Music, Food and Wine… A Whole Lot of Thanks for 2011

It’s hard to believe that 2012 is just around the corner… Time is flying way too fast and another year has come and gone.  The lyrics to “Time” by Pink Floyd come into a dark  perspective…

“Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day

You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.”

And the ones that especially slay me…

“And then one day you find

Ten years have got behind you.

No one told you when to run,

You missed the starting gun.”

I’m especially glad this song is attributed to all four members of the band, as some recent discoveries about Roger Waters has left me quite sad and most definitely not a fan of his politics nor the way he would “view” me.  Not going to think about that right now… Another time… Sigh…

This is about thanks… true thanks… Focusing in the positive.

The goal for the New Year is always the same… great health, great love, great laughs and great happiness for me and my family and friends… and of course, great success for us all.  I am hoping to be more focused, more aggressive and more willing to put it all on the line for my dreams… Deep down I know that my happiness is contagious and will lead to joy and better things for all around me.

But in the meantime I can take comfort in the love that surrounds me.  I have a fantastic family and group of friends, new and old… I have love and relatively good health… elbow, back and larger than I’d like gut aside… and I have music… So here is my just-fresh-out-of-the dryer, laundry list… Some highlights… It is still warm and cozy and reminds me of when I was a child and found great comfort in lying on a pile of warm laundry… I don’t know… It’s true, so just go with it and don’t analyze me.

FIRST OFF… THANKS TO STEPH AND JULIANNA.  I am not the easiest person a lot of the time… but I will always try to make you laugh and smile… just keep letting me do that.

SECOND… THANKS TO MY FRIENDS, FAMILY AND LOVED ONES!  I truly do have a great family… Just wish you were all closer… You are all so generous to me… Same with my friends… Amazing friends.  We also have great neighbors who are always there and keeping an eye out.  Thanks to all!



For anyone who has shared bands and artists and music with me… thanks!  Dan, Rob, Alan, Tuti, Tawny Rene… This has been a great musical dialogue.

There is soooo much great music I have been listening to this year, and my favorite albums of 2011 will be posted tomorrow… but here are the standouts…

Trashcan Sinatras – It’s been a few years since my buddy Rob introduced me to this “Legendary Scottish Band” and I still love them!!!  I also had the pleasure of seeing them live twice this year!  Awesome!!!

Ben Folds – I have been a fan since I first heard him back on KSCA years and years ago… before anyone knew who he was. Seeing him live this year and relishing in the new, 3-CD retrospective has only increased my love… Although, he did not do a lot of my favorite songs at the Wiltern, so we need to discuss that, Ben!

Thirteen Senses – I have been selling you on this band for a while… Their new album, Crystal Sounds came out this year and is astounding…

My Morning Jacket  – I saw them play two shows this year and also went to the taping of Conan they did.  Circuital is in my top albums of 2011 (Where???  You’ll have to check back and see…) and the band is exploding… which makes me happy that I was on board before all the hoopla.  I did not become a devotee as fast as my brother, Dan… but now agree that this may very well be the best live band out there… Not a lot of flash, just amazing musicians and songs delivered with fire and passion.

Clarence Clemmons – His passing knocked the wind out of me, literally… and I will miss him greatly.

Bruuuuuuuuce… and the news that he will be touring again in 2012!  His shows are as close to a religious and spiritual experience as you can have and just make you feel so alive and invincible… I will be taking my daughter to this tour.

100.3 The Sound and all my wonderful new friends who either work at the station or are from the Sound Backstage!  Hi Amanda, Beverly, Cathy, Denise, Denise, Karla, Karla, Mark, Michelle, Mike, Robert, Sarah, Sue and Tatiana… Hope I did not miss anyone… .

Larry, Sheri, Andy, Mimi Julie and Rita rock us so well.  So do Chris, Eric, Sam, Dave and Fred.  Plus… Getting to guest DJ on “Your Turn” and playing music that means so much to me… well… that means so much to me.  Thanks.

DJ Julie Slater’s new show Out on a Limb on 88.5 WCSN… She is introducing me to songs and bands I have never heard and is open to suggestions as well… She played Phosphorescent’s “Los Angeles” after I told her about them.  That is just cool as shit.

KCRW… Although I have a major issue with NPR and the bias they are now showing, KCRW is one of the treasures of LA and has also given me many new bands and artists to love.


Brothers Restaurant at Mattei’s Tavern in Los Olivos – Go before March so you can enjoy your meal in their historic old building.  They are moving down the street.  Everything about this place is top-notch… and everyone from the chef/owners (Jeff and Matt) to our amazing server Lisa to Danielle at the front to the bus boy are so kind and gracious and respectful.  It was one of the best dining experiences I have ever had!  And Jeff, thanks for the cookbook.  It is fantastic and was such a kind gesture.

Hamasaku – I don’t know when I’ll be able to afford to go back, but thanks to my good buddy Russ, I had the pleasure of having some amazing rolls and the best piece of salmon I have EVER had… It was literally melt in your mouth (I hate how cliché that has become, but it was true.) SUBLIME!!!


A trip to Santa Ynez and Los Olivos proved to be most rewarding with new discoveries…

Artiste – Robert will take great care of you, pouring some fabulous wines in a wonderful, art-filled space.  He is the kind of guy you just want to hang out with… very cool and easy-going.  Everything about this room is soothing and comforting and fun!

Carhartt – Right on the main drag, this tiny tasting room… and I mean tiny… is so worth crowding into.  They have a cute little outdoor patio in the back and the wines, the guest and the folks pouring are fantastic.  I have not met Brooke yet, but Mike was so great to hang with.

Ken Brown – Don’t expect a fancy tasting room… you have to make an appointment and you taste in his office… but Ken Brown is one of the most famous and knowledgable wine makers in the region.  His wines are delicious and he will also quench your thirst for knowledge on the area.


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