Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” Among 2015 Grammy Hall of Fame Inductees

Alice Cooper Full Band
Image Source

Legendary rock anthem “Schools’ Out” by the original band called Alice Cooper is among the inductee recordings for the 2015 Recording Academy’s Grammy Hall of Fame.

(Below Courtesy of Christopher Morris, Variety Dot Com)

The 27 new inductees, which cut across the entire spectrum of musical genres, brings the total list of Hall of Fame titles (both albums and single recordings) to 987. Each year a special member committee determines a group of recordings, at least 25 years old, which exhibit qualitative or historical importance.

Hall of Fame titles are displayed in an interactive exhibit at the Grammy Museum in downtown L.A. This year’s inductees will be commemorated in a collector’s edition book that will also focus on the Grammy Foundation’s Grammy Camp program and its preservation and archiving initiatives.

Recording Academy prexy and CEO Neil Portnow said in a statement, “This year’s Grammy Hall Of Fame entries not only represent a diverse collection of influential and historically significant recordings but also reflect the changing climate of music through the decades. These memorable, inspiring and iconic recordings are proudly added to our growing catalog — knowing that they have become a part of our musical, social, and cultural history.”

The complete list of 2015 Grammy Hall of Fame inductees (listed alphabetically by song title):

“AUTOBAHN”
Kraftwerk
Vertigo (1974)
Album

“BIG GIRLS DON’T CRY”
The 4 Seasons
(Bob Crewe, Bob Gaudio)
Vee-Jay (1962)
Single

“BLOOD ON THE TRACKS”
Bob Dylan
Columbia (1975)
Album

“THE BRIDGE”
Sonny Rollins
RCA Victor (1962)
Album

“CALYPSO”
Harry Belafonte
RCA Victor (1956)
Album

“DANCING QUEEN”
ABBA
(Benny Anderson, Stig Anderson, Björn Ulvaeus)
Atlantic (1976)
Single

“HARVEST”
Neil Young
Reprise (1972)
Album

“HONKY TONKIN’”
Hank Williams And His Drifting Cowboys
(Hank Williams)
Sterling (1947)
Single

“I FOUGHT THE LAW”
Bobby Fuller Four
(Sonny Curtis)
Mustang (1965)
Single

“JITTERBUG WALTZ”
“Fats” Waller, His Rhythm And His Orchestra
(“Fats” Waller)
Bluebird/RCA (1942)
Single

“JOHN PRINE”
John Prine
Atlantic (1971)
Album

“LE FREAK”
Chic
(Nile Rodgers, Bernard Edwards)
Atlantic (1978)
Single

“NEVER MIND THE BOLLOCKS, HERE’S THE SEX PISTOLS”
Sex Pistols
Warner Bros. (1977)
Album

“NICK OF TIME”
Bonnie Raitt
Capitol (1989)
Album

“RESCUE ME”
Fontella Bass
(Raynard Miner, Carl Smith)
Checker (1965)
Single

“SAN ANTONIO ROSE”
Bob Wills And His Texas Playboys
(Bob Wills)
Vocalion (1939)
Single

“SCHOOL’S OUT”
Alice Cooper
(Alice Cooper, Michael Bruce, Glen Buxton, Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith)
Warner Bros. (1972)
Single

“THE SHAPE OFJAZZ TO COME”
Ornette Coleman
Atlantic (1959)
Album

“SIXTY MINUTE MAN”
The Dominoes
(Billy Ward, Rose Marks)
Federal (1951)
Single

“SONGS OF LEONARD COHEN”
Leonard Cohen
Columbia (1967)
Album

“STAND!”
Sly And The Family Stone
Epic (1969)
Album

“STARDUST”
Willie Nelson
Columbia (1978)
Album

“SWING LOW, SWEET CHARIOT”
Fisk Jubilee Singers
(Wallis Willis)
Victor (1909)
Single

“SWING LOW, SWEET CHARIOT”
Paul Robeson
(Wallis Willis)
Victor (1926)
Single

“TELL IT LIKE IT IS”
Aaron Neville
(George Davis, Lee Diamond)
Par Lo (1966)
Single

“TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS”
Otis Redding
(Jimmy Campbell, Reg Connelly, Harry M. Woods)
Volt (1966)
Single

“WALK ON THE WILD SIDE”
Lou Reed
(Lou Reed)
RCA Victor (1972)
Single

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Robot Bunnies By Gigi Chen

Robot Bunnies
All Photos By Gail

In Robot Bunnies — an illustrated story in five panels –artist Gigi Chen tells the intriguing tale of a couple who order a shipment of Robot Bunnies, only to discover that one of the tiny robotic creatures is actually alive.

