I'm not ashamed to admit it: the dream of the '90s is alive in my kitchen. But when I'm done cooking and guests start to arrive, I play it a little cooler with a mix of current indie favorites and older R&B, soul and funk music. Want to hear for yourself?
I recently came to the realization that I probably peaked musically between 1994 and 2000, back when I was in high school and college, and had nothing better to do than incessantly research the bands I loved, record episodes of MTV's 120 Minutes on old VHS tapes, and carefully read liner notes. Add a hefty dose of surging teenage hormones, my riot grrrl-inspired band (we played local coffeehouses — so '90s!), and a lifelong crush on Pavement's Stephen Malkmus, and it's no wonder I have a deep love of 1990s alternative rock that goes beyond my feelings for any other era of music.
I like feeling happy when I cook and there's nothing that makes me happier than listening to old favorites from Elastica, The Breeders, Blur, Sonic Youth, and Cibo Matto. I sing along, I stop chopping to dance, it's totally embarrassing and it brings me joy. Want to dance along? Here's the playlist:
When guests arrive, I play it a little cooler with a more eclectic mix of music my husband Rob and I both enjoy, including newer indie bands like Fleet Foxes, Arcade Fire and Grizzly Bear, and older R&B, soul and funk from The Animals, Aretha Franklin and Funkadelic. The best party playlists, in my opinion, should have the ability to fade into the background when you aren't paying attention to them, and make you perk up when you are.
This playlist is a sampling of what we like to play:
'Fess up: do you share my soft spot for '90s alternative music? What music makes you happy while you cook?
Related: What's Your Favorite Music for Getting the Kitchen Clean?