December 18, 2013
In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.
Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Kevin Brockmeier, George Pelecanos, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Myla Goldberg, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.
McSweeney's imprint McMullens publishes some of the smartest and most original children's books, and Angela and Michaelanne Petrella's picture book Recipe is another great example.
My sister and I are writing partners. We are accidental partners because we were born with half brains so you do the math.
Our book, Recipe is based on our geriatric old shut-in aunt who took care of us every Friday night for the better part of our childhoods. She gave us free reign in the kitchen and this book is an homage to the cooking and food-inventing she thusly birthed through our teensy half brains. Please enjoy this soundtrack while reading our book and or destroying your kitchen-aid (chef's tip: do not try to purée frozen starbursts for smoothies - use only boiled candy) - NOW GO BLAST THOSE BOOM BOXIES!
"Potato Chips" - Slim Gaillaird
Our book opens on a little girl who'd like to learn to cook. She's bossy, smart and insane. We modeled her off of our own infantile ids and our baby sister Kristen, who is no longer a baby, but we will continue to treat her as a baby for the duration of our lives. As youngster sisters, we craved total household control. And we found sweet solace for that in our kitchen. It was our veritable candyland, our kingdom of carrots and barf bags. This song should serve as a warm-up while you toss your chex mix and maple syrup all over the counter and floor.
"Yes, We Have No Bananas" - Swedish Chef (of the Muppets)
The Swedish Chef is the Anthony Bourdain of nonsense cooking and therefore, our totem animal and shaman of snacking. Singing along with the Swedish Chef is silly, invigorating and sounds vaguely religious.
"On Top of Spaghetti" - Tom Glazer
This is the saddest hymnal mankind has ever known. Lost food is a glory and this song really drives home the despair. When the world finally ends, the chorus will be heard throughout the universe. Every child in the world, English speaking or not, involuntarily learns this song through their mother's placenta. Also, never sneeze while eating.
"Chiquita Banana" - Monica Lewis
We can all agree that bananas are versatile, delicious and horrifying (as they act as a vehicle for gigantic monster spiders.) There was an entire era my sister and I dedicated to the banana and uses for the peel. Our favorite: use the peel as make-shift roller skates. Strap the expanded peel to your tiny bare feet (with a rubber band) and slide gracefully down the hallway without consequence. And play this song top volume. Our book encourages this behavior and hopes it can pave the way for innovation in food use/waste.
"Piano Playin; Chocolate Eater's Blues" - By Someone who knows?
This is essential. This blues CLASSIC HIT is a song that my sister Michaelanne learned on the piano and belted out/played for ten straight years. It invokes sweet, sweet nostalgia and sentimental PTSD. Children tend to fixate and lean into the mental loop and bludgeon music to a rough, brutal end. The lyrics speak to the dangers of eating chocolate while playing piano. Worth a listen ten times a day for a decade, if you are into that sort of thing.
Recipe's Recipe's Cooking Video - Fresh and Onlys
This has some good cookin' music in it by the Fresh and Onlys. They generously gave us some hits to use for our book's video. Our illustrators, Mike Bertino and Erin Althea have these wonderful children who tried the recipe at the end of the book. Christina Tosi of Milk Bar created Recipe's Recipe for children to try (WHICH IS TOTALLY DANGEROUS AND NEEDS 100000 ADULTS TO SUPERVISE) and is utterly delicious and worth the risk. See below:
Angela and Michaelanne Petrella and Recipe links:
also at Largehearted Boy:
100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
Daily Downloads (free and legal daily mp3 downloads)
guest book reviews
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from the week's CD releases)
weekly music & DVD release lists