last updated: january 3, 2005

so according to london's telegraph: "After more than 10 years' mysterious silence, a new album by Kate Bush is in the works". i'm not really into kate bush (yet?) but she interests me, and her version of elton john's "rocket man" was very excellent. speaking of kate bush, i heard excerpts from two tracks from tori's new album the beekeeper due out in february. i hate to say it, but i'm just not into the soporific, easy listening, sarah mclachlan-esque stuff she's been doing. ah well.

in contrast, bjork's medulla this year proved she's still going strong, and the tracks i've heard from ani's new album knuckledown (due jan 25) are promising. she's working w/ a co-producer for the first time ever and he can prob. be credited w/ the very professional and interesting string arrangements i've heard which automatically give ani a new sound.

sondheim's cast recording of the frogs (a curio, feat. nathan lane) is due out jan. 25 also, which i'm prob. going to hold off on for a while b/c i already have the other studio recording (also feat. nathan lane).

in an interview with, audra mcdonald said she hopes to have a new record out in the spring. although i'm incredibly wary of non-pop singers doing pop songs (her repertoire apparently includes songs by paul simon, elvis costello, stevie wonder, and prince), i'm semi-hopeful that audra won't disappoint. we'll just have to see.

so far that's what i'm looking forward to on disc for 2005.

posted by fwc | 12/24/2004 8:36 PM

first up, i've started an open-discussion arts mailing list (mostly for boston folks). to subscribe, click here. the purpose is:bess, jeff l., and i have been talking arts lately and how to be more active artists and audiences. that's all i'm going to say about it for now, but hopefully there will be a lot more info to come.

and am i the only one who finds bjork's fellow nominees in the grammys incredibly funny? i mean hmm sheryl crow, gwen stefani, ... and bjork?? it's good to see pj get a nod (though i highly doubt either of them will win), even though this just points out how worthless the grammys are; pj's last album (stories from the city) was way better than this one. anyway, as always it'll be interesting to see what bjork wears ... heh.

Field 1 - Pop
Category 5 - Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
(For a solo vocal performance. Singles or Tracks only.)
• Oceania - Björk
• The First Cut Is The Deepest - Sheryl Crow
• Sunrise - Norah Jones
• What You Waiting For? - Gwen Stefani
• You Had Me - Joss Stone

Field 5 - Alternative
Category 22 - Best Alternative Music Album
(Vocal or Instrumental.)
• Medulla - Björk
• Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
• Uh Huh Her - PJ Harvey
• Good News For People Who Love Bad News - Modest Mouse
• A Ghost Is Born - Wilco

posted by fwc | 12/13/2004 3:54 PM
so now that i've more or less caught up on my sleep and recovered from the cold i caught in london, i can report that london is doing well. during the first two days we wandered around a lot, but we eventually made our way through islington, camden town, covent garden, and soho and to the london zoo and a club. we also saw noel coward's blithe spirit which was enjoyable, as coward usually is. you may have already read about our great visit to st. john's (see below). then andy went home for a day and a half, so while he was gone (and after i had finished weeping) i went to the national portrait gallery (where they had a nice exhibit of the results from their photography contest) and the museum of national history and wandered around even more and went clubbing again. the last day we went to the V&A which was great. the cafe there was particularly noteworthy for the surprisingly good food. also there was a duo there playing beethoven and a very funny worker who admonished us to "please! give peas a chance!"

