Chewin’ the fat with Radical Dads (who play Sound Bites Series this weekend!)

rad-dads-soundbites

The Sound Bites Series continues this Sunday (8/18) at the Front/Row stage which is located at the corner of Fulton and Front streets at South Street Seaport. It’s right by Smorgasbar which has beer, wine and some great food. I DJ at 3PM with the band on at 4PM sharp! I am super-psyched for this week’s band: Radical Dads.

Brooklyn trio Radical Dads (make indie rock the old fashioned way, recalling the glory days of ‘90s college radio. But they’re no slackers, gigging constantly locally and around the country. The world even: they just got back from a tour of Japan. Their hook-filled new album, Rapid Reality, came out in the spring and I asked them a few food related questions…

Summer is prime farmer’s market time. What’s your favorite vegetable? And why.
Kohlrabi for sure. Because sometimes we say to Robbie, “Hey Kohlrabi!” and he responds. I am not sure if there is any kinship between their tastes.

What’s your least favorite and why?
The “Cleft Butt” heirloom tomato. Because it looks like a butt.

Radical Dads released their second album this year. Did any particular food fuel the making of it?
But of course! The making of Rapid Reality was fueled by gummy snacks, ginger brews, cucumber fizz concoctions, bahn mi, ‘za slices, and those massive jawbreakers, eaten Lady and the Tramp-style.

Has food ever influenced your songwriting?
Yes. Sometimes you (well, we) eat some seitan or broccoli and it’s hard to sing a particular melody because of particular things that food does to your (well, our) G.I. tract. So you change the melody.

Any good food-related band anecdotes?
One time Robbie threw a gummy bear across the practice space and it caromed off my tooth and into my mouth and I swear I heard that sweet little ursa emit a yelp.

Who is the best cook in the band?
Definitely Kohlrabi.

You folks recently toured Japan. Please list in exhaustive detail all the most delicious/weird things you ate while there.
Basashi, a.k.a. horsemeat
Gyutan, a.k.a. beef tongue
Sashimi, a.k.a. cool fish
Sake juice boxes, a.k.a. drunk on the train
Gummy fruit of every variety, a.k.a. a gummy apple a day keeps the doctor away but brings the dentist very near indeed
Soba noodles, a.k.a. it’s ok to slurp
Soda, a.k.a. soda
Onigiri, a.k.a. triangles

What’s your favorite local restaurants?
We live in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, and some of our favorite restaurants are Nam Nam, Williamsburg Pizza, Post Office, Taco Chulo, and a secret speakeasy spot called Robbie’s Roof Deck.

What’s your go-to hangover food?
As straight-edge gutter punks, we don’t get hungover.

What food would you imagine Radical Dads’ music being paired with?
Our songs go great with soda. Especially artisinal types sold in throwback bottles with sexy-ass graphic design or illustrations redolent of a simpler era when Eisenhower ruled with his hidden hand and we all commuted from the suburbs.

Sound Bites Series interview: Literature

Literature’s liquid lunch
literature

The Sound Bites Series continues this Sunday (8/11) at the Front/Row stage which is located at the corner of Fulton and Front streets at South Street Seaport. It’s right by Smorgasbar which has beer, wine and some great food. I DJ at 3PM with the band on at 4PM sharp! This week’s band is Literature:

To some, “indiepop” is synonymous with “wimpy” but anyone who has seen Literature’s hyperactive live shows knows that’s not necessarily the case. 2012’s Arab Spring (stream it above) is a hook-filled delight. Having recently moved from Austin to Philadelphia, Literature were one of the breakout bands at this year’s NYC Popfest. I’m super psyched to have them play this Sunday.

As we do, Literature’s Seth Whaland and Chris Shackerman (and occasionally the other members) answered some food related questions for us. They even wrote one of their own questions. Dig in:

Summer is prime farmer’s market time. What’s your favorite vegetable? And why.

Seth: Brussel sprouts because, have you had them after the age of 13?

Chris: Sweet Potatoes because some sweet potatoes come from New Jersey just like me!

What’s your least favorite and why?

Seth: Sweet potatoes because they are from New Jersey.

Chris: Lima beans. Duh.

