Archive for October, 2011

Fright Night Music Mix

Just in time for All Hallow’s Eve, we ghouls put together some spooky tunes to soundtrack your festivities—whether they involve bloodsuckers, brain eaters, and witches, or just a quiet night of candy binging. Get bloody hammered to the sounds of Goblin, the Cramps, Iggy + the Stooges, Zola Jesus, Tom Waits, X-Ray Spex, the Misfits, and more. Check out the tracklist below.

Click to download : Fright Night

Happy Halloween, fiends! xx

—TNJ w/ guest mix-maker Kevin Munley

“Human Fly” by the Cramps

“Whistlin’ Past the Graveyard” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins (song by Tom Waits)

(more…)

October 31, 2011 at 12:21 pm 1 comment

Eat This (Abroad): Breakfast in Israel

This will be my first report of many on breakfast and brunches abroad. I’m off on a 6-month journey that has already taken me to Israel, Turkey, and now India, and will take me in the future to various countries in Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and New Zealand. Naturally I will be eating lots of breakfasts in lots of places, and I will write about them here! Hope you like it!

A typical, simple Israeli breakfast usually consists of chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, one or two kinds of cheese (often one a salty feta-like cheese), hummus, pita, and hard boiled eggs. Our first grand breakfast was at a guesthouse in northern Israel where we had a traditional Druze (Syrian-Israeli) breakfast, which was an amazing spread. You can read more about it here.

Shakshuka is often served in a cast iron pan.

Shakshuka also usually comes with some kind of pita or bread. This one came with a delicious, fluffy focacia topped with za'atar, Israel's unofficial national spice.

Another classic Israeli breakfast is a baked egg dish with tomatoes, onions, and sometimes peppers, called shakshuka. I had a delicious one at Cafe Yankale in Herzilya. In Brooklyn, you can get this yummy dish at Miriam in Park Slope.

You can have Mocha from an easy-to-drink carton...

...or the traditional, and cheaper, bag. Just bite off the corner and sip!

If you don’t want a whole meal, you can stop into any convenience store and get Israel’s version of iced coffee to go: mocha. Yotvata (a dairy kibbutz near Eilat) makes my favorite one, and you can get it in two forms: a carton or a bag. It’s a sweet mix of coffee and chocolate milk, which is made extra delicious by the absolutely amazing milk produced in Israel. If you love fresh dairy, this is your country.

Pomegranate juicer in the old city of Jerusalem

Another option for a liquid breakfast in Israel is to stop by one of the many juice stands in the country. When I was there pomegranates were in season so their juice was prominently available. Yum!

If you’re in Jerusalem and looking for a more international breakfast/brunch, Kadosh (on Shlomzion Hamalka Road) is an excellent choice. It’s got a chic, but cozy decor and the food (not just breakfast) is delicious.

Kadosh's interior is cozy and hip at the same time.

You can see part of the breakfast menu at Kadosh here. So many decisions!

I went with the Crunchy Smoked Salmon, which was truly divine. It is a nicely-baked croissant loaded with two poached eggs, smoked salmon, and their spin on a hollandaise sauce, which involves poppy seeds and anise. It came with a nice salad and my choice of drink, so I went with freshly squeezed carrot-orange juice.

Isn't she a beauty?

Here's her insides: perfectly poached eggs and loads of smoked salmon with an excellent hollandaise.

Is there anything better than fresh-squeezed juice in the morning?

After all this I was pretty full, but when I saw a halva-chocolate babka on their menu, I couldn’t resist. A few days earlier I would have had no inkling as to how yummy this cake is, but I had eaten it at a fantastic bakery/cafe called Nadav Kinuchim (Nadav Desserts) in Ramat Yishai. That halva chocolate babka was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten, and their other cake and bread displays were mouth-wateringly good. I pretty much can’t wait to go back there next time I’m in Israel and anywhere near it (it’s about 1/2 hour from Haifa). Here’s a bit more information. But alas, I did not have my camera with me then. But I did at Kadosh, and while their version wasn’t quite as good, it was still delicious. Many people don’t like halva, but I have grown to love it these last few years; the trick is it has to be good halva and in America that can be hard to find. But the halva in this combination isn’t so pronounced, it merely lends a sticky, crunchy texture to the chocolaty babka.

