blogs t r e t c h

between a roux and a bechamel

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Contest

A little background: After catching up on my Sarah Haskins, I was clicking around Current and landed on 5 Lame Rap Songs That People Like, hosted by a guy named Sergio. My initial reaction, as it usually is to people named Sergio that turn out not to be fat, was, but wait... I thought you said your name was Sergio? Where's your gut. See! You just did it again! "Hi, I'm Sergio." Prove it! But then, I got over that, and this "Sergio" character made me laugh a lot. Then I watched his Top 5 Songs to Have Sex To, and decided I want to share some jelly beans and maybe an apartment with Sergio. Or maybe just watch more of his videos. Anyway, then I read his bio. It's hilarious.
Sergio would do you a favor if you asked him and expects the same in return. So watch him every week on the White Hot Top 5!

Sergio is just like you and wants to be your friend. He is one of the nicest people I know except if he is hungry then he's a jerk. Sergio
peaked maybe a little too early when he was awarded, "wittiest" back in 8th Grade. Before rocking it with Infomania, he worked at The Showbiz Show with David Spade and the hilarious Craig Ferguson Show.

Sergio is a gracious winner, he loves picking flowers, licking stamps, passing out flyers to
strangers, putting out amazing energy, beating you at something you're really good at, and the occasional light pillow talk.

You know what I hate, and suck at? Describing myself in official capacities. For examples, see my DCist* and IFA profiles. How much do those suck!?! SO MUCH! So, here's your challenge: write me a bio. You can do it in the style of DCist or IFA, or just, ya know, freestyle it. Keep in mind that I'll probably couple it with the twinkle smile photo. If I actually use your profile somewhere, I'll reward you with some sort of public display of affection on the internet.

*Oh wait! I now see that we don't have profiles anymore on DCist. Hollar atcher redesign! That's nice. But trust me: it was pretty terrible.UPDATE: Aaron points out we do in fact still have bios on DCist, they're just not attached to our names anymore. See: here.

Hip Hip Hooray

The DC voting rights measure passed the Senate! Interested in how that came about? You should check out Sommer's awesome and thorough liveblogs on DCist. One, Two, Three.

For breakfast I had: 3 cookies, 2 cups of coffee and 1 banana.

Important Things with Demetri Martin is not funny.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

And a couple of bridesmaid dresses

I just picked up dry cleaning that I dropped off before I moved -- stuff that had been piling up in the old house waiting for cleaning, or shoved in the back of the closet and forgotten about. I then promptly forgot about it being THERE until I went to drop off a couple sweaters today. It was like shopping! So many sweaters and dresses and jackets that I love and didn't remember owning. Also: probably doubled my wardrobe.

So that was awesome. Right before that: got rear ended. Dammit. I'm fine. Car has a ding. Not my fault. Grrrrrr. Do you think my twinkle-grin powers can fix the dent? I'm pretty sure they can.

I leave for Ireland one week from today. I covered my office window with shamrock decals and have been sending out daily countdown emails to Kay and Sarah, and reading up on my Irish history and falling deeply and madly in love with Yeats all over again in preparation.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I really wish this hadn't run today so that I could make jokes about raw milk clubs full of people who have NEVER EVEN MADE RICOTTA!, but alas, I cannot. As I am part of an equally precious local foodie jam session getting coverage in a major newspaper today. Get this guys: we blog. EVEN AFTER WORK! I can only hope we get even more famous* so people start gossiping about how many people in the IFA are sleeping together, and paparazzi start hanging around our kitchens hoping to catch us getting up from the couch without underwear on.

*I am being sarcastic, in case that didn't come across.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

OC Fans Take Note

Internets just informed me that Marissa Tomei is dating the guy that played Trey Atwood (you know, Ryan's brother, who tried to rape Marissa and kill Ryan and all that). But yeah, he sure is young and hot! Well played, Tomei.

Well that's a Sautee Stirer. I'm goin on break.

This Homesick Texan post, combined with last week's Top Chef, made my wheels start turning. Apparently, roux is very hard to make because it requires you to stand over a stove stirring flour and oil together for a really lot of minutes. A lot of things fall into this category. I'm willing to put a lot of work into dishes (chopping, marinating, doing all sorts of odd prep work), but the part that will often deter me from actually cooking something is if it involves a lot of attention to something while it's cooking. Isn't it about time we made a kitchen appliance that solved this problem? I'm thinking you could make a suatee pan lid that has a very slowly revolving arm to keep things you're cooking moving, not sticking to the bottom, not burning -- without you standing over it the whole time. Lazy? Sure! But so are most of the "problems" kitchen gadgets "solved". I'm just sayin, this is an area our friends at Kitchen Aide and Cuisinart should look into.

If you did not grok the post's title, please refer to this.

