Memorial Tribute to Musician and Graffiti Artist Ana Bender This Weekend

Late-night romps can be cruel after you have done in it for decades. Today’s sunlight is lashing me awake and I haven’t the strength to wash the evening out of my hair. Hotel Chantelle was absolutely off the hook last night, with Sam Valentine, Michael Tee, Miss Guy, and Michael Cavadias and a slew of others whipping the crowd into a frenzy. I think the weather had something to do with it as well. The early spring brings flowers early and confusion into club circles. When it’s nice, the places are packed, but when the weather returns to form and a cold rain requires clothes that have been packed away till next year, the hordes stay home. This Sunday, the two-hour premier of Mad Men will hurt Sunday club ambitions.

After memorial tributes in San Francisco and Seattle for Ana Dyson aka ANA BENDER aka AYBEE, NYC gets its turn. White posters pasted on walls that hipsters pass announced the memorial, which will start at 7pm MARCH 25 at Legion, 790 Metropolitan Avenue. It’s a free show. The posters were produced by Ana’s friend Katsu. This comes from the 12ozProphet website:
4/26/1987 – 2/2/2012
Ana Dyson aka ANA BENDER aka AYBEE
Was an influential musician and graffiti artist from Seattle that lived in NYC and SF.
She was known for her raw and pure punk/folk music style as well as her graffiti tags “AYBEE”.
AYBEE was a close friend of the BTM graffiti crew both on the west and east coasts.
She lived in New York City for a time.
She lived in SF for a time.
A free event is happening this Sunday."
There will be performances by JAPANTHER, Soft Dov, Brohammer, and Dead Reich and DJs Maxwell 57, NineLives, The Cat, Grace of Spades, Ella, and Chloe.
Tonight I will attend a very special affair that is hush hush, super duper, uber secret and I have sworn to only speak of it come Monday. It’s one of these "show up on a corner late-night and you will be led to it’" events.
Twenty years ago I would have thought I was being whacked. I can’t offer you more today; my body is upset at my brain for the insults of last night. My brain needs to turn itself off for a couple of hours. It asks for your forgiveness. I got the usual, "Don’t you ever sleep?" from the waitstaff at Kellogg’s Diner at 6am. They had seen me for breakfast 20 hours earlier. I replied with my usual: "I’ll get all the sleep I need in 20 or 30 years." I realized over my eggs that I started saying that 15 years ago.  

See ‘Tenth and Pike’ the Mini-Documentary About Seattle’s Brent Amaker & the Rodeo Mural

If you were to create a sonic hybrid between the pop-like Americana iconography of a hot and dusty Tarantino flick with the sly late 1970s German presence of Wim Wenders, you’d get the strange and wonderful musicians that make up Brent Amaker and The Rodeo. Since 2005, the men clad in cowboy gear from head to toe, have been garnering a cult following—not only their unique country meets New Wave sound, but their rowdy live performances and larger than life style and tongue-in-cheek attitude.

And with their new LP Year of the Dragon being released this summer, Seattle artist Jeff "Weirdo" Jacobson has created a 30-foot mural in their honor. Located on the side of a live music venue in Seattle, the mural celebrates the brilliance of Brent Amaker and the Rodeo, painted alongside the venue Neumos. A work that mirror’s the group’s larger than life presence, Jacobson’s artwork was inspired by Afro Samurai artist/creator Takashi Okazaki who created the cover art for Year of the Dragon.
And today, we’re pleased to present Brad Strain’s mini-documentary Tenth and Pike, about the creative process behind the beloved mural. So check out the film below, crank up some classic Brent Amaker and the Rodeo, and pretend you’re flying down the highway in your own road movie to nowhere.

Tenth and Pike from Brad Strain on Vimeo.

Photo by Lance Mercer

Seattle Bar Promises ‘Ass Kickings’ For Anyone In Google Glasses

Seattle bar The 5 Point has proactively banned Google Glasses from the premises, warning on their Facebook page, "Ass kickings will be encouraged for violators."