Did any particular food fuel the making of Arab Spring?

Seth: Tamale House breakfast tacos. We recorded Arab Spring in Austin where the breakfast taco is king.

Has food ever influenced your songwriting?

Seth+Kevin+Nate+Chris: APPLES. Don’t ya fucking love apples?

Any good food-related band anecdotes?

Seth: One time on tour Nate and Kevin were fighting over a bag of corn nuts while I was driving and I had to throw them out the window. No one talked for 30 minutes afterwards. It was great.

Nate + Kevin: It was miserable.

Chris: I wasn’t there.

Who is the best cook in the band?

Seth: Well Nate and Kevin cook up all the song ideas…

Chris: Ba dum ch.

You moved to Philly from Texas. What foods do you miss from Texas and what have you discovered in Philly that Texas didn’t have?

Seth: We miss the tex mex and we miss Bouldin. Were glad to have the diners and the Wawas in the northeast.

What’s your favorite local restaurants?

Chris: Im a big sushi fanatic. There’s a place in Philly called Hikaru that is top notch.

Seth: Luckys Chinese in West Philly. We’re up all night to get Luckys.

What’s your go-to hangover food?

Seth: Greasy diner food and crappy diner coffee always make me feel better.

Chris: Anything deep fried.

What food would you imagine Literature’s music being paired with?

Seth: I think literature pairs well with pizza and soda, which go great together.

Chris: Literature is like a fine wine. I’ve never had it and I don’t know what it tastes like. But I like it ;).

Do people still slip on banana peels? (please note question submitted by the band):

Seth: yes. They will make you do a banana split.

Sound Bites Series is Back! Meet this Sunday’s band, Grand Resort

Andres, don't eat the flowers!

Andres, don’t eat the flowers!

I’m happy to report The Sound Bites Series is back again for a fourth year with four free shows every Sunday afternoon in August. Things are slightly different than the last two years. The Fulton Stall Market (who have been a proud sponsor previously) is going on break for the month of August, so the Sound Bites Series is happening at the Front/Row stage which is located at the corner of Fulton and Front streets at South Street Seaport. It’s right by the Smorgasbar which has beer, wine and some great food. I DJ at 3PM with the band on at 4PM sharp!

This Sunday is our first Sound Bites of 2013 and kicks off with Grand Resort. As a teenager in the Dominican Republic, Andrés M. Pichardo discovered the jangly world of UK indiepop and was immediately captivated. Upon moving to Boston, he started making recordings under the name Grand Resort, making his interpretations with sparkling 12-string guitar and dreamy synths. When he moved to Brooklyn in 2012, the solo project became a band.

Andrés was nice enough to answer some food-related questions for me:

It’s summer and the crops are in. What’s your favorite vegetable and why?
Probably cabbage. Especially pickled cabbaged. Stir fried onions and peppers do the job pretty well as a side dish if you’re trying to stay lo-carb.

What’s your least favorite and why?
Pickles. I will throw up if I see them, smell them or have touched my food.

Pickled cabbage is okay but pickles pickles you hate?
Pickles. Ew!

Your new EP is out soon. Did any particular food fuel it’s making?
Trader Joe’s frozen meals.

Has food ever influenced your songwriting?
Not really. I should probably write a song about pork and how much I love it.

Any good food-related band anecdotes?
We met Matt (bass) outside of Wyckoff Star off the Jefferson L while sipping iced coffee and eating almond croissants.

Do you cook? If so do you have a signature dish?
You bet I do. My dad runs a restaurant back home and my mom does catering from time to time. I used to work at my dad’s restaurant and I still do when I go back home to visit. I can pretty much nail any Dominican dish, but I make these killer chipotle pork tacos. I braise a whole pork leg with chipotle peppers and spices for about 8 hours until the meat falls off the bone. Then I pick up some fresh avocados and tortillas from Los Hermanos Tortilla Factory down the street from and it’s the perfect meal.

