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Musical Pairings: The National – Alligator (paired with Kasey’s Fantastic Turkey Meatball Soup)

September 14th, 2009

The National Alligator

Kasey and Matthew are presently enjoying their wedding/honeymoon. Word on the street is that they’ve holed up in their apartment and are preparing to flee the country. In light of these circumstances, today’s post is essentially a new and improved re-run: sorta like when George Lucas updated the original Star Wars trilogy – except if he hadn’t made Han shoot Greedo first. And if he had left the deleted Jabba scene out. What was he thinking anyways? Anyways, if you liked it before, you’ll love it now. P.S. Completely new posts will resume in October!
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Wikipedia describes ‘comfort foods’ as those foods we want following “high stress situations;” and which provide “a sense of continuity.” In other words, these are meals that help us relax and feel comfortable; tastes we crave when we come home from a long, stressful day at work or school. In this regard, Kasey’s turkey meatball soup has earned a special place on my short list of comfort foods. Thus, the National, who make my personal comfort music, are my perfect musical pairing for this meal.

The National’s music can be best described as the white-collar version of Bruce Springsteen or the musical equivalent of a Raymond Carver novel. Their third full length, Alligator, is the perfect soundtrack for being introspective while you savor that slight, contented buzz you feel following a post-work drink (or two), and a belly of warm soup. It is intensely personal and comforting. It’s as though lead singer Matt Berninger is whispering in your ear, telling you that it is OK, you aren’t alone: other people share your same insecurities, your same fears. Since this is my favorite band, I’ll allow myself to indulge in a moment of hyperbole: imagine reaching into your chest, your fingers melt through your sternum, and grabbing hold, painlessly pulling open your rib cage like a trap door to expose your soul to a person who you know will accept you for who you are. To me, that is true comfort. I’d recommend downloading the track “Secret Meeting” from Alligator. Stop by Insound to pick up a copy on vinyl.

The National – Secret Meeting

The National – Lit Up (Remix)

Head back to eating-sf.com for the original recipe and review pairing.