Tag Archives: seaport

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!!!

Meat the Band: Sound Bites Interviews pow wow!

5 Jul

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?!

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.