This Week’s Hit Parade: Memorial Day Barbecue Soundtrack

May 25th, 2011, 1:38 pm by Sara

Come on! Memorial Day Weekend! Inter-league baseball! Hot-and-cold running playoff games! Indianapolis! Whatever NASCAR’s doing! Newt Gingrich on the run! Do you need MORE reasons to gather friends, break bread, crack a brew, and grill your nosh of choice? I didn’t think so! Here’s some more discs to improve relations with your neighbors:

“Volume 1: Frozen Ropes & Dying Quails”
(Yep Roc Records, 2008)
What do supergroups sing about in the 21st century? Baseball, that’s what! In all seriousness, the passion that went into the Baseball Project’s first disc (and into their latest disc “Vol. 2: High & Inside”) is the same kind of fervor you’ll find in any bleacher bum who’s lived with the game since he/she was in single digits. Their musical takes on Jackie Robinson, Satchel Paige and (above all) Ted Williams have such buoyancy and energy, you’ll be dancing and singing along even if you haven’t seen a baseball game in your life. Long live the Boys of Summer!

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Culture Vulture: Night (And Free Day) at the Museum, Part II

February 4th, 2011, 1:34 pm by Sara
Red Barraat's Sunny Jain

Red Barraat's Sunny Jain

Part II: The Vulture gets fed (but not fed up), and then parties down with RED BARAAT!

If you watch Food Channel, you know culture extends to food. When it comes to MASS MoCA, that means Gramercy Bistro, which sits across the courtyard from the museum itself. Don’t let the prices scare you off: You’d be looking at the same numbers if you went to Albany’s New World Bistro Bar, although the vibe’s not as Downtown as New World – muted colors on the walls, abstract art hanging on those walls, and Art Blakey bubbling on the sound system.

Don’t be afraid of names like “sesame tuna” and “coq au vin,” either, because the first is a fish that literally melts in your mouth, while the second makes you question your mom’s stern warning that it’s not nice to lick your plate clean in “a nice place.” We’re talking poetry applied to cooking… or maybe it’s the other way round. It’s hard to make sense when your taste buds are having an orgasm. Like New World, the chefs at Gramercy Bistro turn foodstuffs into sheer ecstasy.

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Live: Red Baraat @ Proctors, 11/13/10

November 17th, 2010, 2:59 pm by Greg
Sunny Jain, Sonny Singh, Miwi La Lupa, Smoota

Sunny Jain, Sonny Singh, Miwi La Lupa, Smoota

The usual amphitheater seating in Proctors’ GE Theatre was temporarily rearranged and transformed into a NYC-style nightclub as the Red Baraat horns paraded into Schenectady with their North Indian bhangra-based funk.

The only U.S.-based dhol and brass band is led by Sunny Jain, who plays the dohl (a double-sided, barrel-shaped North Indian drum slung over one shoulder). The ensemble – featuring dhol, percussion, drum set, Sousaphone and five horn players – pumped out originals and Bollywood music with a powerful live sound that kept the crowd on its feet and dancing throughout most of their 90-minute performance.

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