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The Duffler
Fantastic Negrito
Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz is the real name of singer-songwriter Fantastic Negrito who feels at home in R&B, blues and black roots music and who’s music is powerful and authentic. Having grown up in Oakland, Negrito fled to LA to escape the vagaries of petty crime as a teenager, which ultimately led to an international career that has been rewarded with two Grammys so far. Negrito returned to Oakland later, became an activist for social change and an avid gardener who wants us to grow as much of our own food as we can. More about this in the title track of the album, Have You Lost Your Mind Yet. Then there’s a short documentary about this life you can see here A car accident changed this man’s life and turned him into a deeply spiritual being. And he is such a great singer! (sgs)
NPR Music, June 2020

On the tender spot of every calloused moment
Ambrose Akinmusire
Also born and raised in Oakland, California, Ambrose Akinmusire was a member of the Berkeley High School Jazz Band Ensemble when he caught the attention of saxophonist Steve Coleman who asked him to join Coleman’s Five Elements. That’s how Ambrose embarked on a European tour at age nineteen, while he was a student at the Manhattan School of Music. After returning to the West Coast to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Southern California, Akinmusire went on to attend the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in Los Angeles, where he studied with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Terence Blanchard. With on the tender spot of every calloused moment, Akinmusire not only asserts himself as of the best trumpeters in the world, he’s using his voice to dissect the complexity of black life in America.
Blue Norte, June 2020

Neil Young
In Neil Young’s career of over forty years, failure is part of the game. Last week, however, the seventy-four-year-old dropped Homegrown, a lost studio album from 1974 and one of his best. He is still to release a lot of the music that was swallowed by his private archives, so that we may still be in for some surprises in the not too distant future. After all, gems aren’t kept in drawers. Homegrown is a gentle opus. A little melancholy, it perfectly embodies the expressive spirit of the times. Homegrown has been highly praised by music critics and recalls a very productive period in Western music history. “Homegrown is not only the missing piece in the puzzle of an important decade, it also ranks with great radiance among the solitary masterpieces of an entire career.” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)
Warner, Juni 2020

The multicultural musical trio that make up Khruangbin, Laura Lee on bass, Mark Speer on guitar and Donald Ray “DJ” Johnson on drums, hails from Texas. Their style is known as a mix of dub, psychedelia and soul – with a good shot of ambient in this case. “Mordechai, Khruangbin’s third proper album, is the first to prominently feature vocals, with all three members contributing. The introduction of singing suggests a new interest in songcraft, a welcome development… And Mordechai’s most memorable tracks are the ones with the most singing, like the poolside disco of ‘Time (You and I),’ and the highlife-inspired pop of ‘So We Won’t Forget.’ The best is ‘Pelota,’ whose sun-baked lyrics does not point clearly to any particular reference, offering a lively possibility for what Khruangbin might sound like when they are not trying to be anyone but themselves.” (Pitchfork)
Dead Oceans, June 2020

Art of the Descarga
The John Santos Sextet
John Santos has been faithfully carrying the Latin Jazz torch on the other coast for years. He has generally been a sparkplug for a wave of musical invention at the vortex where Jazz, Latin and other ideas meet. Born in San Francisco, in 1955, he was raised in the Puerto Rican and Cape Verdean traditions of his family, surrounded by music. His studies of Afro-Latin music have included several trips to New York, Puerto Rico, Cuba. Brazil and Colombia. He is known for his innovative use of traditional forms and instruments in combination with contemporary music has earned him much respect and recognition as a prolific performer who has recorded with countless masters of several musical generations.
Record Store Day, June 2020

goodnews editorial

America has captured the European imagination ever since it existed. Whether one hates it or loves it, the sound of its name, its cities, the glamour and pace, but also the wars and social inequalities associated with the United States of America evoke strong images in us. As white Europeans we cannot know how much Black Lives Matter in the USA. What we do know is that it is not enough here, as we stand humbled by our cruel collective colonial past. We also know that we need to break free from our own prejudices and create better conditions for African-Europeans and People of Color. Does that mean that we should feel guilty? Guilt leads to fear, and a life dominated by fear keeps us locked in the past instead of leading to better solutions for the future. Instead of being afraid of each other, we want to take care of each other. Apologies are due. The United States urgently need a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. There are many shadows waiting to be brought to light and integrated into lived history. We must learn to better accept the unknown and make it a part of our lives. In Europe too.

Susanne G. Seiler

In that other fantasy where we live forever

we were never caught

we partied the southwest, smoked it from L.A. to El Dorado
worked odd jobs between delusions of escape
drunk on the admonitions of parents, parsons & professors
driving faster than the road or law allowed.
our high-pitched laughter was young, heartless & disrespected
authority. we could be heard for miles in the night

the Grand Canyon of a new manhood.
womanhood discovered
like the first sighting of Mount Wilson

we rebelled against the southwestern wind

we got so naturally ripped, we sprouted wings,
crashed parties on the moon, and howled at the earth

we lived off love. It was all we had to eat

when you split you took all the wisdom
and left me the worry

Wanda Coleman

good to read

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas Illustrated

Alice B. Toklas (author); Maria Kalmas (illustrator)
Alice B. Toklas was Gertrude Stein’s lover, and Gertrude wrote her irreverent autobiography under her lover’s name since Alice was not going to write it herself. Instead, Alice saw “many things to tell of what was happening then”… Arguably the only woman with a moustache as famous as Frida Kahlo’s, Alice is known for baking hash cookies in the 1930’s, when the two formidable ladies were living in Paris, befriending Gurdjieff, Hemmingway, Pound, T.S. Eliot, Picasso and many other celebrities. In this edition, artist Maria Kalman paints a lively portrait of  Paris between the two wars, and celebrates Stein and Toklas in bright colors. Her illustrations of Gertrud Stein’s classic complement this witty and intelligent must read. It is also a lesbian love story in an age when these things were not easily talked about. (sgs)
Penguin, March 2020

