Sorry about missing you all last month. Interesting times!
With some ado, here are 5 things:
I received more than one piece of enthusiastic feedback about Yasmin Williams last time out. If you like her music you’re going to adore her Tiny Desk concert. The fantastic guitars. The kalimba. The way she just tapes it to her guitar. The tap shoes. Everything. And for all you tech skeptics, the fact that she was inspired to make all this acoustic, ‘authentic’ music by GuitarHero2.
Actually, on a similar note. You might also enjoy The Low Anthem’s stint behind the Tiny Desk. Similarly organic and ‘real’, until, at about 7:27 one of them starts (apparently) checking his old Nokia for text messages. Then grabs a bandmate’s phone and starts using the two echo/feedback devices for his whistling. It’s incongruous and lovely.
More video! I’ve become mildly addicted to Kirsten Dirksen’s YouTube channel. Mini documentaries on craftspeople, inventors, builders and regular folks who are creating their own simpler, greener futures. The vibe is really interesting, like an extended IGTV live but with proper cameras. I enjoyed “Mad scientist's homestead is parking size, off-grid system”, “Young couple downsizes, pays off $125K debt, buys home” and “Aptera commutes just on solar, gets 1K mile-range when full”. The last one feels like a proper future-y future. Not just a regular car with an electric engine - something considered and thoughtful that ends up delightful and off centre.
Not video! Have you ever tried a financier. It’s a “small French almond cake, flavoured with beurre noisette, usually baked in a small mould”. A place near us does them. They are delicious. But, more importantly, one theory about their name says “According to another tradition, the cake became popular in the financial district of Paris…as the cake could easily be stored in the pocket for long periods without being damaged”. Pocket cake! There should be more pocket cakes. Pasties, pork pies, sausage rolls; ease of storage and transportation seem to be at the origin of all my favourite foods.
Finally, this is simple genius. Again, proper future-y future. Solarpunk with all the tumblr memes filed off.
Oh, and my publisher would not be happy if I didn’t mention that I have written a book and you can now buy it. Everything I Know About Life I Learned From PowerPoint. Feedback thus far includes: “I feel completely seen…never has a book connected with me so much”, “I’ve already learnt two things from it” and “problem report”.
And thank you all for being there. It’s nice to know there’s someone on the end of this line.
(There are 739 of you. 739 is both a lucky prime and a happy number.)