here are some pics. andy and i tend to not take as many photos as we should, but here are a few somewhat interesting ones:
row 1: regent street; flowers at regent's park
row 2: fluffy meerkat at the london zoo; andy and a ... condor?
row 3: fred as superfred; london school group

posted by fwc | 12/6/2004 8:28 AM
i'm holding off on writing about london until i get some pics from andy to post, but in the meanwhile here's some info on iggy's bakery. apparently the bakery began in january of 1994 and they used to have a location in watertown, but they've just moved to 130 fawcett st. which is 5 minutes away from where i work. score. (especially since my workplace doesn't have vegetarian stuff that often.) it looks like they also supply breads to whole foods, and prob. other places as well. i've been to their store twice so far, and this is just the kind of place that i love: local, organic, and homey. today i had a slice of potato/garlic/red pepper pizza and a quince jam croissant. mmmm. (although andy's prob. going to complain that i'm still sweating garlic when i see him tonight.) i also got a honey sticky bun, and i was definitely eyeing their cookies and almond croissants. it's kind of weird that they're out here in the middle of nowhere, but i'm definitely not complaining. hmm, guess who's going to be eating way too many pastries from now on?
posted by fwc | 12/3/2004 4:45 PM
i'm writing this at an internet cafe near leicester square in london, so this'll be short. london's been good so far, and i'm reminded of the simple fact that british guys are easily -way- hotter than american guys. the only drawback so far is that there are way too many !"£)^&*(! americans here. and all of them are embarassing andy and me and giving americans a bad name.

i thought winnie would like to know about our dining experience at
st. john bread & wine spitalfields (94-96 commercial st, the second of their two locations). winnie has yet to steer us wrong, and today was certainly no exception. it's too bad andy's not writing this, b/c he was incredibly enthusiastic, but here's the rundown:

- andy started w/ a simple lettuce salad that was perfectly dressed and incredibly fresh.
- i started w/ the parsnip soup. simple, but nice and hearty.
- andy had the calves' kidneys w/ turnips, which he raved about.
- i had the "swede cake", kind of like an au gratin potato pie, with a watercress and pickled walnuts salad. my salad was a bit overly dressed i think, but the swede cake was quite good, with a slight tang.
- andy just about swooned over the spotted dick (note how i refrain from making any dumb remarks about the name), and he said it just about made the lunch the best meal he's ever had.
- i had the chocolate pot which was excellent.

the waitstaff was personable and attentive, and the space was just about perfect (although a tad chilly for me as all places here are apparently), and all in all i thoroughly enjoyed it, although not quite to the extent that andy did. we haven't decided yet if we're going to the other location for dinner, but i think the chances are high ... more to report in a few days.

posted by fwc | 11/26/2004 1:21 PM
fred's guide on how to draw new audiences to contemporary classical music concerts (notice how i'm not naming any names):

- DON'T FILL YOUR PROGRAMME WITH FLUFF. AVOID: pseudo-ethnic music (umm, why would we want to hear string instruments trying to sound like chinese, spanish, and/or african instruments when we can just listen to THE REAL THING??); percussion instruments (there's a reason bach never wrote a suite for maracas); and other gimmick-filled music (if your beats aren't any more interesting than bjork's, give it up).

- CONSIDER THE SPACE. it's nice that you're trying to draw audiences into more casual spaces, but really, the strong scent of fried chicken and the constant waitstaff literally treading on your toes is distracting. here's an idea: why not move the tables to the back of the room so that those who actually want to listen to the music can?

- REHEARSE. even if we've never heard the piece before, we can still tell when it's unmusical and thrown together, particularly if it's out of tune and sloppy.

- AVOID THE CLICHES. variety is good in a programme (within reason), but not in a single piece: enough already with the schizophrenic music! (especially the kind that riffs on popular music. it's NOT CUTE; it's ANNOYING.) we have a longer attention span than two minutes you know. and WHY are people still doing this pseudo-serialist crap? you're not an austrian composer from the 1920's!