Isn't babka the best?

 

Nextup: breakfasts in Turkey!

October 31, 2011 at 8:36 am 5 comments

JudyJams Oct 2011 Picks: Edie Sedgwick, Future Islands, Dum Dum Girls, Twin Sister

Fall is in full swing on the East Coast, and although it has been a schizophrenic season (it’s about to snow here!), we’re happy to be putting on our sweaters and drinking hot chocolate. What I always enjoy about Fall the most, apart from the over-use of pumpkin in every food item, is the downpour of new releases:

1. Edie SedgewickLove Gets Lovelier Every Day

Image via Dischord.com

Seeing this in my inbox filled me with the kind of happiness that only records from Dischord can offer. I was late in the game to discovering this band, and never really got into DC staple El Guapo (lead singer Justin Moyer’s other, more well-known Dischord band). To tell you the truth, I found the whole “cross-dressing as Edie Sedgwick on stage” thing rather bizarre. Bu the music is so good. It just doesn’t matter. If you’re a big Dischord fan like me, and miss Q & Not U terribly, this is not to be ignored. I’ve included the wonderfully weird video for the lead single “Silver Bullets” just to convince you how worth your time Edie Sedgwick is:

2. Future Islands– On the Water

Album cover image via FutureIslands.com

Future Islands is yet another band that I’ve been rather blatant about my love for. Their debut Thrill Jockey full length In The Evening Air continues to have a steady rotation on my iPod over a year later. Their sophomore follow up On The Water is a worthy successor, with songs like “Where I Found You” and “Before the Bridge,” that give the listener an intense need to dance. You can preview all the tracks here.

3. Dum Dum Girls Only in Dreams

Image Via Wearedumdumgirls.com

If you haven’t heard of these ladies, then you’ve been under your rock for way too long. Last year’s debut I Will Be managed to stand out in the crowd amid a girl group onslaught (we’re not complaining!), with catchy, upbeat  songs like “It Only Takes One Night.” Their follow-up Only in Dreams continues the trend. My favorite track on this album so far is “Bedroom Eyes,” which you can listen to here, along with several other new tracks.

4. Twin SisterIn Heaven

Image via Twinsistermusic.com

After putting out two excellent EPs out, Twin Sister left us in wont for a solid full length to bite our teeth into. They have delivered with In Heaven, which gives them room to show their vast range. They waver between sweet upbeat indie pop, and slower, retro-ballads with a late 50’s-early 60’s influence. If you’re unfamiliar, you can listen to the new single “Bad Street” here, and please do check out the video of one of my favorites off of the 2010 EP Color Your Life, called “All Around and Away We Go”:

Only four picks this month, but the month is almost over and there are more to come. Enjoy the rest of your October!

October 29, 2011 at 11:23 am Leave a comment

CMJ Preview 2011

It’s that time of year again, perhaps one of the busiest music moments in NYC: CMJ. Hopefully you’ll get out there and see some shows! If you’re not getting a badge for some industry-related reason, or you’re not getting a discount, don’t buy one! Just buy tickets to individual shows! Here are some suggestions of whom to see, with some brief descriptions:

1. Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Image via Stereogum.com

Amid much internet buzz, the New Zealand band Unknown Mortal Orchestra are dipping their toes in the US touring scene with a big stop at CMJ 2011. They are sure to be one of the “must see” bands this year, and with such a catchy single like “FFunny Frends” it’s hard to imagine that the hype is wrong. The full album sounds like a lost Beatles B-side compilation from the Sgt Pepper era. See them live several times this week: Thursday Oct 20th in the afternoon at the Puma Store, and in the evening at Cantora Labs Smartlounge, and Saturday Oct 22nd at Brooklyn Bowl.

