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Wednesday, June 18, 2003  

Road trippin'

Using our massive, if completely unorganized music collection as well as a few songs from the iTunes store, I have compiled CDs as a two-volume soundtrack to our upcoming southern pilgrimage. I'll let you draw your own conclusions about where we're headed. The CDs turned out pretty well; I was hoping for an interesting sampling of songs related to the two larger themes -- New Orleans and 'southern music,' either in theme or style. The NOLA CD contains the predictable songs with New Orleans references, a handful of zydeco and a couple of brass jazz numbers. The southern music CD largely consists of classic blues tunes, with a sprinkling of other thematically-related songs thrown in. I'd wanted to add some Al Green and Talking Heads' version of "Take Me to the River" just for the Memphis flare they'd have added, but the CDs were long enough already.

Vol. 1 - NOLA
Blue Bayou - Linda Rondstadt
Goin’ Louisiana - Taj Mahal (?)
Do you know what it means? - Harry Connick, Jr.
When the Saints Come Marchin’ In - Louis Armstrong
Zydeco Le Louisian - Buckwheat Zydeco
Minquen - Lynn August
Summertime - Ella Fitzgerald
Lovin’ in my Baby’s Eyes - Leftover Salmon
At the Jazz Band Ball - Arturo Sandoval
Margaritaville - Jimmy Buffett
New Orleans Beat - Steve Reily
City of New Orleans - Arlo Guthrie
Proud Mary - Tina Turner
Saturday Night Special - Louisiana Playboys

Vol 2. Southern Music [Mostly related to Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Memphis]
La Grange - ZZ Top
Fishin’ - [?]
You Shook Me - B.B. King
Walking in Memphis - Marc Cohn
Whole Lotta Shakin’ - Jerry Lee Lewis
I Gotta Move Out - B.B. King
The Sky is Crying - Stevie Ray Vaughn
Fulsom Prison - Johhny Cash
Mannish Boy - Muddy Waters
Pride and Joy - Stevie Ray Vaughn
Tupelo - John Lee Hooker
Sweet Home Chicago - Robert Johnson
I’ve Been to Memphis - Lyle Lovett

posted by elle | Wednesday, June 18, 2003 |
 

On Nigella

My attitude toward torte tart Nigella Lawson seems to cycle. There are times that I look forward to snuggling in and watching her 30-minute show on the Style network, which resides on the upper end of our slate of digital-only cable channels. At times, I love her creative use of language, her descriptions of olive oil as "green ribbons" the aroma of cumin as its "musty depth."

However, there are other times when, like another arbiter of good taste*, I realize that she takes everything she says incredibly seriously. She is, for one, completely incapable of describing anything with a single adjective. Food should be "velvety rich" and "sumptuously smooth," but never too "brightly astringent". Flavors are "spring green" and a buttery sauce is done when it brings a "slicked sweetness" to pasta. Toasted nuts aren't toasted, they're "made amber by heat." Food doesn't simply have flavor, she "coaxes it [to exist] with a melding of aromatic, Morocco-esque spices." These aren't her actual phrases, of course, but you get the idea.

I'd like to watch a show that's at least 70 percent "learning to cook something interesting" and only 30 percent "the freakishly egomaniacal characteristics of the host." Is that so hard?

* - In either the May or June issue of Living (I can't recall which), Martha alludes in her editor's note about a forthcoming "provocative" article on how home cooks can make better use of apricots. She literally, honest to God, used the word "provocative." Thus ended my monthly Living purchases.

posted by elle | Wednesday, June 18, 2003 |
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