Archive for April, 2006

Rockin’ The Mike: Car Toons

Mike told me once that in the far distant future, people will listen to less music. The wide availability of teleportation technology will mean that even if that mode of transport wasn't completely instantaneous, it would be impossible to hear anything above the high-pitched buzz and whir associated with disintegrating you atom by atom and creating an exact duplicate at another set of cartesian co-ordinates– that combined with your own hearty sobs and wails at the horror and pain of actually being disintegrated.

Mike is also convinced that in the not-too-distant future, people are gonna actually be listening to more music, roadtrippin' with the windows down since contrary to what the weather this past weekend would lead you to believe, he suspects spring has arrived in earnest. So in that spirit, here's a mix for Mike chock full o'songs that are either about driving or that sound great blaring from car speakers. Perhaps Mike an I can listen to this on our next trip to Awesometown (post to follow). At least the ride'll be amusing…

1. Belle and Sebastian- Seeing Other People

2. The Magnetic Fields- The Luckiest Guy On The Lower East Side

3. Franz Ferdinand- Take Me Out

4. My Bloody Valentine- Drive It All Over Me

5. The White Stripes- One More Cup Of Coffee

6. The Lucksmiths- Caravana

7. Pedro The Lion- Big Trucks

8. Guided By Voices- The Quality of Armor

9. Spoon- The Way We Get By

10. Sloan- 500 Up

11. Interpol- PDA

12. Oasis- Columbia

13. Primal Scream- Kill All Hippies

14. Radiohead- Airbag

15. Robert Pollard- People Are Leaving

16. Portishead- Roads

17. The Wedding Present- Drive

18. The Shins- Young Pilgrims

19. Throwing Muses- Not Too Soon

20. Butterfly Boucher- Another White Dash

21. Poe- Hey Pretty

And as with the last installment, the first person to post a comment– besides Mike Brooks or any pseudonym he might be using at the time— will receive their very own copy of the CD.


Go On My Son!!!

As miserable a day as Sunday April 23rd was over on this side of the pond, the sun was shining down on Villa Park in Birmingham for the FA Cup Semi Final between Middlesborough and our beloved Hammers of West Ham United.

Thanks to a Satellite dish at my parents' house I was able to catch the action in exchange for barbecuing lunch for the folks and the rest of the fam (some freshly back from mexico and suspiciously pale despite what I was assured was beautiful weather down there).
It was a tightly contested tilt between two teams vying for a UEFA Cup spot in next season's tournament. Neither side were willing to give up too many chances in the first half although 'boro seemed the more spirited side as they still had the memory of a mid-week loss to Steaua Bucharest in this year's UEFA Cup Semi-final first leg fresh in their memories.

But after the break it was a rampant West Ham that took the lion's share of posession and created the more dangerous chances– one of which, a Marlon Harewood touch in the 78th minute, resulted in the games only goal and a subsequent Harewood booking for the post-goal celebration (you're no longer allowed to take off your shirt after a goal in the Premiership).

Sadly, I actually missed the goal and the glory since it took place around 12:30 pm local time while I was busy standing in the rain, braving the afternoon's distemper and flipping chicken!!!! However, being superstitious about my sport I rationalise it this way: there are times when the team  you support wins because you watch and believe and times they lose because you watch with shaky faith. I'll have to say that I was 50/50 on the Hammers in Europe next season so i s'pose i'd've jinxed things by actually 'participating' in the moment.

Regardless, well done West Ham, European cup football awaits. Which is to say nothing of a mouth-watering FA Cup Final to contest against a spirited Liverpool side (who beat Premiership Champions Chelsea to book their spot in this year's final and have already qualified for the Champion's League Next season, hence the automatic UEFA Cup qualification for the team winning the Boro/West Ham match even if they lose the FA Cup final) on May 13th at Cardiff's Millenium Stadium. It's been a brilliant return to the premiership for the Hammers and an absolute cracker of a season so far.

Rockin’ The Mike: Closed Circuit TV


He's one hella climber.

Great hair.

Consulting the oracle (that's 'googling' in old money) reveals he is, among other things: a basketball player, a reggae singer, an aussie professor and a stand-up comedian.

One thing I do know about Mike Brooks is that he's got great taste in music. One thing I don't know about Mike Brooks is whether he's fucking with me when he says he's never heard of MBV or Sonic Youth. On the off chance he's serious i thought i'd take the liberty of adding a weekly playlist section to Fake called Rockin' The Mike to remedy the sitch (and if anyone's in a hurry, i've got a few of these mixes up already at Art of the Mix, an excellent site if you're looking for new music and most people are willing to trade cds). And in a vain attempt to court readership, I'm willing to burn a copy of each week's installment for the first person who expresses interest by posting a comment.

