In between all the things Justin mentioned, I managed to read a lot of books (and, of course, buy a lot of records) in 2015. It was the year that the realities of racial injustice in America and the threat to our species from climate change became all the more stark. My list starts with those two topics and takes a less serious turn towards the work of some of the greatest artists of our times, a recent vacation and then and onto some of the best dancefloor jams of the year, the latter of which I’ve compiled into a playlist here. I hope you enjoy.
Ta-Nehisi Coates This man is a national treasure. No one else seems to articulate so succintly, accurately and honestly the truth about race relations in the USA today. His book, Between the World and Me, and his essays on mass incarceration and the case for reparations are essential reading. Nicholas Kristof wrote early in the year in the New York Times that White People just don’t get it, and he’s right. We don’t. We owe it to ourselves and our communities to make an effort to ‘get it’. Ta-Nehisi Coates can help us better than anyone else. Plus he loves the GZA. . . . Read on
Harvey Sutherland “Bermuda” I think I have played this at every party since it came out. Musical, dynamic, groovy, unpredictable. An instant classic of the Mister and I’m sure of many, many other parties. Don’t stop, Harvey! . . . Read on
This Sunday, we’re doing our last ever party at Industry City. Each week of this outdoor Mister Sunday season, Eamon and Justin (and on two occasions, their guests, Duane Harriott and JD Twitch) opened proceedings with an entire album. We’ve made a playlist of all the albums we could find on Spotify (only six of them weren’t there – good job Spotify!), including the album that Justin’s playing this Sunday to open the last dance at Industry City, Jaga Jazzist’s What We Must.
Here’s the playlist:
And here’s the full list of albums, along with the date the guys played them:
May 24 // RL Burnside, First Recordings May 31 // Ernest Ranglin, Jamaica Jazz June 7 // Salvatore, Tempo June 14 // Meta Meta, Metal Metal June 21 // Mr. Shortstuff and big Joe Williams, Introducing Mr. Shortstuff June 28 // Four Tet, Morning/Evening July 5 // Daedelus, Invention July 12 // Terry Callier, Speak Your Peace July 19 // Spoon, Kill The Moonlight July 26 // Milton Wright, Friends and Buddies August 2 // Outkast, ATLiens August 9 // Reg King, Reg King August 16 // Spiritualized, Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space August 23 // Spiritualized, Pure Phase August 30 // The History of Jazz, Volume 3: Then Came Swing September // Moritz Von Oswald Trio, Fetch September // Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Shahen-Shah September 20 // Upsetters, Super Ape September 27 // Battle Trance, Palace of Wind October 4 // Joseph Spence, Good Morning Mr. Walker October 11 // Rhys Chatham, An Angel Moves Too Fast To See October 18 // Jaga Jazzist, What We Must
This week Eamon will be opening the Mister by playing Rhys Chatham’s ‘An Angel Moves Too Fast To See,’ in full, right as we open the doors at 3pm. This classic record captures Chatham’s dual influences and love of rock and classical minimalism, in a record that was pivotal to the pre-Giuliani downtown art and music scene. Come early to be mesmerized!
Every week of this outdoor Mister Sunday season, the party begins with the airing of an entire album. This week our special guest, JD Twitch, a Glasgow resident who is one of our favorite DJs in the world, selects. He’s chosen Super Ape by The Upsetters. This is what he has to say about it.
At the first hint of summer, one of the records I most want to hear is Super Ape by The Upsetters, the 1976 Lee “Scratch” Perry album recorded at the height of his powers. This summer in Scotland summer pretty much went awol, but I’m optimistic I’ll get to experience a bit of a late summer in New York, so I chose this perennial favourite of mine. While the entire album is bathed in a murky dread, there is an inherent golden warmth to it. Familiar rhythms are revisited and reworked with chanting vocals, distant melodicas and mystical flutes rising up in the mix. It is a gentle ride that leaves me feeling as if I am wrapped in cotton wool. It also holds off on giving away all its joys too soon with side two in particular being just about a perfect side of music. I’ve never heard this played on a proper sound system so am very much looking forward to spending forty minutes basking in its sonic rays of light.