Category Archives: Music
Finally the unofficial start of summer will commence this weekend. While you’re partying and basking in the sun, here are few links to help you enjoy the weekend to the fullest.
- Feed your Bluth addiction.
An Arrested Development Tasting Menu – Hot ham water and Mayoneggs are now real, and kinda fancy
- Get your jam on.
22 Top-Down Jams You Should Blast This Summer
- This. Looks. Amazing.
How To Make Strawberry Margarita Jello Shots
- Don’t look if hungry.
32 Delicious Things To Eat On Memorial Day
Recently, Scratch attended a showing of Stereogum Editor Amrit Singh’s debut film, Dosa Hunt. We appreciated his taking the time to talk to us after the screening and a delicious dosa lunch. Read on for more about Dosa Hunt, and be sure to check it out!
What do you get when you dare a bunch of indie rockers, a jazz pianist, and a music blogger to determine NYC’s foremost dosa? Luckily, you get Dosa Hunt, a 22-minute short film documenting the seven-man crew’s journey from Curry Hill to Queens in search of the finest in South Indian cuisine.
Born from a three-word tweet by Vampire Weekend’s – Rostam Batmanglij (“Eating a dosa”), the concept for the project developed as Stereogum Editor Amrit Singh inquired about his friend’s meal of choice. When he found out that Batmanglij’s version of “the Indian crepe” was filled with arugula and jack cheese (as opposed to a traditional mix of potato and onion), Singh decided his pal could use a dosa education.
Joining the party were Das Racist’s Himanshu Suri and Ashok “Dapwell” Kondabolu, Yeasayer’s Anand Wilder, Neon Indian’s Alan Palomo, and jazz pianist Vijay Iyer – all of whom piled into Singh’s brother’s tricked-out Sprinter van on an eight-hour quest for the best.
Rather than approaching the project with a clear end product in mind, Singh said the process was “very organic.” He gave the group little to no instruction, maintaining that an important facet was simply “allowing [the film] to become what it wanted to be.” The chemistry between castmates is half the fun; the gang varies in age, dosa knowledge and experience with each other, and it’s clear that this self-titled “brown indie rock fraternity” gets a kick out of getting to know one another.
Having grown up with few iconic Indian faces in the music scene, Singh appreciates the fact that there are more role models today for Indian teenagers than ever before – and believes his film is a testament to this. “I’m encouraged by the fact that there is diversity in the arts, I’m encouraged by the fact that there is diversity in points of view,” says Singh. And about Dosa Hunt’s very existence: “It’s a very 2012 project…there is an aspect to the fact that this cast can exist.”
And in response to the haters? “I understand why it might strike some fires in some people’s bellies with respect to authenticity, and I think that that’s part of what’s at the heart of the project.”
Whether you’re an indie rock junkie, a foodie, or just plain curious, attending a Dosa Hunt screening is definitely worth your while. Singh marries his passions for music and his own heritage in such a way that you’ll forget you’re actually learning something – and then they’ll feed you!
We recently invited singer-songwriter and virtuoso harpist Gillian Grassie, just back from a five-week tour of the US, to perform for us here at Scratch. Gillian was kind enough to play the role of “surprise musician,” positioning herself in the cavernous stairwell linking all the floors of Viacom’s fifty-three story Times Square headquarters. Her haunting voice and seraphic accompaniment echoed throughout the vertical space, slipping into foyers and offices through cracked doors and usually quiet air ducts.
The classically trained Grassie has travelled across Europe and Asia to study emerging music scenes, and in the process has grown a worldwide fan base. Recounts Gillian:
“In 2009, I won a Thomas J Watson Fellowship grant. I brought my harp with me while I travelled [by air] through France, Germany, and India. But when I landed in Hong Kong I discovered that the airline had damaged by flight crate. So I finished the remaining six months of my trip on ground transport, mostly by train from Hong Kong, up through China and across Russia, two days on a boat across the Baltic Sea, then from Rostock to Berlin, where I left my harp for a year before I could return with a new case.”
Gillian funded her forthcoming album, The Hinterhaus, with the help of a Kickstarter campaign. “180 backers from ten countries and five continents helped me raise my goal in five days. It meant I got to work with my dream producer, Todd Sickafoose, an amazing jazz bassist who also played with Ani DiFrano for years.” A patient storyteller and skilled composer, Gillian expertly synthesizes a diversity of influences and styles to create her unique sound. “I do have a folk background in terms of my songs being literary and lyric heavy,” says Gillian, “but there’s pop song structure, and there’s also a strong jazz influence in both the vocal approach and the accompaniment.”
Gillian is a true independent artist who is currently managing all aspects of her career. We’re grateful to her for taking the time to come and share her talents with us, and we look forward to following her in the future.
For more about Gillian Grassie, check out her website at www.gilliangrassie.com.
As mentioned previously on the blog, The Get Schooled Foundation, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, Chevrolet (a Scratch partner), and Viacom recently joined forces to launch an amazing education initiative: the Metro Detroit Attendance Challenge aimed at improving attendance in 17 high schools in the region.
Dubbed the “Get Schooled Detroit Attendance Challenge”, the competition encouraged schools to focus on the number one predictor of graduation – attendance. Whether signing up for celebrity wake up calls or recognizing great teachers, students in the challenge earned points for their school both by participating in each activity and by going to school every day, all day.
Last Monday, Big Sean, a Detroit native, acted as “Principal for the Day” at Lincoln High School, one of United Way’s “Network of Excellence” schools. Lincoln High School won the challenge’s top prize after improving its attendance by a dramatic 8.56% year-over-year during the competition – incredible!
As principal, Big Sean visited classrooms, co-taught classes and participated in an assembly of the entire Lincoln student body. It was an inspiring day – the students were pumped, the energy was high, and we were all pretty thrilled. Nothing wrong with mixing good and fun.
We’re so proud to be a part of this amazing challenge, but we’re even prouder of all of the students who participated in the challenge.
For more, check out the coverage from Detroit’s Channel 7 News: