Wednesday, March 23, 2011

music, online

here are some small reviews about ways to listen to music online:

Pandora: Remember when this one came out? It was crazy. I haven't been that into pandora for a few years, and especially now with the ads they put on.  The music selection was too repetitious and I often didn't like the things they chose for me to listen to.

lastfm: I don't really get lastfm, except that I know I have an account there and I've listened to stuff.  Pretty similar to pandora but I like the selection better.  More independent artists, and you can listen to friends' "stations" of stuff they like.  You can compile artists you like and they play a selection -- I think.  Also, I think there is a way to hook up your itunes to it but I don't know about that.

8tracks:  My housemate told me about 8tracks.  On this site, you can listen to tons of playlists made by other users. I liked it pretty good for about a day, but then couldn't seem to find any playlists that I found consistently to my liking. There aren't ads, and theoretically this would be a good way to discover new music.

Grooveshark: My other housemate told me about grooveshark, and so far it's my favorite of these sites.  You put in an artist or song name, and you can add tracks to your play queue. I don't know how this is legal, but so far I've been able to hear lots of music I've been curious about, but didn't want to purchase. So far I think every artist I've searched has come up in their database. Somehow it searches all music uploads and makes them available. No ads!

Bonus Options:

NPR Tiny Desk Concert: I love getting these via the "All Songs Considered Podcast." Very famous musicians like Bela Fleck, or lesser known, but talented musicians perform a few songs at the NPR music office.  I've liked or really liked everything I've heard here.  It has been a good way to discover new music.

Snore and Guzzle Radio Hour:  Eclectic hours of music put together by an individual and downloadable to your computer. Thematic descriptions such as: " I’d say this radio hour would be a good soundtrack to accompany the study of the anatomy of flight and bird migration patterns."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

FLUFFY: Keste Pizza

Guys, Leah pointed out to me today that, despite only being updated once a month or so for the past year and a half, Small Reviews gets more hits everyday than the blog I painstakingly update everyday.  And also that our most popular entry, Behr Paint Color 710c-3: Gobi Desert, gets as many hits in a week as my most popular entry ever has gotten in three months.  Clearly, folks, you have been ignored too long, and we're sorry.  Today, the pause ends.  Maybe.

This afternoon, my boss took us to a very nice lunch at Keste Pizzeria (warning: that website plays music) in the West Village.  It was amazing.  I went in with no expectations (this was part of the key, I think, to why I didn't love Grimaldi's so much), and I was just delighted with the pizza.  I ordered a prosciutto e arugola, which is my signature favorite pizza of all time.  It's hard to mess up, so they had that going for them already, but Keste took it to a whole new level of delicious.  The crust was perfect: light and fluffy, with a crisp black exterior layer from the giant wood-burning oven in the back.  The mozzarella was fresh, the prosciutto perfectly salted, and the arugula just bitter enough to settle the whole into a perfect melding of wonderful pizza.  The other pizzas in our group (one with sausage and one very similar to mine, but with shaved pecorino and tomato sauce) looked equally good.

Our waiter was very nice and even seemed passionate about the specials, but wasn't overbearing the way waiters can sometimes be.  The restaurant is small, and I've heard it can get quite crowded and noisy, but we went early, so that wasn't a problem for us at all.  We were seated right away, and it was more than quiet enough for us to chat.  The prices were a little high (between $9-$18 for a pizza, but most are $15-18), so it certainly couldn't be my first go-to pizzeria, but for a business lunch or special evening, I would say the food is more than worth it.  Everything felt extremely high-quality, and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone searching for some filling, delicious pizza on Bleeker.