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The Evolutionary Perspective
Category Archives: Hedonism
Posted: February 25, 2017 at 3:06 pm
TAKE a look around the exclusive Mayfair wine shop Hedonism, which counts some of football’s richest men among its clients.
TAKE a look around the exclusive Mayfair wine shop Hedonism, which counts some of football’s richest men among its clients.
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Take a look around the Hedonism wine shop in Mayfair
The Sun claim that this is the place where Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha recently boasted about sacking Claudio Ranieri after a 500,000 spending spree.
It’s also one of Jose Mourinho’s favourite places to buy his wine.
Bottles are sold for as much as 100,000 each in the west London joint.
The Manchester United boss was spotted with a bag from the shop the day before he was confirmed as manager of the Old Trafford side.
Click through the gallery above to take a look around Hedonism.
Posted: at 3:06 pm
The worldview of unhindered pleasure in life is often called hedonism, a word derived from a Greek word that means pleasure or delight.
The worldview of unhindered pleasure in life is often called hedonism, a word derived from a Greek word that means pleasure or delight. Its main concern in life is maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain. We know from history about the orgies and drunkenness in the ancient world in Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome. And we see the same thing in our culture today.
But what does the Bible say about pleasure? Hedonism can be traced all the way back to the Garden of Eden. There, Eve was tempted by the devil to eat the forbidden fruit, seeing that it was good for food and a delight to the eyes. Ironically, her pleasure led to pain in childbearing, pain in toil for Adam, and pain in husband-wife relationships.
In contrast to this godless life of pleasure that many hedonists pursue today, Ecclesiastes 9:7-10 tell us that certain pleasures in life are approved by God: Food and drink, delightful possessions and romance. But in all the writers talk of enjoying the pleasures of life, God is the center. Eating, drinking, possessions and finding enjoyment in our toil under the sun are from the hand of God (Eccl 2:24-25; 3:13; 5:19). The Bible even says, Enjoy life with the wife whom you love (Eccl 9:9).
These pleasures are Gods good gifts, so we are to give thanks to God for them (1 Timothy 4:4-5). Even work is given by God for our pleasure. Our toil is not in vain when we find enjoyment in the fruits of our honest and diligent toil because it is from the hand of God (Eccl 2:24).
Enjoy all these pleasures today, because life is very short, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun. These pleasures will one day come to an end, to which [we all are] going.
The pursuit of pleasure is not a sin in itself. But it becomes sin when it turns into hedonism, the priority in your life, apart from serving and living for God. When this happens, real pleasure becomes only temporary, fleeting pleasures. Life is so short that God-less pleasure ends in eternal death and pain. After death, there is no pleasure or joy for those who have no fear of the LORD. Instead of joy, there is only fear of a future judgment (Hebrews 10:27). Instead of gladness of heart, there is only weeping and gnashing of teeth.
So why enjoy pleasures that are godless and meaningless? Our lives become meaningful only when we know the salvation that Jesus Christ gives. We can only eat bread with joy, drink wine with a merry heart, enjoy the love of our wives, husbands and children, and find joy in our labors, when we know that these earthly pleasures do not come to an end at death.
What is Hedonism wines? Mayfair vendor owned by Russian exile counts Jose Mourinho among its clientele and … – The Sun
Posted: February 24, 2017 at 6:12 pm
Leicester City chairmanVichai Srivaddhanaprabha boasted of axing Claudio Ranieri whileon booze spending spree
JOSE MOURINHO celebrated landing the Manchester United job in the same exclusive wine shop where Claudio Ranieris future was decided.
The Sun exclusively revealed Leicester chairmanVichai Srivaddhanaprabha boasted of axing the Italian during a 500,000 spending spree.
Here is everything you need to know about pricey Mayfair vendor Hedonism Wines used by some of footballs richest men.
Keep up to date with ALL the football news, gossip and transfers
Sir Alex Fergusons love of fine wines saw him label Chelseas collection of plonk as like paint stripper.
So when Mourinho prepared to visit Old Trafford he tried and failed to impress the picky Scottish connoisseur.
Fortunately the Special One learned his lesson and started frequentingHedonism to avoid upsetting legendary Old Trafford chief Fergie.
News Group Newspapers Ltd
Mourinho was then spotted with a bag from the posh retailer a day before he officially became the third man to try and replace Ferguson.
Off Licence News installed the merchant as the fifth best in the country as itchallenged industry experts to make their picks in 2016.
