what i'm making. what i'm listening to while i make it.

i want to rock your gypsy soul

MAKING: Totally not homemade ginger/carrot soup, honey roasted peanuts and potato chips

LISTENING: Van Morrison, Moondance (“Into the Mystic“)

Oh my lord Van, how do i love thee? Let me count the ways. Your ever-changing facial hair, ecstatic shrieks and penchant for tight-fitting velvet pants. Dude’s got some flair, for real. What’s also for real is how hard “Into the Mystic” kills it. The link above is a live version, clocking in at 6 minutes, 52 seconds of breezy genius.  SOMEHOW IT’S NOT LONG ENOUGH.

the films and the eyes

MAKING: a lovely peanut butter & raspberry rhubarb jam sandwich with potato chips. huh. i just realized that one of my tattoos looks exactly like this sandwich. wow. i do love pb &j, so…

LISTENING: r.e.m, green

guys, this is from the day r.e.m broke up, THAT’S how behind i am on this shit. christ. cos they broke up in like 1998, right? no? ah. i see. well, that’s a damn shame.

in love with the radio on

MAKING: B.L.T with leftover potatoes from the brite spot (peppers removed!)

LISTENING: the modern lovers, the modern lovers

oh god i love the modern lovers so much. my bones love the modern lovers. no other band makes me so happy and so homesick at the same time, what with jonathan richman’s many references to all things massachusetts, from stop & shop to the museum of fine arts in boston to government center to route 128 when it’s dark outside. i can’t go a week without listening to them or i feel terrible. i am absolutely not exaggerating. i love this band to fucking bits.

the stranger now

MAKING: wheat toast with butter & raspberry rhubarb jam

LISTENING: the flaming lips, yoshimi battles the pink robots

how did i live from 1982-2002 without this record? your guess is as good as mine, friend.

not too blind to see

MAKING: vegetable samosas with greens and honey roasted peanuts

LISTENING: the rolling stones, some girls

mick jagger makes for a better looking woman than one might imagine, no?

gonna be so, so tired

MAKING: tempura shrimp, brown rice, greens, a carrot, a tomato

LISTENING: wild flag, wild flag

this record is like a dream come true, a dream filled with the lady rock heroes of my youth, and guitars and keyboards and anger and chucks and drums and everything else i hold dear. i listened to this album for almost two weeks straight and i don’t regret a single second of it.

something like a woman

MAKING: ramen with an egg and some raw red cabbage

LISTENING: melanie, gather me

if someone put a gun to my head and forced me to choose my favorite ’60s-’70s folk chanteuse, it would be melaine, hands down. so terrifically underrated. this album has the hit you know from “boogie nights,” and the song that will oldham covered, and it’s so goddamn good.

seeking a satisfied mind

MAKING: bruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunch! an egg, a tomato, mixed greens and these AMAZING potato chips from trader joe’s that have three different kinds of potatoes involved, all delicious. oh. god. yes. lazy man’s home fries. weekends, i prefer the weekends.

LISTENING: mimi & richard farina, celebrations for a grey day

i have long been impressed with the fact that richard gave mimi first billing. i bought this gem of a record out in western massachusetts a couple years ago on a whim, knowing absolutely nothing about it other than the fact that i liked the artwork (the back is better than the front) and that it was old and on vanguard and thus probably fine. IT’S BETTER THAN FINE.

mimi is joan baez’s little sister for crying out loud and she shares the reed-thin, high-pitched crystal clear vocals, but somehow sounds less preachy. like you could shoot the shit with mimi, drink a beer maybe. joan would just judge you and want you to protest more and live in quiet solitude when you’re not protesting. TEAM MIMI. bitch married this amazing dude (a writer/pal of bob dylan) at seventeen, went and lived in a cabin in carmel with him and some dulcimers, put this album out by eighteen, lived a generally amazing life for a few years and then had her 29 year-old husband die in a motorcycle accident on her 21st goddamn birthday.


shivered like a child

MAKING: cappellini with tomato sauce and goat cheese, plus some greens FOR YOUR HEALTH! functional, utilitarian, nutritionally balanced, ridiculously easy and delish. i’ve been so busy lately, i think i would have wasted away to nothing it it weren’t for pasta. LOVE IT.

