My Spotify playlists lean heavily towards classic rock with a side of traditional jazz, mostly for Sunday mornings with the New York Times and an extra mug of coffee. Any new music I’ve been exposed to in the past 20 has come from either students (thanks, Dani and Skrabs!), my sons or, in more recent years, 97.7 WEXT. There’s some good stuff out there and I’m more than open to expanding my musical horizons any time.
I’ve seen a few shows this year that have been, what I consider to be, slightly under the mainstream radar. There were The Suffers at the Egg, The Marcus King Band in Cohoes and St. Paul and the Broken Bones in Asbury Park, each qualifying as not exactly well known, but extremely talented musical groups. Sunday night, I saw another one of these special performances, this time at the Palace.
What happens when you go to a concert, thinking you’re one of the cool kids hip to a great band, only to learn that the rest of the audience is your age or even older? Well, that was my experience this past weekend at the Lake Street Dive show at the Palace Theater. I went into this show assuming the crowd would be trendy and young and I couldn’t have been more wrong because most of the folks were my peers. You know, the well preserved middle aged type.
I can’t claim to be incredibly familiar with Lake Street Dive’s catalog, but I can tell you this – they were awesome and put on a killer show. The band, who have been playing together since meeting as students at the New England Conservatory of Music, plays music that spans multiple genres including Indie Rock, Neo Soul and Alt Jazz. The lead vocalist, Rachael Price has a truly phenomenal voice that she seems to effortlessly unleash, even from a sitting position necessitated by a booted broken foot. Bridget Kearny who slays on upright bass completely blew me away with the sounds she created – and her adorable hot pink booties. The remaining members of the band Mike Olson (on guitar/trumpet), Mike Calabrese (organ and drums) and new member, Akie Bermiss on keyboards.
After attending a huge two-day music fest a few weeks ago, this concert was a warm welcome back to the kind of show I enjoy – one that is local, low key and absolutely danceabley fun. If it hadn’t been a Sunday night, I would have hung out until the bitter end and maybe even waited at the stage door to thank the band for a terrific night out. As it was, I left before the final encore and joyfully hummed my way back to the car. You know me – I’ve always loved a dive.
Sundays in the DelSo tend to be quiet. Newspapers are delivered, coffee is sipped, spontaneous meals are shared, bottles of wine are uncorked. This past Sunday was no exception to this lovely routine. As a matter of fact, the only exception to the DelSo Sunday rule, was how truly exceptionally well my neighbors and I honored the Sunday tradition with simply perfect food and wine.
Like many things, the evening evolved from an offer to share. I had some mussels and some wine, the artists next door had some magical beans that went from being fuzzy and purple to green and tender when cooked. That’s really where we started from.
For the mussels, I softened a diced Vidalia onion and a generous amount of minced garlic in some olive oil. After about 10 minutes, I seasoned the vegetables with salt to taste and added 2 chopped tomatoes, a chipotle pepper, about a cup and a half of white wine and two pounds of mussels. I covered the pot and let the mussels pop open. To finish, I tossed in about a third of a cup of basil, (a combination of both Thai and Italian) and warmed up some crusty bread. I can’t believe I didn’t grab a picture of the mussels, but here’s one of the tomatoes I used.
This German striped heirloom was incredibly sweet.
Once you see the next series of photos, however, you might get an inkling of how I
lost my mind
got distracted. Here’s the evening in wine…We opened with a lovely, dry riesling
from Alsace which cut right through the fire of the mussel’s chili pepper scented broth. I love Alsatian wines and was very happy to share this souvenir from the neighbor’s recent trip abroad. C’est bon!
Our next stop was Domaine Bila Haut Cote du Roussillon, 2010. I think I must have picked this up from Empire
. I believe it was really inexpensive and I know I am happy to have another bottle of this still around.
Next up was this Cote du Rhone. This was another bargain that Ken probably picked up at Capital
and it was nicely balanced and managed to be smooth, yet a little peppery. Tasty. At this point we probably could have stopped, but, it was barely 9:00 and we wanted one last bottle so I closed my eyes and reached into the wine rack.
Let me tell you something – they say you should open with your best bottle and work your way down in quality as your taste buds become desensitized. That was not our method at all! The final bottle was transcendent.
It was meaty and mushroomy and velvety and absolutely delicious. I read some of these notes and, honestly, I don’t know what they were drinking but it wasn’t the same experience we had with this bottle At all. It was a very fine bottle of wine and I couldn’t have been happier than to have shared it with my awesome neighbors on a summer Sunday.