Hedonism is owned byRussian exile and fierce Vladimir Putin critic Yevgeny Chichvarkin.
News Group Newspapers Ltd
A simple Halloween prank caused chaos in 2015 as a fake crime scene complete with blood and body line was reported as a murder.
Several Russian media outlets reported thatScotland Yard detectives were at the scene investigating, withChichvarkin hitting out at the coverage.
The outcast opened his shop which has over 5,000 bottles of plonk in 2012.
Cheaper varieties include a 2014 Rose going for just 11.60 while a rare Penfolds Block 42 Ampoule will set punters back a staggering 120,000.
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How dirty do you like it? Revel in hedonism with You Pull It, the new EP from The Byzantines – Happy
Posted: February 23, 2017 at 1:03 pm
The earliest Arctic Monkeys tracks were brimming with a fast-paced, frenetic energy thats hard to match. Their later effortsSuck It And SeeandAMwere a different beast; mature, considered and wholly held together by Alex Turners commanding baritone.
Somewhere in between the two, sprinkled with a smattering of church organs and and an even more palpable vigour is the latest EP from The Byzantines,You Pull It.
Michael, David, Jose and Johnny are the lads from Adelaide who have pulled together this thrumming release. Listening to the EP, you have to wonder exactly what this foursome have been getting up to on tour, but that pervasive, pitch-black and often perverted underbelly givesYou Pull Itcharacter beyond the bands years.
Lyrically The Byzantines adopt the adept philosophy of the practised hedonist. Brutally honest, provocative and even spine-chilling at times, the EP is a murky swamp of vice from start to finish. But ifmusical history has taught us anything, a little high-end degeneracy goes a long way. The band sculpts their wickedness for the better onYou Pull It, employing their character as a draw-in rather than any sort of repellent.
The music is uniformly interesting, a consistent metamorphosis that keeps you on edge. The way the Byzantines employ fills, key changes or the introduction of a new layer is unswerving in their effectiveness its the furthest youll possibly get from boring instrumentation.
Closing trackBefore I Go Under demonstrates this consideration. At times a dancehall, Brit pop singalong, this track reaches into the abyss of psych rock raunchiness for an almost out-of-place breakdown. The singing, tremolo chords come out of nowhere, but ripthe song and EP into a different state of mind with their introduction.
The British influence is worn on The Byzantines sleeve, Arctic Monkeys have been mentioned but the sonics of Kasabian consistently rear their head. That being said, the heavily employed organ, adaptive musicality and lyrical impurity of this record carve out something unique for this four-piece from Adelaide.
WithYou Pull ItThe Byzantines have carved their names into their genre-scape and the Aussie scene. No longer a simple of imitation of music which hascome before, this EP speaks volumestowhatever will follow.
You Pull Itis out now.
The Byzantines are on tour right now. Catch the dates below, and head to their Facebook page for the details.
Fri Feb 24 The Karova Lounge Ballarat, VIC Sat Feb 25 The Workers Club Geelong, VIC SunFeb 26 The Workers Club Melbourne, VIC Wed Mar 1 Rad Bar Wollongong, NSW Thur Mar 2 Transit Bar, Canberra, ACT Fri Mar 3 The Brighton Up Bar Sydney, NSW Sat Mar 4 Clipsal 500 Adelaide, SA Fri Mar 10 The Currumbin Creek Tavern Gold Coast, QLD Sat Mar 11 The Milk Factory Brisbane, QLD
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Posted: at 1:03 pm
The 90s saw a huge surge in drinking, but alcohol consumption has been in steady decline since 2002. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo
The behaviour of this nation, its relentless heeding of expert advice, the stiff downward curve of its self-harming habits, must be the cause of intense frustration to the hell-in-a-handcart lobby. It has long been observable that the youth of today act the way the youth of two decades ago used to be told to act, when they arrived at the GP with astomach ulcer and an anxiety disorder. They go to the gym, they have personal bests, they count their steps, they walk up stairs. They spend less on alcohol and more on coffee. Their behaviour is so different, so pronounced, that it has affected the entire cohort known as adults. The family-spending data from the Office of National Statistics reported last week that average weekly spend on alcohol, cigarettes and narcotics had fallen below 12 for the first time.
