There is much to be said for the value of authenticity, especially when it comes to food. A few years back, Japanese Ramen joints were popping up in every corner of the city on the crest of a culinary trend. Unsurprisingly, few who sought to ride that wave remain. For ramen enthusiasts, however, there’s a new contender in town, ICHIRAN, whose commitment to serving authentic ramen goes far beyond a bowl of noodles in broth.
In the early days of the Covid 19 lockdown, most of us — not just here in Manhattan but around the globe — were spending close to 24 hours a day in our homes. It was during this time that photos began appearing on the Internet and Instagram depicting places like Times Square and other generally heavily-populated ‘tourist destinations’ in states of complete abandonment. It was as if civilization as we know it had ceased to exist, and our cities been left to the elements. The world was looking more apocalyptic by the day. The only thing missing were the zombies.
Do you dig comfort foods like loaded potato skins or loaded baked potatoes? If so, then you might be intrigued to know that the Loaded Potato Pancake is a thing that exists. I discovered this decadent fried delight when I visited Junior’s Restaurant in Times Square with my friend Jamie last week for a post-theater snack, and I was blown away by its extreme tastiness. Seriously; I am going to be talking about it for the rest of my life.
If you are not fortunate enough to live near a Junior’s, and you would like to try and emulate the Loaded Potato Pancake at home, here is what I believe you must do. First, make a huge potato pancake with shredded potato and onions, and fry it until it is golden and crisp. For your potato pancake to taste as insanely delish as Junior’s, the onions will need to get very crispy, so that they add a sweet crunch when you bit into it. Next, top the pancake with a generous portion of cheddar cheese (guideline: there is no such thing as too much cheese), and, if needed, melt the cheese with a brief pass under a broiler. After that, you can sprinkle the cheesey goodness with crispy bacon, and top with a dollop sour cream and fresh chives. Et Voilà! Enjoy!
If you look back over the Video Clip of The Week entries that have graced this space so far in 2019, you could almost make a case for arguing that The Rock is making some kind of a low-focus comeback. I’m not one to get my hopes up or anything, but let’s assume that this is officially the case with the band featured in this weeks’ clip: Welsh grunge-revivalists (and — I’m just guessing here — Sex Pistols fans), Pretty Vicious. The tune is “These Four Walls,” and I’m just going to lay all of my cards on the table right now and say that this song is arguably one of the most contagious anthems of youthful rebellion since the original band called Alice Cooper announced that, “Schools Out Forever, Bitches” — or something like that.
There are those who will claim that knowing how to actually sing and play your instruments is overrated, and not a requirement for making good music, but those people are idiots. Pretty Vicious are not ashamed to have chops up the ass, starting with singer Brad Griffiths’ robust snarl that recalls Billy Joe Armstrong as channeled through 999’s Nick Cash — old school! Is it likely that Griffiths even knows who Nick Cash is? Hell no, but the you’re feelin’ it, who gives a shit? Wait for the bridge, where guitarist Tom McCarthy pulls out Slash-worthy leads that are just insane. Driving the engine is drummer Elliot Jones, whose adrenalized, machine gun cadence is so fucking punchy and precise, it will knock you right on your ass. And then there’s “I Am A Fucking Rock Star” bassist Jarvis Morgan (he’s the adorable, pouty blond seen in the photo below), who reminds me fondly of my immortal teenage punk rock crush, which, considering that individual went on to become one of most legendary figures in American punk rock history, can only be seen as a good thing. Because I know how to call them.
Visually, “These Four Walls” is a fast paced, performance-heavy clip, effectively capturing the kinetic live energy of Pretty Vicious on stage, while also peppering the action with documentary-style footage of the band cavorting in NYC’s Times Square. Rock action, urban sleaze, decadence, youth — OMG what a great band!
With appearances at huge UK-based summer rock festivals (Reading and Leeds) already under their not-quite-21-year-old belts, Pretty Vicious are certainly poised to give Greta Van Fleet a run for the money! “These Four Walls” will be available on the band’s highly anticipated debut album due out on Big Machine/John Varvatos Records later this year. Enjoy!
The New Year’s Eve tile above is part of Times Square Times: 35 Times, a public artwork commissioned from Ceramic sculptor Toby Buonagurio by the MTA Arts for Transit. It is permanently installed in illuminated presentation windows embedded in the glass block passageway walls throughout the Times Square – 42nd Street Subway Station. The artworks are owned by the MTA New York City Transit. However you choose to celebrate this evening, have fun , be safe and stay cozy warm!
Happy New Year and All The Best for 2019!