- BOTTOM LINE: you may get a few people looking for cheap thrills to listen to your cheap renditions of contemporary classical music, but you won't convert anyone. give your audience a little more credit; most of us have brains in between our ears, and those that don't aren't going to leave britney spears for you so stop wasting your time. give us something honest, moving, surprising, and that takes itself seriously, and we'll listen. don't and you will only get OUR WRATH.

posted by fwc | 11/22/2004 2:02 PM
andy and i went to spire (tremont st at park st) this past monday. the one line summary is: okay food, terrible service. allow me a moment to rant (although i'm sure i've ranted about this before): HOW HARD IS IT TO GET GOOD SERVICE?? the bottom line is that restaurants' waitstaff and their managers don't realize that service is as much a commodity as food, and personally i think it's more. andy and i agree, and i'm sure most people do as well, that if we had to consider a place with slightly less quality food but with superior service, we'd go with the better service place every time. how was our service bad? let me count the ways:

- in general, our waitress was uncommitted at best and negligent at worst.
- apparently we were only allowed one menu for the two of us at all times.
- the waitress didn't give us napkins??
- asked for my wine to come w/ my entree when i ordered. of course she forgot. no apology.
- after my entree arrived i had to ask for a fork. (compare to number 9 park where they practically shower you with cutlery.) again no apology.
- they offered to pay for our first round of drinks b/c the kitchen was slow due to a large party. and then of course they forgot that too when they gave us our check. no apology.
- the bartender didn't look andy's way for at least five minutes even though he literally wasn't doing anything except chatting with the waitress while andy waited (not so) patiently for another drink.
- at least 60% of the time the bartender had his back to the bar.
- at one point the bartender left for at least 5 minutes and there was no one manning the bar.
- no offer for a dessert menu. even stranger was that our check was just left where we were sitting at the bar. uh ... isn't that what they do in diners? and why bother leaving a pen w/ our check if we haven't even given them a credit card yet?
- when the waitress brought out andy's entree he asked her a question about what it was comprised of, but she didn't know the answer and didn't offer to find out, nor did she apologize.

overall the service was amateur and it felt like the staff didn't want to be there. which, needless to say, is bad bad bad. if restaurants aren't welcoming, they're cold and unfriendly and you might as well be eating at your in-laws.

with all the disappointment in the service, it's hardly with mentioning the food, but here's a quick run-down:

- vidalia onion soup, pickled chanterelles, nantucket razor clams & scallion: andy said this was good but the ratio of soup to other stuff was off (possibly the waitress's fault).
- kobe beef shooters, 3 rare burgers with 3 different toppings: andy said the beef was really good. the toppings remain a mystery though (see above).
- pickled lemon & 3 basil salad, marcona almonds & almond oil: very good actually. salted on purpose, although i found it to be overly so.
- potato gnocchi, local tomatoes, basil pistou, & ricotta salata: not bad, but uninteresting. definitely way better than metropolis's slug-like gnocchi. incidentally, andy went back there once and they were still serving that bizarre molded asparagus dish. so weird.
- the shiraz i had was spicy and overly aggressive. (sorry, that's the best i can do. i really need to take a wine-tasting class or something.)

i've been listening to barber's prayers of kierkegaard. it's kind of surprising how much the choral vocal lines remind me of john adams' choral writing in the death of klinghoffer. speaking of classical music, stay tuned for a tirade about the worst concert i've ever been to ...

posted by fwc | 11/17/2004 1:40 PM
in case you didn't see it already, this is my favorite post-election site: my favorite sign is: "2 nations under bush's one god." and yes i'm still bitter.
posted by fwc | 11/12/2004 5:25 PM
some old pics

posted by fwc | 11/8/2004 10:01 AM
recent and semi-recent reads:

ovid's metamorphoses: phew! i can't believe i read the whole thing. although edith halmiton's mythology remains my favorite book on mythology, this translation is good, very conversational (at times a tad bit too much so), and pretty easy to read. the stories get a bit repetitive and the gory battle scenes get a bit long, but there were definitely a fair number that i hadn't been familiar with (mostly b/c they featured such charming topics as incest) and enjoyed. good if you're fan of mythology.

