Nick Tangborn has worked in both the food and music industries long enough to know better. He currently lives in Austin, TX.
What was your food highlight of the year?
My parents come to visit every year in early December on their way from Northern Minnesota to Arizona — they’re snowbirds, with the big white Ford 750 and fifth wheel RV. They always bring me canned tomatoes, pickles (my mom’s pickles blow away the competition), pickled green beans, “red hot” cinnamon cucumber pickles, sauerkraut, and plenty of Christmas cookies. This year, we went to Central Market (the big gourmet paradise grocer in Austin) and my dad said “Those tomatoes look just like the ones we canned — man they were hard to peel.” I looked at the tomatoes and realized that, somehow, my parents had meant to plant beefsteak tomatoes for canning, but had planted heirlooms instead. So now I have 12 jars of amazing, perfect peeled heirloom tomatoes canned and ready. That’s pretty awesome.
What was your music highlight of the year?
In March, when Batter Blaster — the company I helped run for 5 years — was still a functioning entity, a bunch of us were at a bar called Donn’s Depot here in Austin. I heard, across the bar, my CEO say “Don’t worry — Nick can book that Saturday show.” This was 3 weeks before SXSW. So I had 3 weeks, no budget, and a Saturday afternoon party to throw. Three weeks later, we had John Doe, both of The Posies (Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow, playing separately), Ian Moore and Jesse Dayton together, Loquat, Shurman, Beaver Nelson, Carletta Sue Kay and Dave Mulligan from Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers. Ken and Ian, on the floor with no mics, singing “Give Me Another Chance” by Big Star is still my absolute favorite moment of the past year.
Was there a moment when food and music came together in a memorable way?
A lot of my memories of the past year seem to be tied to the Hole in the Wall — that’s where we threw that party in March, and that’s where a bunch of my friends tend to play, like The Mother Hips, David Dondero, etc. They just opened the back kitchen up with Paul Qui, the Top Chef winner, and his East Side King concept. Previously food trailers, now it’s a full blown brick and mortar place, just behind where the bands play. The squid ink curry ramen is outstanding, as is the chicken tortilla soup (made with bacon dashi and chicken-tortilla tom yum paste to carry the East meets West theme). It’s awesome now to go to a show there and be able to walk 25 feet and get Chicken Kara-Age and a bowl of Beer Bacon Miso Ramen.