You’re from the Dominican Republic. What’s the test for a good Dominican restaurant? What’s the best you’ve found in NYC?
The plantains can’t be stale; that’s crucial. My favorite is Sazon Nuñez off the Dekalb L. They open at 6AM (yes, I’ve craved rice and beans for breakfast after a night of partying) and everything is fresh and homemade. They usually have all my favourite dishes like oxtail, pig’s feet, pig ears, roasted pork, beef stew and other weird dishes that most of my friends find disgusting.

What’s your favorite local restaurants?
I never go to fancy brunch places with fake French or Italian names. It just doesn’t make sense to me why would they would charge me $10 for a mediocre “pretty sandwich” when I can take my girlfirend to lunch for much less, We usually hit up Dominican places in Bushwick, Los Hermanos Tortilla Factory or Oasis if we’re around Bedford L.

What’s your go-to hangover food?
Rice, beans, meat and a large passion fruit juice.

What food would you imagine Grand Resort’s music being paired with?
Whatever they ate in Britain in the early 80’s and a piña colada on the side.

Roast ’em up real nice: Sound Bites interviews Ski Lodge

This Sunday is the final installment of this year’s Sound Bites Series and we’re closing things with a doozy of a band: Brooklyn’s Ski Lodge. Mixing a dash of The Smiths’ swagger with more wordly influences, the band made a splash last year with their debut EP and will release their debut full-length for Dovecote Records sometime in the very near future. The band were also picked as one of the “8 NYC Bands You Need to Hear” in The L Magazine’s annual music issue and we couldn’t agree more. Here’s a sample:

Details: The Sound Bites series is a free show, as always, and I DJ at 2PM with the band on at 3PM sharp! The Stage is set up on Beekman just off South Street down by the seaport. Come down! (There may even be beer for sale this week!) Main Lodge resident Andrew Marr was nice enough to answer some food-related questions for us:

You’ll be playing at the Fulton Stall markets. What’s your favorite vegetable? And why.
Brussels sprouts, because you can roast em up real nice.

What’s your least favorite and why?
Mushrooms, i just don’t get why they have to be the way they are.  [Keep trying, they’re awesome. – Ed]

You’ve been busy making your debut album. Did any particular food fuel it’s making?
Goldfish get snacked on a lot

Has food ever influenced your songwriting?
Food has probably had a negative influence on my songwriting, because after every meal I eat I then want to do absolutely nothing for an open ended amount of time.

Any good food-related band anecdotes?
Whenever we go out to eat as a band (bassist) Jared lists every restaurant within a 5 mile radius as an option for us to eat at.

Who is the best cook in the band? (And what’s their specialty?) Who is the finickiest eater? Do you often eat together as a band?
I’m gonna say that I (Andrew) am the best cook. I have never eaten anything the others have made but my parents taught me to cook pretty well. I don’t think any of us are very finicky, but yea we usually eat together when we play a show.

What’s your favorite local restaurants?
We all love Meatball Shop and M Shanghai

What’s your go-to hangover food?
Yogurt smoothies and pancakes

What food would you imagine Ski Lodge’s music being paired with?
A nice warm apple fritter with hot coffee to drink

Miracles and Modulations: Sound Bites interviews Caged Animals

It’s a Very Special Edition of the Sound Bites Series this at Fulton Stall Market this Sunday (8/19). Don’t worry, no one tries drinking for the first time and nearly dies. In this case it’s Brooklyn’s Caged Animals getting very especially acoustic. Which could all maybe use after Eternal Summers so awesomely destroyed our ear canals last weekend. Caged Animals make manage that rare tightrope walk of being heartfelt without sap, with big catchy choruses you’ll be singing along to after first listen. Which is to say they’re a great pop band! The band are currently finishing up their second album which will hopefully be out this fall. In the meantime, check out their most recent EP:

Details: The Sound Bites series is a free show, as always, and I DJ at 2PM with the band on at 3PM sharp! The Stage is set up on Beekman just off South Street down by the seaport. Come down! Caged Animals’ frontman Vincent Cacchione was nice enough to answer some food-related questions for us:

You’ll be playing at the Fulton Stall markets. What’s your favorite vegetable? And why.
Avocado because they aren’t shallow.

What’s your least favorite and why?
Cooked tomatoes (not tomato sauce though) are the nastiest vegetable imaginable. I have no idea why, because raw tomatoes and tomato sauce are both delicious.

