So much fun, so little time to blog about it! I have about two weeks of blogging to catch up on, but I’ll start with the most recent and work backwards…
Sunday afternoon, we made a quick trip to Santa Monica, as we do every few months, in pursuit of must-see live music. As-yet-unwritten posts to the contrary, sometimes San Diego is passed up by the live music scene and one must venture north to LA. When this happens, tradition is to combine a favorite restaurant of yore and the desired concert in a half-day road trip, as if we’re just casually venturing into the city from 100 miles away. And so, we set off from San Diego at about 2pm Sunday afternoon, caught an uncharacteristic wave of good traffic, and hit destination one at just after 4pm:
Cha Cha Chicken! Glorious bastion of jerk chicken located on at the corner of Pico Blvd and Ocean Ave in Santa Monica. I first visited Cha Cha Chicken while working in Santa Monica about eight years ago, and I take advantage of every possible opportunity to go back. Their jerk sauce is the standard by which I judge all others – including the ones we make ourselves – and the others invariably come up short. My habitual fare here is the enchilada dish, and Chuck’s is the quarter chicken, though we have also tried (and then tried to recreate) the coconut fried chicken. On Sunday I had the jerk combo: one jerk chicken enchilada and one jerk chicken tostada, with rice and beans and plantains, and ginger beer (Jamaican style, imported from Canada, and tasty!). Check out the numiliciousness:
After basking in the sweet and spicy Caribbean goodness, we headed on to the nightcap: the Girlyman concert at McCabe’s Guitar Shop. Girlyman has been one of my favorite bands since the first time I saw them, opening for Dar Williams at the House of Blues in SD a few years ago. I was enthralled by their beautiful harmonies, their on-stage sense of humor, and by how much fun they seemed to be having performing together. There’s something really amazing about finding great new bands by watching a live performance, and when there’s so much fun and love for the music and the performing, it’s practically magical. This is how I became a hardcore fan of Girlyman…well, that PLUS it’s really fun to sing along to their CDs in my car, and try to hit all the high notes along with Doris (I swear I used to be able to hit them all, ummm, in high school…but it’s still fun to try!).
Anyway – the concert on Sunday! We were actually to McCabe’s early enough that we were first in line at the door, so we got to sit in the front row, ultra close to the band. (And also, it turns out that our tickets were numbered one and two, which proves that I am ultra-quick on the draw when it comes to ticket purchasing…granted, I had been waiting for the LA concert to be announced for about three months, but still!) So..first row seats, concert venue that sells chocolate chip cookies (it was the second concert with cookies in four days, and I have decided that’s the best kind of concert, as it implies a certain homey intimacy), and my favoritest band in the universe – all the makings of a brilliant evening! There was no opening act – good, because we got right to the best band ever; bad, because who knows what kind of excellent opening act we may have missed out on; good, because we got to drive home that much earlier and not get too sleepy on the drive home. It was a great show (as were the other two I have been to!), full of fun commentary and great songs. They played Kittery Tide – my favorite Girlyman song – plus Viola, Young James Dean, Through to Sunrise, and many other great songs off their albums, PLUS a couple of new songs and Rock Me Amadeus and Moose in the Road, plus some fun facts about George Washington’s dentures. Good times were had by all!