Marc Hawthorne is a journalist and editor whose credits include The Onion, SPIN, and The Bold Italic.
What was the food highlight of your year?
This year I discovered the magic that is the Inner Richmond’s Firehouse Pizza. It’s somewhat surprising that two of my favorite pizza places (the other being Pizzetta 211) are located in San Francisco’s Richmond District, but for a vegetarian, Firehouse’s use of fake hamburger is a godsend. I substitute it on the Spicy Bacon Cheeseburger, where the smoked bacon is magically turned into green peppers. Mixed in some garlic butter, deliciously kick-ass giardiniera peppers, mozzarella, jalapeños, and cheddar, and you’ve got yourself one heck of a great veggie pie.
What was the music highlight of your year?
Though I erroneously placed it atop one of my Top 10 albums lists last year when it still had a 2011 release date, technically my favorite record of 2012 is St. Lucia’s self-titled debut EP. Due to that mix-up, I’ll probably end up making Nada Surf’s The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy my #1 this year, but 2012 was still mostly the year of St. Lucia, whose epic little electro-tinged pop songs have inspired me to attempt to convert everyone I know into fanatics of the Brooklyn band (led by South African native Jean-Philip Grobler). The group’s show at SXSW this year only strengthened my love, and the crazy-packed show in July at San Francisco’s Rickshaw Stop proved that I’m not the only one who feels this way.
Was there a moment when food and music came together in a memorable way?
This year I celebrated Burns Night with a can of vegetarian haggis (yes, it really exists!), a pile of turnips and potatoes, plenty of Scotch, and as many Scottish bands as we could pile into iTunes: Belle & Sebastian, Teenage Fanclub, The Jesus & Mary Chain, The Pastels, The Vaselines, and so on. (We even included Nirvana’s covers of The Vaselines’ “Son Of A Gun” and “Molly’s Lips.”) But probably the most Burns Night of them all were the Robert Burns poems that Camera Obscura set to music for famed British DJ John Peel, including the hilariously titled “Cock Up Your Beaver.” Who would have thought that celebrating an 18th-century Scottish poet could be this fun?