In the past 24 hours, I saw the midnight showing of Jurassic Park at The Belcourt, met a dog named Freddie Mercury, visited two East Nashville breakfast spots, and explored the neighborhood at dawn. I also heard Kylie in the grocery store.
With the recent success of bands like Mumford & Sons, Fleet Foxes and The Lumineers, it isn’t surprising that an alternative folk band with classical influences from Chesapeake, VA appears to be the next in line to explode.
Featured today on NoiseTrade, I downloaded their album early this morning and found it immediately compelling with a sensitivity to melody, rhythm and complex arrangements. Bison is an atypical seven-piece home-schooled, spiritually influenced group who have self-described their sound as “folkesral” and “mountain-top chamber.”
The Electric Fetus
2000 4th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
The Electric Fetus is widely regarded as the pre-eminent independent music store in Minnesota. Founded by four friends in 1968, partially as a cultural experiment, their website recalls a variety of stories from the past, including the “Streakers’ Sale” where customers could take all they could hold if they shopped in the nude. It’s a retail ticket outlet for many local venues and hosts in-store performances. There are also locations in Duluth and St. Cloud.
Fasika Ethiopian Restaurant
510 North Snelling Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55104
Fasika Ethiopian Restaurant, located in St. Paul, was the perfect spot for a quick and delicious meal. I ordered the vegetarian sampler and was impressed by the varied and flavorful assortment of items. This is one of the better Ethiopian restaurants that I have visited in my travels.
Located in historic Dinkytown, The Varsity Theater first opened as a vaudeville show house in 1915. The Varsity Theater has been through several changes with the most recent incarnation being a well-appointed photography studio.
The interior of the Varsity Theater is eclectically designed with immaculate attention to detail. The bathrooms are among the nicest and most unique I have seen. The space is intimate with various scaling configurations to appropriately fit their diverse programming.
Los Angeles, a massive and spawling city of over 80 districts and neighborhoods, is impossible to experience in one day. During this recent trip, I decided to spend a few hours in a neighborhood that I had never visited – Silver Lake. Located East of Hollywood, Silver Lake is known as a gathering place for the creative class, as well as some of the most famous modernist architecture in the United States. Silver Lake has also become the center of the L.A. alternative and indie rock scene, drawing comparisons to Williamsburg in Brooklyn.
LA Mill Coffee Boutique
1636 Silver Lake Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA
LA Mill is one of the most decadently decorated coffee shops I’ve ever encountered. Red and black walls, ornate gold light fixtures and teal alligator skin chairs. The ambiance was otherwise laid back and service was friendly and genuine, even as I worked at my table for several hours. I’d describe my meal, but it was truly secondary to the amazing cup of coffee that I was served.
Extraction: Clover (brewed in specialized Clover vacuum siphon brew chamber)
Beans: Kenya AA Njuriga Estate
1626 Silver Lake Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA
Free range design! It’s the best part of the egg and clearly the best place for gifts in Silver Lake. In less than 30 minutes, I was able to find baby shower gifts, a souvenir for the house and an amazing vintage charm bracelet (75% off!) I loved the displays and almost all of the merchandise.
Madison is not only one of my favorite midwestern cities (second only to Chicago), but also my favorite city located on an isthmus! Madison is a progressive bike-friendly college town located less than three hours Northwest of Chicago. Many are attracted for education, but stay for the local food scene, outdoor activities, and strong ecological and historical awareness.
Next trip, I hope visit the Dane County Farmers’ Market. Located downtown around the State Capitol, it is rumored to be one of the largest producer only markets in the country.
The Weary Traveler
1201 Williamson Street
Madison, WI 53703
After a long day of traveling to Madison from Nashville via Chicago, visiting The Weary Traveler was a neccessity. As a thunderstorm rolled into the East side, the dark interior with wood panel covered walls felt warm and cozy. Per many suggestions, I ordered Bob’s Organic Bad Breath Burger – Large Farms organic Wisconsin beef with cream cheese, green goddess dressing, caramelized onions, garlic, tomatoes and Pickapeppa sauce with a side of well done Yukon Gold potato crisps.
The Barrymore Theatre is Madison’s historic 850 seat venue. Opened in 1929, the venue has undergone several incarnations until it was finally renamed and refurbished in the 1980s by Richard Slone and Tom Peterson.