December 14, 2004

a few things to point out

1) A couple of recent pieces for the Voice I'm pretty happy with (on Nirvana, Cristina, and the stupidity of digital-rights-management schemes)--see the column to the left (on the front page) for links.

2) Saw the Pixies and Mission of Burma last night at the Hammerstein Ballroom; had a serious complaint about it; registered my complaint on Amy Phillips' and Caryn Brooks' live-show-report blog More in the Monitor.

3) One thing I didn't mention on that Pixies post: I kept secretly hoping they'd play "Motherbanger." Which I can go right on hoping. (And if you don't know what I'm talking about, see WFMU's current On the Download page, which also includes Mike Lupica's stroke-of-genius remix of "Holiday Road" and a couple of other remarkable oddities.)

4) Meredith and I attended the closing party today for the legendary Lower East Side restaurant Ratner's. In my years as a ravenous, impecunious, skinny-ish Jewish 20something in NYC, I went there a bunch--I loved their tooth-seducing onion rolls with their thick layer of caramelized onion sweetness, and I loved the fact that they would keep bringing you onion rolls, no matter how many you ate. After a few years, they opened the Lansky Lounge, a bar I don't think I ever went into; when they decided to have the Lounge open on Friday nights, Ratner's itself was officially dekosherized, and the Orthodox Jews who were a good part of its business stopped coming. The restaurant proper closed down a few years ago, and now the building's being demolished in a few weeks. As a send-off, Ratner's advertised that they were having a party in the old restaurant with their menu items at 1905 prices. I thought: a last taste of those onion rolls! Nickel bowls of borscht! But no. They just had all-you-can-eat (for free) trays of the specialty frozen food line that's the only thing that will carry on the Ratner's name: latkes (not bad at all, and I'd been craving latkes all Chanukah), potato knishes (rubbery and suboptimal), and blintzes (including chocolate blintzes, which are The Thing That Should Not Be). Between this and the froufrouization of Kiev, I feel like there's a part of the culinary past of NYC that's been slamming shut behind me. All I can say is that the B&H Dairy had better keep selling their challah by the chunk.

5) The WTF factor of Steve Gerber's early-'70s issues of Defenders is, as promised, astronomical. On the recommendation of the I Love Comics board (currently malfunctioning, or I'd link), I picked up most of the "Headmen" sequence (#31-40, plus an annual I don't have yet), and... well, I see where Grant Morrison got some of his battier ideas for Doom Patrol. Especially the brain-transplant-related ideas.

Posted by Douglas at December 14, 2004 10:03 PM | TrackBack

I really liked that Nirvana thing in the Voice, Douglas, especially that bit at the end about how Kurt would call anything he liked "punk rock." That weird tendency had a pretty dramatic (and positive) effect on me as a young teenager because I just kinda took his word for it up until I was about 17. My idea of what punk is is still based largely on his tendency towards personal canonification.

Posted by: Matthew Perpetua on December 15, 2004 5:14 AM

Also, I'd like to no more about those Defenders comics. Where should I look if that message board is down?

Posted by: Matthew Perpetua on December 15, 2004 5:16 AM

The Defenders is one of the greatest examples of early 80s Marvel just crazy wheel-spinning. After the Gerber run we get some issues with Son Perlin art that are among the most stilted, bizarre mainstream comics I have ever seen - there's one issue with a big skull on the cover that has a panel with the Beast standing in front of a yellow wall - no other props or characters - that still brings me to paroxysms of laughter just for the way it's drawn and staged. I'll have to scan it.

Posted by: K. Thor Jensen on December 15, 2004 2:23 PM
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