Tuesday, November 30, 2010


DSC08113Its gaggle of gleaming office towers earned Frankfurt-am-Main the nicknames 'Bankfurt' and 'Main-hattan,' but there's a twee little plaza downtown that's surprisingly oom-pa-pa...

We flew in at the crack of dawn, we flew out long past twilight. For all of two meetings. Lots of coffee. I mean LOTS of coffee, and an ice cream sundae.

Such were the experiences flickering by during my recent European marketing trip...

Back in New York, there's a high pile of work on my table..

...but in the evening I shed that skin, and become a happy homebody enjoying a healthy dinner with my better half, followed by the Season 1 closer of 'Glee', which was rather poignant and candy for the ear with strong performances of classics by Queen and Journey...

A view of the plaza....

this entry's permalink

Monday, November 29, 2010

Please Enjoy

Welcome to Jakarta, Indonesia, where my friend David is taking his first steps on the Asian continent, much as I did way back in '96...
Spices are in the air (because all the men smoke clove cigarettes), heavy Asian main dishes are on the breakfast buffet, and your metabolism is on scan-dial looking for a time zone...Here's the view from his hotel room - I stayed near there myself, even closer to the mosque and the shanty town in the photo's top left corner...

Jakarta isn't exactly dripping with Old Asian atmosphere; think charmless skyscrapers and molasses-slow city traffic, and an endless sprawl of The Poor and The Bustling...


this entry's permalink

Think Big, Think Pink

I've had this week's song up my sleeve for a while. It's 'Dominos,' a cavernous and catchy offering from award-winning UK electro-rock duo The Big Pink.

Both of the Pinksters, pictured left, are multi-instrumentalists and their unique, trippy but rock-edged sound won them (to my surprise) the NME Radar award for Best New Act of 2009; 'Dominos' also won best track... Big Pink, incidentally, is also the nickname of Portland, Oregon's tallest building, the 536-foot, 42 story US Bancorp Tower, pictured right.

The Pinksters' 'Dominos' video is a very artsy and cinematic take on a live studio rendition..

Big Pink's other big single, 'Velvet,' is two parts shoegazing, and one part each psychedelia (the video) and electro-rock. Artsy but simple black-and-white clip riffs on camera angles and images..

this entry's permalink

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm off for three days,
up in Maine with my lovely in-laws-to-be... one of whom baked this lovely three-berry pie last year.. mmmm good....

this entry's permalink

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Checkered Thinking

This is an actual statue from the headquarters of a London financial company. It is not a painted naked mime.

Same idea, without the body...

The art in its context....

this entry's permalink

Monday, November 22, 2010

Smokin' Soul Strut

What a retro pleasure I get from this week's song, 'Breakin' The Chains Of Love,' by the 60s-Stax-Northern Soul-influenced LA combo Fitz and The Tantrums..

This seven-piece band is built around the soul-drenched vocals of Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs, and includes and old church organ and a horn section.

Such earthy vocals and atmopsherics are a real treat in this day and age... They are really dynamite live, and they are fairly new on the scene, but with a flawless, breathtaking EP and debut album to their credit...

Watch the band sing, boogie and jive their hearts out through 'Breakin' The Chains, and then talk a bit.... A quarter pound of edamame, two shots of tequila, and some twizzlers? Hmmm.

Blue-tinged video for their soulful new single 'Money Grabber..'

A third helping: the equally lovely 'Winds of Change'...

this entry's permalink

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Frankfurter Art

For your viewing pleasure, some corporate art from my recent day trip to Germany's financial capital...

Samuel Goldwyn once said 'Movies are for entertainment; if you want to send a message, call Western Union." This German artist clearly hasn't gotten the message. 'Zeit' means 'time,' as in 'Zeitgeist,' which means 'spirit of the time...'

this entry's permalink

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Chew Carefully

I hate biting my tongue. And with the laminates, it's a harder bite... Here I am 18 months ago, when JP and I had just met...

That was the day I first met JP's closest friend, Andrew and his family, which was love at first sight. Here we are with Bruno, then not even 2 years old..

Here's Bruno today, older and wiser!

this entry's permalink

Friday, November 19, 2010

Modern-Day Marley...

You'll remember that Ebeneezer Scrooge was too cheap to replace the 'Scrooge and Marley' sign even though Marley had been 'dead as a doornail' for seven years... My friend Jason Young is alive and well, but hasn't lived in this here apartment building since the mid-1990s. Only his name remains...

When Jason moved in, he moved promptly to have his name placed near the doorbell. His successors have not pursued this recognition with the same zeal... Note that he lived in Apartment 2-E, just like Patricia Neil's character in 'Breakfast At Tiffany's'

Extra bonus: The original Breakfast At Tiffany's trailer... I saw this film often on TV in the 70s, never dreaming New York would shimmer again. Note that this trailer shows you some plot without at all showing you the whole film...

this entry's permalink

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pink Guns and Peace Flowers

I'm not sure who Alec is but his retro street art and late 60s/early 70s sensibility are interesting. Dig the pink guns with flowers in the barrel, peace signs and a US flag with a dollar sign where the stars should be..

