Woodpigeon – For Paolo

Woodpigeon – For Paolo

Woodpigeon – For Paolo

Jeff Mangum at Lincoln Theatre

Some works of art can change your life.

Reading Catcher in the Rye in your early teens, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas in your early 20s, or High Fidelity once you’re past 30 can forever alter the way you see yourself and the world around you.

Concert of the Year!

“In 1998, Neutral Milk Hotel released an album of hallucinatory folk-rock called In the Aeroplane Over the Sea that is, it can be said without fear of exaggeration, nothing short of a heartbreaking work of staggering genius. Like My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, it is lightning caught in a bottle, one of those rare perfect albums that come along maybe once a decade.

Or once a lifetime.”

–Philadelphia Inquirer, 29 January 2012

“…Jeff Mangum finally made his long-awaited return to a local stage on Friday night, playing his first show in the District since 1998, the year his former band Neutral Milk Hotel released its incomparable magnum opus, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. Kicking off a sold-out two-night stand at the Lincoln Theatre, the reclusive singer-songwriter delivered a memorable, mostly solo-acoustic performance, regaling an adoring (though surprisingly reserved) crowd with some of the most beloved songs in the indie-rock canon.”

–Philadelphia Inquirer, 29 January 2012

All of which serves to make the unlikely experience of seeing him live a bit transcendent and appropriately celebratory. After all, though his music has a tendency to touch on heavy material, Mangum’s underlying sensibility is one of mirthful awe at the wonderful chance of existence. As he muses at the end of In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, the single song he comfortingly chose as his encore, ‘How strange it is to be anything at all!’  The lingering sound of this affirmation will stick with me longer than any photograph.

–Philadelphia Inquirer, 29 January 2012

 

Willow Restaurant – Thursday, 19 January 2012

The Monocle is a Washington institution.  It opened in 1960, and it has survived 10 administrations.  The Monocle serves upscale comfort food, which used to be known as “food”.

The restaurant is close to the Senate side of the Capitol, so it attracts a good number of political types.  I’m notoriously oblivious to celebrities, but I couldn’t help but notice that Sam Donaldson was sitting at the next table.

Spicy Lamb Meatballs in Creamy Yogurt Sauce, Winter Vegetable Cous-Cous Pilaf

Beef Stroganoff – Mushrooms, Pearl Onions, Baby Carrots & Herbed Spaetzel in a Sour Cream Sauce

Blood Orange and Ginger Cheesecake – Ginger Cheesecake with Ginger Snap Crust and Blood Orange Sauce

 

Kinkead’s – Tuesday, 17 January 2012

The Monocle is a Washington institution.  It opened in 1960, and it has survived 10 administrations.  The Monocle serves upscale comfort food, which used to be known as “food”.

The restaurant is close to the Senate side of the Capitol, so it attracts a good number of political types.  I’m notoriously oblivious to celebrities, but I couldn’t help but notice that Sam Donaldson was sitting at the next table.

The Monocle RestaurantThe Monocle

Shellfish BisqueShellfish Bisque

Nice starter, and perfect for a cool day like today.

Braised Short Ribs with Red Wine SauceBraised Short Ribs with Red Wine Sauce

Good stuff! I haven’t had scalloped potatoes in years.

Chocolate Triomphe Cake with Crème AnglaiseChocolate Triomphe Cake with Crème Anglaise

Dinner at Home — 15 January 2012

Because January in Washington offers so many intriguing dining possibilities–“Oh life is a glorious cycle of song!”–I don’t do much cooking at home that month.  This was my first major production of the year, the entree for a Sunday dinner.

Steak in Rosemary and Wine Sauce, with Roasted PotatoesSteak in Rosemary and Wine Sauce, with Roasted Potatoes

I’m fond of chicken, but I’d never made this one before.  I started with a full chicken, cut up, which gave me plenty of leftovers.  I also doubled the amount of port suggested in the recipe, and I think that worked well.  Come to think of it, I’ve never spoiled a dish by adding too much wine.

The recipe ca me from the Food Lovers’ Guide to Chicago via Serious Eats.

 

Monocle – Friday, 13 January 2012

The Monocle is a Washington institution.  It opened in 1960, and it has survived 10 administrations.  The Monocle serves upscale comfort food, which used to be known as “food”.

The restaurant is close to the Senate side of the Capitol, so it attracts a good number of political types.  I’m notoriously oblivious to celebrities, but I couldn’t help but notice that Sam Donaldson was sitting at the next table.

The Monocle RestaurantThe Monocle

Shellfish BisqueShellfish Bisque

Nice starter, and perfect for a cool day like today.

Braised Short Ribs with Red Wine SauceBraised Short Ribs with Red Wine Sauce

Good stuff! I haven’t had scalloped potatoes in years.

Chocolate Triomphe Cake with Crème AnglaiseChocolate Triomphe Cake with Crème Anglaise