orson scott card's ender's shadow: this one was a definite page-turner; i literally spent the whole day reading this. it's been a few years since i read ender's game and my memory's not the greatest, so i think i enjoyed this more than i might have. the story missteps occasionally when the parallelism b/t the two books is a bit too close, but in general card's different perspective is worthwhile. instead of concentrating so much on the students' lives as in ender's game, card lets us see really get a feel for how the adults are operating and also what the situation on earth is like. bean is a great character, and from what i remember of ender i'd have to say bean comes out on top. the only problem is now i have to read the other books in the series.

anne sexton's transformations: poetic retellings and variations and mostly familiar grimm brothers fairy tales. the material most closely tied to the source material isn't so interesting, but the mini-poems that serve as a prelude to each story are usually good and worth reading.

william empson's seven types of ambiguity: haha. i hope joyce appreciates that i tackled this apparently famous book on literary criticism. empson has some interesting ideas, but the first section i read was way too unfocused, tangential, and wordy. i'm not sure yet if i'm going to read the rest (prob. not right away, anyway), but i did like how empson's examples are ones i'm not that familiar with, including a great sestina by sidney.

e.f. benson's queen lucia: a satirical look at a small british town and its denizens with pretensions to sophistication in the arts. mostly vignette-like, but has some really memorable characters and situations.

some recent listens include the cat power song he war, which i've had on repeat. also been listening to this band matt pond PA which has been compared to the shins and death cab. i would agree with that, although i'd say it's much more like the fly seville and the guy sounds like peter gabriel. not sure yet what my final verdict is on that.

posted by fwc | 11/5/2004 3:32 PM

recently re-ran across this quote from janeane garofalo from her book (co-written with ben stiller) feel this book: an essential guide to self-empowerment, spiritual supremacy, and sexual satisfaction. the book itself is pretty mediocre, but there are some good quotes:
posted by fwc | 11/1/2004 9:43 AM

andy has gotten me hooked on BBC television. we started off working our way through all of the french and saunders videos (a comedy duo w/ some amazing parodies, including practically perfect parodies of fellini, star wars episode I, and the lord of the rings). then we explored some of french and saunders' spinoffs, including jennifer saunders in ab fab and dawn french in the vicar of dibley (see above). the vicar of dibley is set in a quiet english country town that's thrown into a whirl when their old vicar is succeeded by a female vicar with a big personality. a couple of choice quotes:so anyway, although i resisted getting sucked into the miss marple series (based on the agatha christie novels, of course) and the inspector lynley mysteries, i think i've fallen for all creatures great and small, which as you prob. know is based on the best-selling series by english vet james herriot (also set in a small town). (thank god for netflix.)

what is it about british television that's so addictive? is it the accents? is it that they know how to avoid crossing the line into the realms of the intolerably maudlin? if the japanese reign supreme on cuteness, the british are definitely the masters of charming. i mean, how can you resist the escapism of a beautifully green countryside full of high-spirited, smiling country folk? i know i can't.

posted by fwc | 10/22/2004 4:59 PM
had a pretty busy (and spontaneous) weekend. on friday night andy and i saw dubravka tomsic at symphony hall (thanks, bess!). beforehand we went to one of the worst indian places i've ever been. shanti (huntington ave near mass ave) had food that looked like it would be okay, but despite its appearance of being seasoned and herbed was just about the blandest indian food i've ever had. they also had a penchant for big balls. the aloo tikki came as two huge balls whose exteriors were strongly reminescent of hush puppies. (at least it wasn't cold like the last time we'd gone.) the malai kofta also consisted of two gorilla-sized balls, rather than the customary chimpanzee-sized. needless to say, that is another one to avoid. is there any decent eatery around symphony??

recently andy and i also went to the franklin cafe. i started with the mashed potatoes, which were nice and creamy although rather too oily. i had the cannelloni which was good but not incredible, but andy and i agree that tomato-based pastas tend to be same-y. (well, in america anyway. the tomatoes seem to dominate the dish so that it's hard to add much subtlety.) andy had the rigatoni with italian sausage and escarole in fennel cream, which he quite enjoyed.

