Josh Modell is Editor-in-Chief of The Onion A/V Club.
What was the food highlight of your year?
Oh man, I had a pretty good food year, so it’ll be hard to pick one. I didn’t do a ton of traveling, but I did have amazing meals at Catbird Seat in Nashville and Manresa in Los Gatos, CA. I also ate every menu offered at Next in Chicago, all of which were fantastic. But I think the best overall meal of the year was probably at Grace in Chicago, which is the new fine-dining place from Curtis Duffy. It was just a stem-to-stern incredible meal, with every bite clearly fussed over in all the right ways. And the service is kind of crazy—almost too formal for my taste, but really really great.
What was the music highlight of your year?
I’m getting old, so it’s a lot of reunions. I think my favorite moment was actually seeing Quicksand at Cobra Lounge in Chicago, with about 200 other diehards. You could barely hear the vocals, but it was amazing seeing that band looking so happy (and on such a small stage) all these years later. For all the shit that people give bands for reuniting, I love it when it helps a band end on a better note than they otherwise might’ve.
Was there a moment when food and music came together in a memorable way?
YES! If you count ice cream as food. I set up this video shoot with The Melvins in front of an ice cream truck in Chicago on a super hot summer day. That was supposed to be the whole thing—Melvins in front of an ice cream truck. But right before they started playing (a cover of Butthole Surfers’ “Graveyard”), Buzzo asked the assembled bunch of kids—totally unplanned, they were just there—if they liked free ice cream, and they stormed the truck. I’m so glad we started rolling, because there’s no way we could’ve gotten a second take. (Plus: gourmet ice cream from Jeni’s, which is awesome.)