I didn't write last month because Putin had just invaded Ukraine and paying attention to this sort of stuff seemed wrong. A month later, and it's probably equally wrong that I feel like I may as well carry on.
If you can, you can still give.
Anyway. 5 things.
Liberation skirts. That's all you should need to hear, right? From wonderful old school blog irenebrination: "in the Netherlands women celebrated peace with a homemade 'liberation skirt', a garment conceived by Dutch feminist Mies Boissevain-van Lennep (1896-1965)." Click the link, these are great.
"...members of the management team of the museum and all the agents involved in the exhibition were invited to participate in public negotiation tables (where they were advised to “come with warm clothes, a charged phone and, if possible, a torch”) to discuss the measures that needed to be adopted in order to respect the energy budget."
"A few days before the closing of the exhibition, realising that the energy budget might overrun, Moll and the direction of the art centre agreed to close Santa Mònica for a week, from December 20 to 26. This decision was motivated by the need to save enough energy in the middle of Winter and ensure comfortable climatic conditions for both workers and visitors when the centre reopened."
via Fresh and New
I'm a complete believer in the power of bad first drafts and lots and lots of revision. But I loved the way this podcast conversation between Kiese Laymon and Tressie McMillan Cottom took that from being practical advice about writing and gave it real moral force.
"And one of the worst Americanisms is like if you did it, it’s good. And two, like especially for cisgender men, cisgender straight men, like everything I do got me here, so I shouldn’t regret anything I’ve done. You know, like that that’s dangerous for an artist. But it’s catastrophic for a human. And so like I want to revise sentences because I know they can always be better. I have an idea of a vision. I have a vision in my head for a sentence or for sentence passages. And I want to keep going until I go beyond that. But I also want to give myself the freedom in the future to be like, you know what, Kiese, like that line you thought was the illest line in the world, you today are embarrassed of."
I'm addicted to Saha Frere-Jones' Jazz Kissa playlist partly because of, well, the jazz, but also because of how he wrote about it:
"When I spend time in the make-believe jazz kissa of my living room, with my too-long playlist of jazz recordings, I hear certain records and musicians doing their thing over and over. When I spent two years with Odetta’s music, I lost track of the songs. The records faded and what emerged was a person, a force who made choices and had tendencies she couldn’t escape.
I think people react badly to music criticism because they’ve become acquainted with musicians through records and don’t see a point in picking apart the text surrounding someone they love. Music is just something musicians wear. Once you know what a person loves to do, listening to their music is simply a way of spending time with them. You don’t bail on your friends because they go on too much about HR at lunch.
Also, the people who go to jazz kissas and listen to one Sonny Stitt album a hundred times are sitting in a room roughly the size of the studio where the album was recorded. The musicians are negotiating life with each other, in real time, getting along because they have to. Their decision to help each other is as loud as any note they play, and this, in turn, changes the jazz kissa into a place where people help each other, even if they don’t speak. (Sometimes you can talk in a kissa, but it’s mostly discouraged.)"
Lots of you lot are interested in 'maintenance'. Not the show-offy flash of building something new but the necessary work of keeping it going. So you might also be struck by what it takes to recover from disaster. When the Dust Settles by Lucy Easthope is an extraordinary, beautiful and funny book by an expert in doing just that. The adaptation on Radio 4 was also great.
Sorry. Slightly sombre this month.
In lighter, more self-promotional news, I have recorded two new jazzycoffeeshopvibes sets. Number 3 which is more jazzy and Number 4 which is more coffeeshop. And if you fancy hearing me ramble on in person there's a video interview on the YouTubes about strategy stuff and another on the podcasts about PowerPoint.
Like all the famous bloggers I appear to have left substack for ill-defined but probably important reasons. It shouldn't interrupt your service, such as it is. As ever unsubscribe like the wind.
(There are 812 of you. 812 flour is one of the darker flour types more useful for wholegrain bread.)