Mile End server Ari Sadowitz helped us out with our third installment of the Restaurant Playlist. When he isn’t at the Montreal-style deli and restaurant, waxing poetic about the smoked chicken or the trout bisque, you can find Sadowitz teaching guitar and bass or playing with his band, the Smyrk. His fittingly meaty musical selections include Steely Dan’s bass-heavy “Black Cow” and Blockhead’s trippy instrumental “Carnivores Unite.”
You can check out most of the playlist on Spotify if you’re a member, but for the entire thing — including tracks from Sixto Rodriguez, Kimbra and Thundercat — listen below.
1. Steely Dan – “Black Cow”
When Fagen & Becker come on in the deli, expect two things: happy employees and much more Steely Dan to follow.
2. King Geedorah – “Fazers”
Long Island’s MF DOOM and his multiple personas are off-kilter enough to combat any of today’s cookie cutter lazy beats and rhymes.
3. Michael Jackson – “Rock With You”
Insert anything from his royal family or another Quincy Jones production here. Head-bobbing and poutine-eating.
4. Shabazz Palaces – “Youlogy”
Former Digable Planet Ishmael Butler’s debut LP is a trippy, reverb-drenched sonic collage that always has diners asking “what is this?”
5. Feist – “How Come You Never Go There”
Horns and harmonies – Canada’s crown princess of indie pop adds a healthy dose of grit to her gems.
6. Blockhead – “Carnivores Unite”
Given our kickass steak special, both a fitting title and a great mood setter by the Manhattan-based DJ extraordinaire.
7. Hall & Oates – “I Can’t Go For That”
To me, there’s no better way to show a customer you appreciate their business than by playing Hall & Oates.
8. The Roots – “The OtherSide”
From backing Fallon in Midtown to DJing in Williamsburg, to cranking out flawless albums, ?uestlove seems to be all over this city. There must be time in there somewhere for smoked meat…
9. Sixto Rodriguez – “Sugar Man”
Infectious and lilting 1970 single by Detroit’s most overlooked artist, a great ambiance shifter.
10. Kimbra – “Call Me”
Flight of the Conchords, Middle Earth and the (dare I say it?) Princely stylings of this 21-year old prodigy? Must be something in New Zealand’s water.
11. Thundercat – “Fleer Ultra”
Goodbye to the days of canned restaurant muzak and hello to a new breed of songwriting rife with hyphens and genre slashes – jazzily familiar and the music of an alien future.
12. Talk Talk – “Life’s What You Make It”
Most notable as “that band with that song that Gwen Stefani’s band covered,” anything from Talk Talk’s 1986 album sounds both lightyears ahead of today’s pop and firmly rooted in the glorious aesthetic of the the 80’s.
Photo by Kara Zuaro