Mother Mother!

Catherine persuaded me to go to the Rock & Roll Hotel last night to catch Mother Mother. Based on a few listens to their MySpace page, I'd judged them sufficiently catchy to warrant a few live songs. Let me just say this: their recordings, while fairly great, do them no justice whatsoever. This band was tremendous. Five members, all clad in red pants and black tops, took the stage and the energy in the room spiked through the ceiling. The lead singer/guitarist, a guy who looks so much like Billy Idol that even if he were his son it would still be creepy, was flanked by two lovely lady singers (who each also played keys and a few other odds and ends), and supported by a drummer and bassist/horn player. They played raucous songs with amazingly tight precision. I caught moments that reminded me of a million things -- the Flaming Lips, Of Montreal, Slick Rick, David Bowie -- but really, these guys aren't comparable to anything as a whole. Which makes them really really exciting.

As Julian noted, as much as we love Pavement & Nirvana, they put this idea into the heads of so many rock bands that nothing needs to be clear (vocals, notes). And while that kind of fuzzed up sound has done a lot of great things, it's ok to diverge. And diverge Mother Mother does. There are about 7,000,000 Candian (or "Canadian") bands out there that traffic in multiple-vocalist walls of sound. But these guys sing together and match every note, every beat, every enunciation with each other to sharp and impressive perfection. Their voices are all impossibly high and if they were just lolling along little love songs, it would be twee as fuck. But they take those pixie-dusted vox and turn them into something clear and strong and truly exciting. Mother Mother put on an absolutely great show. I can't wait to see them headline instead of open. And if given the chance to see these guys play, do it. Do it immediately.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Things I Tried This Weekend for the First Time

  • Pig Ear
  • Sweetbreads
  • Venison

Five Brides for Five Bearded Rockers

Adventures in unfortunate ad placement:

Friday, February 20, 2009

Turn to the Left

After looking at umpteen slideshows from fashion week, it appears that we're in for lots of dark colors, harsh lines, crazy layering, makeup that looks like your eyes are bleeding, dark metalics, and the continuation of this whole Mad Men thing. So, nothing new. But hey guys, I have a feeling that being really, really skinny is gonna be super duper cool this year!!1! Here are a few things I actually did like, though.

I want to get married in this.

BCBG Max Azria

Or this.

Carlos Miele

And I'd like any of these, please:

Catherine Malandrino

Cynthia Steffe

This would also make a lovely bridal number, but not for me I don't think. Someone cuter, and more petite.

And in case you're wondering what Christian "Hot Tranny Mess" Siriano's been up to, get a load of THIS!

I clearly woke up today with music on my mind

I finally ripped into the growing stack of promo CDs this morning. So far: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart leave me wondering what all the fuss is about. Nice enough for coffee shop background music, but overall kind of leaves me bored. You know what's a better version of that sort of sound, in my humble opinion? The new Longwave album, Secrets Are Sinister. Also, I'm enjoying the hell out of Findlay Brown's Love Will Find You. And, Catherine turned me on to Mother Mother, who I'm now looking forward to seeing Monday at the R&R Hotel.

Put A Banging Donk On It

I meant to post this.... a couple weeks ago when we had the conversation, but, here's an IM chat between Weigel and I, as we go through a handful of mp3's I've been sent and he says funny and insightful things about them. Enjoy.

