Archive for May, 2010

Congratulations Graduates, Here’s a Mix

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!

Track List:

  1. Welcome To The Working Week – Elvis Costello
  2. Let The Good Times Roll – Yo La Tengo
  3. Money  – Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
  4. Work Me – The Black Keys
  5. Month of May – Arcade Fire
  6. Prince of Tacoma – BOAT
  7. Who Makes Your Money – Spoon
  8. Clips – Ava Luna
  9. Boy From School – Hot Chip
  10. When Life Gives Me Lemons I Make Lemonade – The Boy Least Likely To
  11. Workers Comp. – Mos Def
  12. Workin’ Hard – Retribution Gospel Choir
  13. Lessons Learned – Matt & Kim
  14. Working to Work – Field Music
  15. You Work All Weekend – Saturday Looks Good To Me
  16. Homework – The Bicycles
  17. Brainy – The National
  18. Pocketful of Money – Jens Lekman
  19. Goodbye Good Luck – Thao & The Get Down Stay Down

May 28, 2010 at 6:15 pm Leave a comment

Cook This: Moroccan-style Eggs

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
  • cumin
  • paprika (sweet or spicy, whatever your preference)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 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.

Bon appetit!

May 24, 2010 at 10:03 am 1 comment

Janky Magazine and Circuit Bending

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 .

Janky Magazine's event flyer, via

The magazine came in a package filled with interesting photos and “objects,” including a cassette tape with recorded “prank” telephone calls.

The Janky Magazine package

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:

Diagram from BENT festival

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.


May 19, 2010 at 2:24 pm Leave a comment

Toast N Jams Mix #2: Leisure Time Is the Best Time

For people who, like us, can’t flippin’ wait for springtime already, we’ve put together a music mix that will hopefully conjure up the sunny skies, bbqs, street stickball games, and lazy hazy afternoons that we’re pining for here on the eastcoast. Recommended for fans of not working, playing hooky, long weekends, vacations, or any kind of leisure time (I’m guessing that’s everyone). Download here.

Tracklist is after the jump.


May 14, 2010 at 9:45 am 2 comments

Broken Social Scene at Webster Hall

Broken Social Scene at Webster Hall

Broken Social Scene at Webster Hall

Canadian “supergroup” Broken Social Scene played Webster Hall on Friday, May 7 to celebrate the release of their newest album, Forgiveness Rock Record. There was no opener and the group played for about 2 hours. The place was packed and the band was in high spirits as Kevin Drew and Brandon Canning led them through a mix of old and new tunes.

Emily Haines with Broken Social Scene at Webster Hall

Emily Haines with Broken Social Scene at Webster Hall

They opened with “World Sick,” also the first song on the new album, but immediately took it old school with “Stars & Sons” right after. Other classics included “7/4 Shoreline” and “KC Accidental.” Former band member Emily Haines, who now leads the band Metric, showed up to play a few songs, including “Sweetest Kill” and “Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl.” The crowd was pretty psyched to see her on stage, and the other band members seemed pretty thrilled too.

Other new songs included “Texico Bitches,” “Water in Hell,” and “All to All.” In general, the new stuff seems to be more upbeat and direct and less meandering and psychedelic, like their first two albums, Feel Good Lost and You Forgot It In People. I’m definitely a fan of the new album and I think it’s taking the band in a great direction.

Broken Social Scene at Webster Hall

The encore (which the band did not actually leave the stage before and simply announced that this was no the encore) began with the cheery and bouyant “Meet Me in the Basement” from the new album. Drew then gave the audience a choice for the last song: “Super Connected,” “Major Label Debut,” or “Lover’s Spit.” The audience’s applause indicated the beautiful ballad “Lover’s Spit” as the winner, which was a great end to a great show. Lots more pictures after the jump!


May 10, 2010 at 5:39 pm 1 comment

Fela! is Different Than Most Broadway Fare: Updated

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:

May 3, 2010 at 10:09 am Leave a comment

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