Wednesday, August 1st, 2012


Favorite recipe?
A simple wilted kale salad taught to me by a friend.  Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries is an often referenced cookbook. I love its simplicity and anecdotal approach to easy-to-prepare, seasonal, wholesome food.

Last great book you read?
Bird lovers, Backyard
by Thalia Field

Summer drink of choice?
Sharp, effervescent mineral water over ice, cucumber agua fresca, cold brewed coffee. I’m also incredibly partial to a very cold, peppery and tart margarita.

Your Animals-names and breeds?
Regrettably none at the moment. I plan to enjoy the fine company of a Newfoundland or a Bernese Mountain Dog one day.

Do you exercise? What do you do, if so?
I love to swim. I will jump in (almost) anything but prefer 50 meter outdoor lap pools. You’ll also find me on a bicycle more often than not. Hiking is a joy I don’t get to often enough.

Salty or sweet?
Salty, preferably with a dark slab of chocolate attached.

Who inspires you and why?
Anyone who does considered and excellent work. Inspiration is everywhere: friends, trees, scents, driving, walks in strange towns…  Barbara Jordan, Charlotte Perriand, Grace Paley, Natalie Chanin – Citizens working towards positive social change.

Pool or ocean?
A clear mountain lake.

Favorite city?
Impossible to decide. Incapable of dating (even casually) more than one person at a time, with places, I philander – wildly having affairs with various towns, rural intersections, and major metropolises.

Last great vacation?
Weekend at the Oregon coast with friends. We christened the huge sectional “the nap raft”™, slothful!

Favorite TV show?
PBS “Mystery!”. I must say, I prefer radio.

Weirdest job you’ve ever had?
Coordinating the installation of very high value art in the middle of Regents Park or in tandem with the tough South Miami Beach union forklift drivers. Being on tour playing music is a bit strange, I suppose.

Favorite restaurant?
NYC: The bar at Gene’s on 11th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues.
Of note: Justine’s Brasserie and Elizabeth Street Cafe in Austin.  Sitka & Spruce in Seattle.

Favorite object in your home?
A pencil drawing by my grandmother.
Close second: 1971 Guild Starfire IV

Favorite piece of clothing?
I have a pair of leather and suede boots so shredded they barely stay on my feet, a Paul Smith suit I scored during a Doug Aitken video shoot, and I must mention the old standbys: Levis 517s and off-brand Swiss bras. Evidently my rack is “alpine”.

Favorite blog or website?
, Cycling Inquisition, Twitter, SAIPUA, sound design websites, awesometapes.com. I’ve been a little kidnapped in album production and promo work to check in with blogs much lately. I can lose days in design archives. A quick overview of The Daily Mail gossip page before I turn off the computer each day is tremendously satisfying.

Something you’re scared of?
Boredom. It’s never good.

Favorite record?
The Impressions’ “The Young Mods Forgotten Story”.
Of note: Duke Ellington’s “Such Sweet Thunder”, Dusty Springfield’s “Dusty in Memphis”,  Pretenders’ “Pretenders”.

Favorite pop song?
Killing me! Only one?  “She Said, She Said” by The Beatles.

Your ideal day?
Yesterday I woke up in Ohio on tour with my band. We were staying with friends in their beautiful home – white light, bright wainscoting, a wild herb garden, open shower with pebble floor, design books on cubbied shelves. We all sat at a large table with their two year old daughter, eating frittata and draining pot after pot of fresh coffee. I took a brief nap during the drive to Chicago, then lay on the back bench seat listening to discussions of the Bee Gees, pop songwriting, and much laughter. We arrived at the venue to a home-cooked/grilled BBQ spread, saw old and new friends, drank red wine and played a great show.  Touring and the music business can be extremely challenging. Yesterday it was not. The only possible improvement? A hike in the Alps to a swim and a bicycle race. And a bit of steamed broccolini.

Favorite gift you’ve ever received?
Guitar from my father.

Favorite flower?

Favorite scent (perfume)?
Personal proprietary scent.  Shhhhhh.

Astrological sign?
Aries.  I’ve been told my rising sign is a very strong Capricorn but I’ve a whole lot of Mars in my chart.  “Half and half.”

What do you do for a living?
I am a musician. I think about space, arts consulting, curating, and cultural activism are passions that also pay the bills.

Where do you live?
Portland, Oregon.

Your lucky number?

What piece of art would you buy if you had absolutely no budget?
Ohhh another hard one!  Ruth Asawa sculpture with either “Saturn Devouring His Son” by Goya or Robert Frank’s “34th Street, New York, 1951” as close seconds.

What is your favorite thing about yourself?
I enjoy my inquisitiveness, love of listening and good conversations. I’ve been told I am kind, which is a high compliment.  I also like the freckle on my lip.

LISTEN: You don’t love her… YET

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Today’s “LISTEN” segment in Loving’s Five Senses celebrates Portland (and you all know my love for Portland given my Oregon roots) – singer/song-writer, Rebecca Gates. I’ve enjoyed her company over many evenings of drinking and eating. Not only is the music warm and beautiful, she is too. If you’re fortunate enough to be in Portland, you should give her a call.

In the 1990’s Rebecca founded the indie band, The Spinanes, with Chicago drummer, Scott Plouf. Their discography ranges across tracks like the funky “Kid in Candy” and the lyrical “Epiphany”.  After the Spinanes, Rebecca went on to do vocal collaborations with Elliott Smith and Ben Lee. Her rich musical past weaves itself like a golden thread through her present-day tonal consciousness.

Her deep, soulful grace turns every song into a moving ballad (as witnessed in her solo rendition of “You Don’t Love Me Yet”) reminiscent of great alto rock heroines of yesteryears Cowboy Junkies, Susan Tedeschi, and K’s Choice.

Experience the sound of Rebecca Gates LIVE tonight, Wednesday November 2, from 6-7 PM EST at the “Upright Citizens Brigade” Theatre or on WFMU’s Seven Second Delay. The show is broadcast live on WFMU 91.1 in the NYC/NJ area and is archived online at WFMU.org.

TAGGED: Rebecca Gates