The last time we went to the grocery store, my mother told me that I should lay off of pre-packaged and frozen special-made vegetarian and vegan foods because they are too expensive and I need to be more resourceful. After all, when I am in college, I will need to learn to cook. By the by, just typing about college makes me get butterflies in my stomach. I am so excited.

Anyway, I bitched and moaned about “OMGZ, Mom, I’m vegetarian! You can eat anything I can eat, but I can’t eat everything that you can eat! Make a Venn Diagram! UGHGHGhghghghhh!” I think that I was so irritated because of two reasons. One, my period was on its way. Two, I have wanted to cook for myself from scratch for a long time (because it would give me more of an opportunity to slip into going vegan), but I have always figured that my mother would be pissed about it. The fact that she was not even remotely pissed somehow set me off.

So I ate my boxed couscous and pondered on gathering recipes.

I am the sort of person who always needs a project. I rarely finish my projects, but what I get done is grand. So in order to aid my attempt at veganism/learning to cook, I decided that I must gather recipes. And in order to organize that, I should gather them in a cookbook of sorts. Since I love composition notebooks, I grabbed one from my drawer.

The question was then where I should gather them from. Well, a while back, I found this website featuring a Jenny Lewis interview–and at the bottom of the page, it had her recipe for vegan “chicken” and then Mike Mogis’ recipe for vegan gravy and this recipe for vegan Worcestershire sauce. Although I had bookmarked it, I lost all of my bookmarks once in a Firefox update sesh, but FORTUNATELY, I had preserved my bookmarks on my LiveJournal in anticipation for the move. And let me tell you, this modest site has changed so much.

The site is actually called Cooking With Rockstars, a…I want to say subsidiary…of Jenville. Cooking With Rockstars chronicles a bunch of interviews conducted by the lovely Jennifer Robbins with various stars in the musical mainstream. But I don’t want to say mainstream. I almost want to call it the indie mainstream. You know, the artists you know and love. Probably. I mean, considering you’re on this blog. Rufus Wainwright, Ben Gibbard, Sam Beam, Britt Daniel, Annie Clark. I mean, just to name a few. And the artists contribute recipes, and Ms. Robbins publishes them on her site. I actually think that she is Mrs. Robbins, because she has an official “Wedding Site.” And also, she is a charming interviewer.

Fortunately for vegans, there are many vegan recipes on there (mainly salads, but I should think that Jenny Lewis’ “chicken” should be grand), as well as several vegetarian recipes where you’d only need to alter one or two minor ingredients (like swap butter for vegan margarine). While there are a few non-vegetarian recipes on there, eh, I took eighteen edible ones away (and those were just some of the ones that were to my taste).

Anyway, I guess as I begin the transition and learn to cook, I shall chronicle my adventures. You know, what tastes good, where I got my recipes from. Yeah.

On a completely different note, I am the creepiest creepster with Facebook. Every time I see that someone has a new album, I’m all over it. Like, holy shit yes. I’d like to think that it is all about my obsession with aesthetically pleasing things. But maybe I am just a lurker.

Now. All weekend, I sat on my ass, collecting music to offer to you-all. My first noteworthy find is “Wake The Sun” by the Matches. It’s quite a catchy, cheerful tune, like 10/10, almost sure to start off a good day. It is necessary, kind of like coffee or OJ. In retrospect, I now realize that I heard it once in art class when someone plugged in his (probably his, maybe her) iPod to the art room speakers. Actually, that day, someone was playing spectacular music that I did not recognize. It was one of those rare days.

Wake The Sun | The Matches
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The Matches’ MySpace
The Matches’ Website

The next song is a Vampire Weekend, equally impeccable and equally catchy. Automatic love right here. Plus, the lyrics are familiar in a good way. Maybe I’ve never been in a situation like that before personally, but it sounds like something that happens all the time.

Campus | Vampire Weekend
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Vampire Weekend’s MySpace
Vampire Weekend’s Website

This last track is actually my mother’s finding. While she was at the Matt Nathanson concert with her friend, she texted me and told me that I would like the band that opened for him. Of course, the text was in like teeny bopper talk, with “u” for you and “r” for are. That’s not important. I looked up the opening act, since she omitted the name, and came up with the name Honeyhoney. There was also like Jason Reeves or something, but I figured she was talking about the band. I checked for them on the Hype Machine and failed. Then I iTunes’d them and came up with five tracks–apparently they have recently released an EP. I laughed at the clips I heard. They sucked. This is an example, though, of iTunes sucking at picking out 30-second clips. Gaddamn.

This morning, my mother slipped into my room and sat on my bed and started unwrapping this CD case. She gave me the CD and told me I would probably like them because they were an “off” band. I kind of cringed, but loaded it on my computer anyway. And then I gave them a second shot.