You’ve been busy making the new Caged Animals album. Did any particular food fuel it’s making??
Coffee and B Complex have been the most influential over the creative process. Food wise, we Caged Animals keep it varied, Curried Tofu, Chicken Mole Burritos, Pastrami Sandwiches, Granny Smith Apples, you know!

Has food ever influenced your songwriting?
Certain slices of pizza have created miracles and modulations.

Any good food-related band anecdotes?
I can’t think of a more food-oriented band than Caged Animals. Our European tour-manager said we’re the most fun to tour with because everywhere we go we want to eat whatever that place is known for; this comment came over a plate of snails in some hole-in-the wall Parisian restaurant.

My favorite food related story happened on our way to SXSW this spring. When we were driving to Austin we couldn’t stop thinking about gumbo’s and Po’ Boys as we road through the Louisiana night. The next morning we woke up and started making serious headway into Texas, we were beginning to lose hope that we’d ever taste Cajun in the motherland and then at the eleventh hour we ended up having a totally next level and unbelievably sloppy crawfish experience at a gas-station just east of the border!

Who is the best cook in the band? (And what’s their specialty?) Who is the
finickiest eater? Do you often eat together as a band?

Best cooks in the band are Talya and Magali! Most frequent cook in the band is me (Vin). My specialty is curried tofu-scramble or vegetarian tacos! We are always eating together, I think that’s why we are such a special band, we’re really focused on our own vibe together.

We cook together during almost every practice and for the record there are NO finicky eaters in Caged Animals. Talya is the most likely to order the nastiest thing on the menu. Example: random, gas-station diner in Maine, “yes I’ll have the fried Clams.”

What’s your favorite local restaurants?
David’s Brisket House (thanks to Larry Ratso Sloman), Coco Lin Vegetarian Chinese (thanks to Matt Molnar), but if you really wanna treat me right you gotta take me for some Ethiopian.

What’s your go-to hangover food?
Brunch!

What food would you imagine Caged Animals music being paired with?
Thanksgiving dinner.

Don’t hog the hummus: Sound Bites interviews Habibi

It’s that time of year again — well a month later than usual — and the 2012 Sound Bites Series kicks off this Sunday (8/5) down at the Fulton Stall Markets with Habibi, one of Brooklyn’s most promising new bands. Barely a year old, these four girls make irresistible pop informed by ‘60s girl groups but have a dreamlike style all their own. The band just finished a tour with Sub Pop band King Tuff, and are currently working on their debut album. In the meantime you can check this track out:

Habibi will be on at 3PM sharp and I’ll be spinning tunes beforehand. Like I usually do, I asked the band about food and singer Rahill Jamalifard was kind enough to respond:

You’ll be playing at the Fulton Stall markets. What’s your favorite vegetable? And why?

Okra, my granmda in iran makes a killer okra stew, it’s such an underrated and underappreciated vegetable, and people never make it right, but when its made so that its still firm but cooked and doesnt fall apart when you fork it, its delicious.

What’s your least favorite and why?

I love em all, but least favorite…celery, its boring. Sorta like eating crunchy water.

Has food ever influenced your songwriting?

Food hasnt directly influenced my writing per se, but, food absolutely makes Habibi’s world go round.

Any good food-related band anecdotes?

Haha, yes all our good stories are food related! One we recently revisited and laughed about was a show we played at Johnny Brendas in Philly. They were kind enough to bring out a generous sized hummus plate for us and King Tuff before our show. The King Tuff boys hadn’t come into the bar yet and we basically bodied the whole thing and did some heavy heavy damage, to the point where the manager asked us kindly to please leave some for the other band. We laughed inside but cried a little too. Oh and later that night we all ate two cheese stakes each. Ha, we love food.

You recently toured with King Tuff. What kind of eater is Kyle?

Kyle loves food too, he yelled at us for getting the appropriate ‘cheese whiz’ on our Philly cheese steaks. And he sent a burger back once because they forgot his avocado! Haha, he’s serious about food!

Who is the best cook in the band? Who is the finickiest eater?

