Sohrab Habibion plays guitar in Obits.
What was the food highlight of your year?
Dinner with my wife at Zahav in Philadelphia. It might be weird to freak out over a plate of hummus and a glass of red wine, but this place is so much more than that. When it comes to using cumin, garlic, lemon and parsley, chef Michael Solomonov knows how to make it seem like a dark art. And though I didn’t previously know that Lebanon is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world, one sip of a Cinsaut blend from the Bekaa Valley will make anyone a convert.
What was the music highlight of your year?
That’s always tough to gauge because there are different kinds of highlights, so…
1. Our show at the Lawnya Vawnya festival in St. John’s was probably the craziest set we’ve ever played. It was chaotic in a way that ended up working, but could’ve easily gone completely off the rails. We also stayed with an amazingly generous couple, Rick & Susan, who cooked us a delicious meal.
2. Going to Kiev was definitely a peak of this year. The show itself had the vibe of a house party, which is alway fun, but our host, Sasha, and the walking tour of the city he and his girlfriend, Nastya, gave us was really special.
3. There are lots of music festivals all over the world these days, but the best one I’ve been to is the one we played in June that was put together by Silver Rocket. It’s held in a 14th century castle with a breathtaking view of the Czech countryside, just an hour southwest of Prague. There are no sponsors and all the food and drinks are made and/or served by local folks. Everyone cleans up after themselves and there’s a genuine sense of community. It’s inspiring.
Was there a moment when food and music came together in a memorable way?
Every time we play in San Diego we make an effort to go to Las Cuatro Milpas before leaving town. It’s a bare bones operation near Chicano Park that’s been churning out incredible Mexican food since 1933. The tortillas and hot sauce are more than worth the wait.