Years ago, when I first got started blogging it actually wasn't here - it was on a collaborative music review blog that has long since been inactive. Music has always been a huge part of my life and writing about artists that I was passionate about was such a natural thing to do and I've been longing to get back into that habit. So, here's my first installment of Monthly Music, where I'm going to re-immerse myself into writing about music.

(image source)

I'm late to jump on this bandwagon especially considering that Sheep, Dog & Wolf released his first album Egospect over 2 years ago, but nonetheless I'm jumping on - better late than never. After his previous band had broken up, Daniel McBride, New Zealand native, took the opportunity to write his own music and recorded it all in his bedroom. With fluency in (what seems like) every instrument and a knack for harmonization, this multi-faceted musician creates enigmatic soundscapes filled with layers of rich tones and syncopated beats.

I first heard Glare and was captured by the rapidly moving first verse which has the same feeling of trying to finish a sentence in one breath, and knew I needed to hear more. The vocals remind me of Woodkid or King Krule in that (to me) they have a semblance of an accent that accompanies a full, deep sound that is carried in and out of harmonies. Having never been to New Zealand, or anywhere near that part of the Pacific Ocean, I'm probably just drawn to the fact that his sound is so different and unique.

While I'm a sucker for complex harmonies, I'm a bigger sucker for a great saxophonist - which of course Daniel is. Having said that saxophone is his main instrument, (in this interview) it's no surprise to hear it featured throughout many of the tracks.

It's difficult to pinpoint what genre Sheep, Dog & Wolf falls under - so I won't try. It tells a story, both in lyrics and in the atmosphere it creates, both of which are resonating strongly with me at this point in my life. Here's to hoping he's working on another album! Take a listen to Egospect - I've been enjoying Problems/Canvas, Not Aquatic, and Ablutophobia.


Whenever I'm at work I try and keep myself entertained by listening to podcasts. Lately, I've been getting into Food is the New Rock, a podcast hosted by a radio personnel and a food blogger where they invite musicians to talk about food and chefs to talk about music. The entire premise is that the two industries tend to have similarities and that restaurants and chefs are gaining the notability and signature that we had in the past associated with the musician. In one of the earlier episodes, one of the music guests (which I can't seem to recall) discusses his "Golden List" of restaurants. The idea behind this list is that he keeps track of his favorite places to eat in each city he goes to so that he can use for future trips or suggest to friends. Since food is becoming one of those things that I'm gaining more and more appreciation for, I've decided that I'm going to start keeping better tabs on where I go and everyone else should too! So to start here are a few of my recommendations for New York City...

Bar Bacon || source

Pearls Social & Billy Club  - If you happen to be in Bushwick this was one of my favorite bars, great atmosphere, drink specials were strong and the photo booth in the back makes it. (Brooklyn)
Crocodile lounge - Decent selection of beers but who cares about that when you get a mini pizza with every drink you order! (Union Sq)
The Toy Factory/Back Room - Nifty place since it used to be a speakeasy back in the day. Having to walk underground through a sketchy tunnel thing makes entering into the bar that much cooler plus the cocktails were all tailored to fit into the speakeasy theme. (LES)
Bar bacon - Order the bacon tasting plate and you won't be disappointed. (Hells Kitchen)

Heavy Woods || source

Poco - Spanish themed restaurant where you can enjoy a chorizo eggs benedict and a bloody mary to kick you into high gear! (LES)
Heavy Woods - New Orleans style brunch with mouth-watering soul food and biscuits to die for. (Brooklyn)
Baby's All Right - Lots of great brunch in Brooklyn, okay? Good food, but the bloody mary bar and live music make it worth going to. (Brooklyn)

Cemita from Smorgasburg

Untamed Sandwiches - I'm usually pretty bored by sandwiches as a meal option but the one from here have unique flavor combinations that make 'em tasty. (midtown)
Eataly - Italian store/food court/grocery where you can buy artisanal olive oil, take a trip to the rooftop alpine themed bar, or just grab a gelato and beat the inevitable crowd. (flatiron)
Smorgasburg  - Every weekend a ton of different food vendors come to the same place to make food. Walk around, weigh the options, decide, and enjoy! I've had cemitas, Korean bbq burritos, and vegan ice cream but the possibilities are literally endless... and delicious. (various)

Roberta's || source

Empanada mamas - Maybe it was the fact that I had great company when I ate here, but the food was also great. They put anything delicious inside of an empanada, plus open 24 hours! (Hells Kitchen)
Shake Shack - What can go wrong with burger, fries, and a shake?(various)
Vanessa's dumplings - In retrospect, this was probably the cheapest meal I ate in the city and if you like dumplings/gyoza/potstickers than you can't pass up this as a cheap meal.  (various)
Roberta's - When it comes to most things in life I'm someone who rarely does repeats; shows, movies, books, and even restaurants. But I went here 4 times when I lived in the city and damn, there is something magical in that pizza. (Brooklyn)
Artichoke Pizza - But if you refuse to travel into the heart of Bushwick and need a late night slice, this is worth the line. (various)

Variety || source 

Variety coffee - I'm impartial to this because it was my neighborhood shop where I would go on weekends to get some personal work aka blogging done, where the coffee is great and the muffins are even better. (brooklyn)
Dough donuts - Okay it's not coffee but these doughnuts are heavenly. (union sq)

Obviously, there are plenty of places I've never even tried, but the thing about lists like this are that I will much more likely scope out a place to eat based off of a person I know's recommendation versus that of Zagat or yelp. Thoughts? Recommendations?


While most people -including me- typically use the start of a new year to lay out some resolutions, I think I'll pass for 2016. I know what the first half of the year has in store for me while the other half remains a complete and utter mystery that will be a pretty new and exciting transition. So one of those things that are already set in stone is my travel plans! Really can't back down on plane tickets that have already been purchased...

Okay technically I haven't gotten any sort of tickets to get back up here to visit my friends who I celebrated my birthday with in October, but I kind of need to since there is a good chance after I graduate it woun't be so easy to.

Last spring break of college will be spent in the south, enjoying food and friends in what will hopefully be warm weather.

Once in February and another time in late May. Maybe more than that? I guess we shall see...

Two weeks in June will be my first time off of this continent, and I'm really looking forwards to this post-graduation trip, even if I have yet to plan anything besides my flights.

I'll fly back into Seattle end of June and hopefully by then I'll have a job lined out and will know where I'm committing to live... indefinitely? As of now, I know nothing about my life after June of this year which is a terrifying and exciting thought. Well, I did get invited to join a couple I know in Thailand but that would be in November which is much too far away to think about...

Regardless, 2016 will be a year of destinations; some planned and others not. A lot of new places, faces, food, and culture to experience and my goal is to document it better than I have in the past. I guess that's a resolution?

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