Robot Bunnies The Touch
The Touch

The Bunny becomes their pet.

Robot Bunnies The Enbaler
The Enabler

But it is a mischievous Bunny.

Robot Bunnies Gimme Back M' Mobile
Gimme Back M’ Mobile

It steals the woman’s cell phone.

Robot Bunnies Look
Look

In the end, I think it becomes a good pet.

On Thursday, December 18th, the Today Show will be filming at the Brooklyn Homeless Shelter, which is the new home of a giant mural project that Gigi completed in less than 6 days! The show will be live on Thursday and will feature clips of Gigi working on the mural, which were filmed last week. See more of Gigi’s Rad Art at Gigi Chen Dot Com!

Restaurant Review: Vis a Vis, French-Inspired Fine Dining in Brighton Beach

Front of House
Photos By Gail and Anne Raso

When you think of visiting Brighton Beach, Brooklyn as a dining destination, what usually comes to mind is enjoying some of the finest Russian cuisine that you can find stateside. The surprise is that there’s a new fine dining restaurant in Brighton Beach called Vis a Vis that specializes in Global Contemporary Cuisine rooted in French techniques, and it’s worth the trip all the way in from Manhattan just to check it out. We dined at Vis a Vis on a Sunday evening just a couple of weeks back, when the restaurant’s doors had only been open for three weeks, and were pleasantly surprised that they already appear to be getting everything right!

Vis a Vis Bar Scene Darker

Vis a Vis features two distinct dining spaces. The front of the house flaunts gorgeous, plush red velvet seating, a lively bar scene and a bit of a night club vibe once the DJ takes over with modern House Music. Sunday Brunch turns into a real party atmosphere and everybody has a great time! We’d recommend making your dinner reservations post 7 PM on a weekend  if you’d prefer a quieter atmosphere, as the music and festivities can bleed over into the equally elegant but considerably calmer adjoining dining room, which looks like this:

Vis a Vis Dining Room

In this refined setting, the focus is very much on excellent food and first class services. At the helm of the Vis a Vis‘ kitchen is multi-award winning Chef Charles Disanayake, who hails from Sri Lanka. Having studied under Anita Lo (Top Chef Masters) at her Michelin-starred Annisa restaurant, Chef Charles has launched multiple restaurants around the world. Aside from his impressive work at Vis a Vis, he is well known for his exclusive New York supper club dinners, and catering services for private and corporate events. Chef Charles‘ creative finesse and finely-honed culinary skills are apparent from the first bite of any dish he prepares as Vis a Vis. It was a great pleasure to meet and speak with him on the evening of our visit.

Chef Charles Disanayake
Chef Charles

The menu offers so many tempting specialties that it was hard to make a final decision on the evening’s dishes, but let me tell you about what we ended up ordering.

Chicken Bacon Lollipops with Sauce

Herb & Pretzel Crusted Chicken & Bacon Lollipops with House Made Ranch ($10). For this fun appetizer, succulent chicken is wrapped in bacon and fried crisp before being rolled in a pretzel crumb coating and baked perfectly. The cool Ranch house dressing is an excellent accompaniment. Everyone in the family will love these.

Chicken Bacon Lollipop
Chicken Bacon Lollipop Detail

Stuffed Zuchini Blossoms

We had heard great things about the Zucchini Blossoms stuffed with Mozzarella and Figs and served with a Mint Chutney ($14) and this dish was just fantastic! The Zucchini Blossoms are tempura battered and quick fried to maintain their delicate texture. The Mint Chutney is the consistency of a pesto sauce, so the flavor is subtle but distinctive, and there are also a few tender chickpeas on the plate. If you’ve not yet tasted fried stuffed Zucchini flowers, you’re in for a treat.

Beet Salad

You can’t go wrong with a roasted beet salad. This one has rosettes of Herb Infused Goat Cheese & Roasted Beets with Micro Greens, Balsamic Pearls, Mandarin Orange Segments and Pecans ($13). The balsamic pearls are what look like Blackberry clusters in the above photo. The crunchy pecans provide a terrific contrast in texture to the tender beets and juicy orange segments. A winning combination of farm-to-table ingredients!

Filet Mignon

For my entree, I could not resist the Steak of The Day, which was a generous, 9 Ounce Filet Mignon served with Grilled Asparagus, Truffled Mashed Potatos and Red Wine Sauce (Market Priced). Absolutely everything about this dish was perfect.

