Charles Hodgkins writes about music, food, and travel. Founder of BurritoEater.com, he has served as a San Francisco taqueria expert for the New York Times, Cooking Channel, and other press outlets.
What was the food highlight of your year?
I've eaten a boatload of doughnuts/beignets in 2014, and somehow I still fit into these 46-waist slacks I got for Xmas last year. I'm a Bob's on Polk man. Mark Trombino's clever joint in Highland Park is also fun (if kinda pricey).
What was the music highlight of your year?
Oh, I could say it's been my five-month Neil Young binge, in which I chronologically listened my way through *everything* (including rafts of live shows) the man's done over the decades; an epic journey I had to beg out of at...1991. I'll pick it up again eventually.
I could also say it's been Nothing's 'Guilty Of Everything,' Cheatahs' self-titled debut (which sounds just like Swervedriver, and it's OK with me), Cloud Nothings' 'Here And Nowhere Else,' Solids' 'Blame Confusion' (which sounds just like Japandroids-lite, but it's OK with me), and Spoon's 'They Want My Soul' (which I think sounds just like Spoon) -- nutbusting 2014 records, all of 'em. I could even say it's all the Explosions In The Sky I've been subjecting my ears and neighbors to for the last couple weeks straight, daily and loudly.
And how could I almost forget my excitement over the idea of seeing Ride reform and perform in 2015? Really, I can't forget that. But I have a strong feeling my music highlight of the year will turn out to be Centro-matic's 'Take Pride In Your Long Odds,' which is not only my top album title to come along in many moons, but also one hell of a swan song for My Main Band Of The Last 15 Years. I'm off to Chicago and St. Louis to witness their farewell tour this month, which not only will probably be the finest rock shows I catch all year, but only furthers my long-held belief that compiling a best-of-year list in December sells our twelfth month of the year ruefully short. Why must we annually front on December? Why?? It's high time I stand up for my birthday month. I'm a December Boy and I like September Gurls just like everyone else, but dammit, I'm demanding the year's darkest month gets some respect handed down from Swimmingly's editorial crew. We're dealing with a legitimate month here -- like April, like September, like all those other months. It's more than just one holiday hoohaw after another; it's more than Bing-and-Bowie duets; it's more than drunken uncles doing the lampshade shuffle into the indoor pine tree after a couple too many eggnog-and-Fireball-chasers. Cool shit goes down in December, man. OK, happy new year.
Was there a moment when food and music came together in a memorable way?
This year, no...but there was that time in 1993 when I bought a Pepsi at 7-11 and 'Right Here, Right Now' came on the radio -- right there, right then. Totally wild. Just unbelievable.