By Joe Colgan
To keep with the theme of celebrating this weekend's Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival (which started back in 2008 and is hands-down one of the best music/arts festivals in the US), I'm going to pair two participants of this year's festivities. Not only does the 3 day event host upwards of 60 musical acts, it also plays host to a number of wineries which are showcased in the Wine Lands Tent. Over 30 wineries will partake and it's estimated that that will equate to about 750 cases and 50 kegs of wine on site.
At the festival this year is Rock Wall Wine Company, a boutique size operation (located in an old airplane hanger in Alameda across the bay from San Fran) that is at the forefront of the urban winery movement. Their 2008 Petite Syrah, with grapes sourced from Mendocino County AVA, is a delicious choice and great sample of the quality of wine that Rock Wall is producing. The wine is all-around dark...from the color to the nice coco and dark juicy blackberries on the nose, to the long lasting chocolate/smoky finish. Retailing at around $23, it's the type of wine you like to pair with a quality steak. Or, if you have a bottle, it's perfect to enjoy at a festival where the weather might turn characteristically foggy and cold....It is summer in SF people.
The second part of this pairing is a tough decision. Did you see the lineup this year?!? That Rock Wall wine can go nicely with so many artists. Mavis Staples! The Roots! Ugh. Ok, time to close my eyes, and pick......The GreyBoy Allstars (good pick). This band, which delivers excellence both in their studio recordings and live performances, is comprised of a bunch of allstars; coincidentally? The current lineup features such heavy hitters as sax colossus Karl Denson , Robert Walter on keys and Elgin Park on guitar. The band is funk + jazz + boogaloo + good feelings * funk. If you have a heart beat your body will move when they hit the stage.
So, if you don't live in SF, grab yourselves a bottle of the 2008 Rock Wall PS and enjoy this vid below from the 2006 High Sierra Music Fest in Quincy, CA. If you are in San Fran tomorrow, get yourself to the east end of Golden Gate Park, pay your fee, and waltz on over to the Wine Lands Tent. Step up towards Rock Wall and try wherever they're pouring; and tell them about The 'Zilla!. Then head over to the Lands End stage at 1:45PM PT, and enjoy.
By Ben Heskett
Time to bring the funk. In celebration of the start of the annual Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in Golden Gate Park here in San Francisco this weekend, I thought I’d introduce everyone to the Los Angeles-based phenomenon known as Orgone. Or perhaps you’re already in the loop. Either way, they’re a band worthy of your attention.
In this clip from last year’s Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn. (Posted below), Orgone (Some interesting background on the name can be found here) rips into a stellar cover of the Meters “Ain’t No Use,” with some terrific female vocals adding freshness to this classic.
To pair with such a funk fest, I’ve turned to a wine I recently delved into that offered a great combination of complexity, value and, frankly, utter deliciousness (A requirement if you’re going to bring the funk). This bottle is from the Rhone Valley – A Cachette 2009 Cotes-du Rhone made with 70 percent Grenache, 10 percent Syrah, 10 percent Carignan and 10 percent Cinsault.
It’s a terrific, fruity, drinkable wine, that also adds some nuts and spice notes as it opens up. It also has a patatable price point - I found it at a neighborhood grocery store on sale for about $12. The long and short? This bottle won’t last long once it has been opened. Hence, the perfect accompaniment for an Orgone party!
For those in the Bay Area of California and attending Outside Lands, here’s my itinerary for today if you’re having trouble deciding who to see: Lotus, the Original Meters, Orgone, Miguel Migs (In the Heineken DJ tent), and, last but not least, Phish, in all their glory. I'm packing all of my Outside Lands enjoyment into one day this year (Foregoing Sat. and Sun.). It should be a great day of music. Enjoy, everyone, and remember – Know your limits!