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Musical Pairings: Wilco – Summerteeth (paired with Chocolate Caramel Tart)

Chocolate. Caramel. Sea Salt. This recipe is amazing. Kasey’s Chocolate Caramel Tart is unbelievably smokey, decadent and lush. And the sea salt just adds the perfect bit of edginess to the recipe. When you cut a slice, the warm, gooey caramel just melts onto the plate. Kasey spent a lot of time preparing this one, and it was definitely worth it (in my opinion). This recipe is surprisingly complex, but I can’t recommend it enough.

I researched caramel for this pairing, and discovered that it was invented in Turin, Italy in the 18th century. Despite learning this, for some reason, caramel seems like a very Midwestern type of food to me. I feel like this is the type of dish you’d find on the dessert menu at a gourmet restaurant that describes their food as “American” cuisine. And if you are looking for traditional Midwestern, American-style pop/rock n’ roll with only a touch of salty/edginess – you need look no further than Wilco. Despite their pretty amazing catalog, Summerteeth is probably still my favorite Wilco album.

Summerteeth opens with the over-loaded, upbeat rocker “I Can’t Stand It.” Aside from being a great song, it isn’t an exceptionally complicated song. But by the second track, “She’s a Jar,” the album becomes relatively complex. The music on “She’s a Jar” alone consists of lush string arrangements, bare acoustic strumming and sugary harmonies, not to mention the complicated/edgy lyrics. “A Shot in the Arm” is compositionally a straight-forward rock song, but features unusual instrumentation: acoustic rhythm piano, subtle strings and acoustic guitars are enveloped in smooth, melting electric fuzz. “I’m Always in Love” is pure, American pop sunshine: “Oh, I’m bragging, I’m always in love.” There isn’t a bad song on the album, and the highlights are numerous. Aside from the tracks I’ve always mentioned, I particularly enjoy: “Nothing’

severgoingtostandinmyway(again),” “How To Fight Lonliness,” “Via Chicago,” and “In a Future Age.” If you haven’t heard this record yet, you really need to buy it now: easily one of the best records of the past 10 years, and it is being rereleased on vinyl on June 2nd. Despite what you might have heard – this is the essential Wilco album. Get it at Insound. (R.I.P. Jay Bennett – 5/24/2009)


Wilco – I’m Always in Love

Jeff Tweety & Jay Bennett – California Stars

Btw, the Rawkblog is hosting a live recording of Jeff Tweedy and Jay Bennett that is worth the download.

Don’t forget to head back to our homepage to wish Kasey a very happy birthday (it is tomorrow).

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Posted by Matthew Hickey

Matthew is the music editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. He’s addicted to vinyl records, pour over coffee, craft beer, small batch bourbon, and pan roasting pork chops.

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