eat look listen


Posted in Food, Music by eatlooklisten on November 11, 2008

If anyone wants to get me this 14-DVD Scopitone collection, you’d be a saint and a hero and I’d love you forever. I mean, I’m just saying. Don’t know what they are? Read about them here and then watch a bunch here or consult trusty ol’ Youtube!

Speaking of indulgences, I’m daydreaming of More Cupcakes‘ salted caramel cupcakes. The cupcakes there are kind of expensive but that place probably boasts the most adventurous yet refined flavor combinations. Yes, this is the place with the BLT cupcake (which I’ve been told I should try at least once, but it’s not something one would eat with relish and finish). Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll just be wiping the drool off my chin.

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video roundup

Posted in Music by eatlooklisten on November 10, 2008

These are songs that have been bopping around in my head lately.

Captain – “Glorious”
This song came out a couple years ago and I was really obsessed with it. I really love the cinematic quality it has, how kind of epic and sweeping it is. The video doesn’t quite do it for me the way the video does, but oh well.

Guillemots – “Trains to Brazil”
Yet another sweeping kind of pop song that came out a few years ago. This one, although the music is a little more upbeat, is a lot sadder/heartbreaking in content. I really haven’t paid attention to this band after this single came out, even though they were up for a Mercury prize with this album. I don’t think there could have been a video made for me that would have done the song justice.

Serena Maneesh – “Drain Cosmetics”
The Man hepped me to this band last week – I’d read their name on countless blogs and saw them pass through Chicago at least once without flinching, and I’m super kicking myself now because I’m in love with their second album. It’s really hypnotic and beautiful and catchy. And of course they’re Norwegian, because more and more things that I like nowadays are from Norway or Sweden. Their own record label called them “new-gazers”, which is of course cringe-worthy. This video has a weird Smashing Pumpkins vibe to it, a-la “Adore” but whatevs.

Metronomy – “Radio Ladio”
I feel like I talk too much about this band already. They’re from the UK. They are great. Their new album is called “Nights Out” and I can’t recommend it enough. Also, if they are touring near you, you are required to see them. Also they are nice peoples, and this video makes me laugh. However I do think the sassy girl in the video isn’t sassy enough.

the history of popular music

Posted in Music by eatlooklisten on November 7, 2008

Here is proof that every 20th century pop song is pretty much about doing it. Totes hilair!

Long time, no see

Posted in Food, Politics by eatlooklisten on November 5, 2008

First off, I write morning after a tremendous victory for Barack Obama. I’m so proud that words kind of can’t describe it. I found myself at Piece yesterday evening, and watched MSNBC and CNN’s commentary and the initial information roll in. First 3 to 8, then 3 to 16 (?), then suddenly the numbers started shooting up. There were cheers as soon as Illinois went up. The enthusiasm and goodwill was overwhelming, and I almost cried a couple times. Once Obama’s count went to 200, I knew it was safe (at least for then) to go home and watch the rest there so I wouldn’t have to blub in public. I have friends who attended the rally, or at least got near it, and they echoed the good feelings and emotion running through the place. What an amazing night.

In other Chicago-related news, I was delighted to get my local-centric Daily Candy email and find information on the Downtown Farmstand. In Chicago, the farmers’ markets only last until October, and we have to wait until May for them to start up again. Somewhat rightfully so considering the weather, but I have always wished for a year-round indoor market. Lots of cities have them, even cities smaller than us, so why not us? The Downtown Farmstand is the kind of place I’d been hoping for, although it only runs until December. Still, it’s two more months of locally-grown farmers’ market produce that I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise!


