Archive | March, 2010

C’mon DJ, Play That Song

26 Mar

So, I recently applied to be a DJ at a local radio station which doubles as one of my favorite things about Memphis.  I’m not banking on hearing back, but just trying to live the dream.  As I wrote paragraph upon paragraph about how music as influenced me, my first cd, the message my “hour” would convey, I realized that “my” music does have a theme.  I start with the fundamentals, the old stuff, the classics.  Then I twist it.  I search out everything it has influenced and become.  I find trends of solid, good, somewhat universal music amongst various types, genres, and styles of music.  Crooked Still doing Oxford Town (Bob Dylan).  The Avett Brothers who were once punk but now bluegrass (and maybe even rock to some).  Ollabelle doing old hymns.  Sufjan Stevens also.  And then there’s the Carolina Chocolate Drops who sound like an old band but are new and do a folk-ish rendition of “Hit ‘Em Up Style.”  There’s Cat Power doing Dylan.  And there’s Steve Earle’s* son doing a song about south georgia which is always good for the soul. There’s Ray Charles who influenced Kanye West.  And there’s Loretta Lynn teaming up with Jack White.  Am I wrong?  You tell me.  Here is my playlist for the music sampling I had to submit for the application:

Home 5:06 Up from Below (Bonus Track Version) Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Little Sadie 2:37 Can’t Stare Down a Mountaineer Crooked Still
See Line Woman 2:53 Riverside Battle Songs Ollabelle
Why Do You Let Me Stay Here? 2:31 Volume One She & Him
Crayola Doesn’t Make a Color for Y… 3:35 Kiss Me Hello Kristin Andreassen
Rave On (feat. Zooey Deschanel) 3:36 Hold Time M. Ward
Tightrope 3:18 Dark Was the Night Yeasayer
Temazcal 3:49 Monsters of Folk Monsters of Folk
Jerusalem Ridge 5:44 Can’t Stare Down a Mountaineer Casey Driessen
Hit ‘Em Up Style 3:57 Genuine Negro Jig Carolina Chocolate Drops
Honeymade 4:59 a Flower In Your Head john gold
Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Me… 6:53 I’m Not There (Original Soundtrack)… Cat Power
I Got a Woman 2:52 Ray Charles Ray Charles
Love Please Come Home 3:38 Can’t Stare Down a Mountaineer Doc & Merle Watson
Only a Song 4:22 Dear Companion Ben Sollee & Daniel Martin Moore
Memphis 2:36 Johnny Rivers: Greatest Hits Johnny Rivers
The Ghost Inside 3:18 Broken Bells Broken Bells
Oxford Town/Cumberland Gap 2:21 Shaken By A Low Sound Crooked Still
Paranoia In B Major 3:38 Emotionalism (Bonus Track Version) The Avett Brothers
Riverside 3:52 Riverside Battle Songs Ollabelle
South Georgia Sugar Babe 2:48 The Good Life Justin Townes Earle
Secret Meeting 3:45 Alligator The National
The Real You 5:04 Take Me Home The Biscuit Burners
Rain 3:36 The Broken String Bishop Allen
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing 4:43 Sufjan Stevens: Songs for Christmas Sufjan Stevens
by your side 2:53 plague of dreams the everybodyfields
Folsom Prison Blues 2:52 Dent Place III Johnny Cash
Magic Bus 3:17 My Generation – The Very Best Of T… The Who
Turtle Dove 3:08 Can’t Stare Down a Mountaineer The Duhks
Portland Oregon 3:49 Van Lear Rose Loretta Lynn & Jack White
California 3:40 Mason Jennings Mason Jennings
Lake Michigan 3:48 Asleep At Heaven’s Gate Rogue Wave
City Of New Orleans 4:53 The Essential Willie Nelson Willie Nelson
She Just Wants to Dance 3:31 For Momma Keb Mo

*Bonus points for whoever knows the tv show that stars Steve Earle.  It is also my favorite tv show.

