Thursday, May 19, 2011

Found in London - Ellie Goulding

Found in London made a trip to FoundTrack HQ a few weeks ago and despite all good intentions of keeping up my posts, LA sucked me in and have been playing catch up ever since! Anyway, I'm back and you can all breathe a sigh of relief - better late than never I say...

So committed am I to experiencing live music, I found myself at Music Box in Hollywood a few hours after landing, just in time to catch the talented British singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding. Having gained popularity in the UK with her album Lights (Polydor) last year, it was re-released as Bright Lights with extra bonus tracks including a cover of Elton John's "Your Song" which featured on a popular UK TV commercial over Christmas.

Having spent 11 hours on a plane, of course I hit the bar first and so only showed up at the gig at the tail end of her support act, The Knocks. The NY electronic music duo who have made a name for themselves as producers and remix extraordinaires, but knocked (!) it out the park with their original songs like "Make it Better" and "Something I Can Dance To". Free downloads available here

Once Ellie came on stage, my Red Bull had kicked in and the high school audience were ready to go. She worked the stage well, engaged the audience with decent chat and came across as a genuine talent enjoying herself on stage. Due to technical difficulties (i.e. jetlag) I wasn't able to record the performance but check out another set of performances in LA filmed for T-mobile's Live Rising gigs.

Soundtrack aficionados will recognise this from the Kick Ass OST, "Starry Eyed":

My personal favourite, "Every Time You Go":

Lights and Bright Lights are available to buy now.

FoundTrack - April - May '11 MixTape

FoundTrack - April - May '11 MixTape (Zip File)

1. Peter Gabriel - Mercy Street
So (Purchase)
Real World Records

2. Grimes - Crystal Ball
Darkbloom (Purchase)
Hippos In Tanks

3. Bibio - Take Off Your Shirt
Mind Bokeh (Purchase)

4. Kurt Vile - In My Time
Smoke Ring For My Halo (Purchase)

5. Unknown Mortal Orchestra - How Can U Luv Me
How Can U Luv Me - Single (Purchase)
Fat Possum

6. Cornershop - Natch
Cornershop & The Double 'O' Groove Of (Purchase)
Ample Play

7. Timber Timbre - Black Water
Creep On Creepin' On (Purchase)
Arts & Crafts

8. Papercuts - White Are the Waves
Fading Parade (Purchase)
Sub Pop

9. Apparat - Ash/Black Veil
Ash/Black Veil (Single) (Purchase)

10. Galapaghost - Never Heard Nothin'
Self Release

11. Beach Fossils - Calyer
What A Pleasure (Purchase)
Captured Tracks

12. Gil Scott-Heron - I'm New Here (Smog)
I'm New Here (Purchase)

13. Starfucker - Hungry Ghost
Reptilians (Purchase)

14. Tune-Yards - Powa
W H O K I L L (Purchase)

15. Eric Burdon & The Animals - Good Times
Ceremony - Soundtrack (Purchase)

16. Bass Drum of Death - Get Found
GB City (Purchase)
Fat Possum

17. Lyle Workman - New Hope
Win Win - Soundtrack (Purchase)
Mom + Pop

18. Arcade Fire - Suburban War
The Suburbs (Purchase)

19. Explosions in the Sky - Last Known Surroundings
Take Care, Take Care, Take Care (Purchase)
Temporary Residence

FoundTrack - April - May '11 MixTape (Zip File)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Foodie Fridays: Berlin Currywurst

"Don't forget to get a photo of the empty plate," said co-owner Hardeep Manak, of Berlin Currywurst in Silver Lake. I was about to walk away with my DSLR in hand, but turned back for one last shot.

I wasn't surprised when I learned that Hardeep was rising in the ranks of the marketing world in Berlin not long before he and his wife, Lena, quit their 9-5 jobs to pursue their dream of owning a restaurant in Los Angeles.

Today their vison has been realized in the form of a hip, new Sunset Junction dining spot, currently introducing Angelenos to the Berliner street food favorite, currywurst.

The original currywurst was created sixty years ago by a German housewife who used curry and other newly imported spices to concoct a thick, savory sauce. She smothered the chopped traditional German wursts with the spicy ketchup-based curry sauce and served it up with a side of fresh baked bread for soaking up the drippings.

The menu at Berlin Currywurst—which opened in February—pays respect to the storied national dish while also offering more modern interpretations sure to please the sophisticated palates of Angelenos.

Tofuwurst, anyone? Or how about infusing your curry sauce with fruit, garlic, or chipotle flavors? The degree of spiciness can be tailored as well, from 1 ("Berlin Calling") to 4 ("Break the Wall").

On our visit, Shevin and I indulged in two varieties: the paprikawurst and the veal and pork wurst. The former was spicy with a punch of garlic and a hint of smokiness. Both varieties were grilled to perfection, with a snappy crunch with each bite into the casing.

Topped with minced onions and a sprinkling of spices, the golden hand-cut fries pair nicely with the spicy currywurst.

According to Hardeep and Lena, not only do their "hearts beat for currywurst," but also for sunny California. If the quality, flavors, and friendly service are any indication, I think they'll be enjoying the LA sunshine for years to come.

Dining at Berlin Currywurst and meeting this couple will certainly inspire you to search for airfare to Berlin when you return to your laptop. Perhaps you'll even entertain the idea of following in their brave footsteps by opening up a fusion taco truck in one of Berlin's arts districts. Both Hardeep and Lena think German appetites would gladly welcome the exchange.

Berlin Currywurst, 3827 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026. 323.663.1989,, MAP.

COMING SOON on Foodie Fridays:
We'll be going on a Latin spice food tour!

Suggestions? Mail to: foodiefridays at foundtrack dot com