Why you should care
The Weekender is a special collaboration between OZY Tribe members near and far to provide delicious recommendations for your valuable weekend time.
WHAT TO LISTEN TO
Assume Form — Ultimate Love Songs. Grammy-winning songwriter James Blake has always had a lot of feelings, and his newest album is no exception. But now those feelings are centered on LOVE, offering one drippy, sappy and shimmery track after another (including one with legend André 3000). We love James Blake in love! (Recommended by Viviane Feldman, Sap at Heart)
FM! — Making His Own Future. Longtime Odd Future rap collective associate Vince Staples’ third studio album, released just a couple of months ago, is a dream of Southern California G-funk–inspired instrumentation layered with Staples’ distinct voice and rhyme style. It also has the best 20 seconds of rapper-turned-recluse Earl Sweatshirt you’ll hear this year. (Recommended by Sean Culligan, Who’s Got the Funk)
The Return of Lowkey — He’s Back! Set aside seven minutes for this music video, released in January, which hopefully heralds the return to music of this overtly political rapper. Lowkey stepped away from hip-hop five years ago (his last actual album came out in 2011), but the lyrics to this track hint at another one in the future. (Recommended by Sophia Akram, Living in Hope)
WHAT TO READ
Sweet Bean Paste — The Book, Not the Food. If you’ve never tasted dorayaki, a Japanese pancake filled with sweet bean paste, you should. In the meantime, this book by Durian Sukegawa will bring that delicacy alive for you. It’s the glue that binds a moving story of dark secrets and the power of friendship. Sentaro is an alcoholic, his dreams of becoming a writer in tatters and his criminal past haunting him. He works in a confectionary store selling dorayaki. Then one day he meets Tokue, an older woman with a painful past of her own, who teaches him to make the best dorayaki he has ever tasted. Their friendship grows — but their pasts threaten to unravel that bond. Dorayaki to the rescue! (Recommended by Charu Sudan Kasturi, Sweet Toothed)
The Monk of Mokha — The Story of the World’s Best Coffee. Before Dave Eggers’ new novel hits shelves this month, catch up on his most recent nonfiction, last year’s story of Yemeni-American coffee genius Mokhtar Alkhanshali. Living in California, Alkhanshali began an import business of extraordinary high-end coffee from Yemen in 2013. Eggers’ story follows his efforts to navigate the political collapse of Yemen, and U.S. policy, which became increasingly hostile to those from Muslim countries. A great read, particularly for those who care a lot about the provenance of their coffee. (Recommended by Michael Hewins, OZY Fan)
WHAT TO PLAY
Viscera Cleanup Detail — For the Tidy Horror Fan in All of Us. It’s sort of hard to describe the satisfaction you get from playing this South African video game, in which you play a janitor cleaning up the aftermath of a gory alien invasion. Honestly, it’s the same satisfaction you get from cleaning anything, the same tidying impulse. Mop up blood, sweep up spent ammunition, stack boxes — leave everything neat. You’re not the hero … just the guy who cleans up after him.
While this may sound strange — OK, fine; it is strange — the combination of horror story and cleanliness just works as a game mechanic, with the added bonus that you can measure yourself against other players and see who got everything the tidiest. Once you get into the groove of things, it sort of becomes a macabre Marie Kondo–esque mindless game. If you really love it, there’s also a Christmas-themed expansion called Santa’s Rampage. (Recommended by Alex Furuya, The Tidiest of Us All)
And whatever you do, don’t do this …
Breed lions in your backyard. No, that’s not a metaphor. A 33-year-old man in the Czech Republic was mauled to death by a lion, one of two he was keeping in his backyard. He’d been the subject of neighborhood complaints over walking the animals on a leash. Both were shot when police arrived to investigate the man’s death. (BBC)
SLIDE INTO OUR DMS
Do you have a killer potato salad recipe that you’d like to share? Think you discovered the next great jam band? Share your suggestions with us here at OZY! Email us: Weekender@ozy.com.