I don't generally wear cufflinks, but when I saw these on Design*Sponge, I wanted to run out and buy a pair for when I actually sport French cuffs. Men's accessories have really been stepping up lately and these sexy pieces, by designer Sonia Spencer, really hit the mark. And they're only $25. Can't beat that for a little splash of fun.
Saint Etienne, the dance-pop, trip-hop trio that named themselves after a French football team, hit Chicago a little more than a month ago and I had the opportunity to sit down with lead singer Sarah Cracknell and co-founder/songwriter Pete Wiggs during the band’s sound check at Metro.
People have always talked about Sarah's intimidating beauty and wondered if it held up with age. She was not only elegant and poised during our interview, but she was sexy and owned the stage during their performance.
It was interesting talking these two up because they’ve been making music for more than 15 years and really have settled into their lives as parents and “regular” people, despite going on tour every so often.
Their latest album, Tales From Turnpike House is a wonderful concept album that is a true culmination of the band’s history. I reviewed that CD for URB Magazine’s march issue and gave it 3.5 stars. It’s lush, sexy and full of jazz and Latin influences.
Excerpts from the interview and full URB album review after the jump
One of the restaurants that made the biggest splash in gastronomic experiences last year was Chicago's own Alinea. Chef/Owner Grant Achatz raised the bar in food preparedness and presentation with his mind-blowing dishes. Part of the equation came, not only from the food, but the dishes upon which the courses were served. Now, Alinea design partner Crucial Design is selling some of these exquisite and unique pieces so you can dazzle and delight guests to your own dinner parties.
QUICK UPDATE: I just heard that the pieces are currently only being offered for wholesale but will be available for retail purchase later this year.
via Gapers Block.
About a week ago, I posted Part I of my interview with the Strokes. That chat was with lead singer Julian Casablancas. Now, in Part II, I engage drummer Fabrizio Moretti, aka Fab, who might even be more famous for dating Drew Barrymore than just being in the Strokes. Who knows, maybe she's more famous for dating him?! Ok, not really.
The Strokes are still on a very solid North American tour, selling out almost every date way in advance. When I chatted with Fab, he was hanging out in a mall in Atlanta. He had just bought a new MacBook Pro and was waiting to eat at California Pizza Kitchen.
I was really impressed with how forthcoming and relaxed he was, despite the pressures of fame.
Read the Q&A below or kick back and just stream the interview.
INTERVIEW WITH FAB MORETTI:
SomethingGlorious: Where were you? We couldn’t find you.
Fabrizio Moretti: I bought myself a new computer. My computer is busted. You can keep in touch with family while you’re on tour. The phone is good but when you miss your girlfriend’s face for so long, it’s nice to see her.
SG: The thing that’s good about dating a girl like Drew is you can pick up any number of magazines and see her there.
FM: [Laughs] Yeah.
SG: Julian was just in a mall spending his day off in Atlanta in a shopping center.
FM: That’s exactly where I am!
We all know how the iPod and digital music culture has seeped in and virtually taken over how we listen to music. Last year, I did a full review of the amazing Sonos Digital Music System and talked about how I don't know how I lived without it.
Now I have found something else, something that is so simple, compact and wonderful that I can't believe everyone with a car and an iPod doesn't have it: the TransPod.
This little unit changed the way I listen to music in my car. All you need to get going is an iPod (fits all sizes and generations) and a cigarette lighter. Once you plug the unit into the lighter and place your iPod into the cradle, just locate an open radio frequency (I use either 881. or 88.5) and you're golden. No wires. No issues. And no static.
I've used other car adapters to attempt to engage my iPod while driving, but being in a large metropolis, many interruptions would cause static and I never had clear sound. With TransPod, I have never experienced any issues with static -- and if I did, I merely flipped to another station and all was good again.
The TransPod comes in three different colors (black, white and silver) and also comes equipped with a detachable extension arm in case you have obstructions on or around your dashboard.
