Friday, June 26, 2009

Uh, How Do Ya Call your Luva Boy....?

Rock 'n' Roll!
Rock 'n' Roll!
Rock 'n' Roll!Rock 'n' Roll!Rock 'n' Roll!
Rock 'n' Roll!
Rock 'n' Roll!
Rock 'n' Roll!
Rock 'n' Roll!

Marko and I witnessed a fantastic, kick-ass, REAL rock and roll show last night at Pearl St. in Northampton - the NY Dolls came, rocked our world, and left us all in a sweaty, steamy, spent and satisfied pile on the ballroom floor. 

The Dolls only have two original members left, David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain, but the newer members of the band were, in every sense of the word, NY Dolls. This band was classy, stylish, rockin' and the perfect mix of great musicians who are tight, but can let it get loose and not sloppy. 

I wasn't overly familiar with the newer material, but it was GREAT live - and there was a nice mix of original Dolls' tunes and the newer songs. Sylvain and Johansen both looked really pleased that the audience really went nuts over the original tunes.  That said, most of the audience were obviously long-time fans of the band.  They also covered Johnny Thunders' 'Can't Put your Arms Around a Memory' and gave Thunders and Michael Jackson a shout-out, which was cool. Other songs included 'Stranded in the Jungle', 'Pills', 'Jet Boy', 'Trash', 'Mystery Girls', 'Personality Crisis' - they opened with 'Looking for a Kiss', which is arguably my favorite Dolls tune, and it just went uphill after that. And they played for almost 2 solid hours. Johansen's voice was amazingly unchanged, Sylvain's guitar-playing and audience interaction was great and I highly recommend you go NOW and see this band if you can.  

"Trash, wont pick it up
Take them lights away
Trash, wont pick it up
Dont take your life away
Trash, dont try to take my life away...."

Monday, June 15, 2009

Cape Cod- the World's Repository of Fudge, Taffy, Jams & Jellies!

For my Birthday Time this year, Jv10X and I decide we'd stay at the Cape for a week- do some biking, kayaking, Provincetown-ing, catch some rays at the beach.  We were so psyched because it was pre-tourist-season, so it would be peaceful.

Well, things didn't quite turn out as planned: we were disappointed by the place we stayed in (I felt their website was rather misleading), lots of places were not open because it was pre-season, and it was cold and rainy. So that definitely put the kibosh on whale-watching, kayaking and anything ocean-y at all.  If the rental places weren't closed, it was just too damn cold (think 55 degrees and windy and cold rain.)

So, as they say, we were given lemons, so we made vodka tonics. The first night, we went to P-town to scope out the scene. As it was late evening, there were very few stores open, but it was really peaceful without too many people around, so we walked all over, making note of the places we wanted to visit over the next week.  Provincetown has nice shops, lots of cool galleries, theater....a lot of stuff in a fairly small space. We checked out the Marine Specialties shop, and that was quite the diversion!  Tons of army/navy surplus from around the world, and just....stuff. Clothes, toys, home goods, pith helmets- you name it! We also stopped at Wa, which has a Zen garden and some completely stunningly beautiful objets

The next day, we did manage to get in a fabulous bike ride at the dunes. It was pleasantly cool out and we had gone early enough to avoid the visitors that came later.  The landscape was really bizarre- all the scrub pines and sand looked like an alien landscape and you could smell the salt mist roses everywhere. The bike path was really nice, paved, and boy, there were some huge hills to navigate. After the ride, thighs aflame, we checked out the visitor's center and found out that a whale (dead) had been washed ashore several weeks earlier - they had pictures of a crane picking up the enormous tongue off of the beach!  It was the Gene Simmons of whales, I believe....

After dolling ourselves up to have a nice dinner in honor of my birthday, we went back to P-town earlier than the night before and stopped in at id. So many gorgeous things here, too!  I picked up a beautiful, simple vase there and I wish I could have afforded, oh, ALL the jewelry. Not everything they have is online, so keep checking that site as they add to it. We grilled the owner about things to do around town, why wasn't everything open, and where shall we eat? We had decide to go to The Mews, but we wanted some local input. A place called Victor's was recommended to us, they have tapas, so we thought we'd give that a shot and then go to The Mews afterwards to sample as many of their 256 vodkas as we could. Well, after walking the length of P-town twice, we couldn't find it:  the next day we realized we were about 10 damn feet from it. (We did the exact same thing the night before trying to locate The Mews- we stopped about 50 ft from it and turned around thinking we had missed it. ) 
So, we went to The Mews, and we're SO glad we did! The setting was great (nice, dark, relaxed, ocean view), the staff were fabulous, the food was divine as was the vodka.  Hands down, the Tuna Sushi Tempura was the winner out of everything we tried - I could eat that every day of my life. We also tried the crabcakes, which were delicious and the mushroom strudel, which was great, and Jv10X had the skirt steak and scallops, which he really liked. I really recommend this place if you're looking for an elegant, but relaxed, restaurant in P-town.  And, look who's also eaten here: Bob Mackie, Bozo the Clown and John Waters!
We were fortunate enough to be sitting next to a table of three women, and one of them was also celebrating her birthday- they were out on the town, and very fun. One of the women created all the stained glass pieces in the restaurant, and she took me to the lower level dining room to show me some really spectacular pieces. 
We tried four vodkas: the Snow Queen from Kazakhstan, which was best chilled, had a nice, mildly sweet taste and light on the tongue; Youri Dolgoruki from Russia, which was also best chilled, and that had a more astringent, citrusy flavor, also light on the tongue; the always incredible Zubrowka bison grass-flavored vodka (one of my top 3 favorites) and is nice not chilled; and my new favorite, a lovely Ukrainian by the name of Nemiroff Honey- Pepper: I had this 'neat', and I think that's how it should to be served. It smelled strongly of honey, but the honey taste was delicate, not cloying, and it had a little zip to it from the pepper. It was a beautiful gold color and very warming. 
I was hoping that we could have smaller 'tastes' of more vodkas, but they don't have that option. The servings were a good size, so after two, I was feeling no pain. 

