Each week for the summer, our fabulous counselors will be contributing to a Spotify playlist with songs that they love and want to share with you – and that apply to the week’s theme! And each week, we will publish some of their thoughts about why they chose their songs.
Here’s the playlist to Week 3: Food, Glorious Food!
And here are the counselors!
Continental Breakfast (Courtney Barnett, Kurt Vile)
Diner (Martin Sexton)
Move on Up (Curtis Mayfield): I think about this song whenever I dance around making food (microwaving).
Lime Jello, Marshmallow, Cottage Cheese Surprise (by William Bolcom; this version performed by Mary Keepers): This song is so silly it definitely makes me think of camp! The absurd list of ingredients she sings about adding to her dish reminds me of the crazy concoctions at the Hilander/Hillside cookie bake-off!
Ottolenghi (by Loyle Carner): this song isn’t specifically about food, per se, although the name is a reference to a cookbook that the author mentions in the second verse (Jerusalem, by Ottolenghi). More than that though, the rapper is speaking to memories of cooking with his mom growing up. I love his flow, the piano & synth melody, and the mix of low-key rap with sung choruses. When Jordan Rakei (the vocalist) sings “born and raised” in the chorus, I can’t help but think about the people and places that raised me, and camp is one of the most important. Strangely enough, this song makes me think of learning to cook trip food from Nick Wood and Ben Birdsall on that same 5-day Adi Peaks trip I referenced last week.
Build Me Up Buttercup (by The Foundations): I just love this song so much because it makes me think of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. Sadly, no Reeses at camp though :'(.
Work This Out (by High School Musical Cast): This song is another C’13 Anthem. I wasn’t a pantry pet but I remember subbing a couple of times and fully pretending to be part of the High School Musical cast when they work in the kitchen at that country club and sing this song, banging on pots and pans. We’d play it while we were cleaning up back there, and I miiiight’ve taken a wooden spoon to a compost pot or two. I think the Pantry Pets also performed it for a talent show! Wow, what great memories.
Dancin’ in the Moonlight (by Toploader): If you’re not dancing around the kitchen singing at the top of your lungs when you cook…we’re having very different cooking experiences!
Plain Plate of Noodles (by Orson Hong, The Sack Lunch Bunch): The Sack Bunch Lunch are an amazing crew and this is an excellent song! It reminds me of my former food preferences and the value of simple pleasures, like a plate of well-buttered noodles and maybe a little parmesan cheese.
Work This Out (from High School Musical 2): This song reminds me of my club summer. The High School Musical 2 soundtrack was a staple for Club ‘13, so much so that our unit song was a medley of the soundtrack’s greatest hits!
Funky Hot Grits (by Rufus Thomas): To begin, Rufus Thomas is one of the more underrated funk and soul musicians ever. Not only did he refer to himself as “The World’s Oldest Teenager” while in his 60s, but he also happily described himself as “the funkiest man alive.” And he sings about a food that is similarly underrated: grits (a porridge made from boiled cornmeal).
Tangerine (by Led Zeppelin): Of course, this song qualifies because it’s named after a piece of fruit, but I include it because I think it’s a great song that doesn’t get the recognition it deserves – and it’s featured in one of my favourite films: Almost Famous.
Le Festin by Camille (from the Ratatouille soundtrack). The best song from the best food movie ever made. Anyone can cook.
Pulling Mussels (From The Shell) by Squeeze. This is a song about enjoying seafood on vacation.
Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 (by Beethoven… Bernstein/NY Philharmonic version, preferably). I like listening to classical symphonies while I cook because I can pretend I’m in the Netflix docuseries Chef’s Table (which I highly recommend). Beethoven’s 3rd is one of the greats, and not as overplayed as his 5th or 9th.
Know Your Onion (by the Shins): Zach Braff’s deservedly maligned hyperbole aside, The Shins are indeed a good band, and ‘Know Your Onion!’ is indeed a good song — not to mention good cooking advice. White onions have the sharpest flavor in the allium family, and should generally be cooked unless you’re soaking them in some sort of acid (e.g. pickling in apple cider vinegar). Red onions are sweeter, which is why you more often see them raw in salsas or on burgers or salads. Yellow onions are a good middle ground between the two. Shallots are much mellower than their larger cousins, and are particularly great for vinaigrettes (see Samin Nosrat’s Via Carota salad recipe in the New York Times for an example of shallots at their best). Leeks are best braised, in a frittata, or as part of a stock — just make sure to wash them well before cooking! In my opinion, chives aren’t good for much more than garnishing your French omelette. Finally, scallions (or green onions) are great in stir-fries (add the white bottoms to your pan and save the green tops until the end) or grilled. Happy cooking!.
Oh this one is easy: I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That) by Meat Loaf: Settle in, it’s like a full 7 minutes of pure happiness. Absolutely nothing made me more excited than meatloaf night at Lanakila as a camper. Not because I liked meatloaf (a strong “meh”) but simply because watching the camp randomly and simultaneously burst into this song as a 8-year-old Brooksider was maybe one of the most memorable moments of my life. Camp has a culture unique to itself, and the Lanakila spirit is found as much in a rousing rendition of I’d Do Anything for Love as it is in Council Fire and Chapel. P.S – If you’re wondering what the “That” is that he won’t do, by the way, it’s failing to keep the salt and pepper shakers together when Ross Cannon is nearby.
Unwritten (by Natasha Bedingfield): We listened and sang along to this song one day while pantry petting my Midi summer and ever since I always think about my camp friends when this song plays.
Flaming Hot Cheetos (by Clairo)