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Archive for the ‘music crushes’ Category

photo by John Cohen (1970)

Throw me a bone: we’re going to the dogs today in honor of Bob Dylan’s 73rd birthday tomorrow. Ruff!

So, am I the only Dylan fan who’d never heard “If Dogs Run Free”? A 50’s beatnik send-up embellished with Al Kooper’s jazzy piano riffs and Maeretha Stewart’s sassy scat-singing, this oddsauce number was included on Dylan’s album NEW MORNING (1970).

Actually it’s kind of silly to call anything the Archbishop of Anarchy has done “odd,” given his penchant for innovation, reinvention and doing whatever he durn well pleases. Yet this one is indeed unlike anything else in his vast catalog of 600+ songs. It’s spoken word, very Jack Kerouac, black berets, smoky coffee house. It’s so laid back you end up in front.

Hear for yourself:

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IF DOGS RUN FREE

If dogs run free, then why not we
Across the swooping plain?
My ears hear a symphony
Of two mules, trains and rain
The best is always yet to come
That’s what they explain to me
Just do your thing, you’ll be king
If dogs run free

If dogs run free, why not me
Across the swamp of time?
My mind weaves a symphony
And tapestry of rhyme
Oh, winds which rush my tale to thee
So it may flow and be
To each his own, it’s all unknown
If dogs run free

If dogs run free, then what must be
Must be, and that is all
True love can make a blade of grass
Stand up straight and tall
In harmony with the cosmic sea
True love needs no company
It can cure the soul, it can make it whole
If dogs run free

*

*finger snaps*

 So deep, Daddy-O.

 

And there’s more. This song was recently made into a picture book illustrated by Scott Campbell, who took the “kids love dogs” theme and ran amok with an animated visual narrative. Celebrating the free-spirited joys of childhood and championing fearless individuality, there’s not a beatnik or beret in sight — just lots and LOTS of dogs.

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“One of my biggest thrills for me still is sitting down with a guitar or a piano and just out of nowhere trying to make a song happen.” ~ Paul McCartney

Ribbet collage paulSir James Paul McCartney (my other secret husband) is 71 years old today!

He’s still one of the most well preserved classic rockers out there. Can’t get enough of his boyish good looks and irresistible charm. Plus, he makes good mashed potatoes. :)

Despite having been a member of the greatest rock band ever, and now described by the Guinness Book of World Records as “the most successful composer and recording artist of all time,” (wow) he seems remarkably down to earth. Paul just keeps on doing what he loves and we love him all the more for it.

Did you see him on Stephen Colbert last week? A little cheeky and always quick on the draw.

* * *

Macca is the wealthiest musician in the UK (and probably the world); as of this year, his net worth is estimated in excess of £680 million. Not bad for a lad from Liverpool with a modest working class background. In this interesting BBC Radio 4 interview with Sheila Dillon, he talks about being raised on traditional meat and potatoes meals. His mother served Yorkshire Pudding as a dessert (with Golden Syrup), and the Sunday roast was the highlight of the week.

He enjoyed the usual chops and liver but drew the line at tongue, a cheap alternative to meat in those days of rationing. Can’t blame him in the least. As he says, “It’s a tongue!” Ewwww.

Ribbet collage lpaul 2

While touring with the Beatles, food was basically fuel. He remembers huge steaks drooping over the edge of the plate and thinking how Americans always like to do things “big.”

Though he was introduced to vegetarianism in the 60’s while studying meditation in India, it wasn’t until he met Linda that he adopted it as a lifestyle, initially because of his compassion for animals. Over the years, his commitment to a meat-free diet intensified as he learned more about its health benefits and the detrimental effects of livestock production on the environment. These days he passionately campaigns for animal rights, using his fame to help spread the word about how greenhouse gas emissions impact climate change.

paul's kitchen

The McCartney kitchen at 20 Forthlin Road, Liverpool, is now maintained by the National Trust.

I like looking at the humble kitchen at 20 Forthlin Road, imagining 15-year-old Paul eating beans on toast or sausages for tea and writing songs with the Quarrymen, never dreaming where his life’s journey would take him.

Other things I love about Paul:

  • Sometimes, just for fun, he uses the pseudonym “Apollo C. Vermouth”
  • He wrote “Yesterday,” the most covered song in history (3000+ recorded versions)
  • He had a rare and genuine-for-real, 29-year enduring marriage to Linda, the love of his life
  • He’s a firm believer in family life and never spoiled his children, wanting them above all to be people with good hearts
  • He’s also a painter and a poet
  • He can’t read music and is largely self-taught, a natural-born instinctual artist
  • He’s considered one of the most generous musicians in the world, having contributed millions of pounds to various charities
  • He wrote beautifully lyrical love songs inspired by his real-life muses: “And I Love Her,” “You Won’t See Me,” “I’m Looking Through You, “Here, There and Everywhere,” “For No One” (Jane Asher), “Two of Us,” “I Will,” “Maybe I’m Amazed,” “My Love” (Linda McCartney)
  • “Blackbird” is his favorite song, and it’s mine too :)

Lookin’ good in Melbourne, Australia, 1975:

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To celebrate his birthday, I made the Easy Chocolate Fudge Cake recipe included in The Meat Free Monday Cookbook (Kyle Books, 2012), which Paul launched with his daughters Stella and Mary. It was nice to get a quick chocolate fix made with ingredients I already had on hand. It turned out to be more like a cakey brownie with a moist fudgy layer on the bottom. Yum!

