The Music I Cook By

iPod Mini

All right, all right! Obviously, resistance is futile: I have been tappedtwice! — in the Music in My Kitchen game that’s been going around our little world of food blogs. I usually try to keep things more or less focused on the edible around here, but since my kitchen is a “cuisine à l’américaine” that opens onto the living-room where the hi-fi gear is, musical ambiance is an important aspect of my cooking life. So here goes.

What is the total amount of music files on your computer?

I have very few files directly on my iBook: most of my music lives on the mp3 server that Maxence has set up, from which our stereo reads via a cool wi-fi device. Um, wait: is this getting too geeky for the general public?

The CD you last bought?

Nolita, Keren Ann‘s latest album. The next one I will buy (I know you didn’t ask, but whose blog is this?) is likely to be Coralie Clément’s new album Bye Bye Beauté: it comes out on Monday and I’m going to her concert on Thursday night, so I’m going to have to act fast!

What was the last song you listened to before reading this message?

Over breakfast this morning, I had a sudden craving for Arte, a song by the Spanish group Nosoträsh (on the album Popemas). We discovered Nosoträsh a few summers ago, as our friends Nathalie and Damon were visiting from San Francisco. Nathalie, who works in the music industry and therefore has very sharp tastes, knew about this group and about the mini-concert they were giving that night on a péniche called Le Batofar, a bar/disco barge on the Seine. So we all went, and we spent the evening drinking mojitos and listening to the Spanish girls sing. A soft, slightly melancholy (although of course I speak no Spanish and have no idea what the lyrics say), beautiful song.

Write down 5 songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you.

1. Cosmic bird by Air and Jean-Jacques Perrey (on the album SourceLab, Vol.3: Cream of French Underground)
This is my magic good mood song — I challenge anyone to listen to it and not have their heart lift in their chest and start dancing. This was the very first tune I played on my iPod, and it will most definitely be on my playlist when mobile clubbing finally comes to Paris!

2. Ripplin’ waters by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (on the album Dream)
To fully experience the sheer beauty of this song, it must be sung at the top of your lungs with your father and sister, in a car with all the windows rolled down, on a summer vacation in the moutains.

3. 25 ans by Superflu (on the album Et puis après on verra bien)
This is a song I mentioned before, a song about being 25, sung by one of my very favorite French groups — who I’m happy to say are currently recording their third album! And they’ve setup a blog to tell us about it! See, I told you they were the coolest!

4. Dream a little dream of me by The Mamas & The Papas (on the album ‘Papas & ‘Mamas)
This song was on a home-recorded tape (yes, “tape” as in “audio tape”) left in the stereo of the car that Maxence drove in the US, a car he borrowed from his stepmother. Since this was the only tape we had, we listened to it over and over and over again (until we installed a CD player in that car), so it forever remains the original soundtrack of the first few months of our life there. Thankfully it was nothing but fabulous songs!

5. Un Après-Midi à Paris by Philippe Katerine (on the album L’Education Anglaise)
A real candy of a song, super joyful and sweet, about an afternoon in Paris. I adore the whole of this album: Philippe Katerine wrote all the songs, but it is his sister Bruno (a very strange name for a girl) and his girlfriend Anne who do the singing — brilliantly I might add.

Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?

I’m hoping I’m not double-tapping anyone, but I would like to pass this to Debbie from Words to Eat By, La Coquette from La Coquette, and Jason from NYC à Paris — not all of them food bloggers, but all of them foodies at heart!

  • Alisa

    This is such a great post!
    Mojito’s are my second favorite drink, and since you listed Dream a Little Dream of Me, (mama’s and papa’s :) ), one of my all time favorites, inspiration has struck to check out the rest of your favorites. The problem with, Dream a Little Dream of Me? Once I hear it, I sing it over and over for days. This is NOT a problem for me – just those I live with. Just thinking of it, oops hear goes……Star’s shining bright above me…

  • mimi

    nathalie and damon ROCK! i wicked love going to their house, listening to great music, eating tastey snacks, and getting inspired by all the creative craftiness. (you hit a trigger, what can i say?!?)

