Thursday, December 15, 2011

♥ Gramatik

For those of you that know me, know my love for this guy's music. For over a year, Gramatik has become one of my all time favorite producers for his sincere ability to make timeless sounds, modern and perfectly balanced. It's easy to listen to him anytime of day, which is a hard thing for many 'dance music' producers to accomplish since the recent rush popularity of Electronic Dance Music. Clearly my blog findsits own tangents every now and then, it is for this moment, that I was inspired to write my blog in the first place. To express my passions, especially for musicians and when I first heard one of Gramatik's songs, wayyy before he joined forces with music label Pretty Lights Music, it evoked a nostalgic feeling in me that resonated so heavily. I was reminded as to why I have been such a huge music lover for so long, it really vibed with me.

From Funk and Jazz to Hip-Hop, Soul and Blues. Gramatik uses raw, sample based beats, transcending generations of influential music through layers of hip-hop, glitch, electro and dubstep instrumentation. From a very young age, the Slovenian producer recognized his interest in music in second grade where he spent days playing the piano rather than video games. Growing up with little, he says he felt he had nothing to lose and everything to gain, so he put his heart and soul into his music.

That’s how I feel about Gramatik. <-- I highly suggest you turn your volume up, click on this link and get a taste of Gramatik.


a picture me and Denis at his last show in Austin, backstage! I was a happy camper :)
Gramatik's music and array of albums span so many different genres and touch on different time periods that he even proclaims himself genre-less. On his first few albums, the Street Bangerz Series, you can be lulled into a sweet jazzy coma, where voice samples of age old, classic blues artists match the beats. And on his more recent album, No Shortcuts, you can find jacked up hip-hop beats combining the element of EDM popularity. And it is at this junction of his musical brilliance where his efforts were noticed by Pretty Lights Music Label and in no time picked up. Now Gramatik is working on the sequel to his first PLM album Beatz and Pieces Vol 1 (<-- free!) where he explains that it is the evolution of his musical transformation as a whole.



I am SO excited that local promoter Bobby Clay owner and operator of Polaris Presents has decided to bring Gramatik back to Austin. Last time he was here, he opened up for STS9 and you better believe I was one of maybe 10 people get my groove on. I am so excited that his popularity has risen and I cant wait for him to headline this upcoming show. You will see me tomorrow night front and center at Gramatik's upcoming show in Austin, December 16th at the Parish. ( get tickets HERE!)




♥ Ear Candy,
Mel


Friday, December 9, 2011

♥ Friday Jamz :: Azealia Banks

I have to give props to Kenn Richards, a music producer out of NYC, for introducing me to this girl. And ever since he has, I havent stopped listening to her online channels.

Maybe it's due to lyrical envy [the fact that flows don't just come streaming out of my own mouth naturally is something I never quite understood], maybe I'm having Santigold-withdrawals regarding her impending new album's release date or maybe I'm just hooked...hooked on the idea of a young, talented female vocalist with a powerful voice, uncouth lyrics and edgy style.

Now I should probably give a Parental Advisory warning here; Azealia's youthfulness is reflected in her unedited style of raunchy party rap, which may sound vulgar to some, so consider yourself warned of the potty mouth! And if you're not offended, well then read on, cause I guarantee you will probably want to have a drink, hang out and maybe do hood rat things with this chick!- Maybe :)

Azealia Bank's has a street-smart sound, while boosting her flows on top of exotic, reggae and dancy beats.  The 20 year old Harlem rapper flaunts some sassy frassy lyrics telling boys and girls to watch out, on her popular track '212'.  Azealia Banks clearly is not afraid to spit some fire and dish out some serious claims of being the next big thing. She gives a fresh, new outlook on the rap scene.

This year Azealia Banks garnered serious attention in the UK when NME, a popular British music mag, pushed her to the top of their 'Cool List'. And just this month, Banks was nominated for the BBC's Sound of 2012 poll.

Continuing to grow her popularity in the UK, I insist you keep an eye out for this girl in the US in 2012.
Check out her newest song '212' and a few others that I personally am diggin!




♥ Ear Candy for you,
Mellie

Thursday, December 8, 2011

♥ Fonda San Miguel :: The Best Interior Mexican Food in Austin!

 FONDA SAN MIGUEL
2330 W North Loop Blvd
Austin, TX 
The other day, my boyfriend surprised me after work with a spontaneous and fun date night. While on a run, he discovered this magnificent door.


After taking a peek inside, and possibly getting gawked at by some people who wondered what a guy in gym shorts was doing peering in, the spicy aromas had him hooked.

