We’re back with a staff contribution of the 5×5! This week, SWC’s news editor Steve Jansen shares his top five picks of media he’s been consuming and obsessing over.
song / Silk Sonic
Before Silk Sonic’s newly released single “Skate” causes throwback soul fans to ditch “Leave the Door Open,” I want to give a shout out to the latter cut, which I’ve jammed hundreds of times this year. Anderson .Paak, Bruno Mars, and company kick it back to the 1970s love dusties era with wistful charm à la The Main Ingredient, saccharine strings on a Blue Magic level, and drum breakdowns and la la la’s reminiscent of The Delfonics.
book / George Manuel
In spring 2021 as part of my Native American Studies undergraduate studies curriculum at the University of New Mexico, I took what turned out to be one of my favorite college courses: Native American Activism, taught by activist and professor Dr. Melanie Yazzie. This book was part of the course and I’ve consistently thought about and revisited Manuel’s manifesto, originally published in 1974. As discussed in class, The Fourth World was a political project by the late Aboriginal leader from Canada, who believed that everyday acts of resistance can lead to the most power and potential in creating an Indigenous-based world free from the shackles of colonialism.
Juini Booth, a jazz and experimental music bassist with the Sun Ra Arkestra, Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, and The Tony Williams Lifetime, passed away on July 11 at the age of 73. This one hit hard because I considered Juini a friend ever since meeting him in 2006 when he played a solo concert in my hometown, Phoenix. The last time we hung out was during the 2016 Vision Festival in New York when Juini played with the Marshall Allen-led Arkestra. A kind, soft-spoken, immensely talented spiritual being who is greatly missed! Suggested Juini listens, which have been on heavy rotation since hearing the news of his Earth departure, include Marzette Watts’s Marzette and Company (1968), McCoy Tyner’s Enlightenment (1973), and an incredible live set of Tony Williams Lifetime at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1971.
film festival / Guild Cinema
Albuquerque’s Guild Cinema recently wrapped its seventeenth annual Film Noir Festival, which, ever since I’ve been attending, screens ten films packaged in five double features. (I saw four of the five double features this time around.) My favorites in this year’s edition included The Woman in the Window (1944), a nail-biter starring Joan Bennett and Edward G. Robinson and directed by Fritz Lang, who’s responsible for one of my all-time favorite films, M; Too Late for Tears (1949), featuring Lizabeth Scott as a memorable femme fatale deviant; and Drive a Crooked Road (1954), a yarn centered on a sweet dope named Eddie Shannon (played by Mickey Rooney) who’s hoodwinked into a gang’s sinister plot to heist the dough out of a bank.
podcast / longform.org and the Atavist
This podcast—co-hosted by master question-askers Aaron Lammer, Max Linsky, and Evan Ratliff—is my go-to for long-form journalism tips as well as a therapy balm whenever I’m feeling an existential crisis about my tenuous career choice. The show, which recently dropped its 449th episode (I’m a few weeks behind, but otherwise I’ve listened to every episode, partially due to completionist syndrome), has included choice conversations with Ta-Nehisi Coates, Dan Rather, Gay Talese, Susan Orlean, Melissa del Bosque, Dean Baquet, Jonathan Abrams, and many more heavy hitters.