me: so i've been doing this thing this week
where instead of just breezing through all of the 800 press release emails
i've actually been listening to some of the mp3s
and hey, some of them are pretty good!
David: which in particular?
me: i just blogged this one band, naked hearts
very early 90s
but with a little like, 00s lounge stuff on top
David: i can already picture Sanchez freakdancing to this
me: exactly
David: this reminds me of Tanya Donnelly/Belly, who sort of ruled
me: YES
belly! that is EXACTLY who i was trying to think of
then there are tracks like this, that shouldn't have left 2003
David: hah, i love it when Wikipedia is edited by publicists
With the long-anticipated release of "Love, Hate and Then There’s You", The Von Bondies’ third studio album and their debut for Majordomo Records, fans will experience a band that’s come a long way since 2004's Pawn Shoppe Heart (Sire).
Joel Siegel of Good Morning America says "it kicks fucking ass!"
me: hahahahahha
David: yeah, this song is totally throwback
i don't think my brain can take this much high-end anymore
me: exactly
i'm sorry, who cloned willie nelson?
i'm just searching "mp3" in my gmail
and finding a whole wacky smattering of stuff
i don't do enough drugs anymore to listen to this
David: this "willie" vocalist reminds me of a lot of other alt country singers
this warble-to-cover-up-thin-voice trick is about as new as the cathode tube
me: i think that black moth super rainbow song was more "art" than "music"
David: it sounds like Girl Talk remixing Air
like Moon Safari-era Air
me: ha, yes
this song is sort of like... if Beta Band got bored.
David: i don't hate this kind of stuff, the songs that sound like you're skipping through itunes
like the new Of Montreal record
me: i haven't heard the new one
whoa, was what i sent you even a link? that is long
hold pls
David: yes, it's playing
me: ok
David: the extra hypertext is for extra AWESOME
thus far these are all bands i'd pay like $10 to see on a bill with two other bands
minus von bondies
me: yes. totally.
this song makes me nostalgic for being right out of college, getting really excited for when the oc came on each week
David: "Airport Surroundings" gets me with the "na na na-na, na-na" falsetto harmonizing
actually, i really like this song
me: it's not bad at all. it just reminds me of a less-inspired version of this other song i really like
maybe i should listen to it agian
David: ooh, handcalps
there seem to be a lot of bands that sound like this, and none suck
you are giving me a distorted picture of the pr you get
me: uh, i also get this
because apparently it is 1997 and i'm easy listening radio
David: mmmm, trainwrecky
me: haha
there's a band called Thank You
David: For Not Throwing Bottles of Piss
me: that's actually pretty appropriate, since this is the kind of music they make:
here's a concept guys: editing
David: i dunno... that last band was pretty clear on the concept of wasting vis a vis not wasting time
me: ha
David: is this going to be a mashup?
me: i don't even know what this is
i guess technically a mashup yes
even if this weren't ryan gossling singing, i'd still think this was fucking rad.
David: this is ryan gosling?
he sounds like ian curtis
me: yeah!
this is a guy called Mike Bones. I wonder if anybody in search of some dirt rap has ever gotten a confusing surprise as a result.
David: i don't think anyone comes away from mike jones not precisely remembering his name
or 281-330-8004
me: hahahahaha
David: hit mike bones up on the low, 'cuz mike bones about to blow

Also: To explain the title of this post. I got an amazing press release this week that made me, more than anytime before it, not want to listen to the music it described. Here, let me share it with you!

VBS.TV Puts A Banging Donk On It

Hey Musicnets,

On VBS.TV we have drank blood with black metal bands in Norway, smoked blunts with Houston rappers, and partied in China with underground punk kids.

This time around VBS.TV goes to the desolate factory town of Burnley in the UK (think Detroit) to report on the music phenomonen called Donk.

What is donk?

Since the advent of acid house in the late 80s, British techno music has been in a long, baffling search for some sort of universal lowest common denominator. Breakbeat, digital hardcore, and gabber all made strong efforts in the race for the bottom, but none of them holds a candle to donk. Combining the 150bpm madness of happy hardcore with indecipherable North English rap and then overlaying the whole mess with a single, infuriating "donk" sound, donk may well be the apotheosis of all ridiculous dance music to date. It is also the only local thing going for an entire population of working-class kids with dwindling outside prospects.

Watch Donk on

What we found blew our minds and we are still recovering from what we witnessed, not even sure what we saw exactly. So come along for ecstasy fueled all nighters into the bizarre scene that is Donk.

Thanks for watching!


P.S. -
This is the Black Out Crew, commonly referred to as the Beatles of the Donk scene. Their video "Put A Donk On It!" has almost 4 million views on Youtube.

DCist Exposed! Tonight! Flashpoint Gallery! 5-9 p.m.! This is our third annual photo exhibit, featuring the work of the photographers that contribute to our site every day. Some are hobby photographers, some much closer to professional, but all of the work is outstanding. The entries get more impressive every year and I can't wait to see what's hanging on the walls tonight. The opening party is always packed and tons of fun, so come on out!

Flashpoint is at 916 G St NW. Take metro to Gallery Place/Chinatown. It's on G St between 9th & 10th.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hello, Google?

So, google reader. What da fock? I set my... settings to open up to All Items. I unsubscribed from Why I Hate DC (your very favorite blog in all of the world, as it seems). Yet, you still open up, every time, to WIHDC, now with a little "you are not subscribed to this feed, you dummy!"* message at the top. I WISH GOOGLE READER KNEW HOW TO QUIT YOU, annoying blog I don't like reading anymore. How can I fix this?

*That might not be exactly what it says.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

See Catherine

Cats don't murder you in your sleep, they save your life.

