Behind the scenes

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Sausage and Bourbon Extravaganza!

I first came across the All For Nots at SXSW 2007. They had just launched their web show (also called The All For Nots) and were playing a big live show at the Club DeVille. I invited them to be guests on my show… a sort of merging of podcasts, if you will.

Got Tomatoes?

Last spring, I had the pleasure of spending a day cooking with Daniel Lorca, the bass player and resident gourmet of Nada Surf. Daniel blew me away with his laid-back production of a multi-course sit-down meal for 28 band members and various friends. We left that night with full stomachs and 5+ hours of video footage.

Meet James


This is James Holland. He does the lion's share of the camera work and editing for Cooking with Rockstars, but his contribution to the show far exceeds these tasks.

It was James' brilliant idea to shoot the show in a limo to solve the problem of having enough light/time/quiet to do a video shoot near rock clubs at sound check time. In addition to the practical advantages, the limo has been a lot of fun for us and for the bands.

Geeking out with YACHT

One of my favorite things about interviewing YACHT was that Jona Bechtolt was the first of my rockstar guests to be impressed by my Geek Cred. When I introduced my camera person (and one of my personal music gurus), Maura Johnston, as my “Web 1.0” friend, Jona responded “What, did you meet on a Web Ring?!”

Cooking Up a Storm!

As you may know, I have been working for years to get a band into the kitchen to do some real cooking. The reality has been that I've only had access to touring bands between their sound check and set, which means I've been doing a lot of talking about cooking with rockstars.

I'm very excited to announce that my dry spell has ended, and now it seems that everybody wants to do some cookin'! I've already cooked with Nada Surf and Dresden Dolls and have several more (top secret) cooking episodes in the works.

You will have a crush on Annie Clark

I first saw St. Vincent (her "secret" name is Annie Clark) open for John Vanderslice in Cambridge, and like just about everyone in the place, I was captivated. Sure the pretty girl can sing pretty, but what got me was what a racket she could dish out on the guitar, and how easily she swung between the extremes of ethereal and cacophonous. I became an instant fan.

SXSW Music: Day 3 Recap

Boy, it gets HOT in Texas in March. In today’s 93 degree heat, with shows to see on the far sides of downtown, I learned to love the pedicab!

Today was about quality, not quantity. Many of my friends have “bands-i’ve-seen” lists as long as their arms. Not I — mostly because I was working on interviews today — but I did thoroughly enjoy every part of the day. It went something like this:

*) Chatted with some folks from Spin Magazine and Chronicle books at the hotel, and scored a coveted invite to the SPIN party.

SXSW Music: Day 2 Recap

Another rockin’ day in Austin. No interviews conducted, but I did get to chat with Daniel from Nada Surf and Khaela of The Blow to set up interviews in the future when things are less chaotic. The great news is that Daniel is actually going to do some cooking on the show. I can’t wait.

My day went something like this:

  • Nada Surf acoustic set and nice chat with Daniel
  • Lunch with my friend Alison from the Chicago band Le Concorde. Ran into Tapes ‘n Tapes at the restaurant!

SXSW Music: Day 1 Recap

Hello from Austin! The music festival is in full swing here, which means I’ve already walked at least 10 miles in the name of music.

Wednesday was a great success; I saw eight bands (a pretty modest number compared to some die-hards):

  • These New Puritans
  • The Mae Shi
  • WHY?
  • The Blow
  • Wedding Present
  • Okkervil River featuring Roky Erikson
  • Naked Raygun

and did three(!) interviews:

  • These United States‘ Jesse who is into eating well and consciously (organically and locally)
  • YACHT — Jona and Claire are strict vegans

I'm Headin' to Austin!

It’s that time of year again when I make my pilgrimage to South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas for a week of non-stop socializing, networking, learning, walking, and of course, eating!

I’ll be arriving Saturday for the Interactive Festival, which I’ve been attending since 2000. I’m looking forward to seeing all my genious internet friends and spending time with my fellow podcasters.