The Week In Review
BEST VARIETY OF MUSIC IN ONE SHORT PODCAST:
Under The Stylus Stycast, Aug 4, with soulman Eddie Spencer, German techno-punks Atari Teenage Riot, MOR Revivalists Denim, AOR revivalists Razorlight and proto-house revivalists Escorts all in the same ‘cast
BEST 80S GOTH-ROCK MIXTAPE PODCAST
The Jazz For Haters Stycast of August 7, featuring The Sisters of Mercy, Death Cult, Theatre of Hate, Bauhaus Sex Gang Children, The Bolshoi and Alien Sex Fiend among others.
BEST PODCAST TO UNLEASH THE PROD ROCK NERD IN ALL OF US
All Songs Considered of August 11: Music From The Cosmos, featuring Herbert, Create, Comets On Fire and The Necks.
BEST OLD LYRIC THAT’S STILL FRIGHTENINGLY RELEVANT
‘Amargeddon Days Are Here Again’ by The The, from Mindbomb (1989):
“God doesn’t belong to the Yankee dollar
God doesn’t plant the bombs for Hezbollah
God doesn’t even go to church
And God won’t send us down to Allah to burn
God will remind us what we already know
That the human race is about to reap what it’s sown”
(Make Matt Johnson the National Security Advisor. Now!)
BEST NEW LYRIC TO REFLECT ON OLD TIMES
‘Born In The UK,’ Badly Drawn Boy (Born In The UK)
“Where were you in 76, the long hot summer?
You wanna be a rebel and turn your hosepipes on
With two years to wait for the sound of Jilted John
Virginia Wade was winning our hearts, she made us want to live
Vicious and his brothers were trying to set us free
But much more than this to you and me
This was the Silver Jubilee
We made something out of nothing”
(Make Damon Gough the Poet Laureate. Now!)
BEST WEEKEND OF THE YEAR FOR LIVE MUSIC IN THE CATSKILLS
August 25-26. My local Hunter Mountain plays host to Camp Bisco featuring hippy-trippy bands like the Disco Biscuits and Medeski and The Itch, but also The Juan MacLean, Brazilian Girls, Thievery Corporation, RJD2, Benzos and The Roots. I live 3 miles away: how f***ing cool is this going to be?
BEST COVER VERSION JUST (RE)DISCOVERED ON THE iPOD
Michael Stipe singing Sinead O’Connor’s ‘This Is The Last Day Of Our Acquaintance’
BEST COVER VERSION DELIVERED VIA A MAGAZINE FREEBIE CD:
‘Heaven Up Here’ by Kelley Stoltz on The Eighties, free with Q magazine
BEST REASON TO WORRY THAT KELLEY STOTZ IS TOO BIG A BUNNYMEN FAN
He covered the whole of Crocodiles (hear four tracks free here), and has just finished covering the whole of the Heaven Up Here album. How’s he going to tackle Ocean Rain?
BEST EVIDENCE THAT TAPES’N TAPES MIGHT SUFFER FROM THE HYPE:
Dan Martin’s review of Tapes’N Tapes debut album The Loon in the NME of July 22 managed to reference ALL the following acts: Love Is All, Get Cape Wear Cape, Fly, Fall Out Boy, Kaiser Chiefs, Hard-Fi, Fearne Cotton, The Smiths, Modest Mouse, Bright Eyes, Death Cab For Cutie, Panic! At The Disco, Pavement, Pixies, Hank Marvin and The Shadows, Arcade Fire, and White Stripes. What the hell is he trying to prove?
BEST EVIDENCE THAT TAPES’N TAPES CAN LAUGH AT THE HYPE:
Clell Tickle: Indie Marketing Guru:
The funniest thing I’ve seen in American indieland in years.
BEST REASON TO GIVE UP TRANSATLANTIC FLYING
Religious terrorists believe they can make the world a better place by blowing civilians out of the sky
BEST REASON TO HAVE FAITH IN BRITISH SECURITY FORCES
Foiling liquid bomb plot before it took flight
BEST REASON TO STILL USE A TRAVEL AGENT
When you manage a rock group that has to fly to Heathrow the day a bomb plot cancels most flights into Heathrow, it helps to have a human on board to get your band on board.
