Archive for May, 2010
All of us here at TNJ have been out of college for a while, and none of us (so far) have made the leap to graduate school. However, lots of our friends have, and many of them are graduating this semester. We know people finishing school in everything from medicine to law to psychology.
In honor of this grand accomplishment, as well as any other graduates among our readers, whether it’s from high school, college, or beyond, this mix is for you! Of course, even if you haven’t graduated this semester, you should still download the mix because it’s awesome!
- Welcome To The Working Week – Elvis Costello
- Let The Good Times Roll – Yo La Tengo
- Money – Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
- Work Me – The Black Keys
- Month of May – Arcade Fire
- Prince of Tacoma – BOAT
- Who Makes Your Money – Spoon
- Clips – Ava Luna
- Boy From School – Hot Chip
- When Life Gives Me Lemons I Make Lemonade – The Boy Least Likely To
- Workers Comp. – Mos Def
- Workin’ Hard – Retribution Gospel Choir
- Lessons Learned – Matt & Kim
- Working to Work – Field Music
- You Work All Weekend – Saturday Looks Good To Me
- Homework – The Bicycles
- Brainy – The National
- Pocketful of Money – Jens Lekman
- Goodbye Good Luck – Thao & The Get Down Stay Down
A year-and-a-half ago I took the ferry from Southern Spain to Tangier, Morocco. The ferry ride was fun and all, but when we arrived to the port city of Tangier we were starving and stopped at the first cafe we saw. It was still morning, so we all decided to order some eggs and mint tea, their specialty.
Mint tea and eggs in Tangier, Morocco
The mint tea was lovely and refreshing, but it was the eggs that we couldn’t stop talking about. They were fried, sunny-side up, in a pool of olive oil and covered in a wondrous mix of spices, including paprika, cumin, and salt and pepper. The flavors were glorious and it was a great start to our day. When we came back, I immediately went at replicating it and was pretty successful.
Make sure to use a lot of good-quality olive oil when you fry your eggs
So without further ado, here’s how to make Moroccan-style eggs:
- large eggs
- good quality olive oil
- paprika (sweet or spicy, whatever your preference)
- good bread for sopping up the oil and yolk!
Pour about a quarter cup of olive oil in a frying pan. Once it is hot but no smoking, crack the eggs sunny side-up into the pan. You can do one at a time, or up to 3. Let the eggs fry in the oil about 3-4 minutes and then liberally sprinkle the spices all over. I recommend more than you think, but of course proceed to your taste. I like a runny yolk, and if you do too be careful not to overcook the egg(s). When they are ready pour the whole thing, oil and all, onto a plate and enjoy with some toast to soak up all the yummy yolk and olive oil.
Our music coverage takes an interesting “twist” this week with some offbeat experimental coverage. A few weeks back, I attended a party in Brooklyn for a new magazine, Janky, started by Lee Tusman, a friend of mine .
The magazine came in a package filled with interesting photos and “objects,” including a cassette tape with recorded “prank” telephone calls.
The event included live music, which was performed through homemade instruments, such as a microphone made out of a telephone, and this:
The owner of this instrument, and one of the main musical performers of the evening, was Brendan O’Connell, who has a website devoted to circuit-bending that you should check out. He also had an installation at Brooklyn’s BENT Festival. See diagram below:
In addition to this, he plays electronic music with two bands, Red Sweatpants Blue Sweatpants and JockJams. More photos of circuit bending in action after the jump.
Image: Monique Carboni
UPDATE: Fela! has been nominated for 11 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Also, Fela’s son Femi Kuti and his band The Positive Force will be playing Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night’s Swing series at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park on July 12 (tickets on sale here), Antibalas will be playing a free show this summer at Castle Clinton in Battery Park on July 22, and Nigerian drumming legend Tony Allen, who was a drummer with Fela in the ’70s, will be playing a free show in the Stuy Town oval on June 16 and as part of the BAM MetroTech Rhythm & Blues Festival on June 17 (also free).
TNJ is definitely not a theater blog, but Fela! is definitely not like most theater. And, because it is a biopic of famous Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, has the Brooklyn funk/Afrobeat band Antibalas playing the role of Nigeria ’70, Fela’s backing band throughout the seventies, and amazing music numbers, many based on Fela’s actual songs, this show clearly intersects with many people’s musical interests, including us here at TNJ!
Image: Monique Carboni
The show takes you to Fela’s famous club in Lagos, Nigeria in the seventies, called the Afrika Shrine. The Eugene O’Neill Theater has been utterly transformed to look like a hot Afro-funk club, and the set design is fascinating and educational, with portraits of African and African-American political activists, news stories, and more. Fela’s anti-colonial activist mother, Funmilayo Kuti, looks over the stage as Fela tries to come to grips with her death and whether he should leave Nigeria.
The show begins with an introduction to Fela, his club, and his amazing dancers. There is some audience involvement, as actor Sahr Ngaujah who plays Fela, tries to teach the “international” crowd call and response and how to move their hips. Because of the nightclub setting, the show can get away with song and dance numbers that do not directly tell a story or move the plot forward. Antibalas is amazing as the backing band, and Nguajah often accompanied them on the sax. The ensemble of dancers was absolutely amazing and super-talented, and their costumes were ravishing and funky. The women in the ensemble represented Fela’s 27 wives who often danced with him onstage and truly were the queens he described them as.
Image: Monique Carboni
Most of Fela’s music is sung in Pidgen English so people from all over Africa could understand it. To help the “international” audience understand it, the words to the song being sung were sometimes projected above the stage, which helped a lot. His most popular song, “Zombie,” about the state of Nigeria’s military, was a highlight, as well as “Water Get No Enemy” and any song Lillias White, who played Fela’s mother sang in, like “Trouble Sleep.”
Image via: Fela! on Broadway
If you are expecting a linear plot line or typical musical theater fare, you will be fairly shocked. Fela! is so unlike any other Broadway show I’ve seen I had to remind myself where I was several times. There is little plot, and character development, which is typical of Broadway fare, but this is simply not your typical Broadway show, so if you have that in mind you will not be disappointed. If you appreciate international music, African dance, and political activism, you will thoroughly enjoy this show. Tickets are available here at a discount for fans of Antibalas, and the soundtrack is due on June 8 via Knitting Factory Records, who have been releasing much of Fela Kuti’s catalog these last few years. The song “Everything Scatter” is available on iTunes now.
Check out this video of the cast on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in February: