GREEN THINGS AND GROOVES: If you opened practically any magazine singing the praises of home comforts back around 1972 or '73, you were apt to find articles about houseplants, and the care and feeding of. It was the Age of Houseplantery, the early '70s, and everyone wanted to know how to make that fern or philodendron grow. One offbeat but oft-heard suggestion: music. In short, you were to play your plants Mozart or The Beatles and watch them flower like mad. The sad fact of the matter is our modern houses aren't overgrown with funky ferns these days, and we don't tend to set up the boombox next to the begonias, but we still can get the experience of tunes-plus-plants on a wider scale, via music festivals that take place in nature, or near nature. For sure, Outside Lands qualifies -- do all of those Golden Gate Park grow stronger after the August sound fest wraps? -- and there's a new one for the docket: Yountville Live. The first-ever long-weekender of music and eats and drinks lands just at the beginning of spring in an area known for its leafy things. (Leafy things, in this case, definitely equals vines.)
MARCH 19 THROUGH 22: The festival is all about "the very best in music, wine, and food with the small-town lifestyle and sophisticated ambiance of Yountville." O.A.R. is one act set for the kick-off year, and Colbie Caillat, Blue October, and Matt Nathanson will all be doing the good-vibes-all-around thing. Special dinners, The Taste of Yountville, and wine-focused events complement all of the small-town-big-sound rocking out that'll go down at the Lincoln Theater and beyond. But the real question is this: Will all of those vines grow just a bit harder, and a bit bigger, with all of the music that's in the air over the first weekend of spring? We direct that question back to those home magazines of the 1970s, that said singing in the vicinity of ferns was a positive thing to do. Yountville Live, you'll clearly bring the entertainment to the people, but here's hoping the grapes pick up some of the grooves, too.