An almost classical sensualist, Bourdain has codified the concept of living through and for your senses, which is why it's not surprising that in the last few seasons No Reservations has included forays into music with The Black Keys, Sleigh Bells, and Josh Homme, not to mention music heavy odes to New Orleans; and that Monday night's episode (the first of the show's "Final Tour") featured Austin during SXSW. Indeed, true music fans are sensualists by nature. We can't help ourselves. Music fans are all about that next sensation, especially if it's transcendent, and Bourdain knows. Whether it's seeing Neil Young and Crazy Horse performing "Cortez The Killer" at Bonnaroo or an eating an exquisite meal, while both are transitory experiences with finite sensations, their impact on the senses register them as something to be remembered for future reference. That's why we can remember vividly the first time we had really good Chinese food, the first time we heard a Sigur Ros album, or really profound concert experiences. It doesn't even have to be a new sensation because there's value for the familiar, and whether it's listening to a favorite album like Dark Side Of The Moon or mowing down a Ted's hot dog and some well done onion rings, scratching those itches just feels good. And if there's one thing Anthony Bourdain's taught us, it's to scratch that itch.
It was telling that Bourdain featured Sleigh Bells and Neon Indian in his Austin episode inasmuch that live both bands create intensely visceral audio visual experiences. I'm not a giant fan of Sleigh Bells but their show in July was a huge winner because my ears and eyes had an incredibly good time experiencing their show, whereas Neon Indian's live show is sublime non stop ear candy (and the light show ain't bad either). In short, both are perfect bands for sensualists like Anthony Bourdain. Hell, so many of the shows that have hit Buffalo this year have been a sensualists wet dream; from the gorgeous keyboard ecstacy of M83 to the angular and delicious art funk of St. Vincent, from the tasteful art pop of Cults to the all out sensory overload of Roger Waters, the senses of Buffalo music fans have been feasting.
So as No Reservations rides off into the sunset and Anthony Bourdain moves to CNN for god know's what, I feel compelled to express my thanks and gratitude. The living vicariously was all well and good, but it was his explorations into the sensualist philosophy that have made the world a better place because we too could make similar explorations of our own in our own communities (ie the foodie revolution, or maybe even local music blogs). The natural overlap between sensualists, foodies, and music fans, well that's just a bonus, for us and for Bourdain (who now gets to hang out with rock stars).
Note: the Austin episode of No Reservations re-airs Monday September 10 at 8 PM.