FOOD: Vilma Mazaite poised to make LaV shine. From my story in the Statesman: "More than a decade ago, Vilma Mazaite lucked into a front-row seat to the high-stakes culinary blowout that was Las Vegas. "We were making lots of cash, learning a ton, selling amazing wine," said Mazaite, co-owner of LaV, the French eatery opening March 6 on East Seventh Street. "I was always lucky, being at the right place at the right time to bump into mentors. They gave me great advice." The Lithuanian-born wine expert, 34, absorbed one particular tip from that era of colonizing celebrity chefs in Vegas. "Never rush to get to the final point," she was told. "Never skip a step. I think a lot of young, ambitious people want it right away. But you learn so much if you take it one step at a time. When I was ready, I was ready." Mazaite is convinced she is prepared to steer LaV, where chef Allison Jenkins will present rustic, Mediterranean-influenced cuisine from the south of France, alongside Mazaite’s deep wine list." http://shar.es/Fk3y1(Smart, classy lady with a cool notion for an eatery.)

MEDIA: The podcast comes of age. Monday, I spent a sweet hour chatting with two bright Austin journalists, Omar Gallaga and Tolly Moseley, who have taken the podcast concept in fresh directions. Statesman Shots combines audio, video and written text in a way that makes a searching conversation palatable to any potential audience. I heard an early audio mix of our chat and was pleased that it accurately picked up the lively nature of our discussion about Austin’s social scene, SXSW etiquette, travel guides, work management and other topics. I must admit that I’d thought podcasts had gone the way of other media fads, but it turns out that the trend continued to pick up fans as it became more sophisticated technically. Follow the above link to sample our talk. Unlike radio talk, you can skip around the same recording to whatever interests you. (I’m sure I’ll prefer the audio to the video. Can’t get used to my bizarrely shaped skull.)

HISTORY: Texas tales told through food. From Addie Broyle’s story in the Statesman: "Texas was a republic for only about a decade, and we’re as independent in spirit now as we were more than 175 years ago, when delegates at Washington-on-the-Brazos signed the Texas declaration of independence. That was March 2, 1836, just days before the end of a 13-day siege at the Alamo in which roughly 200 Texian revolutionaries died defending what they didn’t know was their newly established republic. These are stories that singer-songwriter-chuck wagon cook K.R. Wood tells over and over again through his musical performances and history presentations. The Manchaca resident has been obsessed with Texas history since he was a boy growing up on a cattle ranch outside Wichita Falls, but it wasn’t until the late 1970s that he decided to combine his loves of music and history to write songs that help tell the stories of our great state in a whole new way." http://shar.es/FkoKO (A tale well-told.)

MUSIC: Letting go of the Beatles. From James Marcus’ story in Harper’s: "s it finally time to let go of the Beatles? I feel strange even posing the question, having been born on the cusp of the glorious Sixties and formed, to an astonishing degree, by John, Paul, George, and Ringo. Oh, there was plenty of other stuff going on — Vietnam, LSD, black power, feminism, and the so-called sexual revolution, which Philip Larkin famously pegged to the 1963 release of Please Please Me. But what got etched into my brain, as if it were the surface of one of those malleable, lacquer-coated acetates, was that music. My father, a Toscanini fanatic who had actually sold his digestive juices as a medical student to pay for his first turntable, bought all the early records. When my parents had dinner guests, he would play them "Ask Me Why" to prove that the Beatles weren’t simply long-haired louts but could sing in tune and write something with those jazzy, sophisticated sevenths." http://harp.rs/3srxi8e(Quite provocative.)