The best cook? Shoot, we all cook, and boast about our cooking but have never sampled each others, so lemme get back to you on that. And the finickiest would definitely be me. I’m annoyingly picky.

Where do you eat in Brooklyn?

I cook a lot at home, but if im not cooking at home, i really like Chimu in Williamsburg, which is a Peruvian joint with delicious chicken or the Tortilla Factory off the Jefferson L stop, I havent been to in a few years but im sure still remains decent, and Song in park slope, its cheap delicious Thai food. We all just went to this argentinian restaurant for Erin, our bass player’s birthday. It was called El Almicen in Williamsburg. I wouldnt recommend it though, unless you want four bites of tuna for 27 dollars.

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

Yes! Go to Punjab on Houston. It’s an Indian cabbie spot thats cheap and delicious. $2 for a heaping plate of food! And if I’m splurging, well… I cant really afford to splurge but i really like this Mexican restaurant thats a bit pricey over by st. Marks called La Palapa, they have these different homemade salsas that will twist your panties in a knot and a really great and thorough dinner menu. Oh man and Ariana Afghan Kebab House in Hell’s Kitchen, their Kabuli Palow is amazing!

What’s your go-to hangover food?

I dont really get hangovers, i barely drink. But i definitely like to drink fresh made juices all day after a night of drinking.

What food would you imagine Habibi’s music being paired with?

Habibi’s music would be paired with tagine! Exotic, flavor full, rich and saucy. Yum, now im hungry!!!

A Kaleidoscope of Bananas and Strawberries: Sound Bites Interviews Hospitality

After two years of poking along (and having lives or something I guess), Brooklyn trio Hospitality have finally gotten around to making their debut album which is just about finished. So I’m told. Hospitality are winsome and charming and they can rock too, don’t let them fool you. Now a four-piece (drummer Nathan Michel now on guitar, with Kyle Olson taking over the kit) they’re a little more skronky too. When I found out I was doing this series again this year, they were the first band I thought of.

MP3: Hospitality – Liberal Arts

Hospitality play the final Sound Bites Series show of 2011: this Sunday (7/17) at the Fulton Stall Market down by the South Street Seaport. The band is on at 3PM sharp and I’ll be spinning tunes beforehand. Hospitality also feature on a free downloadable mix I curated as part of a series of Seaport Music Festival mixes that are available over at online record store Insound. Check em out and feel free to listen to it on shuffle if you like.

Hospitality answer some food-related questions below. I don’t think I’d ever argue with them about where or what to eat.

You’ll be playing in the Fulton Stall markets. What’s your favorite vegetable?
Amber Papini (vocals, guitar): Cabbage. I love it in all ways: sauteed, braised or roasted, coleslaw, kimchi and sauerkraut.
Brian Betancourt (bass, vocals): broccoli // fun to eat tiny trees as a kid. also as an adult.
Kyle Olson (drums): Corn on the cob, because it’s so tasty and reminds me of summers at the Minnesota State Fair!
Nathan Michel (guitar): celery because it’s refreshing.

What’s your least favorite?
Kyle: Raw Onions, I think my distaste for them might actually be to the point of a phobia.
Brian: cauliflower // thought they were ghosts of broccoli as a kid (totally over this now). [No way, cauliflower rules! – Ed]
Amber: I can’t think of any, sorry.
Nathan: Eggplant, weird texture.

You’re finishing up Hospitality’s debut album. Did any food in particular help fuel it’s creation?
Brian: Amber prepared us for recording days with sandwiches and individual ziploc’d bags of popcorn, our names written on them and everything.

Has food ever influenced your songwriting?
“Half an apple” from our EP

Any good food-related band anecdotes?
Hospitality loves tacos! We eat them at San Loco when we play Cake Shop, Taco Chulo when we play in Williamsburg, and some of the best are at the El Diablo Taco Truck at Union Pool. [Guys, you should check out the Tacos Morelos cart on N7/Bedford, the best. -Ed]

Who is the best cook in the band? Who is the finickiest eater?
Brian: Amber hosts (and caters) the best dinner parties.
Kyle: Amber makes a mean veggie pizza. All I can say about finicky is that whoever it is better pass me their plate.
Nathan: Amber is the best cook of all time, and I’m the worst.

