For over a month, I have been on a Facebook hiatus. What started out as a dietary detox and cleanse turned into a life cleanse, or at least, an attempt at one. One Tuesday last month, with a really fake positive attitude (who was I kidding?), I reluctantly eliminated gluten, alcohol, sugar, dairy and Facebook from my life. The gluten and sugar detoxes lasted a week (but it felt like an eternity). The alcohol detox lasted two weeks (bread and wine are key components of my favorite dinner… indeed, they are the only components of my favorite dinner). The dairy detox is still in effect. And, currently, I am slowly reintroducing Facebook into my diet (I'm cautiously hopeful that the reintroduction will not prompt any gastric distress).
Anyway, without Facebook, this blog has been my preferred method for spitting my thoughts into the internet abyss. And, since words don't come so freely these days, I will wait patiently until they do (or, don't). In the meantime, I create playlists and playlists and more playlists! About which, I feel no shame. None at all.
(I really do.)
This month, I wanted to create a playlist that contains all of the songs that I'm currently digging. After narrowing down my list to under 15 songs, I realized that my list has a theme, a theme that has played a large part in some of my favorite activities (travel, cooking, music, reading) this month. It was the reason for a quick road trip. It was in my food. And, it's always in my favorite music.
I'm talking about Soul, people! (I really want that to sound like James Brown is saying it, but there is no proper way to convey that in words.) The soul that is in soul music. The soul that is in soul food. The soul that is revealed when one bears his or her deepest emotions. And, the soul that is the essence of who we are as humans. Yahoooo! (I'm hungry)
Yea, so, this was my month:
Concerning Soul Music & Bearing One's Soul
I recently made a 13 hour (7 of which were spent sleeping) visit to Decatur, GA to see my favorite new artist, Leon Bridges, play a sold-out gig at Eddie's Attic. I knew that, most likely, I would never again have the opportunity to see and hear him sing in such a small venue. I don't want to sound overly cynical, but I also wanted to see him while he's still fresh, pure and unadulterated by the industry that supports him.
When he was interacting with the audience between songs, he was a nervous, endearing boy in a wrinkled suit who seemed uneasy with his position at the center of the stage. However, while singing, Leon Bridges transformed into an engaging, powerful man whose songs clearly originate from the depths of his soul. It was a joy to hear him live and I don't regret the quick trip at all.
(Although, at several points during the early morning drive back to work in NC the next day, I did say to myself, "Dammit, Allison, you're getting too old for this shit. Seriously, too old for this shit."
Concerning Soul Food
I watched the documentary, Soul Food Junkies, last week. It's a short, informative film about a yummy, often unhealthy topic that has a rich history in the American South. If it doesn't look interesting to you, maybe Dr. Marc Lamont Hill does (he's in it). Yowzaa. You can watch the entire documentary on YouTube (below).
Concerning Soul Food, Part II
In related news, I'm currently devouring every cookbook written by Bryant Terry (he also has several appearances in Soul Food Junkies). He's the most inspiring and innovative chef/author/fresh food advocate that I've come across in awhile. Even though, his recipes are mostly healthy and all vegan, he's not the I-just-put-on-a-natural-linen-slipdress-and-skipped-through-a-meadow-now-I'm-making-a-green-juice-and-isn't-my-cookbook-pretty type of chef that currently seems to be so popular in the healthy cooking genre. That's why I like him. He's not prissy and his food is tasty. Plus, he, metaphorically, held my hand through my first days of the dairy detox. And, I appreciate that.
PS. You won't know that you are eating vegan (unless your sinus problems or digestive problems go away and you quit snoring). Trust me.
Check out Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African American Cuisine.
Concerning Bearing One's Soul, Part II
I found I Know A Mama Who to be refreshing, empowering and a little jaw dropping at the same time. If only we could all be this honest, brave and vulnerable without the cover of anonymity.
Concerning Soul Music, Part II
Finally, since both reggae and soul music have some of their roots in early American jazz and R&B music, and since I'm finally getting around to reading the copy of Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley that I picked up at a yard sale about 3 years ago, I threw several reggae songs onto the list as well.
May the rest of your March be sunny and warm!
(If you live in western NC, it most definitely will not be, but I still wish that for us all.)