BEST REASON TO BELIEVE THE BRITISH ARE A NATION OF CYNICS
The first person I speak to Friday morning in London believes the bomb plot was a Government plot
BEST REASON TO BELIEVE THE BRITISH ARE A NATION OF OPTIMISTS
The iJamming! Pubbers debating the new English national squad like this time it’s gonna be any different.
BEST REASON TO BE AN ENGLISH FOOTBALL OPTIMIST
Crystal Palace win the first three games of the season, their first three games with my childhood hero in charge.
BEST REASON TO SIGN UP FOR SHORT SATURDAY MORNING RACES
You get your adrenalin pumped up, you’re done by 10am, and you still have the whole day ahead of you.
BEST REASON TO RUN SMALL-TOWN RACES IN GENERAL
The small town businesses contribute generously. Unlike at NYC races, where armed guards ensure you take only the one bagel and banana, a sports race round these parts is usually an excuse to feast: Saturday at Rosendale there were bagels galore with self-serve cream cheese and peanut butter, watermelon, plums, tomatoes and other fruit, fresh pies, several bottles of water per person, cans of soda, plenty apple juice courtesy of the local Stewarts, and beach towels for the winners. The only thing missing was the keg. (There’s usually one of those at the evening races.)
BEST REASON TO RUN THE ROSENDALE PLAINS RACE IN PARTICULAR
It finishes at the town swimming pool
BEST REASON TO THINK ALL OTHER RUNNERS ARE INSANE
I was the only one to take advantage of the pool
BEST REASON TO BELIEVE THAT THIS RUNNER IS INSANE
Looking at the daunting profile of the Catskills from across the Hudson River later in the day and realizing that only two weeks ago I ran the length (and height) of them
, north to south.
BEST REASON TO JUDGE PEOPLE BY THEIR CARS
At the Uptown civic car park in Kingston, I spotted two Subaru Forresters next to each other, each with anti-Bush stickers; I saw a Volkswagon Beetle with floral stickers and a Surfer Girl surfboard on the back ledge; and on my way out of town, I found myself behind the WDST Beetle which takes itself just a little too literal. As this photo proves.
BEST REASON TO GO TO KINGSTON ON A SATURDAY MORNING
The farmers market on Wall Street in Uptown. There’s nothing like buying straight from the producer. (The woman who makes herbal soaps insisted on showing me pictures of her herb garden.)
BEST REASON NOT TO BUY FROM ALISON WINES AT THE FARMERS MARKET
They’re still selling off the 2002 rosé. Come on people, rosé is not for keeping. Produce some new wine already.
BEST REASON NOT TO HOLD A CELL-PHONE IN ONE HAND AND FOOD IN THE OTHER, WHILE DRIVING.
You might do what the crazy woman did to Burt’s Electronics in Kingston, come off the road and drive through his wall in the middle of the day.
BEST REASON TO FREQUENT BURT’S ELECTRONICS IN KINGSTON:
The guy not only sells the best audio equipment within miles, not only believes that said hi-fi should come at decent prices, but even the car that came through his wall couldn’t destroy one of his amps!
BEST BUSINESS NAMED AFTER THE TOWN OF TIVOLI
Tivoli Audio. We bought their small component system a few months back – from Burt’s Electronics in Kingston, of course (you know how I love a sehue) – for the kitchen/dining room. The idea was initially just to get speakers for the iPod, but we ended up with a CD player, a tuner, and a subwoofer as well as the two superb speakers, all for less than than the price (and no more space) of a Bose Speakers-only set. And with this major difference: way better sound.
BEST NAME FOR A LAUNDROMAT
The Lost Sock, in Tivoli.
ALTERNATIVE BEST NAME FOR A LAUNDROMAT:
Lauderette. The Lost Sock uses the British spelling.
BEST OLDE WORLDE SURPRISE BRITISH PUB IN THE HUDSON VALLEY
The Black Swan on Broadway in Tivoli. Sadly, it was closed this Saturday: looked like a film crew had commandeered it for the day instead.
BEST EXAMPLE OF WHY HEDONISM WAS NOT REALLY FICTION
The Artists’ Co-Op in Tivoli has an ongoing exhibition called Red. Sadly, none of the many invited artists chose to paint in blood.
BEST REASON TO GO BACK TO TIVOLI WHEN I’M NOT ALONE
The organic vegetarian restaurant Lotus 61. (Is that a play on Manhattan’s ultra-hop Lot 61?)
