Cocktail of the Week: EOS’ Blackberry Basil Cooler

Photo by Nik Blaskovich
By Ted Mills, News-Press Correspondent
November 30, 2007 10:45 AM
When my cocktail partners and I have felt the need to get funky, we’ve often stepped into EOS, the nightclub on the corner of Haley and Anacapa streets that packs in the crowds every weekend and covers them with a fresh blanket of house beats. We’ve stepped out later, sweaty, danced out, but completely oblivious to the fact that EOS serves up some très gourmet cocktail concoctions. No longer will we make that mistake.
Put this down to bar manager, Ashley O’Brien, who took over the position three months ago, and who has already put her stamp on the establishment. EOS is now one of the few bars in town where the slightly higher drink prices feel deserved — we tasted mixes on our early evening sojourn that we’ve never had anywhere else and we want to try again.

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Soundbytes: Seven Recent CD Reviews for the NewsPress

November 30, 2007 12:00 AM

The Pipettes – We Are the Pipettes
Riotbecki! Gwenno! Rosay! This retro girl-group trio from the UK has been all over YouTube, KCRW, and SXSW since last year, and now their CD has been released by a Stateside label with a different mix and two extra songs. Their lead-off single “Pull Shapes,” like most of the songs, borrows its style from the Shangri-Las and other Phil Spector-produced classics, but with contemporary post-feminist concerns in the lyrics (sample song titles from later in the album “Sex”, “One Night Stand” and “Dirty Mind.”) The Pipettes’ harmonies stay true to their British roots, although sometimes you can squint your ears and swear it’s the B-52s. Sunny and bright as well as cheeky and knowing, this might not be brilliant stuff for the ages, but it can’t help but bring a smile to the lips.

Radiohead – In Rainbows
OK, computer, now how much would you pay? Radiohead’s long-awaited follow-up to the just-average “Hail to the Thief” is currently a pay-what-you-think Internet download with 160 kbps quality sound and no cover art. Beat heavy and funky in places, “In Rainbows” dips into Krautrock (“Bodysnatchers”), shuffling, spaced-out hip-hop (“Reckoner”), and echo-laden shoegazing (the beautiful, languid “House of Cards”), against which Thom Yorke’s plaintive voice struggles with basic human relationships yet again (oh, but we wouldn’t have it any other way). Light on stand-out melodies, but heavy on intricate production from Nigel Godrich, “In Rainbows” is no “Kid A,” but should expand and develop over time in concert.

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Dance Article: UCSB Fall Dance Concert 2007

Dancer Melissa Ullom, Photo by Stuart K. McDaniel
ONSTAGE : Velvet overground – Betrayal, disaster and idealism emotionally compete in UCSB Dance Concert
By Ted Mills, News-Press Correspondent
November 30, 2007 10:12 AM

This weekend’s dance concert, “Through Darkness and Light,” not only marks the opening of the 2007-2008 season of student dance performances at UCSB, but is a send-off for a select group of dancers, under- and post-grads, as they make their way to Beijing for a special series of concerts. More on that later, though. The trip would not be happening if not for the work of the dancers and choreographers shown in the seven pieces this weekend.
The last time we saw faculty choreographer Valerie Huston’s work was a year ago with “Tête à Tête,” which shares some themes and ideas with her latest creation, “The Velvet Touch.” Like “Tête,” this work revisits an early version of the choreography and deals with two characters who may or may not be aspects of the same person.

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Theater Article: Four Sisters, Four Seasons

ONSTAGE : The ‘Sister’ experiment – Local director shapes actors and a play out of her life experience
By Ted Mills, News-Press Correspondent
November 30, 2007 12:00 AM
“This is not theater in Los Angeles, this is not working with professional actors, but this is really where you have to step up your game.”
Writer and director Trinity Amanda Kesselring feels she’s onto something completely different and challenging with her play “Four Sisters, Four Seasons,” set to debut Thursday at Center Stage Theater.
Her company, Acting Out, gathers together a group of non-actors and gives them an opportunity to shine in a venue very few of them would have considered.

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Flock, Vector Maker, and a simple Address Book/iCal birthday tip

I spent way too much time today playing around with Flock, a web browser that threatens to supplant Firefox for all-over Web 2.0 goodness. I’m still deciding whether it’s too crowded and busy to do so, but as someone who is constantly checking Flickr and Facebook, its incorporation of friends and feeds into a left-hand column is totally ace. Add to that the ability to click-drag-and-drop a web photo onto a friend icon and send that to them…add to that a Flickr uploader…add to that the incorporation of most Firefox extensions…add to that my being able to blog on the browser from within the browser and…well, it’s pretty cool. Check it out here.
I also checked out this completely free and versatile web-based Vector Graphic maker at Stanford that will convert a bitmap image to vectors for Illustrator. Crazy. This used to be the domain of Adobe Streamline (remember that?) but this does it within the browser, offers three levels of detail and three export options (png, evs, and svg). I ran one of my cartoons through it and it handled the line and color work nicely. See that here.
And finally, maybe this is just me, but I had no idea that a simple checkbox in iCal’s general preferences populated your calendar with birthdays of all that have them listed in Address Book. So I did so.