Multimedia art collaborative LOS JAICHACKERS will debut a major performance, Night Shade/Solanaceae, at PAMM's Miami Art Week/Art Basel Miami Beach opening celebration on Thursday, December 5. Leading up to the big event, The Port presents guest blogs by LOS JAICHACKERS with playlists, recipes and articles based on exotic night fruits, a major theme of Night Shade/Solanaceae.
By LOS JAICHACKERS
“We’re third-class citizens, even lower than the white working class. Racist violence is getting worse! Papa thought it would stop, that we’d be accepted here as English. We haven’t been! We’re not equal! It’s gonna be like America. However far we go, we’ll always be underneath!”
The Black Album by Hanif Kureishi is based around the idea that the musician we all know as Prince is the ultimate transgressive personality; “he's half black and half white, half man, half woman, half size, feminine but macho, too.” All of these different aspects combine to make Prince a character who is able to step between several worlds—just as the protagonist, Shahid, is trying to do in The Black Album. Published in 1995, the book was the follow up to Kureishi’s groundbreaking novel, Buddha of Suburbia (1990). To this day, if I see a copy of it at a bookstore, I will buy it to have it in my library and turn someone else on to it! By far the most influential reading I have ever put my eyes on! Eventually the book became a BBC miniseries with a score by none other than David Bowie and a cameo by then cool young rocker, Lenny Kravitz. A reference to eggplant resonates throughout the novel, addressing its peculiar history in Asia and close relationship to tobacco and sex.
To understand the book, we have to understand what lead Prince to record the infamous Black Album. We must begin with his breakthrough 1986 recording, Sign o’ the Times; a double album very much in line with the Beatles’ White Album, The Stones’ Exile on Main Street and The Clash’s London Calling—albums created at the peak of these band’s power and creativity! Prince’s recording is a masterpiece full of raw energy, intensity, mistakes; it is over-stimulating, humorous, sexy and just plain gorgeous.
Prince's follow up to Sign o’ the Times was much anticipated, and was originally titled The Funk Bible. All of my research suggests that Prince was experimenting with Ecstasy and suffering its ill aftereffects—leading him to reconsider his soon to be released 1987 album; deeming it “too dark.” At the 11th hour, Prince ordered Warner Bros. to destroy about one million copies of the album before it was released—to this day, it remains the most pirated album in music history. Perhaps Prince needed to take a couple more hits to leave the dark side…
I have witnessed the power of Prince by watching overly-testosterone-filled jocks singing “Little Red Corvette” after a football victory at my high school; totally unaware of the gender bending practice of Prince (I will not even go into “We Are the Champions”). When you see the captain and quarterback of your high school football team start wearing eyeliner—it’s over! Prince has done his job as sexy motherf*****, using music and art as a form of social change.
Night Shade Playlist (eggplant)
By LOS JAICHACKERS
The Black Album is a sort of a coming of age story set against the background of the multi-cultural wars and political unrest of 1980s England. The playlist is divided into three thematics based on the content of the book. Listen to the playlist by signing up or logging in to Spotify.
“Sign o’ the Times” by Prince from the 1987 release Sign o’ the Times
(The opening track to the album of the same name is one of Prince’s most political songs, referencing AIDS and the crack epidemic of the 1980s. It’s the last recording with his classic “revolution” backup band.)
“Disco Guilty” by Antiguo Automata Mexicano from the 2011 release Surspacea
(A beautiful arrangement that takes me back to being underage and being served for the first time in Tijuana. This track is an exotic mix of “Love to Love You” and early OMD minimal electro with a little Tijuana disco, all mixed in the legendary Zanzuzi nightclub!)
“My Own” by Macario from the 2011 release Sur L'avenue de Suffren
(The name of the band comes from the early 1960s Mexican film of the same name)
“Ready to Lose” by The Knife from the 2013 release Shaking the Habitual
(On their fourth studio album, The Knife doesn't change their habits as much as they push themselves to the extreme; it’s an awesome 100-minutes laced with political overtones.)
“Patricia” by Ciëlo from the 2002 release Un Amor Mató Al Futuro
(I have no idea who these guys are and can’t find any information other than that they released 2 albums for the Mexican label, Static Discos. An amazing mix of lo-fi 1980s style music, this track is a play on Perez Prado’s “Patricia” from 1963 with a new wave treatment.)
“Fantasma” by Andrés Almeida from the 2013 release Relatos
(A haunting minimal break beat track from Mexico, a great song that I connect to the character play in Prince’s “If I was Your Girlfriend.”)
“Salsa del Zombie” by Meridian Brothers from the 2012 release Desesperanza
(Eamon turned me on to this band—it is just straight up bedroom recording on a higher spiritual ground that has a nice magic infecting the music. Just the title is alone is a rare gem!)
“We are Not Machines” by Machino
(A fresh track by Ramon Daniels who is part of a new wave of electronic music producers in northern Mexico, on the border between Tijuana and San Diego. Released by Static Discos/Minigroove Records, Machino’s sound ranges from powerful, fragmented techno accompanied by profound environmental landscapes, to downtempo rhythms and ethereal guitars.)
“Rise of the Ghostface Killah” by Ghostface Killah from the 2013 release Twelve Reasons To Die “The Brown Tape”
(An amazing new album with old school samples. I love to envision the scratch of the needle hitting the vinyl record underneath each track, giving an earthly layer to the overall sound.)
Night Shade Recipe (eggplant)
By LOS JAICHACKERS
Ratatouille is my favorite vegetarian dish and most veggies are in season now, including eggplant, peppers, zucchini, onions and tomatoes. For me, ratatouille is best fresh and hot, but is very delicious at room temperature as well. The first thing you need is a mandolin in order to thinly slice the vegetables…
- 1 cup of crushed tomato sauce
- 1 onion
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 roasted red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 zucchini, sliced in thin rounds (about 1/16 inch thick)
- 1 yellow squash, sliced in thin rounds (about 1/16 inch thick)
- 1 eggplant, sliced in thin rounds (about 1/16 inch)
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper
- Heat oven to 375 degrees.
- To make a tomato sauce base: Heat olive oil in a large pan; add salt and pepper and the onion, sauté until translucent (about 7 minutes). Add the tomatoes, garlic, cayenne, roasted pepper and 3 good dashes of salt and pepper. Once sauce has come to a boil, reduce to low heat and cook for about 15-20 minutes.
- Pour the sauce along the bottom of a round baking dish. Arrange sliced veggies on top of the sauce, alternating vegetables.
- Drizzle olive oil over vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle thyme on top and cover the dish with parchment paper cut to fit inside the lip of the dish.
- Bake for about 45-50 minutes, until the vegetables have released liquids, but not to the point where they are easily broken or mushy.