Ever wonder what Belle & Sebastian eat after a show? Kay Bozich Owens did. But instead of just speculating, the social worker decided to ask a bunch of bands about their eating habits. In 2004, while living in Middletown, Connecticut, “I was teaching college, and Kay was unemployed and looking for work, and there wasn’t much to do,” recalls her husband and co-author, Lynn Owens, who is now a sociology professor at Middlebury College. “She’d always had a fetish for recipes.” To fill the time, Kay started writing to some of her favorite bands and asking for theirs.
The result is the Burlington couple’s new tome Lost in the Supermarket: An Indie Rock Cookbook, which is named after a song by The Clash. The 90-recipe collection features everything from “Opening Acts,” a.k.a. hors d’oeuvres, to the “Dessert Island List.” The entries run the gamut from ultra-easy to fairly fancy. The A Frames suggested a root-veggie-topped frozen pizza called “Beetza,” while Sonic Youth likes to feast on Italian Wedding Soup.
“When we had 15 or 20, we said, ‘We should make this a book!’” Lynn explains. They began firing off proposals, and it wasn’t long before they got a nibble of interest from Soft Skull Press in Brooklyn.
It took four years to bring the book from concept to paper. “It was the combination of it being something that one does in one’s spare time and the dependence on the kindness of strangers,” Lynn reports. “Lots of people express interest, but it’s not their top priority.” Once the recipes had been collected and the narrative written, a shake-up at the publishing company delayed production for another year.
Two weeks ago, the finished volume showed up on Amazon.com, and it’s expected any day at the local Borders. The recipe names alone are worth the $14 suggested retail price. Who could resist the Country Teasers’ “Red Headed Sluts” or stellastarr*’s “The Chocolate Sausage”?
For Kay and Lynn, though, a newly minted book and cool recipes aren’t all they got out of the project: They also discovered lots of hot new music. “As you become someone who’s aging into their thirties, your musical tastes begin to solidify,” the prof suggests — and it’s a good time to shake things up. “One of the bands I really like that I found through this project is called The A Frames,” he adds. “I have a radio show at the college, so I’ve been playing them a lot lately.”
Is there another gastro-tome in their future? “What I really want to do is turn it into a TV show,” Lynn says — preferably with a 30-minute format. “One third you’re in an interview, one third you’re in the kitchen, and then the band plays a song.”
Sounds like a hit.