Duncan’s Music Monday: Keep Albany Hyphy

So since my posts are erratic and not posted in a timely manner, I am going to refrain from titling this any ‘Music Monday’. Instead this will just consist of cool tracks that I have recently discovered. Nothing too crazy here.
Editor’s note: This was indeed submitted for review Monday, my bad.

This track by NiT GriT is real rad due to the slow and low approach I feel it has. The strong synth leads if you have not already guessed are a part of my favorite sound textures in the electronic genre of music and this particular track is very rich with these. Overall I just like it because it has a relaxed tone without compromising its attack when it comes to wobble. Bro-Step beware, people are no longer hopped up on old recipe Four Loko. It has to be that new jenkem.

Honestly its Skream. Too bad this particular track is a rip off a mix and has vocal rubbish on the end.

Moving more towards Grime, I am a fairly unknowledgeable about this subgenre, but have been listening to it almost exclusively. Over the course of listening to many mixtapes this little gem peeked into my ear drums.

Obligatory Joker remix. But on the real, it also has a phenomenal grime vocal track to boot so.

Your life is empty until you watch Big Fat Gypsy Weddings

My dear friend Lucy from across the pond introduced me to this wondrous show just a few days ago, and I was simply blown away. It’s basically the Jersey Shore of the UK. Anyway, it gives you a glimpse into the life of a few young (14 years old and up) gypsy brides. From there, you learn about some great things like how their entier existences are validated by how extravagant their weddings, baptisms and communions are.

Which explains why the following cake exists:

…and why these dresses are so sought after.

The guys are allowed to have the coolest haircuts in the universe too.

And these 16 year olds get to go out clubbing in the sickest designer (not actually) clubbing clothes you can scrap a car for.

Another good tradition of theirs, is that you get some handsome go-getters (see photo below) gathered the park with some ladies, and they are allowed to force their counterparts to kiss them. By actually holding them down and twisting their arm until they do so.

Which ends up being really weird, uncomfortable and rapeish:

I’m not going to caption the following as I don’t want to give away too much. You need to figure out how to watch it.

and lastly, I leave you with how to show up to your own wedding in s-t-y-l-e.

Go YouTube the trailers, and figure out how to watch all the episodes. You won’t regret it.

Deep Children: 2/4/11 WCDB Soundboard

Since WCDB records all their streams in real player format or something wack, I got a line input into Deep Children‘s mixer for their show last Friday. Oh lawd does this mix bang. They play every Friday 8-10pm on WCDB, which you can obviously stream since no one uses a radio.

Check the mix below, the tracklist after the jump and if you want to hear this type of stuff on a real system, come to Fuze Box on Feb 18th. Hit that pyramid triangle space flyer over on the right for the full details.

Deep Children – WCDB 2411 by MYCON
Continue reading…

Hudson River Coffee House: Verdict

photos by andrew franciosa

So a while back, I posed my feelings about the run-of-the-mill coffee shops Albany is cursed with. Since then, I’ve been to Mocha Joe’s in Brattleboro, Blue Bottle in Brooklyn, Gimme! in Soho and The Hudson River Coffee House on Quail Street right here in Albany. The above photo details what I got when I ordered a small coffee and a shot of espresso from The Hudson River Coffee House. The photo below is the detail shot of the espresso I received.

The espresso: When I ordered, I was asked whether or not I wanted a single or double shot. I took the single option since I didn’t need a significant quantity. The guy who made it, dumped previously-ground grinds into the basket from the chamber in the grinder, gave it a lackadaisical tamping, put it into the machine, and pressed a button. He then set my paper cup under one of the two spouts, and a metal milk pitcher under the other. My drink was capped, handed off and he went back to the pitcher to either dump it out or make himself a drink. Shit, even at Starbucks they offer you the other shot since they pull in multiples of two.

