Crafting a great dinner party soundtrack is no easy feat. There’s guests’ personalities to consider, flavors to be mindful of, not to mention dish pacing. Is it too cliche to play Sinatra when serving spaghetti? Will guests get your tongue-in-cheek pairing of Steely Dan’s “Reelin’ in the Years” with fondue? What if your sure-fire pre-dinner cocktail accompaniment, Wild Cub’s “Thunder Clatter,” flops? What then? 

Devising the best iTunes-to-table recipe can give a gal heartburn. Enter Matt Lee. The cookbook author (and one half of The Lee Bros.) offers Mind of the Chef website readers a playlist today. His Omakassette (we see what ya did there, MOAC), “Matt Lee’s Beats for Shucking Oysters and Cracking Blue Crabs,” is a wildly eclectic mix we couldn’t have predicted.

According to Lee, the way to get your shuck on is to start off with a little Smiths then make a swift segue into Band of Horses’ “Funeral.” Love the song, but woo, feels a little heavy. (Crack a beer, Matt. This is supposed to be fun). Fortunately, the author turns it around with some CCR and Journey’s “Feeling that Way,” before R.E.M.’s “Pilgrimage,” and even Madonna’s “Holiday.” Best of all, Lee includes local band Brave Baby’s “Living in a Country” on track 9. 

As oyster season gets going with the reopening of local shellfish beds, the pressure’s on to amp up backyard roasts. If you don’t have time to fashion your own playlist, Lee’s is available here.

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