Generation X has of late cast itself as the buffer of decency between the righteous self-interest of the baby boomers and the fragile solipsism of the millennials. But the really salient development, incremental in its arrival but sudden in its obviousness, is the total rejection of hedonism, which was all we X-ers were ever good at. Alcohol consumption has been in steady decline since 2002. The 90s saw a surge, among young men in particular; between 1994 and 1999, they increased their intake by an incredible eight units a week (young women were less dramatic, starting from a lower bar, but female drinking overall increased by a third over the same period). These spikes are understood to be spurred by economic booms, although the relationship between those and a kind of cultural exhilaration must surely be symbiotic, each driving the other. To recap for the younger reader: these were the years when binge was a compliment; William Hague would show off about drinking 14 pints at a sitting; whole sitcoms would be built on the assumption that you could drink wine in the morning and that would be funny. It was the era of ladettes and self-parody, hangovers and fags, gleeful personal failure. All of that has been comprehensively rejected; nobody even staged a rebellion. They just thought we were silly.
There are other things happening here, sometimes in parallel, sometimes bisecting. People spend what they can afford, and other costs have gone up. Wages have stagnated, rents increased. Credit is tight and viewed with suspicion. As Reni Eddo-Lodge, a 27-year-old activist turned writer, explains to me, rather wearily: Its really just about money. When I was a student, I drank more heavily than I do now. Ihavent smoked since 2012. It wasnt a puritanical thing; I just couldnt afford to. Everybody who I was friends with when I was 18 is limiting nights out because the cash just isnt there. The economic circumstances since the crash have been most punishing to the young, and their behaviour has changed the fastest.
Yet their drinking attitudes reveal motivations beyond frugality: Heineken polled 5,000 21-35 year olds in five countries this year, and found that self-awareness and staying in control were two considerations behind the fact that three-quarters of millennials limited the amount they drank on the majority of nights out. The alcohol industry has been wise to this for at least a decade. Bruce Davis, an anthropologist turned, briefly, consumer-whisperer, remembers seeing this anxiety in the 00s: Its the one thing thats constantly worrying drinks companies; all profits are based on volume. If you make beer, you only make money when you sell lots of it. They get really worried when they see volumes decreasing. But as soon as the millennials came of pub age, volumes did decrease, and at that point, it was more about self-fashioning than it was about cash. In the past, you didnt go drinking to be individual, you went to be the same as everyone else. Volume drinking is driven by people trying to keep up with each other. Millennials behaviour was always much more individual. People dont buy rounds as much. People are nomadic, they might not even stay with one group for the whole evening. Its a much more liquid, modern social life. But it would be a mistake to take modern as an unalloyed good; its partly modern because its atomised, insecure and precarious. Even among working-class millennials, theyre not going to the same workplace, so theyre not drinking in the same place. The big volume push for alcohol was drinking in groups.
Eddo-Lodge reminds us not to elide these new working patterns with adeliberated individualism. Theres this significant uptick in the number of young people freelancing. Its not achoice, thats just us making the best of a bad situation.
Swerving off the labour market and back to the pub, the industrys response was to devise interesting spirits, drinks that would generate income even in relatively small amounts. Davis invented Monkey Shoulder whisky and Sailor Jerrys rum, brands that consciously sought to disassociate themselves from the generations that drank in order to get drunk. The signature drink of this trend is craft beer, which partly through international cross-fertilisation the Antipodeans with their more distinctive hops, the Americans with their entrepreneurialism, us with our romantic attachment to beer has become the ultimate drink-as-self-expression, definitely-not-drunk-to-get-drunk drink. Chloe MacDonnell, 30, who works for the fashion title InStyle, lives the niche alcohol dream. We spend a lot of money getting the best gin, or the best beer. But at the same time, I will buy a bottle of wine for a fiver in Tesco. Its like fashion, the high and low element, designer to highstreet.
There is a health element that, again, occupies that uncomfortable space between individualism and insecurity. If you look at gym membership and gym frequency among millennials, its higher. You drink water and you take pills because it doesnt make you fat, Davis observes. (Gym-going, interestingly, may drive spending in all kinds of areas going out to eat, clothes shopping but it doesnt drive people to drink.) Narcotics spending has probably gone down not because of abstinence but because drugs are cheaper and purer and altogether better, proof if any were needed that market forces do work especially well on non-essential commodities. Yet both the surge in legal highs and the spate of clubs turning into bars makes me wonder whether the majority of people just prefer not to break the law. As a footnote, notions of indulgence and masculinity have changed: it used to be signifier of something or other, something good, if you could drink 10 pints without soiling yourself. That doesnt impress millennials so much.
