Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Giant Step w/ Victor Duplaix and on...

Last night I got to shake a tail feather at the last Giant Step dance party of the year. Since spring, Giant Step records brought in a guest Dj once a month and took over the Hudson bar in an invite only event for their e-subscribers. For the final party they brought in Kervyn Mark and Kamala with Viktor Duplaix as the headliner so I knew we were in for some good soulful house music. I happen to come in on Kamala's set and the current track was so hot, it sent me straight to the dance floor, kickin. I love walking into a party like that! Viktor Duplaix jumped on and worked it with his smooth style mixed in with a little afro and brazilian beats. I've been hearing more Dj's mix Baile funk into their sets which encourages lots of hip movement and is so much fun to dance to. After all the holiday eating I've been doing, this was the perfect party to work it out and I'm sure I was'nt the only one feeling this way. I also noticed a nice handful of Dj's in the house for this one which usually suggests the Dj line up is good. A few to mention that I bumped into were my boys Obah and Cato of the Manjinga parties, Nickodemus, Talib Kweli (who I caught the other night, no comment) and Taboo of the Soul Summit parties.

After that party our crew felt the tequila in our blood was pumpin too hard to stop, so we made our way back downtown to Mr West where the sound system PUMPED! The Dj had the new Common track Universal Mind Control on and it sounded hot. I was wondering if they kept the same system from space's former incarnation Opus 22 by the same techs that put together Cielo's. Oddly enough, during the course of the evening there was a gent who was apparently recession-proof as he would toss a short stack of $1 bills out to the crowd. In the air of wanting to look "cool" not too many people reacted to it as a frenzy you would think so I decided to photo document all the bills as they dropped and sat there...Of course I picked a few up.

I've gotta give thanks to my new friend Chris who was a great host there. Chris is part of the crew over at Mr West who walked in our crew of 15 and set us up with a table of what seemed to be endless amounts of liquor which kept our crew happy and dancing. I got a few reports this morning on the after effects.

Going to check out now. I've gotta put all my music together for short Dj set New Years Eve over at Double Crown. Should be big fun.

At your service,

The Boulevardist

Friday, December 26, 2008

From the Subway to the Jazz Club

This past Tuesday I had the pleasure of catching the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble in a sold out show at the Jazz Standard. HBE is a 9 piece band comprised mostly of horns performing with a Jazz sound heavily inspired by Hip Hop. Think: Hip Hop Big Band. I was inspired to see them when I happen to catch them down in the Union Square subway station just days before. Now I see lots of live music on the street, subways and stations all the time but for once I was drawn by the music and with the acoustic ability of the underground station to let sound travel it was undeniable. Their sound was so big and true that I felt myself emotionally engaged and "hypnotized" if you will, (I would love the chance to catch a skilled MC with a real story to tell at the microphone with these guys). I was pumped by the high energy and vocal range of the horns, especially the thump of the tuba backed up by the slick drum licks and percussion section. Check "Balicky Bon", "War" and "Hypnotic" off their NY Live album and you'll hear what I'm nodding about. I definitely picked up what they were putting down literally, in the form of 2 CD's.

In this digital world its a breath of fresh air to be reminded where music comes from. Once again I've been touched with the sweet sound of live music.


At your service,

The Boulevardist

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Decadent Sunday Evening a la Double Crown

Good Day people,

This past Sunday after taking in some culture and supporting a friend who was performing in a take on the Cinderella Story, our group unanimously decided to head down to Double Crown over on the Bowery for dinner. A good friend, Tamer Hamawi who was part of our group and happens to be one of the Managers of the restaurant, influenced the decision. Who’s to say no, especially having dined there the week before and being a regular at Madame Geneva, the enchanting cocktail bar tucked away in the back. It is remarkable how they transformed this space from the old Manahatta, into something far more visually exciting. Its almost like going on that long needed trip without springing for airfare.

As we perused the menu with its bold take on British colonial/Far east influenced cuisine we decided to have Tamer take us on a tour instead. First stop the Spicy Singapore style Laksa, then the East and West coast oyster platter, the crispy sepia, and the scrumptious chili-caramel pork belly, each dished paired with the perfect wine and/or champagne.

I have to say that as a carnivore to the bone (pun intended), It was the cross cut bone marrow glazed with miso and orange-olive marmalade and the succulent Big Braised beef short rib glazed with a Guinness 5 spice sauce, perfectly paired with a 2005 Chateau de Chorey burgundy that really set the experience on fire. We were satisfied and delighted by our jaunt through the menu. To finish, I imbibed my usual, a little Fernet Branca to ease the digestion because a million Italians cant be wrong!

I'll be back...

for more info: www.doublecrown-nyc.com

The Boulevardist

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Cindy Sherman One-Person Photo Exhibit

I've been a fan of Cindy Sherman's work for several years now and had the opportunity to view her latest exhibit in NY since 2004. Maybe its because she has been a successful one woman production for the past 30 years. Acting as Photographer, Model, make up artist, hairstylist and wardrobe stylist, her work displays her unbelievable ability to shape-shift as she further investigates distorted ideas of beauty, self image and aging. All shot in a green room, Cindy Sherman is able to transport the story from anywhere on earth (or in a surreal world) while slightly toying with your curiosity and perception. This collection of work is on exhibit til December 23rd at:

Metro Pictures 519 West 24th Street New York, NY www.metropicturesgallery.com