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Sep 13, 2012 11:58 AM

Cooking meal for a girl: Background music?

[NOTE: We've moved this tangent from the thread at -- THE CHOWHOUND TEAM]

Ok Got my recipes and got my night planned. Going to get ingredients soon for a small trial cook.

What music would you guys recommend?
there has to be backround music.

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  1. Jake, we're all dying to know what your planned menu is! What are you leaning towards right now? This is all very exciting. And, yes, there must be some music playing super softly in the background.


    5 Replies
    1. re: The Dairy Queen

      Yeah, what's in store for this (very lucky) gal?

      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        I say let him get through the evening first, because people here are bound to make more suggestions to tweak his menu, which could cause even more angst. Sounds like he got lots of great suggestions on the original thread.

        And some nice jazz music would be nice - you want it in the background; not overwhelming. David Benoit, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Chris Botti, David Sanborn, The Rippingtons are the first that came to mind...

        1. re: LindaWhit

          I was relying on people's good sense to not offer additional suggestions once he said he was overwhelmed with our ideas and only offer specific suggestions in response to additional questions he asks (such as this one, about music). :). Hopefully Jake's testing is going well.


          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            Oh, come on TDG - you *know* 'Hounds can't help but give their opinion(s). And then some. LOL!

            1. re: LindaWhit

              well Linda you want to know what I think about that? let me just say...


      2. I would go for instrumental music. Would be kind of cool to have the music match the cuisine. In case you want something more general, though... You can't really go wrong with classical guitar / fingerstyle / flamenco. Richard Gilewitz, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Tommy Emmanuel, Eric Fernandez, Leo Kottke, Muriel Anderson, Andres Segovia would all be good choices if you go for a guitar playlist.

        12 Replies
        1. re: eepi

          Astor Piazolla ("feel the PAIN that is tango") Stan Getz/Joao Gilberto and something goofy. you'll look not trendy.

          personally I think Tom Waits is good dinner music, but others disagree.

          1. re: hill food

            >personally I think Tom Waits is good dinner music, but others disagree.

            Only if dinner consists of whiskey and cigarettes.

            1. re: MelMM

              and Filipino Box-Spring Hog.

              got a problem with that? (smirk)

              1. re: hill food

                Eggs and sausage, coffee and a roll, hash browns over easy, chili in a bowl...

              2. re: MelMM

                You make that sound so unusual. ;-)

                1. re: mcf

                  Well, in my case, it would be just whiskey... the cigarettes would just get in the way. And it's perfectly legit, in my book.

                2. re: MelMM

                  that is funny but I do like Tom Waits......and whiskey

                3. re: hill food

                  <personally I think Tom Waits is good dinner music, but others disagree>

                  LOL!! I love him, always have....

                4. re: eepi

                  for you, eepi.

                  Whatever SHE likes is what should be in the background.

                  1. re: sunshine842

                    Playing whatever she likes would certainly be another way to handle the music. I am not sure I'd go so far as to say that's how it SHOULD be, however. And he did ask for suggestions...

                    I offered some suggestions for guitar music that's purely instrumental but in a variety of styles so that it wouldn't necessarily carry the formality of an all-classical playlist for example. I chose things without lyrics so that it would serve as background in a less potentially-distracting way than songs with lyrics but that is just one way to think of background music of course.

                    Perhaps the girl hates guitar music in which case you certainly could go wrong with this approach.

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      I second sunshine.

                      Actually a mix of whatever downtempo music you like with whatever downtempo music she likes at a just audible volume. I think that shows her you're paying attention, and it also tells her a little more about you.

                    2. re: eepi

                      I'm going to second instrumental music. It would be great if you already know of some instrumental pieces that you like. The problem with vocal music is that the lyrics can interfere with the mood. There are a lot of Celtic songs that just make me want to slit my wrists, they are so depressing. Beautiful, but real downers. And even upbeat songs can backfire. When I was not much older than you, my then boyfriend had carefully put together a collection of songs for one of our dates. Just as things were heating up, on comes this song that I happened to find very, very funny. I kept cracking up laughing, which wasn't really the best thing for the romantic mood.

                    3. this is just me, but... why don't you just, uh, play some music you like? part of the point of this is that you like this girl, right? i know you want to impress her and stuff, but it seems like a large part of this is simply getting to know one another. the more honest you are, and open you are, about who YOU are, the better, imho. that includes picking music and food that are true to who you are (i think anyway).

                      i'd play what you like to listen to, and try to find something within what you enjoy that you think she'll like, too.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: chartreauxx

                        No, it isn't just you chartreauxx. I would have to agree. BigcookLittlecook should play what he likes. You never truly know a person until you've been to their home and music is a part of that discovery. The only thing I would add is this: The music played while he's cooking should relax him. The music played when they're dining should relax her.

                      2. I touched on the subject of music about a half hour ago in one of my many previous posts! Do not go with Lady in Red. Please. When your girl arrives, you might want to be playing something fun and lively. Like Gypsy Kings! Adds energy to the room and has a touch of romance without being obvious. I wouldn't go with heavy metal, grunge, hard rock, acid rock as we used to call it.....If you like folk music, try Steve Goodman and John Prine. We used to play their music when we cooked while camping. If you want a little upbeat classical, try Bach or Vivaldi violin concertos. As I said earlier, your choice if you want to go the Glenn Close route in Fatal Attraction and blast some Madame Butterfly. I would think it was funny. But I'm 54 years old! Diana Krall. Tony Bennet and K.D. Lang duets. Simon and Garfunkel. Rufus Wainwright! Joan Biaz. Find the song "Jessie" that she sings. Some classical guitar could be nice, but if you don't listen to it regularly it is too obvious! Very important. Do not appear to be trying to romance her. The dinner is enough. Now be casual and nonchalant. If you play any of the Rat Pack, play Dean Martin's Sway after dinner. She might want to dance. Everyone does when they hear that song.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Willa

                          I like the mix of music you mentioned, Willa. Gipsy Kings and some uptempo would be great for the start of the evening.

                          1. re: Willa

                            Big fan of Gipsy Kings. Their music has a nice energy and since they sing in Gitane, you won't spend the meal mentally singing along instead of talking with your date.

                            1. re: Willa

                              Willa, we're in the same age range--BigcookLittleCook, have you heard of some of these? LOL about Dean Martin & Sway--one of the 1st songs I made Mr Pine dance with me! We were married a month later! :)

                            2. There is only one answer: Frank Sinatra