saturday morning i found out that pj harvey was playing at avalon that night. needless to say i was psyched. i got a pretty decent view, and the show was about what i expected: thoroughly enjoyable but no huge surprises (although she did a song by the fall and a song off of dance hall at louise point which was a bit on the obscure side). apparently it was her birthday, which may explain her unusually short set.

today andy and i went to the franklin park zoo. i don't know why people speak so disparagingly of it; we thought it was actually pretty decent (although the giraffes and the koala bears weren't out). we'll have to check out NY's zoo (and london's). speaking of london ... someone send me some recommendations of sights and eats to check out for when andy and i go over thanksgiving weekend. please?

posted by fwc | 10/10/2004 6:22 PM
this mix came together pretty quickly. it's one of those mixes that's been in the back of my mind for a while. i decided early on to stay away from remixes, and i wavered about including any tracks with vocals, but in the end i made just a few exceptions for a change of pace. i tried to mix up the types of sounds (hence the inclusion of the club-y darude track and the method man track), but i noticed my general preference is toward insect-y, skittery, and/or bleepy-bloopy kinds of electronica, often with instruments included; i guess more "textured" than groove-oriented. unsurprisingly, pretty much all of these tracks are one-offs for me (and i know next to nothing about the artists and i imagine neither do you, with a few exceptions), although the autechre track is from the pi soundtrack which is uniformly good. i'd say about a third of these came from my own poking around the 'net and the rest from compilations and friends' mixes. some of these tracks are quite exquisite and i'd almost say symphonic (the darkhalo track is particularly noteworthy, imo). anyway, there's my october mix ... heh.

keep bouncin' (and crank it up)
electronic music mix

1 UNKLE (feat. ian brown) . be there
2 darude . sandstorm
3 korai orom . tavalyi
4 darkhalo . analog snow bunny girl
5 roy davis jr . rock shock (live)
6 marcel wanders . nightingales
7 super jupiter/method man . judgement day (remix)
8 arovane . tascel 7
9 autechre . kalpol intro
10 remixer?/tanaka . metroid (remix)
11 aphex twin . alberto balsalm
12 alexkid . nightlines
13 sebastien tellier . la ritournelle

posted by fwc | 10/4/2004 9:37 AM
i don't think winnie's been here, but there's this place called haley house on dartmouth near tremont. it's a tiny, non-profit bakery whose mission statetment reads: "Working collaboratively, we use our business to foster economic independence for under-employed individuals." basically what they do is use the bakery as a way for people to not only learn the skills of baking, but also to cultivate a work ethic and learn responsibility. a good idea, no? (apparently they also run a soup kitchen and a sustainable farm as well.) noble purpose aside, the food itself is worthwhile as well; andy and i go regularly. for me it's for the lemon-ginger muffins, spinach pies (only available around lunchtime), and cinnamon rolls (only on weekends, unfortunately); for him the carrot-raisin muffins and the equal exchange coffee. if you're in the area on a weekday morning i definitely recommend skipping over the boring francesca's, the always disappointing garden of eden, and the way too heavy (and crowded) flour in favor of a quick fix at haley house.
posted by fwc | 9/30/2004 2:21 PM
funny thing my older sister posted (she just married into a chinese family):
I was pretty offended when Dave's grandmother said, "It's nice to see you again. You look like you gained weight!" What is it with Asian old ladies and this saying? I've been told that twice, and in both cases, I don't think I had gained any weight (objectively speaking I promise). My Chinese friend at work told me this is completely normal and is the English equivalent of, "Good morning. How are you?
i've set up a mailing list so you can subscribe to the that's what you think blog. so what are you waiting for??

posted by fwc | 9/28/2004 1:36 PM
death cab for cutie is opening for pearl jam at the fleet center in boston?? what the f---?
posted by fwc | 9/23/2004 1:16 PM

i've been rereading the doctor dolittle books lately (unfortunately most of them are out of print now). gub-gub, the pig, is an easy favorite, and his attitude towards food is surprisingly similar to winnie's (haha). i thought she might appreciate some wisdom from the illustrious pig himself.

