From music to cookies to piano ditties to boxer shorts, here is what we're talking about in the OnMilwaukee.com editorial offices this week. Use the Talkback feature to let us know what you think of our picks and if you'd like to add some of your own, e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Menomena's "Friend and Foe" (Barsuk) -- Here's a band that you probably don't know, but should. The Portland, Ore., trio debuted in '03 with "I Am The Fun Blame Monster" and just last week released "Friend and Foe," their third, and most excitingly creative effort. If we're playing the name game, I'd say fans of TV on the Radio's "Return To Cookie Mountain" will find this album's intense vocals and mountains of percussion especially pleasing to the ears. Random Milwaukee connection: The intricately sketched album art was created by Milwaukee native Craig Thompson (who now lives in Portland). -- Julie Lawrence.
Nilla wafers topped with Nutella -- When the 6-year-old asked for "those cookies that taste really good with my vanilla pudding," I figured she was talking about Nillas. After dunking a few in milk one day, the child lost interest in the Nabisco treat and returned her attention to leftover Halloween candy. I grabbed the Nillas out of the pantry, noticed a jar of Nutella nearby and figured "What the heck." The hazelnut spread on top of the cookie proved to be the best dessert combo since Oreos topped with peanut butter. -- Drew Olson.
Ruby red & ruby red -- My bartender husband is always concocting new spirits for me to sample, and recently he introduced me to Absolut Ruby Red mixed with ruby red grapefruit juice. As a long-time grapefruit juice lover, this drink put me in my own private Florida -- complete with a pleasant, fruity buzz. This would also make a great brunch drink on weekends or as a breakfast alternative on imminently stressful weekdays. -- Molly Snyder Edler.
Lucille's Rockin' Pianos -- Not the ordinary piano bar. Lucille's, 1110 N. Old World 3rd St., is always hopping. You can hear everything from Billy Joel to Sublime to Justin Timberlake throughout the night. There are always two pianists on stage to thrill the crowd, plus they love to add a little dirty humor to the songs. Bring a friend or two, especially if it's their birthday, and you can send them up on stage to get a special song and "Happy Birthday." It's an experience to remember and it'll make you want to go back. -- H.L.
Old Navy boxer shorts -- OK, guys, when was the last time you rummaged through the underwear draw and weeded out the fading favorites with holes, loose stitching and elastic with too much elasticity? If it's been a while, head to Old Navy and restock. The boxers are durable, comfortable and come in classic color combinations and they are cheap (usually $8.50 a pair or $6 each if you buy in bulk). Go nuts and pick up a special pair for Valentine's or St. Patrick's. If you don't get lucky, at least you won't have to worry about being embarrassed if you get in one of those car accidents mom warned you about. -- D.0.
LoveSacs -- I admit that when this shop opened in Mayfair Mall a few years ago, I thought it was ridiculous. Especially the name, I mean, COME ON. However, recently I received one of these massive "bean bags" filled with durafoam, and I gotta say, I'm now a believer in the Sac. It's quite possibly the most comfortable television-watching nest on the planet. Plus, it has a retro, olive green cover that gives it a much better look than other "bag" chairs. Now, if only I still had my college bong. -- M.E.
Bowling at the Polish Falcon -- Did you know that the bowling alley in the basement of the Polish Falcon is the oldest in the entire country? It's true, and as you descend the stairs from the bar, it's as if time has stood still for decades. It costs $2 per person, per game and shoes will set you back another buck. Brush up on your scoring skills because there's no fancy electronic score keeping system here; it's just you and a paper score sheet. The six lanes are only open to the public on Wednesday nights until 11 p.m. Game on! -- J.L.
Admirals and Wave games, especially the matinees -- At a fraction of the price of a Brewers or Bucks ticket, you can watch great athletic talent in comfortable venues for a great value. The Wave players are among the best around when it comes to the indoor game and you never know what soon-to-be NHL player will be suited up for the Admirals. In the last few years we were treated to the play of Jordin Tootoo, Ryan Suter (the No. 1 overall pick in the NHL draft in 2005), Scottie Upshall, Hobey Baker winner Tony Hrkac, and Greg Classen. Wave veteran Michael King, who recently scored his 700th goal, is a local sports icon and Keith Tozer is the winningest coach in the history of indoor soccer. It may be awhile before the so-called "big boys" in town win a championship, but the Admirals and Wave are a threat now. -- Kevin Brandt.