The Life & Times of Malcolm McLaren

Nigel Pennick
There are still many places left in England, or anywhere in the western world, where we are able experience the land as it used to be before it was parceled up and commercially exploited. When it is was lived off and interacted with by our ancestors. Its features were imbued with magic and meaning, and much of it was sacred because the land had a soul that spoke to ours. Nigel Pennick tells us about these days long gone and how it came to pass that our communion with the land was lost. He also shows us how we may retrieve some of the magic inherent in our landscapes, in our own backyards or when exploring the countryside around us. Traces of the sacred arts of geomancy, feng shui and magic still abound, our spiritual connection with nature is not lost but waiting for us to be rediscovered. (sgs)
Destiny Books, May 2020

The Power of Ritual. Turning Everyday Activities into Soulful Practice

Kasper ter Kuile
We are in crisis today. Our modern technological society has left too many of us  feeling isolated and bereft of purpose. Yet ter Kuile reveals a hopeful new message: we might not be religious, but that doesn’t mean we are any less spiritual. Instead, we are in the midst of a paradigm shift in which we seek belonging and meaning in secular practices. In The Power of Ritual, ter Kuile invites us to deepen these ordinary practices as intentional rituals that nurture connection and  wellbeing. With wisdom and endearing wit, ter Kuile’s call for ritual is ultimately a call to heal our loss of connection to ourselves, to others, and to our spiritual identities. Our daily habits matter and have the potential to become a powerful experience of reflection, sanctuary, and meaning.
Harper One, June 2020

The Lying Life of Adults

Elena Ferrante
Giovanna’s father says that she is changing and looking more like her Aunt Vittoria every day. But can it be true? Is she really changing? Will she turn out like her despised aunt, a woman she hardly knows but whom her mother and father have spent their whole lives avoiding and deriding? There must be a mirror somewhere in which she can see herself as she truly is. Giovanna searches for her true self in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: the Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and the Naples of the depths, a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves between these two cities, disoriented by the fact that, whether high or low, neither city seems to offer answers or escape.
Thorndike Press, July 2020

Divine Rascal: On the Trail of LSD’s Cosmic Courier, Michael Hollingshead

Andy Roberts
Psychedelic trickster guru, or conman and charlatan? Exactly who Hollingshead was and what his motives were remains unclear. Some believed he was working for the secret services, others that he was just a Leary wannabe, his aspirations destroyed by his deviant personality and addiction to alcohol and opiates. Divine Rascal is the first reliable biography of one of psychedelia’s key figures, without whom the trajectory of LSD in the world would have been radically different. Appearing as if from nowhere, mysterious Michael Hollingshead turned Timothy Leary on to LSD in 1962, and was influential in Leary’s years at Harvard, Millbrook, and beyond. Author Andy Robert is widely regarded as an authority on contemporary folklore and psychedelic history.
Strange Attractor Press, August 2020

good to know

Good trip, bad trip
psychoactive | Futurism, 29 May 2020
Neuroscientists study how the sense of self breaks down on psilocybin

Holy Rollers
psychoactive | Physorg, 29 May 2020
Cannabis and frankincense found at biblical shrine in Israel

psychoactive | Leafly, 2 June 2020
Cannabis & racial tension

psychoactive | Freethink, 3 June 2020
Ketamine’s interaction with the brain analyzed

Crisis fatigue
life | Wired, 4 June 2020
We’re not made to be upset for longer periods of time

science | Futurism, 5 June 2020
New power generator changes darkness to light

Soap ‘n dope
psychoactive | Mother Jones, 5 June 2020
The story of Dr. Bonner’s

eco | pv-magazine, 8 June 2020
Solar potential and underlying land use

culture | The Guardian, 9 June 2020
London and Manchester to topple all racist statues

science | Freethink, 9 June 2020
Swiss scientists produce breathable, transparent and eco-friendly mask

Deep down
science | Futurism, 12 June 2020
New structures found near the core of the earth

culture | Freethink, 17 June 2020
Atlanta jail replaced with center for equity

psychoactive | Aeon, 17 June 2020
How to have a safe trip

culture | Hyperallergic, 23 June 2020
John Cage loves mushrooms

Belated honors
science | Futurism, 24 June 20020
NASA to rename its headquarters after black engineer Mary W. Jackson

Prehistoric  landscaping
culture | Smithsonian, 24 June 2020
Thirty large prehistoric pits discovered close to Stonehenge

nature | National Geographic, 24 June 2020
No more Dutch mink farms

Drugs for free
psychoactive | Inverse, 25 June 2020
Canadian activists hand out free cocaine to address drug poisoning emergency


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