Sound Bites Interview: Air Waves

Air Waves remind me of Terrence Malick movies. Beautiful, contemplative, full of magic hour sunlight. Less is more. Also, like Malick, there's a lot of time between releases. Or it seems that way to me. 2008 saw an EP on Catbird, and this year and Air Waves contributed "Knockout" to the 1928 Recordings' Gold Hour 7" box set that you can also check out right here:

MP3: Air Waves – Knockout

However, the band are putting the finishing touches on their new album which will be released by Underwater Peoples in September. They play the Sound Bites Lunchtime Series at the Seaport this Wednesday (6/2).  I DJ at noon and then Air Waves are on at 1PM. Nicole Schneit answers some food questions for me to tide everyone over till then.

You spend a lot of time in Austin. What Austin cuisine do you miss the most?

My girlfriend lives in Austin, I'm not from there. I lived my whole life before the age of eighteen in the same house in West Nyack, NY. Breakfast tacos in Austin are the best and, for the most part, the produce tastes fresher than in NY. 

Why can't NYC figure out how to make migas? Should they even try to at all?

Ha, I don't know! They are really easy. When people from Austin come visit me we make them at my house. NY has so much great cuisine, it's okay if they fail at migas. Then more the reason to visit Austin!

You'll be playing across from the Fulton Stall markets. What's your favorite vegetable? And why.

Beets! Besides making your urine purple, they taste amazing. In salads, sandwiches, with cheese… And they look really neat AND you can eat the green parts. 

What's your least favorite and why?

Collard greens, I've tried to get into them because I love Southern food but for some reason the taste and texture gross me out. 

Has food ever influenced your songwriting?

I'm sure it has affected my mood, which affects my songwriting, so yes! For instance, I don't react too well from sugar so my sugar high moments don't produce the best songwriting. 

Any good food-related band anecdotes?

Ha, well someone on tour with us a few years ago had a bad reaction to eating fried frog legs. Let's just say it took us much longer to get home because of it. Lesson, never eat an exotic food from a dive roadside restaurant.

NYers, as a rule, don't cook much. What about you?

I go through phases where I cook everyday. And then there will be weeks where I don't cook at all. It is really easy in NY to be lazy about cooking. Especially because I walk everywhere and live so far from the train its hard to resist buying restaurant food. I love both though, cooking and eating out.

I want to get much better at cooking, I got a gift certificate for cooking classes for my birthday. So hopefully after I take some classes I'll be a pro. 

Where do you eat in Brooklyn?

Carmines, Sel de Mer, Peter Pan Donuts, Lomzynianka, The Bagel Store, Kyoto Sushi, I took my mom and dad to this Argentinan restaurant for mothers day called El Almacen

What's your cheap eats go-to joint? What about when you're willing to splurge a little?

Oasis falafel off the Bedford stop, Carmines pizza, Chelsea Square Diner. Sel De Mar when I have some cash. 

What's your go-to hangover food?

Eggs, sausage, potatoes. 

What food would you imagine your music being paired with?

Iced tea. Everybody loves a nice glass of ice tea and it's the perfect summer drink. Hopefully people feel that way about our music.

It’s the Time of the Season for Mixes: Summer Fridays 3.1


We're still three weeks away from the official start of the summer, but with temperatures in the '80s and Memorial Day Weekend upon us… close enough. So here's the first of a season's worth of mixes, made just for you. Having a little extra time for this one I redid it multiple times, tweaking here and there, and am pretty happy with what's now before you. Hope you like it. Cover art for this first mix of 2010 is by frequent contributor Kate Bryant and is the first to features a fold-able insert with track listing. If you'd like to contribute art to a mix, please do get in touch. No one wants me designing anything.

As always, the songs segue into one another, so no shuffle please! Here's the link:


And the tracklist:

  1. The Crayon Fields – Voice of Paradise
  2. Club 8 – Dancing with the Mentally Ill
  3. David Snell – International Flight
  4. The Cyrkle – Red Rubber Ball
  5. Allo Darlin – The Polaroid Song
  6. The New Pornographers – Silver Jenny Dollar
  7. Sambassadeur – Days
  8. The Embassy – Time's Tight
  9. Kelley Stoltz – Pincecone
  10. Art Musems – Sculpture Gardens
  11. The Particles – Apricot's Dream
  12. Eternal Summers – Able To
  13. Air Waves – Knockout
  14. Veronica Falls – Beachy Head
  15. The What Four – I'm Gonna Destroy That Boy
  16. The Monochrome Set – Eine Symphonie Des Grauens
  17. Biff Bang Pow – Someone Stole My Wheels
  18. The Depreciation Guild – Crucify You
  19. Jack Nitzche – The Lonely Surfer
  20. Comet Gain – I Never Happened
  21. Avi Buffalo – Truth Sets In
  22. Burt Bacharach – Something Big

Liner notes for the curious are after the jump.


Continue Reading

Let’s Do Lunch


Free for lunch next month? How about coming down to South Street Seaport for some free rock shows curated by this moi? The Fulton Stall Market launches its second season in the old Fulton Fish Market space on May 30 and to help celebrate, the folks behind it asked if I wanted to help put on some daytime shows the first month the Market is open. I said yes and now we've got the Sound Bites Lunchtime Series, which will happen every Wednesday in June. In keeping with the "go local" aspect that is so intrinsic to farmers markets, I stayed with bands from NYC, mostly Brooklyn.

We'll kick things off Sunday, May 30 — the Market's opening day — with a performance from up-and-comers North Highlands, and then the next five Wednesdays. I'll spin some tunes at noon and then bands go on at 1PM. It's free. Here's the full six-show line-up:

MAY 30 (Sunday kickoff): North Highlands (MP3: "Collar Bones")
Lovely orch-pop from one of the nicest, best new bands in Brooklyn. Their live show is pretty magical.

JUNE 2: Air Waves (MP3: "Knock Out")
Gentle jangle somewhere between Neil Young and Loaded-era Velvet Underground. Great songs, great stories.

JUNE 9: The Austin McCutchen Quartet (MP3: "Honey Don't Be Sad")
A talented songwriter from my neighborhood, playing bluegrass in the single mike style just like olden days.

JUNE 16: Ribbons (MP3: "Total Loss")
Dark and mysterious indie rock. This is one of their last-ever shows so don't miss it!

JUNE 23: The Beets (MP3: "What Did I Do?")
If Eddie Haskel formed a protopunk band, The Beets would be it. Bratty, but always leaving you with a thankyouverymuch.

JUNE 30: Toys and Tiny Instruments Band
The name kind of says it all. Serious pop music, but played playfully. And in miniature.

Again, I DJ for an hour at noon, then the bands play at 1PM. The Fulton Stall Market has local purveyors in addition to farmers, and I'm told they're getting cool food trucks under the FDR, so grab some grub and come watch the bands. Sounds idyllic to me. Sets won't be too long, so if you work in the neighborhood you'll be back at your desk checking Facebook in normal time. If you're not encumbered by a job, I can tell you where the cheep beer is at the Seaport.

The Seaport is one of my favorite places to see shows in NYC, certainly my favorite outdoor space, and I always look forward to the Seaport Music Festival every year (this year's schedule looks great, btw), so I'm honored and pysched to be a little part of it this season. And that it's also promoting local farmers (I try to be a locavore as much as possible), it's even better. Come down if you can, I think it's gonna be a good time.