It was an interesting
art encounter in the wan light of an Indian Summer morn...

this entry's permalink

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I never had a brother, though I suppose I've adopted many. Karl and Bruno, happily, have each other...

On Halloween, here they are disguised as Skeleton Man and Mini-Darth-Vader

Karl and Bruno were born in the 2000s, but here they are re-imagined as 60s kids in this tie-dyed wash photo with Andrew..

this entry's permalink

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

215 Loaves

Best use of toast in history!
All 215 loaves of bread used in the making of the new OK Go! video 'Last Leaf' were past their sell-by date and rescued from the clutches of certain disposal.

this entry's permalink

No Queen Like An Old Queen?

Queen of Country Music, Anyone? My guess was Patsy Cline... But the answer is Kitty Wells, born 91 years ago and still alive... Her 1952 breakthrough was 'It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels'... Enjoy her kicking it live (years after it hit..)!

Here she is in living color, probably late 1950s or early 1960s... 'I Don't Claim To Be An Angel...'

this entry's permalink

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sister Who Really Cooks!

Roll over, Bea Arthur! : - ) Imagine the vocal cross between kd lang and Erasure's Andy Bell, poured into the very hefty and often scantily clad frame of a free spirit, non-conformist lesbian activist.

You've just conjured up Beth Ditto, dynamic lead singer of Oregon-based neo-new-wave trio The Gossip, who provide our insanely catchy Song of the Week, 'Love Long Distance...'

Beth, born Mary Beth Patterson in Searcy, Arkansas, is proud of her unique and revealing body image, and occasionally models and pens a newspaper advice column.

Beth formed the Gossip 11 years ago in Olympia, WA, with two college roommates, also from Arkansas, Brace Paine and Kathy Mendonça; the latter left to become a midwife and was replaced by Hannah Billie. The Gossip was signed to Sony's LGBT division, Music With A Twist. In 2007 they finally broke through in the UK with the title track of their 3rd album, 'Standing In the Way Of Control,' scoring a radio hit, gold album, and considerable local celebrity...

Beth is close friends with the fabulous Ana Matronic of Scissor Sisters...

Here's the very round 'bubble head' video clip for 'Love Long Distance...'

Though 'Love Long Distance' is my favorite, 'Heavy Cross,' is the group's international hit single (top 5 Germany, Australia, Switzerland, and Italy, top 10 Australia)..

Lead singer Beth Ditto is a wild and talented frontwoman - here she shakes it live at Soliday's ripping through group's breakthrough hit, 'Standing In The Way Of Control...'

this entry's permalink

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sincerest Form Of Flattery

Halloween in 2010...

... recalls Aaron's Finest Halloween Hour, back in 2008...

this entry's permalink

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Biggy Rat

"They are the whiskered face of labor in New York, like rodent Tom Joads, perched wherever there’s a fight, so hungry people can eat. Wherever there’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, Ma…" That's how the NYT described the Foul Labor Practices Rat, which I spotted yesterday across the street from work, staring into Park Avenue Plaza!
rat 4

This inflatable rubber rat, seen here peering through the front windows, is described thusly in
court proceedings: "The rat presents an imposing figure," the ruling says. "The rats here were 15 or 30 feet high. The body of the rat is gray with pink eyes, ears and nose. Its sits on its haunches with its front paws outstretched and claws extended. Its mouth is open, baring its teeth." It's very effective!
rat 2

This shot gives you an idea of Biggy's size...
rat 5

Here's a rare double rat sighting that
NYT posted in August:

"Biggy Rat" is actually a character in King Leonardo, an early 1960s TV cartoon about a good lion king, his wise skunk advisor Odie Colognie, h
apless criminal sibling Itchy Brother and nemesis, yes, Biggy Rat. Here's a sampling..

this entry's permalink

Friday, November 12, 2010

Memorable Mole

Pronounced 'MOLE-ay.' Mexico's national dish, and quantity of regional variants exceeds the number of words Eskimos have for snow. I've had moles both memorable and forgettable, but those sampled on a recent outing to Boston's Tu y Yo knocked my socks off!

I went with the 'Mole Colorado Tlaxcalteca,' or chicken breast in red mole made with chocolate, almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and ancho, pasilla, mulato and chipotle peppers!

Erik went with the Pollo en Mole Blanco, or chicken breast covered in a creamy sauce made with onions, nuts, pine nuts, and beer. We tasted each other's plate, and both were good, but consensus held that mine was the more memorable entrée..

Erik can seek solace in the green glory of his quintessentially Mexican starter, Crepa de Cuitlacoche en Salsa Poblana, which for a mere $8.95 offered thin crepe filled with cuitlacoche (a fungus that develops on corn), onions, corn and cheese covered in a poblano pepper sauce.

this entry's permalink

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What Becomes A Legend?

