New York City Diary

Words and pictures from my interesting life in New York.

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Friday, March 18, 2005

Hit List

We have Music Choice channels on our cable TV system, and I've been listening to the Hit List channel for the past couple of days because I wanted to get current on what pop music is on the charts right now.

Hit list is the channel to help you "get educated about the most popular R&B, pop, and rock out there. If it's on the charts, it's on Music Choice Hit List!"

For the most part, you could add an S to Hit List to make it more descriptive, but I'm glad it exists. It really doesn't take a long time to get a good grasp of the most popular commercial songs. Finding really creative, inspired, well-written music is tougher. I like some of the other channels better, and we do make use of them. Our most popular is Jazz, with Classical Masterpieces and Light Classical tied for second place, followed by Electronica, Reggae, Sounds of the Season (Irish music last night), Soundscapes, Rap (uncensored), Rock, and others.

As for Hit List, I've stumbled on a couple of decent pop songs, although some of them are a couple of years old already. I've had the song All The Things She Said by Russian faux-lesbian duo Tatu "running through my head" all day today. You can hear it here, as well as see the weird but sfw video. In the video it's raining and they are running from something, wearing schoolgirl outfits of course, and then they're up against a brick wall and behind a chain link fence, and then they kiss. Dour-looking post-Soviets look on, disapprovingly, but they don't understand.

It's a slammin' pop song. I like it because it's corny Eastern European pop, not unlike the Numa Numa song. Right now I'm listening to the "hard drum mix." Three more listens to this and it will turn into torture.

So last night was Saint Patrick's Day in the big city. I met Justin on the corner of Fifth Street and Bowery by The Scratcher, my favorite New York Irish bar. Sadly, the Scratcher was too crowded to deal with.

(Excuse me, but I have to change the Music Choice channel. Ashlee Simpson is torture from the first listen.)

So instead we went for a bite and a pitcher at Dojo (Dojo the restaurant, not the place I study karate). I got beef yakitori and Justin got the sukiyaki salad, as usual. We split a pitcher of Brooklyn Lager.

The food was great and the atmosphere was Saint Mark's all the way. You can always count on Dojo. Justin caught me up on his new life in Vancouver, working as a music analyst for Nokia and awaiting the birth of his first child with Sue in June. Sounds like good stuff.

After Dojo we walked three doors down to the Grassroots Tavern, the old standby cheap dive bar. It was packed but somehow Justin and I managed to get a small table near the front. We finally toasted Saint Patrick's Day with pints of Guinness, as required. Guinness is fantastic. I like to call it the genius. Grassroots, like Dojo, is a place you can count on to deliver the goods every time, and it "pairs well" with Dojo, being practically next door.

We didn't stay long, just for the one round. Justin had to meet his friend Matt at a bar in Hell's Kitchen, and I had promised to have an Irish toast with Jenn, so I said goodbye to Justin and hit the subway to Brooklyn. It was about 10:00 p.m.

Jenn and I split a bottle of Sam Adams Black Lager (thanks Esquire) and drank out of frozen champagne flutes. We turned on the Music Choice channel Sounds of the Seasons to listen to Irish music. (I wonder what they're playing now that St. Pat's is over? Answer: Still Irish music. Hey, this is good. It's Na Connerys' Mist Covered Mountains/Walls of Liscarroll from Celtic Sessions. Very nice. I'll leave it on.)

Today, unfortunately, I had the day off work. I say unfortunately because I'm a freelancer and need the money. But I made good use of my day off, running errands in the morning, getting a haircut, picking up a package at the Post Office, and going to karate. The weather was nice too, sunny and near 50 F.

Jenn's on her way home from work (it's 6:15 p.m.) and we're just going to chill tonight.

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