Here it is. The obligatory end of year list. As is the case with every year, I try to keep track of albums I love starting in January. Then all of a sudden December rolls around and I feel confident I missed a ton, or glossed over some great ones. I have lofty ambitions to revisit certain albums (Django Django, CHAPPO, Fiona Apple, etc.) and then it never happens.
Disclaimer now done, here is a list of 20 albums and 10 EPs (in no particular order) that I really enjoyed this year, and recommend checking out! (more…)
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t going to put a list together – it just seemed too daunting, I was bound to forget important ones, definitely haven’t gotten a chance to listen to many of the most lauded – but then a friend called me out and I naturally I had to rise to the challenge.
I don’t want to call this a “Best of 2010” list, because I feel kind of like a fraud saying that. Music is so subjective. To this day I still don’t really understand the mad mass love of Beach House. Maybe I’ll discover what I’m missing in 2011, but for the moment it is not music that grabs me personally.
That being said, I now present my favorite 25 albums and 5 EPs of 2010…
Music and food have always been two things tied closer to emotion than almost anything else. When you’re in a great mood you want to bop down the street to Ben Lee or The Beatles. When you’re pissed you might pull out some Aerosmith or Alkaline Trio. And especially when you’re bummed out, a pint of ice cream or chicken noodle soup, a warm blanket and some Bon Iver sound really good.
This week it’s all about comfort food and comfort tunes. Like a chef pairing your wine and entrée, I’ll be pairing each playlist with a delectable recipe perfect for when you need a pick me up. We start with a cold day classic: soup. Chicken noodle is of course the most traditional, but below check out a fantastic Rachel Ray recipe for Smoky Sweet Potato Chicken Stoup – I’ve made this one before, pretty sure I messed up somewhere, and STILL had a great dish that lasted for days. Sort of like this playlist (except I NEVER mess up, obvi) – so eat up, team.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 medium carrots, peeled
2 ribs celery
1 large onion, peeled and halved
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 chipotle chili in adobo, finely chopped, plus a spoon of sauce from the can
Salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon dry thyme (eyeball it)
1 bay leaf
1 cup dry white wine (eyeball it)
5 cups chicken stock
1 large sweet potato
3/4-1 pound chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
4 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, a generous handful, roughly chopped
1/2 cup sour cream, for garnish (optional)
Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat with two tablespoons of EVOO, about two turns of the pan.
While soup pot heats, chop carrots in half lengthwise then slice into thin half moons. Add the carrots to the pot while it heats, stirring to coat the carrots in the EVOO. Chop and drop in celery and onion, chopping as small as you can, but don’t make yourself crazy. Add the garlic, chipotle, and adobo sauce and stir to combine. Season the veggies with salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf. Cook the veggies together for one minute. Add the wine and reduce a minute. Add the stock to the pot, cover the pot, and raise heat to high. Bring the stoup to a boil, remove the cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into quarters lengthwise, then thinly slice into bite-size pieces. Add the cut chicken and sweet potatoes and simmer five minutes until sweet potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through. Turn the heat off and add the scallions and cilantro. Serve each portion of stoup with a dollop of sour cream on top.
After a crazy weekend at Coachella, I thought I would go back to basics. And by basics I mean something learned in kindergarten: the color wheel. Who doesn’t fondly remember the discovery of purple? Green? Orange? And the disappointment when it became clear that mixing them all together created not a magical rainbow of color, but gross brown. So many failed fingerpaintings.
In following with the timeless ROYGBIV, we begin with red, orange and variations thereof. AND in following with kindergarten-level activities, I shall name all items I can think of in that color spectrum:
This whole thing started through an obsession with several Scottish bands all at the same time (Mumford & Sons, Belle & Sebastian, Frightened Rabbit, 1990’s and We Were Promised Jetpacks since you were obviously wondering) which I felt the need to share with the world via twitter. The next day I happened to like two songs that were both swimming related and decided to find a couple more to complete the playlist. Then I figured I should probably stick to some sort of theme if I were to continue this thing and had to ask my boyfriend for “air” song recommendations. And so on and so forth.
The next steps were all pretty much various efforts to find ways NOT to annoy people with my new hobby. I created a separate twitter account so that my followers actually had a choice whether or not to receive insane amounts of music links on a daily basis. Then to stop clogging the newsfeeds of all my facebook friends I decided to consolidate each days playlists into a single daily note.
And now for those who don’t tweet or status-update, and because I didn’t feel like I was using enough forms of social media – I started a blog as a home for it all.
So forgive the barrage of posts coming up in the next 24 hours – just getting the blogosphere (is that what people say?) caught up with what’s going down.