St Thomas

Catalyze 02.18.19

Four Ms every Monday. A weekly round-up of music, movement, mind, and mood. 
My latest playlist for 24 Life is below, though here's the quick link to listen to The Soul of Ethiopia.
Today's articles include the problem of men telling women to wear makeup to "look professional" and the history of MDMA being used in marriage therapy. You can also read this newsletter here.
I've reached out to my sending service to try to solve the problem of this newsletter arriving twice in your inbox. Hoping to rectify the situation this week. 
Thanks, as always, for reading.



I’ve been waiting for a new record by The Cinematic Orchestra since 2007’s La Fleur. Sure, they released a great live album the following year, a soundtrack to a wonderful documentary on flamingos (really), and two mixtapes, but I need another deep dive from this British nu jazz project. If three tracks are all I get (for now), so be it. A Promise is 23 minutes of sonic ecstasy. Hearing Roots Manuva return on “A Caged Bird/Imitations of Life” will hold me over until something more substantial arrives in my inbox.



I’m not sure when, or if, we’ll come together as a species to combat climate change. It’s a topic I’ve written about often in my Big Think column; sadly, this topic underperforms most everything else I write about. I’ve maintained for a long time that humans are more reactive than proactive. Tragically, most won’t do a thing until it affects them personally. In this circumstance, that’s too little too late.

This deep dive into where we’re at with climate is necessary reading. I know we’d rather read what inspires and distracts, but without taking care of the planet we share, there will be no more pleasure, pain, or distractions at all. Not sure what it’s going to take to understand that.

We are living today in a world that has warmed by just one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) since the late 1800s, when records began on a global scale. We are adding planet-warming carbon dioxide to the atmosphere at a rate faster than at any point in human history since the beginning of industrialization.



My Instagram time is split between watching tutorials of movements I can one day achieve (with time and effort) and gazing in awe at movements this body will likely—I always leave room for the impossible—never achieve. This is not a pining as much as a focus on the possible, which for me, right now, include a) press handstand and b) muscle ups. All of my training sessions are focused on achieving those two goals. In the world of the (likely) impossible is Roye Goldschmidt, and the video below details why. Wow, is it beautiful to watch.



Like most Americans, I discovered Ethiopian jazz via “Ethiopiques” 18 years ago while working as an international music journalist. Some of the biggest names from that era — Mulatu Astatke, Mahmoud Ahmed, Girma Bèyènè — are represented in this month’s playlist. Yet so is a new crop of artists fascinated by the golden era of Ethiopian music who have taken that incredible sound and continue to honor it with new interpretations and compositions today.