair... Last weekend was just beautiful and springlike. This weekend it will rain steadily for three days, pre-April showers as we spring ahead an hour, hoping for pre-May flowers....

this entry's permalink

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Leave It To Barbie

Her latest accessory is a puppy that not only wiggles but needs to be walked! Below is the UK commercial for it - I'm still trying to track down the less-subtle US version, whose themes song reportedly runs: 'What will it be/ puppy poo or puppy pee?" :

this entry's permalink

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Down Down Down Town

My home internet connection is down. That darned Verizon... : - )Hopefully it will be repaired tomorrow.. I'm blogging this from work, where I am working very late studying Brazilian Airlines. Am about to leave though, as JP is making me roast chicken & vegetables for 7:30!

this entry's permalink

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

High Rise Picket Fence

Last Thursday we were invited to dinner on the Upper East Side with JP's fellow volunteers from St Frances Xavier's Sunday soup kitchen...
On the terrace, a picket fence and a skyline that reminds me of the credits from 'The Honeymooners..'

Osso Bucco! Garnished!

On the menu was Osso Bucco, literally 'hollow bone'... it's a dish from Milan, Italy, capital of Lombardy, of braised veal shanks. The veal is usually sprinkled with gremolata, a mix of parsley, garlic and lemon peel, and braised in white wine and herbs..

Offsetting the Osso Bucco were two cheese-laden side dishes, the first steamed asparagus...

...and cold noodle salad....

this entry's permalink

Monday, March 08, 2010

The Floor The Heart

This week, as winter here begins its slow fade to spring,
I bring you the warmth and heat of a full-throated r&b/pop/reggae Ibiza dance anthem, cooked up by French dance-floor whiz David Guetta and UK soulstress Estelle...

Today's song, "One Love," was a minor radio hit in Europe and a club sensation worldwide.

Like Timbaland in the US, House-meister Guetta's had a huge hit album with a bevy of hot guest stars who he's produced or written for at one point or another. had back-to-back #1 singles throughout Europe with Kelly Rowland & Akon, respectively, the Akon song even went top 5 in the US... ...but today's song. The Kelly Rowland collaboration, 'When Love Takes Over,' borrows contains a Coldplay riff if you listen very closely...

And here's the Akon collaboration, 'Sexy Chick'... Most Americans under 25 have heard this a few hundred times..

As for vocalist Estelle, you may remember her classic "American Boy" which was Song of the Week in March 2008 and later got substantial US radio play... Here she sings it at the World Music Awards..

this entry's permalink

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Walking Into Sunshine

Well it's finally broken 50F here in NY and not a cloud in the azure sky all the weekend long! And in just 6 days, we "sprng forward" into Daylight Savings Time...'

Here's a lovely fan video of a great spring/summer song from 1981...

this entry's permalink

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Hits The Mark

The mark of a really good movie is transcending its one-sentence description. Want to see a movie about a mentally disturbed college professor? A trailer woman redeemed by boxing? A retired gunman avenging a mutilated prostitute? Gay cowboys (actually shepherds) in the 60s? You see what I mean...

Despite great reviews, I wasn't excited to see a film about a aging, down-on-his-luck country singer, but 'Crazy Heart' is a engaging film and an interesting story, anchored by the excellent performances of Oscar front runner Jeff Bridges as the singer and nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal as the journalist and single mother who reluctantly becomes involved with him. In addition, the film is admirably realistic and tells its tale without the slightest whiff of Hollywood clichés, simplifications, pat solutions or happy endings. Extra bonus: The music is terrific, and Bridges can sing, as can Colin Farrell as the erstwhile protegé who now rules the country charts..

Bridges brilliantly nails this flawed and complex but ultimately sympathetic character. Gyllenhaal is luminous as the tough but vulnerable woman who becomes his catalyst. I'm thrilled she's getting recognition here, as relatively she's under-appreciated
after a decade of brilliant work in small films (Sherrybaby, Donnie Darko) punctuated by occasional commercial outings (Batman: The Dark Knight).

Anyway, here's the trailer:

this entry's permalink

Friday, March 05, 2010

My Brothers

Here, in a rare vintage 60s photo, Roddy McDowall is offered a hot sausage by Tab Hunter.

Before he was a Joker, he was Latin Lover... Guess what Cesar Romero had in common with Roddy McDowall?

this entry's permalink

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Scenes From Last...

Week's Winter Wonderland..





this entry's permalink

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

How The Mushroom Love-Meal Came Out..

I do Valentine's Day right, since I'm lucky enough to have the right Valentine.. Here's how that inspired love meal came out - Creamy spiced chicken in $13 Maitake Mushroom Sauce, Double Rich Double Browned Rice, and Best-Behaved Brussels Sprouts...

rich sensuous and scrumptious main dish did full justice to the $13 worth of mushroom and 800 calories worth of cream sauce!

I love this rich, brown rice recipé, which my Mom would make when I was a but a tot...

Brussels sprouts! They're best when cooked until mushy and served in a light lemony butter sauce with caraway seeds...

this entry's permalink

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The Tale of the $13 Mushroom

I've always been intrigued by exotic, gourmet mushrooms, and a few weeks back, right before Valentine's Day, I couldn't resist bringing home this $13 maitake specimen from a produce fair we wandered by down in the village... Maitake appear rippling and fan-shaped - they bear a most unusual and pleasant elastic texture, and a distinctive, rich, woodsy aroma and taste...

I then decided I would erect a creamy, mushroomy love-meal for my Valentine...

Prime boneless chicken breast was to be the centerpiece of the dish... and I used fresh herbs to spice up the flour in which I would dredge the chicken...

I made my very savory beefy rice using several cans of Campbell's double-rich, double-thick Beef Broth... Of course, I browned some mushrooms for the base of this dish, as well... Tomorrow, you'll see how my best laid plans came out....

this entry's permalink

Monday, March 01, 2010

Local Phenomenon

Prepare for a funky, hip, eclectic treat - today's musical entrée is the sassy, infectious '15 to 20,' by The Phenomenal Handclap Band, a 10-member NYC combo as diverse as the city they and we inhabit.

Their album is both well-crafted stunningly diverse, not a surprise given the musical pedigrees of its ten different band members. In their own words, it's a "harmonious culmination of numerous diverse musical backgrounds resulted in a sound that is equal parts anthemic, dancefloor-oriented and orchestral, embracing elements of progressive rock, disco, electro, and psychedelia."

'15 to 20,' the band's first single, is throwback to underground styles of yore, fusing angular proto-new wave with Paradise Garage-era funky grooves. Happily, its video ' captures the song's vibe with visual verve..

A second single, 'Baby,' has emerged... a memorable slice of mid-tempo blue-eyed soul, with horn and bass charts..

And here they are live with a favorite album track, the retro-futuristic rock-funk-chorale of 'You'll Disappear..."

this entry's permalink

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?