BEST PLACE TO BUY BEN SHERMANS IN HUDSON:
BEST REASON NOT TO BUY BEN SHERMANS ANYWHERE
American Ben Shermans are all made in China. (Time to quote Badly Drawn Boy again: “Then you see the Union Jack and it means nothing.”)
BEST REASON TO BELIEVE IN SERENDIPITY:
Being commandeered by iJamming! Pubber James B. on Warren Street in Hudson. He and his lovely wife were having a smoke outside Mexican Radio as we were about to walk in. We’ve never met before. A Poughkeepsie resident, he only came to Hudson because I’ve been enthusing about it online.
BEST REASON TO RETURN TO MEXICAN RADIO IN HUDSON
The place is vast, with lots of space between the tables. Noel was able to run near-enough riot round the place without tripping either himself or anyone else up.
BEST REASON NOT TO RETURN TO MEXICAN RADIO IN HUDSON
Mexican Radio is apparently so good it’s been able to open a branch in Manhattan and compete with that city’s many Mexican eateries. But despite the impressive variety of Mole sauces on the menu, the guacamole is over-salted, the burritos and enchiladas are far too small, a glass of sangria has more ice than liquid, and it’s all way too expensive for such a small town. We’re still trying to figure how a quick meal for two ended up costing $72, before obligatory tip.
BEST ANTIQUE BARGAIN IN HUDSON
There ARE no antique bargains in Hudson
BEST BEER BARGAIN IN HUDSON
A ‘Growler’ from the Spotty Dog that comes in 2.5pint or 5.5 pint sizes. The initial bottle costs a few dollars more than you’d pay at the bar ($20 for the smaller size), but the Grolsh-style bottle is for keeps, refills are cheap ($5.50), and Evans Ales are among the best.
BEST PLACE IN HUDSON TO PUT YOUR FEET UP
Lounge. Unfortunately, it’s a furniture store, not a bar, so you can only recline on the sofas and armchairs long enough to make it seem like you’re a prospective buyer. However, so damn comfortable are they that you’ll be whipping out the credit card before you can say, “How are we going to get it home – and where are we going to put it?”
BEST REASON TO GET A BABY-SITTER NEXT TIME WE VISIT HUDSON
Stray Bar on Warren Street, complete with pool table, excellent wine and beer list, a view over Warren Street, and hip DJs, open until 4am every weekend (and many a weekday) night.
BEST REASON TO THINK HUDSON COULD BECOME THE NEW BERLIN
Because the club Helsinki is moving from the town of Great Barrington to Hudson’s Columbia Street. Because a place called Basilica Industria is renovating warehouse space on the fringe of town and planning a major theater, nightclub, arts and restaurant complex. Oh, and because much of Hudson still looks like it did before the Iron Curtain came down.
BEST CZECH-LANGUAGE MOVIE FOR SATURDAY NIGHT STAY-INS
Kolya. Sex, revolution, and the joys of finding yourself the sudden parent of a 5-year old Russian boy. What more could you want?
BEST BOTTLE OF WINE I OPENED LAST WEEKEND
The Frontenac Point 2001 Chambourcin from the Finger Lakes. I swear, a wine this good will turn the greatest of ‘noble’ grape elitist into hybrid enthusiasts.
BEST BOTTLE OF WINE I OPENED THIS WEEKEND
The Rosenblum 2002 Santa Barbara County Fess Parker Vineyard Syrah. I always worry that wines sold at a heavy discount at Bottle King on Route 17 must have something wrong with them, but not this one: with the most pungently fruity nose this side of Kate Moss, it’s a treat for those August nights when the temperature suddenly drops to red wine degrees.
BEST REASON THAT LAST POST WAS UNNECESSARY
The Bottle King has such a supply of the 2002 Trimbach Alsance Ribeauvillle Reserve Pinot Gris – one of the very best white wines I’ve ever tasted – that they’re selling it off for $14. If it wasn’t that I believe so much in variety, I’d have bought the lot.
BEST BOTTLE OF WINE I OPENED DURING THE WEEK INBETWEEN.
I didn’t. I got real 9-5 and didn’t drink during the work week. I bet the guys in suits aren’t that straight-laced.