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6.28.10 My Top Ten RIGHT NOW

1. FOOD Hotel Griffou

Stepping down an unassuming staircase decked in candlelight you enter a little world unto itself, of rooms within rooms, serving up delicious seafood centered delicacies. The salmon tartar with ponzu was a perfect start, followed by seared scallops made all the more flavorful with the addition of chorizo to the mix. And you cannot skip dessert, especially the key lime pie or the nutella cheesecake. Matched with inventive vodka cocktails, this truly was a delightful meal in a wonderfully lit, intimate setting… A

2. DRINKS Max Fish

This lower east side bar might be a bit too brightly lit, or maybe that’s just the massive amount of stuff that graces the festive painted walls. Serving up good strong cheap drinks along with a pension for PBRs, the music is good, the crowd a bizarre but enjoyable mix reminiscent of old New York before the LES became inundated with bridge and tunnel travesties. A nice choice for a few b-day cocktails with good friends… A

3. SPORTS US vs Ghana

Well, unfortunately the outcome of the game left little to be desired. We seemed highly capable of getting the ball to their side of the field, but sealing the deal with a goal just wasn’t in the cards. All in all it was a fun and galvanizing moment when you could pick up the phone and call any friend to discuss the game. Hmm, maybe this is why people watch and enjoy following sports regularly… A

4. TV Hot in Cleveland

Thank god for Betty White. While the rest of the actresses on this show have proven their comedic acting chops on numerous sitcoms over the years, this show hasn’t quite found a comedic heart, possibly due to its retro concept and daring to film in front of a live studio audience. Things just haven’t quite clicked here, but a good bawdy one liner from White and you find yourself willing to forgive many a flaw for a quick thirty minutes… B-

5. ALBUM The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

It’s yet another mix of gloomy songs from excellent emo artists. This third collection doesn’t quite match the listening pleasure of the second, but with new works from Florence + The Machine, The Black Keys, Band of Horses and of course, Muse, you can’t go wrong. Appropriately enough, Vampire Weekend gets in on the action pushing their sound into a more interesting symphonic realm. But my vote is for the new heartbreaking track from Sia, a haunting ballad perfectly matched to her evocative performance… B+

6. TV Boston Med

I tuned into this new ABC show in the hopes that it would repeat the same thrill I got watching Houston Medical so many years ago, in which every single episode had me in tears. Unfortunately this show takes more cues from the fictional Gray’s Anatomy, thinking a bit too much of quick dramatic stories rather than letting the characters breath and develop over the course of the season and shoehorning in music illogically throughout the episode. I’m hoping something more develops here over the summer season… C+

7. ALBUM Infinite Arms Band of Horses

It’s quite clear when listening to tracks like “Older,” that Band of Horses can be surprisingly pop-oriented and almost commercial radio friendly. This album is filled with good listening, not totally divorced from previous efforts, but certainly making a stab at a more mainstream and agreeable vibe. Just take a listen to “On My Way Back Home” and try not to be swept up into the enjoyableness. All in all, an excellent 12 tracks of good listening…A-

8. TV Royal Pains

I’m not sure if I actually like this show, or if I just like the fact that it’s something new to watch during a summer filled with reruns. Mark Feuerstein is certainly a captivating leading man in his everyman way, and the supporting cast is decent, but I’m not sure any single storyline has truly held me. I do appreciate the inclusion of Christine Ebersole playing to her strengths and the always oddly delightful Henry Winkler. Summer or not, I do seem to be watching it… B

9. ALBUM All You Need Is Mud KT Tunstall

It’s not exactly fair to include this album seeing as it really isn’t an album at all. Rather, this is a mix I created off of a live DVD that was released with KT’s last CD. This little 7 song EP I put together is so much better than the album she released that I find myself coming back to it often. I mean, you can’t really go wrong with a Chaka Khan and Jaskson 5 cover. By the way, whatever happened to KT? I wouldn’t mind a new, good, album from her… A

10. MOVIE Puccini For Beginners (2006)

This was an oddly delightful look at neurotic love in NYC from the perspective of a lesbian who manages to get serious with both a man and a woman. Nothing particularly original here, but thanks to nice performances from Gretchen Mol, Justin Kirk and especially the very talented Elizabeth Reaser who seems to be popping up everywhere today, the movie becomes very watchable. There are a few too many quirky moments just for the sake of quirkiness, but there’s something very genuine in all of it… B

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