on his proposed food opera:
"Certainly there are dances. ... There is a napkin ballet in the first act, and a very grand 'Waiters' March' in the second -- besides the 'Caper Sauce Caper' at the finale. Oh, there are lots of good turns in the Food Opera. One of the arias is called 'Songs My Kettle Used to Sing.' Another is entitled 'Poor Little Broken Pie Crust' -- very light -- sung by a comic character called Popper Popover."

gub-gub's book is a funny little collection of anecdotes about food and gub-gub's proposed "encyclopaedia of food". here are some excerpts:

on britain's eating habits:
"Now, this university had a secret eating society, or fraternity, called Sigma Eta Apple Pie -- after the Greek letters, you know. ... Sigma Eta Apple Pie was formed, I understand, because many people felt that the British, usually so brave and adventurous, were very undaventurous in eating. And it's true, we are, you know -- no doubt about that -- always eating the same things, very few dishes, when you think of France and other countries -- no eating courage at all."

on the importance of food:
"... can't you see ... the story of food discovery is the history of the human race ... How do you suppose the different races of people came to settle down where they are on the map today? Because they could get what they wanted to eat there. Or because they got pushed there by other people who wanted the same things to eat."

on his proposed "Food Map":
"... the food map is an important part of that chapter. ... The map should be not only a great help in learning the geography of food but also for the history of food. I would like it to show all the towns where the great events in food history happened. ... also the map should mark all the towns and countries that are famous for different kinds of eatables. ... it will be most valuable ... It tells you where to go to find different things to eat. Supposing you got up in the morning and felt like spending a nice, quiet banana weekend. All right. You just look at the map and take a boat for Central America. Perfectly simple."

"I see what he's getting at ..." said Jip. "He's going to have a sort of bill of fare take the place of timetables. All you've got to do is go to a booking office and say, 'I want a ticket to the best pudding you have. First class, please.'"

gub-gub's food mystery:
there's also a great story about "Sherbert Scones, the icebox detective", who tracks "Chillibillibeano, the Texas Pantry Bandit, 'a thief with a taste for strawberry jam'". eventually scones captures chilli, but only after chilli abducts scones' lady love, "Vanilla Verbena", famous for her rhubarb pie.

posted by fwc | 9/23/2004 9:18 AM
you prob. don't remember, but as promised here's the third of three mixes that i've been wrestling with for the past few months. (for those of you just joining us, the first one was the guilty pleasures mix, and the second was a (mostly) upbeat mix.) this one i call my "kind of dark, kind of indie-ish mix", although it's not really that indie, but that was the feel i was going for. the three started off being one random melange of stuff i liked at the time and wanted to put on a mix, but it was way too schizo. hence the three thematic mixes. this one's the most predictable of the three (i can just hear people groaning already: what? another pinback track? i purposely left off the cure and my chick triumvirate of tori/bjork/ani). but i figure i can slip into banality for this mix b/c my next mix (which is almost finished) is almost entirely new people; and i did manage to fit a few surprises into this one, like the xiu xiu track and the kate bush cover (which is fantastic by the way). i'm not crazy about some of the tracks (like radiohead, whose music seems to wane by the hour for me, and arab strap and phillip glass, although both of those have really grown on me), but they seemed to fit. and i was psyched to fit in three instrumentals (the first and last track and the glass track in the middle). i really really wanted to include a much better version of "microtonic wave" from when pinback was in boston, but the quality was just too poor. one last thing: i've gotta give a shout out to luke myers for what is undoubtedly one of the best covers i've heard recently, tori or no, and on a harpsichord no less. well, there it is.