The shot tasted like it looked. There was no crema and it tasted as if you were licking your hands after dealing with a fresh bag of rubber bands; not the nutty, complex and concentrated taste I’ve grown accustom to. It was also room temperature from being put into a huge, cold cup (not to mention the incredible amount of waste this is, which almost bothers me the most out of this whole ordeal). At both Gimme! and Blue Bottle you get your shots in a pre-heated shot glass with a small cup of seltzer or water to wash it down, unless you specify it as to-go. The shots there look as if they are pouring dark amber paint into these cups, with a rich, and long lasting crema (it usually stays behind in the cup). Look at the second photo in the Gimme! guide to latte art, to get a comparison shot (no pun intended).

The coffee: Perplexing. I was mostly puzzled by it. At temperature it tasted transparent or weak, I guess. I don’t know really how to describe it. It definitely wasn’t offensive or bitter, just kind lacking all flavor. As it got colder, it did what all coffee does and started tasting funky, but to no fault of THRCH. When I return there, I will definitely opt for a coffee rather than a shot. I want to solve this puzzle.

Also, I was very happy to see them using Soy Blenders as their soy milk. It’s in my opinion the best and tastes the most like a non-flavored milk product. Maybe even like regular milk; that said, I haven’t had regular milk in over five years. I added this to the rest of the coffee and happily finished it. It definitely nudged it in the right direction.

The space there is really awesome though. Arcade games, chess boards, a place to buy cards (???), plenty of seating and even a few nights of dancing with the Heady Pro gang, it’s definitely adds to the neighborhood as a good adaptive use of an old space. I just really wish their main product, coffee, stood out more than the fact they made a cool room. I was sincerely and genuinely hoping to be able to stop mail ordering my coffee from Mocha Joe’s and finally be able to support a business in my own city. I guess that since Anton clearly understands the reason why all the coffee in Albany is awful, he decided to not offer a knock-out product since people will buy the coffee regardless.

Oh well.


photo: flickr user rsutphin

Over the past few couple of weeks, I’ve been hearing nothing but talk of whipped cream flavored vodka.  After trying it on two different occasions, my vote is that the shit is glamorized and disgusting.

Pinnacle‘s Whipped Cream flavored vodka  is handcrafted in small batches using spring water from the Champagne region of France and their website eloquently details their distillation process.  The bottle is fairly attractive, a smooth penguin shape, blue tint in color.  We picked it up because we thought it sounded cool.  Which is does.  In theory.

These are some of the flavors that are available:  banana, berry, chocolate whipped, cotton candy, root beer, green apple, cherry lemonade and of course, the whipped cream flavor.  Upon opening up the bottle, the observation is undeniable — the distinctively strong smell is reflective of the flavor itself and kinda like a strip club or like the county fair scene featured in Joe Dirt.

We tried mixing it with a variety of things to no real winning combination.  Orange juice made it taste kind of like a creamsicle for awhile, but then halfway through our drinks, our palates got turned off by the overwhelmingly syrupy/chemical taste.  I mixed it with strawberry daiquiri mix and it was a thick syrupy overload.  When we added blended ice, it got slightly better but still took me awhile to finish the drink.  Last night I found the best-of-the-worst concoction yet (thanks to my friend’s suggestion):  Blue Moon and the whipped cream flavored vodka.  It was still semi-gross though.  The flavor lingered for me, made worse by the smell, and even though it didn’t have the typical bite other vodka’s have, it still just didn’t do it for me.

For me, the only way that I enjoyed the whipped cream flavored vodka was to drink it weak and heavily mixed.  Last night, the overall consensus in my apartment was more of a “now what?” than a “hell yeah!”  We finished the bottle rather quickly and then chose to move onto beverages we know we like.

I give Pinnacle thumbs up for creativity and price ($15.99 for the 1.75 liter bottle we bought last night) but think it falls short overall.  Translating sugary food products into liquor flavors is what gives it its appeal, but I think the branding or idea of it is more successful than it is solely as a beverage.  The only thing that I can think of right now is that it could be good as jell-o shots but then again, pretty much any vodka makes for alright jell-o shots.  Or maybe mixed with hot chocolate.

The website declares the beverage, “ultra-smooth, crisp and clean.”  I’m gonna go with “fairly cheap, sugar high and trendy.”  Try it to see for yourself, why not.  But I’m personally already over it.