We left and window-shopped all the galleries, which were closed by the time we left the restaurant. One of the exhibits that we kept missing was 'A Dozen Divas' by Robert de Michiell whose caricatures were quite reminiscent of Robert Risko. We could at least see these pieces really well through the windows, and they looked glorious. We did manage to see several galleries' shows, but I thought the Simie Maryles gallery had the most interesting works- I'm not  huge fan of paintings, but I loved Roxie Munro's pieces as well as the glass art of Ian Sylvia, which was far more stunning than in any other pictures in that link. There's a long history of art and artists in P-town, but we tended to skip the galleries of the paintings of boats, ocean, bad figurative drawings and the like. 

The next morning, we woke up to a torrential downpour and when it stopped, we decided to take a walk along the main rails-to-trails bike trail that ran behind our motel. It was paved, really clean and after we had walked for half an hour, the heavens opened back up and drenched us is cold, fat drops of rain. With thunder.  So, after getting back to our room and peeling off our soaked garb, we checked the forecast and realized it wasn't the best day for a hours-long bike ride. So, we headed back to P-town, this time during the day, so we could just go to all the place we wanted to visit that were closed the two days before. This was definitely turning into a shopping & eating trip. We checked out Utilities, The Shell Shop, Womencrafts, Stax of Wax (I snagged some comics here and the adorable owner was selling his punk record collection- so much punk!  So much vinyl!), Yesterday's Treasures (where Jv10X liberated a funky-ass Coco Joe's ashtray/lighter combo set), got a hair cut by the fabulous Carl Thomas at Salon 54, ate at Wabi Dumpling (delicious! and we tried Sake2Me's Green Tea Sake that was lightly carbonated- amazingly delicious!), purchased dessert from The Purple Feather (sold to us by one of the many, gorgeous, flirty, flirty, flirty Bulgarian boys and girls who were working on the Cape for the summer), ate some awesome pizza at George's (with large drinky-poos, nice bartender, and the hilarious realization of how porn-y the closed captioning is for Andrew Zimmern's show), then we tried to get into the Whydah Pirate Museum, but it wasn't open, of course - arrrrrgh. So went back to our room.

Surprise!  The next morning it was pouring rain! We figured it wasn't going to be a good day as we noticed the household across the street was loading its camper up with two of each animal...we had completely 'done' P-town, so we decided to cut our losses and head home. We will definitely go back to Cape Cod, and we understand from the locals that September is the best time to go. We met a lot of really nice people and had a great time wherever we went. 

And we did not succumb to the pressures of purchasing fudge, taffy, jams, jellies or $2 
t-shirts....but we have plenty of random pictures here.....

Friday, June 05, 2009

Movie Reviews: Star Trek & the Matrix Sequels

A current theme in my movie theater-going these days is the switcheroo: I show up to watch a movie only to find it's gone and I have to substitute another.
Miss Wendy and I went to see 'Wolverine' (yes, that would be the 4th time in a month for me...), but it had gone away and we decided to see Star Trek, which was cool as we both wanted to see it.
This movie covers the very beginnings of the careers of Kirk, Spock, Bones, Checkov, Sulu, Uhura, Scotty.....and the Enterprise. Lots of fun effects, but the plot was......disappointing. As in 'We'll fix all the holes in the plot by using time travel to change the future!'-ok, I see this on Dr. Who and it works- came across as lame in this setting. I did like that the characters physically were a nod to the originals and there was some slap-stick type humor that was silly enough to be fun. (Oh, and if 'Bones' looks really familiar, it's because he was in LOTR and Xena....and, believe it or not, Winona Ryder is Spock's mom......)
Oddly, the one really distracting element was the bad skin on everyone except Uhura- I mean, c'mon, it's Stardate 2388- don't they have nuclear-strength Clearasil by now and razor blades that give a clean, close shave??
For the record, you'll only really like this if you've watched the original TV show fairly regularly. There were plenty of inside jokes and I was able to demonstrate my carefully hidden full-on geekiness to Wendy during the movie. I don't see that it would create many new fans, but it was a treat for old ones.

Rating: 3 crowns out of 5, because I only saw it once - I doubt it'll hold up to repeated viewings.
Matrix: Reloaded & Matrix: Revolutions- wow, the incredible suckiness of these two movies is almost beyond words. I know I will be lying on my deathbed at some point regretting the 4 hours I wasted watching these movies.
Where do I start? First of all, it was basically one big movie that could have been edited down to 2 hours instead of 4. The plot was flogged like a dead horse. And the story went from good vs. evil to a ridiculously heavily christianized version of the same. Both movies were boring, so much so that the fight scenes barely revived one's interest, and it seemed that each scene was shot several times and two takes were kept and you see the same thing over and over and over.....zzzzzzzz.........and any decent acting accomplished by Fishburne and Weaving was completely overran by the ponderous plot and editing.
Rating: 0.5 crowns out of 5, the half a point awarded to Trinity's awesome costumes.