A Good Read A Good Listen and a Good Drink: AF the Naysayer

It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss.

In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire.

AF the Naysayer (Amahl Abdul-Khaliq), founder of Dolo Jazz Suite, and co-founder of Self-Educated Vinyl, makes some groovy beats, and this is his debut music video:


He’s currently out on tour with Prism House and Slomile Swift, and they are working their way around the country.

New York, your show is on Sept. 11 at Spike Hill, in Brooklyn; Ohio, yours are on Sept. 19 at Bourbon St. in Columbus and Sept. 23 at Chameleon in Cincinnati.

The last time he came through New York he sat down and did the very first live-action A Good Read, A Good Listen and a Good Drink, outside the aptly-named Trash Bar, also in Brooklyn. The following is a transcript of that conversation:

NTSIB: All right, let’s go, let’s hear about your favorite book, album and drink. Tell me all of your nerdy LBJ thoughts.

AF the Naysayer: Ok so I’m really not much of a fiction reader. I don’t know why, even though as a kid I did like comic books, I just was more interested in history. So the last book I read that I was really intrigued by that wasn’t music related was Flawed Giant, the biography of Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) [by Robert Dallek]. It was strictly only on his Presidency, from Vice President to President. And it was really extensive, like over one thousand pages. It was like reading the New Testament and the Old Testament. It was about that long.

He was just such a mafioso president. He got the most bills passed during his time as president than any other president in history. He did the most underhanded things and got away with it, it was just insane. He was really a watch-dog president. He was an anomaly. He was just an interesting person. I was just so intrigued by it. It’s a really long book, not necessarily a good read for a lot of people. But I was very intrigued. That’s my recommendation for a book.

NTSIB: And for a record, to go with that book?

AF the Naysayer: Oh, I don’t know what record would go with that book. I’m just going to name one of my favorite records.

NTSIB: Okay, that’s good too!

AF the Naysayer: Gil Scott Heron, one of my favorite artists of all time, favorite singer/songwriter, his album Winter in America, it’s not one of his most popular album, due to I guess the record label, but it’s an amazing album, from track one to the end. One of my favorite albums of all time, so that’s why I’m going to nominate it.

Gil Scott Heron "Winter In America" (1974) HIGH QUALITY

And I don’t drink alcohol, so –

NTSIB: Well that’s all right, you can tell me about your favorite soda. Or hot chocolate.

AF the Naysayer: I love ginger beer. Ginger beer is amazing. So is a good root beer. But I guess since I’m at a show [in a bar]-lots of time they don’t have those. I’ll be lucky if they have ginger ale. Sometimes they do, for mixing drinks. So I guess my go to drink at a bar would be club soda with a squirt of lemon juice and a splash of cranberry juice. And if I want to get fancy with it I’ll get a crushed mint leaf.

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