Saturday, January 31, 2009

Que Hiciste Con Mi Hijo?!

I take it from the lack of congratulatory comments on my last post about my upcoming Spanish language soap opera "Comer, Rezar, Amar y Morir en un Incendio" that many of you are skeptical of it's veracity. I fully understand. The concept that an American with the barest grasp of the Spanish language could be asked to write a nationally televised telenovella, let alone a telenovella with the grim plotline of a young woman who travels to the far east, rediscovers herself and "gets her groove back" with horrendous, unforseen consequences is improbable to say the least. But need I remind you that Scott Gairdner, an American with a similar familiarity with the Lingua Espanol wrote and directed what is considered the be the Platonic ideal of the telenovella format. "Que Hiciste con mi Hijo?!" (or "What Have you Done With my Son?!") was a worldwide phenomenon that enthralled viewers as far afield as Senegal and Korea. Though it only lasted for three short episodes on Youtube, it's characters are still alive in our minds, and it's themes still stir up passionate debates. Without firther ado, I present to you Scott Gairdner's triumph "Que Hiciste con mi Hijo?"

Only Love Can Break Your Heart

I've been trying to I.D. this track for ages and the other night I saw some really fun DJs in the trendy, Buenos Aires-like area of Condesa who gave it a rinse. It turns out to be ST. Ettienne covering Neil Young's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart". More on these DJs to come, I may have some gigs with them if I come back to D.F. in the coming months.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Provincetown on the NY Times Blog

Well, my friend Matt's dispatch from Provincetown in the winter (which I wrote about in this previous post), is up on the New York Times Blog, though any mention or photo of me got left on the cutting room floor. I guess he has to appear unattached and completely independent in his articles to go with his "Frugal Traveler" image. The article is not bad, though.

Even in Winter- Provincetown Shines

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Return of the Mack

This is the song that is playing in my head all the time lately. Listen carefully the lyrics here and you may guess why.

Thank you Etta for re-whetting my appetite for this jam. Could this be the best song evar?

Return of the Mack- Mark Morrison (Josh Harris Retro mixshow remix)

Compleanos de Raul

Last night was Raul's birthday and we had a bit of a fiesta at Casa Kramer where I was staying. This was one gift he received: a "Cheech and Chong". (Mom, if you're reading, look away.)

Mid-fiesta me and Billy Baez had to go for "llevante muertos"- life-saving greasy tacos for borrachos.
We got tacos Al Pastor- the real deal in D.F.- pork marinated in some secret combination of otherworldly nectars and spices, broiled on a rostisserie like gyro and served with onion salsa, un chingo de cilantro and a slice of bruleed pineapple. Once I ordered "doble-pina", but it was overkill. The perfect ratio of ingredients on these things was discovered long ago and is kept to like holy writ.
Back at Casa Kramer, Raul was feeling a bit nostalgic and was youtube DJing a mix of old mexican traditionals, Boleros and the like, plus some balkan music and Paris Cafe classics. I noted some of his playlist-
victor iturbe "el piruli"-confidencias de amor
Rigo Tovar, Ho que gusto, de volverte a ver
Tom Waits - Tango Till They're Sore - VB & WW
Tango till they're sore -- Tom Waits
Madeleine Peyroux - Dance Me To The End Of Love
Jose Jose - El triste
Chat Noir Chat Blanc
Manu Chao y Madjid Acustico: Por que te vas
Dolly Bell- Emil Kursturica

Nada Chino!

This was out front of a store that sells office supplies and furniture:

LOLOLOLOLOLLLZZZZZZ!!!! I'm dying over here.
Right in the Zocalo, in the center of the city right now they have a giant screen counting down the days until the end of the Mayan calendar. According to this, we have just under 600 more days with which to party.

Dos Indios y Dos Gringos

Lunch, day 3, Merced

In the Merced, the central market of D.F., you can get some banging food.

I went for two Quesadillas- one with chicken and caramelized onion, the other with Flor de Calabeza- Squash Flowers. The Flor had a salty, pungent taste, almost like anchovies. Both Quesadillas had stringy white Oaxacan cheese.

Andrew got some pork tacos which you can then pile up with amazing condiments.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 Create custom animated gifs at!