Rib Eye Steak

My dining companion, also being a red meat lover like myself, chose the Rib Eye — which, as you can see from the above photo, is massive. Her Steak was served with Grilled Vegetables and unusual sides such as a Potato Nest with a Foie Gras center, and Cabbage Stuffed with Tomato Rice. This dish is an excellent example of how Chef Charles elevates even the most classic bistro dishes into the realm of haute cuisine.

After a brief respite, it was time for dessert.

Peach Panacotta

If you are so stuffed from your delicious meal that you do not even think you can eat dessert, you will still be able to enjoy this light and luscious Peach Panna Cotta, with Orange Blossom Water and Pistachio Crumbles ($11). I do love a good panna cotta, and this one is excellent.

Beignets Alternate View

Another decadent choice — but perfect for sharing! — is the Bourbon Butterscotch-Filled Cashew & Almond Beignets with Bourbon Ice Milk ($10). How does Chef Charles think of such delicious and unique creations? We do not know, but we would love to return for further investigation.

Vis a Vis features an extensive wine list, and offers elaborate, multi-course banquets for between $100 to $150 per person. Why not consider them as a special destination for your holiday season dining and celebrations?

Vis a Vis Signage

Vis a Vis is Located at 3100 Ocean Parkway (corner of Sea Breeze Avenue), Brooklyn, NY 11235 (Take the Q Train to Brighton Beach). Phone 718-333-0003 for reservations or visit them online at Vis a Vis NY Dot Com.

Cognac Display
Cognac Display

Modern Art Monday Presents: Giorgio de Chirico, The Song of Love

Giorgio de Chirico Song of Love
Photo By Gail

This painting, Giorgio de Chirico’s The Song of Love (1914), brings together incongruous and unrelated objects: the head of a Classical Greek statue, an oversized rubber glove, a green ball, and a train shrouded in darkness, silhouetted against a bright blue sky. By subverting the logical presence of objects, de Chirico created what he termed “metaphysical” paintings, representations of what lies “beyond the physical” world. Cloaked in an atmosphere of anxiety and melancholy, de Chirico’s humanoid forms, vacuous architecture, shadowy passages, and eerily elongated streets evoke the profound absurdity of a universe torn apart by World War I.

Giorgio de Chirico’s The Song of Love is part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. View it in Painting and Sculpture I, Gallery 7, 5th Floor.

Video Clip of The Week: Holiday Mountain, “Motion Sickness”



Heading up to the fabulousness that is Christmas, we are continuing in a Holiday celebratory mood here at The Gig, and thus feel it appropriate to introduce Holiday Mountain, a dance-pop trio from Austin, Texas, who bring on the drug-free hallucinogenic effects with their new video for “Motion Sickness.” Let the Acid Flashbacks begin!

“Motion Sickness” propels itself along aurally on a throbbing, undeniably funky beat that recalls George Clinton’s truly seminal “Automic Dog” – and you can’t lay claim to a much more authentic pedigree than that! I also noticed that, starting at around the 2 minute mark, a bit of what sounds like the theme from the “Inspector Gadget” cartoon works its way into the mix. That may be unintentional, but it totally works.

Holiday Mountain Tree

This clip features the band performing the song inside shifting triangles of light as the camera shifts from zooming close-ups to distant shots, while vocalist Laura Patino cuts a striking figure with her sassy pink tresses and vibrant, original since of festive fashion. For best results, Youtube recommends that you watch the video in full-screen. Be sure to focus your eyes on the center of the screen starting at about 2:40, and the swirling shapes and colors will have an effect on your eyes that lingers for several seconds after the video ends.

Patino offers that “The concept [for the video] was that this would be the first video that makes you trip for free.” She credits the idea to one of the band’s managers, whose film and TV production company, Onion Creek made the clip. Patino’s bandmates are Zander Kagle (Drums/Electric Percussion) and Bradley Will (Electric Bass/Synths).

“Motion Sickness”comes from the band’s upcoming album You Be You, which is due out early in 2015. Enjoy!

Holiday Mountain Band

Snow White Store Window Display, Saks Fifth Avenue

Snow White Store Window
Photo By Gail

It is no secret among residents of NYC that the worst possible place to be in the City — besides Times Square, really, ever — is in the midst of midtown sidewalk shopping traffic during the Holiday Season. Seriously, you might as well just kill yourself. But if you happen to find yourself in that area at this time of year, do fight your way to the Avenue-facing display windows of Saks Fifth Avenue Department Store, because you might see something super cool, like this scene from Snow White, where the Wicked Queen tempts Snow with the Poison Apple. And we all know how that turned out.