Rogers Sisters / Art Brut @ Southpaw

The Brooklyn trio The Rogers Sisters pack quite a punch with their catchy songs. I was more impressed with them live than on their recording. The band, like their songs, are full of energy onstage. Although they weren’t doing anything that impressive, the last numbers in the set showed a lot of promise and were more cohesive.

Oh Art Brut. You are so absurd. Your music and band is snotty. Your songs are so immature yet cleverly written. I love you.
These 5 from Britain sing catchy songs that can be humorous or deliver insightful comments about moderen life and culture. They seemed to have gained more confidence and playing better after this past year of touring. However it’s Eddie Argos lyrics and stage delivery that takes their otherwise simple crafted melodies to ironic 3 minute music art pieces. I don’t know if I should take them seriously or just scoff at their amateurish music skills. But in the meantime, I’ll keep listening and jumping to their music.

Pictures from the show.


Restaurant Week

A great week of great food and drinks. Here was my intinerary. What were your favorites?

Monday: Blue Ribbon
Always a great meal. Similar menu as last year’s. Asparagus Soup was yummy and the BBQ was quite filling. However the chocolate bread pudding dessert was the winner.

Tuesday: Applewood
Very excited to finally check out this very much hyped restaurant in Park Slope. Lucky to get a table as the entire week was booked. The scallops appetizer was very fresh and delicately cooked. The Hake fish was boring and bland and the crepe dessert was the biggest let down of the whole week. However their chocolate cake dessert (not on the Brooklyn Menu) was by far the best dessert. The food here is all organic and well prepared, but so NOT worth all the hype. Not even close. The ambience is terrible, the food is way more expensive than it should be, and not impressed with the overall dining experience.

Wednesday: concert break/ The Stills
(yea they rocked)

Thursday: Chestnut
First time here and they had the best setup for Restaurant Week. They had their regular menu and allowed you to pick 1 item from each category marking only a few dishes that you would have to pay extra for. The tables were tight but the ambience was warm and inviting and the staff was very poilte. My haystack shrimp were amazing as was the stuffed pork. I HAD to order the cheesecake which went perfectly with the individual French press coffee. An amazing meal and the best night of the whole week. Plan to go back again and again.

Friday: Arirang Hibachi
This place was just plain fun. The food was nothing spectacular but having the Japanese chef entertain you while cooking your food with incredibly corny jokes makes the evening enjoyable. The drinks were cheap and unusualy named like “Karate Punch”. Being in Bay Ridge you get a nice view of the Verazano Bridge and afterwards we drank at a local bar til past 3 AM. But that’s another story…

Saturday: Tatiana
OK, I have been wanting to eat here for quite some time. Nestled on the boardwalk in Brighton Beach this Russian nightclub was everything I expected. The dining room was decadent and seemed to be in the middle of multiple birthday parties where everyone was in their best evening clothes (we were very underdressed). The waiter sternly said there was NO Brooklyn Restaurant menu and gave us a heavy book, which was the menu, full of every food imaginable. I stuck to seafood and everything was presented beautifully and tasted great. We were also treated to some live entertainment which was cheesy but an interesting distraction. A bit pricey, but I’d go back just for the food.

Sunday: Night & Day
Their Brooklyn Menu consisted of selected items from their regular menu and I went for the pork cheek confit which was very yummy and fatty. The encrusted salmon was very interesting but a bit overwhleming for a fish dish. However having a myriad choices for gelato ice cream was a great ending.

Monday: Scottadito Osteria Toscana
Completely empty, we got a nice table near the fireplace. This place also boasts an all organic menu skewed at Northern Italian cuisine. The antipasto was a good start to the Primi which included beat gnocci and Spinach Ravioli. Both incredible. My main dish was pork with prosciutto perfectly cooked. Each course was paired with a different wine perfetly selected and for only 12 dollars. I was so full after dinner and overall a great dining experience.

Best Appetizer: Haystack Shrimp @ Chestnut / Scallops @ Applewood
Best Entree: Stuffed Pork @ Chestnut
Best Dessert: Chocolate molten cake @ Applewood / Flourless chocolate cake @ Chestnut
Best (affordable) Wine List: Chestnut
Best Drink List: Night & Day
Best Ambience: Blue Ribbon / Chestnut
My Favorite: Chestnut (highly recommended)

Irving / Voxtrot @ Mercury Lounge

The best 10 bux ever spent on a night of music. California’s Irving display several influences but always have a consistent sensible poppy sound. Their songs are catchy with surf rock hooks that remind me of a cross between the Beach Boys and The Beatles. They’ve updated all that’s great from the 60’s to a unique modern sound all their own. Their warm melodies had more life on stage than on their new album, Death In The Garden, Blood On The Flowers, which is oh so swell.

I finally got to see the blog-friendly band Voxtrot. This band from Austin has garnered so much buzz from just 2 EP’s and there is no sign of them slowing down. 2 sold out shows at Mercury Lounge and SXSW. Their music is really fun and they make you want to sing, smile, and dance along with them. They are quite charming on stage and the ladies really seem to like them. I was in the front row literally surrounded by a dozen dancing girls. I loved their live set and they played a few new songs that were quite good. They even alluded that they’ll be finally be recording a FULL album. Can’t wait to hear more indie gems from this up and coming band.

Pictures from the show.


Sam Roberts / The Stills @ Mercury Lounge

I missed openers The Favorite Sons as I’ll be catching them when they open up for Art Brut later in the week.
What I caught from the Sam Roberts Band was decent but nothing that different from a typical guitar band. They are from Montreal and friends of The Stills. Sam Roberts even sang one of the songs he wrote for The Stills later in the night. Pretty good melodies but I’d have to check them out again.

So happy to see The Stills at Mercury Lounge. These art school kids from Montreal make great indie rock with a post-punk sound. They have great chemistry on stage and I felt they played a very tight show. During one point they invited up a trio horn section (including members of Antibalas) to play a couple songs. Their finale including a dreamy version of “Still in Love” which is one of the most perfectly crafted songs I know. They gave us a bunch of new tunes from the new record which sounded great. Very excited for the new album and a repeat visit to NY.

A few pictures from the show.