While I didn’t love the first two songs, the last three were slower and more my style, and they really allowed Suzanne Santo’s voice to shine. I basically loved the last three tracks. Thus, I am jealous of my mother.

My madre was sort of concerned about the parental advisory on the CD, and then she asked me if I ever buy CDs with that. I was thinking, “You should hear some of the music I listen to,” but instead, I just affirmed that I do, indeed. Well, I did not hear any explicit lyrics in the first three songs, so I was wondering why there was a warning (maybe because the first song is about a gun?). That is, until the third song came on. It’s raunchy and sexy, but mellow at the same time. Thus, I shall present you the reason for the parental advisory.

Thursday Night | Honeyhoney
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Honeyhoney’s MySpace
Honeyhoney’s Website

Also, while I’m at it, I might as well say that I love being a senior in Pennsylvania and getting to sleep in again tomorrow because underclassmen have to take the Terra Novas and PSSAs. LOVE IT.

*By the by, I have revised my host site so that mp3s show up on the Hype Machine.  You now have a variety of options for downloading them.  I really recommend MediaFire or the direct link because there is no waiting time, but if you’re more familiar with YouSendIt, just click on the title.  Or if you’re more familiar with zShare, click on that link.  Anyway, I am not sure how long I am going to keep this three-host thing up because it will get old fast.  I guess I am just transitioning.  Also, I am in debt to the Hype Machine help staff.  They’re so nice and easy to work with.  Plus, they responded to me right away.  No guarantee that they will always do that, but I was impressed.


I am unable to get in touch with Derek. This must be some higher being SMITING me.

Anyway, today has mostly consisted of music. Music, and eating, and driving my mother to Quizno’s. My madre is going to a concert tonight in New York. I know that’s funny. Now here’s the real kicker: I asked her who it was and she said that the guy she was going with described it as indie. Indie?! My mother doesn’t like indie! So I flipped and made further inquiries, excited that maybe she was going to see someone I liked. Matt Nathanson, though, sounds like a prissy name, and I was disappointed.

Because someone had described him as “indie,” I was interested. I hopped onto the Hype Machine and looked him up, uber eager to hear this newness. I was disappointed.

While he’s not bad, there’s nothing about his songs that I am particularly fond of. He has a voice made for the radio, the industry (which could be negative), but none of his songs are catchy enough. Lyrics are above average–though they rhyme, and he makes fun of James Blunt for bad rhyming–but eh. I’m not smitten. It’s probably because of substandard instrumentation, too much cymbal, and lack of creativity in writing the parts for the substandard instruments. The only thing I found notable in my search was a kind of teaser that hints at the Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights.” But You have to get to about 3:26-ish for the part, and it’s far from the best cover I have heard. When I listen to “Such Great Heights,” it is supposed to be modest and unassuming in…appearance, I guess…but heavy on the heart. Instruments are fine. But Matt tries to go fancy-ass on the vocals and most likely makes a constipated face while singing, and it’s too pretentious because he has no backing instruments. After the line from “Such Great Heights,” by the by, is the segment mocking James Blunt. No lie, it does guarantee at least an internal chuckle.

Bent (live with “Such Great Heights” Postal Service teaser) | Matt Nathanson
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Matt Nathanson’s MySpace

Matt Nathanson’s Website

Additionally, I have been listening to loads of Animal Collective aujourd’hui, and “Derek” remains my favourite. I bet some of you think that when I talk about person-Derek, I am actually talking about an imaginary friend who I have named Derek after that tasty song. You probably think that I made his MySpace, too. Stole photographs and shit. Yeah, but I didn’t. He’s real.

Lurking a while ago on YouTube, I stumbled across a Blonde Redhead video featuring my love, Miranda July. She poses in a green turtleneck, blue pants, and red-looking high heels. And she has a flower in her hair. It’s an intriguing video, and Miranda July looks stunning (might I add that you can almost always tell a beautiful person, a beautiful soul, by his or her hands?), and I love Kazu Makino’s voice. It is smooth and quirky, as well as versatile. In this particular song, she sounds like she is from a different era. In other songs, she can sound funky and modern. But it’s always the same voice.

Top Ranking | Blonde Redhead
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Blonde Redhead’s MySpace

Blonde Redhead’s Website

Notice, if you will, that I have a new link below the mp3s, “file named properly.” This is because while the original song link from the name is a direct link (I finally figured out how to do it), that gives you a messy title for the song with all these +es. Even though you can fix it, that’s a pain in the ass. So if you just take maybe an extra click to go to MediaFire and save that there file, it will give you the file with a proper name (if you do it like I do, Artist – Title). I just cleaned up my music library this weekend, retitling files and such, so I figured that maybe some of you other people with beautiful music libraries would appreciate it.