H.A.M.

As a food, ham isn’t that tough. You know, Christmas dinners and all that. But when I found out that this Kanye + Jay-Z collaboration from their forthcoming Watch the Throne wasn’t about pork, I decided to give it a listen. And I guess “Hard As a Motherfucker” is a cool sentiment and theme for a song.

The track has the two powerhouses rapping over huge strings and operatic vocal arrangements. And the immensity of the production is really its best quality. Some of the rhymes are a little bland, but as the instruments build and then get stripped away to just a lone piano and then cut back in with the melody, it does kind of feel hard as a motherfucker.

Check it out over at Facebook, where you go to find new music. Watch the Throne is slated to be released in March.

Music video: Tennis "Pigeon"

It’s magic!

New Bars & Restaurants Round Up

It’s a new year and there are tons of recently opened spots for food and alcohol consumption. Below is a list of places to try in 2011.

Tuffet, a “cheese/meat/bar”  owned by a Market Table alum, opened on New Years Eve. Now that we’ve got our hangovers (& desire to eat nothing but wheatgrass and bean sprouts) mostly out of our systems, we’ll be looking forward to a visit to this intimate space, which features 15 rotating cheeses, cured and cooked meats, and a bar with wine on tap (!) 286 Graham Avenue, near Grand.

Walking into Cubana Social makes you immediately feel like you’ve been transported to 1950’s Cuba. The former cigar factory on N 6th Street has been transformed into a beautiful social club with high ceilings, brick columns, and a long counter that runs throughout the space. The food which is “traditional Cuban with a modern twist” nicely compliments the reasonably priced cocktails which run from $8-$10. Live jazz and salsa music is also slated to be part of the Cuban dining experience.  70 N. 6th Street, near Wythe Ave.


Feeling punchy? The Drink might cure what ails you. Metromix has a full report on this “vaguely nautical” watering hole, which focuses its ambitions squarely on ridding the spiked communal beverage of its association with prom disasters and pukey frat parties. Forget to leave room for the Holy Spirit with either a hot or cold cup of the stuff ($5) or really get the party started with an entire bowl ($43).  228 Manhattan Ave, between Grand and Maujer.

The musically themed bar LP & Harmony offers cheap drinks, a well-stocked jukebox, and open mic nights. It’s a strange mix between a sports bar with huge flat screen televisions showing the latest games, and a DIY music venue with local musicians singing in the background, and we’re not sure how we feel about it yet. There’s also a small dance floor with a DJ that begins every night after 10PM. In the summer, patrons will be able to drink the backyard garden which is always a plus. 683 Grand Street near Manhattan Avenue.

The Garden Spot Cafe is Greenpoint’s newest diner/coffee shop serving inexpensive staples that are necessary after a night out. We’ve been told the giant list of breakfast burritos is worth a try. 195 Franklin Street, near Green Street.

Calexico has finally come to Brooklyn, and we couldn’t be happier. The 65-seat eatery features new menu items such as fish tacos, grilled corn, and the 645 burger which is “a blend of brisket, chuck and short rib on a ciabatta bun with their signature chipotle “crack” sauce”. There’s a full bar that serves a variety of beer and cocktails, and a garden will be open in the warmer months. 645 Manhattan Avenue, near Moore Street.

Das Racist remix Katy Perry

Last night, as the perfect treat to end the weekend, Himanshu Suri
(@HEEMS) of Das Racist posted his remix of Katy Perry’s ubiquitous pop hit “Teenage Dream.” It’s no cast of Glee rendition. And for that I am eternally grateful. In place of the sugar-high original, the Heems version of this track is way slowed down and smooth. Possibly one of the sexiest tracks this dude has ever put his name on.

So whether this was the cherry on top of your weekend or the kickstart to get you through this work week, it is great either way. Check it out over at Heems’ blog Nehru Jackets or download it directly HERE. We probably really will dance until we die, won’t we?

Today: Habitat 3rd Annual Chili Cookoff

Chili PosterHead on over to Habitat in Greenpoint today for their 3rd Annual Chili Cookoff, where ten chefs chosen at random will compete to see who can make the best damn chili. We spoke with one of the cooks, Michael Glennon, to see how he’s prepping for the big competition.Interview after the jump.

3rd Annual Chili Cookoff is at Habitat Bar in Greenpoint, at 988 Manhattan Ave at Huron Street.  Chili tasting starts at 6pm, $10 gets you a 2 oz sampling of all ten chilis. [Read more…]

Extra Life: Hibernation is over

After about a year of hibernation, Charlie Looker’s Extra Life is back. Now a three piece, the trio sounds more fierce than ever before. A sold out Silent Barn got a taste of it last night. Below is the first song of Extra Life’s set as well as a clip of opener Buke and Gass.

VIDEO: Lowkey – "Blood, Sweat, and Tears"

I’ve been speaking with some Islamic hackers operating out of Pakistan and the UK these past few days for an upcoming piece, and asked what they listen to while wired-in on a hack–for color, and all. The UK-based hacker told me his favorite was Lowkey. So here, presented without comment, is one track making up the soundtrack to the lives of hackers fighting against the digital occupations of the Israeli and Indian governments. “Blood, Sweat, and Tears” was released on December 25th and can be found on Lowkey’s upcoming album, Soundtrack To The Struggle, which drops next month.

Portlandia

If the show is anywhere near as funny as the trailer, it’s going to be great.