Thursday, July 30, 2009

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Last week, Derek and I decided to head off on a little
road trip to celebrate his birthday. Our final
destination was San Francisco, but to break up the 8 hour drive (we refuse to take the 5) we took a pit stop in Paso Robles. Derek loves Paso Robles and always talks about it fondly but I had never been. I had drunk some of the wines and was slowly coming around with Derek's gentle urging. It has taken me a while to adapt my palate to California wines, but after 2 yeats of trying, I am starting to really like them. Our first stop was Linne Calodo, Derek's very favorite of all the wineries. He's been to their annual "Harvest Fest," party and quickly became a loyal follower. The picture on the right is of their brand new tasting room, still not quite open for business, but you can taste in the warehouse around the back. The wines were fantastic, big reds made with Zinfandel and Rhone varietals. We tasted the Sticks and Stones, Nemesis, Problem Child and The Outsider. The lovely young lady at the tasting room was nice enough to give us her suggestions for a few other wineries to visit. We got back in the car and headed off.
Our next stop was Villa Creek, at this point it was around noon and a balmy 110 degrees in Paso Robles. Certainly not optimal temperature for wine tasting, but at least we were spending most of our time in refrigerated warehouses. This picture from outside Villa Creek's winery makes Paso look like a harsh, barren desert. Combined with the heat, it really didn't seem like the kind of place that could make beautiful and balanced wines. But, luckily for us, the nights are cool and they get a bit of the ocean breeze to keep the grapes from succumbing to the blazing inferno that is summer in Paso.

The folks at Villa Creek (pictured right) were incredibly friendly as well and tasted us through 10 or 12 of their wines. Villa Creek specializes in Rhone varietals, and some of their wines were truly amazing, including a lovely white and a rich rose. We were also informed that the owners of the winery had a restaurant in town that focused on local, organic foods. Derek and I had a wonderful meal there later in the evening, though at that point we could hardly finish the one glass a piece of wine we ordered!

From Villa Creek we headed to Tablas Creek
another Paso winery that is well known for its Rhone varietal wines. Here we found another tasting room full of smiling faces. We tasted just about everything they were pouring and loved it all. Tablas Creek has some great affordable red blends as well as really nice whites. By the time we finished there we were ready to check into the hotel and have a little swim.
We refreshed ourselves and cooled off a bit, then headed to our 4th and final winery, Barrel 27. Barrel 27's tasting room is right on the edge of Paso Robles proper. It was the perfect ending for our tired and parched palates. Besides making a wonderful and extremely affordable Syrah, Barrel 27 makes some interesting blends, like their "Bull By The Horns," a blend of Syrah, Petit Verdot and Mourvedre. They also make a sparkling Moscato which was delightful.
We finished off our tasting day at The Paso Wine Center, an awesome tasting bar that features dozens of local wines. The proceeds from this hip, modern space go to Wine For Water, a charity that builds wells in Africa. We highly recommend taking a trip to Paso Robles. Besides great wines and friendly folks, the quaint little town is like a miniature Sonoma. You just may want to go when the weather cools down a bit.


Sunset on Potrero Hill, San Francisco, July 19th, image via me


After a one week break Vinyl Lovers Lounge returned triumphantly to Palihouse last night in a blaze of sonic glory. More DJ's showed up with stacks of records than ever before. Word is really getting out about what a unique showcase this party can be.

The hubbub behind the decks was matched by the great crowd that flowed in all night. VINE-YL had a lot of friends stop by last night and got to relax and enjoy the music and ambience after Derek's early set.

DJ Daisy O'Dell, in fishnets and a smoking red dress, was the ultimate party purveyor presiding over the musical madness with style. The more the merrier. Thanks to all the new DJs who stopped by to spin. Keep spreading the word!

And a hearty welcome to new Palihouse manager, Walter!

We are on hiatus again for the next three weeks but we will see you all again on August 14!

Derek started things off with an hour long set of water-themed Sixties sounds. Here's the playlist:

Robert Maxwell Orchestra - The Breeze and I
Jimmy Davis and Norma Lee - Jasmine
Quincy Jones - The "In" Crowd
Lulu- Stealing My Love From Me
Elvis - Bossa Nova, Baby
The Piltdown Men - Brontosaurus Stomp
Willow - Weekly Lies
Dionne Warwick - Anyone Who Had A Heart
Sapphire Thinkers - From Within
The Deep Six - What Would You Wish From the Golden Fish?
CCS - Living In The Past
Lalo Schifrin - Quiet Village
Brother Jack McDuff - Let My People Go
Arlo Guthrie - Coming in to Los Angeles
Quicksilver Messenger Service - Fresh Air
Lena Horne & Gabor Szabo - Something
Bob Marley - Sun Is Shining

Enjoy the dog days of summer with cold drinks and cool tunes. See you all in three weeks!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Good seeing everyone at Palihouse last night! Another great crowd in the lounge, and it was a kick getting to spin for the legend herself, Cyndi Lauper. Memories of rocking out to "She's So Unusual" in sixth grade came flooding back with a vengeance.

