Like many, I’ve put in my share of telework hours from home in this year of COVID. One of the bonus aspects of this time has been the ample opportunities to listen to both a myriad of podcasts as well as music. I debated whether to subscribe to Spotify for the longest time, but never have I been so happy to have made that decision as I have the past several months.
It struck me during one otherwise insignificant workday that, despite the lack of usual topics to blog about, there was an opportunity to expand on a topic that I have on occasion blogged about: music. But my mind on this day went one step further: why not intersect the two fields? There’s plenty of music about food, and Spotify is as good a source to figure out what\’s out there.
So thus, the Weekly Music Platter: random swaths of music about food that will be posted every or every other Friday for as long as I feel up to it. And with Halloween right around the corner, music related to this annual ritual of feeding that sweet tooth via your neighbors’ generosity seemed perfectly appropriate. And reflecting that generosity, we threw in a couple extra treats for good measure (playlist embedded at the end of the post.)
1) “Great Pumpkin Waltz” – Vince Guaraldi Trio: Sadly, 2020 has meant the end for Charlie Brown on network TV – as reported in various media sources, “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” has been relegated to pay TV on the Apple TV Plus network. But we will not miss on kicking the football on this one, as we pay tribute to what has been a good run for all us Peanuts lovers with this familiar Vince Guaraldi romp.
2) “Candyman” – Cornershop: Cornershop, centered around bandmates Tjinder Singh and Ben Ayers, has blended Punjabi, pop, psychedelic and glam rock music influences for well over two decades and ten albums. Off their biggest album “When I Was Born For The 7th Time”, this band’s “Candyman” is said to own the dark, which seems absolutely apropos for Halloween.
3) “Bit-O-Honey” – Epsom: Bit-O-Honey was one of those candies I pawned off on my younger siblings during my trick-or-treating days, but I eventually realized that this peanut and honey taffy style candy wasn’t half bad. Neither is this song by Epsom, a Springfield, Illinois band which has been pounding out rock chords around their local area since 2012.
4) “Cherry Licorice- The Felice Brothers: This Catskill Mountain-based group has found the Americana/Folk Rock scene to be fruitful, starting with their 2006 album “Through These Reins and Gone” and continuing with their 2019 “Undress” release. Halloween-wise, I wish I would’ve gotten far more cherry flavored licorice swirls than that truly awful black variety, which ranks as probably the most reviled things I ever found in my bag at the end of the night.
5) “Baby Ruth” – John Prine: in terms of anguish, John Prine and his death due to the current COVID pandemic ranks high up there with musicians and fans across all genres. Prine’s subtle but biting tunes on various social issues made him beloved by many; however, “Baby Ruth” is much more of a subtle love song, about a woman who “always raised a smile” and allowed Prine to “keep all (his) stuff stashed out under your bed.”
6) “Candy Apple Red” – Annabelle Chairlegs: For the longest time, I remember being warned about accepting things like Caramel or Candy Apples at Halloween, due to that dreaded threat of hidden razor blades or other dastardly sharp objects being stashed inside. For me, it seemed like an overblown threat – I never ever encountered a house that actually even tried to pass these out to kids. And as an adult, my lazy ass would think there’s way too much labor involved, much less make them a terrifying treat. Starting in Santa Fe, Annabelle Chairlegs has moved onto Austin and has made some waves since their 2015 “Watermelon Summer” EP, earning them a “2018 Band to Watch” nomination by Austin Monthly.
7) “Trick or Treat” – Lionel Hampton: Yes, this is NOT strictly a food reference song, but c\’mon, it\’s Lionel Hampton, the Louisville, KY-born musician who worked with pre-eminent figures like Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker, and Quincy Jones. Hampton\’s vibraphone work on this track, off his “You Better Know It!!!” long-player, is sure to calm down any sugar high that you may build up on this upcoming Halloween night.