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MUSIC: Nas' "The Don" // LIFE IS GOOD

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Two weeks ago on March 14th, Nas dropped the second official single off his Life Is Good album. If I had any doubts I was going to shell out the cash for this album when it dropped later this year, they've been erased.
Did I mention this was in part produced by Heavy D? Oh yes, this is going on the 2012 Summer Jams for sure.

Shoutout to the biggest Nas fan I know @shavedheadasian - I know he is going to be HYPED when this album is finally out.

I'm going to shamelessly promote Nas' appearance on 106 & Park tomorrow - why not? :]

Listen and enjoy.


TV: MadMen Season 5 Premiere

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

On Sunday night I attended the MadMen Season 5 Premiere Event with a few of my friends (including fellow blogger Ms. Desiree B.) It's been refreshing to be reunited with some of my favorite characters on the show - and even my least favorites.

All of my friends dressed up in their best 1960's inspired outfits - I cheated and whipped out my MadMen / Banana Republic dress from their Fall 2011 collection.

I will say that all of us were pretty disappointed with the 9PM close of the bar, especially since all the drinking on the show made me alcohol thirsty during commercials, but overall the experience of watching the show with fellow MadMen lovers was so satisfying that I'd love to replicate that feeling over and over each week with friends (granted we all don't mind being out of the comfort of our homes at 10PM on a Sunday night). 

Now, if you somehow missed the premiere and didn't DVR or find some "other" alternative to watching it, you can catch it now on I know I personally wouldn't mind watching it again, if only to watch my favorite parts (can you imagine? I already have favorite parts of the episode.)

Because I did, I know that half the audience walked away that night singing "Zou Bisou Bisou" - even if that was the only part they could remember or manage to pronounce correctly.
The folks over at AMC were smart enough to anticipate how much people would love it and so they released a 7" vinyl of the song as sung by Mrs. Draper and as an added bonus the B side of the vinyl has the opening theme song by RJD2.

What did you guys think of the MadMen Season Premiere?


FOOD: Da South (Chalotte, North Carolina)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Last week on Wednesday I flew out to North Carolina for a few days to hang out with @_atomsk.

Although I had been there before, we had never really roamed around Charlotte extensively. Atomsk and I made it a point to do so this time around and we actually checked out a few good eateries on or around Central Ave.

But our first night out we hit up the local TACO MAC - which let me tell you, is a beer lover's paradise!They've got 100+ beers on DRAFT and 100+ bottled. A lot of the standard beers are on the list, then you get to the imported list and even better the local N.C. beers - like the "Mother Earth Weeping Wil Wit" which is definitely a nice way to round off a few glasses of Blue Moon since it's much lighter with a similar white ale taste. The hot wing sauce had just the right tang too which means the DEATH hot is probably DEATH hot - lol

We hit up the Diamond Restaurant on Friday night - this is just around Central Ave. (Am I right Atomsk? lol) We found this one on a "Hipster Lovers List" - best advice really.

This spot's been open since the 1940's according to their menu. The music and the service were spot on and it's so cool on the inside, it's quaint, not too bright, and it seriously looks like it could have been someone's house not too long ago.

The burgers here shit on most. The prices are friendly and the free toppings - like chili - really hit the spot! Did I mention that burgers start at around $3.50! Order a side of fries with that and you're pretty much set to hit the bed and fall into a coma.

Oh sweet potato fries - how I love you. The South has them everywhere and although they aren't a rarity in NY, the South does do it best - sorry Yanks.

@ Diamond Restaurant
Saturday Morning I figured I could find a decent Brunch spot - Hipsters do brunch right? (check out my instagram photos for that inside joke).  There's a pretty chill spot called "Zada's Corner Cafe" and we stuffed our faces there.  It can be a little on the pricey side, but their French Toast hit the spot and Atomsk's Booker T's East Hasher looked amazing! (I was too hungry to snap pictures of that) I did manage to get a picture of the inside decor, which reminds me of the 70's with all the contrasting colors. 

All in all I was really happy with all the food I had down in Charlotte and I can't wait to go back down South (in general) to try out more of the Cajun/Creole type of food this time around. 

Atomsk and I intended to, but Lulu's looked a little odd (it literally WAS a house - lol)

 The Fuel Pizza Cafe (on the right) looked like a really chill place and I loved the outside seating.

Besides envying the food establishments that we DO NOT get in the north like - Waffle House, Dairy Queen, Sonic (the one in LONG ISLAND does not count!), etc - I really enjoyed all my eats and discovering a whole new place. 

Stay tuned for another post about my Charlotte stay, coming soon.


MUSIC: Buika - Afro-Spanish Flamenco Singer

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A flamenco singer huh? Who would have thought that music was still alive and doing well (financially)? I'm surprised it's not a CD that houses a collection of old Spanish singers but rather refreshingly new music by a relatively young artist.

She's part of a small group of Spaniards that although Spanish in nationality - have ethnic roots in Africa. Her sound caught me off guard and all I could think was "Lola Flores!" I found out about her while looking for music Bebo Valdes had worked on. Not only has she worked with other Latino artists like Bebo's son Chucho, but she's also worked with artists like Seal. Her latest CD "En Mi Piel" is actually named after the Pedro Almodovar movie. He actually encouraged her to make the CD after she recorded the main theme for the movie.

I'm highly considering getting the album since it has at least two of the singles I really enjoy "Mi niƱa Lola" and "No Habra Nadie En El Mundo."

She's touring a few cities this year including NYC at the Highline Ballroom and I'm planning on copping a pair of tickets once they are on sale.

(Note: These songs appeal to the Lola Flores fan inside me, but feel free to youtube more of her music in order to get a better taste of her other amazing sounds!)


MOVIE: Chico & Rita

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Last year Chico & Rita kicked off the Annual Latin Film Festival here in NYC - unfortunately by the time I went to buy tickets for the show, it was all sold out.

Just a few weeks ago I found out that the Anglika in NYC would be screening the movie for a few weeks and I was ecstatic because I had heard some amazing reviews, including its Oscar nomination. Tonight I'm finally going to catch a showing of the movie.

In preparation I checked out some of the music from in the film on Spotify. Bebo Valdes basically dominates the Official Soundtrack. It's full of amazing tracks and I'd highly recommend it to anyone into the Afro-Cuban sound.

Check out the trailer to the movie and Bebo Valdes play piano alongside the famous Flamenco singer Diego el Cigala.

-- Shanis

MAKEUP: Betsey Johnson's Scented Nailpolish

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Scented Stickers. Scented Candles. Scented Markers.
But scented nailpolish? Que que?

In my VIB Sephora email today I caught sight of this and had to find out more about it. Of course Betsey "crazylady" Johnson herself is behind this and contrary to what I originally thought (no it does not smell like raspberry) it's scented by her perfume.

Interesting huh? I wonder how long the scent lasts and if my favorite super fast topcoat will mask the scent.

Regardless it is a nice color, although that alone might not be enough for anyone to shell out the $9.50.
Check out the rest of the collection on Sephora and let me know what you think about this.


FOOD/FASHION: Udon, Tacos & Mustard Tights!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Put together a random outfit last Tuesday and unfortunately I only managed to capture one good picture of it. I had an udon date with my friends which ended in a post-noodle taco run :) this was surprisingly ensemble.

Here's the rundown:
-Uniqlo blazer
-Uniqlo oxford button-up
-GAP tweed shorts
-H&M tights
-Steve Madden oxford shoes

BTW I'd like to shout out Flushing, Queens for being my new official destination when it comes to satisfying most of my Asian food cravings :)


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