IMG_0785

EASY CHOCOLATE FUDGE CAKE 
(adapted from The Meat Free Monday Cookbook)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
7 tablespoons melted butter
2 organic eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons organic milk
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup hot water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a 1-quart baking dish.

Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and add the baking powder, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, and 1/2 cup sugar. Make a well in the center, pour in the melted butter, eggs, vanilla extract, and organic milk, and beat until well combined.

Stir in the chopped pecans, and pour into the prepared pan. In another bowl, combine the brown sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, and hot water. Stir well and pour over the cake batter.

Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. During baking, the cake will rise to the top and underneath there will be a delicious chocolate sauce. Serve hot with cream.

Serves 4.

* * *

Here’s Paul to sing us out with “Birthday” from The Colbert Report. The song was written mostly by Paul in the Apple Studios 6 days before Linda’s 26th birthday.

* * *

mccartneys

Paul with daughters Mary and Stella

♥ HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MACCA! ♥

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Copyright ©2013 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

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“Vegetable Soup” by Malgorzata Lewandowska-Zych via They Draw & Cook (click to enlarge)

1. Love this “Vegetable Soup” recipe poem by Polish artist Malgorzata Lewandowska-Zcyh — her name’s quite a mouthful, isn’t it? Just like a big spoonful of yummy soup containing carrots, celery, potatoes, beans, cauliflower and parsley. “Malgorzata” = Margaret.  This is one of the best illustrated recipes I’ve seen at They Draw & Cook.

2. Speaking of which, there’s now a They Draw and Cook for Kids! Ebook available for download on your iPad. You get 20 recipes for only $1.99. Here are three samples:

“English Muffin Pizza Faces” by Alison Kolesar (click to enlarge)

“Pretzel S’mores” by Jennifer Bell

“Ants on a Log” by Stefan Jolet

3. Have you started your holiday shopping yet? I’ve already ordered several of these adorable macaron trinket boxes via Waiting on Martha. You can purchase them individually (light pink, rose, pistachio, lavender, yellow, peach) or as a set of 12, which comes in a pretty lavender presentation box. Great stocking stuffers or bridesmaids gifts. Which reminds me, I haven’t actually eaten a macaron in ages. If you feel like sending me some, feel free :)!

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Paul with daughters Stella and Mary (photo © 2011 Mary McCartney)

Back in the Dark Ages, when I was a dreamy 12-year-old listening to the radio in my bedroom with the pink curtains and wall-to-wall Beatles pictures, it was inconceivable that any of the Fab Four would ever age.

Well, it seems Sir Paul has decided to turn 70 today and I can’t think of any other classic rocker who’s managed to age quite so well. Still has his boyish good looks and charm, still writes, records, performs and tours, still the idol of millions all over the world. Whenever I see him, I still feel like that innocent middle schooler watching the Ed Sullivan Show, so lucky to have witnessed that watershed moment in history when popular music changed forever.

You probably know Paul is a longtime vegetarian, who, with his daughters Stella and Mary, launched the Meatfree Monday campaign in London back in 2009. Last fall they published The Meat Free Monday Cookbook (Kyle Books, 2011).  I just purchased the American edition (released March 2012), and decided to make one of the recipes to celebrate Paul’s birthday.

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“A hundred hearts would be too few to carry all my love for you.” ~ Anonymous

The bottom nearly fell out of my world when Sir Paul, my eternal Valentine, married that Nancy woman recently.

I know. She’s rich, slender and probably has her perky moments, but the important question is, Can she bake a good pie?

I am crushed Macca didn’t even think to call and tell me. Here I’ve been his love slave loyal true-blue fan for over 40 years (I first heard “She Loves You” in utero :)), and nary a word. Now that he’s got a new Honey Pie, what am I to do?

Bake! Bake deep, rich, decadent, devil-may-care this will make me forget all about him Bake. Take no prisoners Bake. And to get me through Valentine’s Day, only chocolate will do.

I considered my options — Pioneer Woman’s French Silk Pie? Saveur’s Thin Edge of the Wedge Chocolate Pudding or Molten Chocolate Cake? I could have gone all retro and dug out my old Midnight Chocolate Cake recipe (so good, diehard football fans actually stopped watching the 1992 Superbowl game to eat it). And I hadn’t made my famous Chocolate Cheesecake in a long, long time.

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