Filipino food is something that’s having a moment in downtown NYC, so — trend-chasers that we are — The Question Lady and I have been checking it out. Thumbs up so far. Filipino food is related to other Asian-Pacific cuisines — heavy on the peppers, bitter melon, garlic, tropical fruits, fish and rice — while being its own distinct thing.
Our favorite of the restaurants we’ve tried so far is Jeepney, which describes itself winningly as a “Filipino Gastropub” and is half a sweetly earnest authentic place and half a sharply-designed hipster hangout. That’s a mixture that can be very pleasing, we’ve found. The real-natives side delivers heart and soul while the scenester side adds style and edge. Besides, what could be more fun than being in a room full of happy eaters half of whose inhabitants are smiley Filipinos bursting with homesick pride and whose other half are cute urban trendoids? Well, it works well in this case anyway.
The other night I enjoyed one of Jeepney’s signature cocktails, a San Felipe.
Courtesy of the generosity of one of our UR members, who has chosen to make his gift on an anonymous basis, we now have the ability to upload music files directly. I thought I would put this to use. What to send upstairs and on to the world?
Why not choose something that is very hard to find otherwise? Maybe a film with an interesting soundtrack that has never been committed to vinyl or CD?
Have you ever seen the movie Zardoz? This is the one that takes place in a dystopian future, with Sean Connery running around in what looks like a Borat swimsuit,
and with a giant stone head flying about telling the primitives the gun is good and the penis is bad.
It’s what Johhny Carson would have called wild, wacky stuff. But it had an interesting score. In the beginning the stone heads floats into view to the sound of a kind of early music version of the second movement of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, an arrangement by David Munrow performed by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. It’s actually now available on YouTube, but I spent a long time tracking down an .mp3 version given the lack of a published soundtrack, and I wanted to try out the music gizmo, below.
. . . wherein we introduce a new semi-regular feature on NOTS. These will be songs that crib from the masters, especially those in the power pop lineage, and do it well enough to make it work no matter how shameless the cribbing.
Music in the power pop tradition looks to balance a certain set of contrasts. It looks to be punchy without overdoing it, and often relies on a certain restraint despite the punch (e.g., The Who’s I Can See for Miles as opposed to the group’s later all-out arena-sized bombast). And it looks to be melodic, and especially harmonic (as with the Beatles), without retreating as far as the tradition of commercial pop. Sometimes it holds these in rough balance (Squeeze, say). Sometimes one is dominant over the other, as the harmonic side is with the Beach Boys.
Sax has taken it upon himself to go through the latter’s albums here, one by one. What a project! I have enjoyed the music and commentary to date and look for more.
In the meantime, here is installment one of NOT The Beach Boys.
It is a cut called Forever by a contemporary outfit called the Explorer’s Club. It is, per the above, as shameless a rip-off as you will ever find. And that is saying a lot. I have some other NOTs queued up that are pretty shameless in their own way. Anyway, here it is.
In 1660, when it was a luxury associated with social privilege, England consumed a thousand hogsheads of sugar. [By 1717] that figure had . . . increased a hundredfold while the per capita annual consumption of sugar doubled, driven up by a combination of improved purchasing power and falling prices. By 1730 sugar would be as embedded in English culture as Whig principles were in English politics. A cup of heavily sweetened chocolate or coffee — accompanied by candies, cakes, or bread slathered with molasses — was integral to the daily rituals of middle-class life and a practical way to supplement the caloric intake of poorly nourished workers.
from Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace.
Is it possible Burrows & Wallace are slyly linking Whig politics to eating sweets?