MacDonnell names the defining generational difference: brunch. Me and my friends would go out for brunch at the weekend; older colleagues think thats just weird. Why not wait for lunch, so you can drink? For a short time last year, Ilived on ahill in the semi-suburbs of south-west London where young people would queue down the street on aSaturday morning to go to cafe/brand the Breakfast Club. I kept wanting to close-question them about it youre waiting in line, for an egg. Who does that? but they all looked so fit.
Both eating out and event spending minibreaks, day trips, experiences have peaked this year, which illustrates that its not leisure that has dropped off so much as hedonism. Spending on experiences is variously characterised as a new wisdom people realising that memories are more important to ones identity than things and a new self-fashioning people deciding that mindless enjoyment didnt add much to Project Me. Eddo-Lodge says: Once you get out of the habit of big nights out, theyre no longer attractive. If Ihave a bit of disposable income, Id rather go for a day trip. Ive actually decided to go to Maldon.
Sara Mahmoud, 30, is an economic analyst in the housing sector. Im aprivate renter, as a lot of young people are. When youre renting privately, no matter what your income is, you feel that you are being made poorer by having such high rents. And you feel your life is insecure because of the instability of renting. But I know how lucky I am, because I look at household-income data all day long. What really shocked me was how many renters have no savings at all. Zero in the bank, totally hand-to-mouth. And that is really serious, because obviously, people have very limited prospects of being able to get themselves out of whatever insecure situation theyre in.
Beyond that, it is incredibly unusual for those under 30 to think of themselves as saving to buy a house; its unrealistic, for anyone who doesnt have help from their parents. Shelter did a study that showed 50% of first-time buyers, rising to 60% in London, had help from their parents, Mahmoud continues. One of the things that concerns me is the concentration of wealth that that implies. But also, there is a real tension; were increasingly moving towards asset-based welfare. People have to rely on the value of their homes to pay for their care, while also paying for their children to get on to the housing ladder. This colours all other decisions where to live in the long term, when to start a family, whether to eat or put the heating on. It has a different effect on social behaviours across the income distribution. At the affluent end, there is very little point saving 50 on any single decision, since those 50 quids are not as they would have in the 90s ever going to add up to a deposit on a flat. At the low-waged end, there isnt any flexibility at all, and there is more pre-loading at home, Scandinavian-style.
Yet Mahmoud, being also in a punk band, doesnt see her generation as particularly abstemious or reserved. If anything, she thinks youth culture is rediscovering its rebellion, an antipathy to the mainstream not seen since Thatcher. Young is really defined by social constructs over time. I wouldnt necessarily count myself as young, but someone in the government would aim a scheme at me. Because Im not on the property ladder, my life has only just begun. All our lives have been characterised by the financial crisis, and it is really interesting to see that feeding through to actual youth culture, how they think about the world, how they go out and enjoy themselves.
Theres never much national mourning when unwanted, smelly, disease-causing behaviours decline; and nobody, probably, would be sorry to see the back of smoking, although I will add here that the e-cigarette technology partly driving that has left me more addicted to nicotine than Ive ever been in my life. But large-scale restraint in the booze arena, while it may shave a few off the cirrhosis register decades hence, has implications for the present reality that we should take seriously and not cheerlead: plain lack of disposable income, for one; reordering of power between renters and rentiers, which cannot, I dont think, be waived away with acasual, everybody rents in Berlin; a growing economic insecurity and intensifying personal perfectionism that cant possibly be unrelated. All this clean living is driven by some dirtydata.
Posted: at 4:00 am
One of the great gifts we have received from God is the gift of pleasure. Some might think that pleasure is wrong but the truth is it has its rightful place in our lives or God would not have provided it for us nor given us the capacity to experience it.
Pleasurable experiences in life are sort of the desert of life. But sadly what God meant to be a blessing can, when used incorrectly, become a curse. This happens when pleasure becomes a persons primary focus or pursuit.
When seeking after pleasure becomes the emphasis in ones life, love of God becomes totally corrupted. The bible tells us, If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but from the world. 1 John 2:15b-16 (NAS) The desire for worldly pleasure nullifies ones ability to be in a true loving relationship with God. Though a person can maintain their outward form of godliness, in reality their spiritual life is missing the power that comes from godly living. It is the life that is well balanced with prayer, bible reading, church attendance, acts of kindness, giving to God, and other healthy spiritual staples of life that will be a life that has true love for God and can enjoy pleasure as a gift from God.