Where do you eat in Brooklyn?
Brian: Taco Chulo, before most shows. Burger night at Fort Defiance, after Monday practices.
Kyle: Northeast Kingdom in Bushwick. Pies n’ Thighs in Williamsburg.
Amber: I love the cocktails and deviled eggs at Fort Defiance in Red Hook.

What’s your cheap eats go-to joint?
Amber: The pupusas and grilled corn at the Red Hook Ball Fields.
Brian: Bagel & shmear at Mile End
Kyle: I’ve completely exhausted Subway’s $5 footlong menu.

What about when you’re willing to splurge a little?
Brian: The Breslin/John Dory Oyster Bar
Kyle: Peter Luger’s Steakhouse (are they going to hate me because I LOVE meat?)
Amber: En Japanese Brasserie

What’s your go-to hangover food?
Brian: Poutine at Mile End.
Amber: Bacon, egg and cheese on a roll.
Kyle: Ham, egg and cheese on a roll with home fries from the coffee shop right across the street from me.

What food would you imagine Hospitality’s music being paired with?
Brian: A kaleidoscope of bananas and strawberries, Carmen Miranda-style.
Kyle: A Plum. It looks modest enough on the outside, but it’s so juicy and delicious and colorful when you bite into it.

Meat the Band: Sound Bites Interviews pow wow!

A copy editor’s nightmare but the name — all lower-case with an exclamation point — suits pow wow! well. They’re the little band that could. The band caught fire back in 2008 but then checked out for a year to regroup and figure out their sound. Not that it’s a totally new direction — a little less ’60s soul and a little more C-86 — but I like it, based on the one new song that’s been circulating:

MP3pow wow! – It’s Not That Easy

As you should know, pow wow! are playing the Sound Bites Series this Sunday (July 10) down at the Fulton Stall Market by South Street Seaport. The band are on at 3PM and I DJ for a couple hours before that. It’s FREE. They are super fun live. And stick around afterwards for the new Beach Party series which takes place at Beekman Beer Garden (formerly Water Taxi Beach)…this week it’s Cheeseburger and Hard Nips. Also free. I think doors for that are at five.

Anyway, before I get off track, we got pow wow! to answer a few food-related questions in advance of this Sunday’s show. Not sure who is actually answering the questions, though.

You’ll be playing in the Fulton Stall markets. What’s your favorite vegetable? And why.
To be honest, we don’t really eat vegetables that much, but if it came down to it, pickled radish. They almost taste like apples especially when you pair them up with Korean Hot Wings. [Dudes! You gotta eat more vegetables! – Ed.]

What’s your least favorite and why?
Iceberg lettuce. Amanda says it tastes like pollution and science, and I’d say most of us in the group generally hate salad. [You hate salad? – Ed.] We’re mostly a gang of carnivores. John-Paul also has a strong dislike for tomatoes.

Has food ever influenced your songwriting?
We have a song called “Sour Apples” that has more to do with Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, than it has to do with fruit.

Any good food-related band anecdotes?
Don’t ever try eating vindaloo right before playing a show, if you haven’t already. We can tell you from experience that the results are almost never good.

Who is the best cook in the band?
The best cook is hands down, Eddie. He’s learned a lot of traditional and secret family recipes. His pork adobo is second only to his grandmothers. or maybe third cause we forgot about his mom.

Who is the finickiest eater?
Eddie again. He’s very specific. Fries always need to be well done. No cheese. no “weird” sauces, which basically means if it has anything at all to do with mayonnaise, heavy cream, butter, or includes the word “secret” in it’s description, he’s definitely not eating it.

Where do you eat in your neighborhood?
Three of us live in Astoria so we’re always out to eat. Our favorites are Queens Comfort, which recently opened up on 30th av and Steinway, and serves a mean Fried Chicken & Eggo and the most amazing ribs and fried green tomatoes ever; Sweet Afton for it’s deep fried pickles;, Il Bambino for their panini’s & brunch; Go Wasabi when we want Gobdol Bibimbap; El Mariachi who have a really kind and welcoming staff and amazing Mexican food; and the Bel Aire Diner for late night munchies and the best milkshakes this side of the Pulaski Bridge. Oh and Zenon Taverna if we’re ever in the mood for Greek. Can you tell we really really like to eat?

ps. We used to live in Greenpoint, so we can’t forget to mention Peter Pan Bakery for their donuts. The only problem is they’re almost never open when we’re really craving them!

