Thursday, April 26, 2007

the sunlight streaming into my room, an uninvited but not a wholly unpleasant guest. i breathe, rouse; have recovered an energy that's been unleashed as springtime's warmth finally creeps into an otherwise dreary winter-weary boston. this past weekend of glorious weather, as i shared an eggy brunch on a sunny patio, indulged in the dog-parade sidewalks of south end, sampled grilled succulent bivalves with dear friends... i could not have been happier to reclaim that resurgence of exuberance. the cocoon has been broken; i emerge hopeful (though probably a bit disheveled and pale), blindingly swimming the currents of the human instinct.

everything now, a bit more saturated; impetuous; intoxicating. a greenness in the air.

i've been sort of quiet lately on the blog, not only because i'm channeling most of my voice in the print (big paper!) and mobile media (small screen!) realms, but also because i've been going out a lot more in the city. attending live music (amiina, caspian, the books, junior boys, [upcoming] amon tobin), films (the lives of others, boston turkish film festival, independent film festival of boston), events (karl cronin + modern dance friends at the ica, the define-a-thon at the brattle, miss witherspoon at the lyric stage).

it's also been a mega re-prioritization of spending time with the people i care about. impromptu drop-ins for tea and cake, climb the stairs, share a glass of wine, espresso at midnight, sidewalk rendezvous. this warmth within is ever growing. it's unexpected; perhaps a mixture of sxsw and professional/personal transitions has fueled me in these directions. as if to clarify, i'm not waiting anymore...

some grainy, gratuitous snapshots of certainly, sir...



and san serac...



at the middle east downstairs, opening for synth-pop darlings junior boys.

a quickie roundup of the concert:

- certainly, sir was awesome as usual (go brodeur! galusha! hubben!); there were a couple disturbingly obsessed young groupies who desperately clung to the stage railing and all but threw their manly panties on stage. at the end of the set (one so hotttz that brodeur's glasses slipped off), the nubile groupies clamoured to beseech galusha for his white drummer-drenched sweatband in exchange for a piece of gum. jeff agreed, the swap proved successful, the kids blissfully rubbed their faces in the moist terry, galusha snapped his gum with pride.

- there is nothing that can prepare you for san serac's live performance. he literally is like transported from another era; planet, perhaps. a spastic fantastic blend of prince, a random guy in tijuana, david bowie, and napoleon dynamite, he contorted himself into a ravenously disco-bleeding slackjawed-drum-pad-action tizzy. he moves. desperate clutches at the microphone, horrendous leaps across the stage, eyes oscillating between ecstatic blaze and cold focus. near the end he's like 'can i turn the lights off up here [the stage]? yeah, yeah, all the way. these lights are weighing me DOWN." then he leapt and crooned and sweat in the LED-studded darkness. it was the best performance i have seen all year. DONT LOSE THE MAGIC, SERAC.

- junior boys were, well, catchy. i happened to see them last fall at the middle east UPstairs, and they blew me away back then with their natty head-to-toe white suits, smiles + laughter, an earnest groove. but here, in the downstairs, with a writhing fan club, a sound system that literally vibrated everything i ever wanted to know about my internal organs, and a seriously tired-sounding junior boys, i actually left the concert early. perhaps my high expectations (and also pseudo-solo status) set me up for a premature night. even with earplugs, the bass physically overwhelmed me, and honestly they just SOUNDED like their CD. except the singing was out of tune, the inter-song chatter seemed tame and cliche, and perhaps san serac sucked all the raw energy out of the place. perhaps if i had a companion with whom to exchange furious discourse, cling onto, meander upstairs for tabbouleh; things would have been different.

in more amazing news, because i do happen to have a healthy trove of opportunistic food photographs, and just because i can, here's a bevy of delicious things:


a righteous piling of fresh greens, eye-poppingly purple potatoes, and salty hairy anchovies (earnestly yummy) give the salade nicoise at les zygomates awesome cred. i always thought that the tuna in such a salad at other typical restaurants is the chunk-light-canned type, but here (ooh la la, monsieur) a supple tuna steak is seared around the outside, leaving the inside silky raw, and handcut into dapper slices. and egg yolks always make me happy. that is just a given. i'm glad i have photographs from our meal, because this lunch was particularly memorable on many levels.


people always wonder what i do when i'm freewheeling on my research/writing days. well, for one thing, i push buttons on my laptop a lot. also, eating things is right up there. on a drizzly, grey morning, i was craving (nay, feeling downright withdrawal) a hot bowl of noodle soup: the perfect antidote for a cloud-induced brood, exhaustion from shivering and wiping the raindrops from vulnerable skin. the szechuan beef soup from mary chung's is like a warm satin-wool comforter wrapped around your shoulders. steaming, sumptuous, utterly beefy, soul-soothingly indulgent. chopsticks and spoon are in immediate view, and for a moment, i am cured of the damp disease.


fast forward a bit. i took the opportunity before going to the constants / on fire / caspians concert at the the paradise a couple weeks ago to ravage the asian food court at everyone's favourite chinese superdupermarket, super 88. thai, vietnamese, indonesian, malaysian, indian, korean, japanese, cantonese, yummmm in full circle. somehow (perhaps it is my natural disposition?) a warm bowl of comfort was also in the cards for the evening. i ordered the 'spicy beef noodle soup' from pho viet and simultaneously munched on peanut-sauce-dipped summer rolls. the crunch of mint makes for instant tantalization. let it be known: i was def tantalized.


here's miss ryan rose (fellow co-conspirator at 80108, otherwise known as our fearless editor) at lucky's lounge in fort point one day after work. i covered lucky's in one of my latest drinky pieces for the dig. it's kitsch, it's fun, it's pricey; i think of it as a south boston version of inman's own b-side lounge's daddy-o-ness mixed with a bit of portland's doug fir's wood-grained fireplace aesthetic. the impossible deliciousness of the toasted coconut cocktail (frangelico!) will linger with you...

i have learned all beautiful things resurface in unexpected ways.

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