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i will be right here waiting. [the many lists of 2011]

That’s right, losers. Richard Marx lyrics. Now that song can be stuck in the heads of anyone old enough to remember it.

Anyway, last year’s ‘most excited’ list was remarkably hit or miss. This year’s probably will be as well. To keep that at least a bit more under control, I’m only going to do the first half of the year, with another list to come heading into July.

Also, as always, there will be great movies I just don’t know about yet, so if you see a glaring omission, holla at’cha boy.

First off, the movies I am undoubtedly excited about, to varying extremes.


1. Chronicle – February 3rd

Seattle. Super powers. Salisbury Steaks. Okay, so that last bit was just for alliteration. However, Seattle and supes is enough to get me excited, even if the found footage thing is a little (or a lot) old by now. Movies like the original [REC] show the medium does have life in the right hands. Let’s hope that’s the case here.


2. The Secret World of Arrietty – February 17th

Screenplay by Hayao Miyazaki. That’s all that needs to be written. Case closed.

Okay, so he didn’t direct it. Still, I’m in.


See the rest after the jump.  Continue Reading →

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five things. [12.10.10]

The first 2010 list should be up tomorrow. It’s almost entirely ready to go up now, but Brian is working like a million hours today, so we will have to wait until tomorrow for his finishing touches on his portion.

So, today, in lieu of that post, and in the hopes that this lets Jeff take a breath and keeps him from passing out for another day, here are five random things I’ve been enjoying lately.

1. Doctor Who

I’ve been watching the reboot, and as evidenced by its appearance in my “What to Buy Me For Christmas” post, I’m totally hooked now. Series Two is what did it. David Tennant is so awesome as The Doctor. I totally plan on coming up with a Tenth Doctor Halloween Costume for next year.

Also, my default ringtone is now the TARDIS taking off. Yep, that’s right, I’m awesome.


2. Perdido Street Station by China Miéville

This is going to end up on a list of its own, so I won’t say anything other than the fact that this book was brilliant. China Miéville is a genius. This story was so brutal and imaginative. I’m looking forward to reading more of Miéville’s work.


3. Conan O’Brien

Conan is back, and that is most definitely a good thing. Now we can watch something genuinely funny, instead of watching Jay Leno punch comedy in the dick every night.


4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One

We’ve seen it twice now. It was as fantastic as it should have been. Ever since Yates took over, the movies have been so sharp and well balanced. And wasn’t that animated short that told the story of the Deathly Hallows amazing?

The only downside is having to wait so very long for Part Two.

Seeing it here at Cinerama, I was surprised (based on reactions to certain moments in the story) how many Seattleites went to see the movie opening weekend, but have never read the books. I’ve just never thought of the movies from the standpoint of a purely cinematic event. I certainly think the movies are good enough to warrant that, but I’ve just always thought about the movies and the books joined.

I really wonder how I will feel after the final movie ends. Either way, come this summer, shits about to get real.


5. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

So, let’s see here. An action packed steampunk story, set in an alternate history, Civil War era Seattle, in which the city has been cordoned off because of the release of a dangerous subterranean gas which kills those who inhale it, only to revive them as zombies?

Umm, yes, please.

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Kid Cudi – Maniac [feat. Cage & St. Vincent]

Driving home from work on Sunday night, I tuned into KEXP here in Seattle, to catch the last bit of the Sunday night hip hop show. So glad I did. This is the song I was treated to …

I love his use of St. Vincent’s “The Strangers”, plus, how awesome is the album cover? Cudi’s new album, “Man On The Moon 2: The Legend of Mr. Rager” drops today, and if this track is any indication, it should be some hot shit.

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Alexandra Lawn of Ra Ra Riot [photogenic.]

(via Soundcheck Magazine, © Randy Cremean)

Just wait until you see her move on stage … hot damn!

I saw Ra Ra Riot back in February of 2009 … they were my first show in Seattle as a resident of this fair city. Scotty and I were looking at t-shirts … well, he was looking at t-shirts, I was busy looking at the girl selling the shirts. She was already intimidating enough, so it was game off, but once I found out she was the cellist in the band, it was game over … needless to say, I don’t think I said a word to her, before or after the show. Still, their live show is fantastic … as evidenced by the videos below … one is from the in-store they played at Easy Street Records in Queen Anne at the beginning of last month, which two thirds of us at Roused attended. The second was also recorded in Seattle, and is just a favorite song of mine …

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My Talented Friends

Ventured down to Tacoma tonight for an open mic of sorts. My friends Claire and Gina were signed up to perform. They are remarkably talented by themselves, but sometimes join forces to melt faces, hearts, and ears with their sweet harmonies. I hope to devote a post to each of these lovely ladies very soon, but for now, here is a picture I captured tonight (with my cell phone).

Claire (right) with Gina (in the dark)

if you are in Seattle tomorrow, catch Gina (and her bandmate, Mark) at El Diablo Coffee in Queen Anne!

I apologize for the brevity and lack of links and other media, but as mentioned earlier, I will be featuring a post for both Claire and Gina in the not so distant future!

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Las Rocas 2007 Garnacha (Spain)

My love affair with Spanish wine began roughly a year and a half ago. It wasn’t a specific instance. No moment of sipping a Spanish wine and having a “best wine ever” epiphany. No trip to Spain. No passionate Spanish woman (a la Penelope Cruz’s character in Vicky Christina Barcelona) came into my life. Those things would have been lovely. But my love affair was rather,  a culmination of several different things that I happened to love, coming together. A perfect storm, if you will, of loves. Deepening more with each additional element joining in.