I got mad love for George & Abe

Long weekend! I had one! How was yours? Here are a few thoughts on mine:
  • The Sentiment were a good band. Their one-off reunion show made me wish they still played together.
  • I love Mitchell & Floyd.
  • Chung's headwear on Friday gave me a burning desire for a headkerchief or five.
  • Grandparents are amazing. As I cut a grapefruit for my grampa, using his little grapefruit knife, I said, "wow this is really neat, I wish I had one." To which he replied, "hold on." Went to the back room, and found, of course, his stash of grapefruit knives. Because grandparents buy everything in bulk.
  • I am just not that into He's Just Not That Into You. On top of what Dana said, the movie just completely reversed all of its "lessons" in the final act. Because its not until your spirit is broken by guys walking all over you that you are finally worthy of their love. Boo. Hiss.
  • I finally had success making fried fish tacos. They were oh so good. Look for more on this on the IFA.
  • Vinotecca's dollar mimosas are a good way to start a Sunday. Beer and cupcakes are a good second course. Dollar oysters at Hanks are a lovely third. And Szichuan hot pot is fun and I'm glad we did it but not the culinary delight I was hoping for. And Solly's weird little post-cab-crash window area is claustrophobic. And I suck at big buck hunter.
  • I have discovered my new favorite drink: Campari and orange juice.
  • Art & Soul is a very good restaurant. The complimentary skillet bread alone makes it worth the trip. Also: Art Smith comes out and checks on each table personally. Which is pretty great. And the sauce served with the salmon is divine.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A real, actual conversation that happened last night

Alyssa: What are you doing tomorrow?
Me: I'm making brunch for my grandparents.
Alyssa: That's nice! I'm dog sitting and volunteering at the library.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Happy Pygmalentines Day

Step 1: Click here.

Step 2: Read this:

me: i can't ever watch BSG without being dumbfounded at how much Starbuck looks like The G

The Nabob: its odd though
i see your point
there is a resemblance
yet I find The G incredibly attractive and Starbucks not so much

me: you just earned like 3,000 husband dollars

Another reason Comcast kinda sucks

Why can't you set DVR recordings with Comcast's hardware by time? For some reason, it thinks that every episode of The Daily Show that plays is a new episode (which means TDS recordings are pushing out recordings of prime time shows and filling up my DVR space). On my old Cox DVR, I could choose to only record episodes that aired at a certain time - not just choose "all episodes" or "only new episodes." (So, I could say only record episodes at 11 p.m. on Comedy Central, getting around these types of problems.) Any tips?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Public Service Announcement

In the event you're not already, you should really be reading Monitor Mix. Carrie Brownstein continues to be the most refreshing and relevant music blogger around. There isn't a hint of impressed-with-herself-hipness, just honesty and interesting/smart/funny critique and observation. Still so great.

Also, when Pop Tarts Suck Toasted formats interviews this way, it looks like every question is being phrased as a secret.

A Theory

Based entirely on the contents of my office's freezer:

The recession is making people stick to their "I'll eat Lean Pockets for lunch every day" resolutions for much longer than they normally do.

I like food, food tastes good

So I've been working out a little bit lately. This isn't news for most humans in the world, but I am incredibly lazy and don't work out ever. Because all the yoga and weight lifting is such a shock to my system, I'm actually already noticing results with just a few times under my belt. In that, my belts, they are looser. That's probably really obnoxious to people that work out every single day and whose bodies are so in shape that they're just used to it. To which I say: don't worry. All the good I'm doing is sure to be erased with the week I've got coming up.

Sunday night: Szichuan Hot Pot!

Monday: RW @ Art & Soul!

Tuesday: RW @ Farrah Olivia!

Thursday: RW @ Mio!

Saturday: Restaurant Eve for mom's bday!

Slightly trimmer waist, it was really nice seeing you. Hope we meet again sometime soon. Or maybe this is all just an illusion and I feel thinner without all the extra weight I was carrying around on my head. (I just chopped off many many inches of my hair.)

And on to non narcissistic things: you know what's a delightful snack? Sugar snap peas and tzatziki sauce. Try it! You'll like it!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Black-out Drunks are So Charming

In lieu of introducing himself to my friends and I, at a going away party on Saturday night:

B.O.D.: Hey, how old are you guys?
Me: Excuse me?
B.O.D.: I said, what's up?


But if any of you are over 25 I'm going to puke.

I think I'm in love.

Friday, February 06, 2009

I just can't help it

Whenever I hear "Papa Was a Rollin Stone," all I can think of is Wallace stocking the shelves, singing it to that Ghostbuster*.

Also: Coraline. Very cool. Very cute. Not as creepy/edgy as I'd hoped. But the animation? Amazing! The 3-D? Waaaaay better than the superbowl. Go see it.

*This is what I'm talking about. Though whoever, labeled this youtube is very, very wrong.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


All three restaurants I'm going to for Restaurant Week (Farrah Olivia, Mio, Art & Soul) were recommended by Todd Kliman. Yay!

Also: Kate is so smart.

Monday, February 02, 2009

I wonder

If this new Spoon song is a nod to Buddy Holly (whose work the song evokes really strongly, and who also has a song called "Well Alright"), or just a weird coincidence. Related: happy 50th anniversary of the Day the Music Died.