What’s your cheap eats go-to joint? What about when you’re willing to splurge a little?
Renee’s which is a Filipino restaurant out in Woodside. Average meal is like $6 and you always get crazy full. If you haven’t check out their all day breakfast!

The life of a working musician doesn’t really allow too much splurging, but when the wallets are looking a bit bulkier than usual, we’ll go to Linn, this wonderfully authentic Japanese restaurant in Astoria that’s always showing oceanic or surf documentaries and has a Japanese bossa nova band come in and play on Fridays. It also doubles as an art gallery. We always go and say we’re only getting ramen but then we start ordering a bunch of other stuff and end up racking up one hell of a bill.

What’s your go-to hangover food?
Pork Roll (Taylor Ham), Egg (no cheese – says Eddie) on a toasted Everything Bagel & ginger ale. Hey, most of us in the band are from NJ and in this case, we fit the Pork Roll stereotype.

What food would you imagine your music being paired with?
Paired with… as in, what would go well with our music? Jello Pudding Pops. Whatever happened to those?!

Kale Force: Sound Bites Interviews The Hairs


The Hairs
is the latest muisc project from Kevin Alvir who has previously masterminded NYC indiepop bands The Lil’ Hospital and Knight School. Even though the band is pretty new, The Hairs already have a 7″ on Portland’s fine Magic Marker Records that contains four scrappy, charming songs. One of which, “Duh x 12,” has gotten some attention for its video which was directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp who made internet sensation Marcel the Shell.

MP3The Hairs – Duh x 12

The Hairs play Week Two of the Sound Bites Series which happens this Sunday (July 3) down at the Fulton Stall Market down by the Seaport. The band is on at 3PM sharp. Trains are funky on the weekends so come early, grab a pizza bianca from Grandaisy Bakery or some breakfast radishes from Migliorelli Farms (right by the Sound Bites stage) or an amazing hamburger from NY Farm 2 Door. You can chill out and hear me spin tunes from 2PM till the band starts.

Kevin was kind enough to answer some food-related questions. Judging by his answers, I’d invite him to dinner anytime.

You’ll be playing at the Fulton Stall markets. What’s your favorite vegetable?
I wish I could say kohlrabi, but I think it’s kale. There’s something real satisfying about kale. For some reason, I need kale all the time once I do have it. It goes well with everything – pastas and meats. Also if used in salads, it’s really exotic and delicious. I made caesar salad and used kale instead – and it’s so addictive.

What’s your least favorite?
Green or red peppers [mine too, especially green. – ed]. I just feel like they’re everywhere and in everything. They just don’t taste special anymore. I mean, they’re good but to have it in something you eat everyday…

Has food ever influenced your songwriting?
YES. I always imagine my songs to be a chicken pot pie of sound and feeling. Food does seem to make it into my lyrics. It’s a part of life. We need it to live.

Any good food-related band anecdotes?
When we practice as the Hairs, morale goes up when we have snacks like Pretzel Chips + Hummus and Wine. We practice at Patty’s house — and occasionally she’ll make dinner. I guess nothing terribly intriguing. But I am always interested in food preparation and I usually stand with my mouth hanging open watching her make blackened catfish or creamed spinach or potato salad with arugula w/ mustard and anchovie paste. Patty’s a great cook. Her food is prepared like a Paul McCartney song.

NYers, as a rule, don’t cook much. What about you?
I dunno — ocasionally? There was a time when I was so into cooking that I just craved my own cooking. But it’s all ebb and flow. Lately, it’s a lot of takeout or eating on the run — life just gets busy. If I lived in a more sedate town, I’d want to cook more.

Do you have a signature dish?
I can’t tell if it’s my bf’s or my own….but making kale salad with tahini dressing and some soy sauce + other fresh vegetables. I make a browned chickpea with carmelized onions & garlic with wilted kale, I can eat that everyday. A fried egg with white rice and kimchi (from a jar, of course). Frittatas with off beat cheeses and vegetables.

