Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day but the one I skip most often, because unless I'm on vacation or enjoying a long relaxing weekend, I simply don't have the time to make it, let alone eat it. So for the Food Issue's sake, I decided to pay loving tribute to AM grubbing as inspired by "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast."
The 13-minute Pink Floyd composition is divided into three instrumental suites, all marked by the bustling activities of Floyd roadie Alan Stiles as he prepares and noisily slurps and gobbles his morning meal, the rest of his routine fading in and out until he washes up and leaves at the song's conclusion. In response, I've put together three sets of playlists to go with a three-course breakfast, making sure to include food suggestions for each course along with songs that not only pair well with the food but loosely mimic the moods of the three Floyd suites and feature bands repping psych pop, psych folk, psyche soul or psych-prog rock aesthetics. Eat up.
First Course, "Rise and Shine"
In the opening suite, a pair of pretty piano melodies coil and dance around stately organ as steel guitar notes slide over gently rolling rhythms, suggesting a light and refreshing start. Pop a bottle of bubbly and grab some OJ for mimosas, lay out a spread of yogurt, cereals, granola and seasonal fruit, and play these bright, breezy, pop-sensible starters.
"Real Slow," Megafaun
"Wedding Bell," Beach House
"Go Outside," Cults
"Bavarian #1 (Say You Will)," Miike Snow
"Gold Canary," Cloud Control
"Lysergic Bliss," of Montreal
"Heaven's Light," Air
"Blue Penguin," Ruby Suns
"Take It Easy," Foals
"Ffunny Ffriends," Unknown Mortal Orchestra
"Tourists," Bright Moments
Second Course, "Sunny Side Up"
The second part is a warm and refreshing instrumental fugue as presented on guitars, the golden mellow tone of the hand-plucked acoustic arrangements complementing mournful steel guitar melodies, with a tea-kettle shriek heralding the song's end. For this interlude, I suggest carbs, sweets and steaming liquids — preferably coffee but tea if you prefer, jams, jellies and marmalades, and a big spread of breads and pastries. I'm partial to cinnamon rolls, croissants, scones with Devonshire cream, fried doughnuts, sticky buns, muffins and for those who deem them necessary, bagels, cream cheese and a nice slab of thin-sliced lox. Stock up at your favorite local bakery and/or deli (because who really wants to whip all this up?) and eat while playing the serene, lightly folk-fused tracks listed below, what I like to call the calm before the main course storm.
"Rossignol," The Sea and Cake
"Sleepwalkin'," Modest Mouse
"Hinnom, TX," Bon Iver
"Passing Afternoon," Iron & Wine
"The Ocularist," The Bees
"Worries," Langhorne Slim
"Constellations," Jack Johnson
"Grounded," The London Souls
"Who Loves the Sun," Velvet Underground
"Stolen," Rec Center
"Cubism Dream," Local Natives
"Pure Joy," M. Ward
"Before," Plants and Animals
"Inside the Gypsy Bar," Ramona Cordova
"Backyard Funeral," Sleepy Vikings
Main Course, "Morning Glory"
The final suite gets the full band treatment, Richard Wright's triumphant piano propelling the prog-psych rocking ode, which closes the song on a quiet note with the sounds of Alan’s exit. This playlist of meaty hard-hitting tracks pairs with a big and hearty main course — eggs any style you like (Benedict is good), bacon (both Canadian style and old-fashioned American cured), sausages (patties and links), home-style potatoes, pancakes, waffles, cheddar cheese grits, and French toast — and features trippy maple syrup overtones, some propulsive hard-driving rock moments and washes of sound, and a soulful dose of high drama. Vegans and vegetarians, you’re on your own here ...
"Turn Down the Sound," Adrian Younge
"It's Cool," Black Bananas
"Sonic Armada," Air
"Meryin Fields," Broken Bells
"Easy Water," Caveman
"All Your Light," Portugal.The Man
"Groove Is in the Heart/California Girls," Crocodiles
"Phone Home from the Edge," Dinowalrus
"1850," Icy Demons
"Are You a Hypnotist," Flaming Lips
"Lucidity," Tame Impala
"Sparkly," Young Magic
"A Different Ship," Here We Go Magic