A careful examination of Christianity today demonstrates the sad fact that it has fallen in line with our culture as more and more Christians simply maintain an outward form of godliness but are actually lovers of self and pleasure rather than lovers of God. The technical term for this is hedonism which simply put is living life to please oneself. The typical evangelical will avoid obvious sins that would identify him/her with the world and yet all the while the lust for the things of the world thrives in his/her heart. I think it is safe to say that this is becoming more and more prevalent with each new generation since each new generation becomes more and more tolerant and accepting of hedonism.
We must realize the only power to break the hold of any sin, including hedonism, comes from true intimacy with God. And until a person makes a resolute decision that obedience to God and submission to His will are going to establish the course of his life, he will never get free from the addiction to pleasure. Paul told us, Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 (NAS) Every true believer must heed this word.
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Posted: February 20, 2017 at 7:06 pm
Berlin Film Festival 2017: Berlin Syndrome | Review
Berlin can be such a transitional city for many people. Backpackers treat it as a destination for unbridled hedonism, the likes of which is not seen in many other cities. Even those who opt to move to the city will find that it can be a solitary place, since the typical Berlin party and tourist lifestyle is not sustainable. So many people leave Berlin once the enchantment has worn off, leaving the population of the city in a constant state of flux. Clare (Teresa Palmer) is an Australian backpacker who would dearly love to leave Berlin, if she wasnt imprisoned in the apartment of the man shes just met in the type of swirling, heedless fashion that can happen while on holiday.
Director Cate Shortland made her feature debut with 2004s Somersault, which married dreamy visuals with heftier emotive themes, and Berlin Syndrome delivers her most sure-footed work yet. Berlin is certainly not depicted as dreamy, and Director of Photography Germain McMicking has given the city a stark, austere beauty, which (fittingly) seems ominous at times.
While not quite in pursuit of unbridled hedonism, Clare is still travelling alone, with the imprudent decisions that can often occur in this situation. It was not a foolhardy decision for her to go home with Andy (Max Riemelt), since for the film to be effectively chilling, sympathy for Clare could be minimised if there was a true sense of recklessness.
And it is chilling, more so when the action shifts to her confinement. The canvas of the story is reduced, though not minimised, and there can be easy comparisons to mainstream horror (which should help the film to find a wider audience). While the outline of Clares jeopardous circumstances might seem like something that has been done a million times before, rarely has it been done so intelligently.
Berlin Syndrome is released nationwide on 9th June 2017.
For further information about the 67th Berlin Film Festival visit here.
Read more reviews from the festival here.
Watch a clip fromBerlin Syndrome here:
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Posted: at 7:06 pm
(Fade to Mind) US: 24 Feb 2017 UK: 24 Feb 2017
In the 21st century, theres an increasingly sad and desperate quality to pop culture hedonism. Oddly, this is perhaps most evident in the way that R&B has given way to club music. When former R&B producers and performers embraced dance music, you might have expected an increase in euphoria, an influx of ecstasy. Yet the digitally-enhanced uplift in the records by producers such as Flo-Rida, Pitbull and will.i.am has a strangely unconvincing quality, like a poorly photoshopped image or a drug that weve hammered so much weve become immune to its effects. Its hard not to hear these records demands that we enjoy ourselves as thin attempts to distract from a depression that they can only mask, never dissipate. A secret sadness lurks behind the 21st centurys forced smile Drake and Kanye West are both morbidly fixated on exploring the miserable hollowness at the core of super-affluent hedonism. No longer motivated by hip-hops drive to conspicuously consumethey long ago acquired anything they could have wantedDrake and West instead dissolutely cycle through easily available pleasures, feeling a combination of frustration, anger, and self-disgust, aware that something is missing, but unsure exactly what it is. Mark Fisher, The Secret Sadness of the 21st Century, Electronic Beats
Tears in the Club is a provocative title, and not only because the last few years have seen far too many actual tears in music venues from Bataclan to Pulse to Ghost Ship to BPM Mexico to a massacre in an Istanbul nightclub only a few weeks back. Clubs are supposed to be safe spaces, places where communities can form. They shelter those already feeling isolated and alienated from society by gathering their patrons together as part of a singular event. Clubs are allegiances and unions of listeners, linked to each other through common sound, but its easy to overlook kinks and vulnerabilities in this bond, the desolation, and conflict that often does not dissipate at the door.