Fiesta con los Finlandaises

I was walking downtown in D.F. on my first day in town, shopping for cowboys shirts and bootleg electronics, and I ran into Teija, one half of Pekka and Teija Isorattya, the duo of Finnish artists who who have been touring with Polka Madre. In a city of 24 million, to run into someone you know on the street like that seemed like an absurdity, so I followed her back to the Hotel Villreyes, where they have made a makeshift art studio in their room.
This is Chicharona, a life sized marionette they made completely out of pig skin.
Do you sense sparks between us? Because i did.
Raymundo, the drummer from Polka Madre showed up and started helping them assemble the Caja de Toque. This will take some explaining: if you go to Via Gharabaldi or any other place in Mexico with Mariachi and a macho atmosphere, you might encounter hombres with Cajas de Toques. They are electrified boxes with metal grips that give you a mild electrocution. The operator can adjust the voltage depending on how drunk or macho you are. People pay 10 or 20 pesos for this service. There's always been talk about where we could buy one of these things, we hoped to get one for the US tour last year, but it seemed impossible. Somehow, Pekka was able to buy one, albeit a plastic one, not the egraved, antique wooden kind you will see in Plaza Gharabaldi. Pekka had Raymundo assemble it so that he could bring it back to Finland and give it as a gift to his 10 year old cousin! Instant best-uncle-ever status.
They hooked it up and plugged it into wall, rather than putting in the batteries, which made it dangerously strong. Even Ray couldn't handle it. After this the whole party held hands and got shocked together.
I gave my new sunglasses as a regala to Johnathan, AKA Don Gala.Pinche Andrew and Tanya showed up.

Raymundo's bother David and his novia, who had made an awesome cake.

We played Loteria, which is a Mexican game that Pekka and Teija had translated into Finnish to make it more confusing for us.

David and Bowie.

Lunch, day 2

This was lunch day two in Plaza Pino Suarez: a Huarche, which is a crunchy cornmeal cake stuffed with refried black beans, covered in queso fresco, carne al pastor, nopales (cactus), and salsas.

I also bought these sunglasses on Eje Central for 50 Pesos. U can hate me now, But I won't stop now...

Bievenidos a Mexico!

As soon as I got to D.F. Tanya and Andrew, el pinche guero famoso, took me straight to one of my favorite taco places. Andrew and I got the "Luigi", which is their name for a mixed al pastor and bisteck taco with cheese.

Tanya opted for this vegetarian mess that included a lot of cheese and pineapple.

That line in the middle? Yes, that's cheese.

Yoga to the People NYC

One interesting thing I learned about this time in New York was Yoga to the People- a yoga studio on St. Marks Place that operates on a donation basis. The day that we went for a 6 pm class we got there 15 minutes early and still barely got a spot- all three giant rooms were filled wall-to-wall with people. Apparently this idea has taken off since they started it 3 years ago with very few student and little room. They have even just opened a new studio in midtown. So, if you're in NYC you can get a genuine yoga class every day of the week for as little as, well, nothing. Plus, this is the best place to meet cute, wholesome NYU co-eds since the Whole Foods in Union Square (seriously, check out this slideshow). The only drawback in that there are some of those guys in the classes that whip off their shirts and put on their special yoga pants and make really loud moaning sounds while they exhale. That and our instructor read some "wise" thoughts aloud during Shivasina that were like "Deep Thoughts" by Jack Handy if were written by a 23 year-old amateur yoga instructor in a belly-shirt. And the classes do get pretty pack. The mats are placed close together, so if having the spandex-covered ass of the Asian girl ahead of you, like, directly in your face is your idea of a bad time, better go elsewhere. Plus there are plenty of bars downstairs at St. Marks to go re-tox immediately after class.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Brooklyn, We Go Hard

Don't Give Up!

Doin' It Well

Chris and I spent a night in BK playing Bleach on his PSPs (sooo good!) and watching videos on local access TV: The Bridge, Video Music Box, and then Island Vibes- it was a stellar block of programming. On Video Music Box they were video mixing and played an awesome homemade video for this Mick Boogie remix of the Santogold sampling "Brooklyn Go Hard" with a Biggie accapella laced in. I couldn't find their video, but here the track:

They went straight out of the that into "Pop Champagne" over the beat from "Put Your Hands Where my Eyes Can See", which for my money is better than the OG beat. As for "Brooklyn Go Hard", I think it's a shitty song which samples a great song, much like when Kanye did this same thing like two weeks ago on "Swagger Like Us". Again he makes a lumbering, undanceable, too-busy sounding track, and this time he even lets the annoying vocal sample play out under the whole song. That's just a bad production choice. Plus Jigga does not sound comfortable at this tempo, just give him a classic 90 bpm mid-90s era Neptunes ripoff and watch him shine. At this BPM he has to imitate Lil Wayne, which is not a good look on him. Anyway Mick Boogie improved this joint X1000 by putting Biggie over it, which is why I'm sharing it with you.


A bunch of people came out for our night in Manhattan, lots of cape cod kids and whatnot. My friend Dominic from Visionaire magazine came and told me about Pudus- they are tiny deer that live in South America. He was like "you're going down there, somewhere, you should hang out with one."
Dominic is obsessed with Pudus right now. All things good to him are Pudus, he had me saying it by the end of the night. Eventually he took some of us to this ridiculously posh lounge in Chinatown that was filled with androgynous Asian models that were trying not to dance to the Italo-disco the hidden DJ was rocking. Then it was back to Lit!

Thanks to the real-life Pudus Kait and Colby for setting this up, I wish I had taken more photos.

Here's Dominic, looking very Lex Luther. He said that me and Genevieve were both being very "Royal Tenenbaums" and that he thought I was going to come back from central America with an eyepatch and a pet parrot and a dark secret.