This week's installment is called 'Closed Circuit TV' (bonus points if you spot the stones covers). and it goes something like this:

1. A Stroke of Genius- Freelance Hellraiser

2. Ex Lion Tamer- Wire

3. Hate To Say I Told You So- The Hives

4. Optimistic- Radiohead

5. Transmission- Joy Division

6. Gimme Shelter- Sisters of Mercy

7. All The Umbrellas In London- The Magnetic Fields

8. Sister Saviour- The Rapture

9. Everything Is Everything- Lauryn Hill

10. In The Waiting Line- Zero 7

11. Superstition- Stevie Wonder

12. I Am If…- The Make-Up

13. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised- Gil Scott-Heron

14. Quality Control- Jurassic 5

15. The Guns of Brixton- The Clash

16. Dynamite- Stina Nordenstam

17. Satisfaction- PJ Harvey f. Bjork (live at the '96 Brit Awards)

18. Pink Moon- Nick Drake

19. Robots- TV On The Radio

Worth The Wait: Yung Sing Pastry Shop

yung sing.jpg

Like finally getting round to cracking the spine of 100 Years of Solitude (always a bridesmaid, eh Marquez?), sampling the flavour at Yung Sing Pastry Shop is something i've been meaning to do for what also seems an embarassing eternity.

What took me?


Curiously, every time i managed to find myself jonesin' for a snack this side of Baldwin for say the past decade, i've always been inexplicably greeted by the cheerfully sneering 'closed' sign dangling inside the locked door of a suspiciously empty shop. For reasons obscure, cosmic, co-incident or perhaps even statistical for all i know, i can't dismiss the possibility that every other time i managed to make my way down here it was on a Monday when they are closed.

So considering the shambolic odessey preceding my arrival on Yung Sing's doorstep this particular grey, april-showered afternoon i s'pose it's only fitting that i'm forced to wait a little longer to sample the goods and frankly almost relieved to see the shop stuffed to bursting with the regular noontime hungry republic of angel-eyed Kensington kids, erstwhile undergrads and Steven Davey disciples all hip to what are rumoured to be some of the finest chinese buns in the city.

Checking the chalkboard menu behind the counter of this pleasantly bright and plant-filled space reveals a list of the usual suspects with a few interesting twists (the most intreguing one for me being the fried rice bun which is unfortunately sold out by the time i get up to the front of this line– a testament to its quality no doubt). So I opt for those old standards barbecue pork and curried beef bun along with a 'pork roll'. Most of the buns on the menu are $.90 each which is average for a chinese bun but a steal for how good these treats turn out to be. The pork roll is quite tasty, a deepfried gluten ball stuffed with pork and dried shrimp, it provides a decent introduction and sets the bar for what follows. Known by various names, the pork roll is probably familiar to every dim summer, but the care paid and attention to detail seem to elevate this one a notch above your average dumpling (speaking of which: Yung Sing offers shrimp-packed Har Kao and pork Siu Mai on weekends i'll definitely have to try upon my return which will definitely be soon).

As for the baked buns? Although these buns lack the sweetly varinished sheen of most of their chinatown counterparts that's where the dullness ends. The Bun itself is impossibly light, the soft dough intreguingly sweet though not overly so and i find myself marvelling at how exactly it manages to keep contained the remarkably subtle combination of meats and sauces couched within. The barbecue pork bun is excellent, trading in the typical ketchupy-red barbecue sauce for something more mahogany in colour and akin to gravy. The sweetness is still there but its not trying to hide anything as it plays well off the abundant barbecued pork.

That's nothing compared to the curried beef bun. I'm blown away by the almost spicy-sweet nuttiness curry that seems to shift through the flavour palette at will flirting with each flavour long enough to make you miss it when it's gone. I wanna blow my brains out its so good. I'd be droppin' f-bomb superlatives if my mouth wasn't so happily fully. Then the sadness like an april rain– i'll never have a chinese bun that i won't in some way compare to this moment. This is the thrill of the hunt for me! Every once-in-a-while someone manages to breathe new life into the simplest or most commonplace foodstuff and creates something utterly inspiring and elegant. Believe me, you've got to try these cheap, tasty treats. Just don't wait as long as I did.

Yung Sing Pastry Shop

22 Baldwin Ave.

Open Tuesday-Sunday

11am- 7pm

Closed Mondays

Listen Up Theo!!!: House Of Cosbys


The Internets are home to some of the funniest, most entertaining, controversial television programmes being produced. One of my recent favourites is the bizarre, surreal The House of Cosbys.

The premise is deceptively simple: Mitchell, a lifelong fan of the Coz finds one of Bill's hairs after a comedy club gig and devotes the next ten years of his life to creating a Cosby Cloning Machine. Hilarity definitely ensues.

Lawsuits ensue as well. Bill's lawyer's don't think too much of the show and have slapped its creative mastermind Justin Roiland with a 'cease and desist' order which is too bad since i think these programmes are genius and could probably do a lot to get the Coz back some street cred he's been missing for awhile.

you can find the shows online at YouTube, Google Video or where i found it.