best sounds {2012}

marimbas + minimalism in a field
punch brothers at town hall
iron and wine at ravinia
2012 was themes on a variation of not being in school: exploring what happens when monday and thursday mornings aren't devoted to symphonies, when i don't have excerpts to shed, when genres can collide and people can pee on stage. it was fantastic and eye-opening and i can safely say that despite a popular belief among the percussion studio during my last year of school when i spent more time eating burgers than playing cymbals, i won't be quitting music any time soon. the following list includes just a few of the musical experiences that demanded my love this year.

playing six marimbas in a connecticut field: full on strawberry rhubarb pie, sore from the morning's game of racquet ball, and slightly drunk on the groomsmen's absinthe, five of my favorite friends and i played six marimbas for the hippie wedding of someone else's dreams.

lost in the trees: on some sort of freak accident {i had nary heard of this band}, i checked out their album a church that fits our needs from the library over the summer right before i left for europe. it stayed on repeat, through trains and planes, from berlin to amsterdam and back again, and it never lost its ability to make me bop my head or be calm.

dog days: the internet can tell you what it was like to experience the full production. but being able to play those vibe parts and release all kinds of stress during the 11-minute bass drum roll at the end was something i want to do again and again.

mason bates + cso in mercury soul: raging and dancing to mixed meters and cat calling my dad, the so now alternative to the usual dad concerts of sitting quietly and watching a symphony.

feist at radio city: when, with every fiber of my being, i danced out all of the crazies from my life. and then ran up on stage to hug maria and kyky and didn't even get captured by security.

harmonielehre in a london parking garage: we've all seen a better harmonielehre {right? right?}, but we saw it in a parking garage with a beer and it was one of those things you wouldn't have ever thought of to do, but you're happy that someone else did. 

roomful of teeth: it's just so new and exciting and futuristic, like, 2014, like people can do that with their mouths and diaphragms? stfu. i love dancing to roomful of teeth in a roomful of candlelight with no one to judge me but myself. 

punch brothers at town hallthe best date i ever asked myself on.

iron and wine at ravinia: perfect summer songs with a perfect summer picnic and perfectly wonderful friends.

san fermin: i'm not biased because bandleader ellis asked me to play glockenspiel with him. you guys, san fermin has so many amazing sounds. in a few weeks, the first cd will be released, and it is so fantastically beautifully fresh. it gives me so much excitement to even play like five glockenspiel notes with them.

gabriel kahane: i'm not biased because we have a shared interest in dumplings and, i don't know, twitter. how i love his songs and the stories they tell, the sound world makes me so happy and nostalgic for things i've never experienced. his album where are the arms definitely holds a space on the soundtrack for the chapter of my life titled "molly moves to brooklyn."

wolfgang rihm's dionysus: my first berlin opera experiences were like eating at roberta's after a decade's worth of jean-georges. different, younger, grittier, but equally as awesome, if not awesomer, than some of the monstrous american productions i'd been used to prior to this year. dionysus had this soprano that sang the highest notes i ever done heard and they were so great.

at the ballet: i saw two ballets this year that had obliteratingly beautiful music: in year of the rabbit, it was sufjan's "year of our lord," and in two hearts, it was nico's breathtaking score. in my next life, i would like to be a justin peck.

eggboy: when i was a wee one, i used to dream of dating a hunky guitar-playing man who wrote songs about me but then i gave up on that dream when i decided that all of those types are douchebags but then i retracted that belief when i met eggboy and now he writes songs about me and i cry and they're my favorite songs ever and i'm not just saying that because they're about me and our bike rides but because sometimes i hear a lyric or a melody and i can't believe that they came from this boy that i get to date {!!!!}.

playlist: for a little sampling of some of my 2012 favorites, or at least of those that were available on spotify, here is a little playlist

more fun sounds: birdie chimes in john ford's the broken heart
feist at radio city
more fun sounds: a private performance in dubuque, iowa
mason bates + dad perform in da club
wolfgang rhim's dionysus

best meals {2012}

my most favorite eating experiences these days are about the company, the setting, the sometimes less-than-glamorous situations that provide a good challenge. while this year i engaged in some pretty fantastic tasting menus and pete wells-approved dishes, the best meals were so much more than that. and at the same time so much less.

there was the eccles cake enjoyed at sunset on a train platform in belgium with the male nurse en route to rotterdam,

and the one where conversation demanded three languages and hand motions over berlin's best pizza with the stranger milania from sicily.

there was the curbside lentil soup at the portobello market with one of my favorite food photographers of all time {who took that first photo above},

and then over fruits and croissants on rockaway beach, in a little cloud of flies, eggboy and i enjoyed our first real meal together. had he known that "fruits and croissants" is a lyric in one of my most favorite songs?

a pickled herring sandwich at the place on zoutsteeg, in amsterdam, that opened in the 1800s, the strawberries from strawberry season in germany that were washed in the pouring rain and enjoyed in the pouring rain.

there were a few monstrous meals: multi-hour productions, the plates and plates of conversation, perfect friends, shop talk: yardbird, the purple pig, st. john bread and wine, myers + chang. all of those family occasions. i could die during these meals.

occasionally meals happened that were best remembered by my camera and that probably involved more laughing than talking: lucky burger. midnight meat pies to christen my new apartment. krokets at febo {the subject of one of my proudest blogging moments}.

obviously there's a sublist for pizza: a summery night of grilled pizza with my hometown girl friends, midnight squash pizza with eggboy, one life-changing pizza at brooklyn central that seems to have been removed from the menu, a pizza topped with all kinds of fennel enjoyed in the presence of a champion pizza dough thrower at my new neighborhood fave, krescendo.

and then just here are some dishes i dream about regularly:
the bossam at danji
the brussels sprouts at parm
mum's morning pies.
the scotch egg at myers + chang
the hot salted beef bagel from beigel bake
the mad dog shot at karczma

...i fear i could go on forever. i've never been good at choosing the best. but what we've learned here is that a stale muffin could make the cut, if only enjoyed with the right people and badass conversation.

the happy week.

a dinner here, a lunch there, a bike ride here, a run there. a carnegie concert, a carnegie concert, an intimate little village concert. with people i love, people i adore, and people i admire to bits.
a letter from a young reader and a letter from india. new mustard from münchen and late night matzoh balls.
like the surprise few fries at the bottom of a happy meal, this week was undoubtedly a best.
above photo: lemon posset at city grit's butts, legs, and sides dinner. {by donny.}
below photo: pops and me being way too hip at the 21 club. {by todd rosenberg.}

st. john bread and wine

it's much less about fireworks and much more about a deep, soothing thrum of the place. {n}
st. john bread and wine: honest, good food, food i'd never had before, long, timeless conversation with old dear friends, in a room that doesn't impose a thing, interrupted only by a surprise mustard delivery from cornwall, and not without decapitating a fish: horrifying like handling porcelain good.