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July 11th, 2013

Salamander Salsa Celebration at Backyard Restaurant and Bar

by Matthew A. Taub

After making fresh salsas, chili and crushed peppers from the hot peppers of small gardens in Rhode Island, followed by concocting impromptu recipes while working for various restaurants in the New York area, Brooklyn entrepreneur Timothy Kavarnos decided to follow his passion and start his own sauce-making business.

Last night Backyard Restaurant and Bar in Park Slope (5th Avenue near 6th Street), helped Tim’s company celebrate its sauces and spread the word about its Kickstarter campaign with a launch party. The event included cocktails featuring Salamander Sauces and a special menu designed to be paired with the sauces.

“As an avid heat seeker, I’ve learned to appreciate the variety of flavors offered by different peppers, and the many ways they can blend with other ingredients,” Tim explains on his company’s Facebook page.” I’ve found, however, that in the majority of hot sauces the fire overwhelms the flavor.”

At last night’s shindig, employees and supporters took pictures and shot videos to help us spread the word, and there were chances win a free bottle of sauce or a Salamander t-shirt. Even if you missed the party, support the company, and get your sauce on!The result, Salamander Sauce Company, is dedicated to creating all natural sauces of distinction, and the recipes have a wonderful depth and complexity.


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June 24th, 2013

Riot of Spring and More at Hillstock

By Matthew A. Taub

Friday was day 1 of Hillstock, an annual music festival in Clinton Hill founded by members of the Never Break Down music collective.

After earlier gigs at the Putnam Triangle Plaza, the evening’s events continued at “Free Candy,” an former-warehouse-turned-art-gallery-slash-part-music-venue-part-nightclub

Bands like The Toothaches got things rolling nicely— hovering over keyboards and other instruments with a dilligent sense of purpose, they nonetheless got the crowd pumped.

Next up were Eskalators, a Brooklyn-based steampunk and vegan musical collective, puppeteering ensemble, and experimental street mime troupe. Known for holding elaborate, public performances, fire poi artistry, and subway flash mobs without the formal written consent of the MTA, on this occasion their lead singer added an ability to simulatenously stage-dive while singing to their repertoire, while other members threw down in the mosh pit, unwieldy instruments in hand:

But the night’s events were by turns raucous and soothing, with a plethora of space for attendees to find their preferred environment:

Concluding the evening was Riot of Spring, a “rock band” ensemble consisting of two keyboardists, four guitars, two basses, drums and percussion, playing The Rite of Spring (Le Sacre du printemps) by Igor Stravinsky (who says the kids aren’t cultured these days?)

The conductor, James Landrum, advised that the ensemble was composed of members primarily from two other bands: Turbosleaze and No One and the Somebodies. Not only did the group only rehearse a couple of times, the performance was pretty much the first time Landrum had conducted. And yet, the result was spectacular.

“Riot of Spring is the brainchild of our third guitarist, creative director, and head arranger Steve Yankou (No One and the Somebodies and TURBOSLEAZE) whose dream this has been for years,” write Landrum in a comment to OTBKB. “He put together the ensemble and we collaborated on the arrangement along with help from our second keyboardist Julian Bennett Holmes. He is not only the impetus, but the very spirit of this piece, and I couldn’t be more proud to work with him.”

Robert Dvorkin, a pianist and teacher in Brooklyn, contributed reporting to this article.

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