Posted in Books, Music by eatlooklisten on October 19, 2008

I’m probably not as avid a reader as I should be. I tend to fall asleep or get carsick when reading on the train or the bus, and I’m usually too busy puttering around the apartment or on the internets for proper reading. Sometimes I do pick up a book, though, and the other day I picked up two: The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, and The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. The Omnivore’s Dilemma appealed to my wannabe foodie sensibility – over the past few years I’ve come to love food on a different level than just eating it, or really liking Oreos or secret-eating or whatever. I think it happened when I really began to enjoy cooking and baking. On the cooking side, it was fun and experimental – this probably goes with this, this probably tastes good with this, what happens if I pair this with this? Of course, baking is more of an exact science, and my fulfillment comes from really nailing a recipe down, or trying different versions of one thing. More recently, I’ve become more interested in where food comes from, and the impact that my buying and eating has on, well everything: the environment, the economy, my own health. The Pollan book attempts to breach that question…I’ve barely dented the first couple chapters, so I’ll let you know how it goes. It’s pretty interesting so far. Example: most of what you or I ate today came from corn and its derivatives, or corn fed animals. Sucks. The Gladwell book is something that I’d been eyeing for quite a while, ever since I heard him on This American Life, talking about how he blatantly bluffed and joked his way through his early writing career (who can get the phrase “raises new and troubling questions about” the most within a week?). The book is about the nature of epidemics, and contagious behavior. Illnesses and trends alike, apparently, spread in the same way. It’s a pretty cool premise. Again, I’ll let you know how it is when I’m done.

What I really wanted to buy, though, was a copy of Rip It Up and Start Again by Simon Reynolds, a book I read a couple years ago and really, seriously loved. It’s a history of post-punk, both US and UK, and the bands that came of that scene. However, Borders has this weird, rinky-dink tiny version of the book, which kind of sucks. I feel like the version I read, although a paperback, was more hefty and seemed more comprehensive. And then The Man, my boyfriend, told me that the US version has some different content than the UK version, which he has in storage. I feel cheated! So naturally I didn’t get the version I saw at Borders, but maybe I’ll get it from Amazon UK. I highly recommend it, though – reading about Gang of Four, or the Pop Group, or Pere Ubu, or PiL, is pretty awesome.

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striking gold!

Posted in Music by eatlooklisten on October 15, 2008

I’ve only now just begun looking through the iTunes libraries of other computers here at the office, and I almost squealed upon finding that someone has Gene‘s “To See the Lights”. Who are you, and can we be BFFs forever? Thanks.


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Welcome. Also, I like Girls Aloud too much.

Posted in Music by eatlooklisten on October 13, 2008

Okay, so I have too many blog-type-things on the interwebs – Several Blogger blogs that languish without updates, a Twitter that I’ve since given up on, a Tumblog that was fun for about 12 minutes. They’re fun, shiny things that distract me until something else comes along.

However, I’ve decided to get rid of those things altogher, and combine them all into this catchall of the things that I think about, find, and like. And I’m going to talk about one of them now.

If you know me at all, and you most likely don’t, you know that I’ve been kind of an unrepentant, dyed-in-the-wool Britpop kid. Since those days, my love for UK mainstream indie has kind of spilled over into things like British movies, comedy, and, yes, even pop music. I mean, I’ve always kind of had a soft spot for radio pop, despite my more “underground” leanings, but the UK in particular has a little something extra.

God. I love their radio pop. I love how the UK embraces silly, campy, ubergay and ridiculously fun pop, the kind of music I fear would never take off here (with exceptions like, say, Katy Perry). There’s one group I hold especially dear to my heart, and that is Girls Aloud.

Their story is pretty crazy – they began on a TV American Idol style show called Popstars: the Rivals where a pair of girl and boy groups were voted into being, and then competed for the coveted Christmas #1 single. Girls Aloud won fair and square with a song called “Sound of the Underground”. I remember hearing it on Radio 1 or something and being fairly impressed…although a bit shallow, the music was pretty sophisticated and there were no contrived vocal acrobatics involved.

After that, I don’t know what it was…their penchant for churning out dancey, fun, and campy music with kind of crappy videos stole my heart, despite myself. Behold, a video I have often made fun of, but god that song is catchy…

I mean, seriously. The shouty “OH YEAH” parts! The indecipherable lyrics (“jumpin’ on my tutu”)! The immediate gay club appeal! Also the video is ridiculous and looks like it was made for $5. Amazing!

I heart them. Their new single is kind of a grower and is strangely a little too 80’s adult contemporary, like I feel like there’s a Simply Red/Swing Out Sister vibe going on. I might forgive them a little, though.


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