The 5 Point has a seedy, "sometimes notorious" image to uphold, owner Dave Weinart told local radio station KIRO. Acknowledging the ban is just a joke, he was serious that Google Glasses simply wouldn’t fit in. (It should be noted that the $1,500 spectacles, which can record video and display maps, aren’t even available for sale yet.)

"Some of the tech geeks come here, we’re close by Amazon. It’s OK if you wear them. I just don’t want them worn inside," Weinart said. In particular he wants his patrons to feel free from being recorded without their knowledge (prompting one to wonder what exactly goes down inside The 5 Point). 

CNET got the obligatory response from Google and, they’re unfazed.  

"It is still very early days for Glass, and we expect that as with other new technologies, such as cell phones, behaviors and social norms will develop over time."

It’s when Google Glasses get banned from Apple Stores, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, and farmers’ markets that such a ban will geeks where it hurts.

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Hotels Cashing In On ’50 Shades Of Grey’ Vacations

The only thing more facepalming than someone who might plan a vacation based off the 50 Shades Of Grey BDSM erotica novels is someone who would actually go on such a vacation. Alas, hotels throughout the Pacific Northwest are all too happy too happy to oblige: several have planned special "50 Shades" packages —  sadomasochistic sex not included.

According to CNN, Hotel Max in Seattle is offering a two-night stay in an Artist King room with a chauffeured town car, a helicopter tour of the city, and a private sail in Puget Sound "with a bottle of Bollinger Grande Annee Rose 1999 Champagne, a favorite of Mr. Grey himself." 

The Edgewater Hotel in Seattle offers a similar 50 Shades of Romance package, which also includes a Puget Sound sail and a bottle of Bollinger. But this package lets guests test drive an Audi sports car, which billionaire Christian Grey purchased for his young submissive Anastasia Steele in the books.

Portland’s The Heathman Hotel appears in the 50 Shades book and ups the romantic ante with roses and limo rides, as well as a helicopter tour of the city. An additional $40 will get burgeoning kinksters at the Heathman a bottle of chilled white wine and a grey tie. Hopefully the wine will liquor you up enough to try your own 50 Shades-style spankings … or deal with the bill. The whole Heathman package will set you back a Christian Grey-ian $2,790.

Interestingly none of these packages have a room called the Red Room Of Pain, the location where Anastasia Steele enjoys many of her BDSM play sessions in the book. I suppose hotels know that advertising "pain" in a hotel room is a little bit like advertising "bedbugs," regardless of what vanilla mommy porn foolishness actually goes on in it.

The Weekend Takeoff: Baltimore, San Diego, Seattle, Chicago, Miami

Baltimore: The Daydreams + Nightmares Aerial Theatre (nicknamed DNA) are putting on a giant big-tent show called “Spectacle Obscura” at the Maryland Institute College of Art, complete with flying trapezes, contortionists, and circus acts — but with a slightly naughty twist for the all-adult crowd. October 13-16.

San Diego: The FoodNerdz Oktoberfest Tasting Challenge is a blind beer tasting of local beers with souvenir tasting glass, appetizers, and scorecard included. Go with a group and do the VIP Restaurant Tour around the city to enhance your buzz. October 15.

Seattle: Gang Gang Dance made a splash at the Pitchfork Music Festival this past summer, where their epic trippy techno/house jams packed in a crowd that could have danced for hours. Catch them at Neumos, one of Seattle’s hottest music venues. October 14.

Chicago: Corn Productions’ October bonanza has a variety of horror-themed improv performances, but Death Toll: A Drinking Game Performance features our kind of audience participation — BYOB, and drink every time someone dies. October 14 and 15.

Miami: If you can’t get tickets to Adele’s Friday night performance at American Airlines Arena, dance it out on Biscayne Boulevard at the DWNTWN Miami Concert Series at a free concert with food trucks, drinks and music under the stars. October 14.