  • Peter

    So glad somebody loves Keren Ann, I enjoy all of her albums, especially the third (English sung) ‘Not going anywhere’. She opened, to me at least, the way to the wonderful universe of Benjamin Biolay, producer, musician and chanteur extraordinaire. His ‘Home” record, with his beautiful wife Chiara Mastroianni, has not left my (mp3 & cd) players for over 6 months now. It fills the room with a fragrancel of home-made cookies, full of cinnamon as far as I can tell ;-)

  • Hey, thanks for passing the baton to me, Clotilde! I’ll try to write it up tonight–haven’t had a whole lot of time lately…

  • Hi Clotilde,

    ouch, I was going to pass it to you too! I haven’t even posted my part yet… but it is nice to know what’s playing on your pink iPod and in your kitchen anyways.

  • Erin

    Air would be one of my favorites, but there are bad ex-boyfriend memories attatched…..creep.

  • mary

    oh, oh, oh! i love coralie clement! you have good musical taste, clotilde. yes, indeed. and i am a superflu fan because of your earlier mention of them. i will now check out philippe katerine, too. yay!

  • alistair

    the last catering “gig” I did, (at some one’s house), I made an mp3 disc to take along to listen to during the prep. Mostly Scissor Sisters, some of William Shatner’s latest album ( I love his version of Common People), and some Bowie. It did get some rasied eyebrows from the older clients (one of which is a close friend) and was, I think, appalled at Scissor Sister’s cover of “Comfortably Numb”. But having that music playing made turning the potatoes and carrots so much more fun :)

    And, I have found, listening later to the same disc/song series brings back the excitement and pleasurable tenseness of the whole affair.

  • Anthony

    Everyday day for the last week while I have been at work. (in the kitchen) I have been playing Def Leppard, but i find myself getting into anything. Were it doesn’t matter what is playing as long as something is. working in a kitchen wouldn’t be the same with out a soundtrack to keep me going…..Great site by the way I discovered it while i was searching for the “hidden secrets” to making macarons and I have been checking back to see what is new each and everyday.

  • I love Ripplin’ Waters! How funny. Haven’t listened to it in years, probably because it’s actually on vinyl.

  • Sophie

    Thanks for sharing your good music sampels/links among all the other things, I discoverd Keren Ann !!

  • Your papounet

    You brought tears of pleasantly emotional reminiscence to my eyes, Clotilde, by mentioning “Rippling Waters”… I remember well the last time we were waiting in the car in front of the Remiremont Station, the two of us, and we had another go at it not just at the top of our lungs, but even much, much higher ! They must have heard us in Cornimont ! Ohoh, like a bubble on a windy dayyyyyyy !

  • Bee

    “Music in the kitchen: what a natural combination! My mood changes with the food and the complexity of the dish. If it’s a First Time recipe, than it has to be soothing and NO words. If it’s Tried and True, than anything can rock. Currently, I’m making scrapple and corn bread for breakfast and listening to the Blind Boys of Alabama.”

  • Denise

    Hey Clotilde,

    I am one of your quite fans:) absolutely love your site, it became a daily pleasure to check your blog every day and read your posts! I have a special request from you, I love the friand I buy from French bakeries here(in US), I thought I’d ask you first. Would you happen to know how to make them, actually better if you’d bake them and post for us once?
    Thank you, my best wishes!!!

  • Denise

    and by Friands I mean, these very almond-flavored, sweet and moist small cakes:))

  • The pink Ipod Mini is so cute :-) I’m getting my tomorrow and I just can’t wait :-)

  • Beryl

    “Dream a Little Dream of Me” is indeed a terrific song. I also first learned of it through the Mamas and the Papas cover, but you might enjoy finding out — as I did — that it was written by the great Louis Armstrong. For another good version of it, hear it on the album of Armstrong songs that Tony Bennett and k.d. lang (I love k.d.!) did together, “A Wonderful World.”

  • Assparade

    So glad somebody loves Keren Ann, I enjoy all of her albums, especially the third (English sung) ‘Not going anywhere’. She opened, to me at least, the way to the wonderful universe of Benjamin Biolay, producer, musician and chanteur extraordinaire. His ‘Home” record, with his beautiful wife Chiara Mastroianni, has not left my (mp3 & cd) players for over 6 months now. It fills the room with a fragrancel of home-made cookies, full of cinnamon as far as I can tell ;-)

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