On Thursday night, Bryan and I found front-row chairs at the Hotel Cafe for Garrison Starr and Gary Jules. The intimate, dimly lit lounge lined with red velvet curtains is one of our favorite places to see live music. It usually has a fantastic line-up of singer-songwriters — on previous trips, we’d caught Ray LaMontagne and Joshua James. Near the end of Gary’s very relaxed set, he took requests from the crowd. Several shouted, “The Princess of Hollywood Way!” It was an old song, so he took a minute to strum through it quickly away from the mic. Then he dove in … but started grinning when he couldn’t remember the beginning of the last verse. Someone from the audience shouted, “If I had a nickel!” He gratefully picked up the cue. I love that you get this kind of closeness between performer and audience at the Hotel. While Gary was playing, I also got to thinking about how Bryan and I had our first date here. Back then, I had a stud in my nose and Bryan had a hoop through one ear. It felt like ages ago.