2. Small Black

Album cover via Small Black Blog

Small Black stood out among the throngs of bands trying to be heard during SXSW this year, so I’m very grateful that they will be playing (multiple times) at CMJ this year. Their debut album came out last year and they have been touring ever since, spreading the good, fuzzy electro-pop vibes around town. See them live in NY this week: Wednesday Oct 19th at Cantoras’ Labs Smartlounge, on Thursday Oct 20th at Tillman’s, and on Saturday Oct 22nd at both Mercury Lounge and Pianos. (The last two are late night shows so drink your coffee if you want to attend.)

3. Metronomy

Image of Metronomy via RcrdLabel.com

I’m still kicking myself with regret that I missed Metronomy’s past few NY shows, especially the free summer show at South Street Seaport. Luckily, the British band is back and gracing us with their presence this CMJ. I’ve been a fan since their second full length, Nights Out, came onto my radar,  and while I haven’t heard this year’s release (The English Riviera) I can only imagine it will be more of the same upbeat dance-rock. See them live on Thursday Oct 20th at Music Hall of Williamsburg.

4. Emil and Friends

Image of Emil & Friends via Cantora Records

A relatively new band on my radar, Emil and Friends are another CMJ buzz band on the precipice of breaking out. Fronted by Emil Howard (and starring other “friends”), you can tell that the project is good-natured fun, not a serious hit machine. The music has a summery, chilled out indie-rock feel without being too saccharine. See them live Friday Oct 21 at Bowery Ballroom and Saturday Oct 22 at The Delancey.

5. Mice Parade

Image of Mice Parade via Fat Cat

It’s hard to believe that Mice Parade has been making music since 1998, because every new album that comes out sounds fresh and modern. Their newest, What It Means to be Left-Handed, came out last year and is more of the sweet, playful, multi-layered indie rock that we know and love. See them live on Wednesday, October 19th at Mercury Lounge.

Check out the full schedule here and make your own plan for the week! There are a ton of other bands I would recommend but due to my slacking, it’s almost time for shows tonight. Enjoy!

October 18, 2011 at 3:57 pm Leave a comment

Eat This: Brunch at the Dutch

Readers of this blog should be pretty familiar with my love for Locanda Verde’s brunch. So when head chef Andrew Carmellini opened a new restaurant called the Dutch in Soho, I knew I had to have their brunch. And I was not disappointed.  The vibe is low-key and friendly, but with impeccable service, just like at Locanda Verde. And the food and drinks are also top-notch.

Wonderful cocktails at Andrew Carmellini’s new place, the Dutch.

My companion and I had to wait for a table (but not too long) so we sat at the bar and got a Bloody Mary ($12) and an Aperol Fizz ($13). The Bloody Mary was one of the best I’ve had; perfectly spicy but still easy to take down. And it came with a nice toothpick of pickled vegetables, including an amazing pickled okra. The Aperol Fizz was a blend of Breuckelen gin, aperol, lillet, passionfruit, tangerine, and cremant, a great variation on the typical mimosa.

Perfect fluffy cornmeal pancakes.

Once seated, we managed to resist the pastry board, something I’m not so good at while at Locanda Verde. We did get an order of the Cornmeal Pancakes ($17) though, which were amazing. Definitely contenders for best pancakes in New York City! The cornmeal didn’t keep them from being fluffy, but added a nice texture to make them unique. And they came with a delicious local blueberry compote and a nice ball of salty butter.

The softest eggs you’ll ever have, in a good way.

We also got the Soft Scrambled Eggs ($21), which come with smoked sable, trout roe, and a toasted half-bagel. It was topped with a thick dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh scallions. The scrambled eggs at Locanda Verde are some of my favorite, but these were out of this world. When they say soft, they mean soft–as in almost liquid, with a grits-like consistency. Divine. The smoked sable was fabulous and the trout roe were large and fresh. My only complaint–I wish they gave us a whole bagel instead of just a half.

If you like oysters, they have a huge raw bar. They also have a burger and sandwiches, as well as fried chicken available during brunch (that all looked delicious), if that’s more your style. Are the prices a little bit absurd? Of course. But when our bill came they charged us about $4 less for each food item, I have no idea why. So I was perfectly happy with the value, as it was definitely one of the best brunches I’ve ever had.

October 2, 2011 at 11:33 am Leave a comment


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