Archive for Lower East Side

Tullycraft @ Cake Shop. Saturday June 14, 2008. Free Afternoon Show!

Posted in music, shows, Tom with tags , , , , on July 16, 2008 by criticalreviews

Because we bought Teenage Jesus & the Jerks tickets we unfortunately missed out on the twee legends at Pianos, but luckily Tullycraft played a second (free) show at Cake Shop the next afternoon. This was my first time seeing a show in the coffee shop/record store space of Cake Shop.

We got to the show about an hour before Tullycraft was set to preform. The record store was closed up, and packed away tightly so that there was room for the band, and the bar was closed. This was a little bit of a bummer, because I always want to record shop, and I really wanted an afternoon beer…but we grab some iced coffee and tea and grabbed a table right by the little stage. We were actually there before the band was, and got to watch a little twee reunion as Tullycrafts’ friends all showed up to the Cake Shop.

The show was set to start at 2pm, but the space didn’t get really crowded until about 1:55…We were really lucky that we got to the space so early because instead of being behind a huge crowd we just stood on our chairs and had a great view of the band.

Tullycraft played from their entire catalog, and was really fun and full of energy (as you would expect). A funny story was told of how one of the guys fell into one of those metal grates on the sidewalk that leads into a stores basement the night before, and although the stage was cramped they made room for him to take a seat…and a funny musical interlude while strings were being changed. This is just one of those bands that gives a super positive vibe. It was a blast, and I’m really glad these twee popsters made it to the east coast again after such a long time. The one thing that didn’t happen was “Pop Songs Your New Boyfriend is too Stupid to know about” was not played (but I understand…there are some songs that bands just need to move on from). One odd thing was that their bass only had two stings, but I guess this is just their style. The show was super fun, and Tullycraft played for almost an hour (pretty sweet for a free show).

Every time I go to Cake Shop for a show I wonder why I don’t hang out there more often.

All in all it is just what I needed after getting into that Los Campesinos album.

Listen to Tullycraft:

“Pop Songs Your New Boyfriend’s Too Stupid To Know About” off of Old Traditions, New Standards

“The Punks are writing Love Songs” off of Every Scene Needs a Center

all media from www.tullycraftnation.com

(Tom)

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Welcome To The Johnsons

Posted in alcohol, bars, Tom with tags , , , , , on April 28, 2008 by criticalreviews

123 Rivington St., Lower East Side, NYC

So Welcome to the Johnsons is a dive bar with a 1970’s basement theme, wood panels, pool table, old tv playing old shows, dark, dingy, couches with plastic covers, PBR, and one of those amazing video games that is also a table (which I have unfortunately never gotten to sit at). It definitely has a quirky feel, but at the same time it isn’t pretentious and just about anyone can be found in this place(very eclectic crowd probably drawn by the theme and cheap booze). I hadn’t been in a while , but we started what turned out to be a really late night there on Friday.

Happy Hour is from 3-9pm and well drinks are $2 and PBR $1.50 (some of the cheapest in the city). We got there significantly later than happy hour, and drinks were still reasonable ($2 PBR and $4-6 liquor drinks). The bartenders from my experience are attentive and quick.

So the music is a mix of everything over the bast 30 or 40 years, ranging from totally awesome (Built to Spill, Pixies, Dead Kennedys, and even some classic rock and ’80’s) to questionable (really bad 90’s rock ala Goo Goo Dolls or some shit like that, Rancid, and you name it it gets played). It’s a mixed bag, but suits the bar pretty well.

While this place gets really crowded but our significantly large group was able to carve out a comfortable portion of space. I can’t say that this is the type of place to go by yourself, or on a date, or anything short of getting really drunk (whether you are starting or ending the night)….but it is a good place to get cheap drinks with a bunch of friends. By the time we left (almost 2am, we started pretty late) it was hard to get from the front of the bar to the back. But still not to hard to get a drink. I can’t say it is my favorite bar, but it does serve a purpose…and it tends to be fun if you go with enough friends. And it is also a neat place to take people who are visiting the city from out of town.

welcome to the johnsons front window by AugustHeffner <via flickr>

plastic couches inside by Yorkshire4 <via flickr>

(Tom)

Spitzer’s Corner

Posted in alcohol, bars, restaurant, Tom with tags , , , , , , on April 1, 2008 by criticalreviews

101 Rivington (at the corner of Ludlow). Lower East Side, NYC (Visited Friday March 14th, 2008)

So I am a little late with this review, but I thought the place was note worthy, and wanted to talk about. We were on the Lower East Side just walking around with friends from out of town, and someone pointed Spitzer’s Corner because all of the news about Elliot Spitzer was still fresh in the newspapers. I happen to keep a running list of beer bars in my head that I am meaning to checkout (and this was one of them).

We started off by just looking in the window at the taps, and it was enough to draw us in. They have about 40 beers on tap (see tap list here), and a nice bottle list as well (here). Prices are pretty typical Manhattan tap beer prices, domestic craft beers $6-$7 and Belgians (slightly better priced than most places) at $7-$8. We had a couple SixPoint Gorilla Warfares (a coffee porter made with Gorilla Coffee), and Souther Tier Unearthly IPA (11% abv and it was served in a pint).

It is not your typical LES bar because it is really nice inside, surprisingly so. ..it is really beautify built The whole place is wooden: floors, walls, doors, ect. I think the only things that weren’t made of wood were the taps and the bar itself(both metal). The tables are set up in the front bar in the style of a beer hall, where patrons share long tables with other patrons. The bar is very long (it has to be to have 40 taps, and two or three casks behind it). If you walk back towards the restrooms (which are downstairs and surprisingly very very clean…possibly the nicest bar bathrooms in the city), there is another large bar room. This room has a smaller bar with a bunch of taps as well (my only complaint is that I think it is a waste to have two taps of the same beer…both bars have the same thing on tap at Spitzer’s so there is no walking back and forth for different selections). This room has smaller tables, like a normal bar or restaurant but was not open while we were there (like I said it was the afternoon).

I really like the direction that some of these newer beer bars are going with their food…Although I didn’t try any of it(wasn’t quite hungry at the time), I would be interested in going back to eat lunch or something: Check out the menu (the grilled cheese sounds up my alley). Really gourmet.

Although it was a really pleasant experience on a Friday afternoon there were still some really loud people in the bar, and if the rest of the Lower East Side is any prediction this place is probably awful at night on Friday and Saturday too (I tend to stay away from this part of town on those night…maybe the correct word is touristy?), but I highly recommend for an afternoon pint…it would be even better if they had happy hour.

Photos from Yelp!
(Tom)