For the first time, Music Press Asia is curating Friday evening listening lists for stay-at-homes as part of the November series programme.
The Friday program is made especially for autumn listeners. If you’ve just finished work and are on your way home, this is just the sort of Friday radio for you. Whether you’re about to cook a quiet dinner, catch up on reading or watch a late-night show, we have prepared a little set that would last 3 hours of your time.
Sophie Gigg is our curator for tonight. She lives in a two-bedroom apartment in the center of Jakarta. If there’s anything she’d wanted, it would be the placidity she needs after a long week in the press room. As much as she’d like a Friday like this all the time, it’s only ideal in November before the holiday month arrives.
Appetizers: It Had To Be Delicious
Let’s start with something bubbly. As I hear the clicks and the clacks of my shoes heading towards the exit of my office building, there is an insatiable desire that Friday evenings have to be perfect. I mean how do you exit a working day like Friday? The day is literally the hours like in a black and white movie standing between pleasure and persistence. And if I am about to end a long week away from the press room, there has to be some kind of preconditions to how I would actually survive a work-free weekend like this one. That it should be, spread within the next two and a half days, enjoyed with at least a healthy amount of good delicious good. So, it would be important that you’d agree with me in order to start.
My question to you, then, would be ‘What kind of appetizers, my darling?”
In Asia, lime plays a huge substitution to lemon in any cooking. Nonetheless, we are constantly battling its preferences in our choices of ingredients. And at this instant, I am reminded of Kenshi Yonezu’s (米津玄師) all-amazing song Lemon. This is an instant hit and should bring that bounce to the start of your weekend. Lyrics aside, it is nothing less than an invigorating leap to the best of moods. Lemon tastes bitter. But added into any steamed fish or mango salad, it completely changes the texture of your palette.
Click here to listen to Yonezu’s song Lemon.
Travel: I’m On My Way
You might be immediately doubting my choices here. But believe me when I say this is a choice of a rather idiotic phase in life. Because who doesn’t want to make a mistake they’ll forever remember? As I stumble my way onto the pre-evening traffic, I am this quintessence of youth, ready to make headway. Yes, headway into a great evening of course. And if you’re still doubting at this point, please leave because there is no other way that you’ll be ready for what’s to come. On My Way has been my voice that stands for courage. And I’m courageously choosing this for my world right now. Not bad at all for a choice that has had already 73 million views on YouTube. It is definitely a defining moment for many. Now, please click on repeat for the next ten times until you are quietly standing or sitting in traffic.
Click here to listen to On My Way by Alan Walker, Sabrina Carpenter, and Farruko (complete with lyrics courtesy of SyrebralVibes.
For a bit of fun and entertainment, Miyashita Yuu‘s song Traffic Jam is an ode to everything anime and Japanese. Its dedication to an aspect of fandom, which we have entirely missed in this generation. Yuu is an utaite. Our following of his music began ever since Senkou Metro was released. As for a little headstart, I beg you to watch the animation linked below. This is another bracing rendition of something totally off the mainstream route. We’re definitely still in the fast lane here because we ain’t slowing down for another hour.
Listen to Miyashita Yuu’s Traffic Jam here.
The Cool After The Stress, Not.
Our very first dedication to hip hop is here. We discovered this song entirely based on the algorithm of search of the word Cucumber. If there is anything cruder, it could be this very one. And for this very reason alone, J Hus is perhaps our least favourite rapper if not on this list. But who wouldn’t cry for some good rhyming lyrics just for the sake of poetry? There isn’t much music here. But these are the words that count. We’ll leave you to do some searches for its music and lyrics if you’re desperate. But if you’d choose to skip this one, it may also be a good choice.
Part Two: Glorious Food
I did promise a delicious Asian-styled mango salad for today evening’s appetizer. Now, it has come to be believed that the Thais follow a strict national recipe when it comes to their mango salad. The locals call it Som Tum Mamuang. Preparing it without palm sugar, fish sauce, and green mango would be unwise. Mixed with toasted peanuts, the raw mango is thinly sliced to bathe in the juice of the lime. It would be inconceivable to underestimate its ingredients but I do have to say Natasha’s recipe from Natasha’s Kitchen is my all-time favourite. Not only it is made with chicken, but it also uses avocados. And so here goes to the best mango salad recipe I’ve ever tasted.
Alternatively, Asian Food Network also makes a wickedly delicious version.
Our love for Thailand’s mango salad recipe isn’t so different from our love for its beautiful country. Nothing beats a warm welcome as a guest in Thailand. For a truly immersive experience of Thailand’s classical music, click here.
Cooking Up a Storm
Joe Hisaishi and Hayao Miyazaki are two national gems of no comparison. Having married to each other creatively, they are like waffles with ice cream, or pasta with a good tomato sauce. Together, they have created some of the most reassuring tunes of all time. Without Hisaishi, there is no Miyazaki, and vice versa.
I am further indulging the evening and have chosen to put on the album Spirited Away Suite (recorded live) by Joe Hisaishi. I paired it exclusively with a Marks & Spencer’s classic white. The Chenin Blanc by Ken Forrester is South Africa’s export. Elegantly zesty, it matches well with the orchestral drama made by the hero of Japanese animation – Miyazaki. Sheltered in the shadows of the Cape Mountains, Forrester knows a delicious blend when he makes one. Ones that have aged well in French oak barrels.
However, life doesn’t always revolve around an alcoholic beverage. My best substitution for an alcohol-free evening is a cup of hot green tea. An ideal choice of warm liquid and most enjoyably consumed on a rainy evening like today.
Listen to the Spirited Away Suite here. This is a live recording performed by the New Japan Philharmonic World Dream Orchestra. Hisaishi’s latest release is The Border Concerto for 3 Horns and Orchestra II.
Wrapping Up The Night
There is no reason why we shouldn’t finish a Friday with some peace and quiet. Blume’s ambient mix titled Alone and Peace is the perfect bedtime lullabies. Many a night have I snoozed and dose off in its smooth and peaceful rapture. As descriptive as Blume is with its soundscape, it is accurately an embodiment of warmth and enchantment. Be ready to be fall asleep with this.
Listen to Alone and Peace here.