Music to Eat By

Music to Eat By

Isn’t it funny how almost anything—even a food blog—can bring all one’s high-school insecurities to the surface? Lately I’ve been watching a chain-letter-type-thingie being passed among all my favorite food blogs, and while I clearly haven’t had a whole lot of time to write lately (five posts in the last two weeks is pretty pathetic for me), I’ve been wondering if anyone would ever tap my shoulder and invite me to play. Add to that the fact that I don’t seem to get a whole lot of comments (unless I write about chocolate, that is…), and a complex threatened to develop. It hadn’t yet reached the level of breaking out my old motorcycle jacket and buzz-cutting one side of my hair, but I was beginning to feel like the unnoticed outsider, desperate for acceptance, that I had been during my teenage years. Maybe it’s time to go back to therapy, huh?

Well, no matter, because Clotilde of Chocolate and Zucchini, the inspiration for me and so many other food bloggers, kindly looked my way this morning. It’s as if the head cheerleader (and a sweet French foreign-exchange one, at that!) just asked me to sit next to her at lunch. The self-deprecating part of me is convinced it’s because there’s nobody else left to tap, but the self-loving part of me says what the fuck, it’s all good fun. Thanks, Clotilde! You just made an insecure adolescent’s day.

Since I have a spare half-hour to dash this off, here goes…

What is the total amount of music files on your computer?

1330 songs, enough to play for 3.5 days, 5.73 GB.

The CD you last bought?

It’s been ages since I bought an actual CD. S is a music addict—he owns upwards of 2500 CDs; we had shelves built lining our 13-foot hallway just to hold them all—and he downloads constantly, so if I even mention something to him he’ll go out and get it (err, sit at his computer and get it?). If memory serves, the last one I purchased was in July, during our 3-week honeymoon-road trip through Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, and it was This Is Big Audio Dynamite by Big Audio Dynamite. It brought back intense memories of my junior year in London, when Mick Jones had just formed the band and was playing all over town. I saw them live a bunch of times and wore out the grooves on my vinyl copy, and after a good fifteen years (damn, it’s actually nearly twenty!) I still remembered all the words.

What was the last song you listened to before reading this message?

The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra with Frank Sinatra, “Stardust.” Lately we’ve been trying to eat dinner without television, so we’ve been listening to music instead. S’s dad is a rabid Sinatra fan—several years ago S made a documentary about him and several like-minded individuals—so S has become something of an aficionado himself.

Write down 5 songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you.

1. “Downstream,” by Supertramp. This was our wedding song—I know, seeing the words “Supertramp” and “wedding song” in the same sentence is a little jarring, but the day after we got engaged S left a mixed CD on my doorstep and this song was on it. It’s absolutely beautiful, just the singer and a piano. The first time I heard it, it brought tears to my eyes, and it has ever since. Indulge me for a moment, while I post the lyrics:

Took a boat Sunday, down by the sea

It just felt so nice, you and me

We didn’t have a problem or a care

And all around was silence, everywhere

You are the reason I was born

Be with you through all seasons

I’ll always hear you when you call

We’ll keep the love light shining

Through each night and day

A lonely life behind me

Oh what a change you’ve made

So down here on the ocean we will stay

Went through a lot of changes

Turned a lot of pages

When I took a boat Sunday

To know you as I know you now

That is all I need

And we will get along somehow

If we both believe

So down here on the ocean we will stay

Went through a lot of changes

Turned a lot of pages

When I took a boat Sunday

2. “Up the Junction,” by Squeeze. I just love this song, the way Glenn Tilbrook’s voice gets all reedy and broken.

3. “Hey Ya” by Outkast. Had to have one pure party song, didn’t I? I must’ve listened to this a dozen times straight when I first got the CD (and I don’t listen to radio, so I didn’t even know it was the single). This song just does the trick, you know?

4. “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man,” by Aretha. Her voice. Those harmonies. ‘Nuff said.

5. “To Zion,” by Lauryn Hill. A song about how powerful it is to love your baby. I can only hope that someday I’ll understand.

Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?

I’m shocked, but I don’t think any of these writers have gotten hit yet, and they’re three of my favorites: Jennifer at The Domestic Goddess, Angela at A Spoonful of Sugar, and Barrett at Too Many Chefs.