The DJ, who up until the recent advent of the celebrity hand-waver set maintained a structural need to be integrated into the scenery of the club, may be the clubs loneliest attendant. He stands outside of the action because hes the master of controls, orchestrating fun for everyone else, but only participating in the party from the sidelines, behind the wizards curtain.
Unlike the secret sadness that the late Mark Fisher alludes to in the quote above, Kingdom, and the battalion of like-minded producers he has cultivated for his groundbreaking Fade to Mind imprint, have never hidden their malaise. Perhaps thats because their vernacular is 21st century pop, even if they ostensibly make experimental club tracks. Kingdom (aka Ezra Rubin) is no stranger to the format of slowed trap-inflected R&B/pop. He has worked wonders behind the boards of several hyper-contemporary tracks for Danity Kanes Dawn Richard (DWN) and Kelela over the past few years. Now, he has upped the ante on Tears in the Club, an immersive new conceptual experiment centered around four dour pop tracks, spaced out across the breadth of the record.
These songs are exactly the kind of gorgeously constructed, intimate, and melodically rich pop songs someone from the recent past might have thought wed be listening to in 2017. Theyre futuristic, sophisticated, catchy, and psychedelically wrought. However, theyre also deeply depressive.
The decision to focus on a canvas of future-pop/R&B may lead many to think that this represents some kind of permanent realignment for Kingdom, whose past work, while still deeply expressive, was mainly targeted towards feet rather than heartstrings. The lyric sheet doesnt exactly dissuade this theory either. Nothin featuring Syd of the Internet even goes so far as to paint this fluctuation as capitulation. My real art is amazing / Aint that a shame?, she intones, giving the false impression that perhaps this whole attempt at the pop record is half-hearted and more about staying financially afloat than charting new territory. Nothin is a deep, boozy reflection on the choice to go overground, but made from a nihilistic resolve and, ultimately, a vantage of practicality: Somethings got to give right now / So this is what it is right now / All or nothin / Nothin / Didnt work this hard for nothing / So Im gonna act up, gonna act out/ Gonna stack up, and then cash out. These cues exist elsewhere on the album too. Mostly instrumental, the transitional track Into the Fold begs to be interpreted as an invitation to the dark side, its lyrics limited simply to Come / Come / To me. Where? Into the fold, one would guess.
One might even see the trajectory of the entire album in this light. It opens with the forlorn breakup tune What Is Love, whose rhetorical question SZA answers by offering a compartmentalization: Break it down / Fuck it up / Now I see / What is love. Her tenor in this verdict is not aggressive, but anodyne, if a bit dispirited. Throughout the track amidst the slinky synths are two chants: NBA Jam style grunts on loan from Jam City and SZA herself distorted and hiccupping back it up. The latter functions as a literal placeholder (i.e., these are backup vocals) and a detached mechanized force for that compartmentalization, as if she is attempting to download somehow the data set for love. Broken through romantic misfortune, the album sets off in existential crisis, attempting to find solace in the club and finding that it cant fill voids which seem to have no bottom. The corresponding bookend to What Is Love is a Club Mix of Nothin, but one with a simple house beat rather than the abstract contraptions of Kingdoms previous EPs. That its the least interesting piece on the album seems to confirm the sellout/cash-out cycle alluded to in Nothin. Its surrender.
The easy riposte to the idea that this is a sellout album itself rather than an album tangentially about selling out is the music itself, still a little too odd for the charts even when its way too wound down for the clubs. Nothin easily rivals as the Internets Girl as one of the best things Syd has done to date, while vibrant neon jaunt Down 4 Whateva might be the best thing SZAs been involved with to date. Even better still is Breathless featuring unknown singer Shacar, an evocative performance in grimy hues, wild breadths of emotion sputtering throughoutconfidence, melancholy, pain, desire, and isolation all in the span of three minutes. It too concerns the creeping changes of success (Im not sorry because Im / Blowing up) and becoming guarded by its trappings (No weapon formed against me shall prosper / Tied up and alone I get haunted by my pride / So I can sing in front of my phone), eventually slicing open the surface to display the ache underneath. I bleed/I bleed/I bleed, Shacar sings in a sonic interpolation of Beyonces I slay / I slay / I slay from Formation. He resigns to hiding in the work, trailing off his final lines to face this suffering alone: Constantly grinding out hereyou cant see that / Im still trapped, and Im still hurting.
