Since last week’s hypothesis about a possible correlation between people’s tastes for food and music, I’ve traveled to San Francisco and back. But throughout my travels, I kept finding further fuel for my theories. Before you start thinking I’ve really gone off the deep end this time and have turned into some sort of crank synaesthesiologist, read me out.
Reading Frank Bruni’s hysterical New York Times rant about chefs during my flight out immediately reminded me of similar diatribes about conductors. But his description of diners unwilling to endure fixed-menu multi-course meals also brought to mind people who can’t bear multi-movement works and folks who prefer shuffling individual songs on their iPods to experiencing full carefully-crafted albums.
Then came the awful airplane meal—everyone had only one choice: a soggy cheeseburger. An odd choice for 2007 where one assumes a greater sensitivity to vegetarians, folks keeping Kosher, or people concerned with eating too much red meat or carbs. But then again, the music selections offered on flights also reflect a bizarre insensitivity to the plethora of passenger’s tastes. On the airline’s entertainment channels there still is the last vestige of the former mainstream—from top 40 pop to greatest hits classical (all the dead European guys)—so why not dish out cheeseburgers!
Once in the Bay Area I maintained my de rigeur regiment of concert going, book and record shopping, meals and drinks, meetings, and walking all over. As usual, I sought out weird food and drink items I’d never before experienced with the same gusto I muster when seeking out new music. Some epicurean highlights: garlic-infused white wine from the legendary Stinking Rose; the hottest guacamole I’ve ever eaten from the Tacqueria Cancun; and red sake (made from red rice) at a fabulous sushi restaurant called Tsunami (hopefully named before December 2004). The amazing culinary possibilities of this part of the world are matched by their adventurous musical offerings. It seems that every place that has a vibrant culinary culture also has a happening music scene.