Today Kasey posted the third and final recipe of her summer menu. Last week, she posted the recipe for the first course, a sweet and slightly tangy watermelon gazpacho, that I paired with Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. For dessert she posted a delicious recipe for nectarines with ricotta-vanilla cream and pine nut brittle that I paired with Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong – The Complete Ella and Louie on Verve. Today’s post is the entree for the summer menu: a halibut wrapped in prosciutto served atop a creamy, homemade polenta. This is a flavorful, rustic recipe that borrows equally from both European & American influences. So I needed an album that also borrowed from European and American folk influences, but that also served as an excellent transition from Phoenix to Ella Fitzgerald. And Andrew Bird’s 2005 album, Andrew Bird & The Mysterious Production of Eggs, like this recipe, is a somewhat folksy album that borrows from European and American influences, and is therefore a perfect pairing. And what’s more, because Bird’s lush strand of indie-pop borrows from jazz and blues music, this record serves as a perfect bridge between the Phoenix album and the Ella & Louie record. Of course, most importantly, Andrew Bird & The Mysterious Production of Eggs is a simply outstanding record. It is a staggeringly ambitious album that most artists wouldn’t even attempt, let alone hope to actually achieve. Bird, however, makes it seem almost effortless.
Following the first track, an instrumental intro of sorts, is the soft & lovely “Sovay” that floats like a stream that slowly increases its pace as it flows down a slight incline. Listless, cracking guitar meets precise finger-picked violin on “A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left.” And “Fake Palindromes” sees the gently floating stream from “Sovay” continue onwards , increasingly flowing downhill and hitting the rapids amid orchestral violins and steady, restrained guitars and rolling percussion. The album’s centerpiece is the lush “Skin Is, My,” which is beautifully extravagant and features Bird’s most shimmeringly intriguing finger-picked violin work on the entire album. This is an album you should check out if you haven’t before. You can get it at Insound. And if you have heard it before, now would be a good time to give your copy another spin. In addition to “Skin Is, My” I’ve provided a link to a live version of Bird covering Kermit the Frog’s “Bein’ Green” sang in French. Enjoy!
Head back to eating-sf to read the recipe for the prosciutto wrapped halibut recipe.