Saturday, September 3, 2016

Andrew MacMahon

A few years ago my best friend Katie invited me to go to Vegas to see my favorite band, The Fray, play live. I had seen them once before, but they were my favorite band. And, I hadn't taken a vacation in years, so I agreed and we made plans.

Well, The Fray was headlining with Jack's Mannequin who I had heard a time or two but couldn't name any of their songs, let alone who was in the group. I was really lucky, though, because Katie LOVED them and it was a very educational week for me. I heard all of their music and fell in love with so many of their songs. I bought all of their music as well as all of Something Corporate's music because Andrew MacMahon is the genius behind both of them.

Katie also introduced me to Andrew's documentary Dear Jack which is his journey through cancer. It's on Netflix. There is some language, but over all, I think everyone should watch it. It is very raw and real. It is a front row seat of Leukemia. And it is powerful.

So, I became obsessed with everything Jack's Mannequin. I picked up one of their t-shirts at the show in Vegas and I wore it out. I still have the shirt somewhere in my room, but it's sooooo thin now, I can't wear it anymore. But I don't want to get rid of it. I LOVE that shirt. LOVE it. It's so soft and well worn, I just can't part with it. I'll figure out something to do with it, right? Right.
Any way, if you want to check out my introduction to Jack's Mannequin, you can check it out HERE.

One thing I love about Andrew MacMahon is that he LOVES jumping on his piano. He's done it at every show I've been to. It's awesome. And what's more awesome is his incredible talent. Currently he is playing under the name Andrew MacMahon in the Wilderness. He was actually just in my area and I couldn't go the night he was playing her and I nearly died to death. But it was okay....or it will be.

Here is his current top song:

I think the thing I love about this particular video for the song is that it focuses on his family, particularly, his daughter Cecelia for whom he wrote the song. There are three lines that I absolutely adore from the chorus and they are:

For all the things my eyes have seen the best, by far, is you.

For all the places I have been, I'm nowhere without you.

For all the things my hands have held the best, by far, is you.

I have stitched all three of those and framed them for people. Two of them for a dear friend who got married. I couldn't think of a better sentiment than those first two lines quoted above. And the last line I gave to a friend who was having a baby. Because Andrew has phrased them so perfectly. I love his perception on life. I really want to meet him one day. I have the utmost respect for him.

Also, have you heard that new Lindsey Sterling song for Pete's Dragon? Have you wondered who that guy is singing on the track?! It's ANDREW McMAHON!!!! And I love it. GO FIND IT, if you haven't already.

As I've been relistening to his music for this blog post, I am reminded how much his music has affected my life, my writing, my world. We need more artists like him in the world. And, in case you are new to his music, let me give you a list of songs you need to go listen to RIGHT NOW!!

Dark Blue
Cecelia and the Satellite
The Resolution
MFEO Pt. 1 - Made for Each Other / Pt. 2 - You Can Breathe
High Dive
All Our Lives
The Mixed Tape
Amelia Jean
Amy, I

And, once you've listened to all of those, you'll need the rest of his music and you'll be a fan. And I'll be happy. Because I know you're all out to make sure I'm happy. Haha.

But seriously, make sure and check out his music HERE and his website HERE.

And so because whenever I'm down I listen to Something Corporate, Jack's Mannequin, and now Andrew MacMahon in the Wilderness, I made double chocolate cookies. They are so so delicious. I LOVE them.

Double Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from (she calls them Sofbatch Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookies)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 ounces (1/4 cup) brick-style cream cheese (get the brick, not the whipped or spreadable kind.)
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
12 ounces (2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Okay, so start by pre heating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. creaming together the cream cheese, butter, sugars, egg and vanilla together for about 4 or 5 minutes. This is important. Don't just mix it a little bit and call it good.

Scrape the bowl and make sure everything is well mixed and then add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Mix this until just combined. Then mix in the chocolate chips and make sure that everything is mixed in super good so that you can back them!!

Averie differs from my recommendations here, so if you want to try her cookies, you'll need to follow the link above. I tried her way first and didn't like them as much. Once everything is combined, I used my regular cookie scoop, patted them down so they were a little flat on top and just put them on the tray and threw them in the oven. I baked mine for about 10 minutes and then pulled them out, let them cool just a bit and then transferred them to a cooling rack. This method gave me about 24 cookies. And they are delightful. 

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