|Regina Spektor: What We Saw from the Cheap Seats|
It's hard to take Regina Spektor seriously some times. She has a penchant for inserting quirky vocal acrobatics into songs. If she's singing about dolphins, she'll try to sound like one. This can be fun to some or annoying to others. Thankfully, her gifts as a songwriter and classically trained pianist counter the cutesy flourishes. When asked once by a morning show anchor why she chooses to inflect her songs with playful outbursts, she replied simply, “Why not?” Maybe that's a good enough reason. It can all work together well in a live setting, but it doesn't always translate in the studio where the polish of big-name producers can render improvisational whimsy into something stale.
Ardent fans will notice many songs on her new album, What We Saw from the Cheap Seats, have been making the tour rounds for years. And therein lies the opportunity to reconstruct them for a musician now a decade older.
The first single, the tightly wound “All the Rowboats,” is one of her more urgent-sounding songs to date, with repetitive piano riffs and pounding drums emerging from a digitized haze. Her lyrics describe oil paintings of boats at sea—forever trying to row away but always stuck in the same spot—and the music swells around like a tempest waiting to drown it all.?
On the other side of the spectrum is the almost offensively sweet “Don't Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas).” Originally a vocals-and-piano ditty on 2002's Songs, it now features plinking keyboards and a Caribbean-infused horn section that contrast lyrics about wintertime and Paris in the rain.
When the quirkiness breaks through, like the gasps for air in “Open,” it straddles the line between jarring and fitting. But you have to wonder if the inflections and jokes don't get old even for her after performing it the hundredth time. reginaspektor.com
How to master the fish fillet
Step-by-step instructions for filleting fresh fish, which is a particularly useful culinary skill for those of us fortunate enough to live in southeast Louisiana.
Social media style
With our cover story featuring 25 must-follow Twitter accounts in Baton Rouge, and examining the growing social media site's impact on the local community, we wondered what Twitter might look like in the flesh—living, breathing, fashionable flesh. Prices are approximate, and price and availability are subject to change. (Styling: Erin Mehta)
Bad Guys, Good Eats! Pop-Up Dinner at Restaurant IPO
Chef and 225 contributor Jay D. Ducote and Chef Chris Wadsworth hosted the Bad Guys, Good Eats! dinner at Restaurant IPO Wednesday night. The dinner was themed around famous movie villains, pairing cocktails and ales with plates of food resembling famous baddies like The Joker, Lord Voldemort, Hannibal Lector, and many others. The highlights of the night were the three middle courses—a black bean soup laced with blood sausage to signify Lord Voldemort, a brace of coneys on black eyed peas resembling Sauron, and lamb medallions atop a fava bean puree to pay homage to the famous favorite of Hannibal Lector.
Elizabeth Arkley Hammett, a local nursing student and Fur Ball co-coordinator, and her husband Grey Hammett III, who works in commercial real estate, will take you through our summer guide. And they'll look good while doing it, too. Where noted, their clothes and accessories are available from local retailers.