Where do you eat in Brooklyn?
I love eating in Fort Greene and/or Cobble Hill. All those restaurants are pretty top notch.

What’s your cheap eats go-to joint? What about when you’re willing to splurge a little?
Any Banh Mi joint is great for a cheap meal. Chinatown Manhattan is great for cheap eating. But when I want to splurge, I think my favorite place is Brooklyn Public. The food there is great. Just huge portions of the best nachos, best burgers, but I usually go for their mussels & fries plate. Best Bloody Mary’s too!

What’s your go-to hangover food?
It seems to always be eggs and potatoes. More specifically an omelette with french fries doused in hot sauce, preferably sriracha sauce.

What food would you imagine The Hairs’ music being paired with?
I feel Hairs music is like a chicken pot pie. I see it paired with pickled vegetables and buttered corn bread. Or else fried chicken on a bed of mixed greens with a vietnamese vinegarette.

Cheese and Onions: Sound Bites Interviews My Teenage Stride

One of the great Brooklyn bands of the last seven years or so, My Teenage Stride continue to crank out clever, tuneful indiepop. Through myriad line-up changes that rival The Fall, frontman Jed Smith has kept his sardonic, melodic vision going strong. Smith and the current MTS line-up are currently working on a new record. Until then here’s a classic hit:

MP3: My Teenage Stride – Heart Shackles

But don’t wait for the new album to see My Teenage Stride. I’m proud to have the band launch the second season of the Sound Bites Summer Series at the Fulton Stall Market this Sunday (June 26). The fun starts at 2PM with some warm-up DJing from me, and then My Teenage Stride will take the stage at three. I cornered Smith into answering a few food-related questions which are as follows.

You’ll be playing at the Fulton Stall markets. What’s your favorite vegetable? And why.

I’m gonna go with onions. I probably use them more than any other vegetable, with garlic bringing up a close second.

What’s your least favorite and why?

Okra. Oh dear god, okra.

Has food ever influenced your songwriting?

Only if you count the Frank Zappa tune “Call Any Vegetable”, or if you consider gin a vegetable- I think of it as more of an herb, personally.

Any good food-related band anecdotes?

Our old guitar player Jeff kept to a strict diet of beef jerky when we did a national tour- I’ll let you use your imagination as to why.

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

I like to cook a lot when it’s practical and affordable. I grew up with a lot of home cooking and baking on a farm with a big vegetable garden and corn and stuff. After ten years in the city, I had hardly even ever ordered delivery until last year, and I gotta say- I find it stressful for multiple reasons, beyond it simply being too expensive. I mostly cook Mexican and Italian type things so I don’t know if it’s really all that healthy, but I definitely feel better after eating food I made myself. This answer contains none of my trademark avoidant humor. Sorry about that.

A lot of people have been in My Teenage Stride over the years. Who was the best cook?

Almost certainly me, though I can’t be sure.

Where do you eat in Brooklyn?

Home, not home, Mexican places in Bushwick

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

Tony’s Pizza on Dekalb and Knickerbocker across from my apt. building has one of the best Sicilian slices in the city for 2 bucks and it has great, huge pasta dishes for 6 bucks. There’s also El Sol De Cholula, a Mexican deli with a real good taqueria that’s also real cheap on Wilson and Hart, also right by my place.

I really don’t go to real restaurants more than like 5 times a year at the most because I am cheap, poor, and don’t like to be around people with money, but I love Il Passatore on Bushwick and Metropolitian, but it’s actually incredibly cheap for a really excellent Italian place that’s got real atmosphere and terrific food. I mean it’s a serious place- their gnocchi is to die for and they bring olives and flatbread while you order and it’s a really great restaurant in general but for some reason it’s just very, very inexpensive. Maybe because it’s next to a gas station and there’s a White Castle around the corner? Anyway, HIGHLY recommended.

What’s your go-to hangover food?

Strawberry-banana yogurt smoothie. Cure-all. Makes you feel better AS YOU’RE DRINKING IT.

What food would you imagine your music being paired with?

Crow.