Sweet tea

Citrus Ginger Sweet Tea (Inspired by The Chefs)

Sweet tea

Citrus ginger sweet tea

The Chefs were a late-’70s/early-’80s indiepop band in the U.K. fronted by a bassist/singer who went by the name Helen McCookerybook (real name Helen Reddington, but AAHH, I love it!). They split up around ’82, but they just released a compilation of their lovely, albeit small, catalog, Records & Tea: The Best of the Chefs, which I learned about last week because I edited a review of it. The record is so much fun, and certainly a precursor to a ton of the indiepop stuff I listen to today. It was also kind of a goldmine for recipe ideas, but a couple songs in particular stuck out to me — the title track of the compilation, and another called “Sweetie.” In “Records and Tea,” there’s a line in the chorus that goes, “Records and tea are all life means to me.” Then “Sweetie” is a super-cute, totally cheeseball (in the best way possible) love song that starts: “I’ve got a passion/ for sweet things/ That’s why I love you/ You’re my sweet dream/ You’re such a sweetie/ Oh I could eat you/ You’re such a sweetie/ I think I love you.” But the way “sweetie” is enunciated, it totally sounds like they’re saying “sweet tea.” It also happens that my “sweetie” is a sucker for sweet things (as am I, obviously), usually in the form of sugary drinks, so I made a sweet tea with green tea, ginger-basil syrup and citrus (mostly just because those things are tasty).

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find either of the above-mentioned songs on the Internet! Although you can hear samples and buy Records & Tea here. But here’s another track from the record:

It’s also worth noting that Reddington is still playing music today, and she keeps a great blog that I got sucked into this week! She also wrote a book that I need to get my hands on, The Lost Women of Rock Music: Female Musicians of the Punk Era, which has an updated, paperback version being released next month.

Sweet tea

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My Favorite Record of 2012 is Out Today!

Allo Darlin' Europe

When we got an advance copy of Allo Darlin‘s album Europe at work a few months ago, more than half of our five-person editorial team were almost brought to tears at first listen. (The UK indiepop band’s debut almost topped our best of 2010 list, so to say it was highly anticipated would be an understatement.) There are records that have grabbed me instantly, but there has not been another that’s turned my world upside-down as quickly as this one did, and still does with every repeated listen. Elizabeth Morris is a genius songwriter who knows how to write about love in a way that makes sense to me, and it’s scary how closely I can relate to so many of her songs on both the band’s records.

Anyway, I wrote a super-long review of it over at eMusic if you’d like a more eloquent explanation of why it’s the best, but here are a couple of videos to get you started:

And if you like what you hear, they are playing in New York next week (April 24) at Mercury Lounge, and you can check out the rest of their tourdates here.

Teatime Scones with Rosewater Icing (Inspired by Betty & the Werewolves)


Buttery scones with rosewater icing (Recipe + photos here)

The British group Betty and the Werewolves are a band my coworker Jayson discovered last summer while browsing the Freshly Ripped page on eMusic, and they are awesome! They make bouncy, fuzzy indie pop with lines like “I don’t want dinner and a movie/ I just someone that’ll move me” and “My bedroom’s covered in photos of David/ I have 5,000 if I’m estimating” (in reference to David Cassidy). For fans of Allo Darlin’, Ida Maria, The Raincoats and The Breeders.

Their LP is called Teatime Favourites, so I made scones — a perfect treat for a cup of tea — with rosewater icing, which I thought would be a pretty and dainty complement to the scones, but it actually tasted more like a mix of bubblegum and soap (the scones were great, though!). Turns out I am not a fan of rosewater!
Betty & the Werewolves on MySpace
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