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.