Derek and Ian got things rolling and Daisy kept the party cranked with a mix of 80s synth and hot dance tunes. The crowd was really into it and the vibe was salubrious and ennervated.

Thanks to all the folks who love some good lounge and have made Palihouse a vibrant place to meet and relax on Fridays. We're taking a hiatus for a week or two, but we'll be back with more grooves soon after (with more cool records!). Check here for return details.

Here's Derek's playlist, a mix of blues, soul and Sixties pop:

Mississippi Fred McDowell - Baby Please Don't Go
Elvis Presley - That's All Right (Mama)
Brownie McGhee & Sonny Terry - Wailin' and Whoopin'
Chuck Jackson - Are You Lonely For Me
The Soul Children - Can't Let You Go
Millie Jackson - A Child of God (It's Hard to Believe)
Marion Williams - Hare Krishna
Dorothy Ashby - The Moving Finger
Jimmy Cliff - That's the Way Life Goes
Johnny Rivers - Hey Joe
Lou Christie - Lightnin' Strikes
The Bob Crewe Generation - Will You Love Me Tomorrow
The Mindbenders - Off and Running
Donovan - Sunny South Kensington
Francis Lai - Today It's You (Orch.)
American Breed - Solitary Sanctuary
Otis Redding & Carla Thomas - It Takes Two
Lalo Schifrin - The Sniper
John Barry - Blues and Out
Julie Driscoll & The Brian Auger Trinity - Season of the Witch

*Late-night close out set:

INXS - What You Need
The Rolling Stones - Street Fighting Man
Animal Collective - Brothersport
Minnie Riperton - Les Fleur
Quincy Jones - Oh, Happy Day
Magma - Dondai
Gabor Szabo - Keep Smiling

Thanks to all for a great time so far... Enjoy the summer. See you in a few weeks!

RIP Mac9

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Saturday, July 4, 2009


A crazy night at Palihouse Friday to kick off the long holiday weekend!

At first, it looked like an early night--everyone out of town or staying home. There were plans to shut the bar down a little early.

Then all of a sudden a good crowd settled in and the next thing we knew, the PARTY WAS ON!

Rounds of Corzo Tequila were flowing and Jun was mixing up the late night dance recipes. A really fun, unexpected night that just erupted of its own free will. A perfect kick-start and mood reliever for a weekend of fun holiday bbqs.

Derek played a long set of holiday-inspired American music from 10-12. Here's the set list:

Johnny Cash - From Sea to Shining Sea
The Grateful Dead - Here Comes Sunshine
Grizzly Bear - Two Weeks
Inspektah Deck - Movas and Shakas
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts - I Love Rock and Roll
Lesley Gore - No Matter What You Do
The Carrie Nations - Look On Up at the Bottom
The Folkswingers ft. Harihar Rao - Eight Miles High
Willow - Taking Life Easy
The Mamas and the Papas - Spanish Harlem
Rotary Connection - Turn Me On
Ray Charles - Eleanor Rigby
Bobbie Gentry - Ode to Billie Joe
The Osborne Brothers - Ruby, Are You Mad
Jerry Reed - Ko-Ko Joe
Pot Liquor - Lady Madonna
Drivin' n' Cryin' - Honeysuckle Blue
R.E.M. - Laughing
Space Opera - Prelude #4
Joe Walsh - Life's Been Good
Brick - Happy
Millie Jackson & Isaac Hayes - Feels Like the First Time
Instant Funk V - No Stoppin' That Rockin'
Evelyn "Champagne" King - Shame
The Three Degrees - When Will I See You Again
Deniece Williams - Free
Otis Redding - Thousand Miles Away
Chuck Jackson - Can You Feel It, Babe
Brothers and Sisters - The Times They Are A'Changing
Rudy Love & the Love Family - She's My Sister
Melba Moore - The Long and Winding Road

*Late night dance floor wrap up:
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five - The Message
Quincy Jones - Summer in the City
Quincy Jones - Mellow Madness
Willie "Beaver" Hale - Groove On

Special thanks to DJ Jun for a truly fun, mellow good time! See you all next week. Enjoy the fireworks and make some of your own.