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 Musical Platters. The theme of this third edition noshes on some natural food pairings we all know and (mostly) love, all with a thymely rhythm and a sage sense of soul (playlist embedded at the end of this post.)
1) “Peanut Butter” – Lenny White and Twennynine: One of the founding fathers of Jazz Fusion, drummer Leonard “Lenny” White often dabbled in funk with his Twennynine outfit, with “Peanut Butter” being one the band’s biggest hits on the R&B chart. The band declares that this ubiquitous spread “ain’t nothing but a sammich!” during the catchy chorus, but for millions of elementary school children (including me), this was almost never a disappointment to find in the day’s lunch box.
2) “Jelly Jelly” – TWICE: the K-Pop invasion of the music world has been one of the stories of the 2010s, led by the viral popularity of Psy’s “Gangnam Style” (3.85 billion views of the video on YouTube, at last check) and spearheaded these days by the global juggernaut that is BTS. The all girl-group TWICE has done pretty well in their own right, selling over 9 million albums in South Korea and Japan since their founding in 2015.
3) “Apple Pie À La Mode” – Destiny’s Child: Of course, we all know the mega-presence Beyoncé has become ever since she went solo, but her work with her bandmates in Destiny’s Child (which included at varying times Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, LaTavia Roberson, LeToya Luckett and Farrah Franklin) was big time stuff, resulting in over 60 million records sold and numerous top 10 hits. In this tune, the women are definitely eyeing a whole different kind of luscious dessert pairing than the usual diner staple.
4) “Macaroni” – J-Music Ensemble: According to their YouTube channel, this New York-based band is “dedicated to bringing new perspectives to Japanese music” by marrying jazz with J-Pop. This tune would sound at home on any smooth jazz station that you can imagine, with a little bit of an al dente rhythmic twist at times (as on their most popular Spotify song “Simple and Clean”.)
5) “Cheese” – The Floozies: The plains states aren’t exactly the place you expect funky vibes, but then you find something like The Floozies page on Bandcamp. This Lawrence, KS-based duo brings a decidedly modern electro funk bent to tcreations such as “Dayglow Funk”, “Funk Jesus” and this song, which is off their “Live at the Tabernacle” collection.
6) “Shrimp and Grits (Interlude)” – Tedeschi Trucks Band: One of the more influential Americana bands of the past decade, this outfit led by husband/wife guitarists Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks’ albums have received uniform praise. Off their debut album “Revelator”, this short but sweet interlude shows a hint of how good the band is live in concert, with both extended jams and touring schedules.
7) “Grilled Cheese” – Peach Face: Otherwise known as Alison Ramirez, this Baltimore-based artist’s smooth pop/doo-wop ditty turned out to be a surprise secret hit of sorts for her, racking up nearly 500,000 streams in nearly 80 countries.
8) “Tomato Soup” – Nakanojojo & Bonjour Suzuki: Nakanojojo is a French-Canadian producer whose work is influenced by Anime, a natural fit for a singer like Bonjour Suzuki, whose debut was the theme song of the anime “Yurikuma Arashi.” Perhaps its time to end this blog post and catch an episode of cooking-related Anime productions like “Mister Ajikko”, “Chuuka Ichiban” or “Yume-iro Pâtissière”.