I'm going into my junior year, and a lot of things are different. The biggest change has to do with my living arrangements; I'm in an apartment this year instead of a dorm. While I could have gotten a full meal plan, just like I always have, my apartment comes with a kitchen. I'm going to need to learn how to cook eventually, and I figured no time was better than now. (I also need to save money #brokecollegestudentlife, you feel me?)
Cooking is like exercise in two ways.
1. some people love it, while it's just a chore for the rest of us.
2. It's WAY better with music.
The ideal kitchen playlist is an inverse mullet. Instead of "business in the front, party in the back," it's "party in the front, business in the back." Imagine you were holding a job interview in the VIP room of a nightclub. This is the vibe you want your kitchen playlist to have. Fun, loud songs will pump you up to get the job done; after the (flour) dust settles, quiet music to accompany the sound of running water and the soft clatter of dishes in the sink (if, you, too, don't have a dishwasher in your place of residence.)
In case you do not yet have a kitchen playlist...well, you came to just the right place to get started.....
1. "When I Climb to the Top of Mount Rock," School of Rock: The MusicalIf you read last week's article, you might be thinking this: "School of Rock" again?
I'm not over-hyping things. School of Rock really is that good. It's one of the best things Andrew Lloyd Webber has done of late. The opening number is perfect to get you movin' and groovin' like a culinary rock star. If you're feeling angry and want to switch it out for "Stick It To The Man," that is your call. They both work equally well.
2. "Out Tonight," RENT
I believe that no situation on Earth exists where RENT isn't appropriate. Its setting may be a little dated now, but its themes - and the songs which communicate them- are always relevant. For the most part, "Out Tonight" is not trying to make any big statement about life. Like you, it just wants to jam. Rosario Dawson may not be the original Mimi, but she's the OG Mimi to me. If you like Daphne Rubin-Vega (or Renee Elise Goldsberry) better, than more power to you.
3. "Black and Gold," Sam Sparro
Sometimes the fetishistic attachment I have to this song scares me. It accompanies the - THE- best dance sequence in the history of dance sequences (included above for your enjoyment). There's a very good chance I will learn and perform this song with my bridesmaids at my bachlorette party. (If you're reading this and you think you might be one of my bridesmaids and that scares you and makes you want to back out even though I haven't asked you to make that level of commitment yet, chill. It's probably not happening. But be prepared in case it does.)
"Black and Gold" falls in the middle of the playlist - encapsulating that moment when the party is winding down, but not quite over yet. The 2009 Fame remake - which is where this comes from - has a lot of other great musical numbers, but this is the crown jewel of its soundtrack. Try to stop yourself from doing slinky hip movements at the sink, or dancing around the kitchen waving a dishcloth to the beat and shaking dat booty. I dare you.
4. "Broken Vow," Josh Groban
I used to be a Michael Buble devotee, but I've (mostly) turned my back on him now that I've discovered Josh Groban - the American Michael Buble (or is Michael Buble the Canadian Josh Groban?) He is one of those things about which I hold very strong feelings. (Example: he's beautiful and Stages was one of the best albums of 2015.)
When I was babysitting last summer, "Broken Vow" was my go-to lunch cleanup song. This sometimes led to me crying at the sink, but nbd. That's the power of art for you. It's one of the underrated gems in the Josh Groban oeuvre. Almost any of his songs would make a good closeout to your kitchen playlist; this is just one I recommend.
5. "Weeping,"Josh Groban feat. Ladysmith Black Mambazo"Weeping" might be my favorite Josh Groban song of all time. I have a hard time choosing my favorite off of Stages (it's a four-way tie between "Le Temps Des Cathedrales,""Finishing the Hat," "Anthem," and "Gold Can Turn to Sand"), but it's no question with Awake.
"Weeping" is Josh Groban's "Both Sides Now - " catchy, but deep. Either of the two versions will do for your kitchen playlist. The live version is a little bit peppier, while the album version is more laid-back. The question begs, though: why not both? You can never have too much of a good thing, after all.
So, what's your meal prep\cleanup soundtrack? Does it look anything like mine? Drop me a line in the comments!