When we arrived at Fonda San Miguel we felt immediately transported to the interior of Mexico. The design was elaborate and authentic, with hanging metal chandeliers, colorful tiles on the floors and decorative paintings of Mexican cutlture. We were placed in a corner table, which Mike was thrilled about since it gave us the best view of the jaunt and the other patrons. 
Our waiter arrived, and instantly gave us a comfortable feeling. It was apparent that this guy knew his stuff, and he wasn’t going to let us order a single poor dish, in his humble opinion.

We started off with a couple DosXX to go along with the Mexican themed evening, and some tacos al pastor. We were pleasantly surprised when the tacos came out quickly and the beers arrived in frozen, decorative painted mugs. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to snap a shot of the taco appetizer since we devoured them in mere seconds, but I can tell you that the spicy sauce, combined with the sweet pineapple and juicy pork melted in our mouths.
Finally our tummies stopped yelling ‘feed me’ and we were in a much better state to make a practical order for our entree, but with such an extensive and delectable menu, it was not the easiest task. Not to mention marveling at the beautiful drawings that outlined the pages. Clearly, we were incapable of being decisive.

Once again, we consulted our exuberant waiter and followed his 'might as well try something new' suggestions and decided to order the mussels and the duck enchiladas.

Though mussels are not something new to me (click HERE to see how much I LOVE seafood), I was surprised to see them served at a Mexican restaurant, so I had to taste it. Covered in a piping hot tomato-cilantro sauce, the mussels, made with a Mexican flare, were cooked to perfection.  Served with buttery crostini for dipping and topping pleasure, Mike and I went to town.

The duck enchiladas-- now a new favorite of mine-- were juicy and flavorful and beautifully plated. What I enjoyed most about the duck enchiladas, other than the fact that the portions were big enough to share, was that they weren’t doused in cheap, sticky cheese sauce. The poblano spinach sauce, in the right amount, was the perfect compliment to the tender duck, all wrapped in a fresh corn tortilla.  
And most surprisingly, despite some of Fonda San Miguel's higher ticket items, we actually walked out without breaking the bank. I can vouch that Fonda San Miguel is the best interior Mexican food in Austin! All in all, we were a couple of stuffed peppers after that delicious meal and I will definitely be back to Fonda San Miguel!

Girls Margarita night?! 

♥ You gotta taste it,
Mel

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

♥ Maru Sushi

    4636 Burnet Rd
    Austin, Texas
    (512) 458-6200
I discovered this cute little sushi restaurant a little north of Hyde Park, off Burnet Rd. called Maru. After testing the waters with my boyfriend and his friends first, I returned to Maru again with my sister. Both times were equally enjoyable, though this place reminded me to not judge a book by its cover!

On my first visit, the place was nearly empty and we were quite skeptical, but to our surprise we were given adequate attention from the wait staff who recommended quite a few exotic items, in particular, the baby octopus [frightening pictures below] and the salmon belly! Fortunately the chef was able to slice us up seconds, because it all melted in our mouths too quickly.

When I went back with my sister recently we had a more 'lush'ious experience, tasting all different rolls and sipping on unfiltered, cold saki, which I personally prefer...not to mention the place was actually pretty busy this time. 

I started off with the seaweed salad.  I find Maru to have one of the freshest and more flavorful seaweed salads in town. It was then that Kim and I looked around to realize that although the restaurant does serve beer and wine, it is also BYOB for a very small $3 corking fee! Next time, next time...
We ate, and drank and laughed... till we were the last ones there. When the little old lady came up to ask us if we wanted anything else, I'm pretty sure we muttered jokingly 'maybe something sweet?' Knowing that our waistlines would gladly disagree, we decided against dessert. But when the woman came back with our bill, she handed us a little plate with bite sized cheesecakes--on the house.

Now, I'm 100% cheesecake is not on the menu, maybe it was a personal stash. Either way, she shared, and we loved it!
Yes, we ate the baby octopus... and yes it was delicious! Not for everyone but for a seafood lover like me, I'm willing to try almost anything!

♥ Cheers Tasters!
Mel

Friday, December 2, 2011

♥ All Good Things are Wild and Free

Happy Friday! Work has been quite time consuming in all the best ways! I've accomplished some big things and am looking forward to moving on up. 2012 looks BRIGHT!
On the blogger side of life, my posts have been sparse, but my time has been necessarily focused on work the past week. Hang tight for me! :)

 Until then I hope you like this playful picture, which represents how I'm feeling today. It's raining, dreary and grey outside, but in Texas, we welcome the wet weather! I love to play in the rain and wish I could be doing so RIGHT now, I'm also reminded that with rain, comes a rainbow!


Despite my work being so time consuming lately, this quote reminds myself not to work so hard ;)

♥ Much Love,
Melissa