A Brave New Dinner Plate

26 Mar

My latest form of fun has become cooking: planning meals, shopping for meals, preparing them, eating them, and even eating them the next day at work.  Recently inspired by Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma (of which I have read half of the introduction, due to its bulky nature), I have come to understand that the bulk of not only what we eat but also what it is packaged in all comes from corn, which is not the diet our bodies were created to consume.  So we must feed ourselves better.  With meats, fruits, and most of all, vegetables.  So, as hinted in a previous email, Joe and I have recently joined a Community Supported Farm, Whitton Farms. Our weekly box of fresh, locally-grown vegetables will start in April.

In the meantime, I also kick-started my desire to eat better using Michael Pollan’s slimmer Food Rules (Jam and I read this on our road trip to Natchez) and an amazing cook book, Mark Bittman’s Food Express which teaches you how to stock your pantry, how to make substitutes, and how to cook around what’s in season.  After heeding some of his advice on a grocery run to Whole Foods, I have had an amazing week of yummy food that I found multiple ways to use and not waste.

For example, I got home last night without a thought of what to eat.  After looking through my new “dinner handbook,” I cooked a quick breast of chicken which I then shredded (20 minutes).  In a small bowl, I mixed a few spoonfuls of plain yogurt (which has doubled as my breakfast this week), the juice of a lime (which I had on hand because of the guacamole we made this weekend), cilantro (also leftover), some chopped mango, and curry powder.  I added the chicken and served it over some greens that I had as well.  It was delicious last night and again today for lunch.  This cookbook has caused a minor revolution in the way I think about the food I have on hand and how to use it.

Finally, what compelled me to even identify this recent trend in my life is a quote I just read in mojo’s favorite new magazine, Oxford American.  The article is about the Greene County Farmer’s Market in the Black Belt of Alabama.

For those of us who love to eat, these are hopeful times.  Mindful eating is in vogue.  As I write these words, Michael Pollan has two food books on the New York Times bestseller list, and our First Lady is focusing her attention on the linkages between this nation’s food supply chain and childhood obesity.  Perhaps a change is coming in what we eat and how we eat. (John T. Edge)

All Ears on Deck: Broken Bells

19 Mar

The jam knows there are two ways directly to my heart: a delicious cupcake and new music.  Well, this week he brought the thunder* and fully embraced his nickname, finding me both a Muddy Bakeshop cupcake and a new album to get excited about.  You will get excited too: check out NPR’s All Things Considered to learn more about Broken Bells a collaboration between Danger Mouse (think Gnarls Barkley) and James Mercer (think the Shins).  Brilliant.

* Note: Jam’s “thunder” is not a thing of rarity.  It has also been a week of a new cookbook (Pioneer Woman!) and the joining of a CSA (that’s right, my meat and potatoes boy is going kale with me).

** Note: A close to second to a recent music introduction is a tie between the jam and my mother, who simultaneously wrote me to share another NPR’s All Things Considered about a band I already loved but just came out with an amazing version of Hit ‘Em Up Style.

Playing Hard to Get

19 Mar

After a long day of work, I came home today and balanced the mojo budget.  The thought of devoting so much time to that blasted budget kills me.  On top of the budget, I just spent my last weekend (ah, on a roadtrip involving a small town, road bikes, and the magical combination of the hot sun and cool spring air) day-dreaming.

Suddenly, I realize that my dreaming has become compartmentalized.  Reserved for the weekends.  I mourn that.

But, oh, the dreams!  The jam and I outlined the book that is going to make me famous.  I made the beginnings of a playlist that I’ll use to apply to be a dj at the local volunteer radio station that will lead me to become a famous music critic.  I read a book on food and imagined the meals I’d make when I joined a local CSA.

A mere 4 days later and although I have registered (and paid, gulp) for the CSA, I can’t say I have gotten anywhere closer to making my big dreams a reality.  Just balancing a budget that reminds me of my chains.

Is the grass always greener?  Do I take hold of these dreams and be proud that they are mine?  Do I wallow in the fact that I don’t have a bestseller, a business of my own, or a job where I work in the sun?  When do our dreams diverge from our reality?  When do we pursue a convergence and when do we make lemonade?