From The Desk Of Elizabeth And The Catapult: “Tampopo”

Keepsake (Compass), Elizabeth Ziman’s fourth record, began when her landlord was considering jacking up the rent and she had to move across the street into a tiny apartment, far away from her recording gear and the baby grand piano on which she loved to write. Or it began when she started keeping a dream journal, writing down snippets of visions in the middle of the night, or first thing in the morning on awakening. Or it began when she started leafing through old journals and diaries, little half-finished snatches of lyrics and couplets and freewriting, and tried to see if she could shape them through to some kind of completion. Well, who’s to say where anything begins or ends? But for Ziman, who records as Elizabeth And The Catapult, Keepsake was definitely a milestone record—the end of one thing, and the beginning of something else. Ziman will be guest editing all week. Read our new feature on her.

Ziman: I found out about Tampopo many years ago during a recording session for my second album. My producer at the time liked to play us movies between sessions in his living room, and I absolutely fell in love with this one. Critics have called it a “satirical spaghetti-Western” or “ramen-Western”; I just call it food porn at it’s best. It includes a large cast of hilarious characters from gangsters to cowboys to a poor widow, all in search of the perfect ramen noodle. But it’s not just absurdist comedy—there’s beauty and poetry in it as well. In one of my fave scenes, a beautiful couple very lovingly eats an entire meal off of each other’s bodies. In another, an old widow breaks into a supermarket late at night to squeeze and fondle the fresh fruit while being chased by the cops. Definitely hilarious, definitely hunger inducing. Mmmmm, ramen.