The World’s 10 Swankest Airport Lounges

There are some airport lounges out there so welcoming, so comfortable, and so packed with amenities that you may need to enlist their excellent customer assistance in rebooking your flight for a longer stay. An excellent resource for choosing and reviewing a lounge is the wiki-style Culled from their pages, these 10 luxurious lounges will help you enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

Emirates Lounge, Emirates Air, JFK, New York The Middle Eastern carrier’s secluded retreat is much lauded for a reason: Spacious leather chairs, Italian marble accents, and delicious food make their long-haul flights bearable, if not pleasurable. The business center and 42-inch plasma screen TVs keep you up to date to the last minute, and first- or business-class passengers will arrive in style, picked up in New York City by an Emirates car.

The Wing, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong – Cathay’s complex is the original luxury lounge, setting the modern standard since it opened in 1998. The Long Bar and the Noodle Bar will feed your body, while the Library and the Cabanas will soothe your soul. For first-class passengers, the Pier offers even more personal space, with spa-like granite shower suites and the private Daybreak Rooms, where waiter service and wake-up calls will allow you to nap, eat, work, and watch TV until it’s time for takeoff.

Upper Class Clubhouse, Virgin Atlantic, London Heathrow – Each one of Virgin Atlantic’s Clubhouses is a little different, but the British carrier outdid themselves on their home turf, with a cocktail bar, several restaurant options, multiple lounge concepts (including “poolside,” with a running-water accent wall), and an office and library that perfectly replicate the benefits of a traditional English club with a modern edge.

BA Terraces Lounge, British Airways, Seattle – Exclusively for first-class passengers and frequent fliers, the Terraces Lounge provides a comprehensive experience, from drinks and snacks at the World Wine Bar to a complimentary massage at the Elemis spa to a freshly made cappuccino. The work and entertainment area is fully equipped, but we suggest evening flyers take advantage of the Club World Sleeper Service, where you’ll have your preflight supper in the lounge restaurant so you can sleep right away once you board.

Iberia VIP Rooms, Iberia Air, Madrid – Madrid’s airport is one of the fastest-growing for business travel, as it’s a convenient stopover for many connecting flights, so having a comfortable airport lounge is crucial. The Iberia VIP Rooms have stunning view of departing planes rising over the mountains — the perfect compliment to a glass of Rioja from the private wine bar.

SilverKris Lounge, Singapore Airlines, Singapore Changi – Singapore Airlines may have been getting a lot of press for their Airbus A380 suites, but it should come as no surprise that their lounge is similarly luxurious. Beautifully appointed in fine woods and marble, the recently renovated space offers business class passengers and above meeting rooms, spacious bathrooms, well-equipped business facilities, and a bar and restaurant.

CPH Apartment, Copenhagen – One of the pleasures of travel is enjoying a sense of place, and that’s what the CPH Apartment in Copenhagen is all about. Designed to feel like a luxury Copenhagen apartment, it’s a space design buffs will die over, with furniture including shelving from Muuto, dining tables from Hay, a Beck lounge table, the award-winning sofa In Duplo from Erik Jørgensen, and the well-known Wingchair designed by H. J. Wegner.

L’Espace Premiere Lounge, Air France, Charles de Gaulle, Paris – The red carpet in the lounge’s may simply be intended to echo the first-class cabin’s décor, but it’s an excellent metaphor for what’s inside. Check in privately in the lounge, sink into a roomy leather armchair, enjoy a massage, or of course, sample a wide selection of wines, champagnes, and French cuisine of which the airline is justifiably proud. The red carpet treatment continues at departure: an agent will escort you to your gate, and a Mercedes will take you across the tarmac to your plane.

British Airways Concorde Room, British Airways, Heathrow, London – The Concorde may be no more, but this lounge brings back the aura of jet-set glamour in a big way. The full-service restaurant, private cabana rooms with beds and en suite bathrooms, the Elemis travel spa, and the concierge desk may recall the luxury hotel you’re departing from more than the airport lounges you’re used to.

