A Delicious Mix

Music is not my forte.

Movies, cocktails, television, the English language, throwing parties – I’m pretty good at these things. Not so much with the music. That said: I am surrounded by music. This is mostly why I’m appropriately humble about my knowledge, talent and musical aptitude. Here’s my husband, Tony, on clarinet: (“Burgundy Street Blues”). And here’s one of my best friends, Karen, performing a song she wrote: (“I Do”). And that’s just the tip of the drumstick. I have professional musicians crawling out of my earholes (err…so to speak). The above examples are the sort of thing I hear on a daily basis in my living room, live. I’m very lucky – and because of who I married, I probably know more about traditional jazz than 97.2 percent of the population. (This really isn’t saying a whole lot.)

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Yummy Gotye

But, modern music? I started falling behind in about, say, 1995. Look at some of my friends – (I can go by the Facebook postings alone of Greg, Brent, Ela, Nick, Stacia, Sam – Keen music mavens all.) These are the sorts folks that have external hard drives attached to their computers just to hold one GENRE of music. Thanks to them, and other friends like them, and The Current radio station, occasionally a song written post-1965 sneaks past my antediluvian shields and worms its way into my noggin.

There are certain modern artists from whom I will purchase any new release – but these tend to be folks who have been around for a while: Tom Waits, Rufus Wainwright, Fiona Apple, Dan Wilson, Tori Amos – you get the idea. Baroque pop. But just as often, you’ll find me listening to 1960’s R&B or Louis Armstrong.

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Delectable Sam Cooke

I’m a shuffle girl. I like listening to a wide variety of music at one time. I love mixes: tapes, CDs, and now playlists. It’s not that I have these hugely eclectic tastes, it’s just – well, I like shuffles for the same reason I like sushi: I enjoy sampling a little exquisite bit of this, a little tasty nibble of that. The thing is, once you’ve played a particular list ad infinitum, you tend to grow weary of the songs. However, there are always a few exceptions – and one day I will compile a mix featuring all the modern-era songs of which I never grow tired. So far I have Rufus Wainwright’s cover of “Hallelujah,”  Tom Waits’ “Hold On,” and something off of Crowded House’s album Woodface.  I’ll let you know if I ever finish.

Meanwhile, I managed to create a mix many months ago that I still can’t stop listening to all the time. I made it for my friend Mary Ellen, so it is appropriately titled “From Q to M.E.”

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Scrumptious Pink

Here’s the list of songs – and a drink or culinary delight to accompany each one. Choose one drink each time you listen to the whole mix! Or listen with friends, and choose a drink for each person! (Don’t drink them all by yourself in one sitting. You will die.) Now that the single is back in fashion, you too can recreate this compilation. (Links are provided for all of the songs, and those drinks that are not self-explanatory.)

From Q to M.E.

1. Helplessness Blues / Fleet Foxes

Pair With: A Seasonal Old Fashioned (Use whatever fruit or herb is in season – Door County cherries and Honeycrisp apples, fennel and clementine, etc.  muddle with 1 tsp sugar, add 2 oz Maker’s Mark, ice, Angostura bitters, a splash of soda water –  VOILE!)

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2. Extraordinary Machine / Fiona Apple

Pair With: Pavao Vinho Verde white wine

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3. Someday / The Strokes

Pair With: Mayan Cocktail

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4. Falling Slowly / Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova (From the beautiful musical film, “Once.”)

Pair With: A Guinness, poured slowly.

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5. Winter Blue / The Twilight Hours

Pair With: Snow Glacier Cocktail

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6. The Cave / Mumford & Sons

Pair With: Cave-aged Gruyère

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7. You Took Advantage of Me / Rosemary Clooney

Pair With: A Pimms Appletini

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8. Pump It / The Black Eyed Peas

Pair With: A Fergulicious: Fill a highball with ice, add 2 oz French cantaloupe liqueur – (Edmond Briottet Liqueur de Melon, if you can get it, Midori, if you can’t), top with 1/2 sprite, 1/2 soda water, garnish with a lime.

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9. My Moon My Man / Feist

Pair With: Moon River Cocktail

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10. The Happiest Lamb / Audra Mae

Pair With: The Sheep Cocktail

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11. Glitter in the Air / P!nk <–BEST GRAMMY PERFORMANCE EVER.

Pair With: Pink Sugar Glitter Cocktail

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12. Waiting for the Great Leap Forward / Billy Bragg

Pair With: A Newcastle Brown Ale

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13. Somebody That I Used to Know (feat. Kimba) / Gotye

Pair With: Root of All Evil cocktail (deliciously bitter).

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14. Paris 1919 / John Cale

Pair With: Ghost Cocktail

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15. Be My Only Love / Maureen McElheron

Pair With: Salt and Smoke caramel chocolate

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16. That’s It, I Quit, I’m Movin’ On / Sam Cooke

Pair With: A New Start cocktail – Rim a chilled martini glass with orange-cinnamon infused sugar (or make your own cardamom-sugar mix) Shake 2 oz Reyka vodka and the juice of 1/2 lime with ice. Pour into prepared glass. Top with Italian blood orange soda.

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17. Chemistry / Dan and Matt Wilson (live)

Pair With: Flaming Volcano Cocktail

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18. His Eye is on the Sparrow / Southside Aces

Pair With: A Sazerac

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What are the songs you can listen to over and over again?

Cheers, and happy mixing!

Q

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