Monday, October 30, 2006

Music is the Best!

So since tomorrow is going to be spent packing and running around like maniacs for an early morning Wednesday flight to Texas, Julie, Eric and I decided to have a "Have an Awesome Successful West Coast Tour" lunch together at Morimoto, the ridiculously cool restaurant featured above. Damn I wish I had a photograph of the huge hologram on the wall as you enter to post here, but, you get the idea just by looking at the interior where we ate.

What can I say. There's a reason Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton and the like dine at Morimoto when their tours bring them to Philadelphia. It's like nothing you've ever seen; the food is INSANE. And um, yeah, for those on a budget, forget it...lunch for the three of us, without alcohol, was triple digits. But oh my God, so, so worth it.

Eric, who is hardcore vegetarian, started off with the cold vegetable and creamy tofu salad, which was like eating a veggie cheesecake without the dairy. It was so sick Julie and I kept reaching over the table with our chopsticks and stealing bites. Julie and I were actually less adventurous which is very rare -- we split a roasted eel and avocado roll which we deemed to be the absolute best we've ever had, and that counts stellar restaurants we've visited in both San Francisco and Seattle. Julie, who is a vegetarian who eats seafood (yeah, I know), ordered a smoked bronzino salad, which was a huge heap of greens with not only fresh raw fish but smoked strips of bronzino that actually looked and tasted like bacon. Eric's main course was udon noodles with ginger, sesame, and scallions in a home made soy based sauce; I wimped out on anything more adventurous because they had fresh artic char which I adore and it was it came with miso soup which included that creamy, in house made tofu in huge was a like a warped version of french onion soup. But it was the dessert that really got us...Julie had a slab of fudge topped with brown sugar gelato, chopped banana ganache, and a banana tuille...I had marscapone wasabi tiramisu (don't even try to picture it...just know that it was the best dessert I've ever had in my life)...Eric had a chocolate caramel parfait which was really two thick Belgian chocolate cookies held together with frozen chocolate mousse and green tea caramel, dotted with a blood orange drizzle.

Right now I'm so full I may never eat again.

And if you believe that...

Okay, what else. Let's see. For the past week, I've been struggling to write my first CD review, and if this were the old days, I'd be surrounded by a thousand sheets of crumpled papers. I suck as a music critic. I don't know how to do it without coming off like a pompous poseur. I only know that I'm a music fanatic and every once in a while -- though alas a lot less these days thanks to the music industry being what it is -- a CD comes along which moves my soul to the point where I want to listen to it exclusively...and even better, it makes me want to write, have sex, call all my friends and make them buy it...and well, that's my gut reaction to View by Bryan Beller. By the way, please click on the link for View even if you aren't flush right now, because it's got great sources for ordering CDs on line.

Anyway, as I struggled to find the right words to describe the CD and sound like the hell I know what I'm talking about (musically, that is), I went to Bryan's site to see if I could read any prior reviews which would help me out, and I ended up instead reading what Bryan himself had written about the CD...and trust me, I'm not taking the easy way out...what he had to say is so fucking interesting I'm posting the link here...and just to whet your appetites, the following excerpt:

"Writing and recording a solo album was the absolute last thing on my mind in the summer of 2002. I'd just hiked Mt. Whitney and was thinking about buying a house - that's how far away my mind was from any kind of creative musical output. But like a lot of good things, it all came to me when I wasn't looking for it.

I was down in San Diego in August of 2002, doing some recording for Mike Keneally's upcoming 2004 release (working title: Dog). Since I was down for the weekend anyway, I brought my bike along with me and decided to go riding in the hills of a small mountain town called Alpine. Somewhere along the ride, a melody popped into my head. Ten minutes later, there was a second part to go along with it. I turned around and headed back to my Motel 6 to see if I could remember what I'd heard.

I had my Taylor acoustic/electric with me. I also had a little microcassette recorder I carried with me, in case I got any literary ideas I wanted to capture. So I turned the thing on "record" and played the melody. Then I played the harmony while the melody played back through the worst little speaker you've ever heard. The idea became the core for the first track on the record, "Bear Divide."

It suddenly hit me that I was going to have to buy a digital multi-track recorder and see if this was an isolated incident or not..."

And if for some strange reason I haven't tempted you to click on the above links, well, here's a photo of the extremely good looking Bryan:

Still undecided? Well then, go have a listen and get yourself a free download right here.

Let me know what you think, okay? Bryan's a kindred spirit and I'm hoping to catch him playing in person sooner rather than later.

I actually met Bryan in cyberworld via my son, Eric, who recently played a gig with him and Mike Keneally (another musical monster and more on him in a future post). Which brings me to my next comment - how cool it is to have a blog which connects me with incredible people all over the world.

My latest acquaintenance comes via my usual daily blog stalking. I saw that the same blog which I linked a few days ago and called me a Rock and Roll Mama (ha) picked up the Wal-Mart piece I wrote last week and here I am again!. I really like his treatment of my story but I got nervous over his'll see what I mean if you go over and have a look. Anyway, the fellow who runs the site emailed me to give me a heads up and of course I wrote back and told him I'd already found it...anyway, after a few emails it turns out we have bizarre things in common ...but more importantly, don't just read the article about me...he's got incredibly cool things in his blog, even a recipe I printed out for chick pea curry.

Anyway, he's one of "us"...I'm just happy there are some of us loving liberals -- you know, people who would like to see Rush Limbaugh and his listeners hanging by their testicles in Times Square. (Well, testicles if applicable...if not, use your imagination)...I know I'm a week late to this controversy but don't think I haven't been ranting and raving for days that said asshole is still on the radio and not in jail and worse, that he's got an legion of idiots tuning in and nodding their moronic heads in agreement.

Oh, and by the way. I hope all of you are boycotting CBS. Don't know why? Google the Dixie Chicks. And for god sakes, go see their new documentary. I don't like country music as a rule, but Natalie is my hero.

Oh well. More tomorrow. Still waiting for approval of my domain transfer (still don't know what I'm talking about but I'm quoting an email I got) so the new site still isn't ready to go live but I have the link for the mock-up (if that's the term) and it's so awesome...I'm really excited.

But...I'm really gonna miss my kids. The next time I see them again after tomorrow will be like Thanksgiving. Arghhhh......