LISTENING: the cure, the head on the door

that smeared lipstick! that wild hair! oh god robert smith, you will always command a small portion of my perennially teenage heart. i am powerless against your charms, for real.

although i might not seem to care

MAKING: carol of you haven’t seen braveheart?! and los angeles is more came over to mah house and we made a lovely dinner together! we began by stuffing our faces with soybeans, which i know are evil. the oranges are homegrown at least. sigh.

our main course consisted of salmon, udon noodles and a mixture of brussels sprouts and carrots, which i don’t always love cooked, but which worked here provided the copious amounts of soy sauce involved. SO MUCH SOY. ugh.

LISTENING: yeah, we listened to billy joel’s greatest hits

volume one AND volume two! i’m not really a greatest hits kind of person, but it’s billy joel. ALL I WANT ARE THE HITS (and even then i’m a little ashamed). JUDGE AWAY!

maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray

MAKING: i have a terrible jaw and should really never let a bagel into my mouth but I CAN’T HELP IT. they are just so satisfying and filling, like a hot, marginally nutritional donut. this one is made of wheat; one half just has goat cheese on it, the other is smothered with goat cheese and this delicious raspberry rhubarb jam some friends brought back to CA for me from my hometown in MA. such a thoughtful/useful/tasty gift! yay carol and josh! thanks again!

LISTENING: the beach boys, pet sounds

records that keep me from throwing myself in front of a bus for $400 please, alex.

a memory that will stay

MAKING: tomato soup & toast with goat cheese. a lazy man’s grilled cheese, if you will.

LISTENING: cults, cults

there are bands that i’ve loved for years and never seen live, and then there’s cults, a baby of a band whom i managed to catch three times this summer. the first show was at the eagle rock community center, which is exactly what it sounds like. it had one bathroom and would be better suited to children’s art fairs and town meetings than rock shows. so bad. so good: both writer and guards opened, so i was in HOG HEAVEN.

the second time was at the FYF fest, in the hot hot L.A. sun. i drank a potent combination of hendrick’s gin and fresh watermelon juice on the way to the festival, so this was a fun show fersure! the third time i saw cults was during fashion’s night out, at the 3.1 phillip lim party. the singer wore the exact jacket i had ogled in the store (brown leather, slim fit, zip closure, embellished with rhinestones, priced at $2,000). i could have jumped on stage and wrestled it off of her, but i held myself back. cults isn’t really that great live, but they do come out to the ‘twin peaks’ theme song, so how can i hate?

the dark side of the road

MAKING: french toast lovingly smothered in massachusetts maple syrup with a smattering of blackberries. my usual weekend jam, yo. so very yummy.

LISTENING: bob dylan, the freewheelin’ bob dylan

this cover kills me every time. the slushy nyc snow! the perfect VW bus! the sheer optimism and joy in suze’s face, clinging to this insanely talented and enigmatic dude she somehow snared and will one day lose! SHE IS LIVING WITH BOB DYLAN AND HE IS OBSESSED WITH HER. i can’t imagine he’s ever been a good roommate, so i’m only a little bit jealous.

if i had just a little time

MAKING: a wheat bagel with tons ‘o butter & a handful of blackberries

LISTENING: camper van beethhoven, vampire can mating oven

i bought this ’80s-college radio gem at a now defunct record store in greenfield, massachusetts that was called about music. it was run by two super-nice/socially awkward dudes and i literally cried like a baby when they closed (only to be delighted when newcomer john doe, jr. set up shop on the same street!).

when i brought this ep up to the counter, the dude who helped me got so very excited that i was buying it, breaking character to loudly profess his love for the band. usually, homeboy was pretty quiet. maybe he wasn’t into anything i’d bought up until then? i was buying a lot of melanie in those days, so that’s entirely possible. i’d understood that this guy was a bit older than me, but it didn’t really hit home until he bragged about how “ice cream every day” was one of he and his friends’ favorite songs IN HIGH SCHOOL. this record/that song came out in 1984, making me exactly two years old when they were listening to it in real time, tooling around in cars, blasting david and the boys through shitty speakers, the wind in their heavily gelled hair. was i jealous? YOU BET YOUR BOOTS. camper van is so goddamn good.