Thursday, 31 January 2008

from Nicola to my wedding

i thought for the first time i would describe one of my rides in the cyberspace.
sometimes when I am about to go to bed i get dragged into the cyberspace by one reason or another.
for example, this time, i was cleaning the mailbox when i saw this email from Nic, a message from his last.fm account: it was a bunch of flamenco music. one of the song was by Paco Pena, one of the most famous flamenco guitarist still alive.
I got curious to see him playing live so I went to Youtube.com where I immediately found a lot of video with paco pena, and I choose one. it was a performance on tv probably from the early 80's.

I watched several video, until a search with Paco Pena returned , I don't know why, Santana in Woodstock playing (Soul sacrifice).
While I was watching it,I became curious about the line up of this Santana band in 1969, especially the drummer who looked familiar.
It turned up to be Michael Shrieve, and no, there was no reason for him to look familiar, never heard of him. Sorry.

I searched more Santana live on youtube, but didn't find much of interest, a concert in Santo domingo from the 80's with the public shouting so loud they were actually louder than the band.

Then I got thinking to my favorite Santana's song, and that must be Black Magic Woman, so i looked for a live version and I found a couple: this one and this one, which is my favorite.
One of the related videos was this one, with a title of "Peter Green & Santana - Black Magic Woman [Poddighe Version] ".
Now this was a real jigsaw. Who is Peter Green? and what has he got to do with Santana e with BMW (oops? Black Magic Woman!).
Well, I discovered that Peter Green created the Fleetwood mac and he actually wrote this song that I like so much. See Wikipedia.
Now the last mystery was the band playing in this video. They did sound not super pro, but they didn't sound like complete amateur either.
A search on "Poddighe" was to answer this last question: it's a band from italy, which explains the "Grazie" at the end.
Actually, if you read their website, it's more like a cluster of bands and musicians gravitating around a recording studio.
Poddighe is a band with 2 configurations: the power trio (seen on youtube) and the acoustic duo (unplugged?).
Anyway to cut to the chase, I have decided that if I get married, I will book Poddighe power trio as band for live music. Che storia!
buona notte!


Wednesday, 30 January 2008

facebook, paypal and the CIA

after reading this article, I will certainly make sure, even more, to stay away from facebook!
and even more from paypal!

Monday, 7 January 2008

My London restaurants review: Buen Ayre, Hackney, London

WebSite
Broadway Market
E8 4QJ London

Friends visiting from Perugia, Italy; they would like to go to one of the infamous grilled meat franchised restaurants, in Soho!
I need to get creative, find an alternative.
First of all I check the reviews for the requested restaurant, and in the last 2 months I read consistently of bad experiences, long waits, cold food, wrong orders; plus I remember that when I attended their branch in the City, they used brooms, regulars brooms, to clean the grills; I know those brooms are only used to clean the grill, but still, it felt wrong. And the food was nothing special and the prices very high.
So I dove into the cyberspace, deep down, from the core of the Internet to the edges, until I had a list of some very posh and expensive grilled-meat type of places. And then I found Buen Ayre in Hackney. The location is certainly unusual, and I am sure few people who don't live in Hackney would venture there for food. Yet, I found intriguing to venture in a new area, one of the "dark" areas of London, Hackney, which to me sounds like no tube, night stubbing, gangs, etc..
Once I sold the Buen Ayre to my crew, we hopped on a minicab and off we went crossing from the City into the dark edge of town.
I felt confident thanks to the many positive reviews found in various websites about this restaurant; and also encouraged by the fact that booking was required and the restaurant seemed well busy which is always a good sign.
Ok, enough with the literature and straight to the conclusions:
1) the location is not so bad, although you do see some dodgy characters around;
2) the restaurant is nice and small and cosy, and it does gets busy; I admire the policy of 2 seatings, which spares from having to wait , also because there isn't room in the restaurant (although there is a nice pub nearby);
3) the grill is very nice and the food is prepared and served nicely and the meat kept warm with a minigrill on the table;
4) nice selection of meats and also several vegetarian options; we had a de luxe mixed grill for 2 which was really nice, with sirloin, fillet, black pudding and sausage, all very nice and tasty
5) it looks like they don't put much salt on the meat, which is probably good both for health and taste; but you might want to sprinkle an extra bit of salt;
6) good selection of wines at market prices.
Overall a very positive experience, very good food, very good service and reasonable priced.