Mark Lore is a journalist whose work has appeared in Paste, The Wire, Spin, the Portland Mercury, and Nylon.
What was the food highlight of your year?
I was wracking my brain on this, and the thing that kept coming to mind was soup. My wife and I have been on a soup roll this winter. She made a great mushroom-barley. I knocked out a tasty chicken-noodle. Tortilla soup. And we just bought a house in deep southeast Portland, which has some of the best Pho places in the city. I also work a couple nights a week at this beer-record shop-music venue called Turn! Turn! Turn!, and they just started doing soup, including a fantastic chickpea and greens soup. Essentially, I can do soup for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Tacos, too.
What was the music highlight of your year?
Back in spring I booked a West Coast tour for this Basque heavy rock band called Berri Txarrak. I interviewed them years ago for an article, and I'd sort of kept in touch with their manager on Facebook. He made a comment on something I'd posted and mentioned they were recording in the States, and it sort of snowballed from there. I booked a bunch of shows, got them press in a few of the cities, and put them up in our small apartment. It was challenging and fun, and the guys in the band are absolutely sweet, and they were very appreciative. I'll probably book another one next year.
Was there a moment when food and music came together in a memorable way?
The day after Berri Txarrak played in Portland, I took them around to some record stores, and we ended up getting beers at a couple of local breweries. It was awesome introducing them to these weirder, darker (at least by their standards) beers. After that I took them to this great sandwich spot called Lardo, which began as a food cart, and has since expanded to three locations. It's total comfort food. We got some pork belly sandwiches, mac and cheese and dirty fries, and these guys were in heaven. I was full, but I think they ordered seconds.