The energy of Breathless bleeds nicely into one of the albums six non-pop tracks, Tears in the Club. Tears in the Club is not only the track most reminiscent of Kingdoms older works, but also comes with specific sonic callbacks to one Kingdoms most well-known hits, Stalker Ha off of his 2011 Dreama EP. The pop cuts wallow in a kind of boozy attachment. SZA assumes an elegantly wasted stance on her two contributions, at first sounding wine-drunk and disoriented on What Is Love, slithering on and off the beat, and then predicting before a kind of skin-shedding hook up that Im gonna take a sip and lose my way tonight on Down 4 Whateva. Tears in the Club, comparatively, is all paranoia and dark feels, a cinematic second act of perpetual anxiety and rootlessness with its sinister piano and trap-does-70s horror film vibe.
The rest of the cuts are nothing to skip over either and lend extra weight and resonance to the songs surrounding them, making Tears in the Club an experience best listened to as a whole. Each and Every Day is almost off-puttingly centered and well-postured around a traditional beat, perhaps taking cues from Sophie in its minimalism. Its simple rhythm-based chorus cuts out melody altogether and then resumes for mantras of the words Each and Every Day while the pitched-up voice of Najee Daniels chirps ok, ok, ok. The self-betterment routine continues into the uncomplicated and swoony cut-ups of Nurtureworld which beg the listener to take me away, as the listener and producer drift together.
Although three years in the making, its increasingly hard to hear this or any album without 2017 ears. In the wake of Trumps despicable first few weeks, I found myself listening more and more to a playlist Id constructed of intensely melancholy music, realizing that Id done so because I hadnt yet given myself permission to be sad. The main takeaway I get from listening to Tears in the Club on repeat is the overwhelming feeling of you cant go home again. Somethings gotta give right now, Syd says. SZA takes this a step further saying, Ill be into you even when you aint around me / Ill be missing you even when you been around me. For every transcendent feeling of closeness in the clubs this year, therell be plenty others where one couldnt feel any more distant from whos standing right next to you. The urgency of being here now vs. the creeping sense of slowly becoming an island haunts this moment, with our interconnected sociality simultaneously culling common causes and confirming our isolationist biases.
Walking back into the club after having all thats on Kingdoms mind is like getting jolted by the nightmare trap of Tears in the Club. Its all darkness and anxiety now. Its visceral grip is as pulsatingly real as it is synthetic. The escape that the nave EDM pop that the turn of the decade offered now seems like the infamous K.C. Green strip On Fire, the flames burning around us as the nihilistic fatalism of #YOLO truly sinks in. The only way through is forward, and well need plenty of forward-thinking pop to help with that. Well need lots of songs that can help reform the bonds of community that a club can offer, and which pop can alleviate. Solidarity in suffering, a shared loneliness. We cant deny ourselves the right to be sad any more than we can deny ourselves the right to dance. Kingdoms album confronts this from a place that, if not deeply personal, at least feels so.
Posted: February 19, 2017 at 11:03 am
highlights five more chefs who are charged with introducing visitors and locals alike to the best culinary offerings in Jamaica.
This weeks featured chefs are from Hedonism II, Negril
Lead cook, Pastafari Italian Restaurant, Hedonism II Resort
At age six, Davey Thomas would study the ingredients as his mother cooked. Then he would try and replicate her cooking to see how his compared. All that practice still did not lead him to a six-burner stove. Actually, he took what he thought was the safe road by becoming an auto mechanic. But the passion for cooking had already taken root and Thomas eventually heeded and enrolled in the Petersfield Vocational Training Centre, where he studied Food Preparation.
I love trying new flavours and taking traditional recipes and adding new stuff. I take pride in my cooking as it reflects on me as an individual; its my pride, he says. Thomas spends a lot of his time surfing the Internet for new ideas and says, No matter what area you are in, you have to have a passion for it, otherwise it makes no sense.
Thomas likes preparing anything with seafood and he continues to hone his skills by cooking at home daily.
Garde manger, Hedonism II Resort
An ice-carving genius, says Executive Chef Anthony Miller of Milton Paltie.
Paltie was 14 the first time his aunt asked him to prepare a meal. Having no idea what to cook he enlisted the help of a friend, who added thyme, escallion and butter to the pot. The final result steam fish got rave reviews. To this day his aunt has no idea that he was not the cook.
