You may vaguely recall Róisín Murphy from as early as the nineties or more recently in 2000. Her Irish voice humidly nestled amidst the infectious house and dance beats of “Sing it Back“, a track that followed suit with much of the British house music scene reigned by acts like Artful Dodger and Basement Jaxx. Fast forward to present day and Moloko has disbanded, and house music seems to have sort of remained on the shelf with the brash bass lines of Dub step taking precedence. Yet Ms. Murphy’s musical career stands, making notable impressions on the scene. She possesses some remarkable, deep vocal chords, her range is contralto which complements her mysterious persona. And while the work may be best described as having a knee-jerk musical presence, she has only released two albums to date, Ms. Murphy never ceases to impress when she does surface, crafting some very brilliant sounds.
Most prolific of her work to date is this year’s collaboration with Luca C & Brigante. Famous for their Balearic beats, the Italian duo could not have formed a better partnership. Ms. Murphy’s vocals on the track are both melancholic and muscular, glittering alongside “Flash of Light’s” apocalyptic beats.
If we are putting together that list of resolutions we all know and love, how about adding nothing-with-skulls-on-it-please to that checklist? Since the late Alexander McQueen released his skull-print silk scarves to the world, skulls have become, like birds on things, humdrum and rather overused.
This is by no means a recommendation to rid yourself of everything with a skull on it (although if you possess more than 2 or 3 items, you may want to think about it), but rather an appeal to designers and fast fashion retailers to consider some other pattern or icon to prey on.
Over the last few years Chef Marcus Samuelsson has become one of the most sought-after food personalities. A media darling, he’s had his fair share of sincere praise be it from the Obamas, newspapers, or the Internet. While naysayers may scoff and consider the space an expression of restaurant imperialism, Red Rooster is an important addition to Harlem; reviving, as opposed to gentrifying, a vibrant neighborhood deficient of the food burgeon that is synonymous with New York City.
The space is expansive and bright with a substantial bar. But it is also colorful, retaining elements easily attributed to a Harlem aesthetic. Notable is the art, a gallery of frames assumed to be of Samuelsson’s family, decorates the bathroom’s walls and a bird wearing red canvas sneakers will undoubtedly bring forth a smile to wondering eyes assessing the space.
The food, of course, contributes wholeheartedly to the experience. The Bloody Mary here is smokey and spicy. The cornbread lives to the hype. With actual pieces of corn, it comes warmed with butter and a fragrant tomato spread. The mac and cheese is fine, easily recreated and even perfected at other places. However, the fried chicken is uniquely brittle, moist, and delicious. The catfish which comes with creamy shrimp grits and collard greens is outstanding. Order the parmesan fries to share, or just for yourself. They are more salty than cheesy, a subtle, but delightful update on the fried potato. Best of all, if you are lucky, you might get to see Mr. Samuelsson himself wearing a dazzling pair of high tops.
310 Lenox Ave
(between 125th St & 126th St)
New York, NY 10027
Tom Ford is the catalyst behind the latest phenomenon that is the patterned blazer. Mr. Ford showed bold and daring prints in both his men and women’s collections in 201o and 11 consecutively. Now the style is flowing into the fast fashion stream.
The challenge with bedazzling a classic piece like a blazer is that often the results seem too trendy; much better suited if you were auditioning to host Dancing with the Stars or an evening of televised co-hosting with Graham Norton. Yet every now and then, you’ll find this treatment in just the right amount of vitality and glamour, updating your look, bringing forth texture and visual interest to your ensemble.
Topman nailed it with this Black Jacquard Skinny Blazer retailing for $248.
Asos, the online purveyor of fashion nailed it with this simple, graphic, tee. Fine for a casual affair but also quite stylish when paired with a suit, or your favorite denim.
It’s not a Goyard. But then again it’s not $800, and although diminutive, it packs a zest that’s suitable for daily use. Slim, it won’t snag your silhouette and make sure you reconsider carrying that unnecessary rewards card you never use.