In the subway it becomes, if not defaced, then... re-imagined...
First, what's left of Cherilyn Sarkisian LaPierre Bono Allman...
(today is Veterans' Day, and I am not off... neither is my better half...)

Then, a gaping hole where Christina Aguilera should be.
I once stood just feet away from Ms. Aguilera at a Hillary Clinton fundraiser (gift tickets, courtesy Bevan), where this little latter-day Ms. Dynamite blew the roof off the joint...

this entry's permalink

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bart's Wondrous Paintbox

My dear friend Bart, director of exhibitions at Hudson River Museum, is getting
great notice for "Paintbox Leaves: Autumnal Inspiration from Cole to Wyeth,' focusing on American artist's fascination with Autumn. It runs through January 16, and showcases both 19th century art and later impressionists and contemporary landscape painters...

Here's Arthur Dove's Abstraction of Autumn Leaves from 1939...

Bill Sullivan's 'View from Olana with Foliage' from 2005... He's still alive!

Finally, from 1827, Thomas Cole's 'The Clove Catskills'....

A brief clip on Arts around town from SundayArts News:

Watch the full episode. See more SundayArts.

this entry's permalink

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Knee Bone's Connected...

Unscramble this! During my 12 London customer visits in 48 hours, I saw a cornucopia of office building art. This thing-a-ma-bob is a favorite, suggesting some sort of un-tieable Gordian Knot, an alien molecule, or an oversized paper clip sculpture..

This shot conveys the art object's larger-than-life size...

this entry's permalink

Monday, November 08, 2010

Serious Grooves

Today's song, the darkly, danceable and hard to resist "The Most Certain Sure" by !!!, has been that late summer ring in my ears well into the darkening days of late autumn..

My friends, it's time you meet the seriously groovy !!!, the Sacramento sextet that oddly fuses a punk band with a disco orchestra, wrapping their biting, edgy lyrics in a symphonically rhythmic sweep.

These guys are live - if you've heard way too much synthesized dance music, here's your antidote, living percussion in five different forms alongside a variety of novel electronic devices. You can feel the energy careening around the venue, every foot in the house tapping, every sweat gland opening up...

And, no, !!! is not an unpronounceable symbol a la current-and-former Prince, quite the opposite, you yourself can decide how it's pronounced; the band says it's "any monosyllable repeated three times." The music press convention is to call them Chk Chk Chk.

The name was inspired by the clicking Xhosa African language seen by the band an Aaron favorite film, 'The Gods Must Be Crazy"

Just their song titles blow me away - their 9 minute riff of a debut from 2003 was called 'Me and Giuliani Down By The Schoolyard.'

It was followed in 2004 by the infectious but angry political shout that is 'Pardon My Freedom..' Other titles: 'Break In Case of Anything, ' and 'Hello? Is This Thing On?'

Here they are live burning up our SOTW!

Some of their memorable video work follows. We'll start with their rollicking, risqué new video single, 'Jamie, My Intentions Are Bass..'

Here's 'Must Be The Moon' from 2007...

From 2004, the memorable 'Hello? Is This Thing On?'

Finally, long live jam of 'Me And Giuliani Down By The School Yard':

this entry's permalink

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Let's Chat About Truth

At Chelsea's Bombay Talkie on 9th Avenue between 21st and 22nd, Chat is always plentiful... Their 'Papdi Chat' are crispy flour 'beggar's purses' stuffed with potatoes and chickpeas in a tamarind and yogurt sauce...

DSC07873Bombay Talkie's cocktail menu includes A New Phase of Life, Unrequited Love and Truth Is Beauty. These sound as much like self-help titles as like self-obliterating tonics. I chose a "Truth is Beauty (Satyam Shivam Sundaram)" - Jasmine tea infused with apple cider, Apple Pucker, 99 Banana, Bacardi and fersh lime juice garnished with a drunken apple, served chilled or hot. I had mine hot..

Bombay Talkie's drink names are actually tributes to Indian movies, which are mentioned, as is the restaurant’s conviction that the gin, lime juice and saffron syrup in the Unrequited Love is “enough to drown any sorrow.”

The restaurant's owner/creator, Sunitha Ramaiah, aims to combine her childhood in Southern India and her adult life in Manhattan. Imagine a tiny roadside café filtered through a sleek Bollywood canvas...

this entry's permalink

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Fun & Original

Enjoy this outrageous and unprecedented video clip for LCD Soundsystem's 'Drunk Girls,' in which mysterious people in white suits continuously attack the group as they try to perform their song..

this entry's permalink

Pride of Boston

The marvelous cable-stayed
Zukim Bunker Hill Bridge, Boston's proud new symbolic icon, as viewed from my hotel room via zoom-in..

this entry's permalink

Friday, November 05, 2010

All The Foliage I Saw

Pleasant view of Faneuil Hall environs from my Boston hotel last week...


this entry's permalink

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