Of all the pasta dishes, risotto is the one that is truly made with love. It’s the watched pot that will boil – and stick to the pan – so you have to keep an eye on it. It’s one and a half hours of tending to a fussy baby – stirring it to sleep and quenching its thirst one ladleful at a time. But fear not! Done correctly you will have accomplished home cooking so rare to LA you’ll never want to use a microwave again. To keep things a bit more interesting, here is a recipe (inspired by a class I took at the New School of Cooking in Culver City, CA) choreographed to a few tunes that will make this tasty effort all the more worth it. So press play and pour yourself a nice glass of white wine…and keep that bottle open because you’ll need it as part of this delicious dish (6 servings):
DJs have always fascinated me. It’s a job that seems so easy from the outside – how hard can it be to make a playlist and crossfade from song to song? – but just stand behind a really talented DJ for a few moments and you can’t help be overwhelmed by how much is actually going on. So many moving parts that all need to be perfectly balanced lest the flow be ruined. Being a DJ is an art requiring intense concentration, a delicate hand, and real musical sensibility.
As I said in the last post, what people prefer to shake their booty to can be wildly different – Cher! Rihanna! Tiesto! – depending on a plethora of fickle and random variables. Putting together the perfect soundtrack for a cocktail party presents similar challenges in different ways. The music sets the tone for the evening. It needs to be relaxing but not depressing, a hint of attitude, a dash of energy, but most of all it can’t distract from conversation. In my experience, the biggest determining factor here is age, both of planner and guests. Aunt Mary may never appreciate Radiohead’s “Let Down” despite your detailed explanation of the beautiful intricacies of Thom’s voice, but chances are Mozart might be a bit stuffy for her (though ideal in grandma’s mind). The difference between 25 and 35 might be Nneka and Brian Setzer. Not that I’m saying Brian Setzer isn’t cool or that classical music isn’t timeless or fun to listen to. It just never ceases to entertain me that even with the same fairly restrictive parameters the selection can still be so different.
The xx are coming to the Fonda on June 5 and the Wiltern on June 6. Hurry up and get your tickets!
Even though the new School of Seven Bells album, Disconnect from Desire doesn’t drop until July 13, you can catch the band at The Echo on June 2. Tickets here.
And because these days no one can think of “cocktail” without immediately thinking of Mad Men (thanks to the dynamic combo brilliant composer David Carbonara with superstar supervisor Alexandra Patsavas), here’s one of the most touching and amazingly well written scenes from the show: