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The Good Thing Archive

Dadawah - Peace and Love | La Joya Andina de Cusco - Cusco, Peru

Dadawah - Peace and Love | La Joya Andina de Cusco - Cusco, Peru

Dadawah - Peace and Love

Music that is both cosmic in its spectrum and rooted in the rhythms of the Earth is exceedingly rare, yet that is exactly the union achieved by Ras Michael (Dadawah) on Peace and Love, his seminal 1974 record of ghostly Nyabinghi devotionals. The dominant sounds are heady and psychadelic, hypnotic and mysterious; Dadawah’s voice, always warm, glides across intricate constellations of lush, meditative bass, piano and lead guitar. But the waves of echo that wash over the music suggest that below the surface is something dark and unknown. The groove throughout runs deep, lulling the listener into a concealed, liminal state. Out of this darkness, though, comes Dadawah’s bright and hopeful celebrations of life and love, leading us all back to the path to Zion—back to where we are all supposed to be. 

 
-Sean Turley

La Joya Andina de Cusco - Cusco, Peru

Oh man, our very first Peru! We are positively giddy to finally be roasting and offering Peruvian coffee. Our inaugural lot is from multiple small producers from the Huadquiña cooperative in the department of Cusco. The producers grow Bourbon, Typica, and Caturra high in the mountains between 1900-2200 masl. This coffee is SUPER fruity, with a lively starfruit and tangerine acidity balanced out by a lingering toffee and cocoa finish. Peru, man!

Galaxie 500 - Today | Gitwe - Kayanza, Burundi

Galaxie 500 - Today | Gitwe - Kayanza, Burundi

Galaxie 500 - Today

Something that happens a lot when you play vinyl in your cafe is that your customers start bringing in their favorite records to add to the cafe collection. It's amazing. Some records become cafe staples (Tunnel of Love) and others get lost in the shuffle (Wrecking Ball). Today fast became one of the staples - at one point getting 2 or 3 plays per day. The simplicity of the chord progressions woven into the bounteousness of the sound make it a perfect record for sort of scene we are trying to set. While those chord progressions show healthy restraint, it should indubitably be noted that Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth once called Today "the guitar record of 1988" and Daydream Nation came out the same year. Now that's saying something. 

Gitwe - Kayanza, Burundi

Oh boy, are we pumped to have Burundis back. We’re starting off the season with a real gem, a stellar lot from Gitwe Hill. Although Gitwe translates to “Place of Skulls”, fortunately the coffee is more uplifting than its name. The 641 farming families that live on Gitwe Hill process their coffee at the Heza Washing Station, which is run by the Long Miles Coffee Project. Long Miles has a pretty unique story— the organization and washing station are run by an American family who, after spending some time sourcing coffee in Burundi, realized that to truly make a difference for farmers the best thing for them to do would be to build a washing station and relocate their family to East Africa. This way, they could control the coffee’s quality and the price that farmers received directly. Gitwe is an excellent example of the outcome of this collaboration. The cup is incredibly creamy and complex, with warming spices, juicy plum, vivid citrus and a hint of jasmine.

Chrissy Zebby Tembo & Ngozi Family - My Ancestors | Mokonisa Bulga - Sidamo, Ethiopia

Chrissy Zebby Tembo & Ngozi Family - My Ancestors | Mokonisa Bulga - Sidamo, Ethiopia

Chrissy Zebby Tembo - My Ancestors

It has been way to long since sent out some Zamrock and for this we apologize. This month we are delighted to bring you the classic My Ancestors by Chrissy Zebby Tembo. The timing of this most recent reissue could not be more perfect as the excited drumming of Chrissy Zebby Tembo and the bewitchingly fuzzy guitar of Paul Ngozi make for perfect accompaniment to the first warm days of spring. Throw open those windows, dust off the croquet mallet ,and turn the volume up! “Trouble Maker” is an especially good song to hear when you are sending an opponent’s ball off into the woods. As the liner notes modestly proclaim, “Chrissy has recorded this solo album and hopes you’ll enjoy listening to it.” You most certainly will!   

 

Mokonisa Bulga - Sidamo, Ethiopia

This delightfully floral and sweet coffee comes to us from a privately owned washing station called Mokonisa Bulga in the Dimtu area of Sidamo. The station buys cherry from almost 2000 small farmers growing local varieties on farms that are, on average, less than 2 ha. Mokonisa Bulga is owned by Israel Degfa, who also owns several other mills in Ethiopia and the exporting company Kershanshe Coffee. When we visited Ethiopia this past December, we got to spend a lot of time with Israel, visiting his washing stations and his dry mill in Addis. Israel radiates kindness and hospitality, not just to us, his guests, but also seemingly to all the folks that work for him. The care that he puts into his work really comes through in the cup—this coffee is full of florals, juicy melon and sweet pink lemonade.

Digable Planets - Blowout Comb | Buena Vista - Tolima, Colombia

Digable Planets - Blowout Comb | Buena Vista - Tolima, Colombia

Digable Planets Blowout Comb

There are those kinds of sophomore albums that have a history of being greatly misunderstood and/or under-appreciated upon their release, but then years later they manage to find an audience ready to realize the greatness that they once overlooked. This is one of those records. Do not overlook this record. “I'm slicker this year" claim Ladybug, Butterfly and Doodlebug on "(9th Wonder"), and... they are totally right. - CDR / hellocdr.com

Buena Vista - Tolima, Colombia

This stellar coffee was produced by the one and only Astrid Medina Pereira on her farm Finca Buena Vista. Buena Vista is located in Planadas, Tolima, in a tiny rural hamlet called San Miguel. This lot is 100% Caturra and is grown at around 1750 masl on 12.5 ha of beautiful land. Astrid is a pretty darn amazing woman—she is a certified technician in coffee production and agricultural production by the National Learning Service in Colombia (SENA). She and her husband (who works at a coffee purchasing cooperative) have 2 kids, and they run the farm in tandem with their sister, who is a single mother of a young boy. It is a family-focused venture and is also exceedingly quality-focused, which paid off big time in 2015 when Buena Vista won 1st place in the ACE Cup of Excellence for North Colombia. We are truly fortunate and proud to be able to offer Astrid’s coffee to y’all year after year. Enjoy!

Olivia Tremor Control - Black Foliage: Animation Music Vol. I | Deri Kochoha - Sidamo, Ethiopia

Olivia Tremor Control - Black Foliage: Animation Music Vol. I | Deri Kochoha - Sidamo, Ethiopia
Olivia Tremor Control Black Foliage : Animation Music Vol 1
 
Black Foliage : Animation Music Vol 1 had everything my blossoming ears were searching for in music when it came out a mere 19 years ago. The hooks are as catchy and enchanting as can be with harmonies that sound like they were purloined from later Beach Boys records. The vivid lyrics wonderfully paint acid laced landscapes before your eyes (if you're into that kind of thing). All of this exquisiteness is tied together in a web of atmospheric sounds that are layered into, on top  and in between. It's just one of the best albums to come out of the 90s is all. 

 

Deri Kochoha - Sidamo, Ethiopia

The coffee that we have had out of the Deri Kochoha washing station in Guji has, over the past few years, been consistently fruity, sweet, and utterly drinkable. Over 600 farmers growing coffee on small farms between 1800-2000 masl sell their cherries to this station. Once the cherries are received by the washing station, a traditional disc pulper is used to remove the skin and then the coffee is fermented underwater for 72 hours to loosen the mucilage before being washed and soaked overnight and ultimately dried on raised beds. The resulting coffee is super fruity, with juicy peach, candy-like sweetness, and aromatic florals.

 

Peter Matthew Bauer - Mount Qaf (Divine Love) | Amado Fernandez - Santa Barbara, Honduras

Peter Matthew Bauer - Mount Qaf (Divine Love) | Amado Fernandez - Santa Barbara, Honduras

Peter Matthew Baur : Mount Qaf

Like many, I was disappointed in 2013 to read about the decision by the band The Walkmen to take a break from making any new music or touring. The perennial indie rockers held a permanent & beloved section of my shelf that was hopeful for many more albums as they continued to evolve from their frantic punk inspired roots into poppier & accessible rock. News quickly spread that Walkmen members would be pursuing solo careers, including multi-instrumentalist Peter Baur. With minimal involvement vocally in The Walkmen and seemingly always jumping from organ to bass to guitar, song by song, there were few hints of the sound that a solo record from Baur would bring. On a regular dark & frigid Maine night in February of 2015, up the street from Tandem Coffee Roasters, Baur played a solo show in a barely lit furniture builder's wood shop to a crowd of maybe 25 people. The music was raw, accessible, energetic and wholly something new and different from anything The Walkmen had ever produced. Building off the momentum of Liberation!Mount Qaf delivers worldly rocking songs about love, fortune, illusion, and redemption. YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE IT.
-Steve Pogson 

 

Amado Fernandez - Santa Barbara, Honduras

Santa Barbara, Honduras, is a really special place. This coffee-producing region is made up of a series of hillside towns, each with a tight-knit community of specialty coffee producers working to improve their quality and sustainability. Amado Fernandez grows coffee on 3.7 hectares at 1550 masl in the town of Las Flores in Santa Barbara. Amado’s farm was inherited from his father, also named Don Amado—when he passed away, he divided his farm up among his four sons. The Fernandez brothers share facilities and expertise, but they own much of their own equipment and process their lots separately. They also have a KILLER view of Lake Yojoa. Amado’s coffee this year is pretty stunning and complex with notes of sweet vanilla, hibiscus, concord grape and peach.

Monster Rally - Flowering Jungle | Kaffa - Kaffa, Ethiopia

Monster Rally - Flowering Jungle | Kaffa - Kaffa, Ethiopia

In Francesco Adinolfi’s Mondo Exotica: Sounds, Visions, Obsessions of the Cocktail Generation, he explores how post-war escapism fuelled the co-opting of ethnic and cultural stereotypes to subsequently spawn an exciting, but comfortable, alternative reality. The commercial success of the broadly-defined exotica sound fed on this desire to tangentially experience the mystery and glamour of far-off locales. Ted Feighan’s recording project, Monster Rally, uses the language of collage and the backdrop of exotica to explore the boundaries of authentic and imagined sounds. The largely instrumental, loop-based songs are culled from his vast collection of records, spanning tropicália, surf-rock, spaghetti western, and countless other dollar-bin genres. There’s a backbone of hip-hop running through the tracks, undoubtedly influenced by the use of samples in modern rap music, but the resultant soundtrack nods heavily to escapism – perhaps a bit dangerous, but ultimately something we all need every now and again.

 Hunter Mack (Gold Robot Records)

Kaffa - Kaffa, Ethiopia

This complex and creamy coffee is from the western Ethiopian Kaffa zone. Kaffa is in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR) in what was formerly Kaffa province. The forests of the Kaffa highlands are thought to be where coffee evolved; in fact, both the word Kaffa and the English word coffee are believed to be derived from the same Arabic root, qahwah, meaning “a drink made from berries”.

Bach : The Goldberg Variations - Glenn Gould | Jingle Beans - Kenya & Ethiopia

Bach : The Goldberg Variations - Glenn Gould | Jingle Beans - Kenya & Ethiopia

One night in the late 1990s, I caught a movie on PBS called 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould and it changed my life. For the rest of senior year I was under a spell—Gould was my deity, “The Goldberg Variations” my sacrament. I cut class to sit in my car and channel Gould channeling Bach. I went to parties and talked about Gould, I went to college admission interviews and talked about Gould. My friends thought I was nuts, but I didn't care. By the time I left for college that summer, the spell had mostly faded, though not entirely. These days, I only put on Gould’s 1955 “Goldberg” once or twice a year, but as soon as I hear the opening Aria, those first delicate notes, the hair on my neck and ears stands up and a warm wave washes over me. 

-Kolby Yarnell

Jingle Beans - Kenya & Ethiopia

Our annual holiday blend! Each year we go out of our way to make this blend as viciously fruity and seasonally outlandish as we can. This year we wholeheartedly went for it by blending 2 merry African coffees that triumphantly coalesce into the best interpretation of aqueous fruit cake in a cup. 

Ken - Destroyer | Guji - Sidamo, Ethiopia

Ken - Destroyer | Guji - Sidamo, Ethiopia

We’ve been adoring fans of Destroyer ever since stumbling upon Streekhawk: A Seduction back in 2001. The original attraction was the unique lyrics and convincing voice of Daniel Bejar over lots of rock and roll classical guitar. While that perfect combination hooked me, I’ve really enjoyed Bejar’s constant reinvention. You never really know what to expect when each new album is announced. I’ve yet to be disappointed and this album is no exception to the rule. This limited edition pressing also comes with a 7” featuring a couple acoustic versions bringing us close to that Destroyer we originally fell in love with. 

-Will

Guji - Sidamo, Ethiopia

Lively and complex, this coffee from the Uraga region in Guji is bound to please. Uraga is the highest elevation coffee producing area in Ethiopia, and the conditions help to create a consistently clean, delicate, and floral cup. When Will visited this lush, verdant region in 2015, he returned awestruck by its beauty, and the coffee is truly as exquisite as the scenery. This particular lot is super sweet and juicy, with notes of stone fruit, ripe watermelon, and marzipan.

The Sea and Cake - The Sea and Cake | Burtukaana - Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia

The Sea and Cake - The Sea and Cake | Burtukaana - Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia

The first ever Sea and Cake record! Oh man, you're so lucky. And reissued on light blue vinyl at that! So much to love about this band but it's really hard to beat the simple perfection of John McEntire's drumming. I can get lost in that stuff. Enjoy!

- Will

Burtukaana - Yirgacheffe, Ethiopia 

This naturally processed coffee from the Konga region of Yirgacheffe is truly delightful. The coffee is delivered to the privately-owned mill by approximately 750 smallholder producers, each with an average farm size of less than 1 ha. This lot is a Grade 1, meaning that there was incredible attention to detail in each step of the process, from cherry selection to drying to hand-sorting. The impeccable processing shines through in the cup: sweet, clean, and SO fruity, with a balanced acidity and creamy body.

One Night Stand, Live At The Harlem Club — Sam Cooke | La Folie - Antigua, Guatemala

One Night Stand, Live At The Harlem Club — Sam Cooke | La Folie - Antigua, Guatemala

The time had come for Sam Cooke to put out his first live record. The date and venue were chosen - January 12, 1963, at the Harlem Square Club in Miami. When the old timer dinosaur record executives heard the recording they found it too loud and raw. They shelved it and it sat hidden away in the archives for over 20 years. Luckily for all of humanity, the recording was unearthed in 1985 by a wise record executive named Gregg Geller and heard for what it was. The record was quickly released and is now considered one of the greatest live records of all time. Loud and raw are exactly what makes this record so great. Rarely does a live album succeed at putting you right in the audience like this recording does. Close your eyes and you’re there. Instead of just recording the instruments they captured the whole room. It’s so tangible that I sometimes have to remind myself that I wasn’t at this show. It all peaks when Sam leads the audience in singing “For Sentimental Reasons”. God I wish I was there!

—Will Pratt - Tandem

Curator: Tandem Coffee Roasters

La Folie : Antigua, Guatemala

Sam Cooke : One Night Stand, Live at the Harlem Club

Link Wray — Link Wray | Kokola (Agaro, Ethiopia)

Link Wray — Link Wray | Kokola (Agaro, Ethiopia)

Last summer while riding in my friend Steve’s sweet Saabaru (RIP Saabaru), he put on a cd and said ‘check this out’. One of the prettiest songs from such a unique voice started to play – it was ‘Falling Rain’ by Link Wray. I immediately went home and listened to as much Link Wray as I possibly could find, starting with this album, which to me is the very best. When I discovered that the man behind this pretty little song also rocks and wails I seriously had trouble listening to anything else for a while. To me this album is perfect and now that it’s re-released on vinyl, there is very little that I feel I need in life.

—Kathleen Pratt - Tandem

Curator: Tandem Coffee Roasters

Kokola : Agaro, Ethiopia

Link Wray : Link Wray