Tag Archives: fulton stall market

Don’t hog the hummus: Sound Bites interviews Habibi

2 Aug

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

11 Jul

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.

Kale Force: Sound Bites Interviews The Hairs

27 Jun


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

20 Jun

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.

Introducing the Sound Bites Summer Series 2011

6 Jun


I’m pleased to announce that Sound Bites (aka me) has teamed with the Seaport Music Festival/River to River folks and the Fulton Stall Market to bring you another free series of indie rock shows this summer. In a slightly different form.

Unlike last year, which took place on Wednesdays on the big Seaport Stage, this Summer’s series will take place on Sunday afternoons so hopefully that means you won’t have to sneak out of work to attend. More changes: this year the shows will be in one of the stalls in the Fulton Stall Market, playing amongst the many farmers and purveyors. The Fulton Stall Market is now in it’s third year and is worth a visit even without jangly pop music providing a soundtrack.

We’re doing four consecutive Sundays beginning June 26. The entertainment is as follows:

JUNE 26: 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. The band are fresh from a performance at Spain’s Primavera Sound Festival where, I’m told, the audience loved them so much that they continued to chant their name throughout Pulp’s reunion performance. (They may have also been chanting “My Legendary Girlfriend” but with thick accents who can really say?) MTS are working on a new record as we speak. Do I detect a Calatan influence here?

MP3: My Teenage Stride – Cast Your Own Shadow

JULY 3: THE HAIRS
You may know Kevin Alvir from his previous bands L’il Hospital and Knight School. If so you know what to expect: scratchy, scrappy, slightly snarky, super-catchy. The Hairs are pretty new so they only have one single out so far which you can get in physical form from Magic Marker records or digitally below. Check out the video too which was directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp who made internet sensation Marcel the Shell.

MP3: The Hairs – Duh x 12

JULY 10: 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.

MP3: pow wow! – It’s Not That Easy

JULY 17: 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. When I found out I was doing this series again this year, they were the first band I thought of.

MP3: Hospitality – Liberal Arts

The fun begins at 2PM with yours truly DJing for an hour and then bands are at 3PM. No pool parties this year, so what else you got to do? Come out, enjoy some local indiepop, buy some vegetables, check out the tall ships. It’ll be fun. It’s free! Hope to see you there.