Element #1: Tapas Teatro & Pazo

These two Baltimore tapas restaurants set aflame my heart and palate. Pazo’s open atmosphere and fantastic tapas and wine menu quickly made it one of my favorite Baltimore bars/restaurants.


Where Pazo is a huge open room full of energy, Tapas Teatro, located just north in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, is everything you would picture a European street cafe being. A small, charming, and warm space with tasteful art adorning the walls, and right-on-the-sidewalk seating.Where Pazo tends to be more widely Mediterranean, Tapas Teatro is almost exclusively Spanish.

Tapas Teatro

Where I would end up on a given night, would depend on my mood. If I was feeling more social and felt like putting up with crowds, I’d go to Pazo. If I was looking for something more chill, a casual night with friends, I would go to Tapas Teatro. You would’ve been more likely to find me at Tapas Teatro. Their small plates were amazing. The attention to detail, from presentation to flavor, was stellar. The sangria: served in a giant rounded pitcher, icy, ruby-colored, and jeweled with fresh cuts of fruit. If you’re ever in Baltimore, go to Tapas Teatro.

Element #2: Hemingway (Specifically, The Sun Also Rises)

The Sun Also Rises was the first Hemingway I read. Ever. His writing style is understated and simple. His stories are almost always based on his own experiences. The Sun Also Rises follows a group of friends (and expatriates) living in Europe. The story jumps from Paris to Spain (San Sebastian and Pamplona) where the characters take part in the running of the bulls and the fiesta surrounding it.

“El vino did flow.”

Although it was most likely a product of the atmosphere surrounding the celebration in Pamplona, drinking all hours of the day seems to be romanticised by Hemingway … which is why I am a bit uncomfortable with the fact that I felt drawn to the particular lifestyle our expat friends were living. But c’mon, who wouldn’t want to spend their mornings, afternoons, and evenings enjoying (for the most part) food, booze, coffee, and friends?

Hemingway and friends in Spain

Element #3: A Summer Visit to Seattle/My First Encounter with Las Rocas

Living in a Baltimore suburb. In my parent’s basement. Working at a Christian radio station. These three things don’t exactly allow one to “fall into culture”, if I can quote my own phrase. My limited exposure to wine was basically my Dad bringing home a bottle of Corbet Canyon Merlot or Chardonnay from Buttons, one of the local liquor shops. I began to branch out a little, but was still more of a beer guy, truth be told (I still am, by the way). I am totally going to be nailed on this, because I am going to come off sounding as if Seattle has culture and Baltimore does not. If you are thinking that, let me refer you back to the three opening sentences of this paragraph. The point is that as things were in Baltimore, I had to try hard to find things I loved. I had to go out of my way. That was not the case in Seattle.

Seattle (courtesy of Ork Posters)

My dear friends (and now housemates) Emily & Scott moved to Seattle in the summer of ’07, thus opening a bright, shiny (sometimes rainy), and obsessive place to me. Obsessive? Seattle seems to be a place where everyone wants to perfect their craft, whatever that may be. Restaurants (for the most part) want to be the best at what they do. Brewers and wineries want to craft the perfect beer or wine. Coffeeshops and roasters want to pull the perfect shot and achieve the perfect roast or blend. With this attitude seemingly all around me, it was easy to get excited about finding really good stuff in Seattle. Emily and Scott certainly fell for this aspect of the Emerald City. It was transmitted to me upon my first visit in October of ’07.

When I visited again in the summer of ’08, Scott & Emily were more settled and more in love with Seattle. Summer in Seattle is brilliant, if you didn’t already know. You probably thought it rained all the time, didn’t you, Steinberg? Not even close …

Let me set a scene for you wizards …


BRIAN, ERIC, & SCOTT stand together on the deck off of a house. The deck overlooks Lake Union, the Cascades mountain range, and the Seattle skyline. The three young men enjoy a cold brew, a clove, and take in the view that is laid before them. The sun is still high in the sky. It is Sunday. It is warm. It is perfect.

After a drink or two and a smoke, we headed inside to the dining room table for dinner. Forgive me for not remembering the meal exactly (Apricot Chicken?), but when we sat down for dinner with Emily and Tab (Eric’s wife), there was a bottle of Las Rocas on the table. The rest, as they say, is history.

Las Rocas

How much do I love this wine? In short, about as much as one can love a liquid. It goes well with anything. Just ask my friend Dave S. from back in Baltimore. He had it for the first time with a peanut butter sandwich and said that it was a nice complement.

Las Rocas drinks well out of it’s price point. It’s peppery, a bit sweet, and subtle. The tannins are smooth. The fruit (cherry and raspberry, mostly) is present, but not overpowering. There is oak. There is some chocolate. There is a whole lot of goodness in this bottle. A whole lot of goodness for around $10.

Maybe I think this wine so great because I’ve been influenced by the perfect storm of events that surrounded my trying it: the tapas, Hemingway and Pamplona, a Seattle summer and good friends. Maybe I want so badly to love it because I love the places, characters, events, and friends that helped me experience it. Or maybe I love it because it actually is a fantastic wine. One that is easy to drink, cheap, really good, and complements sitting down with friends, a good book, a good meal. This is why I like wine as a whole. It screams of community. There is no better representation of this than what adorns a wall in our apartment. Beer bottle-caps line the frame. Wine corks from bottles, long emptied and enjoyed, line the inside. Tacked to the cork are pictures of friends. Loved ones. The people we most enjoy, over a drink or two. For relaxing times, make it Suntory Las Rocas time.

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