There’s just some­thing about ten-piece man-bands that com­bine latin rhythms, reggae beats and horns that do it for me. Cat Empire (Mel­bourne), Les Hur­le­ments d’Léo (Bor­deaux) and Ozo­matli (Los Angeles) just make my hips sway, my feet move, my smile ache and my heart sing. 

Tonight, I took Doug out the the Moun­tain Winery in Saratoga and we ate deli­cious food (crab cakes and sea­food salad and crème brûlée with ber­ries) and then we danced and laughed and partied to Ozo­matli and drank good Zin­fandel and for those moments, all was good in the world and there were no bor­ders and love conquered all. I rang Matt and played him music down the phone (I seem to do this at con­certs these days; it makes up for not having my friends there I think…) One of the guys in the band said, “Hey, it’s like some big back­yard party North Cali style!” and it was: open air, star­light and hun­dreds of people on their feet clap­ping their hands. I think one of the best things was all the kids – in the end, Wil said some­thing about the 5th-grader he’d encountered on one of his forays into the audi­ence and dragged the kid on stage. Exper­i­ence to remember.

And then we got back onto Ben­zaiken (the scooter) and rode down the moun­tain around those curvy roads back home in the star­light.

For those slightly north of us, they’re appar­ently playing some­where in Berkeley on Sat­urday…