Qantas First Lounge, Qantas, Sydney – The ultra-contemporary design of this lounge by acclaimed Australian designer Marc Newson is a spacious 2,000 square meters, and includes design accents like a vertical garden with over 8,400 plants, leather furniture by Italy’s Poltrona Frau, and Tai Ping wool carpets from Hong Kong. Individual marble-lined shower suites; and state-of-the-art business facilities get you ready to work, while the Payot Paris day spa and restaurant by Australian celebrity chef Neil Perry get you in the mood to play.

Ben Gibbard on Death Cab’s New Album & His Favorite Spots to Eat in Seattle

In the three years since Death Cab for Cutie released their last album, Narrow Stairs, all four of the indie-pop rockers have settled into adulthood. Lead singer Ben Gibbard (third from left) married actor Zooey Deschanel, bassist Nick Harmer (left) also tied the knot, drummer Jason McGerr (right) celebrated the birth of his second child, and guitarist Chris Walla made a permanent move to Seattle, the band’s unofficial base camp.

Death Cab’s new release, Codes and Keys, due out later this month, is a reflection of this newfound stability. “Everything I make is like a series of postcards from my life and the lives of those around me,” Gibbard says. “The tone of the album, which is very emotionally even, is a reflection of where we are in our lives. That’s something that infiltrates our entire process. For example, I enjoy playing live shows, but I’m less eager to be away from home than I’ve been in the past.” As for dining on the road, he says, “On tour I always end up eating some variation of the same thing every day. Playing shows kind of fucks up when you can eat dinner. If we’re playing at 9:30 we can’t have a proper dinner at 7, because it’ll still be in our stomachs, bouncing around two hours later. But by the time the show’s over, it’s already too late for dinner, so I usually end up eating on the bus. Maybe we’ll become so successful that restaurants will stay open late for us, but I don’t think so.”

Once a dedicated vegan, Gibbard is still a healthy eater, but he indulges in the odd french fry. “I just ran the Los Angeles Marathon and the best thing about the experience was being able to eat as much as I wanted, whenever I wanted. I love Maneki. I think it’s the oldest Japanese restaurant in Seattle. It’s a James Beard Foundation-honored place, but it’s also a little hole-in-the-wall—a locals-only kind of thing. When we’re in the city we usually end up going to Crepe Café, a bistro that serves a lot of small French plates. We live in LA, but we have a place in Seattle and we always look forward to going back to that little spot. We try to eat healthy because, well, gross foods make you feel gross.”

Beecher’s Cheese NYC vs. Carpenters’ Union

Forget hyperlocal, we’re getting painfully local here. As someone who lunches on the north side of Union Square here in New York, I’m always keeping a watchful eye for anything new and different besides sandwiches or this excellent mediocre Thai I’m enjoying as of this writing. So, when a colleague and former Seattleite noted that a branch of the Emerald City’s Beecher’s Cheese was opening around the corner, I was particularly aroused by his enthusiasm for their macaroni & cheese. I can modestly say I’m something of an authority on the subject, so I’ve kept close tabs on the storefront. However, there is trouble in cheese-town.

There are strikers out front! Well not strikers exactly, but more demonstrators in a labor dispute. (They are explicitly not striking or interfering with business in any way.) The guys with the sign have a flyer that explains their beef in detail, but the gist is that the contractor creating the cheese temple is not using union carpenters. Such a contractor is depicted on the flyer as a rat devouring an American flag. I was actually hoping for an appearance of the giant inflatable rat that’s usually involved in NYC labor demonstrations, because that would go perfectly with the cheese thing. But I guess we’re not at that level yet. I am pro-union though, so: Mr. Kurt Dammeier, CEO of Beecher’s Cheese, please resolve this situation immediately to ensure the sturdiest possible delivery system for your delicious mac. Calls to Mr. Dammeier’s office were not returned because they were not made.