Happy 11/11/11: Here’s 11 of my favorite songs to turn it up to 11

In the spirit of Spinal Tap, who famously added a notch to the volume control for awesome music to be turned up to 11, and inspired by NPR’s 11/11/11 list, here are 11 of my favorite songs that I love to listen to loud. (For the record, being hard-of-hearing, I like to listen to all music loud but I enjoy these tracks especially at full volume.)

1. Hall & Oates – “You Make My Dreams”
This song is dancefloor kryptonite for me. I cannot help but giddily dance to it every time I hear it, and I always want to hear it loud.

2. Led Zeppelin – “Kashmir”
Ha, or you could turn up Puff Daddy’s “Come With Me” featuring Jimmy Page.

3. The Dears – “Battle of Human Kindness”
My favorite indie rock/pop song of all time; I love the drums and it’s got such a great message. “I’m gonna change, I’m gonna change…”

4. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – “Free Falling”
Even before Jerry Maguire, we were all screaming along off-key with this track.

5. A Tribe Called Quest – “I Left My Wallet In El Segundo (Vampire Mix by Fatboy Slim)”
My favorite ATCQ song, made even better by Norman Cook himself. Lil Wayne sampled it to make “A Milli.”

6. The Beta Band – “Dry The Rain”
At 1:30, John Cusack plays the best part of this song. If you haven’t seen High Fidelity (or read the book), you really need to. Now. Go. I’ll wait.

7. Queen – “I Want to Break Free”
Of course, any Queen song is fantastic loud, but I love the guitar solos in this one especially.

8. Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs – “Beg, Steal or Borrow”
This dude’s voice is amazing. I could listen to this song especially all day, every day.

9. The Beatles – “Oh! Darling” / “Revolution” / “Don’t Let Me Down”
The Beatles pumped out so many great songs in such a short amount of time, but these three are especially great at full volume. Here’s Yellow Dubmarine, an awesome reggae Beatles tribute band, performing “Oh! Darling” live in Syracuse:

10. Jason Mraz – “I’m Yours”

I’m not sure I’ll ever get sick of this song, and every live performance of it is fantastic.

11. DJ Z-Trip – “Motown Breakdown, Pt. 1”
Anything by Z-Trip should be played loud, but here he takes you through Jackson 5, The Temptations, Boyz II Men, Marvin Gaye and more Motown legends in just 9 minutes.

A few of you sent in your own suggestions for songs to turn it up to 11 via Twitter, including The Police’s “Synchronity,” Rush’s “Limelight,” the “Jock Jams Megamix,” U2’s “Pride,” even boy bands and Simon & Garfunkel. If you have more songs to add that should be turned up to 11, leave a comment below!

Happy 11/11/11 Day, kids, and remember: TURN IT UP & GO DEAF.

How to make homemade Chocolate Pizza – yum!

Chocolate Pizza

Homemade chocolate pizza! Delicious!

Let me preface this by saying that I have no skills in the culinary arts — my breakfast specialty is Pop Tarts, and the few times I do use an oven it’s to cook french fries or a frozen pizza. So when I told @itfeltfar about Chocolate Pizza Co., a Central New York confectionery store that makes chocolate treats in the shape of pizzas (and “peanut butter wings”), I thought of it as a delicious food experience she should try. But she wanted to try and make a chocolate pizza on her own — using no recipes or Internet tips or baking guidelines. She brought over supplies yesterday and we made our first homemade chocolate pizza. I’m pleased to say it was a masterpiece. Here’s how we did it…

What you need:
– Bag of Nestle chocolate chips
– Double-boiler (or put a metal mixing bowl/pot on top of a pot of boiling water)
– Spoon (or something to spread/smooth chocolate with)
– Round pan
– Toppings of your choice (i.e. white chocolate chips, peanut butter cups, M&Ms)

How to make chocolate pizza:
1. Set up a double-boiler, since chocolate will burn otherwise. If you don’t have one, you can MacGyver one by putting a metal bowl (or smaller pot) on top of a pot with boiling water in it.
2. Pour the bag of Nestle chocolate chips into the top bowl/pot. Let it melt the chocolate chips into a creamy liquid, occasionally stirring.
3. Spray a round pan with PAM Cooking Spray. We used a 9″ pan.
4. Pour the chocolate into the round pan. Smooth it into a round circle using a spoon or anything similar.
5. Add any toppings you want — we used white chocolate chips, cinnamon chips, and mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
6. Let it cool in the fridge for 30 minutes.
7. Remove the chocolate pizza from the pan using a fork or spatula onto a plate or serving tray. Cut the pizza into slices — at 30 minutes in the fridge, it’s cooled/solidified enough to be a “pizza” but not so solid it’s difficult to cut. A knife or a pizza cutter will work.
8. Place back in fridge for 30 minutes.
9. Then serve. And enjoy.

It came out DELICIOUS. We want to experiment with brownie or cookie crusts soon, but next we’re going to attempt to make stuffed crust chocolate pizza… YUM!