This really is a genius product and it's so simple in form. Best of all: TransPod charges your iPod while it's cradling. Even better is the low price: $99.99. Sure getting your car wired for the iPod would be cool, but having that extra $1,000 in your pocket allows you to download more music.
You can buy it direct from DLO or get TransPod on Amazon
The next time you go to dinner or pop into a wine shop looking for a California Chardonnay, instead scan the store or wine list for a Verdicchio, an Italian varietal with similar qualities as the chard but so much richer.
One of my favorites, Casal di Serra, comes from Le Marche region along the eastern coastline of Italy on the Adriatic Sea. I'm currently drinking the 2003, a medium-bodied white with a slightly creamy palette and rich tropical and citrus flavors, even some hints of peach and apple.
This is a perfect late spring/early fall wine, but really you can drink it all year 'round.
Umani Ronchi makes a variety of wine and I've had the pleasure of also enjoying the Cumaro, a 100% Montepulciano, as well as the Pelago, a blend of grapes consisting of Cabernet Sauvignon (50%), Montepulciano (40%) and Merlot (10%).
With all this talk about peach-flavored iced white tea by Pom going on, I thought I'd add my $0.02 on another similar tea I discovered.
Rishi is a high-end teamaker that cultivates its tea in remote parts of China and raises the leaves in a 100% organic style. They have beautiful packaging and have now even added a travelogue to chronicle their tea forests.
A couple of months ago I happened upon their Peach White Organic Tea at The Grind, one of my favorite coffee houses in Chicago, which offers free Wi-Fi and some of the best cinnamon rugalach I've ever tasted.
This tea, once it's finished steeping, has the most wonderful fresh peach aroma but the taste -- OMG -- how sweet it is! The beautiful thing about this tea -- and all white teas -- is the low caffeine levels but the high antioxidant content. You can sip this all day and not get a crazy buzz.
Rishi's line runs the gamut from Black to Green and White to Chai and more. While it's not cheap -- an ounce costs about $7 and a pound can run you $48, the health benefits are worth the price.
Would they live up to the hype? What would the crowd be like? How freakin loud would the music be? These were some of the questions I had during the day before seeing the Arctic Monkeys at one of my favorite venues, Chicago's Metro.
As I walked up to the entrance, about 1.5 blocks north of Wrigley Field, no one was waiting outside to get in, save the door guys waiting to check IDs. The show was just minutes away and the hippest of the hipsters were already planted inside.
We strolled upstairs to see a completely packed house and as we made it to our table the band took the stage and started in. From the moment this new British sensation started playing the hyper-charged opener "The View From the Afternoon," a crowd of about 50 people in front of the stage started jumping, bouncing and singing along to every word -- and this went on for the entire 55-minute set. The opening line definitely lived up to its promise: "Anticipation has the habit to set you up/For disappointment in evening entertainment but/ Tonight there’ll be some love." The boys didn't disappoint.
After getting samples of the entire product line, I of course went hand-first into the original chocolate chip box expecting nothing but utter brilliance. Sadly, I was a slightly disappointed by the crumbly cookie made with all organic ingredients. Undettered, I pushed on and tried the remaining 6 flavors in the product line.
And that's when I was won over. Completely.
With exotic combinations like Saffron Pistachio, Orange Blossom and Lavender, the Crummy Brothers have tapped into a, well, untapped commodity with these distinct nibbles. But when I opened the box of Lemon Ginger (two flavors I'm generally turned off by when it comes to sweets) I couldn't believe the gorgeous aroma wafting from the box. And the taste matched.
I do have to say that some of my favorite cookies in the world are Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies. So when I sampled Crummy Brothers Peppermint Cookie, with organic cocoa, organic butter and organic peppermint, I nearly fell off my stool. How close in flavor but in a much larger presentation -- and no doubt so much healthier due to the organic cooking process.
Nice job Crummies. And love the packaging to boot.