out of love
1 saint etienne . interlude . roseneck
2 lovedrug . pretend you're alive . in red
3 luke myers (orig. tori amos) . . tombigbee
4 iggy pop . lust for life . neighborhood threat
5 xiu xiu . fabulous muscles . clowne towne
6 lauryn hill . mtv unplugged no. 2.0 . i get out [edited]
7 the shins . chutes too narrow . kissing the lipless
8 the smiths . strangeways, here we come . a rush and a push and the land
9 joy division . substance . transmission
10 pj harvey . uh huh her . the letter
11 glass, kronos quartet . string quartet #3 . mishima closing
12 arab strap . monday at the hug & pint . flirt
13 gorky's zygotic mynci . spanish dance troupe . desolation blues
14 pinback . offcell (EP) . microtonic wave
15 kate bush (orig. elton john) . women talking dirty (sndtrk) . rocket man
16 radiohead . the bends . my iron lung
17 joe jackson . steppin' out: the very best of joe jackson . it's different for girls
18 my bloody valentine . loveless . when you sleep
19 cul de sac . immortality lessons . flying music from faust

posted by fwc | 9/20/2004 10:43 PM
andy and i just joined ye olde netflix. expect to see more movie commentary in the near future.

a quick annotated run-down of what i've been listening to lately:

john adams: i was looking at the ceiling and then i saw the sky: classical "post-minimalist" american composer tries his hand at musical theater w/ a typical "individual lives affected by natural disaster" scenario, in this case the 1994 LA earthquake. overall an odd mix of styles that never quite flies.

bjork: medulla: by now people prob. know about the gimmick to this one: the CD's (almost) all voices. rahzel pulls some unreal beatboxing, and it's great to see bjork collaborating. although her vocal lines are oftentimes overly familiar here, she does pull out some good tunes like "where is the line" and "oceania", and the arrangements are interesting. overall this one's not destined to be among her top albums, but it's a good addition to her oeuvre.

lauryn hill: MTV unplugged no. 2.0: an old CD i put back in rotation. liked it before, liked it a bit better this time around, although the individual tracks have more of an impact out of context than on the CD. not the best arrangements, but still has some good hooks and some really good tracks. put the DVD in the netflix queue.

porcupine tree: stupid dream, tortoise: standards: echh. both of these were pretty humdrum. the tortoise CD was particularly dull. also, it's sad when people like porcupine tree have one really good track, but then all their other stuff is lousy. not even mediocre, lousy.

mary j. blige: no more drama: i still can't get into R&B, but there were some tracks on this that weren't bad. i just wish she wouldn't do the exact same melisma and angst-filled coda on every single track. also, the song "PMS" was pretty funny. especially since lenny kravitz plays guitar on it.

dawn upshaw: the girl with orange lips: dawn upshaw's first major label solo CD. the concept, namely exotic, lush orchestral songs, is good, and the CD features such rarities as stravinsky's three japanese lyrics (translated into russian). expertly done, but the recital isn't particularly tuneful. still, props to dawn for not rehashing the same old bellini arias that every other diva does.

gamelan gong gede of batur temple: of my latest listens, this one's one of the better ones. surprisingly hypnotic and addictive.

i feel like i haven't listened to anything really good in a while. what was the last CD that made me glad i had ears? i can't even remember. i'm glad i coerced carl into sending me a mix though. still waiting for some mixes from winnie ... ;)

posted by fwc | 9/22/2004 9:00 PM
my DSL has finally been set up ... hallelujah. here are some pics from my sister debbie's wedding ...

and since you probably haven't seen it yet, here's a pic of me and my new do ... w/ my aunt and uncle from korea. (i look tall in this picture. heh.)

posted by fwc | 9/22/2004 8:44 PM
i swear i'll post more interesting stuff, including pictures, once i get my DSL connected. i'm counting down the hours. I AM IN DSL WITHDRAWAL!!!! it's so painful. i'd rather go hungry than not have DSL! ... well, not quite, but you know what i mean.

