March 26, 2010

F4tF – Goings and comings & Grillin’ On the Bay/The Brooklyn Chili Smackdown

When I am putting together each posting, I usually look for what’s opening soon, what’s new, what is there to do. Every now and again I read something that is the polar opposite, a well-known and well-loved restaurant closing. This week, Grub Street posted a story about the possible closing of Café Colonial on the corner of Houston & Elizabeth Streets here in NYC.

It is worth reading the whole article to get an understanding from an owner’s perspective of how the economy is affecting small businesses, especially restaurants. Here is one excerpt from the Grub Street story that really hit home with me (Gilian is Luciane Gilan, the owner):

When Gilan spoke to Grub Street just now, she sounded like she had all but given up: “Our city is giving us more laws and regulations,” she stammered. “Everything’s harder. People are more mean. It’s just not fun anymore.” Gilan believes her rent tripled thanks in part to new neighbor Keith McNally, and she may just retire when her lease expires May 31. [Grub Street]

This closing reminded me of when the 9th Street Market suddenly closed in May of 2008 after 14 years in business. At the time, someone asked the owner why he closed after 14 years and his response was “he just got tired , did it quietly (not a rent raise situation?), doesn’t know what’s coming next.” (as per the Eater article from May 27, 2008)

Even in a bad economy, if we are not going to our favorite small, local places every now and again, don’t be surprised if one day you decide to go and it’s closed. One of my first mentors in the restaurant business asked me once what the most expensive thing was in a restaurant. The correct answer was, an empty chair. READ ON for a list of this week’s openings…

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Tracks of the Trade: Peter Katis

Today, we’re kicking off a new column of occasional periodicity here at Hidden Track called Tracks of the Trade, whereby we swap stories with some of the more interesting folks in the music industry, the producers. These folks are the sonic equivalent of surgeons; charged not only with the careful dissection of dozens of tiny interactive pieces and ensuring their cohesive functionality, but also developing strong emotional bonds with their patients (often mental), offering varying degrees of bedside manner, and even sharing potentially critical advice.

To kick off the series in style, we invited one of the most prolific producers/mixers in music today, Peter Katis, to drop by to chew the fat. Peter Katis has collaborated on countless modern classics by the likes of the National, Frightened Rabbit, Interpol, Fanfarlo, Tokyo Police Club, Jonsi (Sigur Ros), and The Get Up Kids.

The “Sound” of “Music”

In thinking about our little surgeon analogy, in a likeness to the way we all go about choosing a doctor, it’s important to understand the mannerisms of a producer. After all, you have to like the person as much as the work. Specific to music, different producers take different positions as to where their role fits in with the musicians.

“I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum than say someone like a Rick Rubin. He really focuses on the songwriting aspect, the arrangements, the words, whereas to me, those things like lyrics for a band, that’s their own thing. I really don’t feel comfortable messing with that.” READ ON

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Them Crooked Vultures Map North American Dates

Them Crooked Vultures have mapped spring dates ahead of and following the band’s upcoming appearance at Southern California’s Coachella Music Festival.  The supergroup–Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighers), Joshua Homme (Queens

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AM Joins Charlotte Gainsbourg For Tour

AM will continue his French connection as he’ll join Charlotte Gainsbourg for a two-week jaunt, immediately following his current stint opening for Air. In the midst of the tour, AM

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