It was a happy accident. After today's audition, which went very well but reiterated the fact that this business often times has little to do with actual talent, I felt like baking. Truth be told, I was supposed to meet a friend for drinks but her dog is sick so I opted to eat my feelings instead. (You guys, I swear I'm really not that depressed or anything. I just look for any excuse to consume mass quantities of food. I promise.) So, I settled on Molasses and Cayenne Popcorn Balls (a risk due to the fact that I've never made my own caramel and do not own a candy thermometer. shameful, I know.) and Strawberry Orange Muffins with Streusel Topping (I don't know why but I've been baking muffins and scones out the wazoo lately. Maybe it's the instant gratification I get from falling out of bed and into a plateful of last-night's adventures in baking. I don't know. ANYWHO, I brought my iPad in the kitchen and blindly turned on some music.
My spirits were immediately lifted as 'Express Yourself' boomed throughout my tiny kitchen. But when 'Love On Top' and 'Taking Chances' came on, I literally had to stop what I was doing, give my iPad a most approving nod, and try not to burn my caramel as I danced in front of my stove, attempting to keep up with Beyonce's riff's (skipping at least every other note and eventually bellowing out what I call a solid 'white girl riff'. Example posted below.), and doing my best French-Canadian accent while indulging in the occasional self-inflicted chest-pounding. Good news, I nailed my caramel (thanks to the old-school Hard-Ball test). I had to work fast to form the balls before the caramel got too hard. Luckily, this is when 'Vogue', 'Run the World', and appropriately '4 minutes to Save the World' came on. I worked furiously. And just as I finished my arduous task, I heard the words 'A New Day Has Come' and Celine's golden voice filled my apt. and my heart. I then proceeded to sing into my wooden spoon and touch the lives and hearts of anyone on the Devoe St. block that was forced to suffer thru my no-holds-bar rendition. Whatever. That's just how I roll.
Finished Product: Molasses Cayenne Popcorn Balls
I don't know if this post is about food or life or music or all of the above. I'm gonna go with music because music can be anything and everything; it can contradict itself and still somehow be honest. It's transcendent. It's raw. It's polished. It's infectious. It's sad. It's a memory. It's a friendship. It's a relationship. It's catharsis and so much more. I needed to be reminded of this today...even by the simplest of pop tunes. And on that note, I leave you with some other incredible tunes I've been losing myself in lately.
EXAMPLE OF WHITE GIRL RIFF:
THE TRIFECTA. I dare you to listen to these in succession and NOT feel good.
Then there's Edith. I cry. Everytime.
I'm sure my bama friends know and love Alabama Shakes, but if you don't then GET ON IT. They are incredible. Dave and I saw them at Brooklyn Bowl in Dec. I'm obsessed with Brittany's voice. It's like Tina Turner and Janis Joplin had a love child. And that love child is KILLING IT 24/7.
Also, this one:
The Secret Sister's. Love them and their pretty covers of old-school country tunes. This one's a double-whammy b/c Punch Brothers are playing with them.
I know it's been out for a while but I can't stop listening to Florence + the Machines new album, Ceremonials. Check it! Here's one of my many faves. I just love her mystical voice.
And if you have never seen this then you MUST. Patti Labelle singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". You can literally see the Holy Spirit enter her body at one point in this video. I don't want to say when. You'll know when it happens. Please wait for it. It's beyond worth it. I have to acknowledge my dear Wes Seals for reminding me of this gem.