Briefly sidetracked by carpentry until that income stream slowed, he found himself at Couples Tower Isle, the result of hearing about a vacancy in the stewards department.
When he arrived with a friend the only jobs available were for cooks. Certain that they would not qualify, they got the jobs nevertheless and started in the pantry. After a few months we was awarded Cook 1 (the highest level team member). Every day I was working from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm for about two years. The financial controller asked why I was working those long hours. I told him its not what I was putting in but what I was getting back, and what I was getting back was a salary and experience, so I felt that I was the one winning.
Paltie realised that he could make this his profession after travelling to North America and seeing the respect accorded chefs.
He took certification courses through Johnson and Wales in Kitchen Management, Sanitation and Garde Manger. His true passion, he decided, was fruit, vegetable and ice carving. Its like a painter with his canvas. For me, my canvas is the ice or the produce.
A recipient of many awards, Paltie has copped: the 2002 JCDC silver medal for ice carving and fish platter
2004 Curry Festival gold medal for fruit, vegetable and ice carving
2008 Wow Festival Master Ice Carver
2015 & 2016 Taste of Jamaica gold medalist for the ice carving
2106 Taste of Jamaica silver medal, lamb platter
I think cooking chose me, he tells Thursday Food.
Harry San Japanese Restaurant, Hedonism II Resort
Twenty-one-year-old Rashane Reid says, Cooking is in my genes; my father is a chef (in Nantucket) and as a child he always had me in the kitchen. My uncles are restaurateurs and bakers, my grandmothers gizzada, grater and toto cakes were amazing and famous.
As a child I was in awe of my fathers knife skills and knew I wanted to follow suit.
My first culinary expression was a fried egg which I overcooked. I was instructed by my mother to repeat the process until I got it right. To this day I am still fascinated by how many ways a simple egg can be prepared and, also, there is nothing about an egg I cant tell you. My mother continues to be my motivator. A few years ago she had a stroke and I made a promise to always make her proud.
My driving philosophy comes from my favourite book You Can Work Your Own miracle by Napoleon Hill. It says: I am who I am, where I am, because of my daily habits.
Hedonism is Reids first full-time job. He started as a trainee and through dedication and hard work now enters competitions like Taste of Jamaica. Hedonism took me from a baby to a man, and the best part of being a chef is seeing peoples faces when they taste your food. There is a bond between the diner and the chef.
Reids favourite meal to cook is chicken back with pumpkin served with cornmeal dumplings.
Pastafaria Italian Restaurant, Hedonism II Resort
Odane Whitelocke remembers, as if it were yesterday, the day in 2005 when he decided he wanted to become a chef. My family members had a restaurant and I had started to work in there. I fell in love with it. That same year he enrolled at HEART Petersfield, where the love affair continued.
In 2009, in a quest to further his culinary skills, he attended George Brown College in Toronto, Canada. For me, cooking is an art and I love art. Its an area where I am very confident in my abilities and not afraid to challenge myself through competitions.
In 2015, Whitelocke placed third in the Taste of Jamaica Chef of the Year and in 2016, he placed first in the beef category with a dish he called authentic beef roulade.
Being from a family in which both parents cooked, food and cooking were always a part of his socialisation.
His favourite dish to cook is chicken and beef pasta in Alfredo sauce.
After 12 years his passion has not waned. Indeed, he is fully aware of just how much more there is to learn.
Oshane Powell, cook
Flame Chop House, Hedonism II Resort
At the age of seven Oshane Powell was cooking curried pork. Not that he intended to. But one day his stepfather, the cook in the family, had an emergency. It was left to Oshane to handle dinner. Thankfully, the pork was a hit and a chef was born.
Powell, who studied Food and Nutrition in school, nevertheless went on to work as an auto mechanic but would continue to cook at home for the family. The neighbours would always ask: Who is cooking? as the aroma wafted through the yard.
Deciding to give cooking his full attention, Powell arrived at Hedonism as a trainee and, through hard work and love of art, started fruit and vegetable carving. Using YouTube and cooking shows to practise and improve he eventually ended up cooking in the main kitchen.
In 2016, Chef Anthony Miller entered Powell in the Taste of Jamaica cooking competition. Powell copped the Junior Chef of the Year title with his chicken breast wrapped with sausage and a sweet potato tower, as well as a seafood chowder.
I love food. I am passionate about food, so I am willing to learn everything! he shares with Thursday Food