had to write about this really horrible horrible place i went to recently. i was sick this past weekend and staying at andy's so he could wait on me hand and foot i mean take care of me (haha), and i was really wanting some asian food. so i went to this last resort place on tremont (b/c the south end doesn't have that many asian places), called thai village (592 tremont st). boston has a lot of thai restaurants, and i can say that honestly i've been to most of them. this has got to be the worst place for thai food i've ever been. that includes any mall food court thai food i've ever had. now there are certainly a lot of thai restaurants in boston that offer mediocre food, like the two average places on newbury and the two places on boylston near the prudential (not pad thai by berklee, the other two. pad thai is one of the better places in boston). but i think thai village is one of the few eateries in boston, thai or no, that has food that i can hardly finish. i've been there twice, both as a last resort, and both times the food i got was really terrible. the curry i got most recently was absolutely devoid of flavor, and it was watery. as in watered down watery. as in, am i eating colored water or is this supposed to be a curry? avoid at all costs. the weirdest thing is that i checked online out of curiosity to see what other places thought of it, including citysearch, the phoenix, and, and they all gave this place average reviews. are they crazy?? maybe the reviews are all outdated. anyway ...

andy and i also went to island hopper (on mass ave near newbury) recently just b/c we never go there. i was reminded of why. the service was wicked slow, but the food was okay. actually, by coincidence we had the exact same thing i'd gotten from penang in chinatown a couple of weeks ago w/ my sister and cousin: mango chicken and a tofu curry. of course the island hopper version wasn't as good, but the main drawback to this place is that it's overpriced. in boston there's either cheap fast food places or higher end places with nothing in between. grrr. tonight i'm going to pad thai to wash out the taste of that bad thai place. why is it that their lunch food always tastes bad, but their dinner food is usually okay? oh, and for the record dok bua is still the best thai food in town. and one of my favorites ever (even though our favorite waitress left). be sure to get the tofu gra prow. okay, now i'm rambling.

posted by fwc | 9/15/2004 4:49 PM
andy and i really need to try more new places. last week we went to metropolis after a fairly long hiatus. either they were having a really off night, or they've gone really downhill; i'm inclined to think the latter. i can say w/ out reserve that our meal at metropolis was one of the weirdest meals i've ever had. weird as in not in a good way. andy started with an arugula salad that for no particular reason came shredded and molded in a circular shape reminescent of dog food just out of a can and had what appeared to be a canned piece of mandarin orange and a half-frozen hunk of goat cheese on the top. meanwhile, i was puzzling over the asparagus "tartare" which didn't taste much of anything let alone asparagus and which also inexplicably came molded. andy's rabbit was prepared like chicken and was dry and overcooked. it came with the weirdest gnocchi i've ever encountered. engorged, mushy, and unappetizing. i hate to say it, but it strongly called to mind fat, old maggots found under a damp log. also devoid of taste. my "napolean" was described as being "like a lasagna but with bread instead of pasta". it came w/ a squash puree, but like pretty much everything else we'd gotten it was similarly tasteless, although every once in a while i would come across a bit of olive. it's kind of sad when the only good thing you can say about the food is, "well, the bread and the olive oil were pretty good."

regarding bar food vs dining room food: i can understand the distinctions between the two, but in a place like number nine park where it's not a bar menu but a cafe menu i don't see why you can't have both menus wherever you sit. even if the rationale is that the cafe food is faster, thus giving a faster turnover rate, that still doesn't explain why you can't have both if you sit in the dining room. one of life's many mysteries i suppose.

posted by fwc | 9/9/2004 1:50 PM
busy week at work, but thought i'd write a quick post about one of my latest obsessions, bbc's radio 1. i'm not really into internet radio in general for the same reason i'm not into real radio; namely, that i hate when a song goes by that i like and i never get to hear it again b/c i don't know what it's called. (well, this is obviously not the case for commercial radio, which plays the same 20 songs over and over again, but you know what i mean.) the great thing about the online bbc radio, besides the music, is that they let you stream the most recent episode of each show for a week until the next episode -- and they include the tracklistings for every show! yeah ... long live the beeb!
posted by fwc | 9/7/2004 3:03 PM

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